It’s nearly over. We’ve almost seen the back of 2020. And although this crazy year has thrown surprise after surprise at us, there were still plenty of moments of magic.
Cherish365 is all about appreciating each and every day and not missing the powerful moments as they pass you by. You can still experience gratitude through the hard times. It’s not meant to cancel out the pain. When I flick through my photo album on my phone or reread the blogs I’ve written this year, I’ve come to realize something. Even in a pandemic – 2020 hosted some remarkable achievements. And I want to cherish them!
So, here are my top 10 favorite moments of 2020 that made me happy this year:
January 2020 – Going to Disneyland with My Mom
Wow, January 2020 feels like a lifetime ago, but there’s one memory that still sticks clearly in my mind. I could happily relive the emotions I felt when I took my mom to Disneyland for the first time! My mom has been a Star Wars fan her whole life, and the reason I became a fan as well. There was no other person I’d rather experience a trip to Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge with than her.
It was such an amazing trip. I’ve always loved Disney, but it felt brand new seeing it through her eyes for the first time. For Christmas last year, we had surprised her with a galactic getaway! And we were both counting down the days until her first trip to Disneyland – and first Disney trip in over a decade. It was so fun being kid-free with my mama and running around the park like two hyper tweens. No diapers, no kid snacks, no whining (just a little nausea).
March 2020 – Jayda Winning the NCA Cheer Competition Gold
Before the pandemic, I watched my daughter and her team take the stage at one of the world’s largest cheer competitions and it was definitely one of my favorite moments of 2020. They performed better than I’d ever seen before.
I can’t tell you how many times I’d heard her say, “I want that jacket.” It was great being able to reassure her. To say to her that coming up against the opponents that had taken the top spot in 2019 was a good thing. Your toughest competition pushes you to do your best.
Even before her team clinched the victory, I knew that this was a key moment in her childhood. I’d never seen her so driven and passionate before. Win or no win, she and her team had come such a long way. I was so proud of their hard work and dedication!
March 2020 – Quarantine Got Us Doing What?
I can’t make this list and not mention all of the random memories I’ll have of quarantine. In a decade, I’ll hope we’ll all laugh about the banana bread baking phase we all went through or when we tried to cut our own hair. And speaking of laughing, I’d have been lost without the hilarious content from late-night show hosts like Jimmy Fallon and James Corden. People were isolated, but it was a unique time where we came together virtually. Thanks to the internet, we were sharing our experiences all the time. We quickly – and forgive me for finishing with such an overused phrase – learned we would ‘get through this together.’
April 2020 – Ty Gets A Snake
It’s important that my kids know if they have a passion, goal, or dream, they can work hard to achieve it. Ty has been passionate about snakes for a long time. He’s so knowledgeable about all things animals. I wanted him to know how bright he is, how uniquely talented and caring he is. So the pair of us completed a snake-handling lesson. A week later, Ty was the proud owner of a slithery reptile.
I’ll never forget the smile on his face when the snake handler complemented Ty on his animal knowledge. “He said I was so smart!” Yes, you are my sweet child.
I never thought we’d have a pet snake, but I’m happy to support my kids in their passions and Ty loves it.
June 2020: Artivism for Black Lives Matter
I’ve been incredibly touched by the fantastic work of Black Lives Matter artists. Many people see division in 2020, but for me, when I look back, I picture us healing the divides and coming together as a nation.
The important thing is that issues like race are finally being talked about. We’re getting uncomfortable and learning about one another. For the first time in my life, I am regularly meeting people who have a genuine concern for other communities. People who are willing to say, I’m not informed enough to make a decision on this issue, but I want to understand what life would be like in your shoes rather than mine.
So many people are trying to become more educated and empathetic. And I think that’s beautiful.
July 2020 – Hamilton Comes to Disney+ Early
Halfway through the year, Disney+ members were treated to a fantastic surprise and it makes the list for my favorite moments of 2020. Three months prior, Disney announced that it was preparing the release of Hamilton for October 2021. With theater lovers unsure as to when the musical will next run as a live show, this was excellent news that they were releasing it early!
So many of us were feeling blue in June and July. Lockdown had jumped from uncertainty to a tragic reality. Many of us were unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So to be able to stream Hamilton from my living room was a brilliant pick-me-up.
And what I say of the musical itself that hasn’t already been said before? It breaks down barriers, transcends genres, and a diverse cast of young black, Asian, Latino, and mixed-race actors portraying the old white founding fathers and their cohorts is a brilliantly powerful message. Plus, who doesn’t love the rap battles in Congress?
September 2020 – Lee Lee Starts Nature School
After showing up for your first day of school only to find school was canceled due to COVID, you wait a few days and try again. What could be more 2020?
Schooling for Lee Lee has been such a difficult decision for my husband and me. We were committed to virtual schooling, then in-person school, then homeschooling, then a combination of all three.
After a two-year break from homeschooling, we are back at it with Jayda and Ty. But Lee Lee’s age made that task a little tricky. Instead, we found her a beautiful nature preschool, which she goes to a few days a week, complete with chickens, goats, and a little farm.
It’s honestly so perfect and seeing her smile made my September.
November 2020 – Record-breaking Election
Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum I think it’s inspiring it is to see history made. As a Black woman with mixed-raced children – to see Kamala Harris becoming the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president-elect, we’re living in historical days. The American dream is incredible. Just as things look down, it reminds you it’s still there and burns brighter than ever before.
A glass ceiling has been shattered. And on top of that, a turnout of epic proportions in the middle of a global pandemic. Roughly 160 million people cast a ballot in 2020. I’m so proud to call myself an American.
December 2020 – Pixar’s Soul is the Perfect Black Role Model
There hadn’t been a new Disney movie I anticipated this much in years. Soul is the first Pixar film featuring a black main character. It may seem like such a small decision, but for my three kids to see a movie character who had the same skin tones as them be warm, funny, talented, and determined meant so much to me. I think it’ll mean so much to them too. Even if they haven’t realized it just yet.
Want to know more about Soul and why this is one of my favorite moments of 2020? You can read mine and my kid’s movie review of Soul by clicking here.
December 2020 – House Paid in Full
Paying off our mortgage. Honestly, I still get goosebumps typing this. We’re in this fantastic position as a family where there are no scary loans or debts hanging over us. And this was something me and my husband did all by ourselves. It was our savings and sacrifices. We didn’t win the lottery or claim the inheritance of a lost relative. We just did the simple things right.
Less than $100. That’s how much I had in my bank account when we tied the knot. And now I have a dream house to share with my family. Want to learn more about how we paid off our mortgage in our 30s? Click here.
So even in a pandemic, it has been a crazy ride but 2020 wasn’t without it’s highlights. What were your favorite moments of 2020? I’d love to know!