December 31, 2020
My 2020 in Numbers: Big Life Changes During a Pandemic
The year we learned how to love from a safe social distance, the year I said "I Do" and changed my last name, and the year I started to build a new home on the other side of the country!
Finally had some time to slow down and reflect on the craziness and excitement of last year. If you didn’t know already, I enjoy this time of year. Reflection has always been a significant part in how I honor my personal growth through accountability -- it’s almost therapeutic for me! If you can relate and are just as obsessed with numbers as I am -- keep on reading!
You can find our Hocus Pocus Vlog on YouTube!
It's all a bunch of HOCUS POCUS! ;) With Salem, Massachusetts less than an hour away, we decided to spend a witchy morning at 6 Hocus Pocus Filming Locations! This was our first experience in Salem, MA during the Halloween season so we didn’t know quite what to expect. To hear about our experience wandering around a city infused with Halloween spirit and tons of history -- keep on reading!
1. Allison's House - 318 Essex Street, Salem, MA
2. Town Hall (Halloween Party) - 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA
3. Max's High School - 61 S Washington Square, Salem, MA
4. Max and Dani's House - 4 Ocean Avenue, Salem, MA
5. Thackery Binx's House - 31 West Avenue, Salem, MA
6. Old Burial Hill Cemetery - Orne Street, Marblehead, MA
You can find our Apple Picking Vlog on YouTube!
Have you ever been apple picking before?
Lucas and I noticed that apple picking appears to be a very popular fall activity in our new neighborhood! Therefore, we decided to spend a Sunday wandering around the apple orchards of Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Massachusetts. This was our very first-time apple picking, and we had SO much fun! We stopped by the Farm Store, and then harvested plenty of apples to munch on. To hear about our experience -- keep on reading!
You can find our New England Travel Vlog on YouTube!
Given that this is our very first time experiencing fall in New England, Lucas and I decided to go searching for some fall foliage! To hear about our adventure to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the charming town of Woodstock, Vermont -- keep on reading!
You can find my Boston First Impressions + 5 Things to Do in Boston video on YouTube!
Lucas and I are entirely new to the northeast side of the United States. I have been to the northeast twice -- once when I was in high school for a family road trip from Toronto to Washington D.C., and the other was last spring 2019 for a business trip (we were in Boston for only half a day). Lucas, on the other hand, has never been to the northeast prior to our military relocation.
That said, our first month living in Boston made for an interesting one as we learned to adjust to all the changes and new norms. To hear about our first impressions of our new city, followed by some fun touristy things to do in Boston -- keep on reading!
You can find our Moving Day Vlog + Empty Apartment Tour on YouTube!
After 3500 miles and 6 days, we finally made it to our new Boston apartment! However, our moving day didn’t go quite like we had planned…
You can find the Travel Vlog of our Road Trip on YouTube!
August 31-September 5, 2020
Our Cross-Country Road Trip from Seattle to Boston!
(WE MOVED TO THE EAST COAST!)
To hear about an adventure consisting of: 3500 newly acquired miles on our odometer, Sherbert’s car-ride experience, a scenic drive through Yellowstone, Chicago snacks, and all 13 state signs along the way -- keep on reading! (But buckle up -- it’s a long trip!!)
Rather suddenly, Lucas received military orders for a permanent change of station in Boston, Massachusetts by early September. Given that our wedding occurred in early August, the new orders only allowed us for 1 month of preparation in-between before moving to the other side of the country.
With the military’s assistance coordinating most of our belongings through a moving service, we decided to embrace the unique opportunity to drive coast-to-coast across the entire United States of America! Based on my research, most people recommended 1-2 weeks minimum when driving across the country. If we had the time to do so, we definitely would have taken more time to soak in more cities. Although we were excited to explore along the way, we were even more eager to settle into our temporary home. Therefore, we spent only six days total driving from Seattle to Boston.
If you had the chance to read my latest blog post: The Tale of a 2020 Bride, you may have noticed that our wedding story was pretty long. That’s my bad - I’m a lover of details and I can’t help but document the little moments that I want to look back on one day! Believe it or not, there are actually even more details that I’d like to highlight about our wedding. Some made it to the main story, but for the others - I’d like to highlight them here.
Our AMAZING Vendor Team:
Photography: Nick Plus Danee (+ Lexi!)
Videography: Silver Bear Creative
Floral: Alanna Jae Floral
Wedding Dress: Martina Liana + New Beginnings Bridal Studio
Ceremony Venue: Crystal Mountain Resort
Bridesmaid/Godmother Dresses: Azazie
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: The Tux Shop
Wedding Cake: Safeway (really!)
Stationery: Weddings by Eccentricity
Ceremony DJ: DJ Rocryte
Was our wedding day flawless? Not one bit! SO many things didn’t go according to plan on our wedding day. But was our wedding day BETTER than we initially imagined? Absolutely!! Here’s why...
You can find the Homecoming Vlog on YouTube!
330 days, 1 terrorist attack, and 1 global pandemic later… Lucas is finally home safe from his 11-month deployment in Afghanistan.
This past year has brought on a copious amount of trials and tribulations to not only Lucas and I, but many others in the world. As I’m writing this, I’m still uncertain on what things will look like in the next few months.
Life has challenged Lucas and I in ways we never would have imagined. We knew the deployment wouldn’t be easy. I mean, when thrusted into a mandatory deployment, you can never fully prepare. You can take as many readiness classes as you want, you can receive all the therapeutic support you can get, but ultimately deployments -- especially first-time deployments -- are filled with the unknown.
Now, take that amount of unknown and uncertainty, and add-on the amount of unknown and uncertainty that comes from a global pandemic on top of that. Yeah… it’s a lot.
However, my parents have raised me to count my blessings. And truthfully, I think that’s the biggest reason why I was able to make it to the other side of this deployment happy, healthy, and stronger than ever.
I’ve learned many lessons over the last few months. As I reflect on all that we’ve been through the past 330 days, I’d like to share about 11 outstanding lessons that we learned from Lucas’ 11 month-long deployment. This entry could potentially be a note to future Gen -- for when she might need to remember how strong she is. On the other hand, maybe you can relate to these lessons, or can learn how to search for these silver linings in your life too.
Storytelling by Gen
Travel diaries from explorations and adventures.