Aunt Peta's Spicy-Sweet Christmas Pecans
2019 Wrap Up

35 Favorites

Hi! It's my 36th birthday today! (It's also Erica's birthday if you'd like to wish her a happy one. Love you, birthday twin!)

We're in Austin for Christmas so today I'll be celebrating by eating breakfast tacos, getting my first ever blowout at Dry Bar in downtown Austin, and seeing a matinee performance of A Christmas Carol with Chris, my sister, and brother-in-law. (Thanks for babysitting, mom and dad!) And I hope some kind of chocolate dessert will happen at some point too.

As has become tradition, I've rounded up favorite things from the past year. Thirty-five to be exact. These are the things and events that made being 35 awesome. Here's to many more favorite things in the coming year!

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1. Sharing a huge container of cold strawberries, blueberries, and red grapes with the boys on hot summer days after swimming at the pool.

2. My year-long 12 healthy habits challenge and especially my month of no added sugar. I'll share a recap of this in my 2019 wrap up post but in short I did great on this until getting pregnant, then fell off the wagon for four months but am finishing the year strong with my December challenge (eat veggies twice/day).

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3. Spending an evening with Michelle Obama.

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4. Olive green + gold polka dot summer dress from Boden.

5. The work and effort I put into writing a draft book proposal. It's not "done" like I aimed to have it by the end of 2019 but I'm still proud of what I've put into it.

6. Marco Polo and the ongoing conversations I have with two dear girl friends and my cousin.

7. My copper disk earrings. A daily staple.

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8. Feeling confident enough to "lead" our family camping trips.

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9. Our front yard makeover and loving the look of our house every time I see it.

10. Reading great books, always a highlight of the year. Especially Where the Crawdads Sing, Educated, The Great Alone, and The Dutch House.

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11. My parents' somewhat spontaneous decision to buy a second house in the area and getting to spend casual breakfasts and weekends with them. Looking forward to lots more in the coming years!

12. In-person wisdom from Anne Lamott.

13. Surprising Chris with the news that we're expecting our THIRD baby. A little backstory: during our previous two pregnancies Chris found out with me that we were expecting. This time I asked him if I could surprise him with the news if it happened. When I found out I was pregnant this summer I had a day of being the only person who knew I was pregnant. That was special in itself. And then it was so special to surprise Chris with the news during a dinner date by giving him a card and this book. Cue tears, joy, and marveling at everything to come.

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14. Sitting at The Coffee Shop and opening the card after our ultrasound in October to find out we are having a GIRL. Then getting to share the news with the boys and both of our families that evening.

15. Tunic t-shirts. Just the maternity style I've been looking for and they aren't even maternity! I just ordered a size up. Planning to order my regular size post maternity and keep rocking them.

16. When both boys crawl into bed with me in the morning and snuggling between them for a few minutes. Related: every time Cedric asks, “Can you snuggle me?!”

17. The trips Chris and I took this year just us: Turks and Caicos, Flagstaff, Philadelphia.

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18. Watching my little sister become a mama. Welcome Avery!

19. Going to Alamo Drafthouse (one of my very favorite Austin things) in GILBERT.

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20. Taking up my mom's Christmas tradition of making and gifting pimiento cheese.

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21. Having string lights hung in our backyard and improving the ambiance by 100%.

22. 7 Wonders Sports Bra. The best, no-bounce sports bra I’ve found.

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23. The neighborhood kid crew that has formed on our street: 10+ kids all riding bikes and running between each other's houses several afternoons a week and many weekend days. It feels nostalgic even though it’s happening in present day.

24. Seeing a counselor regularly and feeling healthy and proactive about my mental health.

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25. The spontaneous family day trip we took to show the boys snow for the first time.

26. Busy Bees babysitting app. A locally-based app that’s like Uber for babysitting. So handy for the times when our other sitters aren’t available plus we’ve met sitters that we love.

27. Acure brightening face mask

28. Loopy phone case

29. Producing a sixth season of The Girl Next Door Podcast with Erica including finally getting The Husbands Next Door on the show as well as releasing a handful of bonus episodes. I love our creative collaboration, the content we produce, and the feedback that we get from listeners telling us that the show has made them laugh, gotten them through a hard time, or made their life better in some small way.

30. Upgrading from an iPhone 5s to an Xs which was a surprise gift from Chris. The camera!

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31. Watching Chris become passionate about woodworking over the past year. He went from knowing nothing to crafting five cigar box guitars, a bass guitar, a drum, a violin (!!!), and furniture. This guy amazes me.

32. Reusable makeup remover pads. Yes to less waste! I use these to apply my liquid toner and exfoliator and I use the black side to remove eye makeup. I even use them sometimes to remove nail polish although it does leave the pad a bit stiff so I have two designated pads for nail polish removing.

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33. Experiencing a growing baby kick inside me for the third time. I'm in awe and so deeply appreciative.

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34. Striped Hanna Anderson pajamas for the boys.

35. Feeling a deep peace about where I am and where my family is in life and so excited to meet this baby girl that will join our family.


Thank you for being part of my year!

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