Kate’s Birthday Giveaway

CATEGORIES: General News

Um, hi. It’s me. Kate. Your long-lost food blogger friend. And guess what. It’s my birthday. The big 4-0. I am forty. It’s fine. I’m fine.

Actually, honestly, I really am. My thirties were a doozie of highs and lows. I’m not naïve enough to believe that will magically get better when I turn 40, kind of like I don’t think 2021 is just going to magically not be a dumpster fire of a year just because the clock changes. But. There’s something peaceful about a milestone that feels like it’s closure.

Because it’s my birthday and I get to do what I want, I’m giving away a box of my favorite things! Many of them are things I’ve talked about in recent posts, but instead of just telling you about them, I’m giving you them, too! In addition to everything here, I’ll throw in some of my favorite odds and ends. Excited? Mildly interested? I’ll take it.

kate's birthday giveaway

2020 has been a year of redefining how I take care of my body. Getting my sensitive skin under control, embracing my natural wave/curls instead of fighting them, using more natural products, so this list includes a lot of those things.

  1. Like Stratia moisturizer. This is THE BEST moisturizer, especially daytime moisturizer, I’ve ever used. It’s lightweight, nourishing, soothing, and great for sensitive skin. It’s great during our humid summers and when my skin starts to dry out in the winter. I think very few face products are good for every skin type, but I think this is one that would probably be perfect for anyone regardless of age, race, skin type, skin sensitivities, etc. I. Love. It. I legitimately had a dream (no, nightmare) that I ran out of it and didn’t have a backup. 😳

2. Yes, part of taking care of myself involves chocolate- and caramel-drizzled pretzel thins. I picked these up on a whim at the grocery store one day and now I have to get them every time I see them. They’re probably my favorite snack right now. These should go in every Christmas stocking this year, just saying.

3. This hand soap smells like Aveda products at a fraction of the cost and the green glass hand soap bottle is stunning. It’s a little luxurious comfort during this crazy  year of hand-washing. If you use this link, you can get a free Mrs. Meyers cleaning kit–just look for the Jeremiah Brent collection.

4. If you had told me a year ago, I’d be giving away my favorite cloth face mask in a giveaway, I would have laughed at you. Alas, here we are. These masks come from my friend Candy’s Etsy shop and I’ve ordered a LOT of masks from her. They are double-sided, so you can have a little variety in your collection. They are soft, comfortable, breathable, and I always get compliments on them.

5. Sara was the one who converted me to Supergoop. It is THE BEST facial sunscreen ever. I have not always been great about wearing sunscreen, but once I learned that not wearing it was triggering my rosacea, I began wearing it religiously. I’m throwing a bottle of this into my birthday box!

6. This 10 in 1 spray for your hair is amazing–it reminds me a lot of It’s a 10 spray, but at a fraction of the cost (I have a bunch of Mane Club products and I love them all!)

7. I have been so in love with Sara’s wax melts! They’re low-commitment (I can melt one cube and then change my mind if I feel like it), easy to store, no smoke, I can melt them at school. I’m throwing in a Mulled Cider and Peppermint Icing!

8. I love this comb, which is also from Candy’s Etsy shop. I have this tortoiseshell one as well as her confetti comb and my whole family fights over them. It’s great for all hair types and would make an amazing stocking stuffer.

To enter, leave me a comment here and tell me a real moment you’ve had in 2020–happy, sad, something genuine that caught you off guard in the feels.

127 comments

  1. Homeschooling. Went from excited about it to now dreading each day we have to do it. I am sending them back in January. 🤞

    1. My neighbor and I have walked miles & miles during this mess of a year, so I guess one good thing has come out of this year!!
      Happy birthday!

