Hello and Happy January 1st! 1/1/21! Can you believe it?
Who knew when we started 2020, that after only a few months in, we’d be in the midst of a worldwide pandemic?
Just when I think I could sum up 2020 with “it sucked,” I scroll through my photos and blog posts and see that our normal experiences like holidays, sports, and vacations looked different, but they mostly still happened. Also, we took the time to cherish the small things like going for family bike rides, watching movies, and reading books. We adjusted. (PIVOT!) What choice did we have?
We had some…
highs: We were forced to slow down, spend quality time with family, and simplify our lives.
There were also some…
lows: We missed family. We couldn’t have traditions and holidays like normal. We had to be careful and think about every decision. We lived in fear of the virus.
I still decided to go ahead an recap this year because I do want to be able to look back on it and remember ups and downs of it all. And, as my blogging friend Amy said, “Reflection helps with gratitude.” I love that. I am so very grateful for my family, our health, and this time together.
That being said…Warning: lots of photos coming your way! Apparently, my love language is pictures! 😂
In January, we kicked off the year with my 40th birthday!
Travis threw a surprise party for me. It was so much fun.
A few days later, Hadley and I had the flu…and it kicked my tail! I missed a week of school.
The kids had fun playing basketball!
In February, Travis and Hadley went to the father/daughter dance with some friends.
We went snow tubing with friends which is something we do every February.
The kids had a snow day.
We all enjoyed Hadley’s performance in the school musical.
Our Chiefs won the Super Bowl!
In March, I went with Hadley and her troop on an overnight field trip in a museum.
My dad visited right as we learned school would be moving to virtual learning.
The world officially shut down. We started spending lots of time at home baking, crafting, having fun with sidewalk chalk, reading, and bingeing Netflix.
We came together as a community, as a state, and as a country.
In April, we celebrated Easter at home.
We went on lots of family bike rides.
We updated our sun room.
We admired sidewalk chalk artwork in the neighborhood.
In May, we celebrated Mother’s Day.
The kids had good old fashion fun with the Slip n Slide.
We ate out for the first time in a couple of months at The Stave.
The kids wrapped up 4th grade with virtual learning.
In June, we headed to Florida for a week.
Thankfully, the beach was perfect for social distancing.
I felt rejuvenated by the beach sunsets.
Once we returned home, I sought out some outdoor activities for us to do to to fill our summer days.
We picked strawberries,
and visited the Cincinnati Zoo.
Baseball started back for Hayden.
We celebrated Father’s Day with Travis.
Then, Travis and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.
In July, we celebrated the 4th of July.
We went canoeing with friends.
We celebrated Trav’s birthday.
The kids and Homer enjoyed pool time (I did too!)
We went to Kansas City to see family.
Hayden and Travis played a few rounds of golf during the summer.
As a family, we went on a hike.
Then, school started back virtually. We started the year off with our tradition Back to School Breakfast.
First day of virtual school…
at the pod…
Hadley had her dance recital with no audience. We we received the DVD of the performances a couple months later.
In September, online school continued, we got in the 2020 school groove knowing this may be our reality for quite some time.
Oaks and Derby were finally celebrated over Labor Day weekend with very few fans in attendance which broke a piece of Trav’s heart.
Thankfully, cross country was able to start for the kids with Travis as their coach.
Hayden was able to play fall baseball.
In October, we traveled to Asheville, NC for fall break.
The perfect place to hike and eat outside.
Hadley started playing the flute.
Hayden got braces.
Per tradition, we visited the pumpkin patch.
I took the time to make myself a priority and had my total hysterectomy with an overnight stay at the hospital.
The kids were an M &M, and Patrick Mahomes for Halloween.
In November, we enjoyed the beautiful fall leaves and mild weather.
The kids turned 11!
My runners wrapped up their elementary cross country season.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my brother and his family.
In December, my mom visited and we baked cookies.
The kids were able to visit Santa.
As a family, we continued traditions like decorating a gingerbread house and seeing lights at the horse park.
Mustard Seed Hill was a new outdoor holiday activity for us.
We took Christmas card photos…
and sent those cards out later than usual…
We celebrated Christmas Eve at home after watching church service online,
and woke up to a white Christmas.
We’ve spent the last week of the year with family, moving at a slow pace, enjoying a few more days of the twinkle of the tree lights, and preparing for the new year.
Final 2020 Thoughts:
While this year has been filled with stress and uncertainty, I still feel very blessed. I never knew how much we needed to slow down until we were forced to do so. I treasure the time with my family and the slower pace.
Of course, all these pictures remind me that there were times that we were still busy even in the midst of “the great pause,” but kids keep you busy. We were blessed that they were able to be safe while doing their activities. We never would have gone on vacation if we didn’t have a family house to stay in. We adjusted our thinking and allowed the kids to go to a pod a couple days a week to maximize their virtual learning experience, and more.
These photos literally are snapshots of reality. At sporting events, there should have been family members besides immediate ones in attendance. Hand sanitizer doesn’t belong at the beach. Holiday decisions shouldn’t be stressful ones (or more stressful than usual 😉) The list goes on and on…and on.
I feel like in 2020, no decision was made without my over-thinking it…😅
Honestly, though, that has taken its toll on me. I, at times, have felt mentally and emotionally exhausted.
This year has been one to remember. It’s brought times of stress, worry, and sadness. There have been times of uncertainty and times of strength. I hope that 2021 can bring us a sense of peace…and relief. I know we are all ready for a fresh start which is exactly what the new year always brings.
2020 is also the first full year I’ve had this blog. I continue to be grateful for this community.
In case you missed a post this week:
Happy New Year and prayers for a blessed (and less stressful!) 2021!