Amy’s Top 10 Favorite Things of 2021
1. The “Wouldn’t it be cool if….?” Game
On the seven-hour drive home from dropping our oldest daughter Avery off at college, Ryan and I were bored and started to play the “Wouldn’t it be cool if….” game. You simply fill in the blank of this question, and in the process, you dream out loud about all of the experiences you’d like to have, the places you’d love to go, the people you’d like to meet.
At one point in the conversation, I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a home with an in-ground pool?” This question and our conversation around it took hold in my brain and led me to start looking at homes in our area. Eventually, it led to us finding the amazing new home we bought in November…that doesn’t have an in-ground pool…at least not YET. Ha!
You just never know where this one powerful question will take you! So if you have a long drive ahead, or if you’ll be with friends tonight and need a great conversation starter…wouldn’t it be cool if?
2. The Art of Holding Space by Heather Plett
My business coach recommended I read this book in January of 2021, and for twelve months, it has remained the book of 2021 for me. That’s quite a feat because as usual, I read a LOT of books this year.
As someone who makes a living holding space for people, Plett’s words were deeply meaningful, practical and helpful. Many of my clients and friends who read it on my recommendation to them will also attest the power of the illustrations of boundaries, the penetrating impact of the stories, and the many personal realizations this book unveiled.
Highly, highly recommend. Five stars.
3. Ted Lasso
If you want to be swept away into a world of intelligent humor, tender moments of vulnerability and absolute uninhibited joy, stop everything you are reading or watching and immerse yourself in the first two seasons of the hit television series, Ted Lasso. You’ll be uplifted and entertained and…well, I’m smiling even as I try to describe the show to you. Bravo to Jason Sudeikis and the entire cast! Brilliant! Just brilliant!
4. Jagged Little Pill
Alanis Morrisette’s music was at its prime when I was in college, so when I heard there was a musical on Broadway that featured all of her songs, I quickly talked to some girlfriends, booked flights and got tickets to see it…in June of 2020. Obviously, that trip didn’t happen, so when Broadway reopened, my first priority was getting to see this show. I’ve seen a lot of musicals and plays, and I’ve never been so emotionally moved in a theater. One solo performance was so riveting, the entire crowd jumped to its feet for a standing ovation IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SHOW. Sadly, my plans to return in March for another round with Avery were thwarted when the show closed permanently due to COVID-19. If it comes back, and you get the chance to go see it, you simply must.
As the marquee on the theater reads: “Some shows you see. This show you feel.”
5. My New Tesla
I spent a lot of time this summer shopping for my next vehicle. I am generally a really fast decision-maker, but for some reason, I could not get myself to fully commit to any of my top options. While in the car one day, Ryan said, “Maybe the reason you can’t make a decision is because the car you are supposed to buy isn’t one of your top options.” Not long after that comment, a Tesla passed us on the interstate, and he said, “Have you thought about a Tesla?”
I drove up to the dealership the next day to test drive one and ordered the car without hesitation that day. The buying process was seamless without haggling and stress, and the car is an absolute blast to drive. From the extra storage in the “frunk” to the whoopie cushion app with 12 different fart sounds (Andrew’s favorite), this car makes me smile every day. I am quite confident I’ll be plugging my car in at night for the rest of my life.
This year, Ryan and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. Hair styles and hairlines may have changed a bit, but the decision to marry this guy was one of the best I have made in my life. He brings the fun, the common sense, the consistency and the love to me and to our family every day. Cheers to sharing life with a healthy, confident, self-assured person!
7. Air Fryer
When I first was told by multiple people that I just HAD to have an air fryer, I thought to myself, “Jeez, ANOTHER appliance to wash and store to cook food?” I mean, we have a toaster, a blender, a crock pot, a pizza pizzaz, a popcorn popper, a griddle, and on and on and on.
This year, I finally caved to the peer pressure and purchased the appliance we now use more often than all of the others (Well, maybe besides the pizza pizzaz. That thing is ESSENTIAL!). You can cook ANYTHING in it, but our favorites are asparagus, brussels sprouts, homemade or frozen french fries, chicken fingers and anything leftover from a restaurant. Yum!
8. College Sports
Our oldest daughter, Avery, headed off to Maryville, Missouri this year to play volleyball and study at Northwest Missouri State. Most people know I’m a huge sports fan, but watching Avery play this year only confirmed why in one more way. She had to figure out her role on a new team, work to gain physical strength and quickness, and learn new skills on and off the court. In addition, she had to earn playing time, figure out how to fit her studies into a schedule filled with lifting, practices, and games, and adjust to life seven hours away from home.
I know she won’t play volleyball at this high of a level for the rest of her life, but the skills and confidence she is gaining are vital no matter what she decides to do in the future. Go Bearcats! And hats off to all of the hard-working collegiate athletes who are playing sports at all levels!
9. Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salts
At a fun Christmas gift exchange in 2020, I ended up with a gift that included a baggie full of Dr. Teal’s epsom salts. Other than a few seasons of pregnancy and an ailing back, I have never been much of a bath person, but I followed the directions on the salts and treated myself a few days later. Oh my goodness!
After that first experience, Epsom salt baths became so important to me throughout the pandemic as a form of stress relief, a way to sooth my aching legs and body after pickleball, walking or biking, or a bath with them was just a way to relax after a long day. The kids love to take a bath with them after practices or games too, especially when they are sore! Highly recommend the lavender but all of the scents are lovely!
10. The Writing of Sarah J. Maas
I LOVE a well-written book series with compelling characters, a bit of romance, some intense action and plenty of drama. A friend recommended Sarah J. Maas to me this year, and I devoured two of her series in record time.
If you want a great read, google the order of the books in the Throne of Glass series and then in A Court of Thorns and Roses and start with book one.
And for the record, when I grow up, I want to be a Fae warrior like Aelin or Celeana.