The Best of 2021

Is it just me or did 2021 fly by?! Although the world is still a bit upside down, fighting the pandemic; it felt more “normal” than the last. Our family of three was able to take a handful of vacations, enjoy lots of playground time and long walks in Shaker Heights, begin building our dream home down south, start new jobs, and of course… be given the gift of another healthy pregnancy. Like anybody else, we felt exhausted at times; but the good most definitely outweighed the not-so-good. Life in 2021 felt simple and pure… exactly what our family needed.

I pray 2022 is filled with patience and grace as we navigate a lot of change ahead. If you don’t hear from me from now until May, it’s because I’ll most likely be trying not to drown in diapers, purging & packing, and tending to my upcoming brides. (Send coffee!) In all seriousness… it’s hard for me to complain. I don’t take my family, my job, or my faith for granted. What a privilege it is to be heading into another new year, with so many exciting things ahead!

And If this year wasn’t for you, I pray 2022 brings you exactly what you need.

Our Best of 2021…

Best adventure/travel/trip: Connor’s first flight, and our first visit to Seaside, Florida in April was easily our best adventure of the year. When I tell you it rained almost the entire time, oh my gosh it rained almost the ENTIRE time. On top of an unfortunate forecast, we had no car to explore the 30A area. (Remember when rentals were seemingly impossible to get back in the spring?!) Thankfully our rental property came with a decked out golf cart… so we were the crazy ones driving in hail down the 30A county highway, determined to make the most of our trip. It was a messy 4 days, but we still had so much fun together. We are already dreaming of taking the kids back next fall. This time though… we’ll be making sure we have a car to commute with!

Best book: To be honest, I don’t do much reading these days because I’ll most likely fall asleep 3 pages in. Towards the beginning of the year though I read a few about The Royal Family, which is always controversial, juicy, and interesting. I know not many people like her, but I adore Megan, Harry, and their two children.

Best TV show: The Great British Bakeoff has been our choice of show once Connor goes to bed. If you aren’t already watching it, go turn on Netflix ASAP!

Best album or song: I spent most of the summer listening to Russel Dickerson and Florida Georgia Line. But this fall “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis came out, and it’s been on repeat ever since.

Best follow on Instagram: GoCleanCo… a professional cleaning account. The perfect New Year’s inspiration to deep clean every nook and cranny in your home.

Best podcast: I am more of a music in the car kind of girl, but I recently listened to a few episodes of Coffee with Kailey, by Kailey Dickerson. I feels like I am chatting with my girlfriend about faith, life, kids, etc.

Best kiddo milestone: After almost 19 months, a handful of PT sessions, and many sleepless nights; seeing Connor walk was the absolute best. He’s now the busiest little boy, who never stops running!

Best trend you tried: I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan of 99% of the Gen Z trends that have started this year, but I did indeed try out the middle part for my hair. (Steering clear of baggy jeans though)

Best beauty purchase: Verb hair oil has CHANGED. THE. GAME. I’m able to go a full week without washing thanks to this product.

Best date: Jake and I snuck away for an anniversary dinner while we visited the Outer Banks in June. It also happened to be the day after I found I was pregnant. Although I couldn’t sip on any bubbly, it was alone time together that I never take for granted.

Best habit you created: Cleaning the kitchen before we sit down to eat dinner. It’s actually a relief to finish our meal and not having to deal with dishes or a dirty counter space.

Favorite blog post written: Sharing my new website was a personal favorite for me. I proudly did the majority of the work by myself; and although it’s not perfect, it’s a great upgrade from my old website.

Best new recipe: Homemade pizza dough for our weekly Pizza Fridays!

Best life or mom hack: THESE fun disposable placemats, and lots snacks for restaurant outings. Give me all of the ways to entertain my child while we wait for our food!

Best mama moment: Seeing Connor show compassion towards others is the most rewarding feeling as a mother. He loves playing and socializing with other kids at gymnastics, at the park, and with his cousins at home. Jake and I pray that our house is full of love and happiness, so much so, that it becomes natural for Connor to behave that way as well.

Best home improvement: Does building a new house count?!

Best little luxury you’ve enjoyed: Once Connor goes to bed and the house is tidied up, I’ll head upstairs to take a quiet bath with locally made soaps and bubbles. (RBSoapCo is my favorite!) Although I’m currently sharing the space with Connor’s bath toys, I’m very much looking forward to our stand alone tub in the new house. A little luxury that once felt silly, but now one of my favorite ways to decompress.

From our family to yours, Happy New Year! 2022, we’re ready for you!

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meet kelly


I’m Kelly! Born and raised in Ohio, wife to Jake, and boy Mom to Connor. Blogging about life, motherhood, and helping brides make their dreams come true. 

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