A Positive Outlook on 2020

August 26, 2020

I know 2020 has been a hard year for everyone. Who would have thought we would be living through a global pandemic and in quarantine for months. Life is not normal right now, but it’s now our new normal. For me personally this year so far as taught me to appreciate all that I have in my life.

I could sit here and tell you all the things that have not gone right this year. Instead, I would like to focus on the good. 2020 has brought so many good memories in a time where we need to slow down.

New floors on first floor

This was our first big project of 2020! My dear sweet husband decided to tackle this project himself and thought he could complete it all within two weeks. Needless to say that didn’t happen, which was okay. My wonderful in-laws ended up coming over to help out several weekends, huge lifesaver.

I am not going to lie, living through this construction was hard with two small children, The floors turned out absolutely amazing! We love them so much. To be honest, our trim is still not down, plus we don’t have a vanity in our bathroom. True Life! I will be forever grateful we were able to finish the floors right before quarantine hit. Construction and not being able to go anywhere, wouldn’t have been fun. ha.

Kids having fun in the water

Parker and Hadley are water babies. They are completely drawn to anything water. In the beginning of the year, Parker, was taking swim lessons at Goldfish Anderson. We loved them and our experience so much. When COVID-19 hit, they had to close down. We went a couple more times when they reopened, but in this season of life, it just isn’t working. Don’t worry we will be back soon!

Since Goldfish was closed for a bit, we had to get a little more creative. We started with some water fun in the house when the temperature outside wasn’t cooperating. I saw through a friend on Instagram she used their swimming pool to keep things contained. Once the weather started warming up, we headed outside. Our water table as gotten so much use this summer. Kids play with it, water in it or not!

Exploring Cincinnati

We love living in Cincinnati! There is so much to do and explore. At the beginning of the year, we visited a lot of our favorite places. Some of our favorites include Cincinnati Zoo, SkyZone, Cherry Grove Graeter’s, Union Cincinnati Museum Center, and Run Jump-N-Play. This mama also had a girl’s night out to go roller skating at Beechmont Rollarena. It was so much fun, I highly recommend it!

Once quarantined hit, we had to get a little creative in our ways to explore Cincinnati. I looked at all the Cincinnati bloggers to see where they were venturing to. We checked out Sycamore Park in Batavia, California Woods Nature Preserve, and Long Branch Farm of the Nature Center. I even got to get out for a date night with my husband and a girl’s night.

Hadley turned 1

Little Miss Hadley is officially one year old. I had all intention of throwing a big donut party, but plans change. There is always next year! We did make it a family fun day, even though it rained. The morning we woke her up with balloons in her crib. Then it was off to get donuts of course and coffee. The rest of the day we spent time as a family, with a special visit from Aunt Sauna. We had a social distance birthday visit the next day from more family celebrating!!

Parker and Hadley grow closer

I don’t know if it was the fact they didn’t see any other kids or their age, but they got so much closer during the quarantine. They will now give each other hugs, kisses, and sometimes play together. Don’t get me wrong, they still fight, steal toys from each other, and are the typical brother/sister pair. I love watching them grow up together! 19 months apart is hard, but so worth it.

Be more intentional with your time

We had already spent a lot of time together as a family, but staying home all the time brings that to a whole new level. Being at home all the time can feel like groundhogs day over and over. I felt sort of trapped and wanted to go somewhere. In those moments i tried to be more intentional with my time.

One thing I did was try to get up before the kids did. That turned out to be challenging as Hadley would wake up at 6:00am. That girl knew I was trying to be more productive/intentional. On those days I would take nap time and do something for myself to just relax. In those days I also learned to be intentional with CJ. Picked nights where we did no tv, played a game or just talked instead.

Parker’s speech improved and now talking in full sentences!

We enrolled Parker in speech therapy after his second birthday. He seemed behind and not saying as many words as he should have been for his age. We went through Clermont County Board Developmental Disabilities. Parker was seeing a speech therapist once every other week unless someone was sick in our household.

Then quarantine hit and we put everything on hold. They did offer Zoom calls, but I knew Parker wouldn’t sit through them. We are very thankful for the in-person visits with the therapist. Something clicked in his mind and by the end of quarantine, he was speaking in full sentences. I am beyond surprised by some of the words that are coming out of his mouth. CJ and I know have to be extra careful as to what we say, he is a parrot.

Made it to 13 months of breastfeeding

I am very proud that I breastfed Hadley for a total of 13 months. I wanted to quit after the first week but kept giving myself small goals to make it to. It wasn’t the easiest experience, but I made it. Looking back I am glad I didn’t give up. I truly believe breastfeeding saved my life. For those of you who don’t know, I found a lump while weaning Hadley. The lump turner out to be cancer.

Be more creative

I am the type of person who loves to be busy and be out of the house. Prior to March the kids and I would attend two different moms groups, meet up with friends, and venture to check out Cincinnati. Once we were contained to home I had to get creative. I knew we couldn’t just sit at home all day in our jammies watching tv.

I scoured the internet and Instagram trying to figure out what to do. In the past couple of months I am thankful for kinetic sand, a baby pool, play-dough, Nugget, ice cube tray, matchbox cars, and plenty of toys. All the things mentioned previously sparks the kids imaginations. We also spend a ton of outside outside exploring.

Life is short, don’t take things for granted

One of the biggest thing in 2020 I learned is that life is short. I haven’t announced yet here on the blog, but I was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I’m currently undergoing chemo which will at least last until October 29th. I never thought I would get cancer especially at the age of 32.

I have had two big surgeries in the past couple months. After both I was told not to lift more than 10 pounds. Parker and Hadley are both over 20 pounds, so for a couple weeks I was unable to lift them both. I had to watch other people care for my babies and love on them life I wish I could. Once I was able to hold them again, I never took it for granted. I cherished every moment and soaked it in as much as I could!

Yes, 2020 hasn’t been the year we all were expecting and hoping for. Life has thrown many curveballs. This doesn’t mean there haven’t been good things to come out of this year. I challenge you to look back all the way to January and find at least 3 good things that have happened! Write them in the comments or over on Instagram.



1 Comment

  • Evan Ryan August 31, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Katie, this and your story are so inspirational.

    Congratulations on your progress so far, congratulations on being locked down with your kids and staying sane 🙂 and thank you for sharing this. Truly inspirational.

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    About Katie

    About Katie


    Welcome to my little corner of the internet! Living Amidst is a Cincinnati-based lifestyle blog. Katie is a wife, mother, and a woman fighting Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This little space was created when my son was four months old and I lost who I was. Living Amidst became my corner of the internet to find myself again. My Instagram and blog focus on motherhood, self-care, and my journey through my recent diagnosis of cancer. Read More

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