Thank you 2020. Let’s have some fun, 2021

I’m thankful for 2020 because it gave me a chance to look within. I also got to nurture my introverted tendencies and the mask wearing and social distancing in public places did wonders for my anxiety.

Here is a month-by-month snapshot of 2020:

January:

I was on cloud 9 from the discovery that some wild chickens had adopted us! They arrived on December 17th when we had put some cat food outside for a stray cat and to my sheer delight, Mighty Momma and her 5 babies were there. From that day forward, they visited our house every single day.

My partner and I gifted ourselves with an Instant Pot / Air Fryer and I started making homemade bone broth. It was a fun hobby and a little time consuming. At the time I was reading Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet Book. It is a very well-written book and I really enjoyed the recipes. If you are interested in making bone broth, I highly recommend it. I tried her protocol and it was very strenuous because there are some days that you “fast” and only drink bone broth. I don’t think I would do it again for fun, but I’m glad that it exists.

Books I read in January:

  1. “Sihpromatum: I Grew My Boobs in China” by Savannah Grace
  2. “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan
  3. “Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet” by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
  4. “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner

I read a total of 1,499 pages in January and enjoyed every book that I chose. That month, I was very interested in reconnecting with Asian Culture and these books made me want to visit Mongolia and Singapore… Someday… When travel opens up and becomes safe again…

February:

February was a fun and adventurous month full of great coffee, friends, family, and impromptu adventures! We started visiting our friend, Brittney’s coffee stand “Hello Sunshine” nearly every morning and sometimes even twice a day.

I was relieved to be eating more than bone broth. We gave some hitch-hikers from the Netherlands a ride and got to enjoy a mini road trip with our new friends. And my partner’s Dad spent a week with us here in Hawaii.

Books I read in February:

  1. “China Rich Girlfriend” by Kevin Kwan
  2. “Rich People Problems” by Kevin Kwan

I read 776 pages in February and my excuse is that we had company and February is the shortest month of the year! Of course I had to read the whole “Crazy Rich” trilogy and it was such a fun getaway from reality.

March:

Things really started to change throughout the month of March. My partner and I started wearing masks in public before everyone else after assessing the risks of covid-19. We started collecting resources and on March 26th the Governor of Hawaii declared that our state was under lockdown.

Thankfully, we visited Rozett’s Nursery in our neighborhood the day before lockdown began and I started embracing gardening as my new favorite hobby. I also saw it as a way to connect with my Grandma Alice who is in heaven. She loved gardening and some of my favorite memories were spent pulling weeds and cutting grass by hand with my Grandpa Leo.

No reading happened during the month of March and that is a tragedy…

april:

April was a little nerve-wracking, but also fun. My favorite Chicken, Mighty Momma, built the perfect nest under our house and hatched her chicks there. We got produce box deliveries and a local chef in our neighborhood was cooking weekly meals on Saturdays and delivering them.

We ate well in April, but kept running out of water because our houses operate on rainwater catchment and our former renters kept on doing laundry and washing their car. It ended up being a costly month and that made it stressful.

I also didn’t read in April either.

May:

May was full of fun and beautiful changes. Our former renters were a family of 4 with 3 cats. I was impressed that the studio house was enough space for them. After 9 months of living here they found a property to buy.

At the beginning of May we took a much-needed getaway to Kona. We still wore masks and social distanced I had been working around the clock for over a year running our businesses and was a little burned out. It was worth-it because I greatly increased our revenue and our business was thriving, but the nights by the ocean were healing for the soul.

Shortly our renters moved out of the backhouse, we moved in. I was skeptical about this move because the house we were in had 2 bedroom spaces, but my partner was on to something. This house really gives us the tropical treehouse experience. It is a plantation style house that is high up with windows and gorgeous views everywhere you look. We also bought the lofted bedframe from our former renters and that has made this house even more amazing.

In Mid May we decided to start our own quail farm and it took off! It turns out that there is a high demand for quail eggs on our island. Not to mention, they are so delicious! This month we started selling our eggs online and shipping them.

