A Sea of Santas (or, Our First 5K)


Jeff and I ran our first 5k ever yesterday, and we did it dressed like Santa Claus.

It was the inaugural race for Santa Run Silicon Valley, a fundraiser for Christmas in the Park. There were 2,700 people that signed up and almost all of them were dressed like Santa. Kudos to the organizers and participants for making it a well-run event.

Our Santa suits were kind of hard to run in (the pants disintegrated in some parts!) and I think I ate part of my Santa beard during the race, but it was so much fun. We want to make it a Christmas tradition to run it every year. Maybe next time, I won't opt for the Santa suit.

I've always liked running, so I don't really know what took me so long to sign up for a race. Jeff and I have already picked out a few more 5k races in the Bay Area to run in 2013. Who's coming with us? If you know of a particularly fun race, please let me know!

Photos (taken with my phone) from top:
1. Looking toward the starting line
2. Jess, Nick, Jeff and me in our Santa suits, waiting for the race to start
3. The sea of Santas looking back from where we were standing

Oh, Christmas Tree.


Our Christmas tree is pretty much the only decoration I put up for the holidays, but it is plenty. At 9' tall, it takes up half of our dining area and is so tall that the top pokes into the recessed lighting. Setting it up is an annual struggle worth doing, because there is nothing quite like a tower of twinkling lights and pretty ornaments to make you feel like you're home for Christmas.

This year, pulling out our boxes of ornaments felt almost nostalgic. Each ornament is meaningful in some way, and decorating the tree was like flipping through an old photo album. We had forgotten about a lot of the ornaments and memories because we were in Singapore for the past two Christmases. We've been back for almost a year, but there are still moments where I feel like I just got here. For some reason, pulling out our behemoth tree and all our special ornaments was one of them.

Here's a photo of our tree I posted on Instagram recently. I thought our ceiling was high enough for the tree, but I guess not! We bought the tree the first Christmas after we got married; choosing a 9' tall tree was a bit zealous of us, but it was our first apartment and first Christmas as a married couple. It still makes me laugh every time I think back to that first Christmas, with our enormous tree bent at the top because our ceiling wasn't tall enough. Now we'll laugh at having a recessed lighting fixture at the top of our tree instead of a star.

Click here to read a few posts about our Christmases in Singapore. 

Ornaments from top:
-Alpaca from a trip to Peru
-California glass ornament, bought soon after we moved back to the US from Singapore
-Bride and groom, bought the year we got married

Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara


You know those photo shoots in catalogs or magazines of a fantastic dinner party where everyone seems way too happy? The kind where everyone is having a great time, the guests all look great, and the scene is just way too ideal? Well, this is what my Thanksgiving felt like this year. It was a delicious meal set in a beautiful backyard surrounded by family and friends, old and new.

Jeff and I drove down to Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving. I don't mean to brag, but California is awesome. We ate dinner outside under the stars in our friends' Teal and Jamie's inviting backyard. The weather was perfect and everything we ate was delicious. Teal barbecued the turkey (I don't think I ever want turkey any other way now for Thanksgiving), we sat around a bonfire afterwards, and had an unbelievably pleasant night.

I don't need a holiday to remind me of all the things I am thankful for. I just have to think of the really great people in my life and I feel really lucky and humbled. Life is good.

Photos from top:
1. The dinner table in the backyard
2. Teal, Jamie, and Austin getting stoked for the barbecued turkey
3. Moo Shu the cat watching Jeff prepping for dinner
4. Austin and Jeff
5. Teal and me
6. Too many cooks in the kitchen!
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