2021 Reflection

2021 came and went in a flash. It wasn’t the beautiful recovery from 2020 that the world collectively dreamed. It was hard, scary, unpredictable, had some losses, broken but it was also joyful, brave, loving, beautiful, full of magic and delights.

My favorite memories include: Em laughing hysterically on the boat on a particularly bumpy day, she loved it. Being in the room when my niece took her first breath. I get to witness this miracle moment for so many families but there was nothing like being there with my sister and brother-in-law. I get to be there for all the others right?!?

One of my favorite purchases from 2021 was a cordless vacuum. It was on sale for around $100. Is it as good as a Dyson, I don’t know but it works well for us. Granted we have no pets or children in our home on a daily basis.

These Vuori joggers are magically soft. They also have pockets so they are my go to airplane pants now.

I didn’t reach my goal of 52 books this year. I think the uncertainty of Ryan’s job applications made it hard for me to focus in the fall. Then I was packing like crazy the last month. Hopefully this year I’ll hit 52. I follow some people that read over 100. PS don’t let comparison still your joy and reading in general is the joy.

Books Read 2021

1. Jan: The Authenticity Project- Clare Pooley:a
2. Body Love- Kelly LeVeque
3. The Cafe by the Sea- Jenny Colgan*:a⭐️
4. White Fragility- Robin DiAngelo*
5. Feb: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue- VE Schwab:a⭐
6. Once We Were Here- Christopher Cosmos*:a 🧅
7. Be the Bridge- Latasha Morrison
8. Quench- Dana Cohen MD, Gina Bria
9. A Return to Love- Marianne Williamson
10. March: Feels like Falling- Kristy Woodson Harvey*⭐
11. The Girl from the Channel Islands- Jenny Lecoat*:a
12. Dear Carolina- Kristy Woodson Harvey*
13. My Oxford Year- Julia Whelan*⭐️
14. The Paris Library- Janet Skeslien Charles:a⭐️
15. Growing Boldly- Emily Ley:a
16. April: The Lost Apotecary- Sarah Penner:a⭐️
17. Get Out of Your Head- Jennie Allen
18. The Rose Code- Kate Quinn:a⭐️⭐️
19. May: The Gifts of Imperfection- Brene Brown:a
20. The Huntress- Kate Quinn:a ⭐️
21. June: The Book of Lost Names- Kristin Harmel*⭐️
22. Bookshop by the Sea- Denise Hunter*
23. The Last Train to Key West-Chanel Cleeton*
24. A Rather Lovely Inheritance- CA Belmond*
25. Essentialism- Greg McKeown
26. July: The Summer House- Lauren K Denton*
27. Hurricane Season: Lauren K Denton*
28. The Ten Thousand Doors of January- Alix E Harrow*a⭐️⭐️(reread)
29. Royal Holiday- Jasmine Guillory*
30. Act Your Age, Eve Brown- Talia Hibbert:a
31. August: Slightly South of Simple- Kristy Woodsen Harvey
32. People We Meet on Vacation- Emily Henry:a
33. The Last Bookshop in London- Madeline Martin*a⭐️
34. The One Your With- Lauren K Denton*a
35. September: The Bride Test- Helen Hoang*a
36. The Off Limits Rule- Sarah Adams*a
37. The Temporary Roomie-Sarah Adams*a
38. Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice- Brene Brown*a ⭐️
39. October: On Ocean Boulevard- Mary Alice Monroe:a
40. The Summer of Lost and Found-Mary Alice Monroe:a
41. The Secret to Southern Charm-Kristy Woodson Harvey
42. The Southern Side of Paradise-Kristy Woodson Harvey
43. November: Christmas in Peachtree Bluff- Kristy Woodson Harvey⭐️
44. December: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood- Diana Gabaldon (reread)
45. The Endless Beach- Jenny Colgan*a⭐️

a is an Audio book
*means read for free via Libby, Hoopla, library etc
⭐️is a favorite or better than others
🧅 didn’t love/like, tolerable but not for me

My favorite books were The Rose Code, Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, and The Book of Lost Names.

Despite Covid we were able to travel to California and Hawai’i. Luckily both trips happened in the in between times of Covid waves. We visited Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. The trees were spectacular. We apparently were on an 8 hour whale watching tour with Obama in Monterey. We saw two blue whales and many humpbacks. We were able to watch some incredible feeding behaviors of the humpbacks- lunge feeding, breaching and tail slapping. We had some beautiful produce and I had some roasted garlic and goat cheese from Nepenthe which I had been dreaming about since we visited Cali with Alyssa and Ian in 2015 I think

In Hawai’i we visited Maui and the Big Island. Maui was pretty but the Big Island was definitely our favorite. We drove the Road to Hana one and a half times. This was our favorite thing on Maui. We watched sunrise on Haleakala which was a spiritual experience.

We saw molten lava in an active volcano for the first time ever on the Big Island. Hawaii reminded us of Iceland just obviously tropical instead of Arctic. Volcano National Park was incredible. We did too much hiking one day and exhausted ourselves. Covid and staffing shortages made eating a bit trying at times but it was ok. We saw tons of sea turtles and of course I was in heaven. One morning we grabbed breakfast and ate at a random park by the water. We saw a turtle within touching distance (but of course we didn’t touch!) just having breakfast. Also we saw Banyan trees which are beautiful. They drop roots to support their branches which made for some impressive displays as well as wonderful metaphor about giving yourself the support you need. They spread laterally. It’s really inspiring.

I fulfilled a lifelong dream of being a turtle prober. It was exhilarating. I know it may seem odd to some but I love my sea turtles and conservation.

I made many cheese boards and a few pounds of homemade pesto pasta salad. I also continued to try homemade bread.

We moved to Alabama for Ryan’s job. Thankful he is much happier at this job. I miss the ocean and my Beaufort friends something fierce but it’s also nice to be closer to friends here and family. I’m excited for 2022!

We were able to spend Thanksgiving with Ryan’s family and for the first time in years Christmas with my brother and sister. Emilee visited after Christmas. We had a fun day with Anna, visited the Tinsel Trail, had some deep conversations, Watched Christmas movies and snuggled. Her elves also came to visit.

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