Our Year in Review 2022

Time is such a thief, isn’t that the truth? I could’ve sworn I just finished my Year in Review post for 2021 and here I am, writing another one for 2022. Usually by this time, I’m always asking myself:

Did I live this year in meaningful and fulfilling ways?

Was I present enough for my family and friends?

Did I serve others well with the gift of time and resources God gave me?

What were the lessons I learned from this year?

Did I have any regrets from this year?

Alas, it is a time for introspections and reflections, and that can often be valuable if we’re willing to dig deeper. As I grow older, I am more grateful than ever for the gift of time, health, and mobility. I realize each day that I wake up what a gift it is to be alive. Not only alive, but to be breathing on my own, to have mobility, to have freedom to choose how to use my time, to have such easy access to food and water….I mean, there really is so much that we cannot take for granted!

Omicron was raging at the beginning of 2022, so we hesitated in making any travel plans. I had no idea if we’d end up in another lockdown for the year! But…we ended up traveling to 16 different countries in 2022. 16!!!! That’s a record for us, and in a year where traveling seemed unattainable. One of my favorite Bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11, certainly rang true this year.

“For I know I have the plans for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

This has been such a year of the unknown, and we have leaped into this unknown with the most faith that we’ve ever had. In return, God has shown us over and over again that He remains trustworthy and sovereign.

January 2022We had big plans to travel to the Middle East to kick start our Worldschooling for the year, but when omicron showed up uninvited, most of the world began shutting down once again. We decided it would be safest to stay put for the time being, and spent the month at home enjoying the down time. We discovered some awesome hiking spots with friends, enjoyed an abundant amount of cozy gatherings, and Bridgette got to focus on catching up with her schoolwork.

February 2022Lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world remained in place, so we decided to stay put yet another month! This was fine with us, since we had gotten into a steady rhythm back at home again. We got to see a number of our extended family at a Chinese New Year gathering. I celebrated my 45th birthday with a few low-key gatherings amongst my friends and family. Bridgette’s 15th birthday was celebrated throughout the whole month as always. She hosted a small gathering at home with her friends, had a separate sleepover with her bestie Anita, and we took her to LA for a few days to hit up a few of the restaurants she’s been dying to try from Tasty’s Worth It series. The best birthday present for Bridgette was from my cousins Jacqueline and Peter, who took her and one of her good friends Abby to the Justin Bieber concert! It was Bridgette’s very first concert experience and she had an absolute blast!

March 2022Finally, booster shots were available and the world seemed to have gotten a grip on omicron for the time being, so we got real busy real quickly this month! After celebrating Alan’s birthday, Bridgette and I jetted off again to Dublin, Ireland for a week and then spent another week in Prague, Czech Republic. This trip was the very first time that we had to deal with lost luggages, which, considering how much we travel, already seems like a small miracle. It definitely caused us some hassle, but in the end, we were just very grateful to have found the luggages! Okay, so this month was definitely the most unforgettable and special month for our family, because after Dublin and Prague, we flew to Mexico to participate in a reality tv show! I cannot disclose much about it until it airs, which will be in March 2023, but all I can say is that it was undoubtedly the hardest but most rewarding thing we’ve ever done as a family. We were casted to be on this show late last year, and since then, we tried to prepare ourselves for the grueling competition by hiking and working out more but in reality, I don’t think anything could’ve properly prepared us for what we endured that week. It. was. excruciatingly. difficult. Surviving that week was nothing short of God’s grace and miracle, and we will forever be grateful to have gotten that opportunity to try something so unique as a family because it definitely pushed us to grow in many, many ways.

April 2022We were home the first couple of weeks in April to mainly recuperate from the grueling competition and to enjoy more time with family and friends. Our dear friend Kirk visited from Ecuador and we had a fun time taking him to all our favorite Asian food restaurants. Bridge and I then flew off again, this time to Croatia, and also got to briefly visit Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a wonderful trip filled with new experiences that taught us so much. We hunted for truffle in the forests of Motovun, learned all about olive oil production at an olive farm up on the hills of Split, took a boat into the bay at Mali Ston to understand the process of oyster farming, and learned a ton of history between the walls of Dubrovnik’s old town, amongst so many other things. It was Worldschooling at its best, intertwined with fun moments of discovering the best gelato on earth, biking along the streets of Zagreb, and island hopping amongst a few of the loveliest islands of Croatia.

May 2022This was an incredibly special month. Bridge and I arrived home to celebrate Mother’s Day with our extended family, followed by ALAN’S BAPTISM!!! That’s right, Alan got baptized, praise the Lord! We invited both of our parents to witness this monumental event, along with some of our close friends and Alan’s life group who have been instrumental in his faith journey. I knew it would be a touching moment to witness his public affirmation towards Christ, but I was not expecting how moved we all were. The tears just flowed so freely and unapologetically as I listened to our pastor read Alan’s testimony out loud. Alan’s faith journey was a miraculous one that really revealed God’s glory, and everyone that was a part of it during the last 8 years could attest to that. I am just beyond grateful and honored to have been able to witness this miracle every step of the way. After Alan’s baptism, Bridge and I took off to New York City with my mom, where we attended my cousin’s graduation at Columbia University. We spent a few days there with some of our extended family, and then surprised my mom by taking her to Iceland for the next week! The highlight of Iceland was experiencing the Blue Lagoon, and doing a road trip from Reykjavik all the way to Glacier Lagoon, stopping at so many beautiful waterfalls and picturesque places along the way. My mom loves nature, so she loved every moment of it and took a zillion pictures, lol.

June 2022Bridge and I were home for just a few days before being completely surprised by my sis who showed up at our doorsteps one evening with Brady. They had arrived early for the summer to surprise us, even though Bridge and I were due to leave for Europe in a few days to meet with Brianne. That certainly made it a bit bittersweet for me to leave for Europe, but we looked forward to spending the summer with them upon our return. Unfortunately, all of us got hit with COVID that very same week. Bridge and I tested positive the moment we landed in London, and as hard as we tried to quarantine ourselves away from Brianne, we eventually passed it onto her as well. Alan, Mimi, and Brady all suffered different levels of symptoms but at least they were all able to quarantine at our house together. In the end, most of our London trip was spent quarantining, but we eventually recovered by the time we were at our next destination–Norway, and I had so much fun with the girls there in both Oslo and Bergen! We returned home just in time for Bridgette to join our church’s youth ministry mission trip to Fairbanks, Alaska where the teens spent a week serving the homeless community there. Alan and I loved having Mimi and Brady in our home and were thankful to get to celebrate Brady turning 6 with a small party at our house. While Bridgette was in Alaska, I also got to do a side trip with my sis, our parents, and Brady to Carmel and Monterey, where we stayed at the beautiful property of Clint Eastwood’s resort there!

July 2022We spent all of this month back at home, catching up on our rest and enjoying time with family and friends. Brady especially loved hanging out with Bridgette and her friends! I cherished the time I got with my sis, and we even took our parents to a quick trip up to Lake Tahoe for a few days where I finally learned how to wakeboard! It was a relaxing and fulfilling month at home, which I deeply appreciated.