Happy New Year!
It’s time for my looooongest post of the year. And I mean long!
I know that 2020 was not a banner year for anyone. It brought challenges, uncertainty, heart ache, new rhythms and routines, and a whole lot of down time. As I reflect on our year, it’s very easy to see that our trials were few and our blessings were plenty. As far as I can tell, the only challenging portion of our year was being away from family. It sucked, it really did.
But . . .
other than that, 2020 was not that terrible for us! We ate some delicious food, we got Penelope Pudding, and Matty is working from home. That has been HUGE for us! We’ve honestly loved every minute of it, and neither one of us wants him to go back to work full time. Where was Covid in 2017 when I had a colicky newborn and a tantruming toddler? #kidding #sortof
Ok, all kidding aside, it’s safe to say that 2020 was a year we didn’t mind saying goodbye to. Despite all of the challenges, I’ve got a recap of all the highlights for you today. Grab a snack, you’ll need it!
We kicked off the new year with a bowling outing.
The girls got stuffies to celebrate Emily officially being potty trained!
We had a major snow storm!
And we celebrated Gordie’s 6th birthday in style.
The most exciting portion of the month is when I tagged along with Matty on a work trip to Dallas! He worked . . . I shopped and lounged in our hotel room . . . and we had some great Texas BBQ!
We rounded out the month with the girls’ first trip to the show to see Frozen 2.
We started out the month celebrating my birthday!
I helped out with Lucy’s Valentine’s Day party at school . . .
. . . and Oma treated us to the sweetest little Valentine’s Day tea party!
We celebrated Matty’s birthday . . .
. . . and discovered our new favorite winter activity: Snow Tubing!!
I chaperoned Lucy’s field trip to the Natural History Museum . . .
. . . and we took a cute bathroom selfie!
The girls took their first (and only!) swim lesson on March 10.
And then quarantine started and we begin to figure out life with all of us at home 24/7. It involved lots of crafts . . .
. . . we discovered kids yoga . . .
. . . and Matty rediscovered his love for grains!
We jumped on the chalk art bandwagon . . .
. . . and I became fairly obsessed with funny quarantine memes.
We did a trial run of this thing called Zoom. It took us about 45 minutes to make sure all family members knew how to log on and use it. It’s a good thing we tried it ahead of time before we celebrated . . .
. . . Emily’s third birthday!! Hers was the first of MANY celebrations we had to do virtually, and we all handled it like champs.
Gosh, I remember my neighbor standing in the street to take this photo with her phone because I felt like she shouldn’t touch mine . . . and she stopped at one point and said “I’ll just zoom in so I don’t have to get any closer!” The beginning of quarantine was WEIRD.
I did very little homeschooling with the girls. They’re so little that I figured playing was learning enough for them. However, every once in awhile I did put out a few activities. After taking a few weeks off, I finally did something educational with the girls at the beginning of April.
But mostly our days looked a lot like this!
We made it from March 13 until April 5 without needing anything from the grocery. Since getting a curbside pick up was darn near impossible at this point, Matty drew the short straw and had to go to Costco. I remember we were both so nervous about him going, and when he got home he changed all of his clothes and we sanitized his phone and credit card!
We did a Zoom Euchre night with the Heinbuchs!
And suddenly happy hour drinks and snacks became more of the norm instead of an occasional thing!
The neighborhood lined up in our driveways to watch . . .
. . . the Easter Bunny drive by!
We watched a You Tube tutorial on how to draw your own bunnies, and we all did our best.
And we had our second quarantine celebration . . . Easter!
Rather than putting on cute dresses and doing outdoor egg hunts, we stayed in cozy clothes and flew kites a lot of the day.
I gave Matty his first quarantine haircut!
And we continued to be so so thankful for the good weather.
We saw my parents for the first time and had a nice, socially distanced visit in the Ikea parking lot. The girls got their Easter baskets from them, and Emily got her birthday present . . .
. . . which we put to good use as soon as we got home!
We painted birdhouses and hung them in our backyard.
