closing the door on 2022

Well, as we say goodbye to last year and step into 2023, we find ourselves just a few weeks away from what we’re hoping is our final trip back up the coast. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping ourselves busy with several fun events and a few more weeks of work.

Here’s how we closed out the season, other than me working in the youth office and Deron handling some side jobs:

Visiting the Old Spaghetti Factory in the Gaslamp Quarter with our friends the DeRosias is one of our favorite things to do, and this time we were joined by Diana, Taylor Foreman and Matt Gram. And the company, browned butter mizithra and spumoni didn’t disappoint!

The next day I FINALLY got my hair done (it’s been almost a year!) by my lovely friend Stephanie. She did a great job as usual!

A couple days later we met up in Balboa Park with our nephew Fernando, his girlfriend and her family who were all in town for a few days. After wandering around enjoying the night views at the park (though we missed Christmas on the Prado by a week or so), we had a delicious dinner at Sovereign Modern Thai Cuisine.

One of Diana’s (and our) favorite places in San Diego is Point Loma Seafoods, so we made sure to stop there for lunch one day, and we were happy to be joined by our friend Eric Ostrowski and his son, Josh, for a lovely day and yummy seafood. That night we had so much fun celebrating Christmas Eve Eve at the Chappy’s First Annual Christmas Party. The food was amazing: along with Deron’s fabulous prime rib there was smoked chicken, German potato salad, traditional green bean casserole and SO MANY SWEETS! The white elephant gift exchange was epic (best gift ever – a bidet), but sadly I was too distracted to take any photos at all.

By Christmas Eve we were all feeling a bit under the weather, so our celebration was low-key, with a trip to Rob’s BrewPoint to start the morning, and a delicious dinner of Deron’s linguine and clams. Sadly, none of us had the energy (or felt healthy enough) to attend the Christmas Eve service at Foothills. But on Christmas morning we were much better and headed to church for a great Christmas message. After church Diana treated us to lunch at Parc Bistro-Brasserie. Everything was so yummy!!

The next day (Boxing Day, if you celebrate that), we ventured out to Coronado for lobster rolls at Lobster West and a bit of shopping, and then had dinner at Banbu Sushi – thereby satisfying two of Diana’s cravings in one day!

Tuesday Diana made bone broth from the prime rib bones leftover from the Chappy party, and then slow-cooked short ribs in the broth, and served them with mashed potatoes and a delicious traditional Italian side of braised cabbage, onion and bacon. Wednesday we scarfed some more tacos at Puesto (because you simply can’t get enough Mexican food when you’re from San Diego but live in Italy).

Diana was still craving a bit more Thai food, so Friday we had a super yummy dinner at Sab-e-Lee, then stopped at Barnes & Noble to pick up a New Year’s Eve puzzle. (Who knew Barnes & Noble is now the biggest purveyor of puzzles in the world???) The next day Diana prepared the traditional Cefaratti New Year’s Eve dinner for us – Italian sausage and fried pizza dough. We’re all still fighting the remnants of a cold, so we didn’t make it all the way ‘til midnight, but we made great progress on the puzzle before we crashed. Deron finished it on New Year’s Day while Diana and I were enjoying a lovely lunch with Sandie Zolman at Tartine in Coronado – their charcuterie plate is to die for (especially the pâté).

So, as you can see, we’ve basically spent the past few weeks eating fancy and this whole blog post is “for the foodies.” There are still a few more special meals in the works before Diana leaves on Thursday, and then our friend Laura Christensen arrives from Arizona on Saturday, so we’ll be wining and dining with her for a few days as well! But I anticipate many more simple home-cooked meals happening in the future as we recover from all the extra food and fun.

Thankfully the junior high pastor I’ve been working for was able to find an assistant, so these last few weeks before we take off for Washington, I’ll be helping to train her and hopefully set her up for success. It’s always bittersweet leaving the youth office as I spent so many years there, but I’m glad to hand it off again, knowing I’m in a new season of life now.

praise & prayer

A reflection on 2022: What an amazing God we serve, and how blessed we are to be part of His family! He is faithful and compassionate, and loves us beyond our comprehension. This past year we’ve experienced great highs and terrible lows, and have been so grateful to know He’s walking through all of it with us. We truly can’t imagine a life without His presence in it.

Our prayer for this year is that we would continue to grow in our knowledge of Him, and that we would be faithful reflections of His goodness.

We would appreciate your prayers as we begin the process of settling in Washington – that we would quickly know whether the area we’ve chosen is the right place for us. And as we enter this new year, we would love to pray for you as well – please let us know the things you are hoping for or are struggling with, so that we can lift you up in prayer.

May the Lord bless you, and keep you; may He cause His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; may He lift up His face to you, and give you peace.

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