  2. Happy birthday! 🥳
    I’ve always said I’m not SAHM nor teacher material.. yet here I am in 2020 balancing both with working full time. And I did not die 🤪

  3. Crying coming home from the hospital with my newborn twins because the previous 6 months had just been SO MUCH and we were finally on the other side of their birth filled with so many uncertainties…

  4. I’ve been home so much I’m about 95% done with Christmas shopping (all online, of course). This leaves me with more time this month to enjoy doing things I want to do during December that I never have time to do. Does that sound selfish? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  5. Taking our dog to the groomers is a bit of a feat. Making sure the children are ready to exit the vehicle and put the leash on the dog. The leash turns into some sort of magical string and the dog pulls me around like a kite.
    When I enter the groomers, I take a few steps in and realize I am being watched and quickly encountered by managers. I become aware that in my “quick flight” I forgot to put my mask on. Thankfully they had free ones at the entry way. Phew, who knew that a dogs grooming appointment could be so stressful? 😉

    1. I’m proud of my kids for navigating all the crazy, quarantining for a month this fall as Covid passed through the family, cancellations of plays and other events after a lot of time investments, etc. They are awesome and we’re learning flexibility and resilience!

    2. I’m a teacher and I took a new job, at a new school, in a new district, at a new grade level, and…online this year. Even though it’s my 8th year teaching, it kind of felt like starting from scratch. There have been tears, but there has also been so, so much laughter, and a connection with my students that I didn’t expect to feel through a screen. Thanks for prompting me to think about this!

  6. So many moments, but one good one that happened recently was a couple nights ago. The family was all at home, a broadcast from Temple Square was playing on our TV, and I was just serving a big pot of corn chowder and rolls for the family. This moment made me pause and appreciate the blessings of family, home, food and hope.

  7. It might not be the popular opinion, but I have loved being home. My kids are entering the teen preteen years and things are just crazier than ever getting everyone to their different activities. I’ve loved the cancellations, and just having time to watch a family movie, eat a meal together, do a project. It’s not all a bed of roses, but having time to encourage my kids to develop hobbies and talents they can do at home has been 😍. Happy birthday and welcome to your 40s!

  8. Happy birthday! I love following you on IG and in my head we’d be great friends because I love your humor and we have similar likings. This year I really focused on working out to combat stress and anxiety. I’m proud of how strong I have become, not just physically but mentally as well.

  9. The day we were told that the kids wouldn’t be returning to school for the year was rough. I cried, then baked a cake. I figured it was the only thing that could make me feel better in that moment. It didn’t. But I had cake. So there’s that. PS Happy Birthday 🎂🥳

  10. Happy Birthday Kate!! My moment is on-going, lol. I have loved teleworking while my daughter has been home for virtual school. It has definitely been hard, for sure, but this is time I never could have imagined that we’d get together, so I cherish it. She goes back to in-person school in January, and it will be weirdly bittersweet.

  11. Happy birthday!! This year has been such a rollercoaster. Something that caught me off guard was how resilient my kids are. Are they struggling? Absolutely! They miss school and friends (we’re still distance learning). But they get up every day and just get it done. They’re all doing great in school and I’m so proud of all four of them for rolling with the punches. It seriously amazes me.

  12. Happy Birthday!! I am so glad you are you and that you are here!
    My moment is when I am standing in my kitchen as the sun rises. It’s not quiet, because all five of us are here all the time, but it’s my little corner of the chaos and it makes me remember how much I really love my life, even the really screwed up bits. Then I breathe a little deeper and use all that extra air to tell everyone else to pipe down or so help me…

  13. I also turned the Big 4-0 this ridiculous year. I had big plans to celebrate on a beach somewhere, but instead celebrated in my backyard, which was okay too.

  14. I finally realized what my struggling child needed was more one on one time with me. Judgement free time. The meltdowns have dramatically reduced and she is starting to excel academically. 2020 brought answers to 2 years of prayers, hopes,and dreams.

  15. My daughter found her guy! They are both in their late thirties and sometimes in our church culture, it’s not always easy to feel like you fit in. They are both wonderful people and I am so grateful they found each other!

  16. In August my second grandson was born! I couldn’t be there in the hospital for this birth due to COVID regulations, but I did help my daughter breath during contractions over video call! My nine year old son is so happy to have two nephews now,as are my two older boys.

  17. Happy birthday, Kate! Welcome to your 40’s. I’m an 80’s baby, too, and turned 40 a couple months ago. I hope 2021 will be a great year for you! Thanks for doing the fun birthday giveaway. The highlight of my year has been my family. It’s a simple thing, but they make me the happiest.

