Monday, December 27, 2021

An Ode to 2021

2021, you started out reeeeally questionable, and I was beginning to wonder if you were going to be a repeat of the dreaded 2020, but eventually you did get better.  We had lots of ups and some serious downs, but overall, you will be remembered as a decent year.  Definitely not one of my favorites, but better than 2020, at least.

Shall we recap?  As always, I’m recapping the good and the bad, and I’m starting with the bad so we can end on a high note…

The Bad…

After a wonderful New Year’s Eve and very high hopes for 2021, we got the bad news that we’d be starting back at school virtually after Christmas Break.  Up to that point we had made it five whole months with not so much as one virtual day, and then, we had to do two weeks of it to kick off the new year.  Sigh.

It was the year that our nation’s Capitol was attacked, vandalized, and looted by terrorists right here from our own country.  It was shocking and terrifying, and it was an incredibly sad day for our country.

It was the year that my Grandma died, and we had to say goodbye to her as well as the home that she and my Pop had lived in together since before I was born. 

It was the year that there were also a couple of other things happened in our family that I won’t mention for the privacy of others, but trust me when I say that things were just so tough.

It was the year that started out in time spent apart from our families… no Sunday lunches or dinners or church or eating out, and it was much of the same as 2020 for the first few months.

It was the year that a truck was stolen on our street followed by a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood.  Our neighborhood has always been very safe, so it was not a great feeling, and it made us uneasy for several weeks.

It was the year that sickness invaded our home after over a year of no sickness at all.  Jacob got a stomach virus, Flu B, and a terrible sinus infection that resulted in the highest fever he’s had since he was little.  Olivia got strep for the first time ever plus a couple of smaller colds.  Then Flu A swept through our household the week before Christmas and both kids experienced the highest fevers they’ve ever had.  The fevers and illness lasted for nearly an entire week and they (and B and me) missed out on countless holiday parties, Christmas programs, get-togethers, and time with loved ones.

It was the year that all of us had to get tested for Covid… over and over.  We went the whole year of 2020 not having to get tested, but 2021 brought on all the sickness, and therefore, all the testing.  Thankfully, we were all negative every time.

It was the year that I lost one of my old coworkers to Covid, and also the year that many of our friends and loved ones lost loved ones to Covid.

It was the year that a very close family member found out they had cancer and had to undergo treatment.  Thankfully, said person was able to undergo surgery and the docs were able to get it all, and they are now cancer-free.  We can also file this one under the good!

It was the year that another very close family member had a cancer scare, but thankfully, there was no cancer.  We sure did have some scares this year, though.

It was the year that our girl broke her elbow.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t just a typical break either… it was extremely traumatic for her and also for me, aaaand for Jacob and all of the other kids and parents who were there, too.  I’m so grateful for wonderful first responders and an excellent medical staff for giving her such great care and getting her elbow back to normal. 

It was the year that because of said elbow break, our girl was in a cast / on strict orders to rest/be cautious/avoid water aaaallll summer long.  We had to change many plans, but she was a trooper and I think she (and we) managed to make the most of it.

It was the year that we thought things were going to turn around for Covid, but cases started skyrocketing yet again as the kids headed back to school, thanks to the Delta variant, and later, the Omicron variant.

It was the year that Jacob’s precious classmate passed away. 

It was the year that several tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes ravaged the U.S.  We were very fortunate and only suffered a couple of power outages, but there were so many other people who weren’t as fortunate.

It was the year that there was major turmoil and loss of life in the Middle East.

It was the year that Jacob started experiencing some anxiety here and there.  Thankfully, I have it, too, and we have all of the tools we need to manage it.

It was the year that we lost my step-father-in-law’s mother.

It was the year that I received the sad news that my friend’s cancer is back.  She’s been battling for so long, and she’s tried nearly everything.  Please keep her in your prayers.

The Good…

It was the year that new administration took over in the United States and gave me a new sense of hope, especially after everything that transpired on January 6.

It was the year that we celebrated Brian’s 43rd birthday!

It was the year that we celebrated our sweet girl’s 7th birthday! 