Click on this link to checkout our etsy shop!

Books I read in May:

  1. “Big Little Lies” by Lianne Moriarty
  2. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
  3. “Human Acts” by Han Kang
  4. “Moloka’i : A Novel” by Alan Brennert

I read 1419 pages during the month of May. After a 2 month hiatus, it was so nice to get lost in good books.

june:

We initially thought that we would just keep both houses for ourselves rather than renting one out or dedicate a house to the cats, but we soon realized that we had no need for the extra house. We cleaned the house and prepared it for an airbnb, but the pandemic was going on so we knew we would have better luck finding a local renter. We got a ton of interest in the house and took our time in finding our new renters. It was worth the wait because our current tenants are absolutely amazing!!!

I continued to garden and we built a little greenhouse next to our house. Our new friend Armani helped us build a giant masterpiece of a dome for the quails. And I got my diploma and was a part of the virtual graduation at my University. June was a full, fun, and wonderful month.

I’m so happy that the tides turned for the best at the halfway point of the year!!!

Books I read in June:

  1. “Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape our Man-made World” by Mark Miodownik
  2. “Creating Sanctuary” by Jessi Bloom

I read 508 pages during the month of June.

july:

July was full of more gardening, farming, and I started embracing my workouts and working towards better health and fitness. We got a garden soil delivery and also red cinder for the driveway.

We also drove down to Na’alehu to get a red pickup truck. Driving to the bottom of the island is always a spiritual experience for me. I had also just found out that my Grandma Alice was born there in Na’alehu. All this time I just assumed that she was born in Kona. We got a wonderful yield from our garden full of bitter melons, butternut squash and even a watermelon or two.

I started feelin’ myself for the first time in forever as I started getting healthier!

We also hatched our very 1st batch of baby quails. They were born in the middle of what could have been a massive hurricane. Thankfully, the hurricane passed over our island and we stayed safe.

Books I read in July:

  1. “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote
  2. “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang

I read 531 pages in the month of July and the books I read were a little more grim, but I was diggin’ it.

August:

August was definitely my favorite month in this entire year!!! We built a dome in our yard (a replacement dome for our quails.) And took a mini vacay in Kona to flee that hurricane. We made reservations for 2 nights, but only stayed for one because we were anxious about our hatchlings and our property. I had a blast traveling with our cats, Alleyjandra and Carl.

I also got to swim at Magic Sands Beach since it was empty and people were properly socially distanced. It was exactly what our souls needed. I got another ashiatsu massage and we got a trampoline!!! We also started venturing out and going for walks with our masks on and it was nice to get out of the house a little.

This months was so wonderful that I had to break up my pictures.

We discovered the most amazing place to go for walks in our neighborhood right by the ocean. We still go for moonlight walks there nearly every night. We got at night because we are usually the only ones there. During the daytime it gets packed so we wait until the sun goes down.

We also started selling our quail eggs at the local bakery, bar, and natural food store. Our brand was becoming a household name and we made quail eggs trendy here on the island!

I started a month long summer fitness challenge that I was super excited about. I used the birthday and graduation money that my parents had sent me and bought the program for myself and my partner. It gave me a great start, but the trainer ended up ignoring my questions then ghosting me. I felt kind of crushed because I was giving it my all and it had taken me years to get to the point where I was ready to ask for help. I chose this trainer because even though we had never met in person, she was attending the college that I graduated from. She also preached women empowerment and wanted to be an advocate for native and minority women. If she had been good, I would have stuck with her indefinitely. After 2 weeks she almost didn’t even send the workouts out. Luckily, after I opened a dispute with paypal, she sent the workouts to the group over a day late.

The experience was really disappointing and discouraging.

Thankfully, I had the very best birthday in my entire life with our friends! We hiked down to the sandy beach that is right in our neighborhood and we had the entire beach to ourselves. The experience was absolutely unforgettable.

