Corona Virus Quarantine Day #285: A Year in Review: January 2, 2020:

So 2020 was a beyond weird year. There was a lot of hardship for many. People lost their jobs and for some, even worse, their lives. I don’t know anyone who didn’t struggle with this damn pandemic and all the things that is did to change our lives. The quarantine, the uncertainty, the masks. I won’t tell you that the struggle wasn’t real for us at times. But, in the new year, here’s my reflection on the past year and all the goodness we got to experience.

January 2020: Before the pandemic. We knew it was a thing in China but it didn’t seem like it was going to be a huge issue here. We went snow tubing with our Dorsey cousins and we played a lot of basketball! Little did we know that the time we had playing sports in January and February would be so special when sports got taken away.

April 2020: As a family we took quarantine in stride. We continued to do a lot of home projects, the barn got going and we went on a lot of hikes as well as painted a lot of canvases. Thank GOD the weather was really warm and we were able to do a lot of cool things outside. The barn got a lot of good use, a lot, but we started to miss seeing our friends. We were very safe and the only person that ever left the house was mom to get groceries. It was a weird time but we started to learn how to cook cool things like Popcorn shrimp and we did things we never had time for like tea parties with homemade scones. We celebrated Easter, died Easter eggs, did our own Stations of the Cross and went on an awesome Easter egg hunt with our cousins and quarantine buddies. All in all, April was pretty good to us! We also celebrated Mommy’s birthday!

May 2020: Drive by birthday’s became a thing and the triplets 10th birthday drive by was epic. We even had the volleyball girls there…it was pretty cool! Finley started sketching a lot…we got brand new bedroom decor, that was fun! We did a lot more hiking and even swam in the “river” much to my dismay. We did a lot of trampoline jumping played a lot of volleyball, basketball and pickle ball in the barn, got our very own quarantine haircuts, rode our go kart a lot, side walk chalk fun and Fletcher found an animal carcass everywhere he went.

June 2020: We started to see friends again…mostly at the pool. A lot of pool play dates. They made the quarantine time pass a little bit faster. We started taking tennis lessons with Coach Bomhoff and we really liked doing something new. We went on a lot of worm hunts, fished in our pond every single day. Fletcher got to play soccer, even though no one else did. Makes sense right? We played a lot more in the barn, tried new recipes and took an impromptu and much needed vacation to the lake with family and friends. Got to see some old friends too! Oh…an the most important thing…Fiona got to celebrate her first communion and got braces…it was a big month for her! What a blessing First Communion was! So very cool!

July 2020: We started trying ice skating lessons, that was fun. We spent lots more time on the pond and we even swam in it for the first time…not my favorite but oh well they had a lot of fun. We continued to have play dates at the pool…everyone is safe in chlorine right? We ate a lot of s’mores on the back deck and played a lot of family games. While it was weird not having sports or camps the amount of family time we got to spend together was pretty awesome. We laughed a lot, fished a lot, played with our cousins pretty much every day. We played in the barn a lot…and we celebrated the 4th of July with friends old and new, we even went to the giant bounce house at Lake Olathe with our Chicago buddies! We even took another trip to the lake to visit Mr. Greg and Mrs. Elainey and that was the best. A lot of time on the wave runner and with our special friends. It was so much fun!

August 2020: Back to school for mommy became a thing. It was a big question mark for a long time…but we did it! School happened for me…for the kids in September. Thank you JESUS! We did a lot more swimming, a lot more fishing, a lot more playing in the barn. We celebrated our favorite guys birthday and went on a lot of bike rides! We even convinced our friends to jump in our pond with us. Mommy will never get used to this but I have accepted that I have to deal with this reality and it makes the kids so happy so I need to get over it. We also went on Dorsey family cation to the lake. We were blessed to get to go to the lake 3 times this summer even during a pandemic. It is definitely the vacation of choice during crazy times. We had a blast, our obsession with tubing is real and we even jumped off a very tall rock…even Fletcher (without hesitation), GOD help me! Did I mention I started a new class this year? Non Profit Social Welfare class. If you have a student at SJA have them take this class. It teaches kids about the field of social work as well as non profit work. While not everyone is supposed to be a social worker, I do believe everyone wants to help and make a difference. This class teaches them how to do that. It. was. awesome…and such an incredible blessing in my life this year. I looked forward to it every single day!

September 2020: Back to school for everyone! I can’t say I wasn’t excited. While I love to teach…homeschooling isn’t really my favorite thing in the world. The down time was awesome and the being done at noon most days was the best but being in charge of your education was not what I would call an awesome time. We were all ready to be back in school with friends, even if that meant being in masks. Most days the masks didn’t seem to bother you kids…I often had to remind you to take them off in the car. September meant a return to sports as well and it didn’t slow our bike riding adventures or trips to the river (though we did see a lot more snakes and that gave Mommy pause). Holy cow did I miss being in a gym doing my thing. I loved seeing our girls and I loved that they got a chance to play (something we weren’t sure would happen). Also, you kids got a chance to play. The girls played volleyball, Fletcher played soccer and Finley and Cooper played football. What a blessing a return to sports was to the whole Dorsey family! We also had our Lemon Out event to raise money for Pediatric Cancer and this year Ellen and Fiona asked their principal Mrs. Rhodes if they could have a dress down day at Sacred Heart to raise more money. It was pretty awesome!

