Friday Fives: March 23, 2018

It’s been a while since I gave a Friday Five update, so I figured it was about time. There’s been a lot going on in our lives that doesn’t really fit into my usual posts, so here’s what we’ve been up to lately!

1. We’re going to Yosemite!

It looks like our first official trip of 2018 is going to be Yosemite in late April! I’ll be attending a conference near Lake Tahoe, so I decided to fly up a bit early so Matt and I could do some hiking in YNP before I head on to my conference. I’m so excited to finally visit and cross Yosemite off my bucket list! Y’all, the fact that I’m a Californian who hasn’t visited it is a source of shame for me. I’m ready to change that!

Also, April is craziest month of the year for me workwise because it’s Earth Month. As of now me and my team have seven outreach events on the schedule, plus a conference at the end of the month. Some nature therapy is exactly what I’m going to need after the craziness that is Earth Month.


2. I took a 23andMe test

After wanting to take a genetic test to see what brand of mutt I really am, I finally did it! I got my results in January, but never wrote about them, so I figured I’d lump it in with the next Friday Fives, and here we are!

There were some definite surprises, like the big chunk of Southeast Asian. But it’s really helped me piece together my ancestral history and fill in some huge gaps in knowledge. We never knew my great-grandfather was from the Phillippines and now we do. He changed his name when he came to America and died young (when my grandmother, his first child was a toddler) which made it impossible for us to find any information on him. One of my DNA relatives on 23andMe was listed as a potential cousin who shared a common great-great-grandparent and had a similar last name to my grandfather’s. After talking with her and searching for new information based on her last name, we found immigration records of my grandfather immigrating to Hawaii from the Phillippines! Amazing.

It was also really cool to see how my Mexican heritage manifests as a mixture of Native American, Iberian, and Middle Eastern/North African.

I am in continued disbelief that this is a thing. Science is so cool! I also love seeing where I fit in this world of diverse and unique cultures. Traveling teaches me so much about myself, and I love envisioning and imagining what the lives of my ancestors would have been like when I travel to the lands of my heritage. My results have given me a better understanding of all this, and they will inspire my future adventures.


3. I’m finally going to see Hamilton!

One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to finally go see Hamilton. It started out as a joke, but I soon realized that I’ve been fangirling over this musical for nearly 3 years now and it’s just time for me to see it in person. I made a resolution to see it in 2018, in whichever city it was the most accessible. Well, I got super lucky and snagged two pretty good seats to a show right here in Houston! I didn’t realize it at the time, but our tickets are for the day after me and Matt’s anniversary, so it’ll be a very memorable anniversary date!


4. “Green Check-in”

My other resolutions mainly revolve around going more green this year, so for accountability’s sake here’s my “Green Check-in” to update y’all on that progress.

I’m doing great with the reusable produce bags! I’ve developed the habit to remember them whenever I go to the store, and I’m proud to say I haven’t used a single-use plastic produce bag this year!

My compost bin is looking great! I even got a stainless steel compost bin for the office, which I leave in the kitchen for my coworkers to dump their compostables. I take it home at the end of every week to dump in my backyard bin. I had a dream the other night that I went to check on my compost, and it had turned into this gorgeous, perfect compost soil. That hasn’t happened quite yet, but here’s hoping!

I have stayed true to my resolution to only purchase fair trade or secondhand clothing! In 2018, I’ve only purchased a pair of secondhand Vans from Buffalo Exchange and a semi-formal dress from Altar’d State.

Last weekend, I went with my friend, Genevieve, to a local nursery to pick up some plants to start my garden. I bought tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, and a few other garden staples. This weekend Matt and I are planning on building the raised beds, and hopefully I’ll be planting all my herbs and veggies before we go back to work on Monday!


5. Planning the “big trip”

So every year we do a bunch of “smaller,” domestic trips. Usually a long weekend or something like that. Our Yosemite trip is going to be one of these. We’re also planning a long weekend trip to Mexico with my parents for May. We have a few more cities that are on our potential long weekend trip list, and I’m keeping an eye out for low fares.

And while I enjoy these trips, I need to know we have a bigger adventure in the works. Matt and I have been throwing around ideas about where we could go this year, but we are nowhere close to making a decision. My parents have mentioned that they’d like to travel with us and possibly do a Christmas trip. New Zealand was mentioned as a potential destination. Personally, I’m rooting for Chile or Peru. I’m also hoping to a National Park roadtrip around Utah at some point, maybe this fall, maybe next year.

I have no idea what this year holds for us travel-wise, and it’s making me a bit antsy, but I’m sure plans will pop up and when they do, they’ll be great. I just hate being at that point where it’s all ideas swirling around and no commitment. Y’all know how I feel?

Happy weekend wanderlusting, friends!

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