  18. Happy birthday Kate!
    Oh 2020. I’ve had to learn about better parenting this year. My son was diagnosed with autism last year, but couple that with being 11 next week and the hormones he’s gaining and we’ve had some unique challenges. One of the best moments was crying at his school and the behavior therapist telling me she’s got me, and she has. We have worked together closely to adapt our parenting to what our son needs that our older children didn’t. I’m just so thankful for finding someone to genuinely care and help.

  19. Happy Birthday! I love your site! It’s the first one I go to when I’m looking for something yummy make, so thank you!!! I’ve had many ups and downs, just like everyone else, but my big moment is coming up this month when I get to celebrate 50 years with my wonderful husband. Sadly we will be celebrating alone rather than with our family. Maybe we can all celebrate in 2021.

  20. While skiing for the first time this season, my husband was hit by another skier. My husband landed hard on the packed snow, and as a result, suffered 9 broken ribs, a lacerated spleen, and a lung contusion. After four days in the hospital, including time in the ICU trauma unit, he was able to come home. He has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but, two weeks later, he is doing so much better! We are so thankful that these are injuries he can heal from completely. And we are so grateful that his injuries weren’t worse. No head, neck, or spinal injuries! And we are so grateful we have health insurance and for the many, many skilled medical personnel who cared for him!

  21. I’m an introvert and homebody so I have been training my whole life for 2020. As we are dealing with lots of canceled traditions and lifestyle changes I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal and I’m always looking for three new things to be thankful for each day. Writing down the little bright spots in each day has really helped me have a better perspective.

  22. Happy Birthday! This year has been doozy for sure. I’m grateful for the clarity 2020 has brought. Relationships and connection with others matters more than anything else.

  23. Kate, I turned 40 yesterday (12/03) too! Unfortunately this milestone has not (yet) brought me a sense of peace and transition as it has for you. It feels like another anxious moment in an extremely difficult year. I wish I could celebrate with friends in some kind of swanky cocktail party, but it’s not gonna happen and it makes me sad. But one thing this year has taught me is the importance of genuinely looking on the bright side and how it really can provide hope. So I want to end this comment on a positive note: I switched jobs a few months ago and my new position has been a wonderful change in so many ways. I routinely reflect on how grateful I am for this new job and how grateful I am for the timing — it has been a bright spot when almost every other aspect of life is often extremely stressful. Happy Birthday! I always look forward to your posts. Keep up the good work.

  24. Moved into our dream home April 13th, somehow our mortgage lender didn’t ask if I still had a job!? I am a hairstylist and salons were shut down…
    Needless to say we’re blessed to slip through the cracks!

  25. I was in the emergency room with Kidney stones, and they gave me an ultrasound to check on my baby to make sure everything was okay. The tech was able to see that our baby was a girl! After 3 boys, we are finally having a girl! I was completely out of it from the pain and morphine, but I started to cry happy tears and squeezed my husband’s hand. I knew it was a special moment. A silver lining to that awful pain!

  26. This year I baked Giant Cookies! They have brought a lot of tasty happiness to a number of recipients, especially folks who helped us after my husband’s hip surgery.

  27. We lost my mom to cancer just as COVID started to turn the world upside down. At a time of such loss, it was a moment we look back to with some happiness now, as we were one of the last funerals allowed to be conducted surrounded by all of her friends and family.

  28. Happiest of Birthdays to you. June 19 positive for Covid. Both my husband and I were very sick for a month. He was in ICU for a week. My son could not go to work, because he was exposed and needed a negative Covid result to return. So while he waited for his results, he cooked up a storm of delicious meals. He did some grocery shopping and just helped us tremendously. We were so blessed.

  29. Happy Birthday! This year was a doozy, and definitely had ups and downs. Probably the saddest for my family was our dog dying from an encounter with a Buck deer. It felt like a cherry on top of this year. HOWEVER a bright spot was getting pregnant after fertility issues for 4 years! And it’s a baby girl after having 2 boys.

