My Favorite Photos From 2020


So many people are just plain ready to put 2020 behind them, but there have been so many great memories made this year despite the troubles and adversities we faced. It was such a blessing to spend quality time with Danny, which can be hard to come by some weeks. He is truly my best friend and the love of my life.


Physically, I did a lot of things I never thought I could do. Even with asthma and fibromyalgia, I was able to reach several monthly walking goals through the 99 Walks community, and I even completed my first virtual 5K! Now I can’t wait to set some new goals for 2021.


And here are my walking buddies. Quarantine has translated to way more puppy cuddles while I work and the chance to get outside with them between projects. (Let’s pretend like they spent more time I outside walking than they did sleeping on the couch, just to make them feel better, ok?)


One of our local parks erupted in sunflowers this summer, creating this sunny backdrop for the community to come enjoy. Pearson Park will hopefully soon be home to a Monarch Lodge butterfly park. 


Our youth group has been through so much this year, and I am so proud of them for the things they’ve endured, accomplished and been victorious over. We’ve had a few teens age out of the group, new ones join us and many who have been so loyal and faithful to church and the Lord. Please pray with me that our room will be filled with teens again this year, and that our hearts will be filled with God’s love for them.


One of the perks of my job with the Convention & Visitors Bureau is that I get to attend some amazing local events. This year was our first visit to the Antique Airplane Association’s annual Fly-In. The oldest planes there were from the 1920s, and it was the highest-attended event like it in the nation. I think Danny and I could have stood there by the runway for days, just watching them take off and land.


Ottumwa is a winter stopover for Bald Eagles, and there are tons of places along the Des Moines River to watch them. I made a video of them for work, which you can find on the Greater Ottumwa Convention & Visitors Bureau YouTube channel. There is a pair of eagles, Vegas and Victoria, who live right outside our office, and this year we got to see their offspring. So much fun!


Speaking of wildlife, my big buck is getting more handsome by the day. He’s been on the property for a couple of years now, and he often walks through just so I can take his picture. The Carrell Wildlife Preserve has never had such a handsome boy as this before.


A very sweet family in our church gave us a little boat so we could fish the far side of the pond. That boat also gives us access to the water beyond the overhanging trees, which create this magical little wonderland. I felt like Ariel in The Little Mermaid during the Kiss the Girl scene. No critters came up to sing to me, though.


We were blessed beyond measure to welcome a third grandchild to the family. JR was born with hydrocephalus, commonly known as water on the brain. Our little trooper has been through two surgeries to put some drainage in, and they’re working very well now. He is the best cuddler ever, and those eyes!


He joins his big brother JP and his cousin Norah as the apples of our eyes. We were able to spend a few days before Christmas with them, and it was such a blessing to see them and their parents all together in one place. 


As we prepare to say farewell to 2020, I pray you’ll be able to count your many blessings the way I did. God is good all the time, and it always does our hearts good to remember everything He’s done for us. Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me.

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