As is my annual tradition, I am taking over the blog for the day to celebrate Natasha's birthday, which was this past Sunday. (I'm running a little behind these days.)
Having already done a "once-in-a-lifetime" pandemic birthday post in 2020, I decided to take a slightly different approach for 2021. For this post, I'm highlighting some things Natasha has done that have helped us get through various stages of lockdown, quarantine, and general COVID craziness that have hit us over the past twelve months.
Baking - Although I'm sure Natasha is not alone in having become a more avid baker during 2020, we have all benefited from her efforts. From muffins to buns to applesauce jumble cookies (a particular fan favourite), our appetites -- and waistlines -- have been tempted on a regular basis.
Walks in the Woods - We have been going on lots of family walks over the past several months, taking advantage of an activity that can be done a) outdoors, b) at a distance from others, and c) isn't likely to be closed due to ever-shifting lockdown measures. Although I'd like to claim that we are both equally enthusiastic about getting regular exercise and fresh air, I must admit that these walks are often Natasha's idea, and she is the one wielding the metaphorical crowbar to get us off the couch and out the door on a sunny (or not-so-sunny) weekend afternoon.
Reading - It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that Natasha has been an avid reader throughout the pandemic -- I think she is averaging close to a book per day for 2021 so far. Thanks to periodic readathons, regular trips to the library, and occasional bribes with snack foods (check out the book-to-snack ratio in the bottom picture!), the whole family has been encouraged to dive into books on a regular basis.
While we all hope that our lockdown lifestyle will end sooner rather than later -- our province is on the cusp of a significant vaccine drive -- we have made it through the past 14 months in reasonably good shape, thanks in large part to Natasha's energy, resilience, and creativity. Here's hoping that the coming year -- and the next blog birthday takeover post -- sees a return to normalcy. In the meantime, here's wishing Natasha a very happy (belated) birthday!