 Celebrations Part 1

Celebrations Part 2

Birthday Interview

Birthday Letter

It was the year that I celebrated six years of blogging!

It was the year that the Covid vaccine became available and we were all able to get vaccinated and start doing some normal things like getting together indoors with family, going out to eat sometimes, and going to church in person on occasion.  

It was the year that I celebrated my 39th birthday… this time not in full quarantine!

 39 Things for Age 39

Celebrations Part 1

Celebrations Part 2

It was the year that Olivia danced in her 3rd recital… and this time we were all able to attend… socially distanced and masked, of course, but it sure beat last year’s weird performance!

It was the year that Olivia got to have her Millionaire Bash at school, and parents were finally able to attend an event in person!

It was the year that Jacob got Student of the Month at his school… TWICE!

It was the year that we were able to get away and head to our favorite place, 30A… twice!! 

 Spring Break Days 1 & 2

Spring Break Days 3, 4 & 5

Spring Break By the Numbers

Summer – Days 4 & 5

Summer – Days 6, 7, & 8

Summer – By the Numbers

It was the year that we celebrated Jacob’s 10th birthday!



Birthday Letter

It was my fourth summer home with the kids, and even though a lot of it was spent inside with Olivia’s broken elbow, I’m still grateful I got to be with them.

 Week 1

Week 2

Week 3 - see beach recaps above

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

It was the year that B and I were able to go to the Friends Experience in Atlanta!!!!  OMG, so much fun, y’all!  My favorite show of all-time!

It was the year that we traveled back to the mountains for fall break.

 Days 1 & 2

Days 3, 4, & 5

By the Numbers

It was the year that I was able to be Olivia's room mom and I was finally able to start volunteering in the classroom again at the kids' school since Covid started.  

It was the year that we were able to attend a football game at the kids' school again since Covid started.

It was the year that B and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.  We didn’t do anything to celebrate on the actual day other than exchanging gifts, but we did go to the SEC Championship game the following weekend!

It was the year that we went on 2 day trips/weekend getaways in addition to our beach and mountain trips.

 UGA Spring Practice Game – Athens, GA

SEC Championship Game – Atlanta, GA

It was the year that we were able to go to 1 concert after being forced to take the whole year off in 2020 for Covid.  We made it to theDave Matthews Band concert just before the Delta variant started ravaging the United States again. 

It was the year that we went to 2 Georgia games – one spring practice game, and one SEC Championship game.  It was less than what we usually do, but at least we were able to attend this year after not attending a single game last year!

UGA Spring Practice Game – Athens, GA

UGA vs. Alabama SEC Championship Game – Atlanta, GA

It was the year that B and I managed to squeeze in 5 dates.  We always aim for 12 each year (one per month), but things were dicey for some of the year due to Covid, so we weren’t quite able to get in 12 this year again.

 Rooftop Bar

Dave Matthews Band Concert

The Friends Experience Atlanta Trip

November Shopping Day Date

SEC Championship game in Atlanta

It was the year that I was able to get together with friends lots of times after taking the year off from Covid, and I was also able to start easing into lunches out with old coworkers again. 

 Lunch with Greg

Lunch with Donnie

Dinner Date with Jeannine, Shelly, and Natalie

Lunch with David

Lunch with Adrienne

Dinner with Fahed

Dinner Date with Jen, Jeannine, and Becky

Coffee Date with Jeannine

Girls Night at Jen’s Apartment

Girls Brunch with Jeannine, Jess, and Khristina

Lunch with Tammy

Homecoming with Class of 2000

Taqueria Dinner with Jessica, Jeannine, Becky, and Jenn

Thai Dinner with Jeannine and Jen

Shopping Date with Becky

Garden Party for Jessica’s 40th Birthday

Girls Dinner with Jen and Jenn

It was also the year that playdates and get togethers were back in full force!

 Playground Playdate That Ended in Olivia’s Broken Elbow

Playdate with Mack and Buckley at our house

Cousins Playdate to the Animal Safari

Playdate with Friends at the Swimming Pool

Pumpkins at Callaway with Friends

Fall Festival Playdate with Friends

Hot Chocolate Playdate

Fantasy in Lights with Cousins

Christmas Break Playdate at Our House

It was another year of wonderful holiday celebrations – some different, some normal.  And thankfully, Christmas was mostly normal!!

