Happy New Years… 2021 please be good to us!

It’s New Years, and like every other person, I am retrospectively looking at 2020 and thinking about how things have been, what we have accomplished and what we have overcome. Like most people, this year was not easy. We had grand business plans that seems to get ruffled by the mandated shut downs and quarantine. We had trips planned, family that we wanted to visit and way more in person schooling that we were hoping for. We wished for meet the teacher nights, flights to see family, in person craft nights and so much more. As I reflect back on what we actually got from 2020, this is what I see:

I see backyard adventures, I see my kids grow together because for a time, they were their only playmates. I see that they are better problem solvers, and more creative players.

I see massive amounts of elderberry being made with one of my best friends in preparation for the impending pandemic.

I remember taking my kids to the store before everything shut down for good and seeing the shelves cleared, and stocking our own shelves when we could because you never knew what was going to happen next.

I remember doing SO much baking, especially in the beginning.

I will remember pulling together with other local seamstresses to make hundreds of masks for first responders, health care workers and assisted living facilities.

We did workout groups when it was safe, and did sporadic home workouts between.

Lots of home projects!

I will never forget having church at home on Sunday’s, and what it was like being back socially distant and wearing masks.

I cut my own hair for the very first time, and LOVED it!!

We got to know our neighbors better, which included having a social distance bingo night and explored our little neighborhood! We ended up finding a really fun creek that we frequented a lot in Spring/Summer.

The kids got better on their bikes, and Davis learned to ride WITHOUT training wheels!!

We picked strawberries, and made homemade strawberry jam for the first time, which i totally nailed!!

Nolan’s cute preschool teachers brought over packets, activities, and even helped celebrate his birthday! My depth of gratitude for these sweet humans cannot be underestimated! I also am so grateful they were still able to do their Christmas program… that was a major highlight!

The reservoir is only 5 minutes from our house, so we frequented it often! We kayaked, hiked and swam as much as we could!

Despite the travel plans had, we still found time and safe ways to travel. I started the year with a girls trip to Orlando/Boca Raton.

As a family we got to travel to North Topsail Beach, NC…

Treasure Island, FL to visit my parents and sister…

Atlantic Beach, NC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Boone and Blowing Rock, NC!

We had Davis’s first season of flag football, and him finally overcoming his shyness, and actually having fun with it!

The pool was basically our second home this summer… we spent so much time there soaking in the sun, Nolan learning to swim without floaties, and each of the kiddos becoming more and more like fish with everyday.

I see my family connecting with the community to raise awareness for human trafficking in prayer walks, social media posts, donations and marches.

I see Davis closing out Kindergarten and entering First Grade, and Nolan enter Pre-K with great eagerness!

I will remember my utter frustration with the word virtual. Virtual learning, virtual youth activities, and virtual game nights. Grateful that we have tech that can connect us and bring us together for those moments, but especially with virtual learning… my mind and my heart was HEAVY in finding a way to make that work with our family.

I see play dates, spending time with friends that have basically become family to us, and the boys doing their first soccer clinic.

I remember the day vividly when parks reopened and how i literally cried watching my kids play with other kids at a park for the first time in 6 months.

I see our neighborhood pulling together safely for Halloween and Christmas to host events to show kids magic and tradition during this very nontraditional year.

I won’t forget driving around looking at Christmas lights, and drinking hot chocolate. It was one of those simple but perfect and powerful memories.

Most excitingly…. Patrick quit his corporate job so we could fully pursue Carolina Wood Company as our full time gig and income!

When I look back at this year, I’m so saddened by the amount of friction and devastation that I’ve felt and seen friends and family go through. Loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, mental health suffering, physical health being compromised, and families broken apart. But for me and my family, I am grateful for the growth we had this year. I’m grateful for what this year put us through because we are truly better off for it. We have learned SO much, and refined our lives to reflect a better way. We found what is truly important for us, and where we feel the Lord’s hand guiding us. I would have preferred not to learn in this way, but I’m grateful for where we are because I know we are headed in the right direction with the right people right beside us!

Cheers to 2021! It WILL be great!

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