2021 was the best year of my adult life. I feel guilty saying that, given the general state of the world, but it’s also fair to celebrate the many wonderful things that this year held for me. Here’s a recap: 2021 in 12 photos.
January was a quiet introduction to the new year. I love this photo of my niece and nephew using my dad’s workbench and tools to play.
I surprised Brandon with a quick trip to one of our favorite towns, Charleston, for his 33rd birthday. We walked around the historic district, ate tons of good food, and spent way too much money at Candlefish.
The highlight of March was Pi Day, for sure. Jennifer and I made four different pies to celebrate!
Our newest nephew was born in April, and he’s been tagging along to many dinners and game nights ever since!
May was a BIG month. We celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary with an epic road trip through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. It’s hard to choose just one photo to represent the month, but the day we hiked The Narrows at Zion National Park was one of the best days of the entire year — and of my life.
At the end of June, I spent several days in San Francisco with my two best friends. (See Farewell, Summer 2021 for more.) On one evening, we enjoyed a special night out at The Franciscan Crab, where we feasted on seafood before stocking up on touristy merch at a nearby Fisherman’s Wharf store.
After 15 months working at home, I begrudgingly made my full-time return to the office in July. To ease the transition, Brandon and I painted an accent wall and I purchased new art, lamps, and plants to make my office more creative and welcoming. The framed prints have since been destroyed by humidity, but I’m proud to say that three out of four plants have survived!
I completed a year of language learning on Duolingo in August, and celebrated by purchasing my first Le Creuset Dutch oven. The bread pictured was not my best work, but I’ve used my Dutch oven for many other dishes since its inaugural spin in the kitchen.
Another epic vacation brought us one step closer to finishing 50 in 5! This time, we visited Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, and Montana. We discovered that Montana is totally our *vibe*, and fell in love with Glacier National Park. This photo, taken at Lake McDonald, is from another best day of our lives. It was also our Christmas card photo this year.
In October, we were excited to see my favorite band, NEEDTOBREATHE, in concert in Raleigh. We’ve seen them so many times, and they never disappoint. A late-night dinner at Whiskey Kitchen was the icing on the cake.
I’m tired just thinking about November, when we completed our largest home project to date. Our many, many hours of work were rewarded with a beautifully updated kitchen and dining room. One photo cannot sum up the entire project, but this one shows a bit of the work in both rooms.
Similar to last year, 2021 did not end on a high note. I spent all of Christmas Eve in the emergency room with my mother, who experienced a TIA (mini-stroke) that morning. She was in the hospital for three nights. It didn’t cause any lasting damage, but the experience was a good reminder to me to pay closer attention to my own health and to listen to my body when it’s telling me something is wrong.