  30. Happy Birthday Kate! I have learned to love teaching my 85 year old parents about technology. It was a rough go at first but we all realized it would be the only way we could “be together” and keep them safe. My mom is now on Instagram. Facebook, doing some hopping online and she loves “Our Best Bites!”

  31. When my kids left before me but I got home first because they had driven an extra couple of blocks to finish the song they were all singing together – they have turned to each other and made this a year of fun days and good memories- so proud of them!

  32. It’s been a year, for sure. The thing I’ve hated most about it is wearing a mask….about a half hour in I feel like I’m going to throw up. So I don’t go out much😜. Happy 40th!

  33. My “real” moment happened yesterday when my son told me his favorite teacher at school reminded him of ME. Wow. That’s high praise from a 13-year-old who isn’t fond of school. He is such a blessing.

  34. The day my daughter went out to buy ribbons and buttons to make mask-extenders for our first responders really gave me the feels. To say I’m a proud mom is an understatement! She is 23, and has ALWAYS had everyone else’s needs at the forefront of her mind. She is so giving and loving, and I find myself the lucky one to be called her mom!

  35. Happy Birthday, Kate. Remember, life is a gift!!! I just turned 70, myself…….and I cannot believe it. How did it happen? Where did the time go? I am so blessed…..and thankful!!! I am in great health, walk over 4 miles each day and have a loving family. The pandemic has not changed my life tremendously, as it has you young folks with busy careers and school age youngsters. My children are grown and live out-of-state. I mostly stay at home, but do venture out if we (my husband and I) need anything. I have taken the pandemic very seriously. I always mask up and socially distance in public. We did NOT get together with family this Thanksgiving. I think it was worth the sacrifice, b/c I want to be around for all those holidays to come. I really enjoyed reading your list of favorites. I would love to try them all!

  36. I was one of those people during the spring that decided it would be a great a time to get a puppy, while I was at home. She has been a great addition to our family.

  37. Just a few weeks ago, my newest baby niece entered the world. Her entry was dramatic and scary and definitely didn’t happen as expected, even taking all of the Covid changes and differences into account. As I prayed for her safe arrival and her mother’s health and well-being, I felt comforted and assured that all would be well.

  38. Happy Birthday, Kate! I love seeing what you are up to here and on instagram. It’s so interesting to see my two high school girls handle all the disappointments from the past year and those forthcoming better than I do. Parenting is hard but giant cookies help!

  39. My son had to return home form his mission in Brazil because of Covid. It was a crazy time to return but the quarantine time following was wonderful to share with just him and me at home. We were able to be there for each other in a new and meaningful way.

  40. My kids are middle and high school age, which I’m thankful for while they have been doing virtual at-home learning. I’ve been so proud of how well they have handled all of the distruptions from our normal routine and they are doing really well in school! I’m also super excited to be able to slow down this Advent season and have the opportunity to truly have the time to reflect on the coming of our Savior!

  41. Realizing that because of Covid, my Marine son might not be able to come home for the holidays. As a Mom this will be the first Christmas that I won’t have all four of my children home for the holidays.

  42. My family was planning a camping trip to the mountains, and on the day we were supposed to leave I had a million things to do. I took the truck to fill it up with gas and stop to get a Walmart pick up order, and the truck didn’t start very well. At first I was pretty frustrated as I had to find someone else to pick up my son from school, but I was able to get the battery replaced fairly quickly. My thoughts turned to gratitude as I realized that if the truck battery hadn’t failed that morning, we would have been stranded up in the mountains. Although it seemed like a trial at first, I count it as a blessing from heaven.

  43. Happiest of birthdays! What moment to share in 2020?! I guess more than anything, I am just so grateful I still have a job I can telecommute to every day (no matter how hard it is) and I’m so grateful that my family has stayed safe and healthy through a scary and confusing time. Oh and I should not be allowed to grocery shop online because I don’t pay attention to size or quantities. We are still making our way through a 5lb bag of frozen veggies. EEK!

