Holiday greetings! This 2020 newsletter is brought to you from New Castle, Colorado, where the Nelson-George household is upholding our third-annual tradition.
As we move forward into 2021 (and leave behind this crazy, unpredictable, and unprecedented year), we would like to extend our warmest thoughts and well-wishes to our family and friends that make these holiday good-feelings worth sharing.
Thank you for being an important part of our lives! More than ever, we’re filled with love and gratitude for every single one of you.
2020 in Review
- We bought a house!
- We *finally* got a dog.
- I started my own business and jumped into it, full time.
- Chad and I have stayed healthy, safe, and have been working from home since March.
Though Chad and I have previously been anti-winter for a long time, we spent the first few months of 2020 (back in the good-old days) leaning into the season.
After spending the new year quietly alone at home, Chad and I made it a point to spend as much time outdoors as possible. We inherited some cross country skis and discovered some incredible spots close to home, and later fell in love with Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs after a ten-year hiatus from downhill skiing (and snowboarding, in my case).
Chad continued to work twice-weekly shifts at the local liquor store (on top of his 9-5 engineering job) to help build up our house savings. I also kept freelance writing on the side.
We were able to make a quick trip to Denver, which was an extremely fortunate opportunity to spend some time with Chad’s grandma Patricia, who passed away a few months later. We are extremely grateful for those pre-COVID moments with her.
In late February I was able to travel for the first and last time of the year, to Sioux City, IA and Sioux Falls, SD. My mom and I spent some time with my grandparents and Parks side of the family, enjoying quality time with several of my aunts and cousins. We brought along my parents’ new puppy, Monet, who was only a couple months old at the time.
A few favorite posts I wrote last winter:
Our spring, like so many others, was filled with incredible surprise and adaptations and unexpected twists and turns.
Mid-March was especially crazy for us, as Chad and I went under contract for a house! The process was a whirlwind—we nabbed our New Castle ranch-style home on the same day it was listed, fortunately beating out several other offers. (It was definitely still a seller’s market, even in the middle of a pandemic!)
A few weeks later, I celebrated my 25th birthday isolating at home. It was an uncertain and somewhat lonely experience as our world began to dramatically shift to adapt to COVID, but Chad and my loved ones still managed to make it special with a surprise video gift. Plus, I was still pinching myself that I was getting a house—what a great present!
The rest of the season was simultaneously snail-speed slow and also incredibly fast. We closed on our home in May (masks and all), I managed to get two new tattoos, we went on daily walks exploring New Castle, Chad and I were both working from home, and we squeezed in several home projects before moving in. Zoom calls—happy hours, game nights, digital trivia—were a regular part of our lives.
We were extremely lucky to spend Memorial Day with my parents and my brother Tyler’s family. It was especially great to spend some time with our niece, Nora.
Our best friends, Alexis and Jessica, also made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel their wedding and have a small, intimate ceremony with only their wedding party instead. We were fortunate enough to be part of their special day in Fort Morgan, CO.
Posts from Spring
Just a few weeks after moving into our home, our lives changed yet again, forever, for the better.
We brought home Wally, our goldendoodle puppy, at 11 weeks old. Life felt truly insane; we were still adjusting and settling into our new home, while suddenly learning the ins-and-outs of raising a puppy. He’s been the best decision and we are so thankful for Wally and his fluffy, cuddly, and feisty antics.
Shortly after Wally came home, my PR firm and I went our separate ways after a wonderful three years (who knew the travel industry and a pandemic wouldn’t mesh?!). After applying for about 300 jobs and perfecting the art of the cover letter, I decided to redirect my efforts. I jumped into my own content creation business, Sunshine Creatives, full-time. My company offers various writing services to businesses, from newsletters to website blogging to social media management. It’s been nothing short of a wonderful experience; I’m working with incredible clients (from insurance to local political organizations to wedding planning to real estate), creating meaningful work, and am loving every single moment.
Our nephew Atlas was born to his parents Spencer and Mary in June, adding another cutie pie into the family. A few days later, Chad celebrated his 26th birthday. we had a very quiet and lovely Indian meal at home to celebrate.
Much of our summer was spent either inside our home (organizing, making small upgrades), getting to know our super fun neighbors, or outdoors, hiking and exploring in the Roaring Fork Valley with Wally. For example, we went camping near Buena Vista once, and also spent a quick weekend at Trapper’s Lake.
A major highlight of summer was a Nelson family visit at my parent’s house in Grand Junction. Spencer and Mary were able to stay for a few weeks in Colorado after living in India for the past two years; it was so nice to spend some time together with them and Everest, and to finally meet baby Atlas. Tyler, Natalie, and Nora also joined us for a weekend. Together we enjoyed delicious foods and drinks, socially distanced excursions, and family photos!
We ended our summer with a salsa making weekend with my parents, canning a year’s worth of tomato-based deliciousness.
Posts from Summer
My favorite season of the year came and went, quickly and quietly.
We hosted our friends Alexis and Jessica for a brief weekend birthday celebration, hiked and soaked in hot springs, watched the Snowmass Balloon Festival from inside our car, and traveled to Denver to celebrate the life of Chad’s grandma Patricia. It was great to see Chad’s family after nearly a year apart, even if it was a very brief trip.
Chad and I celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary as well as our ninth year being together (time flies when you’re having fun!). We originally had plans to celebrate in Nashville, but decided to cancel until COVID calms down.
On Halloween, we dressed up as postal workers with our goofy package, celebrating with our neighbors with karaoke and cards.
Chad worked incredibly hard and studied regularly for his Professional Engineering Exam, which he took in October. (I’m SO proud of him!) He also said goodbye to his liquor store shifts, though New Castle Liquors will always be one of our favorite local businesses.
We were able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents in Grand Junction, and are looking forward to a low-key Christmas celebration with them as well.
Posts from Fall
Onward to 2021
As we cheer (very loudly) to the beginning of a new year, Chad and I are thankful for such a transformative 2020, along with our health and the privilege to stay safe and happy at home.
I’m sure we’re not alone in our relief to move on into a new year. Like everyone else, we’re definitely hoping for small and simple returns to normalcy and are crossing our fingers for more opportunities to gather, hug, and reunite with our loved ones with ease.
We are filled with hope moving into this next chapter, and can’t wait to see brighter skies ahead.
Lots of love and light,
Savannah and Chad (and Wally)