The powers-that-be (Nancy) have informed me it is my “opportunity” to recap the joyous year of 2020. Given my memory is sketchy at best, I will rely on the power of a photo role to narrate this journey prior to putting a bow on it at the end. I have no doubt this will be one of my top 5 blog entries of the year.
2020 in pictures and descriptions…
- This was the last picture I took in 2019. Quite the foreshadowing, as this barn delivered a lot of entertainment in our quarantined lives.
- Gigi – this is the first picture we have of our 2020 family addition. She is somewhere in here!
- Super Bowl party – still hard to believe Chiefs actually won a championship. If you’ve been a lifelong Chiefs fan, I am sure you are still amazed as well. Perhaps the best aspect of this picture is the family standing in the living room for the national anthem.
- Royals championship ring – Just a random day in the office wearing the Royals World Series ring – key being that our kids have seen the Chiefs and the Royals win a championship in their lives – Crazy!
- March 12th – the beginning of “stay-at-home” – many, many explorations in the trees
- Jen – this has nothing to do with 2020. Doesn’t matter, as I really don’t need a reason to share this picture.
- Fletcher’s ear – Gigi went Mike Tyson on Fletcher’s ear. The first of many battles between these two knuckleheads.
- Kayak – this was Fletcher’s 5th birthday – a calm, beautiful day on the pond.
- Nancy wearing one of her hundreds of hats – this as a home-school teacher. Our kids get the advantage of living with not one, but two teachers!
- Mosaic Cross – one of our favorite school projects.
- Tree climbing – another fun day exploring in the Spring – becoming more ambitious!
- Gigi in driveway – this is where she spends the majority of her day, waiting for delivery drivers and the kids to get home from school.
- Home office – thought it was fitting to include a picture of where I spent my working days in 2020 – so glad we included this room when we built the house.
- Exercise class – again, another luxury of having a teacher in the house!
- Bike rides – a regular occurrence, as was Fletcher wearing snow boots and pajamas all day!
- Finley Jordan – we haven’t installed tracking devices in our kids yet, but if we had one in 2020, Finley’s would have defaulted to the gym.
- Gym path – one of the many “home projects” for the year.
- Playing builder – with many days of help and expertise from Nancy’s dad, we were able to make good progress on our barn and I learned many things along the way.
- Mid-summer volleyball – one of the random positives of this summer was a “pick-up” volleyball game of collegiate players that occurred a few times in the barn. One could make a case it was the best collection of volleyball talent in KC ever – a number of All-Americans and national champions. The competitiveness never leaves some.
- Gigi cone – Two things about this picture – Gigi loves the car and hated her cone. We kind of enjoyed it a bit, as she continuously ran into the wall which was quite funny!
- Dock – with the help of two hardest workers I know, we installed a pond dock in a morning and that kicked off some fun, yet muddy swimming in the summer.
- Fishing – without a doubt, my kids know much more about fishing than I do. I just like the calm.
- Barn activities – just a normal day of multiple sports being played in the barn.
- Fletcher – he is such an outdoorsman. Granted he doesn’t like shirts or shoes.
- Lake – We were fortunate to be able to make a few lake trips over the year. This one included some opportunities to see which of our kids obtained their dad’s extreme fear of heights!
- Volleyball championship – What we hope is the first of many trophies won with these two working together.
- Woods picture – Nancy always says she is never in pictures – well, she’s in this one!
- Nancy – All joking aside, I am so proud of Nancy. I think she may have accomplished more this year than ever, and that’s saying something. Through managing our family, adjusting to a new work environment, leading real change in the sport of volleyball, she has had quite the year. I have been and will always be her biggest fan.
- Curious George – the end of year was highlighted by a wonderful trip to Florida. Fletcher loves George!
- Universal – one of our family’s favorite places. Memories here they will recite forever.
- Swimming in December – a silent accomplishment of the year – Fletcher became a professional swimmer. Seriously, he is a fish.
- December 31st – One final day for a hike to the “river”. This is their crew. 2020 helped strengthen that bond. They will tell stories about this forever.
There you have it. 2020. Over the coming years, I think when many reflect back on 2020, we will actually have more fond memories than negative. Yes, there is the absolute reality that many did lose loved ones and that is not to be taken lightly. For many, though, they acquired the opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones. The narrative in years to come will be “what if life could be like it was in 2020 and we could be at home more often” (removing the negatives, of course!).
That’s the positive view. The reality is that 2020 also brought a lot of uncertainty. It almost seemed like we were living life for a year while holding our breath. Everyone you encountered almost seemed to be waiting for something negative to happen to them. Whether it actually did or not, well, it didn’t really matter, as the impact of the stress and anxiety was taking its toll. I’ll freely admit I was impacted. For most of 2020, we were going through changes at Deere. I am incredibly grateful that it worked out for me in the end. However, the anxiety was real. I know my anxiety impacted others, whether I wanted it to or not.
Thus, as time goes by, we will retain the positive memories of 2020 and I believe find a way to forget the negatives of 2020. My current hope, however, is that we are able to “exhale” in the near future. Here’s to 2021.