Link Ups, Reflection

Sunday Stills – My Year in Review

After years of following Terri Webster Schrandt’s ‘Sunday Stills,’ I am finally participating! Sunday Stills is a photography/art challenge with a weekly theme. Everyone is welcome to join in and interpret the challenge with their photos, poems, stories, music, or artwork.

This week’s focus is ‘retrospective,’ which is a perfect way to reflect upon this past year. You may be surprised how full and diverse your 2020 actually was.

Here’s a brief glimpse into my last twelve months.

January – Celebrating our 20th anniversary in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
February – Super Grandchildren, Charlie & Jordyn (Stevie was napping).
March – The start of Zoom families. They’ve kept the social side of me sane.
Runners Up – New Years’ Party 2020, Coldest Night of the Year, Beach Walk.

April – Our first foster dog, Sadie (now enjoying a wonderful forever home).
May – Our son, Creighton, during his Spring visit. Lots of quality time (and delicious meals)!
June – Exploring Northern Vancouver Island.
July – The start of our #52hikesin52dayschallenge.
August – Bloggers’ Meet-Up with My Life Lived Full, The Widow Badass, Behind the Scenery & The Unretired.

September – Visit with my amazing mother in Kelowna, BC.
October – Whale and Wildlife Watching – Awesome!
November – My hiking partners.
December – Operation ‘Granddaughters’ Present Drop-Off.’

Preparing this ‘Year in Review’ turned out to be very enlightening. For every single month, I had great difficulty narrowing it down to just one photo. For a year repeatedly tagged as ‘Stinks, Stank, Stunk,’ I am incredibly grateful to have stayed safe while still enjoying varied (albeit modified) experiences. Most importantly, I was surrounded by amazing people via digital technology and (appropriately distanced) in real life. I believe that a better tag for this year would be ‘learning not to take things for granted.’

Upcoming Sunday Stills Challenges:
Jan 10 – Night
Jan 17 – Colour Challenge, Glacier Blue
Jan 24 – Fog and Clouds
Jan 31 – Your Favorite Landscape

If interested, why not join in? It’s an easy way to flex your creativity. It’s not too late to participate in this week’s theme.

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2021!

#SundayStills
 #Retrospective
#Happy5thBlogiversarytome!

80 thoughts on “Sunday Stills – My Year in Review”

  1. Hi Donna what a lovely year you have had despite the dreaded COVID. Your smile lights up a room and your positive outlook is certainly inspiring. I love the joy and love in your face in your Wedding Anniversary photo. I’ve only participated in one Sunday Stills but perhaps you have inspired me to try again in 2021. Your tag for 2020 ‘learning not to take things for granted’ is something we all should consider. Happy New Year and I look forward to more photos and #sundaystills.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sue. I know that you have a lot on, but it would be wonderful if you were able to join in an upcoming #SundayStills linkup. You may be able to creatively combine a #SS theme with another of your posts, and with #self. Thanks for the chat yesterday — loved it!

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  2. Hi Donna – I love how you formatted your photos into little montages – and the black and white fitted in well with the “retrospective” theme. I actually quite liked 2020 – I have very few complaints about it and feel a little bit guilty that it brought me more joy than sorrow – especially when I see how some people really struggled throughout the year. Nice to see your happy pics in between all the stinky stuff. xx

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    1. Hi, Leanne – I am delighted that you had a good 2020 and that you have positive things to say about it. I understand and respect that this was a tragic year for so many. I also know that it brought out hope, optimism, resilience and community spirit. We definitely need more of that foursome. See you Tuesday!

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  3. Hi Donna – wonderful to read your snapshot reviews … and as Leanne clearly notes … your formatting of your photos is a great change to see. So pleased all is well with you and yours … take care and let’s all have a gentler 2021. Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary – A gentler 2021 would be perfect. Now if it could just quit raining on Vancouver, for at least a few minutes, I could get out there and put some 2021 walking plans in place! Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful year ahead!

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  4. What a gorgeous collection, Donna. You are such a talented photographer. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that life is precious and it should never be taken for granted. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family.❤️

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  5. Learning not to take things for granted, indeed! Lovely retrospective, Donna…and a wonderful idea to show the year that was in pictures – one for each month. Thank you for sharing.

    Deb

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    1. Thanks, Deb – I found myself playing with my photos while looking out of the window, waiting for the biting, horizontal rain to subside. I don’t usually mind rain but this unrelenting stuff has been pushing my limits! 😀 Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

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  6. Really enjoyed the retrospective, and I remember many of the events featured in the photos. (Those delicious looking meals immediately come to mind.) The photo challenges sound fun. If I weren’t so busy with my books, I would join in.

