Life, Pandemic

What I Did in 2021: A Recap

Hello, November – otherwise known as the month I blog for 30 straight days and share mundane details of my life and bore you all to death!

I always start the month with a recap of what the year leading up to this momentous occasion looked like. I think we all were trying to find any semblance of normal again. And while we did start living again, I can’t help but feel I’m mentally and emotionally scarred from 2020.

Here is the 2021 recap…

Winter

We were still in cocoon mode, enjoying nights by the fireplace and pretending that a 30 degree day was warm enough to sit on a patio at a brewery. Pandemic Puppy Bruno was slowly finding his place in our home (and in our hearts) and turns out, he is an amazing snuggler (which is the way to Mr. KK’s heart).

We were still a few months away from our first COVID shot, so we stayed close to home. We avoided restaurants and any place inside and crowded. We played board games and made cocktails. We did crafts. We camped in the living room. We tried new recipes. We did remote kindergarten. We lit the fire pit and had friends over on a snow-covered patio when the temperatures in January reached a balmy 40 degrees. We freaked out with every sniffle and cough. We tried to make the best of it.

Spring

Spring brought optimism that maybe – just maybe – there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Mr. KK and I got vaccinated in March, which brought a small sliver of peace of mind, however with an unvaccinated child at home, not much in our lives changed. I ventured out for my marathon Target trips once again. (Whatever money we saved not going anywhere in 2020 was quickly spent at my 2021 Target visits. Sorry, not sorry).

I celebrated a birthday, though I’m still not convinced that if you don’t do out and celebrate for a full week and have the universe revolve around you, does your birthday even count? This year’s birthday saw Rocco – our older and smaller dog – literally almost die from what they think might have been a tick borne illness. Week of uncertainty and the cone of shame until finally they put him on doxycycline and he was like a NEW dog. He had his appetite back, and it hasn’t left since.

I feel I should mention that there were a few periods of tine this spring that BOTH dogs were wearing cones. It was ridiculous.

We had a flood in our living room when a pipe broke from our living room bar. Our beautiful hardwood floors buckled, even after having fans and humidifiers set up for a week straight.

The weather turned warmer and we could eat outside again! Patio living, here we come!

Summer

Whatever kindness the world – and Mother Nature – bestowed upon us during the pandemic last summer in the shape of the most glorious summer weather we’ve had in the last century, she violently and rudely took back. I can only speak for the Northeast, but the weather this summer SUCKED. It was either raining (all of Memorial Day weekend, literally almost every day for weeks on end) or it was muggy and humid, so much so that you couldn’t even bear to be outside or you’d be covered in a sheen of wetness. And don’t even get me started on my hair! No amount of hair serum existed to keep things under control this year.

A bright side to summer was our week away with friends to a little beach house we rented on the shore. Gorgeous beach days and beautiful sunsets, daily happy hours and morning walks. It was heaven.

Strawberry mojitos! What else were we going to do with all those strawberries we picked??

Mr. KK and I made it for our annual pilgrimage to Mystic, Connecticut. Where we sip adult beverages on a sailboat, then eat our weight in oysters.

And the best part? We were able to have some summer fun all while staying outside. Because I still refused to be unmasked for long periods of time inside (like eating a meal at a restaurant). If I could eat outside every day for the rest of my life, I totally would.

Fall

As we watched the world on its rollercoaster of COVID – lower deaths, Delta!, fewer hospitalizations, mask mandates back in place, vaccination requirements in cities and at companies – we prepared for the biggest unknown: in-person first grade for the Little Mister.

This year, when we were living with a highly-contagious variant of COVID, remote learning was not an option. It was all day in person school. Masked all day, but still. And you know what? Little Mister handled it like a champ. On Day 1 of morning school drop off, he literally slipped on his backpack, hopped out of the car with a “Bye, Mom!” and ran in the building, never looking back.

Me, at Little Mister’s desk, during Open House.

And here we are. It’s November, and we are on the cusp of my favorite holiday season. Last year, I skipped everything fall and went right to Christmas in early November because, well, COVID. This year, Little Mister and I decorated with “Fall Land”, though I’m counting the days until I can pack up the turkeys and take out the trees.

While it’s been great “getting back to normal”, it’s been…exhausting. I find myself missing the easy days of 2020…when I felt like I had all the time in the world. Now, I can’t seem to be able to squeeze in a workout most days, and – if I’m being honest – sometimes a shower. Everyone is busy again, so we are seeing friends less, and trying to do too much in a weekend. The laundry piles up. Dishes decorate the sink. We find ourselves giving into the convenience of take out more often.

But these next 30 days, I’m committed to finding a routine again for writing, and sharing the absurdities that are my crazy life.

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