2021. It felt like a drawn out sequel to 2020 and left us missing 2019 with a deep ache. The Spring was blessed and beautiful with many gifts, but the fall was hard and heartbreaking.
We know in life we must stay in the present and look to the future, but with illness, suffered losses, new fears unearthed and old ones exposed, our fall + winter stretched us and wore us down quite a bit.
We are entering 2022 with a deeper faith, a higher appreciation for family, love, togetherness and life's beautiful moments. God was good through it all (isn't He always?) and showed us miracles both great and small that we will never forget.
I shared a bit on social media, but I'm finally sharing a real and raw recap of the highs (and lows) of our 2021 year and some of our favorite photos. I also am looking forward to 2022 with big visions and my word for 2022 - one that isn't about me but puts it all in His hands. As it always should be.
We entered 2021 hopeful and optimistic with a darling two-month old daughter and 4 year old son. We rang in the new year at home with our mother-in-law who renovated our farmhouse alongside us and lived with us. We took the kids to the zoo and played outside many days. It was a beautiful start to the year.
More outdoor adventures and Valentine's Day parties with friends. The newborn phase was so, so kind to us and my hormone and physical health felt incredible. I basked in the glow of that joy and I'll never forget that redemptive time in my life.
Lexi Kate turned four months old and Grey was now four and a half. Days were spent with close friends and lots of recipe creation at home with my little side kick, Grey.
In April we enjoyed a beautiful Easter with family. My sister-in-law hosted a Easter egg hunt and dinner. Doug bought Grey his first real worms to play with at the camp store. Lexi learned to eat real food and sit in a big girl high chair and we bought our first RV AND took our first trip in it to Lake Pleasant. Grey also graduated Pre-K and we had such a fun party for him at Luci's at the Orchard with our closest family and friends and it was a PERFECT day. Spring 2021 was a highlight for sure!
Miss Lexi turned 6 months old and we had a little party for her with cupcakes - which looking back I'm SO glad we did because my Mother In Law wouldn't be at her first birthday. Grey also started Kindergarten early, on May 30th because we just couldn't wait for fall! YAY for homeschool.
My 37th birthday and lots of adventures. I hosted a girls brunch for my birthday that was sweet, simple and so special. We visited LoLoMai Springs for 5 days and it was exceptionally beautiful and WeKoPa Resort in Fountain Hills hosted us for four days again. We enjoyed lots of yummy food and pool time.
We hosted a fun BBQ party for the fourth of July and everyone was so festive! It was a great way to break up the crazy hot summer. We took another trip in our RV up to Williams and enjoyed Route 66, Bearizona and our campsite. And we surprised Grey for his birthday early with a trip to DISNEYLAND! We took our niece Jillian along with us again - and it was Lexi's first trip to Disney! It was pretty perfect. So thankful we decided to do that trip.
Grey turned FIVE and it was his golden birthday! We had a fun Minecraft themed party with some of his best friends and our family.
In September Grey, Lexi and I joined a women's bible study with such a great group of women and Doug and celebrated ten wonderful, God blessed years married. We had dinner and dessert at home as a family. We ended up with the virus this month and things got scary for a while. Doug was quarantined away from us for two weeks and he got really sick. Thankful for the doctors who used a protocol to keep him here with us and ALL of God's miracles those couple of weeks. We also saw our friends be the hands and feet of Jesus for us and I will never forget how they helped me make it through some of those days. Being reunited with Doug after those 2 weeks showed us what we needed and what was truly important.
In October we unfortunately lost our sweet mother-in-law Sandi to the virus and my mom went into the ICU. It was a hard, sad time. We tried to keep the holidays festive for the kids - as Grey was grieving alongside us. For Halloween we took them trick or treating and decorated a spooky gingerbread house. We also found a local Police and Fire festival - which made his whole month. It was good to find pockets of joy where we could find them. The highlight was our sweet Lexi turning ONE. It was bittersweet as we couldn't give her a party or have our moms see her turn ONE but we made it as beautiful and special as we could for our darling girl with a day at the park, pizza, cake and a Peter Rabbit party at home.
In November my sister-in-law hosted a beautiful Thanksgiving at her home and it was the first official big holiday without Sandi. We felt her presence missing. We also did a balloon send off to heaven for her birthday and we held a beautiful memorial service at our church for her. We also decided to decorate the house for Christmas on November 1st because #joyseeking.
Another sad loss came with the sudden and terrible loss of our miniature schnauzer Charlie. He developed a rapidly spreading cancer that took him within hours of him going to the hospital. Our hearts needed to just lean into Jesus and the magic of the Christmas season to heal and breathe and seek joy. Christmas with our babies will always hold some of the most special memories throughout our lifetime. We went over the top to bless them this year. We made gingerbread houses, saw lights, showered them with love and gifts and magical moments. We also took off to the beach for a week and visited Sea World and Balboa Park. Although it was cold, it was perfect.
As I look back over the year - I can see all of God's mercies and his beautiful blessings and grace for us. He gave us miracle moments and provided in so many ways for us.
2021 may have had it's hard but it also had so much beautiful. And that's what I'm looking forward to in 2022. No matter what God has in our story this year - I'll continue to look for, and celebrate, the beautiful. If we've learned anything its that. To not take anything for granted. Don't take it all too seriously. Just LOVE, LAUGH, and LIVE.
In tradition of sharing my word of the year, its simply GOD. Letting Him lead. Everyday.
Friends, what were your highlights of 2021? Do you have a word for this year? Would love to have you share in the comments below!
