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I never had a chance to give you a little Christmas Recap, something I’ve been doing on the blog since 2013, so I didn’t want to miss this year! ( 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 recaps, holy cow, that’s 7 years of blogging!)
If you follow on Insta (@hungryhobbyRD), you saw I spent Christmas Eve morning finishing up cooking and tidying the house. My mom was here for the holidays, and she hung out with a little man in the morning. In the evening, we headed to Mr. Hungry’s parent’s house for a little appetizer feast. Mr. Hungry picked out many appetizers from Safeway, but my MIL also made my Spinach Artichoke Dip!
The next day we spent the morning at home. I didn’t get any food pictures because we basically ate in shifts while little man opened presents. Well, first Nala opened a present.
Oh man, that only child Christmas, he had so many presents. I think it was a bit overwhelming for a two-year-old. And of course, Mama and Dada had some presents to open. At the top of the list of my favorite things we received were these paintings from my Aunt (she painted them!) My Uncle also HAND MADE KJ a car and truck, which are adorable. I’ll be sure to share on my Friday Favs because I only have a video right now. My Aunt and Uncle are amazingly crafty and talented, we will treasure those handmade gifts!
Later that morning, we went on a walk, still dressed in our Christmas PJ’s which we stayed in all day. It took some convincing to get Mr. Hungry to walk in his PJs, but he ultimately agreed.
After naptime, we headed over Go-ga’s and Go-pa’s (KJ’s names for my in-laws) for round 2 on the present opening!
It was a wonderful holiday! I have to admit the holidays are so much better with kids. Sure, a bit more stressful as you try to get things ready for the holiday, but also so much more fun. I noticed that a few years ago when we had my nephew here for the holidays, but having your own kids too is an unexplainable joy that I couldn’t be more grateful for, especially since for so long we weren’t sure if we could have kids. Not to say pregnant Kelli didn’t miss holiday wine and drinks, because I did, but knowing KJ will have a little brother to share Christmas makes it all worth it.
2020 In Review
*Note the rest of this post is word heavy!
For the first time last year, I set just one intention for the year instead of many goals. I still find it ironic that the word I chose for the year was relationships. Last year, after being one year into life with a KJ, I sought balance in work, motherhood, and family. I was seeking deepened relationships and more experiences. I wrote:
“But, I’m not building from scratch anymore. It’s been four years since I walked away from a full-time job to work on the blog, private practice, and teach. I’ve said no to so many experiences to keep this boat afloat because that’s what it takes to build something from scratch—both financially and structurally.
Now, I’ve still got a long way to go to where I see HH in the future, but I can take a night or two off without the walls falling in on me. I have to let myself do it.
This year, I want to say yes to experiences instead of always “having to work.” We hope to be blessed with more children in the future, so I know I need to learn to make time for life now before those blessings come along.”
And then March came along, and I still remember feeling how ironic it was that I had picked this year, the year (or what we thought at the time would be 2 weeks) of isolation to focus on relationships. For months, I was mostly fine. Any time I would get upset, I would think, well, I’m just one of the billions of people feeling this way and move on from whatever feelings those were. However, the last few months have been harder than the first six months were cumulatively. Many outside factors played into that (pregnancy is a big one), but still, I definitely hit a breaking point of no return several times.
I still find it ironic, but I also see God working in mysterious ways amidst the irony. I remember the bi-weekly Skype dates with one of my best friends for 5 months until we found out we were both pregnant the same week in September, and then we both got super duper morning sickness. I know I wouldn’t have gotten to talk to her that much if it wasn’t for the pandemic. I also think of out of state friends I talked to more often because we had the opportunity stuck at home.
On the other hand, I also think of my son’s godfather, who has been my friend for 15 plus years, who I haven’t seen in over a year thanks to the pandemic. I missed his 30th birthday, he hasn’t seen his Godson, and I hate it. I think of the stress that came with childcare availability’s ups and downs while also thinking of the extra time I spent with KJ this year. I think of the division of opinions on how to handle the pandemic that divided my friends and family. I’m still coming to terms with the idea that there is no “right way” to handle the situation and accept others’ decisions. While at the same time, as someone who has been as cautious as possible (ordering groceries, wearing two masks in public, not seeing friends, ordering out at restaurants, delaying hiring additional child care until I thought I was gonna end up in the psych ward, waiting 10-14 days to see any family member who traveled, etc.) it’s hard to accept that others’ decisions do affect your own risk so heavily, both in your central group of friends and globally as cases climb.
But amongst all that, Hungry Hobby saw double the amount of traffic and double the number of email subscribers this year. I wrote a book, taught numerous online nutrition classes, counseled hundreds of clients, grew my YouTube channel tremendously, and grew a human for the last 22 weeks. In a time of extreme uncertainty, I had my best financial year yet as an entrepreneur. Overall, I’m proud of my progress amidst the world chaos.
2021 Word: Strength
So what do I want for myself for 2021? The one word that jumped out at me for something I want for 2021 is strength.
I want physical and mental strength in my body. I want physical and mental strength in labor because I don’t want an epidural again (I had some complications last time). And I definitely want it post-partum with breastfeeding and sleepless nights. I want strength in my business, especially when I’m on maternity leave. I want strength in my marriage as we continue to navigate these crazy times together and welcome another son.
It’s a broad word, maybe a little too broad, but it perfectly describes what I want for 2021. Perseverance has always been my strongest trait since I can remember, but there is a difference between that and strength. You can persevere while crying the whole time, feeling damned and broken, but I want to persevere with strength this year. I want to make decisions based on what will make me stronger, from what I eat, to workouts, to the thoughts I think, the people I interact with, and the tasks I chose to take on. I want to ask myself, “Will this build me up or tear me down?” And pursue only that which builds me up to make me stronger physically and mentally.
So that’s my word of 2021 – Strength, what’s yours?
How was your Christmas?