  44. Happy Birthday yesterday. I will eat chocolate covered cinnamon bears in your honor. I miss being alone. I know that is weird right now when everyone talks about being lonely and sometimes I feel alone because I don’t see friends often..but I am talking ALONE alone. My husband now works from home, kids are home, I do school from home. Sometimes when I have to take my proctored Exams, I make my husband and the kids leave and when my test is over, I don’t tell them for an extra half an hour. Just so I can sit and not have someone ask me to do something.

  45. 2020 has been a rollercoaster and the lockdowns have been awful! Ready to break out and start fresh in 2021. Family time has been a bonus but teaching and having my own kids online has not been ideal.

  46. I basically broke down crying when I realized that because of online school, my first grader won’t have a school picture this year. It is the tiniest, least important thing, but it made me so, so sad.

  47. After a 2 week all online schedule with my baby (who is in high school!), the day he went back to in-person school felt like the first day of kindergarten! He walked out the door and I cried. It’s been an emotional year, but that one caught me by surprise 😂

  48. Happy Birthday Kate!! 40 is great. So many new experiences this year … but one worth sharing is reworking my way through all the OBB cookbooks again over the quarantine and discovering some new family favorites 🙂 I’m pretty sure I also set a new personal record for making dinner every single night

  49. Woke up my kids at 6am one morning near the beginning of the shutdown this spring so we could watch a live stream of a nasa launch. Turns out, I wasn’t really thinking and should have adjusted for the time difference in the other direction- instead of 6am my time, we should have gotten up at 2am to watch it live. We ended up just watching a replay on YouTube and going back to bed! Still a memory, right?

  50. My daughter’s cat bolted when I took him to the vet. I never, ever thought we would find him. Cats have no boundaries and could go anywhere. I had to tell her when I picked her up from school. We looked FOR HOURS that night. We worried all night that he would be scared or cold. My husband brought him home to us the next morning, had found him near where I’d lost him. It was a Miracle! And I realized that having everyone (including pets) safe and home was a blessing!

  51. My favorite moment of the year was being able to walk my senior across the stage at his makeshift high school graduation in front of our high school. Seeing the efforts people put into bringing “normalcy” into a chaotic world has been awe-inspiring.

  52. Happy Birthday! Milestone bdays are a great thing to celebrate, even in a pandemic. I’ve loved the slower pace of life. Kids are home more, husband isn’t traveling for work, and I’ve learned that we can all handle so much more than we thought possible. One happy spot has been all of the big cookies we’ve enjoyed ever the past few months. It’s amazing how cheerful and unexpected a big cookie can be and we’ve had fun sharing them to brighten friends’ days.

  53. Happy Birthday!! 2020 has definitely been a doozy, we’ve been building our forever home & just like the dumpster fire 2020 has been, so has our building experience… We’re really hoping it’ll be done before the end of the year, but after nearly 18 months of building, it’s probably not likely! 😞 But hey, everyone is staying healthy, so it’s still a win in my book, despite the nightmare!

  54. I had my 3rd baby! She is perfect and that was definitely the high of this year! Buttt mom of 3 under 4, newly stay at home, no preschool- it’s been a lot. I’ve needed a lot of grace this year and that’s the name of our sweet 2020 baby- Grace!

  55. This year has taught me to slow down and appreciate my kids. There were definitely moments of distance learning that I wanted to strangle them all, but overall I loved the slower pace and having them home more. Home us my happy place.

  56. My feels moment was when my 8 year old daughter started looking more like a woman and less like a girl… she needed new clothes and nothing fit from her wardrobe… it was a sad/happy/terrifying moment for me.

  57. Saying goodbye to my sweet mom in March was a hard one. She was in an assisted living and like so many other people, I was unable to visit her once COVID hit. She kept falling but, unfortunately, we weren’t told so by the time we realized something was really wrong, it was too late. She had 2 brain bleeds and passed a couple of days later. COVID has impacted so many people in so many ways but dang, it’s hard to watch loved ones suffer. Here’s hoping 2021 is a whole lot better for all of us!

  58. Happy Birthday! I loved my forties! My son takes my little grand daughter outside every night to say goodnight to the moon. I’m a first time grandma, everything gets me in the feels! Even with COVID, I love being a grandma.

