2021 Year in Review

I remember being so hopeful for 2021. At the beginning of the year, determined to be more productive, I moved my office into the laundry room. It was a huge help for such a busy time of year. I eventually added some wallpaper to spruce it up in there.

I remember that for Skylar’s 14th birthday she only requested Chick-Fil-A and cheesecake. She’s so easy to please. We celebrated a month later at Ford Ice with a birthday package that she won during quarantine.

I remember visiting Just Love Coffee for the first time with Mike & Skylar on Valentine’s Day. It was right before the snow came down. I loved it immediately and became a weekly stop for me. It’s such a neat spot and everyone is so nice. In addition to yummy food and beautiful lattes, I’ve had some great conversations sitting around tables in that cafe.

I also helped her jump through a bunch of hoops and red tape in order to accompany her hockey team to tournaments in Atlanta, Austin, and Cleveland. She completed all of the requirements to be a student coach and even took classes alongside former NHL players. On one trip, I remember visiting Magnolia Market by myself. It was such a fun day! I also remember aborting the original plan, re-renting a car, and driving 9 hours home on our last trip instead of flying home because of a COVID scare, which turned out to be nothing. It was a Murphy’s law kind of day!

I remember watching chicks hatch. It was our first time and I worried and worried over them. It was hard work keeping the temperature and humidity right but it was exciting watching them hatch. In the end, we had 6 live and we named them after the musical Heathers. Spoiler alert: 5 of them ended up being roosters. *sigh*

I remember taking Skylar and Aves to the beach after being awake for 38 hours for a birth. A vacation was just what I needed and traveling with teens is a million times easier than littles. I remember the funny and random pictures they would send me to “earn” their snowcone money for the day! They are a hoot but the airboat ride was probably the real highlight of the week.

I remember Skylar advocating for herself in a big way at summer camp. The staff and our troop leaders helped her turn a negative situation into a big positive. So much so that she asked to go back for LAUNCH training at the end of the summer to help prepare her to work as a staff member next year. After those 2 weeks, I’ve pretty much heard about Camp Rainey Mountain every day for the rest of forever. She kept calling it “home.” While dropping her off and picking her up, Mike and I discovered how quaint the town of Clayton, GA is. It’s tiny but they have some fabulous restaurants and the cutest little Main Street. It’s also home to the FoxFire Museum based on the beloved book series.

I remember learning that our neighbor passed away suddenly in the middle of the night. We were in shock. We learned so many wonderful things about Mr. Biggs at his funeral from his early years. He was good as gold and we miss him so much. Things just don’t feel quite the same around here without him.

I remember when my faith fell apart. All of the questions I had suppressed for years came to the surface and exploded like a volcano. The more I tried to grasp hold of my faith, the more it literally slipped through my fingers. I can remember exactly where I was when I admitted to myself, “I’m not sure I believe anymore.” What followed was months and months of questioning, reading, researching, and, ultimately, grieving. There was a definite season of depression, despair, and hopelessness. It was scary. Some days it still is but there have been little silvers of hope peeking back in. I’ll never forget those who gently encouraged and supported me. I do hope that one day I’ll forget those who had less than helpful responses.

I remember wanting to run away from life. What did I do instead? I dyed my hair and bought a camper. The camper was a game changer. It gave me space to think and work. I was immediately more productive and it gave me some breathing room.

I remember what feels like a million miles in the car taking Skylar here, there, and everywhere. It was early mornings, late nights, and everything in between. I was on #teamnosleep and we ate most of our meals in the drive-thru. Just like toddlerhood, the days are long but the years are short. I know that I’m running out of years so I cherish our car time together. Honestly, there were some days this year when the only reason I got out of bed was because of Skylar. I knew she was counting on me and, honestly, she makes me laugh like no one else on earth.

I remember being shocked that Skylar wanted to attend the homecoming dance. There was a dress code and she had a very specific idea of what she would be happy wearing. I remember helping her get ready and feeling a lump in my throat when Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up started playing. I had to make a joke to keep from crying.

I remember taking the camper on its inaugural trip to Asheville. Ben and Onyx went too, which made it even more special. It was a fantastic trip! I remember walking FOREVER to see a waterfall at the Biltmore that was less than stellar but the falls at Tallulah Gorge were amazing!

I remember Thanksgiving at the beach and finishing 6 puzzles! I also beat my nephew, Caleb, at bowling. I remember finding frost flowers when we got home from our trip even though I thought I had missed them.

I remember re-watching the entire Ugly Betty series with Skylar and watching Ted Lasso with Mike (twice!). Season 10 of Call the Midwife was also a hit.

I remember last-minute stocking shopping. They are my favorite part of Christmas and I always go a little overboard but seeing everyone open their little goodies makes me so happy!

I took off work the last week of the year and during that time I had an epiphany about what I wanted for 2022 (and beyond). It gave me just the perk I needed for a mindset shift and momentum to keep moving forward. Ultimately, 2021 was HARD emotionally, financially, and mentally but I made it. Cheers to 2022!



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