How does one reflect on 2020? I guess I need to begin with gratitude. Although we've struggled with isolation, jobs looking differently, and unemployment, we have been extremely fortunate. Everyone in our families is healthy and alive. I still have a job, and one with health insurance. We have still gotten to celebrate certain milestones, like graduation, and holidays with some amount of family (usually just Sam's parents/sister, with many, many precautions). We even got to celebrate a really big life step, becoming pregnant with our first child.
- Finding out we were pregnant with baby Bean on July 10!
- An incredible 2-day birthday celebration that Sam threw for me, the perfect cities date + a surprise party!
- Graduating with my Masters in Education in July
- Getting to spend a weekend with my sister & her (now) fiancee Brent before COVID lockdown
- Being back in-person teaching this fall. Nothing has felt so special. (Seeing the kids is special. Being terrified of giving/getting COVID daily is not so special.)
- Hearing the heartbeat, seeing the Ultrasounds & feeling the kicks for the first time
Favorite Quarantine Past-times:
- Morning walks on the path near our house
- Sunday baking experiments (especially bagels & pretzels!)
- Reading, reading, reading!
- Rediscovering Yoga with Adrienne
- House projects!!!
- Weekly phone calls with Holland
- Kayking in my very own inflatable kayak!
- Getting and raising 4 ridiculous chickens
- Telling my sister I'm pregnant
- Getting wedding photos taken for our 5-year anniversary
*I would also like to note that I accidentally joined 3 book clubs in 2020! One stopped reading books once quarantine hit, thankfully. so I had a little less to keep up on. I highly recommend joining Weeze's book club!
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
- Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
- How to Be Less Stupid AboutRace by Crystal Marie Fleming
- Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
- A Place for Usby Fatima Farheen Mirza
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
OOOH there were too many good ones this year! Follow me on Goodreads!
- The all-too-quick hustle to get "back to normal" in the midst of protests and calls for racial justice
- The losses so many have had this year... losing parents, children, jobs, financial stability
- Wednesday evenings & Sunday mornings with my church community, laughter, liturgy & music
- Eating, drinking, making food with friends/community
- Good sleep
Looking Forward to in 2021:
- Baby snuggles
- A new president in office!
- Getting to spend time with people outside again
- Getting Bean in the water for the first time!
My word in January for the year was "process." As in, be okay with things being in process. Be slow. Create space.
Looking back, if I were to give a word to 2019, it might be "Damn, that was kinda rough." Or something like that. 2019 hasn't been outwardly significant; I didn't graduate anything, start a new job, move, or make any other major life changes. 2019 was more like a bootcamp; in a lot of ways it kicked my butt, yet I remain hopeful that it kicked my butt for the preparation of my future. Maybe growing pains is another way to describe what I felt. Our marriage went through a lot of push and pull as we figured out how to sacrifice for one another as we try to pursue our passions. Our budget felt the strain of being homeowners as we paid for unglamorous things like a new refrigerator and garage roof. My job became a little more complicated as I navigated administrative changes and new grade level teams. I felt one of the significant pains of adulthood when three of my closest friends moved away. My brain and soul went through a good deal of rewiring as I began to go to therapy (and haven't stopped, and don't plan to). I am feeling the growing pains and the simultaneous hope as we enter into 2020. Now I want to share some of the more frivolous and bright parts of my year as well!
1. Seeing Lake Superior in Winter
2. 11 snow days & a polar vortex, complete with candles and dinner at Denny's
3. Townie bonfire on the lake
4. Cozy dinner party for my birthday
5. Goatsitting for my coworker friend!
6. Becoming somewhat social with my coworkers in general
7. Going to the local waterpark with my two favorite adventure buddies
8. My brother's wedding! And his amazing wife, Laura. And all of the booze, food, and dancing
9. Restoring our bedroom door (lime green no more!)
10. Going to my first Brewer's game at Miller Park
11. Working with a principal and staff team that seem so strong and supportive it feels like a new job!
1. Journaling nearly every morning
2. Summer yoga by the lake
3. Sunday afternoon hikes (didn't quite make it to 52... 35 is close!)
4. Restarting date night with Sam!
5. Working out after work because it brings me sanity
6. Eating intuitively, without so many "rules"
7. Becoming a few times a week patron of the library, and starting to see myself as an avid reader
8. Reading on the patio of my favorite brewery, Kombucha-ginger-ale in hand
Made me feel loved
1. My brother building us a fire pit in the backyard
2. My sister paying for my tattoo as a birthday gift... on her birthday
3. Tosha making me a Charcuterie board for my birthday
4. Lexie dropping by on her trips to Minnesota
5. Sam buying me a beautiful ceramic vase, flowers, and Justin's peanut butter cups after a hard day
6. My mom & Dan helping us reroof our garage, including days of labor, flying to WI, and helping us get supplies
7. Ann & Pops buying us dinner and having us back to their house for cards and dessert
8. The Weavers postponing Christmas because I had the flu
9. Kimmery becoming my personal trainer for the year
10. All of the weekends Emily chose to come spend with us!
11. Hikes, dinners, sleepovers, birthdays, all of the little ways the Redingers consistently do life with us.
1. Sam Weaver
2. Charlie Parr
3. Peanut Butter Falcon (Movie)
4. Rewatching the marvel cinematic universe
5. Blind Boys of Alabama with the Weavers
6. Yolus, the musical Sam was in, obviously
7. Spider-Man Far From Home (Movie)
1. Austin, TX - March (Visiting Hannah, Joel & Silas as well as Jenna & her family!)
2. Waukesha, WI - June (Visiting my long lost love, Emily)
3. Wisconsin Dells, WI - July (Mosquito-ridden camping trip)
4. Duluth, MN - July (Gabriel's bookstore with Megan!)
5. Duluth, MN - August (Anniversary trip)
6. Minneapolis, MN - August (Jordan's Bachelorette Weekend!)
7. Cascade, WI - August (A weekend at the little family cottage)
8. Alexandria, MN - October (IV Crosstraining)
Sam Gigs: Duluth, Amherst, Mankato, Duluth, Minneapolis
2. Gin & Tonics
3. Fancy toast
4. A 6 course Italian meal with the world's best ravioli
5. Lots of good tacos
6. Friday night pizza from Aldi
7. Gourdough's donuts in Austin
8. Lots of chili and cornbread
Looking Forward to in 2019
1. Graduating with my master's degree!
2. Visiting BANF with my siblings
3. Continuing to dream about what's next
4. Hopefully some snow days!
A new-ish monthly ritual, inspired by a friend of mine.
Learning the ministry of paying attention & bringing voice to the voiceless.