2020. What a year, right? I remember telling my students a couple of months ago that saying, “2020,” sounds like you’re saying a bad word. Despite all the tragedy, disappointment, and lost hope of this year, we still sought hard to let joy triumph in the Worthen household.
More than anything, we’ve truly understood the meaning of family and the importance of being in the moment. Prior to the pandemic, it seemed pretty easy to get together with family and friends, even in the midst of trying to juggle busy schedules. Since March, life forced us to slow down, get creative with our daily routines, and hold the times we could gather with friends and family as more precious.
If you know me well, you know I am not a fan of change. I like consistency, plans, and a very structured routine. I do not function well without those three things. Needless to say, 2020 brought more change than I could sometimes handle emotionally — I had goals that did not pan out, routines that went out the window, and plans that heeded a lot of change. But, I have learned, change does not always have to be a bad thing.
For us, change meant a lot of family walks together, Friday family movie nights while stuffing our faces with pizza, takeout upon takeout from our favorite local restaurants, and very creative date nights after getting Willow to bed.
We celebrated my birthday and Willow’s at home, with a ton of cake and cupcakes, of course. Ryan turned 40 in October and we made the most of his birthday since he peeked into a new decade of awesomeness! We also celebrated 10 blissful years of marriage — woohoo!
Our original plans for our 10th wedding anniversary were halted due to Covid-19, but we made new plans, and our trip out to Arizona was more than we could have imagined. Someone once told me that you bond with your spouse when you make memories by trying out new things together. Our time in Scottsdale and Sedona was full of “firsts” and a trip we will never forget.
Despite the craze of 2020, we were still able to film weddings even though they looked different than originally planned. Some were postponed and we are delighted to work with those couples in 2021. Ryan enjoyed taking on a few extra filming projects this year, including several elopements of couples that endured the changes this year brought them. 2020 did not take love away, that is for sure!
Willow started preschool in August and it has been an absolute joy to see her grow and learn. She loves helping me cook in the kitchen and especially loves the taste testing part…haha! Her many baby dolls are well loved and cared for; I am sure they have been rocked and fed a million times over by now! She loves “reading” and her new favorite books are The Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer. This series was my favorite when I was little and I love that she enjoys reading my old books. She continues being a daddy’s girl and these two are always having fun together. Willow always wants to be Ryan’s helper and her new favorite love is playing her guitar with him. Melt my heart!
And now we are to the holidays — the most wonderful time of year! As we approach the season where we remember our Savior’s birth, I cannot help but think of the longing we all have inside of us. To feel connected, to be together, to know our purpose, to feel loved, to love another, and to find healing.
No matter what your year has been, we pray that you will feel the power and love of Jesus more than you ever have before this season. May you know that you are loved, cherished, enough, and have a place in God’s family. We all carry a special purpose in this life—may we choose to make the most of each moment, to value the simple things of this life, and to love others well.
The Worthens wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!
Photos by Jenna Stevens Photography
(Except that last one…Jenna was sweet enough to let Willow snap a photo and she even gave her the photography credit!)