  59. Both of my parents died within the last 2 years and what I really want for Christmas is a hug from my Aunt, who was my Mom’s closest sibling and looks a lot like her. But due to Covid and her age, I can’t see or hug her. This hit me like a ton of bricks as I was driving home from the grocery store yesterday and I had to pull over cuz I couldn’t see through my tears.

  60. Happy birthday! I got a hysterectomy this year and I’ve never been happier about anything ever. (Maybe a slight exaggeration… but only slight.)

  61. many interesting moments from this very strange year. One that is seared in is discovering that one of my children is profoundly dyslexic – his test scores had him at less than .03% for his age group. I cried. Then, I remembered this same kid is absolutely amazing and creative and we’ll be ok.

    Happy Birthday! I hope you can celebrate it

  62. Happy Birthday! I was apprehensive about having a baby and how different it would be, but I was surprised how normal the hospital experience felt. And our son is the brightest spot that could come out of this year.

  63. My daughter saw a girl at recess who was sitting down, crying because nobody would play with her. My daughter sat down next to her and said it would be ok, and told her they could play anything she wanted <3 and this was in the midst of my daughter having a tough time and crying every time I had to leave her at school. Made my heart happy to see that she has such a kind heart, even when she's having a hard time at school herself.

  64. My 2020 moment was spending 5 days at the Disney World Resort…it was the perfect break from this COVID crazy and I was so stinking proud of my 4 kids for bravely handling everything thrown at them this year – like wearing a mask for 8+ hours a day to experience the magic of Disney. 🥰 Totally worth every humid mask moment 😷 🤪😂

  65. After a stressful day of online school. My son put liquid dish soap in the. Dishwasher. Ugg! Lol! So many bubbles everywhere! Cry or laugh. A little of both.

  66. For the last 6 months we’ve been trying to buy the house we are renting and every time we get to a closing date it gets postponed. The uncertainty is killing me.

  67. Happy Birthday! One of my happy (although eye opening) was seeing the relief my son felt when he tested negative for Covid. I say eye opening because I didn’t realize the stress he was feeling.

  68. Many things have been crazy during this time but also many things have brought happiness into our families lives. We have been able to spend way more time together with our 4 kids, we got a puppy that has brought joy to our home. I have become a short order cook for lunch and breakfast over 2020 hahah! Happy birthday hope 40 treats you good I will join this group in January and I feel good about it!

  69. Happy 40th! 2020 has been hard for sure, but it also opened up a wonderful opportunity for my family and me. Because my husband started working from home I’ve been able to start working out of the home part-time after being a SAHM for 15 years! I love my job so much and the confidence and fulfillment it brings me. We’ve even worked out a way for me to keep working whenever he goes back to work!

  70. Happy Birthday! This year has been hard in so many ways. My oldest (13) struggled with anxiety/depression and spent some time in an inpatient program. It was super helpful for her, but also the worst time in my life. Our old dog died in October, so that was a fun way to end the year. It’s just been a doozy… BUT, my husband retired from the military a year ago and we bought 6.5 acres in the country and we’re starting to plan for building our forever home and finally settling. That’s an amazing feeling!

  71. I experienced my first “pay it forward” in a drive-thru. A very kind woman if front of us paid for our meal. I and my passenger were stunned. We paid for the car behind us instead. I cannot express how that small gesture made our hearts full and our day entirely different. The immediacy of the “change of heart” was stunning. I hope to be able to do this again for someone, to start the change of heart chain.

  72. Happy birthday Kate! This year I have realized how grateful I am for amazing teachers. I have an autistic son and another son with dyslexia and this year affirms that I am NOT TRAINED to handle their education. 😂 I’ve just been keeping my head above water all year, attempting to juggle their needs and work from home. Grateful for the teachers who have been putting in so much extra time and effort to try and help my kids when we’ve been learning from home.

  73. We were at Disney World the week the pandemic was declared. Which was both perfect (what better way to avoid news than to be in the Disney bubble??) and totally weird (our last day was the day before they closed, and they were squishing us together in line while the outside world was freaking out and buying toilet paper). We went with some friends for whom it was a bucket list trip, and I have been grateful all year that we got to go! Any time we get complain-y about the state of the world, I think of that trip.
    PS. Happy 40! I turned the big 4-0 in June and had planned to spend it on a cruise, which was of course cancelled. Which sort of seems apt for 40.