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  7. Beautiful recap Donna. I especially like the way you presented your photographs. I see you are making good use of your new programs. There were a lot of take-a-way lessons from this past year and ‘not to take things for granted’ is one of the big ones. Wishing you the best for 2021.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne – I am still using the free version of Canva and find that it is suiting my needs perfectly. I agree that 2020 offered us many important lessons. I look forward to 2021 with hope and optimism. Wishing you a great year ahead!

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  8. Hi Donna, I love everything about your post! Beautiful photo compilations perfect for ‘retrospective.’ The black and white with the splash of red is very creative and effective. I have also been following Terri’s ‘Sunday Stills’ every week, a really enjoyable read on my Sundays. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet Creighton last year. Also, a treat to meet up with you in real life when we could. You are absolutely right how we are surrounded by amazing people via digital technology, a second-best option. Happy 5th Blogiversary to you!xx❤️

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  9. You had a very rich year, Donna. I too liked the b&w layout with the splash of red. Not surprisingly, you have an artistic eye 🙂

    I agree that 2020 was a stinker of a year, but you managed to make it your own, filled with the people and activities you love ❤️

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  10. Isn’t it great that you were able to make such great memories during a pandemic? That should be the example that we all follow. I think it’s fantastic that you got together with some of your close blogging friends.

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    1. Hi, Peter – Thank you for dropping by and commenting. I am fortunate to live in an area where COVID cases have been relatively low — especially this past summer. Even when confined to socializing with members of our own household (BC’s current health order status), I am very fortunate to live with someone who makes each day interesting. The summer catchup with blogging buddies was a blast — and will hopefully be repeated next summer! Wishing you a wonderful 2021!

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  11. First of all, thank you for the shout of Sunday Stills, Donna! I am so pleased you joined! I love how you framed your collages with your beautiful memories. As usual, I read your infectious positivity in your wrap-up and in the posts you shared all during 2020. Speaking of inspiration, I will never tire of reading about your 52 hikes and previous years’ Camino walks. I tell my hubby about these and we both just marvel over your experiences! Hopefully, the world can get some sense of normalcy again and we can venture out and abroad more freely! I really hope to join you in your home town this summer! Cheers to a 2021 full of recovery and new opportunities!

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    1. Hi, Terri – Thank you for this kind comment, and for the warm welcome to #SundayStills! Thank you also for mentioning some of my hiking endeavours. I am just about to begin one of the Myles’ (walking app) challenges to virtually walk 15 km from Wembley to Buckingham Palace. I’m excited and will keep you posted about this!

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  12. Donna,
    I’ve followed your blog for several years now, and these pictures are the best! I really love your anniversary picture and the one of you with the dogs. “Stinks, stank, stunk” is a perfectly apt description for a lot of 2020, but despite the challenges, it appears you made the most of the opportunities you had. Helen and I feel blessed that we were able to move about and look forward to doing it again. My favorite picture is one of a setting sun pulling down the curtain on the past and a flock of birds moving on to what’s ahead. Thanks for sharing your year with us. Joe

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  13. Happy twentieth anniversary to you and hubby! Enjoyed the photos and your focus on #familyfirst ❤
    I was excited to read you're on Vancouver Island, as well! We live in paradise, don't we? 🙂

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    1. Hi, Jacquie – Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s wonderful to meet another Vancouver Island blogger. There are many of us now (Erica from Behind the Scenery, Jude from Dr. Sock Writes Here, Ann from The Unretired, Diane from Still the Lucky Few….the list is wonderfully growing and growing). What part of the Island are you on?

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  14. Hi Donna! I agree with everyone that you managed to showcase your photos in an extremely creative way. And yes, it was also nice to look back over your year and follow along. Isn’t that one of the gifts of blogging? So now I’m going to check out Terri’s post and see who else is participating. I won’t join you but it will still be fun to “watch!” ~Kathy

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    1. Thanks, Kathy – Thank you for your kind words. It’s been fun to play with the graphics and keep a positive record of the good things that 2020 brought (which were actually many when we start counting). Sending warm thoughts and prayers for Khloe.

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    1. Thanks, Jo – That was an awesome trip. Richard and I are both so glad that we were able to sneak that in just before the pandemic shutdowns. Now we need to put on our thinking caps for a more scaled-down (but still festive) celebration for this January 21!

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  15. Great re-cap! I love your black & while photos with the graphics and touches of red… very stylish! My two favorites are the one of you and Richard in the pool and the one with you and the three dogs. Terri’s Sunday Stills is a great way to showcase your pictures and I hope to participate more in 2021 too. Keep on snapping!

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    1. Hi, Janis – I’ve always wanted to participate in Sunday Stills and finally jumped in. I’m a big fan of your photography and look forward to seeing your Sunday Stills (or other photography) posts this year! See you Friday!

