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What a year it has been. Full of ups and down. There are so many things we have collectively experienced that have been frustrating, hard and painful, but in the midst of that, I and my family have been able to really see God's hand at work in our lives and we have had one of the best years we have ever had. In the midst of the heartache of 2020, we have really been able to lean into God's plan for our lives and use our gifts and talents to lead us forward and it's been so incredible to see Him fully at work on our behalf.
So many people have such different expressions of what 2020 has done to and for them, so it can be tough to express joy - but I think it's important to honor all that comes in the ups and downs of life and that's why it was really important for me to stop, take the time and really gather my favorite memories of 2020 and put them down on "paper." So many special moments + times, I could have done FAR more than 20, but in an effort to stay on theme, I have chosen my favorite 20 moments of 2020 to share with you as a recap of one of the most adventurous years I have ever have.
After gathering pictures and looking through memories of the last 365 days, I have a clear picture of just HOW good this year was and I am so glad I took the time to reflect. I encourage you to do the same if you find that you have a moment to look back in the next couple days -- you may find that things weren't nearly as "bad" as we thought.
Without further ado, my top favorite moments of 2020.....
1. Flying to Oakland for 24 hours to have Soup Joumou with family on Haitian Independence Day.
I flew down to Oakland to eat a bowl of soup with my family. It's true. Pumpkin Soup is huge in Haitian culture and eating it on the first day of the year is a tradition that Haitians all over the world honor. It was my first full year knowing about my West Indies roots, so I added up my miles and hopped on a plane so that I could gather with my family, hear the stories and celebrate properly. It was quick and fast and probably one of the most impulsive things I have ever done, but my family was so excited to see me and it meant the world to be able to celebrate my FIRST Independence day with them in person.
2. Sharing my story in a round robin of interviews all over the nation in Houston Texas with Families Fighting Flu.
A few weeks later, I flew to Houston Texas for 48 hours to share my heart failure story in 20+ television and radio interviews in a press tour for Families Fighting Flu. It was a baptism by fire, wild ride that last for 8 hours but it was really great training ground for me and taught me so much. It was also VERY intimidating.
3. Courage's 1st Birthday and raising money for Sant Espwa.
Courage turned 1 this year and instead of throwing her a birthday party, we raised money for an organization called Sant Espwa. The goal was to raise $650, but we got close to $4k. Instead of sending one girl to school, we sent 4-5 and it felt really good to help out in this way. We continued to donate and raise money for Sant Espwa all year long and to date we are just under $6-7k of giving.
Relive Courage's birthday with us by clicking here
4. Taking our entire family to New York City to Keynote B & H Photo Photography Conference & Speaking on stage at Imaging USA in Nashville TN... and connecting with friends in those cities while there.
Our first and last family trip of the year was to New York City to keynote at B&H's Photo Conference. It was so fun running around NYC with Wisdom, taking her on a scavenger hunt, watching her check off the sites, while checking off one of our goals. This was a big year for us in photography and all of our decade of hard work finally got noticed. It meant a lot to be able to speak in NYC, Nashville and Vegas for WPPI and I am blown away by how much traveling we got in in the first 2 months of 2020 pre-Covid and all of the special people we got to see in the process.
5. My feet touched the ground on my first trip to Haiti and meeting more of my father's family there.
After a year of trying everything I could to get to Haiti, I finally went. My beautiful cousin hosted me and kept me safe, well fed and taught me so much while there and I finally got to plant my feet on the ground. It was a soul shifting trip that I will never forget, life-changing in ways I will never be able to put into words and the beginning of many many annual trips to Haiti. I cannot wait to take my family there (hopefully) in 2021.
Check out my Haiti recap and plan your own trip to Haiti by clicking here