I keep trying to write about this year to try and review it and try to make this post not completely sound fake as all get out. I am having a hard time with that… This year has been a lot of small things that didn’t go as planned and dealing with the day to day of everything. Yes, there were a ton of things that did go well. Like my children were able to have normal birthday parties with their friends from school. Both Daniel and I were able to take trips on our own and enjoy a long family vacation to Washington and Arkansas. As well as the start of this blog, which has been a true mental health saver.
So, here are the top 3 experiences that sum up my 2021:
- Human interaction! – the best thing about this year is that we were able to send Jason back to school full time! We had birthday parties for each of the kids which included friends from both school and daycare. We were able to get together with friends and family which I truly missed and needed for my mental health.
- Natalie got COIVD – Natalie’s daycare had an exposure to COVID in early October and Daniel and I thought almost nothing of it because Natalie was acting completely healthy, not even a stuffy nose. We got her tested and BAM Natalie was positive, and we were in quarantine. Daniel and Jason did not get it but, I was not so lucky. I received a presumptive positive and had to isolate myself in Dan and I’s bedroom for 3 days. I was so glad to be able to test out of my isolation! I’m not sure that I would have made it through the whole 10-day isolation in the same house as my family.
- So much traveling! – just like everyone else we hadn’t done any traveling since November of 2019 which was only a quick 3-day trip to celebrate Thanksgiving with Daniel’s extended family. This year though we had the ability for each of us to do a solo trip and then the whole family to go on an extended vacation to both Washington and Arkansas.
- In early September I went on a girl’s trip with my best friend Katy and her mom to Vegas!
- The next week after I got back from my trip Daniel went to Green Bay with his parents and his uncle to watch a Packers game at Lambeau Field.
- The day before thanksgiving we started our family trip
- Washington – This was our traditional every 2-year trip to see Daniel’s extended family for thanksgiving! This year was a crazy year where we had around 45 people come to thanksgiving dinner and all of them were family! This trip always does my heart so much good. On top of my kids being able to connect with their dad’s side of the family this trip always reminds me of how truly grateful I am to have married into such an amazing family. A couple of the highlights of this time was when I made 2 chocolate satin pies with my niece Kali (5), Jamie’s daughter Rachel (5), and Natalie (4). Although making the pie was stressful, the connection I felt to each one of them was totally worth it and the pies weren’t half bad either. The 2nd highlight from this part of the trip was Natalie got to ride a horse for the first time! She absolutely loved it!
- Arkansas – Saturday after Thanksgiving my little family (Daniel, Jason, Natalie and I) along with Kelly and Roger traveled to Northwest Arkansas where my family lives. I hadn’t been to Arkansas to see my family in over 15 years and this time was so much sweeter because I was able to bring my own little family. There were a couple Pinochle games played which is a game you learn in my family when you’re about 13 years old because that’s when your hands are normally big enough to hold the hand of 20 cards you’re dealt. The big points in this trip were that we got to spend the entire time with my grandmother, explore Silver Dollar City in Branson MO, explore my parent’s new house since their move from AK to AR in 2019, enjoy my aunt’s bunkhouse in Gilbert (Kelly’s Bunkhouse), and finally I got to visit my grandfather’s grave. My grandfather passed away 18 years ago, and it was really good to reconnect with his spirit while I was there.
So, overall, 2021 wasn’t all too bad. I have hopes that 2022 things will be more normal, and we get to enjoy more of what life is truly meant for. Time with family that doesn’t involve quarantining, the great outdoors, and our health both mental and physical.