  74. I am hearing impaired. I realized quickly with the mask wearing how much I relied on lip reading to help me understand what people are saying.

  75. Happy birthday! One of the (many) “real moments” I had this year was just recently when my 13 year old daughter had a little break-down after we told her that our governor put some more strict limitations of gathering in groups. She just wants to be able to have us come to her recitals. Sometimes I don’t realize how stressed my kids might actually be. I think they take it on the chin and adapt really well the majority of the time, but sometimes it just gets tough for them. I told her that it was ok to be disappointed and sad, I was too. For once I didn’t try to fix the problem (I’m a fixer) and just gave her a listening ear and a safe space to mourn a little. It taught me once again that it’s ok to mourn loss, no matter what that loss might look like. And it also taught me to see my kids more deeply, past the brave facade they might be putting on.

  76. 2020 brought real joy (also a lot of other emotions). I finally had the opportunity to have all 11 of my children together. The youngest was born while 2 others were serving missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A daughter moved far away while another was serving so it took until 2020 to finally get them all together. Hooray for being together despite COVID.

  77. Happy birthday! One moment for me this year was having cancer removed and my sister insisting to come help. One of those moments when you say you’re fine, but realize how much someone’s thoughtfulness helped.

  78. The upside-I’ve got lots of time to exercise and I’ve probably never been this consistent.

    Downside-my former exercise of choice was martial arts and we aren’t making that happen yet.

  79. This may seems silly but one of the very best things that happened for me in 2020 was that my 2 1/2 year old decided it was time to potty train and she was so easy to help! To me that is heaven sent! She hasn’t looked back since day one back in the spring and it has been such a tender mercy for me.

  80. A moment from 2020 that stands out and will be something that, when I’m old and grey and my grandchildren ask me what it was like living in a world with Covid, I will tell them about the first time I went to the grocery store in March. Covid cases were just starting to be reported in our state, church had been canceled, and so I had hoped Sunday morning would be a quiet time at the store. Putting on a mask for the first time, shopping when I should be in church, and then seeing empty shelves where flour and yeast should be made me cry. Yes, I shed tears in the grocery store. Tears for what I had taken for granted and tears for the unknown. But through it all, God is good and we have been blessed.

  81. This year has been hard on all my kids. They’ve had a hard time not being able to be with friends as much or have parties. As I try to comfort them, fill in as a “friend”, and keep their spirits up, I’m trying to battle my own disappointment as I miss my mom and sisters and friends as well. I am so grateful for my sweet kids though. Even as I type, I’m up with my 11-year-old who has a headache, and my 15 year old who is having a panic attack. Trying to be a support and help to them.

  82. I’ve had some memorable moments in 2020 with hiking several new trails! It has helped me mentally and I know without the craziness of this year I wouldn’t have taken the time to do lots of these new trails. I also went backpacking for the 1st time.

  83. It’s my son’s Senior year! He’s been quarantined twice (just from contact exposure) and missed the first week of basketball because the school went virtual and sprained his ankle the first week of practice. He qualified for State FFA sporting clay shooting event and was quarantined and couldnt’ go to that. Been a sad year, been trying to count blessings!

  84. Happy Birthday! I hope your year has gone better than mine has. 2020 has been filled with not great moments for me and my family. The year started out with my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer. The good news is she is out of the woods now and is cancer free!

  85. Happy birthday to you!
    My realization: my dog probably likes it when I’m not here and would be fine with me going back to the office.

  86. Happy Birthday! Surviving being in the hospital with twins both having RSV, right before the pandemic hit…thinking we did awesome getting through that only to have to homeschool the older kids a month and a half later. But now we’re just past the twins first birthday and I have 1 kid that got to go back to school part time. And that right there is wonderful.

  87. My moment was watching my kids bond in April and May. Not being able to do anything with friends, plus getting a new trampoline, helped them rely on each other and find ways to have fun together. My 13 year-old and 10 year-old became good friends.

