Bring on the New Year – 2021 Recap

Let’s walk 2021 to the door and maybe lock it once they’re gone… It wasn’t the worst houseguest we’ve ever had- we didn’t kick them out- but I’d be content if they never came back. Ya know?

Honestly, this year was more difficult for me than the dreaded 2020. Events were held, but it was a risk to attend. I felt itchy and wanted to take M to explore… but things aren’t quite right yet. We had a pretty slow and quiet year. (2020 was wonderful with an infant/baby… so much alone time and bonding and no where to be. Social distancing with a toddler is… rough.) We tried to do a family vacation but our vehicle broke down. Then I had not one, but TWO canceled trips later in the year. Sigh. It wasn’t my year to travel. M was sick quite a bit, too, but none of us caught the big C19, so I’m grateful. (Hand foot and mouth wasn’t a walk in the park for any of us, though. SHEESH.)

Anyway… there were good moments, too. We added kitties to the (office) family. We added a car to the garage (& now we need a bigger garage). K and M both had necessary and beneficial surgeries. My two best friends got married (to other people, lol). And we went on some great camping trips. We are healthy and comfortable and all together. I can’t complain much.

I’m looking forward to 2022, though. I’m putting it out there in the universe. Lord, give us a good one 🖤

On to the photo collages…

New Year’s Day | M can walk! | 🖤 | K’s surgery | Bristol is 2 | A trip to FL to love on Aub | Snow Day | Valentine’s Day | Joining A&M’s wedding party!
A visit from Aub | Kayla’s bachelorette party | Kayla’s bridal shower | bed head | K’s bday | St. Patrick’s Day | camping at Bristol | dirt racing at Bristol | Easter
Mowing with Dad | new scooter | visiting Dad at work | 8th wedding anniversary | Fridays with Andria | sick baby | rehearsal dinner | Kayla’s getting married! | Kayla’s wedding
camping with friends | Memorial Day | Mid Ohio racing | welcome Mac & Cheese! | splash pad with F&C | Father’s Day | bike rides | 4th of July Indy Cars | ear tube surgery for M
farm visits | K behind the drums | Frankenmuth | Boyne Falls, MI | family | spa weekend with Aub | 🖤 | DCI in Indy | science center with friends
Labor Day | rehearsal dinner | Aub’s getting married! | Aubrey’s wedding | county fair | fall festival | my bday camping | pumpkin patch | new car!
gender reveal for Kayla | Halloween | PASIC in Indy | Christmas trees | Thanksgiving | Moo turns Two!| Kayla’s baby shower | Christmas | lounging before the new year

Looking back through my pictures to make this post is such a happy experience for me. Now that M is in the picture, it’s wild to see her growth over 12 months. But to be honest, K and I grow significantly every year, too.

What were your favorite moments of 2021?

-Aud

Goodbye 2020!

I know we’re supposed to hate 2020, but if I’m being honest it was a relatively ok (dare I say good?) year for me… Compared to 2019, I would do 2020 again in a heartbeat. 2019 chewed us up and spit us out. Then stepped on us and lit us on fire.

I know that 2020 was an awful year for many many people, though. I don’t discredit that and if you’re someone who suffered terribly these past 12 months please know I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I, too, am looking forward to hopefully never having another year like that again.

But as I said, 2020 wasn’t the worst year I’ve had. We got to spend SO much time with Moo. We got to hog her for holidays and witness so many milestones. We had a forced slow down with work (through which we tried so hard to maintain and take care of employees) and we didn’t travel one single place after March. After years of professional go-go-going, it was weird. And it was eye opening. And it’s helped us to prioritize a little more going forward.

We are lucky that our family has been mostly healthy and safe. A few of us have had COVID, but we haven’t had any loss in our family and I am so grateful for this. My heart breaks for those who’ve had a year marked by death.

I still haven’t convinced K to get me a kitten. We bought a camper. We cancelled countless trips. We fought over whose mask was whose. We survived sleep regressions and teething. We had groceries delivered and quiet holidays. We had a slow year that I very ironically wished for at the end of 2019.

So here’s the normal pic recap…

New Years! | Finished nursery | Baby Moo | Fender Bender | Fly to TX | Moo at the Alamo | K drumming | Swiss relative visit | Pandemic yoga w/ best friends
Lots of family walks | Baby Moo | Easter | First taste of cereal | Green beans fail | Hike w/ Bristol | Anniversary pic | Kayla’s Matron of Honor! | Off to buy a new truck
Aub engaged! | Cousin graduates | Family cookout | First Moo swim | M actually likes food | K takes up cooking | Moo 6 months! | Lots of front porch time | K’s 1st Father’s Day
Bike trailer for M | Zoo | 4th of July | 1st camping trip | Bought a camper | Family front porch time | 1st time in our camper | Family fun | F&C buy a house
Purple hair | Fall | Kayla’s dress!| Social Distance get-together | Baby Cooper | Bday hike | Halloween | COVID | Corvette pics
Big girl! | Friday’s with AJ | Outdoor hangs | Thanksgiving | 12 month pics | Moo’s 1st Bday! | Xmas tree | Merry Christmas! | Christmas morning

It was a weird year, but looking back it seems we made the most of it. Here’s to 2021 being better than its predecessor. Honestly… it shouldn’t be tough.

