Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 in Review

I'm never here anymore and then boom, three posts in one week! Oh 2021, it's been a journey , that's for sure! Honestly, I thought we'd be further along the pandemic in December of this year. There is a light at the end of the tunnel but boy, has it been a long tunnel.

For starters, 2021 saw all four of us getting vaccinated, one partially and two boosted. Rapid tests are being used and we've had a couple stay at home situations due to each kid having to quarantine from a possible exposure. We had multiple bouts of school from home. We postponed travel plans once again but at least we were able to see my parents, D's brother and his family, his aunt and cousins. Hopefully 2022 will have us seeing some more family. 

We are still very happy in our home... six years in. We continued with some smaller renos like chopping some trees to fix the sight line from the house, fixing in-floor heating and completing more backyard work. We also are biting the bullet in early (hopefully 2022) with changing flooring, a fireplace and some cabinetry.... It will require us moving out for a week! Hopefully, that's all. We are still very grateful for the beautiful neighbourhood we live in with our  happy "hours", music get togethers, walks and treats shared. We did our very own seafood boil and a chef party for the first time this year. 

C is now in the seventh grade and in a new school... She misses her old teacher but she is doing pretty well with the academics. There are some ups and downs with her peer group and we struggle to help her navigate it. She moved up to yet another level in competitive swim which involves some 5:45 am practices and taking her out of school early. The better your kid becomes at a sport, the more inconvenient they make it for the parents.  She is also still loving her violin and this year was accepted into the City Youth Orchestra.... now she is forced to practice, ha! 

A also switched schools and once again, this kid surprised me with her aplomb. She has found her own little tribe and according to her teachers she is so "zen" in class.... a far cry from her at home dramatic antics.   She is the best little organiser, loves writing out routines, plans and schedules and will someday rule something big... j/k... maybe! She had a rough health year with some unexplained tummy pain. She tested positive for celiac so we cut gluten out of her diet (and largely the rest of ours). We also had to put her on a low FODMAP diet as she may have IBS. It seems to have settled a bit but we will be doing further testing in 2022. She started back gymnastics and dance this year and still plays the piano with immense concentration. 

D is still working 3 out of 5 days from home. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing as he sometimes can't switch off. He is the most prolific binge watcher, loves playing with Toby and enjoys wiping counter tops and vacuuming-- ha! 

Toby is now almost a year and a half. He is still obsessed with A's stuffies, cheese and snuggling me. He is very social and loves both humans and other dogs!  I did some puppy training with him this year and with D's constant training, he was the star student in his class.  He is such an incredible blessing to us all. 

It's been an up and down year for me... Supervising online schooling was not my thing and it was a very worrisome year with A's health issues. I really struggled. Starting back in the corporate world in November though challenging has also been a blessing. The kids seem alright, it's fun to exercise my brain fully once more and it just seemed like the right thing for us all. I can't wait to immerse myself more in the role in 2022. 

We did manage to do a couple much needed Ontario getaways this summer. We went to Blue Mountain for some family fun and then right before school started headed to Picton with some family. Both were awesome little trips and time away. 

Despite all of the tribulations that 2021 brought, we are grateful for the blessings and kindnesses of so many friends and family members. You know who you are and you mean a whole lot!! I am  also grateful for honesty. Parents and friends in my tribe more than ever began to share stories of their own personal struggles and it's nice to know that we aren't alone in our parenting and life issues.

I hope that 2022 brings some more normalcy to us all. I hope to see more family members and travel just a bit more. D has to see his parents!! 

And to my readers and beautiful blog friends, I know I haven't been a consistent blogger AT ALL  this year but I thank you for reading and commenting when I do blog. Istarted to feel that my girls' stories were to not mine to tell anymore but then C told me to start back as it's fun to read...  who knows what 2022 will bring, blogging or otherwise!

Happy 2022, friends!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

10 Questions at the end of 2021

For the last couple years, I've started to do the questions for the end of the year from Laura's podcast and prompts... it's become an end of year tradition that is a nice way to say farewell to the year 

1- What was it like in the beginning?
In the beginning, it was scary. Christmas was quiet and beautiful though we missed family and friends immensely. COVID numbers skyrocketed after the holidays and the kids were home. A's teacher (and also A TBH)  at the time wasn't the best at online schooling so parent involvement was pretty high. It was rough, friends and I'm owning it. There's a reason I didn't go into teaching LOL. 
Despite it all though, it was a coziness and a beauty to this season. It was cold outside and we hunkered down as a family. We cooked, watched movies, did "online sleepovers" and lots of virtual happy hours :-). 

2- What worked well and what didn't? 
I let go of a lot of things re: screen time ... I was winding myself up about lots of things with the kids and their online schooling, their screen time and all the things involved with us all being at home. I'm now choosing the things that matter to me more than before....let's see how that's working come 2022

3- What were the most important conversations and connections?
Someone close to me mentioned that she tries to only worry about the things that she has actual control over... it's something that I'm really trying my best to adhere to going forward. Coincidentally, this person who I've been close to for many years is possibly the most important connection I've had for 2021... more on that later. 

4- What was the best entertainment?
The thing that comes to mind is our Modern Family Netflix watching all year round.... It's become awesome bonding for me and the girls many weekday nights. 

5- Who mattered?
Everyone! It was nice to start getting together with our nearest and dearest slowly as the summer began and we all began to get vaccinated.

6- What Changed? And Why?
I started working full time in the corporate world once more... What started off as contract job a favour to my friend and old manager became a blessing for me. I threw my hat in the ring for the Brand Manager position and after meeting/interviewing with several key individuals at the company, got the job. It's been such a change for us all, at times overwhelming, at times crazy, at times fun but I LOVE IT! 

7- Where did you find happiness and fulfillment?
I am finding LOTS of happiness and fulfillment going back into Marketing Management. I work with a Canadian Candy company and it's such a fun industry to understand, take ownership of and grow in... It's awesome interacting with colleagues on a personal level as well and it's an awesome organisation... If you're Canadian and you know Bearpaws then you know where I work. The people are very kind and helpful, the organisational culture is phenomenal and it's still work from home -- so I can wear joggers and no shoes, ha! When I do have to go into the office, it's six minutes away :-). Oh and my kids think that my job is the coolest as they get to sample Candy and learn industry terms like long bite and short bite. 

8- What did you actually learn?
That parenting a pre-teen girl is hard and I need to be less reactive and take things less personally :-). 

9- What is actually ending?
It's a big change for us for me to go back full time into the corporate world. The reason I left in 2013 was because of the kids. Mom doing so many things had to stop. Kids have to become more self sufficient and not yell if Mom is in a meeting, ha! D had to step up (and willingly did) with all the many drop offs; grocery shopping  and extra curricular.

10- What do you want more of?
I want good quality family time, kindness and laughter... less screens apart and more together :-). Road trips, little adventures and visits ... And I really, really want to see family in 2022, our parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. 

What about you, friends and family? What beautiful things did you learn in 2021. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry everything and happy always!

It’s been such a long while but I just want to pop in to a little space and wish everyone the most festive of holiday seasons. May health, peace and love be yours always. 


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