2021

For New Year’s Eve Michael and I bought an oven. 🙂

Ours has been going for almost a year, but hasn’t “died” entirely. Thankfully we can sort of use it for certain things. The stove still works. Thank goodness we got an AirFryer for Christmas! Anyways. A home warranty was part of our house sale so we had a repairman come out, tell us it’s broken and they don’t make the part anymore…Long story short. It took over a month of waiting for the warranty company to approve us some $$ to buy a new one. We found a great one on sale on NYE so that was our big finale of 2020. LOL

Dinner was good. Michael smoked cornish game hens on the Traeger (again, no oven…)

I made green beans and cornbread stuffing on the side. It was delicious.

New Year’s Day: First hike of the year!

2020: What can you say? We survived. We were very fortunate in that we did not lose our house. We did not get Covid. We did not lose anyone close to us to Covid. While Michael lost his job, he did get two others (thankfully) and we were both able to work from home since March. I know a lot of people aren’t that lucky and I am truly thankful for that.

I am also thankful that all three of my animals are doing ok. Stevie was touch and go, but he’s great now. Maya is 16 and declining, but she’s ok RIGHT NOW. I am SO grateful I was able to be home 100% during this time because had I not been, I would not have been able to see that Stevie was super sick and I fear I would have come home from work to something awful. 🙁 But being home all the time gave me the opportunity to know immediately something wasn’t right.

Our trip to Hawaii for my birthday in January was obviously the highlight of the year. And one of the last times we saw family, traveled, etc. Hawaii was so amazing and it’s really one of the main things that got me through this year. Thinking about Hawaii and the beaches and all the fun stuff we did.

I did a lot of stuff in 2020. I painted our bedroom, Logan’s bedroom. I built a garden. Bella and I walked 420 miles (averaging 8.1 miles a week) according to my Garmin. 😀 Bella and I explored all over our neighborhood and it was really the highlight of a dark year.

I ran 166 miles. I biked 325 miles. I MISSED SWIMMING SO MUCH during the lockdown. But in October I got to start up again and swim for a month and a half before it shut down again.

I gained about 10 pounds. YAY. Whatever, I am working on it. More on that later.

I have been doing A LOT of work on myself emotionally/mentally this year. I found some pretty amazing podcasts to keep my company on my long walks and they’ve given me some insight and things to think about. (The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema and Food Psych).

Goals for 2021: Simple goals.

Drink more water. (Like, be very conscious of it because I am terrible at drinking water!)

Read 90 Books.

Do yoga more often.

Go on family walks.

That’s about it. What about you?

Different Kind of Merry

How is everyone holding up for the holidays? Has it been rough? Easy? No different than usual holidays?

Our Christmas was ok. Very very low key compared to last year. Last year we hosted a big Christmas in our new house. My parents came down from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days. We hosted Christmas dinner with Michael’s family, too, and I think there were maybe 15 of us? It was crazy and loud and wonderful.

This year? Chill. Lazy.

Christmas Eve some friends dropped off homemade eggnog (it was nuclear LOL) and Michael and I watched Happiest Season after kiddo went to sleep. Then we put all the presents out. 🙂

Christmas morning we got up at 6am (of course!) and opened presents!

Logan was ECSTATIC! He got a bunch of Star Wars, Dinosaur and Baby Yoda themed gifts. We got him a bunch of books, activity books, a spelling puzzle (that he loves).

My parents got him some games, Star Wars sheets. Santa got him a big race track for his cars (which he asked for when he wrote to Santa). My gifts had a theme: self-care. 🙂 Lots of bath stuff, which is amazing. <3

After lunch and a nap for Logan, we went to Michael’s mom’s house to just exchange gifts. Wish we could have stayed and hung out.

By the time we got home and opened the second round of presents, Michael and I did not feel up to doing a big Christmas dinner thing like we’d planned so we decided to do it the next night and instead had grilled cheese sandwiches. 😀 Delicious!

So Saturday night we made the dinner we planned to do for Christmas:

Lamb Chops with Garlic and Herbs

Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Breadcrumbs

And I made couscous. Everything was delicious, although the couscous was a little bland–even using spices! Next time I will cook it in chicken broth instead of water. And maybe add some nuts and raisins to the couscous, too.

The lamb, however, turned out great. It was the first time we’ve done lamb. I usually just order it if we go to Middle Eastern restaurants. It was melt-in-your mouth tender and I loved the flavor.

The greens beans turned out great, too. I cooked them in the cast iron skillet we used to cook the lamb so it had the extra juices and seasoning in addition to the salt, pepper and butter I used to cook the beans. I loved the pickled shallots on top but Michael thought they were a little strong. I don’t think the green bean recipe needed the breadcrumbs on top at all, so I’d skip that next time.

Saturday I spent the day on and off packing up and organizing Christmas decorations. I usually leave everything up until New Year’s Eve and then take everything down then but I was just kind of over it all. I hope next year we can all be with our families again and have a big celebration!