LiLo-Top Ten Things To Be Grateful For in 2020
Happy Thanksgiving! What better day to share what I am grateful for in 2020 than today? If you are looking for beautiful, professional photos….not the place. If you are looking for a little glimpse into my life in 2020 and perhaps have a good little laugh…you are in the perfect place.
This year has been weird. Different. Challenging. Beautiful. All of the things. It certainly didn’t look like I thought it would in both good and bad ways.
These are in no particular order. You can call them chaotic. Just like 2020. Also….this post will not win any grammar awards (don’t @ me…it got done).
We started our basement remodel in February. Just in time for the world to shut down. Thankfully Home Depot was open! We spent 6+ months finishing our basement and making it into a bathroom, laundry room, kid hangout, and a bedroom for Tanner. It was challenging, but also a lot of fun and a great learning experience. I now know how to wire lights, frame a wall, and SO MUCH MORE! Thanks to my dad who designed it, budgeted it, went to Home Depot 1000 times and imparted his wisdom on us. This couldn’t have come at a better time now that everyone is distance learning and needed their own space. Don’t you worry….there is a full blown blog in the works for the before/during/after photos. But for now…here are a few cell phone pictures.
We had NEVER been on vacation with just the 5 of us. So we used some down time in June to take the family to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Jackson Hole. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here. It was an amazing trip and here are a few cell phone highlights.
Here are just a few things.
Makai had one swim meet, he got the job of Drum Major (even though the season was almost non-existent), he is still a straight A student at D’Evelyn, he is taking advanced classes in science and math and wants to do something with engineering. He also works for foothills and this year was promoted to Head Life Guard, continues to play guitar and plays on the church and youth worship bands. He also has a really funny TikTok account so go find him at lordmakai.
Tanner finished middle school, had his first job interview, got his first job (mom’s favorite…Sonic), opened his first bank account, got his driver’s permit, is doing well in high school, has picked up the guitar and ukulele and has a heart for Jesus that makes me so proud. He was baptized a few weeks ago and that was a LIFE highlight for me. He spent HOURS walking the neighborhood and surrounding areas with his friend (during quarantine) and has gotten into health and fitness. He is one of the kindest souls I have ever met.
Jameson finished elementary school and has moved on to middle school. A bit tricky in the midst of a pandemic but he is sticking with it! He is a snuggler and we have nicknamed him “the international man of leisure” as he spends 24/7 in comfy clothes, loves to lounge and would spend the entire day in the bath or shower if we let him. He is most likely to become a YouTuber as he spends a lot of time watching YouTube. Thankfully he counteracts that with a love for reading and constantly has a book out. He is also enjoying middle school youth group and has the curly, luscious locks that everyone is jealous of. He and Tanner also both got braces this year!
Chris and I celebrated 21 years of marriage. We are thankful for each other and that we both have jobs that have been challenging and fun! Chris is still working as a project manager for a local architect. It has been a busy and somewhat stressful year as they never shut down and are having to navigate shortages, working with city officials while in a pandemic and many other things. He also still loves to help lead worship and keeps us all laughing (see below).
We are so lucky in that we have so many friends. This was especially helpful this year as our best friends all live within a few blocks of us so we didn’t even have to drive to see each other. The ladies walked most days of the week during quarantine and that kept me sane. We also got away a few times to the mountains and spent Sunday nights at the pool (thank goodness for reservations at the pool). Grateful doesn’t even begin to express how I feel about them. We even did a fun scavenger hunt downtown for my birthday this year. Probably one of my favorite birthdays ever. We also can’t forget our life group, family and the friends we have had for years!
We were forced to do things differently this year. We had to go online for school, church, and pretty much everything! For Easter we did a sunrise service with the neighbors. We just about froze to death, but watching the sun come up on Easter morning and worshipping God in the street was a life highlight for sure. We have learned to be flexible and I have LOVED having my people home more often. The kids have worked on their music and learned new talents. I became the communication director at our church (in February) and that led to learning all sorts of new things. Google became my best friend. I learned video editing, new software, mailchimp, branding, re-naming a church, designing shirts, social media strategies, graphic design and SO MUCH MORE. It was a rough year in that I worked WAY more than I ever had before and in September I decided I needed to step away from that job so I could spend more time with my family and focus once again on my business. It was a tough decision but I am so thankful for all I learned while I was there.
Here is a video I made for Easter. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours this took me.
In early April, my sister asked me to make a yard sign to help celebrate her son who was a 2020 graduate. I designed it for her and she posted it and it went VIRAL. In April and May I designed and printed (via a local printer) almost 600 yard signs. Some nights I worked until 3 or 4 in the morning to meet the demand. It was something I didn’t see coming and it was a huge blessing for us financially. I loved driving around town seeing my signs in yards. I am still doing them and will ramp it up again in the spring, so if you know someone with a 2021 graduate I would love to help! I was also able to do some cap and gown mini sessions and I still had so many faithful clients who hired me for pictures this year. I am so grateful. Also I am incredibly thankful for friends who know my love language and brought me Dr. Pepper while I was in the throws of working 18 hour days.
Another unexpected blessing this year is that because everything is online it is forever recorded. This was particularly helpful when my husband made a REALLY funny mistake at church when he was leading worship. My husband (and his whole family) are famous for switching words around. Meaning you take the first letters of the words and flip flop them. Apparently he does it way too often and he did it by mistake at church. The line was supposed to say “So why does my heart fear”. But he sang “So why does my fart hear”. And now it is forever memorialized. You guys. I still laugh at this every time. In fact, I still laugh until I cry sometimes. This video went viral and has been viewed by half a million people. The guy who wrote the song even shared it! If you haven’t seen it…..here you go. You’re welcome.
And if that isn’t good enough….a friend made it in slow motion. Just take a peek at Chris’ face right after he sings it as if he were saying “Did I just say what I think I just said”. Go watch it….you won’t be sorry.
I am working on a 2020 highlight video that will be coming out next month so stay tuned for that! Thanks for following along. I am grateful for all of you!