Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

in with the new January 2, 2012

Filed under: Life,Personal — Lulu @ 6:32 pm

I’ve always heard that what you are doing at midnight on New Year’s Eve is what you’ll be doing in the coming year. If that is true, then 2012 should end up being a pretty good year.


This New Year’s Eve we attended a birthday party hosted by our friends, the Deans, for their daughter who turned one year old. We hung out for a bit, enjoyed some good food and conversation, sang “Happy Birthday” to a very cute – and bewildered – baby, ate some delicious chocolate cake, and took home a personalized Mickey Mouse notebook and placemat (yes, I received the same favors as all the little kids at the party, because the baby’s mom knew I would appreciate them; I thought that was pretty funny.)


After the birthday party, we headed over to spend the rest of the evening with the Beightol family, who were visiting from Washington. They were staying at Kim’s parents’ new house, and her mom had invited us to ring in the New Year with them.


The thing about the Beightols – and their extended family – is that, to me, they feel more like family than friends. I genuinely love them all and I always feel so welcomed in their homes. Kim’s mom, Rachel, always greets me with hugs and kisses and excitement to see me, just as my own mom would. They love to feed everyone and make sure everyone is having fun. All the kids call us Aunt Lulu and Uncle Christian, and I got tons of wet, sugary kisses and sticky-fingered hugs that night.

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After the other guests had departed and the only ones left were the family and the two of us, we settled down in the family room to watch the ball drop on TV. The adults stood around waiting for the 10-second countdown to mark the start of a new year, while some of the kids laid on the couches, in various stages of sleep.

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At the stroke of midnight EST, we all exclaimed “Happy New Year” in excited whispers – as to not wake the sleeping kiddies – hugged and kissed and wished each other all the best for the coming year. And more than once I thought to myself how glad I was to be there in that moment. How lucky we were to have these kind, generous, loving people in our lives.


We had been invited to spend the night and the next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of Filipino fried rice and eggs. The little girls watched “Kung Fu Panda” and twirled around in their PJs and ballerina tutus, while the grownups chatted. Afterwards, the boy gave Mia a hand as she helped Nana Rachel put away her Christmas decorations.

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We said our goodbyes shortly after and, following a quick stop at Best Buy, headed to Joe’s Crab Shack for a late lunch. This picture cracks me up!


Coconut shrimp and hush puppies for me. Spicy dungeness crab, corn and potatoes for him.

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2011 was a pretty disappointing year for us. Just a lot of random bad luck and negativity that seemed to pile up at the worst times. But if the first day of 2012 is any indication, I’m hopeful that this year will bring good things for us. We have a lot of plans for the year and  a lot of changes in store. Here’s to hoping it all works out.


Happy 2012 and peace out, yo!