 New Year’s

Valentine’s Day


Memorial Day

4th of July

Labor Day




It was the year that I continued running.

It was the year I shared only one new recipe here on the blog, but it’s a yummy one!

 Easy S’mores Fudgsicles

It was the year that I shared some fun organizing tips and DIY projects with you.

 A Complete List of Things to Clean Out in the New Year

 The Easiest Way to Keep Track of Daily Tasks (My Daily To-Do List)

 How to Completely Organize Your Master Closet (My Organized Master Closet)

 Bar Cart Essentials – Everything You Need to Have a Festive and Well-Stocked Bar Cart

My Love for the Simplified Planner Continues…

 How I Use My Simplified Planner on a Daily Basis + Simplified Planner Launch Day

And now I’ll leave you with my top five most viewed posts that were written in 2021.  Before I get to these, a few notes…

This was the second year that I didn’t have a new post go viral… after doing some research, I found that Pinterest has changed so drastically in the last couple of years that it doesn’t yield results for anyone unless you’re one of the few in the “top-tier of creators.”  Thanks, Pinterest for messing everything up for everyone else.

I do still have several old posts making the rounds on Pinterest, so maybe they’re grandfathered in?

Income was steady which is all that I can ask for these days since I’m pretty much blogging for myself again and not stressing out anymore over SEO, gaining followers, etc.

Y’all LOVE my Amazon purchases posts and my weekly recaps.  Those always have, by far, the most views.

Anyway, here are my top five posts of 2021…

F I V E –  A Complete List of Things to Clean Out in the New Year

I love this one, too, y’all!!  I published this post at the beginning of the year, detailing all of the things that I clean out in our house at the beginning of the year, and apparently all of you were interested in doing the same!  It always feels great to get a fresh start each year!

I have no clue why this post was the fourth most popular post of the year… it must be a fluke.  Haha.  I do really love that top, though!

This post came in at number three for the year, and it’s no surprise since it’s an Amazon post!  We love our Amazon!

T W O – What I Ordered from Amazon in February 2021

Another Amazon post came in at number two, and there were lots of good things in this one!

O N E – What I Ordered from Amazon in June 2021

And finally, this post was my most popular post written in 2021… another Amazon post!  Surprise, surprise!  Y’all must love Amazon as much as we do!


And just for fun, my Top 9 Instagram photos for 2021... I love that my Mama Cass made it in there!  <3

2021, you weren’t great, but you weren’t nearly as bad as 2020.  We all managed to avoid Covid again, and we’re all healthy and well, so we’re going to call it a win! 

2022, I'm scared to even ask what you have in store for us... 


Please be the year that Covid manages to mutate and turn into a common cold.  Forever.  Please be the year that we can all spend limitless time with whomever we want, whenever, wherever, and however we want without having to worry about infecting someone.  Please let it be a year that we’re able to travel, go to concerts, and do whatever other leisurely activities we’d like to do, whenever we’d like to do them without having to worry about a virus.  Please be a year of good health and happiness for all of us.  



  1. I absolutely adore how you ended this post! I hope 2022 brings us all the ability to not second guess every choice we make for our families!! Wishing you a wonderful end to the year!

  2. What a year! I really hope 2022 gets us back to 2019 normal times. If my wedding in June gets cancelled due to Covid I am going to be so mad! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, stay well, and have a wonderful new year!

  3. Whew, when you write out all the bad things from the year, I realized it was a really tough year for your family. There were plenty of good times, but all the illness and loss were A.LOT. I know we're all hoping 2022 is a new year in all sorts of ways. Way to go with the Amazon posts - they're always my most popular too. And regarding Pinterest, I don't even browse or pin anymore. It felt so different in the last few years that I just don't go on it anymore. Hope your week is wonderful!

  4. It's so nice to see the good along with the bad. I hope those who are sick continue to get better. I think with omicron now it's almost a cold and gone for good!


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