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  16. It’s so good to see you at Terri’s Sunday Stills Donna! What a great way of looking back at your year too. You had a great year despite all the bad stuff happening and it’s been a joy to connect with you!

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  17. I love the way you recapped your very full year, Donna. Like you, I love Terri’s Sunday Stills. I haven’t responded yet, but it’s on my bucket list for this week. I’m happy that Sadie found a forever home. I’m assuming with someone other than yourselves. 🙂 Happy New Year, my friend. 🙂

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    1. Hi, Marsha – I always enjoy your #SundayStills posts and look forward to seeing what you do with this week’s theme. Sadie, our first foster dog, found a wonderful home with another woman from our community. Bandit, our second foster dog, was adopted by a friend of mine — so I get regular update letters from him, which is awesome.
      Wishing you a safe and happy new year!

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      1. That is amazing. It reminds me that I haven’t heard anything about our foster kittens, so I’m going to text the new owner today. Thanks for doing that good work. It is so hard to find owners for unwanted pets. We lived in the country where people just dropped them off. Neighbors can only take so many. Our poor neighbor in CA still suffers with about 50-60 cats because she can’t afford to fix them, and they keep having babies. We fixed some of them, and took some of them, but it is a never ending battle with no organization behind it to help. Have a wonderful year, Donna. I look forward to your next posts.

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      2. Hi, Marsha – We often have the opposite problem where we live — especially with dogs. There is a high demand for rescue dogs so they usually get snatched up quickly. Sadie was involved in a court case, and Bandit had health issues, so that is why we had them in foster care. Once ready, both were adopted instantly (into awesome homes)!

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  18. I think I will quote you going forward “stinks, stank, stunk” is a excellent succinct summary of so many people’s collective pandemic experiences.

    I almost feel guilty that we had an incredible year. Okay, we did get blocked out of our home base in Viet Nam when the borders closed behind us in early March while we were on a short trip to our former home base of Sri Lanka. So we had to choose a new country. And we chose well and were rewarded by chance or by good fortune we landed in a corridor of virtually no Covid clampdown and it stayed that way. It has been surreal to experience a non covid existence compared with all the horror stories we have read about and heard. And both of our elderly mothers had Covid and both survived it. Whew what a year for sure.

    Let’s hope 2021 will be a global improvement for everyone. Happy new year to you and yours.

    Peta

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    1. Hi, Peta – ‘Stink, Stank, Stunk’ is a quote from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
      There are numerous parallels between that book and our recent COVID Christmas.
      “Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
      Was singing without any presents at all!
      He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
      Somehow or other, it came just the same!” 😀
      I’m delighted that you and Ben have been able to stay safe, and that your mothers have both recovered.
      I greatly look forward to continuing to follow your adventures!

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  19. Hi, Donna;
    Happy New Year!
    “Learning not to take things for granted.” Yes, and yes. Some big things, some little things, some things I never bothered to notice before the Big C crashed our lives.

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  20. Great way of recapping or retrospecting Donna. A real concentration of mind along with happy memories and creativity all combined! Just lovely. Here’s to a wonderful 2021 to you and your family and everyone …

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  21. So awesome that you are joining Terri’s Sunday Stills, Donna! What a beautiful selection of photos and very well and creatively done. I could never pick one photo a month! 🙂 You had a pretty incredible year, all things considered. I’m glad you managed to celebrate your 20th anniversary, that you spent so much time hiking and being in nature, and that Sadie found a forever home. I kept wondering what had happened to her. Our best wishes to you and Richard for 2021! Xxx

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – Thanks so much for stopping by. In selecting one photo per month, sometimes I simply had to throw a dart! 😀 This was a great activity to remind just how full 2020 was despite all odds. Wishing you, Mark and Maya a wonderful year ahead!

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  22. Hello Donna, looks like we had a similar idea. Today I have taken part on Terri’s Sunday Stills. Good to see you again and I know we connected from time to time on Sue and Leanne’s Midlife Share the Love. What a year we have all had thanks to the pandemic.
    Happy 5th Anniversary to your blog and 20th for you and your husband
    We celebrate our 50th in 2 weeks and covid means we can only have 5 visitors at a time to our home so we are having one son and his 4 one day and our daughter and hers the next. Sigh!
    I hope this coming year is a little gentler on us..
    Denyse.

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  23. Donna, what a great idea to recap the year this way. 2020 was certainly a year like no other but it sounds as though you made the most of it with plenty of uplifting and positive things along the way. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead, filled with everything that makes you happy. xx 😊🌈

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    1. Hi, Miriam – Thank you for stopping by. Along with the challenges and sadness of 2020, there were also many, many moments of joy. Hope and love never left us. My desire is to make joy, hope and love the center of 2021. Together, we can all do this.

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