On the road again…

We’re moving to Los Angeles this Saturday! We started in the Southwest then moved to the Midwest and now just….West.

Our friends and family all came together this weekend to celebrate graduation and send us off.  I looked around at each of them and counted my blessings…I’m not sure how I got to meet such wonderful people and what I ever did to deserve them. I feel so overwhelmed with their love and support and so lucky that we’ve had that through every new journey.

As beautiful as Chicago has been and California will be, nothing will ever beat Denver.

2013 Recap in pictures.

I wrote a note to myself a long time ago recapping significant events in 2013…and the procrastinator in me is just now writing about them, 22 days into January.

2013 began in a party van.  In order to carpool and party hop for NYE, Tyler borrowed his dad’s work van to drive us around (lol).  Needless to say, it was a memorable time.  No pictures necessary. :)

 imageQuan and I moved in together - standing in front of our first home!

image

Chi Hanh, Anh Phuc, Meo, Mai, Hon, and Duc came to visit us and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever ever had. I’m not sure how I got so lucky to know people as good as they all are. imageCelebrated my 23rd with my new family in Chicago - the Clinical/I/O Psychology grad programs come together.

imageKathleen, Long, and Ryan came to visit us just in time for the Optometry formal - Eyeball.

image

I was offered an internship at CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange/Chicago Board of Trade/NY Mercantile Exchange).  At the time, it was one block from my apartment.  I still wake up every day and feel lucky that I work here…

imageAnnie and Peter came to visit us…all we did was eat.  I think I counted 15 restaurants in 3 days…

Traveled to Houston, Texas for my first Society for IO Professionals conference!

imageShirin and Mital’s gorgeous engagement.

imageHina and Dixit’s (HD) wedding.  It was the most extravagant wedding I’ve ever been to…we ate like 5 meals that day and drank as much as our livers could handle, and then some.

image

Quan and I drove to Wisconsin for Independence Day weekend. We told ourselves no agenda…this vacation, anything goes! We ended up watching fireworks on a golf course overlooking a lake, eating lots of frozen custard, and drinking lots of beer.  I love our vacations.

imageWe told the whole family we weren’t going to make it to Anh Mai’s wedding in Los Angeles…but alas, we made it, and *kinda* surprised everyone (except Chun told…poo).  He’s now working at the largest architecture firm in the world - Gensler! 

image

My brother got engaged to Catherine.  I’ve wanted sisters all my life…now I have 3! Lots of exciting things happening in my brother’s life this year…he graduated Pharmacy school and took a job offer at Target.  Catherine is also now an ER and infectious diseases Pharmacist at UC hospital.

imageThe annual Phi family Christmas party - onesie edition.  This year we had 60+ attendees and 60 white elephant gifts. Wowza.

image

The Guo/Phis did a secret santa because none of us had time to buy each other gifts.  I got Annie - how absolutely perfect!

Cheers to another year of adventure, change, family, and new careers!

Calculated risks

To close out the year, my boss took a few of us out for dinner and drinks.  He shared with us that his father was “risk-proned”, which lead to much of his life being about taking risks too.

Before starting his life in Chicago, my boss was the VP of a small bank and was making good money.  After realizing his passion just wasn’t there, he left everything he knew and started over in Chicago.  In his late 20s, he joined a Ph.D program and went from making decent money to being a broke grad student.  He talked about going to the grocery store and staring at a bag of chips for an hour before leaving empty handed. After interning at CME for 2 years, he was finally offered a position.  He now makes as much as he did, only 8 years later, but he can now say that he loves what he does.

I shared that I don’t often take big risks. He reminded me that leaving home and moving to Chicago on my own is a pretty large risk, and I succeeded.  I’m still not quite sure why I never saw it that way, but he’s right.  Calculated or not, it was a risk and one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made.  We’re so often fearful of failure that we prevent ourselves from getting where we want.  We have a hard time letting go of our stability, but instability is where we truly learn, grow, and move forward. 

As I reflect on the last two years, I feel grateful and proud.  I’m one semester away from finishing my Master’s and I work downtown alongside intelligent and successful people everyday at one of the most successful corporations in the world.

Every year I wonder what the next year will hold…but this year I feel empowered to be the one who decides.

Our 4th Anniversary

I’ve looked through this every night before bed since the day I received it…helps me reminisce about last year and lust after next year.  <3

This past year in Chicago has been incredible.  To say that he&#8217;s my best friend would be a great understatement.  We always have so much fun together, everything from just watching old TV shows at home to exploring a new neighborhood on Friday nights; from cooking together to dining out.  So lucky to have called this place our home this year.  
Road tripping to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend - Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, and back home to Chi-city&#8230;with my very best friend. &lt;3

This past year in Chicago has been incredible.  To say that he’s my best friend would be a great understatement.  We always have so much fun together, everything from just watching old TV shows at home to exploring a new neighborhood on Friday nights; from cooking together to dining out.  So lucky to have called this place our home this year.  

Road tripping to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend - Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, and back home to Chi-city…with my very best friend. <3

Bringing back the neon! #wedding #outfits #neon

Bringing back the neon! #wedding #outfits #neon

Congrats Dixit and Hina!  #indian #wedding #sari #happyday

Congrats Dixit and Hina! #indian #wedding #sari #happyday

Trader Joe&#8217;s dark chocolate is so delicious! Quan used to not like dark chocolate but he can&#8217;t get enough of these! #traderjoes #darkchocolate #love #almonds #addicted  (at Trader Joe&#8217;s)

Trader Joe’s dark chocolate is so delicious! Quan used to not like dark chocolate but he can’t get enough of these! #traderjoes #darkchocolate #love #almonds #addicted (at Trader Joe’s)

Medium rare ribeye topped with hotel butter, baked fries and seasoned noodles. First time making baked fries and it was delicious!! Better than fried in my opinion! #steak #homemade #friesaremyweakness #bakedfries #food #foodie

Medium rare ribeye topped with hotel butter, baked fries and seasoned noodles. First time making baked fries and it was delicious!! Better than fried in my opinion! #steak #homemade #friesaremyweakness #bakedfries #food #foodie

My life story told by a vending machine. Third time was not a charm LOL. Universe is teaching me a lesson about snacking. #mondays #fml #notmeanttobe #sadness

My life story told by a vending machine. Third time was not a charm LOL. Universe is teaching me a lesson about snacking. #mondays #fml #notmeanttobe #sadness