A Year of Change and Growth  

The last few years have been less than swoon-worthy, for sure.

2020 was a year of uncertainty that felt as if it would never end. A year of debated facts, best choices, and misconceptions. A year forced everyone to live life from a different perspective and at a different pace.

We walked into 2021 with an outlook on the horizon, a sense of getting back on track, and a new normal. With plenty of adjustments and measures in place, we moved forward. It was less than ideal, yet, we managed; why? Because that is what we do!

Family Busy-ness

I have enjoyed having a little slower pace summer this year, but that is not what we are used to. Our family has always survived around busy schedules with a dash of chaos. Through the years, My husband and I have taken to ourselves to keep the kids engaged by adding extracurricular activities. 

It all started when our youngest daughter was six, and we slid into softball, and over the years, each of the kids has left blood, sweat, and tears on many of those same diamonds. As the years have come to pass, we have enjoyed marching band in high school, interschool sports, and even one ambitious basketball player.

But we suddenly find ourselves watching as the kids began to venture onto a path of their choosing. As a person who struggles with change, I have to say that it was so good for them.

New and revisited school sports: volleyball, basketball, and tennis 

We have always enjoyed watching the sidelines. School sports are an excellent way to learn fundamentals and see if it is a sport to invest in. Appreciation of not only the sport but also the feedback from the coach and teamwork helps with engagement, performance, and growth. This year we enjoyed three middle school sports between two kids and even some (old) coaches.

family growthShow Choir 🎶

To my surprise, I enjoyed watching the show choir performances as much as N enjoyed performing. She wasn’t the best up there on stage, but if you want to see someone who is going to perform and leave it all on the stage, she’s the one you want. The amount of energy it took was a perfect match for this kid.

Performing 🎭 Arts

We have enjoyed many shows at the theater over the years, but seeing your children perform brings a new perspective. The middle schoolers auditioned and performed in Matilda Jr. It was fun to watch them get up on stage and become their character in front of a family-friendly audience. The boost of self-esteem and confidence radiated as they expanded their horizons. 

Take it all in (strides). We can get them there, but they need to know where their “there” is…

I am proud of all the new experiences, not only for them but for myself. With all the changes came new friends and circles. The growth was immeasurable in so many ways. The world is wide open and waiting!


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Amanda is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian along with her husband Chad and their seven daughters. She has been blessed by her littles at the ages of 21, 24, 32, 34 and again at 42. Her oldest two girls are now young adults and living their own lives, her middle girls are in their tweens and teens, and to round it all out, identical twin toddlers, four dogs and a house that is never empty.

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