October 2020: October was the month of things like Halloween and know one knew what that would look like. Volleyball continued but met a disappointing end, partly because the state made some significant changes that made it so we were not in Salina this year. That was very disappointing but Mommy started a movement to make changes to the state so something like this will never happen again. So out of something gross will come something good in the long term. The kids finished their football and volleyball seasons and Ellen won her first championship with a huge amount of excitement. We watched sunsets, continued to ride bikes and hike when time allowed and spent all of our free time in the barn. Fletcher and Mommy painted a lot of Halloween rocks. We carved pumpkins even though we couldn’t have the annual volleyball pumpkin party which was a total bummer. Halloween was even a 65 degree day and we got to trick or treat like normal people. It was wild!

November 2020: The month of Thanksgiving. We were supposed to go skiing but that got cancelled part from corona and part that Utah got no snow so skiing would have been difficult. It was the 2nd time a vacation was cancelled due to corona. The kids handle stuff better than most adults could ever hope to. It’s incredible. We started playing basketball (for a short time before the hysteria over rising numbers shut us down…again) and we spent quality time with each other and family. I continue to teach high school during a pandemic, fully masked. While I hate the masks I am incredibly thankful I’m in school with my big kids. So many schools around us are not in school. St. James has done it up right from the start and I am proud to be a part of it! Grateful we were able to gather at Aunt Jenny’s first for and early Thanksgiving and later Aunt Jill’s as it was lovely outside and the kids were able to eat and play outside for hours. The Kansas weather really was incredible this year allowing us a lot of outside time during quarantine thankfully! We played a ton of driveway hockey as a family and I got to attend a baby shower for a former player/family member. Good LORD that was fun. That baby is so loved already and he’s not even a month old now. We decorated really early for Christmas because, why not? And… I got to attend a signing ceremony for some special girls that mean a lot to us! Oh…and we voted in the strangest and craziest election in a long time. It’s literally never a dull moment up in here!

December 2020: A crazy end to the insane year. We decided last minute to go to Florida. It was a use it or lose it situation and we decided to use it. We went to Universal and hollywood Studios and rode over 20 rides each day (a thing that Mommy and Daddy paid for…for days). We swam in the giant condo pool by ourselves and the kids tried (and loved) their first virgin Strawberry Daiquiri. We were very nervous but it ended up being a giant blessing and it felt so good to get away for a little while. We were most afraid we would get Covid and bring it to Gaga. The irony was we came home and got Covid from Gaga. Thankfully we had very mild symptoms, the kids didn’t seem to have any. Gaga is doing better everyday and we had an amazing Christmas despite it all. We decorated candy houses, made cookies with our cousins and celebrated in style as much as possible. Thankful for our quarantine partners, the Gile’s and for nice weather once again. We got to see Grandpa Joe, played in the barn an insane amount and Bryan and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary on New Year’s Eve!

While I chose to focus mostly on the good of 2020, let’s not pretend there wasn’t ugly times. There were many times of uncertainty, fear of the unknown and at times we were very concerned for the health of people we love very dearly. I could write about all of that…but instead I want to remember the parts of 2020 that were awesome. The time spent together as a family was absolutely precious. I’d have to reckon that there will never be a time that we spend this much time together ever again. Perhaps the greatest byproduct of all of this was how close the kids grew in their friendship with each other. For months, they only had each other to hang out with and it really transformed their relationships. They spent countless hours being each others best friends and Bryan and I got to go along for the ride…and that was magical. They learned new skills, like cooking and tennis and ice skating. They took chances, like climbing crazy high trees, despite being afraid of heights and jumping in the pond even though that was an unknown and Mommy really didn’t want us to. As parents we kept our stresses about jobs and uncertainties to ourselves and we tried to bask in the beauty the quarantine created in our chaotic lives.

While there are certainly parts of this madness I’d never chose to relive and would certainly like to forget, reflecting on them now seems pointless. They are gone. They were just a small part of what was 2020 (or at least that is what I am telling myself now).

A huge thank you to my main quarantine partner Bryan Matthew Dorsey for always being willing to go on an adventure in the woods or pack the bikes in the car for a ride and another huge thank you to our kids for being awesome. They made quarantine so much fun. Their excitement for all things, their up for anything attitude and their willingness to help around the house was such a blessing.

While I realize the struggles of Corona virus aren’t over yet…I am hoping they are somewhat in the rearview mirror…or at least headed in that direction.

Covid sucks. But despite how bad it sucks…and how it’s hurt so many…there has been some beauty in 2020 and I wanted to reflect on that goodness tonight because, ultimately, that’s what my blog is all about. I’m sure I forgot some of the goodness…but hopefully this captures most of it!

#dorseyshenanigans

#celebr8awesome

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