2021 Recap… A Year in Review

As we’re closing the books on 2021, our second year living through a global pandemic, I’m looking on to 2022 with a really big handful of hope and a giant sprinkle of joy. Here’s a little look back on our year… it was a big one!

The winter was filled with so many family ski days. Alex and I were overwhelmed with delight watching our kiddos progress so much doing an activity that brings us so much joy.

Ben went to school, in-person all year; however, after every major school break the school switched to remote learning for a week. This meant that we had a whole bunch of extra time at The Lodge {we were still living in Seattle and going back and forth until May 2021}!

As winter turned into spring, life got a whole lot more challenging. Going back and forth between the two houses, yet knowing we were moving soon, was really difficult for all of us. It felt like limbo and we were royally unsettled. The kids felt it, Ben especially, and he really had a tough spring.

We planned a couple of regional day trips to break up the monotony during the weekends we spent in Seattle. One exceptionally rainy day we packed up the car, loaded it onto the ferry and headed over to Scenic Beach, which is on the Hood Canal in Puget Sound. Another spring-ish day we headed north for Skagit Valley and toured the daffodil festival and saw our dear friends on Camano Island.

Hannah and I made the most of our days together by going for runs, hanging out at the beach in the rain {hey! we had it to ourselves – no need to social distance or wear masks in the rain!} and taking nature walks through the neighborhood.

Afternoons in Seattle were often spent at the neighborhood park. It was quite a production getting all the things there. And the bathrooms were closed, due to Covid, so that made it interesting. It was a lot.

We got to be reunited with my dad in mid-April after over a year of not seeing him, due to the pandemic. He took a long road trip with several pit stops to ski along the way, then came to spend a while with us, enjoying spring in the mountains.

Late winter/early spring in Seattle seemed to last forever. Finally, we got to another long stint at The Lodge! Unexpectedly, most of April was spent in the mountains. Because our time there was so calm and so pleasant, we decided to bump up our move date by six weeks to early May. Hooray! {But also holy frantic!!}

Alex and I got our Covid vaccines and were fully vaccinated by early May! We felt like superheroes for a little while!

We slowly but surely got settled into our new life in the mountains.

Alex made an unbelievable amount of trips back to Seattle to finish packing everything up and get the house ready to sell. It was an unbelievable burden to essentially sell or donate the entire contents of a house we’d lived in for over a decade. On top of that, he had to get it spruced up and ready to sell after two little kids and a dog destroyed every surface. All while simultaneously working.

Mid-spring we broke ground on our garage & guesthouse!

Alex’s parents came out for the month of June, with Alina joining us for Ben’s birthday. We made so many memories with Grammy and Papa, after a long separation from the pandemic.

Ben turned five on Memorial Day. Since we had just moved and hadn’t really made friends here yet we had a quiet, family birthday.

Summer was hot, so wonderful and filled with days at the pool, oodles of memories, trips to the hidden beach, seeing family, making new friends and weekly visits to the farmers market. We ate all the ice cream, got to know every lifeguard by name and became accustom to the 100-degree days we enjoyed all season.

Early-July, our house in Seattle closed.

Shortly thereafter, we lost our beloved 8-year old dog, Jackson. He had been battling an aggressive cancer and we made the extremely difficult decision to say goodbye before things got any worse. Jackson was an incredible dog, despite being pretty high needs {he had epilepsy and severe anxiety} and we miss him dearly.

As a little nod to our late dog, we decided to take an extremely spontaneous road trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It turned out to be a fantastic decision. We stopped through Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Bozeman, Montana; Yellowstone and then ended up in Teton Village, Wyoming for a few nights. The trip was a major highlight of the year for all of us.

Just after we returned from our road trip, we brought home our new puppy, Brooks! He has been the absolute best pup. He is extremely sweet and very mellow. And, he reminds us so very much of our last dog, Jackson. They have an uncannily similar personality.

Hannah turned 3 in the midst of summer.

Also after a year of being apart, my mom came for a visit, and to celebrate Hannah’s birthday. We enjoyed trips to the beach, bookmobile and pool.

We had such a lovely late summer and early fall. The weather couldn’t have been better. We were up to our eyeballs dealing with a little puppy and two rambunctious children. It sure was filled with challenges, but gosh it was the best.

The school year began with Ben starting Kindergarten and Hannah entering preschool. Ben attends school in a literal two-room schoolhouse and Hannah goes to an outdoor forest preschool. Both of their schools have a high focus on nature and being outside – they’re both learning so much about life in the mountains.

Fall is absolutely spectacular out here in the mountains. The weather holds until about mid-October or so. The fall colors seemed to last forever this year.

My brother, John, and his girlfriend, Becky, spent a weekend in September with us. It had been over two years since I had seen him – sweet Hannah was still a baby then.

Alex had so much fun mountain biking this summer and fall. He has a good mountain biking buddy and they checked everything off their list to explore this year.

Ben joined a local soccer team, made a lot of new friends and got to try something new. He loved playing and dancing on the sidelines and occasionally got really into the game.

I’ve been rehabbing my hips most of the year due to lack of strength and stability. Despite not being able to run at all this summer or fall, I got plenty of hiking in. All of the fall hikes were highlights for me this year.

I took a girls trip this fall to Alpine Lakes High Camp with a friend and her book club. We roughed it and had an incredible 10-mile hike to Larch Lake.

Shoulder season {the time between nice fall weather and winter weather} also seemed to last forever this year. We had to be a little creative to get out and have fun in between the seasons.

Once winter arrived it was here to stay! We received about 40 inches of snow in just over a week. Our trees have the most spectacular coating of snow that has seemed to last forever. It is magnificent.

Brooks is loving the snow! He is currently seven months old and has become quite a handful lately. We’ve got some big-time training to do and are counting down the days until he gets neutered.

So far this winter we’ve been doing all the snowy things! Alex built an ice skating rink, we started cross country skiing with the kids and we’ve been downhill skiing too. It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year!

We’re ending the year with a fully-vaccinated 5-year old!

The holidays were filled with joy and warmth for us this year. We were fortunate to spend Christmas with Alex’s parents.

And that’s a wrap! We are sending our love and warm wishes for a happy start to 2022. My hope for the year is peace and joy, and that we can get out of this godforsaken pandemic.