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why I'm not ready to write-off 2020 just yet

It's no secret that this year was bizarre. Tragic and grim... strange and scary... frustrating and filled with far too many opinions. A year with more downs than ups... racial divides that seemed to only grow larger... work and school schedules turned upside down, as families struggled to find new routines at home. Jobs lost, groceries sanitized, gym memberships cancelled and favorite restaurants that closed their doors for good. I could go on but you get it. You lived it too. This year is one that will be talked about for years, if not generations.

But all of that aside... I just don't feel ready or even able to write this year off as a total loss -- not as a crappy year I'd rather not remember... or as a year I can't wait to move past. Because a lot of good came from 2020. And a lot of special moments filled our little home. And a lot of lessons were learned. And I want to remember all of those things.

This year brought us my baby's first steps. Taken on her chunky little legs, with the biggest grin on her face, and in such quick succession we were all sure she was going to topple over. And after about 10 steps she did (topple), and we laughed, and she got back up and tried again. What I learned? Sometimes things are hard. And sometimes we'll fall down... but you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

This year gave me a new understanding of what it really means to have acceptance and respect for others. I think one of the hardest things about 2020, was that it was all amplified within an election year. And many people who typically sit on the political sidelines, started forming real opinions. And we then started hearing ALL of those opinions. All at once. From everyone.

From your old coworker, to your junior high classmate, to your neighbor next door. And opinions are *good* (more on this in a second), BUT this year was home to SO many intense opinion-generating topics that it sometimes felt overwhelming... icky even. What I learned? We are all different people, trying to make the decisions we feel are best for ourselves and the people we care about. Those decisions made and opinions held come from our upbringings, where we grew up, what opportunities we did or didn't have. From our parents, friends, teachers, etc. etc. So based on the fact that we are all forming these opinions based on vastly different experiences... how could we EVER expect that everyone around us would share all of our opinions? Why would we ever want that to be the case? If everyone around me shared my exact opinion, how would I grow, learn, expand my mind or widen my perspective?

So back to what I learned. Stop *wanting* others to share in your opinions, and find beauty in the fact that we all see things a little differently.

This year let me bear witness to my some of my toddler's biggest developmental triumphs. I've talked about this here on there on my Instagram, but Ava was diagnosed with a speech delay when she was just over 2 years old. We started speech therapy soon after, and she's been in it ever since. Well this year was a BIG year for Ava's speech development. And I got to watch my little girl go from choppy three word sentences ("sister Morgan house" - translation: Sister is at Morgan's house), to singing every single word to "The 12 Days of Christmas" and spouting out full-blown sentences like, "Be careful Alice... Santa is watching!!". It's been a joy to watch her blossom this year, and I don't want to forget a single moment.

I could go on and on about the joys and great moments 2020 has brought us... but that really isn't the point of this blog post. This post is just a simple reminder to look for the good. It's so easy to glaze over it, when the news, most topics of conversation, and general outlook of the year are grim... but the good is *here*... all around us. Every single day.

So cheers to a new year... and the new milestones, growth, joyful moments, difficult moments and a fresh perspective that new years tend to bring.

All of our family photos in this post were done by the uber talented Sadi of Whimsie Photographie. Sadi has photographed our growing family through the years, and I am so grateful to have these special moments and stages in the girls' lives captured and saved forever. I'm linking to her website here, for all of my So Cal natives!


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