Books I read in August:

  1. “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng
  2. “In The Woods” by Tana French

I read 721 pages in August. Both books were long and intriguing and I’m so glad that I read them!

September:

September was our most adventurous month of the year. And this is the first September in a decade that I wasn’t severely depressed. I think my lack of depression and adventures go hand in hand! NOTE TO SELF ❀

We started this glorious month with a mini road trip to Kealakekua, Hawaii. I finally got to try the legendary feijoas that my partner has been raving about for the last 3 years ever since he discovered them in New Zealand. They surpass the hype!

I continued my fitness challenge and was making great progress. My partner’s birthday is in September and we explored the beautiful Pololu Valley with our friends. I made memories that will last me a lifetime.

Here are the books I read in September:

  1. “Stern Men” by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. “Superhero Nutrition” by Steve Zim
  3. “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green

I read 905 pages during the month of September. I have to say that I never got the hang of Elizabeth Gilbert’s books, but at least I tried.

October:

Oh, did I mention that at the end of September I got the chickens of my dreams?!?! I adopted 4 golden laced Wyandottes and they are so precious to me. I have wanted my own chickens for as long as I could remember. It turns out that I was a city girl who always had country girl dreams…

My Godfather Uncle Harry passed away this month and I decided to add running to my life. From that day forward, I started running for 1 hour nearly everyday. It gave me a chance to process my thoughts and emotions and work towards better health. I also started coding for 1 hour everyday. I am so proud of how focused I was throughout the month of October and I am hoping to get some of that focus back.

Books I read in October:

  1. “Truly, Madly, Builty” by Liane Moriarty
  2. “Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim

I read a total of 781 pages during the month of October.

November:

I was thinking of stopping and continuing this blog post tomorrow, but we are so close to the end. Let’s just get her done!

November was a transformative month for me. I wanted to continue my weightloss journey and supercharge it so I went back to my roots. I got in touch with the trainer who helped me train for my very 1st triathlon a decade ago and found out that he was releasing a fitness app.

I invested and got the Get Shredded 21 Day Challenge.

It seemed like a big chunk of change, but I am so glad that I did it. It helped me face many of my fears and I am happier with my body than I have ever been. That combined with consistent running gave me amazing results and supercharged my journey.

Books I read in November:

  1. “Slow Jogging” by Hiroaki Tanaka
  2. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  3. “Open House” by Katie Sise

I read 810 pages during the month of November. Slow Jogging was an absolute game-changer for me. I highly recommend it!

december!:

I ran over a half-marathon before the end of the year!!! Can you believe it? I just started and kept going and now I feel like I have bragging rights forever. I completed my first round of the Get Shredded challenge and started a 2nd round, but I noticed that after my half-marathon the top of my foot was hurting and making it hard for me to do my hiit exercises and jumps. It got to the point that walking was excruciatingly painful so last week I had to pivot.

I decided to stop all the high intensity training and to start lifting again. I took 2 days off from running last weekend and I am so thankful that my foot feels a lot better. I plan on continuing my weightloss journey.

This Christmas was the very 1st Christmas that I did not have any chocolate, desserts, or alcohol. I also lost weight during Christmas week which was completely shocking to me! Especially since I was injured.

I am learning to be kind to my body and not overdo it and it is a journey.

The book I read in December:

  1. “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists” by Neil Strauss

I read 466 pages in December!

So there ya go! My 2020 in snapshots. If I was more ambitious and had more energy right now or if I wanted to continue this post tomorrow, I would link you to some of my favorite posts. Sadly, I am so proud to have reached the end and I am ready to post this tonight in the spirit of not procrastinating.

I guess that means that I better write more posts in 2021.

2020 was a year that I embraced the opportunity to come back to myself. After we hired people to do my job I made it my mission to get healthy. I am glad I decided to get on a healthy track and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

Happy New Year, my Dear Darling Friends! Let’s enjoy this adventure together!

❀ Alana

3 thoughts on “Thank you 2020. Let’s have some fun, 2021

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