January 22, 2022

Highlights of Year 2021

We are already 22 days into the brand new year 2022 and here I am still trying to reflect on my past 12 months. It used to be my goal to post this before the year ends but the thought of sitting down and just reflecting during the holiday doesn’t feel good to me. I prefer to do something else since that is one of the few times my husband and son are on vacation. 

Time is flying by so fast and it’s just so sad to think that two years had already passed since this COVID19 virus happened and it seems that year 2021 is pretty much the same. The year 2021 seems like an extension of the year 2020 because when we are still not yet over with our pain; we lost again two immediate family members. It’s been four consecutive years of losing the people we love.

I know that we all have different journeys but as far as I can see, grief will never end. This post of @glitterandgrief explained that we all grieve differently. "It’s universal, an experience we all go through. Yet, it’s so unique. We all grieve differently. You can lose the same person but still grieve differently. You can go through the same type of grief but still grieve differently. You can experience multiple losses, but each loss will be different grief. Each experience will be unique because each relationship is unique. We cope differently. We grieve differently. And the takeaway here is that it is normal and no judge. What worked for someone else might now work for you. What worked in the past, might not work now. Grief is an experience we handle one day at a time.”

And because of what happened these past few years, the year 2021 taught me to be grateful, slow down and enjoy life. 

Be Grateful 

I’m grateful because, for the past two years, my family of three is safe from the COVID19 virus. I’m grateful that we are still alive and can still do the things that we wanted to do even the majority of the year we are confined at home. I’m grateful that my husband can work from home, though there are times that my husband needs to go out for work but at least, it is not every day. Lastly, I’m grateful for God’s provision when we needed to help our family and relatives in paying funeral and hospital expenses. 

“Life is hard but God provides. 
Life is unpredictable but God guides. 
Life is unfair but God cares. 
Life is always a challenge but God sustains.” 

Slow Down 

In the year 2020, I fear boredom because I don’t want the pain to fill my thoughts. I wanted to be busy so I have no time to feel the hurt of losing someone. It was the time when I was so preoccupied with designing graphics for clients but in the year 2021, I already slowed down. It is nice to work and earn money but I missed my old life where I can relax during the weekends and I don’t have to adjust to my client’s time. 

Although I’m still hurting, it is time to move on and live again. So I need to slow down because stress is not good for my health. I want a life where I feel good about my work without feeling burned out so, in the year 2021, I only designed graphics for my repeat clients. 

Enjoy Life 

I love to create a balanced life to have more free time to do the things that I love such as blogging, designing for myself, reading books, crafting, and even just watching drama series or movies. 

As cliche as it may sound, it is true that “Life is short” so I want to enjoy my life while I still have the energy to do the things that I wanted to do, while I still can walk, run and travel different places, while I still can eat different foods without doctor’s restrictions, while I can still read books and watch movies or series and lastly while I still have time.

“If it makes you happy it doesn’t have to make sense to others.” 


I started the year 2021 without a definite plan, it seems that my life is still on pause and I am just on a wait-and-see mode. Since I can’t travel yet, I just shifted my focus to online shopping, I tried to avoid online shopping before but now I’m thankful to Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon because I can shop in the comfort of my home. “Happiness is retail therapy” 

I also took advantage of Photobook promos so I ordered Photo Tiles, Canvas Air, Insta Prints 5x5, and Softcover and Hardcover Photobook. 

“If you don’t think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left.” 


And because, I slowed down in designing graphics, now, I have more time to do my personal projects so I started buying craft materials, home stuff, and garden stuff. I also decluttered and organized our home. 

We’re missing the beach so my husband booked a trip for our wedding anniversary but unfortunately, it was canceled so we just stuffed ourselves with good foods from Alba Restaurante Espanol and Chef RV Manabat Cafe to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

And last February, I just hit my tenth year in the blogging world.


It is my goal to explore my Cricut Maker so every month, I’ve been creating projects so for the month of March, I’ve made cards and envelopes for my friend who will migrate and a cake topper for my father-in-law’s birthday


Two years ago, I’ve never guessed that my life would be the way it is now. We’re supposed to go back to Norway but unfortunately, leisure travel is far from reality. So I started ordering foods online, foods that I usually buy for pasalubong if ever we are traveling.

One year had passed since my sister left and I made this pillowcase for her. 


Since I find comfort in online shopping, I finally took a risk and ordered at Amazon USA. Going international na tayo. Hehehe! 

Another Quarantined Mother’s Day celebration, I did not order food but I prepared steak and mashed potato. 


A graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime event so I was a little bit disappointed because we only had virtual graduation and my son doesn’t even have a graduation picture. I envy those schools na nag-effort na magkaroon pa rin ng graduation picture. Ayaw ko naman magpunta ng mall para lang magpapicture. But we still celebrated my son’s graduation at home. He graduated with Gold Eagle Certificate. 

We also celebrated my husband’s birthday and father’s day at home.  

After staying at home for more than a year, we finally had a chance to travel and it was indeed a breath of fresh air. We stayed at Gina’s Garden which is located in Quezon. 

It was school vacation so puro gadget na naman ang anak ko so before June ends, we enrolled my son in different online classes like 

Web Development Foundations Python 1 & 2 
Drawing and Sketching 
Creative Illustration 


The first week of July, my uncle-in-law passed away and since this is not a COVID19 case, we were able to attend wake and interment. 

When we learned that kids can go out na, we went to Surugin Ramen House for a food trip, unfortunately, bawal pa kids mag dine-in sa restaurant. We also dropped by at Sonya’s Panederia before we went home.


After one month, my aunt-in-law passed away, I can’t imagine the pain of my cousins-in-law na in a span of one month nawala parents nila. She was fighting breast cancer since 2018 but unfortunately, she lost her battle. 

At last, my husband and I got our first jab of the COVID19 vaccines

It was another lockdown birthday, I did not want to cook so we just order food at Illo’s Party Trays


We had our second dose of COVID19 vaccines. 


My son is officially a QUARANTEEN so I’ve prepared a simple Gamer Birthday Party.  

After two years, my dentist removed my braces already. I am wearing retainers so no more monthly visits to the dentist. 

We are fully vaccinated already but my son doesn’t have COVID vaccine so I scheduled a Pneumonococcal Vaccine for us. And after that, we finally had an eye check-up.  


My son finally had his COVID19 vaccine too. 

My mother-in-law celebrated her 62nd birthday so I’ve made a cake topper and ordered food at Illo’s Party Tray again. After the party, we went straight to Mandaue Foam Sta Rosa.  


As always, December is a busy month so I was preoccupied with my holiday preparations, my son’s Confirmation, and end-of-the-year errands. 

And because of the unexpected hospital expenses last October, I already expected that our budget will be tight so a travel trip is a punch to the moon. But God moves in mysterious ways, for the first time in history, my husband’s company had a team celebration with family. Yehey, we were blessed to revisit The Farm at San Benito and we stayed at The Narra Villa. I will share more about this in a separate post. 

Despite the pandemic, we were able to continue our Christmas tradition so we’re back to Tagaytay and ate our breakfast at Napa at Crosswinds.

I am glad that my year 2021 is not just another year of staying at home. I am delighted that I’m back to blogging, reading, and crafting. This year, we had our chance to accomplish some errands that we are delaying because we’re afraid to go out. And lastly, we were able to eat out and travel again.

Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living. - Rachel Marie Martin

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