10 Best... Things About 2021

2020 was hands down the worst year of my life, for the obvious pandemic reasons, and ones that I'm not going to relive here. When I look back I don't know how I had the emotional energy to teach, be the best mom I could be during a pandemic, and still try to have some sort of life of my own. Needless to say, the bar was set pretty low for 2021- it just needed to be better. And it was. Perfect? Definitely not! My job transitioned from completely virtual to hybrid (hiflex?) to a full return. Sawyer went through similar transitions and also had to start at a new before/after school center this fall. Lots of change with plenty of bumps along the way. But, still, it was a much better year. 

So, here are the best ten parts:

1. Sawyer and I got to fully go back to school- Yes, it caused a lot of stress, but it's better for both of us! I love hearing stories about what he does in class and about his new friends. I am so much happier back in the classroom and am so thankful I had the same students this year that I did last- it's like a do over!

2. My husband started a new job- Early in the year my husband got a new job that has worked our really well for us all. 

3. One sister got married, one engaged, and my brother and his wife had a baby- I am so, so, so happy and excited that so many good things have happened for my siblings this year! It has been so wonderful seeing them experience so many happy life events. They all deserve the best. 

4. Vaccinations for the whole family- Three for Scott and I each, two for the little guy. Yay science! I must admit that Sawyer's was a little anticlimactic in the light of Omicron, but still, it's going to prevent severe sickness in the case that he does get the virus, so I'm incredibly thankful for that. 

5. Sawyer and I went to Lake Tahoe- I didn't anticipate going on a trip this year, but there was a window in July where I could make it work and off we went! The place we stayed was perfect, we hiked over thirty miles in three days, and it felt like old times. I will say that I think I reached my threshold on hours I'm willing to spend driving in one day, though- I think nine is my max. Sawyer does great in the car, but that's a lot of time sitting in one seat for me. 

6. A new president- Need I say more? 

7. I paid off my student loans- I know if I would have waited several months I could have gotten some of them taken care of, but at the time I didn't know, and, honestly, I wanted that monthly payment gone. I was completely responsible for paying for my BA, teaching credentials, and Master's, so this felt like an accomplishment. 

8. Sawyer learned to swim- Speaking of accomplishments, this was a huge one. Sawyer has always loved to play in the pool, but as been terrified of the notion of actually swimming. It was never a negotiable item, though, since we have a pool and was an issue of safety. I swore this was going to be the summer and gave him the choice of working with me daily or dropping him off with a stranger for lessons. He opted for Mom's Swimming School, so I made a list of skills that seemed like a reasonable progression to me and we spent ten or so minutes a day on it. By the end of the summer, after of tears (from us both, haha) he was a little fish. 

9. So much time with friends and family- After feeling so isolated and sick of Zooming in 2020 I was thrilled to spend so much time with loved ones this year. My mom came to visit several times, my sister came to stay with us during the spring to help with Sawyer while we all navigated our new schedules, and I see friends all of the time now. We are still super conscious about Covid, though, and do most of our visits outside, but I feel like we know how to minimize risk and still me social. 

10. Reentrance into the world- I know, this sounds dramatic, but this is how it feels! This year we went to Yosemite, Disneyland, Knott's, the Zoos, the beach, some museums, Modesto to see family, and other places. Sawyer has gotten to go to birthday parties, see friends, and have park dates. I am working on my yearly photo book while writing this post and I love that we were back out there again. Things weren't the same, and there are lots of masks, but we're doing it. 

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