Hopefully you find some bright spots when looking back on your year, too!

What I Read… 2020 Recap

I don’t have a lot to show for this year… Reading wasn’t a top priority this year & that’s ok. I averaged about 1 book per month- ending the year with 13 reads. I usually strive for three books a month so needless to say I did not meet my GR goals 😂

I’m linking up with Jana and Steph today for the Show Us Your Books yearend recap. I am so grateful for these ladies and this community of book lovers that they have built! It’s one of my favorite parts of my blog world.

**2020 Reading Stats**

Number of Books Read: 13
Number of Rereads: 0
Most Read Genre: Mystery

best-YA-books-2014

Best Book You Read In 2020?

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t?

Frogkisser by Garth Nix

 Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Seven and A Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

 Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

Lucy Foley

 Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

I just love the way this one looks… A little ominous, a little festive, a little haunting. Yet so simple.

Most memorable character of 2020?

Zikora (from Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

75 pages (The Mermaids Melt at Dawn by Grendolyn Peach Soleil) and 505 pages (Hardcastle)

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Lia Mara & Grey from A Heart So Fierce and Broken.

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Emily’s (I *think* that’s her name) relationship with the girls from Gloss in The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan

Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

A Dangerous Engagement by Ashley Weaver

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Not new- still in love with Grey (A Heart So…)

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London by Penrose Halson

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One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

Hoping to read more than 13 books this coming year, lol.

Survey borrowed & altered from Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Now for my charts…

Not my best year for reading, but I also know it’s not my absolute worst.

What did you read this year?

Life According to Steph

That’s a Wrap! [July]

Today I’m sharing my favorite moments, lessons, posts, funnies, etc. from the past month.

Favorite Moments

It was a quiet month, but we (safely) went to the zoo, went to weekly swim lessons, and socially distantly visited with family. Little moments that seem SO big right now.

We took M camping in a travel trailer last weekend and had a much much much better time than I anticipated. I’m not a pessimist, but I am a realist… and I anticipated camping with a 7 month old to be miserable. Turns out it was a lot of fun and totally do-able for our family!

Favorite Lessons

I am not in control of other people. I can’t control how they think or react. I can’t control what they do or say. And I won’t always like how things shake out. But confidence is key & knowing that I am in control of my own behavior is a big deal on the pathway to happiness.

K is the most loyal partner & person I know. My husband is excellent at letting me fight my own battles and informing me (privately) when I’m wrong in certain situations, but he is a true partner, forever in my corner. He has my back, lends his shoulder, and tags in when I flounder.

Favorite Posts

Stephanie has revamped her blog and it looks so good! Check out Simple by Stephanie!

Other Favorites

One of my all time favorite books, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, is on sale for Kindle on Amazon right now. If you’ve been meaning to read it (or read a Christie novel), this is the one!

COVID-19 is keeping me from Target & limiting accessibility to my favorite restaurants, but it’s not starving my family. The same can’t be said for thousands around the world (including approximately 10,000 children per month). If you have the funds to donate to the food banks and organizations who are responding to this crisis around the world, you can do that HERE.

From My Blog

My favorite post from this month was my letter to new moms. A close tie for second? These conversations with K and my 101 in 1001 list! And of course, all the things more uncomfortable than wearing a mask.

Funnies

That’s all I’ve got- a relatively quiet month with lots of family time. How about you?

That’s A Wrap! [June]

Today I’m sharing my favorite moments, lessons, posts, funnies, etc. from the past month.

Favorite Moments

Kristen inspired me to look into Mercari to resell some of M’s clothes AND I’VE ACTUALLY HAD SUCCESS! I’ve never sold anything online before but I love hosting garage sales… and this feels so similar. I get so excited when I make a sale!

K is still cooking. He told me that helps him unwind after a day at work or gets him motivated for the day on weekends. I love that a) he’s found an outlet at home for stress and b) I get to eat his feelings. LOL. We bought an outdoor Blackstone Griddle and I truly believe it’s K’s new best friend.

Favorite Lesson(s)

I need to work on becoming a type-lower-case-a. My best days (as a mom, as an employee, as a human) are when we have a very loose schedule and I more often than not just go with the flow. I’m a controlling person but I’m learning to have a little patience & grace with everything and everyone around me- including me.

Favorite Posts

Steph shared a link to BuzzFeed with Black Bookstagrammers to follow! I wanted to share it, too, as well as a link to top rated books by black authors. I’ve only read THUG but I’d like to read more of these.

Other Favorites

K and I are watching Letterkenny on Hulu right now and if you’re not, you should be. It’s crass and raunchy and profane… but also PC and hilarious. It’s a weird show with weird humor but if that’s your thing, give it a try.

I joined a book club this month that focuses on and discusses racial literature. I have high hopes and I’m happy to keep the conversation going- I don’t want to become complacent once the hashtags are no longer trending.

From My Blog

Erin’s newest book challenge starts TOMORROW and I shared my picks.

This month my baby turned SIX MONTHS OLD. And I blogged about it.

Funnies

Kyle’s major complaint (with sunglasses)

I’ve posted that last one before but it is Enzo through and through.

Let’s cross our fingers for no alien attacks or meteors in July.