I knew going into 2021, it was going to be another unpredictable year with the pandemic still a big part of all of our lives, but as much as that loomed over us when we rang in the new year, I remember making a very conscious decision that I would not allow that unpredictability to become the trajectory for our year. Rather, I would do everything I could to keep myself and my family healthy and safe, while also living our lives to the very fullest… and for me, that meant loving my family deeply, fulfilling my aspirations professionally and personally, and traveling to capture new, real, memorable, experiences of this life with those I love. Life is short and unpredictable.. if this pandemic has given us any solid perspective, it has been that… and I wasn’t going to waste a day, an opportunity, or an entire year, not living life to it’s fullest. So here is my year in review of some of what I enjoyed and experienced in 2021… followed by what I aspire for in 2022…
Cape Coral Florida – January
My year started out ringing in the 2021 New Year in Cape Coral, Florida, surrounded by my family in a beautiful vacation home we rented for 2 weeks… I remember watching the ball drop from our outdoor patio while the kids swam into the early morning hours. We loved Cape Coral, with the many miles of winding canals leading out to the ocean, while enjoying the tranquil home we stayed in, our evening boat rides, and exploring the peaceful destination town that began to feel like home to us. It was a perfect way to peacefully bring in 2021. You can read more about my trip here in my post…My Trip to Cape Coral Florida.
Magnolia, Waco TX – February
Next up in February, my hubby and I traveled back to our…well my... favorite place, Magnolia in Waco TX! I’d visited once before, but this trip we stayed in Chip and Joanna Gaines’ iconic Magnolia House and it was one of the highlights of my entire year (life!) If you ever get the opportunity to visit Magnolia, I can not recommend this traveling homebody’s happy place more… go enjoy it and see it all for yourself!
Nashville, TN – March/ April
At the end of March, early April, we took our family on Spring Break to Nashville, TN. What.A.Riot! Warm weather, live music, great food, cowboy boots, and family time all wrapped in one and we had an absolute blast! Hands down, best part of our trip was our time at The Grand Ole Opry seeing new artists, and old including Steve Earle singing Copperhead Road and The Oak Ridge Boys singing Alvira!… it’s those bucket list experiences that never dissapoint and the Opry lived up to all the hype of it’s musical legacy…
Charlevoix, MI – May
In May we stayed in our own beautiful home state of Michigan and visited my favorite place here, Charlevoix. There is something about this Lake Michigan town that resinates with me as I am in love the atmosphere, the dining, shops, views, culture, and the people! We have spent many of our recent summers vacationing here and it was a treat to spend Memorial weekend here kicking off our Summer. You can read more about Charlevoix in my posts…Charlevoix Part 1 and Charlevoix Part 2…
Out West Trip – Colorado & Wyoming – June
In June we ventured Out West for a memorable family trip and loved every minute of our travels. Our kids are now at the age that we can get a little more adventurous in our experiences. We enjoyed the Hot Springs of Colorado, the towns of Jacksonhole CO and, Cody Wy, it’s world-renowned famous Cody Rodeo, White water rafting down the Snake River, all of the glory of Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, and miles upon miles of the most beautiful, breathtaking country we’d ever experienced. We stayed in some pretty cool, (high in the sky…eek) cabins and had a family trip of a lifetime! We will definitely be going back.. again and again!
Chicago – July
Then in July was a Birthday surprise I won’t soon forget, when my hubby and kids surprised me with a private flight to Chicago for my birthday night! We shopped the Magnificent Mile before heading to dinner at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse for a delicious birthday dinner and dessert on the water… we drove back to the airport in a limo and got home late that night.. it wasn’t a long trip, but it was one of the most memorable birthdays I will probably ever have! I have the best hubby and kids who treat me so good… & I can’t wait to see how they top my birthday next year.. 😉
Heirloom Grove – August & September
August and September we stayed close to home as we were very busy for my Heirloom Grove business and school starting for my kids. Heirloom Grove is my specialty farm in Central Michigan where in 2021, we planted over 100 fruit trees, 200 blueberry bushes, 6 acres of sunflowers, 2 acres of hemp, redid an old red barn, bought an old 49′ chevy truck, and put in hours upon hours of hard work, while having a lot of fun! Heirloom Grove is also our homegrown CBD brand that we made great progress in this year as well!… and I have so much planned for 2022!
Napa Valley, CA – October
In October, my hubby and I were able to sneak away for a memorable 20th Anniversary trip to Napa Valley, California! What beautiful country and the wine… yummy! Miles upon miles of rolling hills of vineyards, amazing restaurants, great wines, and we stayed at the breathtaking Carneros Resort and Spa… It was a special and wonderful way to celebrate our 20 years of marriage!…& many more to come!
Washington DC – November
And then in November my hubby and I snuck away again, this time to Washington DC for a work trip… but we always enjoy a little fun everywhere we go, taking in the sites of our country’s capital too. We stayed at the Omni Shoreham hotel and had a fabulous time for our last trip of the year!
Home for the Holidays – December
And to wrap up the year, we’ve stayed close to home, celebrating the holidays. We decorated, shopped, wrapped, celebrated, celebrated some more… and I feel like I am closing out the year with a very happy, fulfilled heart.
2021… I had a goal to LIVE this year… even amongst all the unknowns, the unpredictables, the fears… I chose to LIVE … and we did it fully, whole heartedly, and together. It was a year I will not soon forget, one that captured so many wonderful experiences and times shared… the big ones shown on this post for sure, but also the smaller, quieter moments of being at home, of being outside on our farm, of supporting our kids at their activities, of our days at work, and our moments of simply, being together… living. I am deeply thankful for 2021 and all it brought to me and my family.
2022… I am eager and excited for another new year, another opportunity here on this blessed planet to LIVE and see what it has in store.. even amongst the unknowns that are always reality, I am ready again, to live the year to the fullest. I hope to continue nurturing our relationships, to experience even more new things together, and this year to celebrate one another…my kids have their 18th, sweet 16, 13th, and double-digits #10 – birthdays this year.. and my first born graduates.. so big celebrations! I hope for another year of making long, lasting memories with the ones I love. And I truly hope that for all of you too!
Happy New Year, here’s to 2022 being a healthy, happy, living-life-to-the-fullest year!
New Year Blessings, Jaime Lyn