That’s it folks. That’s all she wrote. 2020 is officially in the bag. Done. Over. Forever to be the-year-that-must-not-be-spoken. It took a little piece of me with it. I’m now working hard, albeit warming up slowly, to get me back. To get life back.

Instead of a New Years resolution, I did a Good Things That Happened in 2020 list. I counted my blessings.

  • Cole was visiting in January
  • We got to go ice skating
  • Tess & I flew to Japan
  • We raced Mario Karts on the streets of Tokyo
  • We went to multiple animal cafes
  • I held a meerkat!
  • I scuba dived for the first & last time
  • I saw Nick in Okinawa ❤
  • Slept in a space pod
  • Alana came “home” for winter break
  • Dressed up & went to the Army ball
  • Got a heckuva lot of new games
  • Christian moved home
  • My neighbor got llama’s!
  • My other neighbor has scottisch highlanders!
  • And the other one baby goats ❤
  • Watch history being made as SpaceX launched
  • Got a baby Yoda
  • Discovered astro photography
  • Got a new cat, Asriel
  • Went to a Black Life Matters walk
  • Fell in love with our town dump
  • Harvested lavender in Provence
  • Lost the car keys in Provence (and husbands came to save us)
  • Fell in love with Provence
  • Saw the pont d’Avignon
  • Did a good deed
  • Went to Holland & saw family
  • Went to Amsterdam to see Steve
  • Visited Artis zoo with almost no other people
  • Met up with Berna and laughed, a lot!
  • Spent multiple weekends in Bavaria
  • Found a new favorite restaurant: Alter Wirt
  • My grandson turned one, and my parents got to visit him
  • Went to Colmar, France and had an amazing time
  • Found the mini version of our Statue of Liberty
  • Tess got terrified by a spider in grapes she stole (from the vine)
  • French grapes are as good fresh as they are in wine
  • Goat cheese & honey is my new favorite flavor combo
  • Alana moved in
  • I saw family again ❤
  • Went to the pumpkin festival
  • Had the best pumpkin soup
  • Got kisses from the grandson through the phone
  • My cousins visited with their two dogs!
  • Flew a drone
  • Had a spectacular Fall
  • Had a black light/glow-in-the-dark Halloween candy hunt
  • Played Among Us with all my kids
  • I have a video of both my parents on a see-saw with my grandson
  • Thanksgiving
  • The grandson hugged the phone, hugged me!
  • The Mandalorian Season II (and season I, again)
  • Christmas lights in downtown Stuttgart
  • Baby Yoda PJs
  • Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) with 4 kids
  • Alana traveled home safely & no Covid
  • Had a white Christmas ❤
  • Dave saved a box of fireworks
  • Had fireworks for New Years Eve
  • Tomorrow Dave comes home ❤❤❤

Most importantly, knock on wood, none of us have gotten sick. Dave has the trip home today and I’m praying it’s as quiet as his trip to the states. He’s been gone over a month and I have missed him. I’ll be happy to have our little family back together.

It’s funny, because we always set off all our fireworks & it’s never enough, but last year, Happy New Year 2019, there were so many fireworks that Dave saved a box. This year the only way to have fireworks is if we had some. None were sold, but we had some! Dave may not have been here in person, but he was here in spirit.

The giggling of the boys, including Dave’s “boss” at midnight was spectacular. While we lamented the lack of fireworks, Grant (new to Germany) reveled in how incredibly many there were. It was his joy at ALL THE FIREWORKS that slid things into perspective for me.

We have gotten so used to the incredible excess of fireworks. The piles & piles of New Years explosives. Ours, the neighbors, the neighbors’ neighbors. We are used to every house going Kaboom! Until almost 2 am. This year we had just one pile. The Kaboom! only lasted 30 minutes.

For Grant, this was amazing! Best New Years ever! He barely missed his family. He’s new to Germany, it was his first NYE, and it was awesome. So I vowed to be like Grant. I vowed to let what I have be enough. I vowed to let what I have be awesome!

That long list? That is just the awesome. There is a lot more to be grateful. This year I’m counting my blessings. I’m focusing on the positive. This is going to be an awesome year!