The 2020 Survey

I've seen this survey floating around some blogs and thought I would fill it out. It's always fun to do a bit of self-reflection as the year draws to an end.

1. What did you do in 2020 that you'd never done before?

Lived through a global pandemic, be induced for my delivery, got a facial, attended a parent/teacher conference where I was the parent, and regularly and willingly wore a face mask everywhere I went

2. What new places did you visit?

Honestly, between pregnancy/having a newborn and the pandemic we barely left our city. But back in January, Brock and I went to San Francisco for three days to celebrate our anniversary. It was a wonderful babymoon.

3. What dates from 2020 will remain etched in your memory and why?

March 12: The day everything shut down and it felt like my world was falling apart

July 25: The day Gus was born

August 24: The day James started kindergarten. It's kind of random but it was a date we kept mentioning in the weeks before

4. What did you do on your birthday?

My birthday is February 24. The actual day of my birthday I had a cold and my parents came to grab the kids. They slept over at my parents' house while I rested and it was wonderful. A few days earlier, Brock and I had gone on a date to celebrate my birthday (actually, that was our last date of this entire year). We went to an Italian restaurant and talked and planned what we wanted the next few years to look like. Of course, we had no idea what was coming so some of those plans don't really matter anymore. 

5. Did anyone close to you have a child in 2020?

Me! I did!

6. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. Both my grandfather and Brock's grandfather passed away this year. Even though they were both old (88 and 91) and ready to go, it was still hard.

7. What was the biggest challenge you faced?

Finding happiness and things to be grateful for during a personally hard time (pregnancy) and a globally hard time (the pandemic).

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I mentioned this in Gus's birth story, but I had constant pain in several areas of my body for a few months before giving birth. An inflamed tendon in my foot, constant tailbone pain, low back spasms, etc. They all cleared up after having Gus, but the cyst on my wrist flared up again and I'm still dealing with that. I'll need minor surgery on it but am putting it off until Gus is a little older. In the meantime, it makes it hard to exercise.

9. What was your best purchase?

I have really gotten into buying things from secondhand sites like Nextdoor, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace, and some of my favorites include:

  • A bed frame for our bed (our first one).
  • Tons and tons of plants (none more than $5 and many free).
  • A Madsen bucket bike on that I found Facebook marketplace for so much less than I had seen it anywhere else. My mom picked it up for us (driving almost five hours total) and we (mostly Brock) have used it all the time. It's great for us all because Brock gets to bike on his favorite bike paths and I get the older kids out of my hair. Win win!

10. What were your best new discoveries?

  • The Stormlight Archive:  I had heard Brock and my brothers talk about Brandon Sanderson for YEARS and I always thought it was not for me. But Brock convinced me to just give the first book of the Stormlight Archive series (Way of Kings) a try, so I did. It was hard for me to get into, but I took the kids to the zoo about half an hour away, and listened to it both there and back. I got home and realized that I was all in, 100%. So now I guess I'm into high fantasy. Never would have guessed.
  • Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads:  My mom got these for me after I had Gus, and they are my favorite nursing pads. I am a huge overproducer (HUGE) and leak constantly for months. I've tried a bunch of different pads and I like these the best. They don't slide around and do a great job of soaking up extra milk. There is a stack next to my bed at all times.
  • Art for Kids Hub: This is a fun Youtube channel where a dad and his kids go step-by-step through drawings tons of different things. Now that James is five, he really understood the directions and can follow along. He loves drawing and it is such a fun activity.

11. What did you get really excited about?

I was so excited not to be pregnant anymore. It's more and more obvious how much pregnancy really changes me for the worse, and I was so happy to be done. Brock had 8 weeks of leave for when Gus was born (4 weeks were paternity leave and the other 4 weeks were saved up vacation days), and I was so excited for him to have all that time off work. 

Also, I finished a crocheted blanket and was very proud. We're using it as a throw on one of our couches now and it makes me happy to see it.

12. What did you want and get?

An uncomplicated delivery and a fairly easy baby.  Also, for James and Calvin to share Calvin's double bed. James was very resistant at the beginning and we started slowly, only having him sleep with Calvin on the weekends, then adding on days until it was every night. Now they both love it and want Gus to sleep with them too.

13. What did you want and not get?

Most of Brock's family had plans to visit us this year, and none of them was able to come. We haven't seen any of them in over a year and even just typing that makes me tear up. I wanted to have normal interactions with my family as well, and that hasn't happened.  I had been looking forward to James starting kindergarten at the elementary school on our street, but instead he is doing it completely virtually. I could go on and on; there was a lot for everyone that didn't go as planned.

14. How would you describe your personal style in 2020?

First half: comfortable maternity

Second half: kind of sloppy, still not fitting in to old clothes but unwilling to buy a lot of new ones. So surviving on leggings and loose T-shirts, avoiding bras at all cost.

15. What political issue stirred you the most?

Racism. I spent a lot of time reckoning with our country's history of white supremacy.

16. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked this year?

I would like to have a solid exercise routine, unbroken nightly sleep, and more long walks with just my dog and me. On a more existential note, I would like to figure out what I want my next step to be.  Do I want to go to grad school? Or get a job? What field? These questions have been on my mind for a few years and I want to find some answers.

Also, I desperately hope to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  


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