Year End Summary 2017

Posted February 14th, 2018 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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NYCARD2018Here are my 2017 highlights!

Achievements this year: This was the year of #fakenews and #MeToo. Like many of you, reading the news, whether from India or US was an exercise in restraint and fortitude. The biggest achievement this year was just keeping calm each day while reading the news. In other ways, this was a productive year; I co-authored three different book chapters and one review article, although they were not related to my day job.

On the personal front, I have realized that as the years go by, I am becoming more and more of a homebody! Some might call it lazy – but I prefer this explanation! This year, instead of going out to eat at restaurants, we ended up entertaining at home, a lot more than usual. I have enjoyed cooking and experimenting with several different dishes – some successful, some not so much.

Books this year: The books I read this year were all over the map : Romances, cozy mysteries, political but as I was trying to sort  pick out a theme to this year’s books , I found a surprising one:  I don’t think it was intentional but it turned out to be autobiographies of TV personalities. I read Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, Yes my accent is Real by Kunal Nayyar, Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper , Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mandy Kaling and Never have your dog stuffed and Other things by Alan Alda.

Travels this year:  2017 was a great year, travel wise.  We started this year with a short road trip during the MLK weekend to Pittsburgh & Cleveland, OH to visit family. Both Seejo & I had cousins with newborn babies – so it was a good excuse for a trip to visit them and some other friends in that area.  Then we went on a long overdue visit to Austin, TX during the Easter break. In early summer, we did a weekend trip to the Crayola factory in Easton, Pennsylvania with Annika’s friend Anisha and her parents with a stop at Longwood gardens on the drive back. This was followed by a short (my shortest ever) India trip for 3.5 weeks with a brief stop at Mumbai and Pune to visit childhood friends and cousins. In late August, when my mom and Annika were back, we visited Yellowstone National Park – again with Anisha, her parents and grandparents and our cousin, Robin. Yellowstone is one of our favorite places in US –we have been there 4 times and I am fairly certain we will go there again. In September we drove up to New Jersey to see another newborn baby – and stopped to see the magnificent Akshardham temple. In late fall, we did another weekend trip  to Poconos – this was our yearly trip with my friends Pooja and Sarika – we have been doing an annual fall meet up for the past 5-6 years. We also did a couple of local activities around DC – a visit to the Hirschhorn museum, the Arlington cemetery and Hillwood estate. We ended the year with a one week trip to Costa Rica. I had been planning a Costa Rica trip for the past 8 years so it felt really good to get it off my bucket list! This was in addition to the work trips to Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, Bay Area and St. Louis – all in all a very intensive travel year!

Update from the kids: Annika started kindergarten this year and is loving it. In her own words – “I am there from 9 am to 4pm but it feels like I am there for only an hour”. She has made new friends and through her we have made new friends! She started learning Bharatanatyam and gave her first stage performance (albeit a short 5 minute recital of the hastas or hand gestures) but she is enjoying it tremendously.  She is becoming more and more independent and stayed with her grandmother in India for 5 weeks without us. During that time, she had a gastric infection and ended up spending a week in the hospital – and didn’t mention needing us even once! I am not sure whether I should be proud of her or miffed that she doesn’t need us.

Tanay got some quality one on one time with us when Annika wasn’t there and really started talking a lot more.  He is at that cute stage where we are enjoying listening to his comments. He loves playing with his sister and holds his own in their far too frequent fights. Thanks to his cousins, he discovered the wonder of cars (we didn’t have many car toys for Annika) and now is rarely seen without clutching a car in one hand. Both kids are happy that my mom is here for the last 5 months and are thoroughly spoiled by her.

Overall Summary: Some ups, some downs – but always moving ahead.

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