2020 Year in Review

Highs and Lows: In December 2019 we moved from our home in Logan to our new home in Davis County. In February we finally closed on and officially sold our home after being under contract for 3 months! In March we lost our beloved Grandma at the age of 102. A week later, coming home from her funeral, we found out we were going under lockdown because of Covid. In June we bought season passes to Lagoon. We have always wanted to do that! It ended up being both a blessing and a curse (as you can read in a past blog post from this year) but the kids loved taking advantage of an amusement park being only 20 minutes away. In August we took an amazing vacation with our cousins up the coast of Washington to the Canadian Border. We camped in Forks (yay twilight!), hiked in Olympia national forest, and played at the ocean. It was magical! In December Amy got a virtual ticket to The Ellen Degeneres Show and it just happened to be during the 12 days of giveaways. We used the gifts to get gifts for Christmas and we all agree Santa is alive and well in Ellen!

Micah: Micah is 5 (6 in January) and in kindergarten. He loves it! He’s our little soccer star and can’t wait to play again next spring. He also likes Pokémon, animals, cars, dinosaurs, and everything else boy!

Kaleb: Kaleb is 9 (10 in January) and in the 4th grade. He’s our little social butterfly who had the easiest time transition our move last year. He’s very active in soccer and basketball but also loves art, Pokémon, cars, legos, and video games.

Benson: Benson is 11 (12 in March) and in the 6th grade. He’s excited to be starting Young Men’s in January and go to middle school in the fall. He’s very active in soccer and basketball and loves to hang out with his friends. He also loves all things Harry Potter, legos, Pokémon, video games, and YouTube.

Team captain!

Todd and Amy: we’ve spent the year navigating through the uncharted territories of working from home and distant learning! This year has brought a lot of firsts into our relationship. It hasn’t been an easy transition or year for us but we’ve stuck together and became closer because of it. We celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary in July! We’ve both accepted new and different church responsibilities and coached Micah’s soccer team. We look forward to hopefully finding some normalcy again in the next year!

The fur babies: because who can forget them! Our poodle Piper turned 9 years old this year. She’s slowing down but is still doing great despite living in a house with 3 little boys! Aslan and Angela are happy in our new home and have transitioned to ruling their new territory. Unfortunately we lost 2 this year. Rocky passed away in the spring after he suffered a serious asthma attack. And Henry disappeared in the fall. We can only hope he is thriving in a new home. Sometimes owning pets is really hard.

We hope you all are healthy and happy and wish you all the best in the new year! Bring on 2021!

Virtual Reality: Ellen Degeneres style!

We all know by now I am a HUGE Ellen Degeneres fan. I’ve watched her show the entire time it’s been on TV and have submitted for tickets every single season since it started. That’s every single year for 18 seasons. In that time I’ve been to live tapings 4 times and have had a blast everytime! When Covid happened, obviously travel and going to live tapings abruptly stopped. Trying to get tickets to Ellen, or anything for that matter, became a distant thought as I started juggling keeping healthy (physically and mentally), distance education for the kids, working from home for the husband, etc, etc, etc. And from my last post, I wasn’t doing so well with that!

But then I found out that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be giving out virtual tickets this season. Ticket holders could participate from home and be displayed on a monitor instead of in person. I thought this was a great idea! So I submitted for tickets…..and then completely forgot about it! That is until 3 weeks ago. I was sitting in the Walmart parking lot late one evening waiting for my grocery order when in my boredom I decided to check my email. And there was an offer to virtually attend a show taping on December 10th! The email also stated that Ellen would not be hosting and it wasn’t part of the 12 days of givaways. But I figured it would be fun anyway and responded. I was SO excited, then a week before I recieved an email saying the taping had been cancelled. I was bummed for about 5 seconds until I read below that I was instead being offered a virtual ticket for Monday Decemer 7th instead. And this one was being hosted by Ellen!! I happily agreed and was sent confidentiality papers to sign. I had to agree not to disclose any info or surprises until after it aired. Which I thought was funny since I assumed it was also not a 12 days taping. But I willingly signed and got excited again!

Then the day finally came! I got everything all set up, did camera and mic checks, and arranged for the kids to be picked up from school. I made sure the lighting was good and that I was sitting at a good angle. I figured I was set! At the time I was given I logged on…..and got kicked out. This happened 3 more times before I started to panic. I remembered something similar happening when I tried to talk to a doctor online once and my heart sank realizing this was happening again. I couldn’t miss this! So I did the only thing I could think to do. With minutes to spare I ran down to my husband’s office, begged and pleaded for him to switch me computers, and ran off with his before he could respond. His computer got me in right away and I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the familiar voice of Tommy, the warm up guy, talking to the audience.

Tommy immediatly congradulated us for getting a ticket to a 12 days of givaways. What?!? I couldn’t believe it!! He said that the tickets were so hard to get and that the audience was full of contest winners. But little old me have been given a coveted 12 days ticket, and I didn’t know how! The taping was so fun! I danced and clapped as if I was there. Ellen was hilarious as usual! She only had 2 guests, both virtually. Chance the rapper and a cute family from Texas whose son is fighting cancer. After the cameras stopped filming she left us with a message of hope for the holidays. But right smack in the middle of the show Ellen announced it was 12 days time! She gave us a $500 skin care kit, a $300 amazon gift card, another $350 amazon gift card, and a trip for 2 to a vineyard resort in Napa, California! I was shocked and thrilled! I immediatly shed a few tears as I realized the growing amazon cart I had for the kids’ Christmas would be covered by this amazing once in a lifetime oppurtunity.

I don’t know how or why I was so blessed to have this happen. I know it had to be divine intervention. I’ve talked a lot about staying for the surpirses. 3 months ago I sat on my bathroom floor contemplating ending my life. 2 months ago I opened up about my ordeal but was still so unstable. While the response was so supportive and kind, I was bullied maliciously by some of the people involved. They tried to bash me back down, but I still stuck around. And the surprises keep coming. Some are small, quiet like a whisper. And some have been insane, loud and life changing. I’ve done things that I would have never dreamed would happen as I sat on that bathroom floor. And there is so much yet to come! I am SO grateful I stayed for the surprises!