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately.
As my mom tribe grows, I long to serve them and give back to them as they lift me up daily and encourage me to be the best mama I can be to Grey. This in turn got me thinking about the best ways to give back to them – whether that be through gift giving, spending one on one time with them without the littles or just speaking words of encouragement into their hearts...
I can honestly say, that one of the most beautiful things I've been able to witness in this life is the relationship between my husband and our son.
As Grey gets older he looks more and more to Mr. Charming, not only as his best buddy (my husband can get our little guy to laugh like no one else can), but as a sense of comfort. Watching him snuggle his daddy in the mornings, and kick his little legs when he hears him come in the door after work, makes my heart burst with joy.
These special pockets of time got me thinking about the concept of quality time and how we can best use the hours we have as a family of three.
As a self-proclaimed "attachment mama", many of Grey's early months were spent nursing on me, being worn by me or sleeping with me. I definitely wanted to make sure he got special one on one time to bond with my husband as well, and as he's gotten older and no longer in the newborn stage, its been fun to see their relationship blossom. My husband takes bath time most nights while I work and he also shares in feeding Grey dinner.
I've started to take on clients and go to events alone as well, which allows them time to head to the camping store or play with the pups at home. They are even trying to work out the nap time deal without mama present. (This scenario is still taking work, haha)
My darling husband is such a supportive, patient, hands on parent that I wanted to celebrate him and thank him in a beautiful way. JORD's new watch line for men offers gorgeous detailed timepieces that compliment not only my husbands fashion style, but his lifestyle as well. With a little guy who likes to get his hands on everything, the smooth Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood finish of this Conway Series piece allows Grey to explore daddy's new gift in the hands-on manner that seven months old live for.
When it comes to making the most of our time, we are starting to plan more travel adventures for this Spring and Summer. So far we have Sedona, AZ, Seattle, WA, Anaheim, CA, Orlando, FL and Palm, Desert, CA on the agenda.
We know that Grey won't remember these trips when he's grown, but allowing him to explore more of our country's sights, sounds, tastes and smells will allow him to grow and expand his little mind. Which is invaluable at such an impressionable time in his life.
It's also helpful for my hubs to have a reliable watch when changing time zones so frequently.
In celebration of hands-on dads who put in time to make the most of their relationships and time with their littes, I have partnered with JORD to give away one CONWAY Series men's watch (valued up to $250).
The contest will run until 4/9/2017 when a winner will be chosen.
All entrants who do not win will receive a consolation gift card code to use towards a purchase of a watch. You can also find a coupon code to receive 15% your purchase of any CONWAY Series wrist watch below.
I'm excited to share the memories these two make together and I adore finding new ways to spoil my husband and show him that he is so appreciated for the commitment he's made, and continues to make, to our little family. I knew he was always a great friend, a devoted partner and a respectable, loving husband, but seeing him as a father has caused me to fall more in love with him than I ever thought possible.
If you're looking for a special way to show the man or woman in your life just how appreciated they are, a JORD watch is a classic and cherished gift that not only stands for quality, but it is a gift that can be passed down and held onto for generations. It's important not only to invest in the relationships in our lives, but in the material things we choose to make part of our daily routines and memories.
For more on JORD:
The CONWAY Series Watch Mr. Charming is wearing in Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood
A special coupon code for Nosh and Nurture readers to save 15%: Enter j17noshandnurture15aa upon checkout.
This weekend has been absolutely blissful. Sure we had a lot of organizing and cleaning to do to continue to prepare for Baby P's arrival and I had a lot of seminar prep to finish, but the in between moments were celebrated with my husband and his side of the family for Mother's Day.
My first official Mother's Day.
I know some women don't celebrate their "first" until their little one is here. But year after year I've waiting to celebrate being a mom and so today, as this little life swims and kicks around inside me I celebrate my bond that's already growing between her or him and I.
I've started to feel some of the uncomfortableness I believe is imminent with the third trimester, so I haven't gotten dolled up in a while. I was SO EXCITED to go out to dinner last night with the whole family and get dressed up for me and Mr. Charming.
Dining at a nice steakhouse, we all exchanged cards and gifts and we gifted my mother-in-law one of baby's sonogram photos in a special frame. Not leaving the restaurant until nearly 10, we all got a chance to catch up and talk baby's and the baby shower and birth and it was so lovely.
Today, on Mother's Day morning Mr. Charming and I woke up early and he treated me to gluten-free pancakes, eggs and sausage. Heart shaped pancakes. Total swoon. This man is too good to me.
And I may or may not have eaten four of them. Because. Mother's Day.
After breakfast he gave me the sweetest card with messages from him, the baby and of course our fur babies, Charlie + Princeton - who even signed with paw prints, haha.
Then he told me I needed to open my gift outside.
My guesses were, doves in a bag that needed to fly free. Or a miniature telescope. It was neither of those things. It was so much better and very much unexpected. It was a beautiful Tennis Bracelet.
Those who are close to me know I don't splurge on fancy jewelry or purses or shoes. Like, ever. Unless it's a gift, I'm Charming Charlie all the way, haha. But this was so special and such a perfect and beautiful way to commemorate my first Mother's Day. Along with my engagement ring and wedding bands, this is the most beautiful piece of jewelry I've ever received. Again. So good to me. I'm going to have to step it up and do something epic for Father's Day.
So, any advice from seasoned wives, throw me your best ideas! ;) haha.
Wishing you all a blessed & beautiful Mother's Day! How did you spend your day? Share with me below how you spent your day!