And we finally broke down and got the girls their first (of so many!) masks.
I had a great, low key Mother’s Day.
And then we celebrated Lucy’s 5th birthday . . . quarantine style!
Lucy’s friends surprised her with a birthday parade in the morning . . .
. . . followed by Buddy’s Pizza and a mermaid cake for dinner!
And then over Memorial Day Weekend, we left the house . . . for the first time in over two months! We spent the weekend at the cottage with cousins, and it was so great to be somewhere other than home.
Apparently the girls forgot how tiring interacting with others can be!
Our summer was HOT, HOT, HOT, and we enjoyed a lot of ice cream!
And we FINALLY got to tell the girls about Penelope and go visit her once when she was soooo tiny!
We took advantage of Matty being home all the time and spent some afternoons on our friends’ lake . . .where we discovered the ultimate in lake lounging comfort.
Matty and I celebrated our FOURTEENTH wedding anniversary!
We spent Father’s Day at my parents’ house . . .
. . . and enjoyed having all the cousins back together!
We vacationed at the cottage but took a day trip to Frankfort to swim in Lake Michigan . . .
. . . and visit Aunt Marie.
For the firs time in nearly 20 years, we stayed home for 4th of July instead of going to the lake. The girls enjoyed popsicles . . .
. . . and kind of enjoyed their first sparklers before getting to stay up for the fireworks for the first time ever!
In the middle of July we brought home Penelope Pudding Cookie Kissel, and we haven’t looked back. She is seriously the greatest dog ever!
And we ended the month with a rainy celebration of Papa’s 70th birthday!
We celebrated a neighbor’s 40th birthday at our first of many outdoor dining experiences this year.
We hit the pool every opportunity we got and even managed a visit where we got the whole place to ourselves!
We got caught in a random rain shower on a walk, and the girls loved every minute of it!
Penelope went for her first boat ride . . .
. . . and Matty went on his annual Guys Golf Weekend.
Basically, we just soaked up every moment of hot sunshine that we could!
Penelope graduated from puppy school . . .
. . . and we spent Labor Day Weekend at the cottage for a last, long weekend.
And then the girls started school! How is Lucy in Kindergarten already?!
She’s attending a private school so that she can go face to face, and it’s honestly the best decision we ever made. Lucy loves school and is learning so much!
After six months of being with me non-stop, Emmy had a rougher start to preschool than we anticipated, but she’s doing great now!
The girls also started their very first dance classes. I may be biased, but I think they’re the cutest ballerinas ever!
And speaking of cute! 😉
And after a weekend of bad colds and high fevers, the girls got their first (and only, knock on wood) Covid tests. #negative
Just when we thought she couldn’t get any cuter, Lucy got glasses!
We spent a morning at the pumpkin patch and did our first corn maze!
We finished off the month with pumpkin carving . . .
. . . the neighborhood’s first 5k Halloween fun run . . .
. . . and a bunny and a mermaid for Halloween!
November was the weirdest weather month! At the beginning of the month we went to the zoo in shorts and t-shirts!
Two weeks later we walked in just sweatshirts . . .
. . . and then the very next day we built a snowman!
We celebrated Rita’s 70th birthday!
And I hosted my very first little Thanksgiving dinner. (Again, remember back in April when we thought Easter would be the only holiday we spent apart from our family?!)
And Raspberry the Elf came back for the season and brought the girls their very own trees for their rooms.
We had a great month doing all the festive things. We took so many walks around our neighborhood, mailed letters to Santa, and kept all of our Christmas gatherings small. Oh, and Penelope got a haircut that we weren’t crazy about!
Ok, that was a lot!
It’s not lost on us how lucky we were this year. 2020 is definitely a year we’ll never forget, but we’re looking forward to a new year that will hopefully bring a little more normalcy back to our lives. For example, I’d love to be able to try things on at Target so that I don’t have to buy them, try them on at home, return what doesn’t fit and then go buy more . . . and then repeat. It’s a vicious cycle, and I need it to end. #2021goals
Here’s to a healthy and happy new year!