Friday, January 1, 2021

My 2020 Top Ten Moments

It's hard to believe 2020 is over. What started as a brand new decade, filled with hope and excitement, quickly turned into one of the strangest years I've been through. I experienced stay-at-home orders, protests, and illness, but also had some of the best moments I could have asked for. I spent time this week reflecting over the past twelve months, reminiscing about the times that made this year special. My top ten moments of 2020 are below! It was a wild year, but a grateful one.


1. FRIENDSHIPS GROWING
The biggest blessing that's come out of this year is my friendship with these ladies. We found a way to create our own little pod, spending time with each other in unique ways throughout the year. We visited rooftop bars, outdoor restaurants, had game nights and potlucks, went on the lake, and used our group chat constantly. They quickly turned into my Chicago family and I am so grateful for them.
 
2. QUALITY FAMILY TIME
This was also the year I spent the most time with my sister since we lived together in 2017. There was her bachelorette party in January, bridal shower and wedding in February, a trip to Charleston in June, two visits from her in September and October, and a week spent together in December. It was the absolute best. Along with my sister, I also spent quality time with my parents with weekend visits and week-long stays throughout the year.

3. ALL THE PUP SNUGGLES
Since I saw my parents so often, I also got to see my dogs a lot. They're getting older (12 and 13), so having this time with them is so special. Kinchie and Whinnie are the best little pups in the world and I loved having all this extra time with them.

4. A (RELATIVELY) HEALTHY YEAR
The first three months started off kind of rocky with illness. I had sinus infections in both January and February, and then was incredibly ill in March. I ended up with a sinus infection, strep throat, a crazy cough, and the flu. (It was early in the year, so I wasn't tested for Covid, but it was most likely the virus.) Once I got past those first months, I had a really healthy year. I adjusted my thyroid meds in August, which helped immensely with the way I was feeling. I also started an experiment where I didn't take my gastroparesis pills before eating and it's gone really well! I'm hopeful that 2021 will continue in good health.

5. EXCITING WORK PROJECTS
This was such an intense work year! I am so unbelievable grateful to still have my job and throughout everything, was still given new projects and challenges to tackle. I was put on two global projects, which I was recognized for, as well as completed early career/university recruiting in a new virtual format. It was a challenging year transitioning to working-from-home, but a very rewarding one, as well.

6. PRE-WEDDING FESTIVITIES
My sister was married this year, which meant lots of fun activities before the wedding! In January, we headed to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a weekend in the mountains. We went wine and moonshine tasting, dancing, played games at the cabin, and celebrated the bride-to-be. Then in February, my mom and I threw her a bridal shower at my parents' house. It was a tea party theme, so we had a selection of teas, sandwiches, desserts, and the cutest tea-themed cookies.

7. BETHANY & KENNETH'S WEDDING
At the end of February, my sister and Kenneth finally got married! They had a beautiful day in downtown Charleston, surrounded by family and friends. It was one of the coldest days they'd had in years, but it was magical. It was a highlight of the year officially welcoming Kenneth into the family and celebrating their marriage.

8. MY PANDEMIC DRIVE
After I returned from Charleston, I became very ill (see above), and then we went into Illinois' stay-at-home order. I had been in my home for almost a month and really needed to get out and do something. After hunting for an open Starbucks for almost an hour, I decided to just keep driving. I ended up in Indiana at their Dunes National Park just in time for the sunset. Driving and sunsets are two of my favorite things, so this little outing was exactly what I needed.

9. TRIPS TO SOUTH CAROLINA
I was lucky enough to visit South Carolina twice despite the craziness of this year. I was there for Bethany's wedding, where I also saw three of my best friends. Then in June, my whole family got together for Father's Day. I was there for almost two weeks and it was so much fun! I visited the beach, drank frosé, cuddled with my pup-nephew, and took a day trip to Hilton Head to see Betty. I'm headed back there in the New Year and I'm so excited.

10. MOVING IN TO MY NEW APARTMENT
One of the best parts of 2020 was moving into my new apartment. I moved in July and quickly felt right at home. I have the most beautiful view, lots of space, and best of all, have friends in the building. It was a strange experience moving in a pandemic, but if nothing else, I had plenty of free time to pack/unpack! ;) I absolutely love my new home and can't wait to continue making memories here.
 
I hope you had a wonderful 2020 despite the strange year we've had. It was so fun looking back through the year and finding the things I'm most grateful for - I encourage you to do the same.
 
For a full look at my year, check out my 1-Second-Everyday video here.
 
Goodbye 2020, hello 2021!

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