baby and a dog, family by a Christmas tree, family sitting at a table, baby on a chair
Piece of Cake

Piece of Cake 031

Well, it’s finally the last day of 2020. Some of us may be feeling ecstatic that this year is finally over. That there’s hope for 2021 to look and feel different.

And while this fresh start will hopefully be what we all need, there was honestly a lot of goodness that happened in the Burken household.

These things shouldn’t be taken for granted, so I want to use this Piece of Cake to express gratitude for 20 amazing things that happened in 2020.

20 Things I’m Grateful for in 2020

*These are in no particular order.

1. Kennedy’s birth

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s probably what I’m most grateful for in 2020. That we had a healthy baby girl in February and that it all happened pre-pandemic.

man and wife with a newborn baby

2. Getting in shape post-partum

I had a tough labor with Kennedy (read Kennedy’s birth story above) that caused me to have quite a few stitches and made walking pretty painful. When six weeks post-partum hit, I was just itching to get back to working out. I am so thankful for my body’s ability to do the exercises I wanted to again.

3. The Quaranteam

Burken and I have a small group of two other couples who we’re very close with. Throughout the whole pandemic, and when we can, we’ve gotten together to continue to lift each other up and create amazing bonds.

4. A small family vacation

In September, my family, Burken and I went on a small trip to the middle of Iowa. It was a relaxing mini vacation away and I think just what we all needed in terms of some normalcy.

family at a bar sitting it a high top table

5. Cookie baking with my Grandma

Every single year, for as long as I can remember, my mom and I have baked Christmas cookies together. It’s a long-standing tradition that I can’t wait to do more of with Kennedy.

This year, my Grandma joined in the festivities. This was the first time she had gotten to see Kennedy since Kennedy was two weeks old. We created some amazing and precious memories together.

6. Boating with my family

Boating is honestly one of my favorite summer pastimes, and something I always looked forward to sharing with our children.

My parents got a new boat this year, and it was honestly the most fantastic thing. It’s spacious and an easy ride. It provided us with some super amazing moments throughout the summer.

7. Kennedy’s love of the water

One of those moments on my parent’s boat was seeing just how much Kennedy loves the water. She had absolutely no fear and loved being in the Mississippi. I can’t wait to see what next summer is like!

She’s also obsessed with bath time. If you need a cute video…just watch this one.

mom and dad standing in the water with a baby in a floatie

8. Launching Eat for Life Collective

This is something I’m extremely proud of and grateful for. Eat for Life Collective was basically my brain child of a way to help women get rid of the stress, anxiety, yo-yo dieting and learn to live a healthy and balanced life with intuitive eating.

It’s a passion of mine to spread this message far and wide and show that weight loss doesn’t have to happen through depriving ourselves, but instead can happen through self-love and learning our own bodies inside and out.

9. Celebrating my 31st birthday

I basically got to celebrate this birthday for four days straight. Burken, Kennedy and I all went out for a gorgeous outdoor dinner. I got my nails done with a good friend of mine the next day.

Then the rest of the weekend was spent boating and hanging out with grandparents. Oh, and some tasty beverages that I was finally able to enjoy.

10. Celebrating my first Mother’s Day

I had looked forward to this day for a very long time. To have my first mother’s day was something I had envisioned way before getting pregnant.

Sharing this day with my own mother was one I was so thankful to have been able to do. Three generations of women just makes my heart explode.

Oh, and I can’t forget receiving one of the best gifts ever from Burken.

three generations of women

11. Kennedy’s ‘firsts’

It probably always seems like your own baby is the most amazing baby, but watching Kennedy do all the things for the first time just puts a smile on my face.

That first giggle, her first tooth, sitting up on her own, eating solid foods for the first time, crawling (she’s so stinkin’ fast!). There are going to be so many more to look forward to next year!

12. Our first Christmas with Kennedy

Having a 10 month old at Christmas time is quite enjoyable. She sort of understood what was going on, but loved all of the paper more than the presents, of course.

Being able to spend our first Christmas with her in our own home was one I was so incredibly thankful for. Hosting both sides of the family was quite a bit of work, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

family sitting in front of a Christmas tree

13. You – a reader and friend

I truly do consider you to be a friend. Someone who comes here to read what I have to write. To stay up-to-date on all the happenings.

There is no amount of gratitude I can use to express how thankful I am that you’re here and keeping this blog as a space where I can share with you.

14. Seeing my best friend for my baby shower

My baby shower honestly feels like ages ago. It happened in early January. But one thing I’m extremely grateful for was being able to see my best friend during one of my happiest moments of life.

She lives in Denver, so seeing each other often doesn’t happen. But she’s the type of friend where we can pick up right where we left off, as if no time has passed.

I am so grateful to have her in my life!

15. The father that Burken has become

I knew Burken would make a great father, after watching how he took care of Winston. But watching him in real life, and the way he instantly stepped up to take care of Kennedy is something that I’ll never quite be able to put into words.

Watching him with Kennedy just brings so much joy and love to my heart. He’s always there for her, and she’s definitely become a daddy’s girl.

16. All the fun recipes I’ve created

And man, there have been a lot this year! Some of my favorites though have been the healthy baked pumpkin donuts, shamrock cream cheese cookies, raspberry sweet rolls, Cap’n Crunch krispie treats, Oreo pudding brownie…and so many more!

multiple recipe photos

17. Both sets of grandparents

While Kennedy is the first grandchild on both sides, the amount of love and care I’ve seen from both sets of grandparents is astounding.

My mom and mother-in-law both came to Madison right after Kennedy was born to help me out, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that time they were here.

Watching the grandpas with Kennedy will just melt your heart, seeing how much they both love her.

18. Being able to breastfeed

It wasn’t initially easy, and I thought I was doing it all wrong, but once I got the hang of it, I am so grateful my body allowed me to breastfeed Kennedy.

I know there are so many women out there who just aren’t able, and that’s 100% okay. Who knows whenever baby #2 comes if I’ll be able to breastfeed again, but I’m so glad I was able to have that experience with Kennedy.

19. My wonderful job at Filament

I’ve worked for an agriculture marketing firm called Filament for about a year and a half now. I would be remised if I didn’t mention how grateful I am for this job and all the amazing people I have come to call friends and family.

It is truly one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.

20. Being able to eat intuitively, lose weight and gain a healthy perspective

When I started on my postpartum journey, I knew one thing for certain: I was not going to start another diet.

Intuitive eating is part of my lifestyle, and I was able to lose all of the baby weight with exercise and intuitive eating. I also continued to create a healthy relationship with myself, one that I hope Kennedy will see as inspirational and want to emulate herself when she’s older.

Thank you 2020!

Many people probably aren’t saying this right now, but if you just stop for a moment and take a look back on all the fantastic things that did happen this past year, I’m sure you could also come up with just 20 things you’re grateful for.

So as you close out the year, I encourage you to look back on all you’ve accomplished, all you have to be thankful for.

Cheers to the end of 2020 and the start of new beginnings in 2021! 🥂

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