I’ve been reflecting on 2021 and I put together a list of my top 10 favorite moments of 2021. Can you guess what they are?
Another year and another collection of little moments!
2021 had some rough patches, some rolling over from 2020. But looking back through the year through my camera roll and journal notes helps me remember the good moments and keeps me grateful. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world but when I slow down and reflect it’s easy to see how incredibly fortunate we are to live a life filled with love, family, and great friends.
Keep reading to find out my top 10 favorite moments of 2021:
1) Jayda Returning To Cheer After a Year Off
Watching my kids achieve their dreams feels almost as good (if not better) than achieving my own. When COVID hit, my husband and I decided to take a break with Jayda’s competitive cheer season. We really missed her friends and the fun of competing but it was for the best for us. Fast forward one year and we were so thrilled that Jayda was able to return to one of the things she loves the most. She had a growth spurt, so instead of being the top girl/fyler, she’s now a base, lifting girls smaller than her up. It was a big disappointment for her at first but she’s growing into this new role and enjoying her new team. Sometimes we need to make sacrifices, and these sacrifices are rarely easy. But in the end, you see that they were ultimately for the best.
2) Launching the Movie Night Journal
If you didn’t already know, movie nights are a big deal in our house. Every week, we spend time watching, enjoying, and rating a different movie, and before long, the Movie Night Journal was born. We wanted to make something that could easily bring, or strengthen, a movie night tradition in your homes. The journal helps us to plan and record our movie nights so that we can keep all of our favorite memories in one place – I hope it does the same for you and your family! It woulda been cool had I thought of it for 2020 but hey, better late than never, and I’m excited to see where we take it next year!
3) Writing for Common Sense Media
I love watching movies, and I love reviewing them just as much. So when Common Sense Media reached out about writing reviews for them, I was thrilled! I’m not gonna lie, the movies I’ve been assigned so far are REALLY stretching my pallet and not always the best, but it’s been such an exciting new feat. The kids usually watch the movies with me so it’s been a fun bonding activity for us to see “what mom is reviewing next.” This has been a little dream in the back of my mind for awhile and to have it happen like this was pretty serendipitous.
4) Retiring my husband
Whoah! I kinda buried the lead there. This is something I haven’t written about here on my blog yet, but if you get my newsletter you may be up to speed. After a lot of stress, prayer, indecision and finally… a leap of faith, my husband and I decided it was time to make a change. He retired from the police department in the spring of this year. Paying off our house last year made the choice a little easier. Since we homeschool right now, and I run the business from home, this means we all get A LOT of time together. I never would have dreamed we’d have a lifestyle with this much freedom. We could sell our house and travel the world, but we’re more of a “let’s stay at home and play” kind of family with Disney and beach trips thrown in. Every day I get to watch him play football with the kids in the front yard. The kids never miss a reading lesson thanks to his diligence, we tag team their confusing math lessons and he’s helping me with the family business, which has been getting much busier.
Having him home has been a blessing. Especially in this stage of our lives where the kids are young, and so busy. I feel like we’re really a team, and I am so grateful for that! More on this next year.
5) Pre-Thanksgiving Disney Trip
This trip definitely is on the list of favorite moments of 2021! Just before the madness of Thanksgiving kicked in, Brian, the kids, and I decided to take a long-weekend trip to Disneyland in California. Our first time there as a family! It was so fun and the kids were able to meet some of their favorite superhero characters like Black Panther and Shang-Chi (even if it was a socially distanced meet and greet, it was still fun!). This trip was just what we needed, and I’m sure it won’t be long until we are back! More details about the trip and tips on planning one coming soon!
6) The First Trip Back To The Beach
One of our first stops, when we were finally given the go-ahead to travel, was the gorgeous Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. We swam, pigged out, and met up with family we hadn’t seen in a while. It was a beautiful time, especially at a period when we all needed a break!
7) Ty Starting Swimming Lessons
I’m always proud of Ty, he tries so hard and is just such a fun kid. But I’m especially proud of a new hobby he’s taken up recently: swimming. Ty never enjoyed putting his head underwater, but recently, he started taking swimming lessons and he has progressed so much. Now, he loves going underwater, and his swimming technique is coming along really well. I am SO proud! And kind of as an aside to that… Ty used to hate flying on airplanes because of the air pressure making his ears pop. This was one reason we took a 17 hour road trip to Myrtle Beach over the summer. But that much time in the car convinced him to give airplanes a try again and he did so well!
8) Lee Lee Milestones: Potty Trained!
Lee Lee has always been a girl who paves her own path. Although she is my third child, she has been the first with many things. She may be young, but her adventurous nature and determination shine through in everything she does. This year she learned how to ride her scooter and began attending a new preschool. She was so great at using the potty at school but refused at home. Finally, the day we left on our 3-day road trip to Myrtle Beach (see number 6 and 7) she decided she wanted diapers no more, and would only wear panties. This made the drive extra exciting, and stressful but alas, she was potty trained by the time she blew out her third birthday candles. The more time that I spend with Lee Lee, the more I learn about not just her, but myself. I cannot wait to see what she achieves next.
9) Snoop Turning 14
Although our beloved Snoop is an old man now (in doggy years), we love him just as much as the first day we took him home. Snoop is so full of love for every member of our family and I just adore him. Due to his age, he’s been finding walking on our new floors (more about that below) a little tough because they are so slippy – sorry, Snoop! But we got him a fancy new doggy bed and he loves it! We’ll be adding some more rugs to help too.
10) Indoor Home Updates
Last year, you might have followed along with me on my journey to update the outdoor areas of our home like my garden and our path out back, but this year it was time to make a start on the inside.
I put on my DIY hat (and I’m not a DIYer!) to create a jungle themed room for Ty and then when Jayda cleaned out her entire room as a hint to me, we started on her Olympus/Percy Jackson themed room complete with a cloud ceiling. They absolutely adore it, and so do I.
Then came the new floors. They took a little bit of time and effort, but I am so happy with the final result!
There’s still lots to do, but we are taking our time and making sure to do it right. I can’t wait to see the finished result!
2021 has been a blessing of a year for my family and me, and I hope you can look back on your year and feel the same!
To an amazing 2022!
Got any favorite moments of 2021? Let me know in the comments!