Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Do you like to look back on the year as it comes to a close? Are you a reflective person? I feel like I am. I had a little fun looking back on the blog and just thinking about this year in general. Loyal readers, you have been along for the ride! I had fun putting this together, but I will warn you…it is long.

What a year! I feel like I pivoted so many times! But, I did it!

January – was hard on me when the boys when back to college. I felt pretty sad. Jack moved to Mason’s dorm and that made me (and Jack) happier because of the strict no visiting other dorms Covid policy. They could now go to each others’ rooms. Jack was super scared of the virus. Mason was cautious, but not super paranoid. I felt so bad that they didn’t have a “normal” first year of college, but I appreciated the chance for them to live on campus and the efforts their college made to make the best of it.

I was teaching virtually from home and I loved not having to get out in the cold. We got a lot of snow! I did make an effort to get out of the house every day after school even if just for a library pick up, grocery pick up, etc.

Looking back, I now know that I also had a harder time because I just didn’t feel great physically. I made an effort to meet a friend for a lunch or happy hour. I remember sitting outside for safety on a few patios in January and thinking how wonderful it was, because normally restaurants close their patios in September/October and re-open them in May. We had heaters, of course. I embraced home manis and pedis. I did my 30 Bags in 30 Days decluttering challenge and I tried to be frugal after the crazy December month of spending.

February – think this was the month we found out the “plan” for returning to in person school from virtual school. There was something nice about finally having a plan, but there were lots of fears about how it would work. February 3 – I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine in the same car (masked) with my 28 year old buddy Elizabeth. Basically, the school district facilitated our vaccines to get us back to in person learning. It was a surreal experience moving up in a line of cars in the two hour total process. Luckily, we passed the time deciding who we would allow to message Elizabeth on her Hinge dating app. Fun! Afterwards we ate lunch and drank alcohol with our Tylenol.

March – meetings, meetings, meetings about going back to school (on Zoom!) and on March 3rd, I got my second dose at Walgreen’s because my school district lost my appointment for the mass vaccination clinic. The joke was on them because Walgreen’s was a very quick process. I took Tylenol again and was fine. Jack and Mason got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on campus! My sister visited for her spring break! My back was killing me and I remember going in to set up my room and having back spasms. I also wondered about what I would wear for pants and what I would wear in general after really not needing my teacher wear for so long! Mason was in a play that was live streamed, sadly; they didn’t allow anyone to come see it in person.

Watching Mason livestreamed in the play Proof

April – Spring Break where I worked and had meetings for too much of my time because we were headed back to school right after the break. April 8th is a big date for me because I decided to change my life through my diet – on my own, but by using a zero points WW list I found on Pinterest. (I didn’t tell my blog friends until July 13 because I was scared of failing.) I returned to in person teaching but it was super weird with some kids coming Monday and Tuesday and some on Thursday and Friday. I repeated lessons so much, because you taught each lesson twice for Group A and Group B. Classes were so small and the dynamic wasn’t there. It was good to see my colleagues again and be in the school. I also challenged myself to wear 32 different outfits for the 32 school days. Erica and I started walking a couple of days after school. Jack and Mason got their second dose of the vaccine before moving home and the change in Jack after the 2 week period was wonderful. He had been so scared of the virus. We talked a lot about how it had affected him.

May – May 1 – I officially joined WW and the purple plan. I was so happy the boys were back in the nest! I still had a month of school left. It was really fun at the end of the month when Jack got to act again in “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot”.

June Summer Amy! I was nervous about being at home with all of the food after packing my breakfast and lunch everyday and having that structure, but I did well. I also started walking in the mornings on my own. Tom and I boated a lot and that was fun.

I had a staycation at the Omni and we used the rooftop pool. We ate dinner at Jeff Ruby’s and I rode in my first Uber!

July – We took a family trip to Nashville, continued to use our boat a lot, and to be social. Jack was in a Shakespeare training program that culminated in evening performances in the park.

We had several dinners out with friends. I think we were enjoying the new found freedom of the vaccine…until Delta came along!

We celebrated 21 years of marriage in July, too!

It has become a July tradition for my sister and brother-in-law to boat to us and we enjoyed a fun day again this year!

Getting ready to watch Jack in Shakespeare in the Park!

August – I thought I was going to have a normal school year, but Delta came on the scene. We found out we had to go back in masks and I am not going to lie – I cried. This was a hard month getting my stamina back to teach full speed. Jack and Mason moved back to campus basically on their own with no fanfare. I created a self-care syllabus for myself. It was also a good month getting to establish relationships with new students and connecting with ones from last year and/or the year before! Erica and I started doing our lunches together which was amazing.

We kept enjoying the nice weather on the weekends after school started like this outdoor concert below with our friends.

I think it really helped my students to go outside for class a few times!

September – We had our first fall break ever for teachers. It was so nice! We started up Spanish Club again and had great success and a lot of fun. I went to a few football games.

We celebrated Jack and Mason’s 19th birthday with sushi and cookie cake!

Tom and I boated to my hometown for an arts festival with a high school friend and his wife. It was a gorgeous day!

October – I threw myself a Day of the Dead themed 50th birthday party! Well, I made Tom do a lot of the work. It meant so much to have my best local friends all in one place! I kept the party small and totally outside.

I continued having a happy hour/friend meet up almost every week. I discovered a new favorite perfectly boujie place called The Champagnery.

