Hello, friends and family!
This is the first year I’m fully admitting that I am never on top of my game enough to do a printed holiday card in time for Christmas. And as a substitute, I’m leaning into my strengths instead: typing fast and writing/rambling. Consider this my first attempt at a holiday reflection in blog format, from Nic, Rach and Nordy.
2021 was filled with highs and lows for us. We had so many fun opportunities, lake weekends, weddings, gatherings and the gift of time. While we loved spending extra time together as officemates working from home for the second year, the year brought its fair share of stress and challenges. We celebrated big birthdays, and went through seasons of loss. I’d often complain that 2021 felt harder than 2020 in some ways, but Nic always reminds me that it’s because it was a year of growth – of problem solving, seeking and searching, embracing new changes and opportunities. We learned how to practice gratitude and count our blessings through all of it.
We spent the first half of the year doing construction on our home, and are SO excited to now have a second bathroom (especially when we got our roomies back this fall, hi McNamaras!). This project definitely tested our patience with contractors and gave us a much greater understanding of permits, plumbing and painting. It was entirely worth it in the end and we are loving the new space.
And of course, besides loving the second year of living in our wonderful home in St. Louis Park, we fell in love with more of what the Minneapolis-St. Paul community has to offer. We supported our favorite restaurants, tried more of our local breweries, explored new biking trails and more.
Our big trip this year was Iceland, which is by far the most diverse, majestic and incredible country either of us have ever been to. “Otherwordly” is the perfect way to describe it. Every place we went was a beautiful example of God’s creation. We went from mountains to the beach to volcanoes to glaciers to waterfalls to farmland to hot springs in a matter of minutes. Our favorite memory is staying in a yurt on a family’s private island – one of the first settlements in all of Iceland – and meeting so many incredible people that we shared drinks and Icelandic hot dogs with.
For me, I worked through an intense year at my job in advertising with a lot of work trips and new opportunities that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I wrote the first draft of a novel, formed new relationships and made my health a priority. Lake weekends were still my absolute favorite memories, never missing a chance to jump in the water (yes, I am 5).
Per usual, Nic’s favorite moments from this year are in the kitchen and on the ice. He bought his pizza oven he’s been dreaming about and spent a lot of time entertaining and cooking. He still gets paid to think about beef jerky all day (through insights and strategy at Jack Links) but I’m convinced he could make it as a chef if he wanted. And yes, he still goes to play hockey at absurd hours of morning and night.
Nordy’s updates? She is very happy she got yet another year where her parents worked from home. She got into a great routine of walking up with Nic, getting breakfast and going outside, and then coming back to bed with Rach for a few hours. As always, she must be cuddling with someone at all time unless she is going for a walk, chasing squirrels or laying in the sun.
At the end of this year, we made some fun decisions about our 2022 plans and also *finally* let go of Nic’s not-so-reliable car for a new-ish truck. All in all, it’s been a fun year and we’re so excited for what’s ahead.
Sometimes life felt overwhelming and our calendar was busier than I wanted it to be. But I always remembered that we were so busy because we were making up for lost time, and damn, we were lucky to have so much to make up for. There is so much to be joyful about in all things, at all times.
Thanks for being part of our life. Hoping you all stay healthy, love big and do amazing things next year.
Wishing you all a very happy 2022 and a very merry holiday season!