A Year of Photos

A couple years ago, Ricky and I started a little year-end tradition. We like to choose a project to do sometime in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day that will honour the year that we just completed. This year we chose to make a photo book of our favourite photos from 2020!  It was a lot of fun to go through our photos from the year and argue about which ones should go in the book. (Don’t worry… there was no real arguing. Just some friendly debating and teasing.)

The photo book arrived early in January, and we love it so much. It’s the kind of book that we would set on the coffee table for friends to look at when they come over. But alas, we are currently in lockdown and there are no friends coming over these days.

Indulge me as I imagine that you came over for a chat and are paging through the book beside me….


Hi! Hello!

How are you?

Come on in! It’s so GOOD to see you!

Can I get you some water or tea? (I’m afraid that if you want coffee, you’ll have to make it yourself, as I don’t drink it and always forget the proper measurements for making it. You’d like coffee? Okay! The tin of coffee is in that cupboard there. Help yourself! I like to see you in my kitchen. Makes me feel happy.)

Why don’t we sit on the couch while we wait for our drinks? Here… have a blanket! Isn’t this January sun just lovely?

Oh! Sure, you can look at the photobook! Actually, I’d love if you would. It’s been dying to be looked at. It’s our favourite photos from 2020. We made it on New Year’s Eve, after eating a whole lot of delicious snacks. We were so busy making it that we actually didn’t even notice when midnight came!

Sorry, I’ll try to be quiet now, and let you look at it.

I’ll go check on our drinks. You just make yourself comfortable.

The corner of Horner Avenue and 30th Street. Our intersection.
Waiting to get groceries at No Frills soon after the news of COVID-19 broke.
A socially-distant visit, featuring Seth’s stink face.
We enjoyed so much biking and walking this spring.
Rocks painted with encouraging messages on the shore of Lake Ontario
Wimbrel Point, in the springtime.
The view from the bench in our Toronto front yard.
Visiting home after weeks of not being able to see family felt so good.
Beautiful blossoms and beautiful smiles.
Blossoms and city street light along Brown’s Line.
Going to Welland for an afternoon helped fill the craving to see a new place.
If you want to watch a video of me taking this photo, you’re in luck. Such a video does exist, and you can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpf6B4HSbbE&ab_channel=RickyMartin WELCOME TO THE INSIDE OF MY PHOTO-TAKING HEAD! It’s a little humbling and it cracks me up EVERY TIME.
Shades of green on the Welland River.
Early morning bike ride shortly before moving back to Waterloo.
Delicious frozen custard from The Loop Creamery along Lakeshore. Our last week living in Toronto held lots of goodbyes. We were sad to say goodbye to some great co-workers and our amazing landlords. We moved to Waterloo on July 18.
We are so grateful that we were able to travel to BC in July! Exploring on our first day in BC at Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park.
Hi, friend! This friendly little guy wasn’t so little… he was actually around 3 inches long.
Half-way up Elk Mountain on a misty morning.
Feeling small…
We rode the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC.
A beach with a view of the mountains? Yes, please! Honestly, I am still asking myself why I live somewhere where there are no mountains.
The carousel at Butchart Gardens. Going in circles isn’t always a bad thing.
Early morning hike up Mount Douglas in Victoria, BC.
A selfie with Seth in Stanley Park.
Being with Rolin, Joy, and Seth was the highlight of the trip. Best travel buddies ever!
Sunset at Tiny Beach. August 2020.
The Shantz family goes for a night swim.
This is my dad with a sparkler. I love my dad, and I love this picture.
Broken things can be beautiful too.
It was a slow and cozy autumn.
At the finish line after Ricky and Rolin completed the virtual marathon. October 10, 2020.
We love where we live.
Fall hike at Mount Nemo.
Going on walks with Joy and Seth was a highlight of this fall!
The first big snow of the year!
Burning candles that belonged to Nana at the beginning of an unusual Christmas season.
We enjoyed many wintery walks through the lights in Waterloo Park.
Note the photo-bomber…
A beautiful Christmas morning walk with family.
Our virtual Christmas get-together with the Kenites.
The two of us. (Plus Kenton, way in the background. :))

Thanks for joining me in these memories. 2020 was a strange and difficult year, but it sure does hold some good memories too! I hope that you find that to be true for yourself as well.

We find ourselves in strange times, but we carry much light with us.

One Response

  1. This was such a delightful visit with you in your home on your couch looking at your 2020 photos. Thank you! My favorites, you ask? Well, it’s hard to narrow it down, but if I were to pick three, I’d say the Toronto skyline in the gorgeous sunrise, the one where Seth has such a darling expression while he’s looking at you from his stroller, and the shot of you and Ricky where the sun is dazzling in on your kiss. Perfect.

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