Tom and I tailgated for the big rival UK and U of L game and then he stayed for the game.

November – I turned 50! I took the day off and for the first time ever – Tom joined me. It was really nice. We celebrated Thanksgiving with both sides of the family (with one family missing because they had Covid, sadly).

My mom treated me to a girls’ weekend a couple of weeks after my birthday, too. We had so much fun!

December – I limped across the semester finish line, did all of my Christmas shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I got my Moderna booster shot. I was happy to have the kids home from college on December 10th for almost a month! I started cooking for four again!

My dear sisters and our “wintertinis”!

A dinner and play out – the play was not great, but it was fun!

Shopping:

I used Amazon a lot, of course. I also used Target drive up quite a bit after learning how awesome it is. I continued to do consignment shopping and at the end of the year I started shopping at Loft again.

Foods/Drinks I talked about this year:

Healthier Eating recipes

Tik Tok pasta

Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken

Low Cal Margarita

Iced Coffee

Personal LIfe:

I really worked on saying Yes more! I said “yes” to my health and I said “yes” to pretty much anything social that I could do. I actually think I had a lot of fun this year. I loved my happy hours and lunches with just one friend at a time. I said no to things that didn’t fill my cup. I set boundaries for the most part that really helped me. Learning to work from home is hard and you need a quitting time. I stopped checking emails on the weekends when school started and really did follow my own rules as much as I could.

I talked about Non-Scale Victories – It can get frustrating when the scale doesn’t move much or at all! But, there are so many other ways to measure your progress.

This is MY blog and not Tom’s, Jack’s, or Mason’s. I really try not to get too much into their lives because that is not my story to tell, but…

Tom was my rock in 2021. I am so grateful to him. He is a good sport about most of the things I want to do and he is funny. You can’t tell from his non-smiling picture face, but Tom makes me laugh more than anyone else.

Jack and Mason bring me so much joy and laughter, too. I had a great year with them both together and doing things one on one. I am learning how to be a young adult parent and they make it so rewarding.

I owe so much to my friends Beth, Victoria, Elizabeth, and Erica for being available for fun and for listening to me vent! And, work would be so boring without Erica and Elizabeth!

I love my students and they added so much to my 2021, as well. They are smart, funny, and compassionate.

And, finally, my blog readers and now friends…thank you for being here in 2021. Your comments have been so supportive and encouraging.

Thank you for being part of my 2021,

Amy

25 thoughts on “2021

  1. Love this post so much! What a year! …as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a teacher, and as you! You had so much fun & did an amazing job putting yourself first. I love reading your blog. Thanks so much for being open, honest and inspirational! Happy 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you! I hope it didn’t come off as “toxic positivity” because it was a hard year, but there was good, too! I also hope it doesn’t make me sound selfish! Happy 2022 to you!

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  2. I loved your re-cap. It wasn’t too long or boring at all! Your blog is still my favorite and you are inspiring in so many ways. Hope 2022 is a great year for you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. not toxic positivity at all. i think this post reads as an interesting accounting of what life was like this past year. as i read along i found myself remembering things you talked about and thinking what a remarkable and incredibly busy year it was, even in the midst of various stages of the pandemic. i would say you had an awfully full season of life and it is satisfying to read how things came full circle in some respects. your amazing goal of getting healthy and then actually doing it was really exciting to observe. your boys and their successful freshman year and your comments about tom being your rock were heartwarming!
    here’s to 2022 and finding out what comes next!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita, you are an encouraging blog friend! Thank you! I think I will appreciate having written my thoughts while it’s fresh. I did have a very full season of life and I know it’s not good to be prideful but I am proud of some of my accomplishments and I think everyone should be proud of what they weathered!

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    1. Thank you, Tanya. I am sure you can relate to much of it with similarly aged kids. I try to keep it real and sometimes that may mean me being a Debbie Downer and sometimes I may come off as a Pollyanna. Wow I am old for using those terms, right? Ha! Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  4. This is such a sweet post to look back on, I’m sure.

    I rarely do recaps like this.
    I’m so sorry for all the high school kids/college kids who are missing chunks of their most formative years right now. Can you imagine if that had happened when we were in school? Ugh.

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    1. It was really fun to reflect on the year. I don’t think I have ever done this before, but I’m glad I did it this year.
      I am, too. I don’t claim to have all of the answers but we need to keep them in school and take off the damn masks – soon.

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  5. Happy 2022! Here’s hoping that 2022 is somewhat better then the previous 2 years. All this back and forth is RIDICULOUS! quarantine 14 days- oh wait 10 oh wait nvm now 5 if no symptoms but test positive. GOOOOOOD LORD. ok on to better things! I have thoroughly enjoyed our texting and our IG messages! You rock and I am glad to be your friend!!

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  6. Amy, this was a great look back at 2021! I love reading your blog for so many reasons. I love your fashion! I love how much fun you have with friends! I love how you love on your family! I hold on to a lot of your advice for parenting boys. It seems like you have a great relationship with your teenage boys and I hope that I can do that with my guys too. It’s so fun to see how much your students love having you as a teacher and all the cool things you do for them! Have a great 2022! I am excited to follow along!

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    1. You are so sweet to say this! We do have our struggles and sometimes I’m not proud of myself, but I do try to keep growing and becoming a better all around person. I also admire your positivity and ability to make the best of life and to have fun!

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