Thursday, December 31, 2020

To Brighter Days Ahead

No one could have predicted 2020. Not on a grand scale, and our little family couldn't have predicted what came our way either. It was not an easy year. We are grateful for our health, our employment, and our back yard. It absolutely could have been worse and we recognize that.

It could also have been a lot better.

Rather than write up all the things we're missing this year, we decided to focus on the joy this month. There is joy, and there is hope. 

Merry Christmas! - December 25, 2020

Mostly Unchanged Holiday Things

  • Elizabeth made and received ornaments through the Remembering Together Ornament Swap. It always feels good to create something for another loss family, and of course it's very special to get handmade ornaments celebrating Oberon.

  • Our Obie Xmas traditions were mostly "normal." Chris and Elizabeth took the day off work, we ate bug pancakes, we opened gifts, and we spent time together. 
Obie Xmas - December 9, 2020

  • Similarly, our big family holiday is Hogmanay, or New Year's Eve. It's also when Santa comes to see us, so it's a big deal. We made a plate for Santa and the reindeer, opened gifts, ate pancakes, watched the fireworks (remotely, and from an earlier time zone), and drank some bubbly. Happy New Year!
Santa came! - December 31, 2020

2020-Style Things

  • We try to attend the HAND's holiday craft night every year. Last year, Everett and Elizabeth went together and called it a "Mommy-Everett adventure." Everett remembered this unprompted, so we made sure to include him in this year's virtual event. Because it was on Zoom, that meant Chris and Imogen could participate too without totally messing up sleep schedules. A joyful bonus.
Making ornaments for Obie and ornaments just because - December 3, 2020
  • An annual tradition for us is celebrating Obie's big outing by going to Christmas in the Park and seeing Santa. This year was quite different as a drive through event, but we tried to enjoy it without dwelling too much on missed moments. The kids enjoyed it, we at least saw Santa, and the kids held Obie Bear and an Obie O for most of the drive. It was a sweet and comforting outing.
Obie O & Santa - December 9, 2020
  • The biggest disruption is we didn't fly to Michigan. We missed out on in-person family gatherings and catching up with dear friends. We miss watching our kids play with their cousins and friends' kids. We miss coffee dates and game nights. Handing out presents. All of it. Despite that, we know it was the right choice for us - to keep contacts low and stay away from major travel. 

Finding Other Joys

  • A lot more time off in a sort of "staycation" means we got more quality time in our little family unit. More walks (and bike rides) around the block, more exploring the neighborhood holiday displays, more crafts and science experiments, and another trip to Uvas Canyon.
Uvas Canyon County Park, Waterfall Loop Trail - December 22, 2020
  • Everett and Imogen are getting more into the holiday season preparations - from trimming the tree to making cards. Everett insisted on making cards and bookmarks for all of his Jr. K classmates, his teachers, and the kids in the other Jr. K class. Imogen tries to make a card (or three) for the same day care friend every couple days. We have to convince her to include others or try to distract her entirely because we are running low on cards!
Everett's first official holiday cards - December 2020
  • We had a Christmas-time visit with the SoCal Thoma Family. We don't typically get to see them at Christmas, so it was extra special to spend a few days in SoCal. It also meant our first trip down "the 5" with Everett and Imogen (which went pretty well, considering). The kids had a blast playing, making gingerbread houses, biking, reading together, and of course - opening presents. 
Cousins who dab... - December 27, 2020

Brighter Days Ahead

  • We're probably going to need a bigger tree. Everyone's ornament collection is growing, and our little 4-footer is unlikely to be able to fit any more additions.
  • There are going to be a lot of additions on and under the tree - because our clan is growing by one.

Our biggest news of the year is a little firefly joining the mix. More on all that later. For now, we just want to celebrate some new beginnings and cross our fingers for brighter days for all of us. Here's to 2021.

Remembering Together Swap Ornament 2020

The joy of MLP undies - December 9, 2020

Christmas in the Park, 2020 style - December 9, 2020

Cuddling Obie Bear at Christmas in the Park - December 9, 2020

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