A Day in the Life… 2021

Every year on January 18th I take one picture every hour from the moment I wake up until I go to bed that night. I end up taking pictures of the ordinary – supper prep, cranky kids, trips the library, a cup of coffee, my computer screen.

These ordinary pictures are actually quite extraordinary. They are my everyday. They are my here and my now. They are a day in my life.

I’ve given myself an amazing gift to be able to look back at a typical day from the past years and see the changes from year to year. The gift of being able to see the extraordinary in my everyday routine because the truth is simple: today’s routine will not be the same for long. My children will grow. My jobs will change. These routines will not remain.

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A Day in the Life of Rebekah – January 18, 2021

9:00 AM – I am checking in on Nate, and saying good morning. He is working from home most of today in his super sophisticated basement office.

Like many people, Nate started working from home in 2020. Although his offices have reopened, he still spends much of his time in the basement.

10:00 AM – We are grabbing our masks before heading out the door. This is our school command center. It is where we hang masks and charge iPads.

The kids are doing in-person public school, but they are off today for Martin Luther King Jr Day.

11:00 AM – We met some of our closest friends at the park. We haven’t been together since early September.

Today proved that even though it is cold outside, we need to prioritize these face to face connections with our favorite people.

When we pulled up to the park, Grace said, “Wait! Is the playground open?!”

I still can’t believe we are living in a world where the playgrounds have been closed, masks are the norm, and conversations are about the latest vaccine.

12:00 PM – We are back from the park and eating lunch. Notable things about this photo:

  1. Grace is eating leftovers from Applebee’s. Nate completely spoiled us with takeout this weekend.
  2. The tray was a gift from my parents this past Christmas. Nate and I were married under a weeping willow tree in their yard, and when the tree had to be cut down they had this tray made for us.
  3. The tray is holding a ceramic bowl made by my niece with stones we had placed at the bottom of the tree during our wedding ceremony.
  4. The tray also has cloth napkins we have been using for years and a plant. I have become obsessed with adding more plants to our home, and this is one of my newer little guys.

1:00 PM – I am getting ready to record an episode of the Sorta Awesome podcast in my fancy closet office. Clearly, Nate and I are the gold standard when it comes to work at home spaces.

2:00 PM – Recording with the lovely Meg Tietz. I have been part of the Sorta Awesome podcast team for 5 years, but this is the first time I have recorded an episode during my “A Day in the Life” documentation.

Meg and I broke down 10 hot trends for 2021. You can listen to the episode here.

3:00 PM –This is an extremely common scene these days: brothers gathered together over YouTube and goldfish.

4:00 PM – I am putting away some clean laundry in Isaac’s room. We are well beyond using his changing table for diaper changes. How long will it still serve as his dresser? Will this still be in his room next year?

The LEGO backpack on his door knob was a Christmas gift. He will be carrying it with him along to preschool this upcoming Fall. My baby is going to preschool!!!

5:00 PM – This. Happens. Every. Single. Day.

Noah and Isaac wrestle like crazy while Grace reads peacefully.

6:00 PM – This is a big change for 2021. Every year the nonprofit that Nate works for has a huge fundraiser. They raised $130,000 last year.

The event is focused around sampling dishes from a bunch of local restaurants. Can you even imagine? We used to gather with several hundred people to crowd around tables of food, sometimes eating with our HANDS, and there wasn’t a single bottle of hand sanitizer in sight.

Obviously, this event needed to be tweaked this year. It was turned into a takeout event, and Nate brought home supper for us. It was amazing.

7:00 PM – Hello comfy clothes! Nate is wearing his favorite beanie. I put on my brand new $7 Walmart PJs (they are sold out, but this is the brand) and robe from my FabFitFun Winter box.

After getting cozy, Nate and I had a heart to heart about race, Black Lives Matter, church, politics, and where we belong.

This is a very common conversation for us these past several months. However, it is notable that I didn’t cry this time! (Not because Nate and I don’t see eye to eye, but because emotionally charged conversations always make me cry.) Maybe we are making progress.

8:00 PM – It is bedtime for the little ones. I love having photos of the kids’ bedrooms. They always seems to represent an exact snapshot of who they are and what they are into at the time.

9:00 PM – Stovetop popcorn and the first Black bachelor, Matt James. (Rebekah from the future here. This picture is a bit ironic because Matt picked Rachael in the end! Unfortunately, that relationship didn’t last due to racially insensitive activities that were uncovered in her past.)

I stopped documenting after this because at 10:00 PM I was crawling into bed to scroll TikTok on my phone. I probably stayed up until about 11:30 PM, which is super common these days.

Reflecting Back on my 2021 Day

In all the years I have done this challenge, I am not sure there has ever been a bigger jump in changes between years as they there was between January 2020 and January 2021.

This year included Nate working from home, masks, reformatted events, the kids doing in-person school being notable, seeing friends for the first time in months, hard conversations, and the mention of hand sanitizer.

I wish the biggest change would have been Isaac being out of his crib and fully potty trained. I wish it would have been Grace aging out of the elementary school. I wish it would have been the kids growing by leaps and bounds.

Sadly, that is not the case. So I will hold space for the changes that did come this year.

I will honor the losses we have suffered, the memories that never came to be, and the trauma we have endured by living under the constant stress of the pandemic.

This was January 18, 2021. I can’t even begin to imagine what changes we will see in January 2022. I remain hopeful they will be changes that bring peace.

Thank you for following along on my 11th annual “A Day in the Life” project.

Take a peek back in time!

Thank you for sharing a day in my life!

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