  88. We moved right in the middle of this year and let me just tell you – moving to a new town during a global pandemic is next level bad. My kids have been SO lonely and hardly met anybody. It is so sad. I’m hoping 2021 brings SOME better things!

  89. Happy Birthday! 2020 has been a rollercoaster. A very “real” moment for me was experiencing an earthquake larger than any I’d ever experienced before and realizing my emergency kits were horribly out of date. They got updated very quickly!

  90. I have loved spending more time together with my kids now that they are teenagers. We have made dinner together and baked together. I have loved the slower pace where you can savor the moments.

  91. Happy Belated Birthday Kate 🎉! 2020 has been a year like no other (understatement). The sudden loss of my sister, without being able to physically be with her, was incredibly difficult to reconcile. The unexpected gift was finding a much needed opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth to seek the positives in people, experiences, and situations. Gratitude is the operative word as we close out 2020. Cheers to much peace and love in 2021 🙂

  92. Happy birthday! I’m coming up on 40 too. We (me, husband, and 4 boys) sold everything and took off in an RV to see the country for the past couple years. We were so done and heading to find a place to settle down again right when all this mess broke out and we’ve had a lot of wrenches thrown at us, so we are still stuck in the RV toughing out the winter at the top of the Idaho panhandle. The year started off with a horrible miscarriage and my dad getting remarried to my mom’s childhood best friend who he had an affair with when I was seven…… so it’s been a year of stretching and growing and love and forgiveness.

  93. My family has had many ups and downs in 2020. The main down was my husband getting furlowed and forced into early retirement. It turned into a blessing however when my father in law passed away and he was able to spend more time with his mother. Our biggest up was the birth of a new unexpected grandbaby ❤️. We have seen many tender mercies this year. It has been a hard year but a very blessed one also.

  94. My son has severe asthma so we decided to homeschool all of our kids to keep him COVID free. A couple of months into homeschooling we found out he had a speech articulation disorder and has to go to the school for his speech therapy sessions. The one person we wanted to keep out of school, now goes once a week. 🥴2020 mood.

  95. Oh 2020! I will skip all the lows and just mention one bright memory. We finally made it to the beach with family late this summer, and loved having it so empty because of covid. Lots of space to play and relax which rarely happens. And as a fellow mom in her now 40’s, I can honestly say that I love this stage of my life. Welcome to the club!

  96. The other day, my 9-year-old son hugged me and told me he loved me on his way out the door to school. He did it unprompted and without thinking about it, he just freely gave love. It made my day.

  97. When I realized there was a problem with the RV we had rented and the Black tank was completely melted two hours into our 3 weeks trip. And then I realized that I was blessed to catch the problem before it lit the 7 of us on fire!

  98. My 9 year old daughter had the biggest meltdown the other night—screaming, yelling, the works. Finally she got out all her rage and starting to cry and said “I just want to be able to hug the people I love at school”. My kids seem so resilient, it was a humbling reminder that this year is very hard for them, though they hide it well.

  99. Finally taking the plunge for my dream job after talking about it for years….I became a travel agent in February 2020 just for covid to hit a month later. Sigh

  100. Happy birthday! Realizing that we get to be together more as a family- even though it means missing somethings, we finally got a chance to slow down and be purposeful. When will you post a winner?

  101. Happy birthday! My husband was not allowed to go to work for 7 months because he is old (!) so during that time we were able to completely landscape our backyard doing all the huge amount of digging, building walls with pavestone and putting in all the plants. It looks so much better and would have taken us years otherwise. I hate that others have suffered so much from COVID but this was the bright spot for us!

  102. Happy Birthday!

    A “real” moment I had was when my state went back to partial lockdown a week ago, which mean my gym closed, regardless of the extreme precautions they have been taking. Major sadness. Fingers crossed they can reopen soon.

  103. We’ve felt much more unified as a family as a result of being forced to spend more time together. Not that we didn’t like it before, but now we realize how precious family really is and when it comes down to it, they’re the people we’d want to be stuck inside with for 6 months! =)

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