As the glorious end to 2015 fast approaches, I'd like to take a self-indulgent moment to look back upon the year that was, and anticipate the year that will be...here's presenting to you, my dear readers, a visual anthology of my very interesting 2015.
Replete with travel across the USA, to beaches, conferences, theme parks, workshops and strategy sessions, I raked up some airline miles, and decided which were my favorite airports. Although faced with the awful conundrum of being away from my kids, I must admit I did have guilty pleasure in "me" time and room service.
I did have some culinary adventures (and misadventures) at home with Mexican, Thai and Italian food (my family and friends recipe book is growing now!!). Of course, I had fun whipping up some crazy heavy Indian desserts (Kesar Kalakhand anyone?) and signature family favorites.
Home decor and blogging took a back seat this year, with in-laws visiting and all the above mentioned travel. I chose to be at the beck and call of my husband's parents, be the traditional bahu that they anticipated me to be, juggling expectations, temperaments and temper tantrums. Primarily my performance anxiety gave me a hard time, as I was balancing my desire to be the best at the home front too, even under sub-optimal circumstances.
Parenting presented it's own challenges, with alternatively recalcitrant and angelic girls, who grew taller, more articulate, more well read and stylish as the year progressed.
Travel, culture, food and festival came in equal parts. 2015 was a salvation to my wanderlust and culture savvy!
Home became a sanctuary as Fall approached, as I got ready to get my almost 6 year olds into First Grade, breaking the State of Virginia September 30th school age cut off. And Yes, they made it to First Grade, although they were not 6 years old at that time!! (Woot Woot, Parenting win!). Who knew, First Graders had school readiness evaluations!
I had the amazing opportunity to meet my blogging partner in crime - Deepa! As you all know by now, she is the proud momma of a cute lil baby girl, who joined the Aalayam family in 2015. I had the privilege of being one of the co-hosts of Deepa's gorgeous baby shower! Fun times.
Oh, and we lost our first tooth in our household. Amidst much excitement, and joyful yelling (mostly from me!), the tooth fairy made her first visit to our home, and promptly followed up with many more!!
And of course, there were some bittersweet moments of Parenting..knowing what to say when kids win...and don't. Managing the fine balance of teaching kids a strong work ethic, but watching over them so they don't beat themselves up (too hard) if they did not do a good enough job. (Tiger Mom much?)
Lots of Desi Chaat party hosting!
Some DIY Dasara decorating!
Some Butta chomping ! (look out for my Seattle Travel Ramble in 2016!)
Some controlled excitement and angst about my kids' first Bharatanatyam performance! (ever secured a long braid (times 2) on 6 year olds with really short curly hair? Now I am a pro at this! But it took quite a lot of bobby pins, some deep breaths and a few anxiety management lessons)
Lots of holiday baking! (pictured below is a birthday cake I baked for my baby sister, who joined us for the holidays from Germany!)
And uncontrollable family giggling! (Yaay, to my parents visiting in 2015!)
And the cherry on top of the cake - my closest friends and their families got together over the Christmas holiday in our home in Virginia!
Amidst countless selfies, dressathons, non-stop food, and oh-so-fantastic memorable gift exchanges, we got a chance to chill, be ourselves and get to know each other all over again, not just as friends, but as wives, moms and daughters-in-law.
Here's to evolving friendships!
As I wrap up this visual anthology, I humbly thank my people - my husband, my parents, my kids, my friends, my clients and coworkers, Deepa and you, my dear readers for a fantabulous 2015.
Here's looking forward to a gorgeous and stimulating 2016! Do share with us how your 2015 went. I am curious to take a quick peek at your year's highlights!
p.s all pictures in this visual anthology are mine, and mine alone, so please do not bother copying/reusing it!
Happy New Year!