Jill Urbach

Official website of author Jill Urbach

New Year’s Eve Plans

Traditionally, New Year’s isn’t a big holiday in our household. It’s usually just my husband and children, with maybe an extra relative or few friends. We make fondue—but not this year. Communal dipping is not Covid-friendly! We may play a game or watch a movie. We celebrate on East Coast time in case we’re not up at midnight. Then we stay up anyway, write in our journals, and bang pots and pans on the deck at midnight.

So, other than the fondue, 2020 isn’t changing our plans much.

Looking Back on 2020

I look forward to the journaling time, a chance to look back over what was good in the previous year and dream of the year ahead. Despite Covid, there’s much to appreciate from 2020, both personally and globally. I’m just finding that I have to look in some new places to find those things. Under the sofa and between the seat cushions, if you will. But those blessings are there, perhaps richer because I had to seek them out.

What’s Ahead for 2021

The same goes for my dreams for 2021. I’m approaching them differently. Oh sure, I still want to lose weight—and maybe this year I’ll actually be successful because, if nothing else, 2020 has taught me that some things can’t be rushed. Sometimes you simply have to do the work, stick to the plan, and be patient for a whole lot longer than you thought.

“Live Small”

Image of individual coronaviruses (Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

But, rather than grandiose tangible achievements, 2021 is calling me to Live Small. And by “live small”, I don’t mean have less impact. After all, a single coronavirus is a small thing. Need I say more?

To me, “live small” means to focus on what’s important: My relationship with God. My marriage. My children. My family and close friends. My health. My core dreams.

And the reality of focusing on these things can be pretty mundane: Take time to pray and really listen to God. Listen when my husband is telling another work story. Talk with people; don’t just rely on texting. Eat a vegetable instead of a cookie. Sit in the chair and write your book, even when you don’t feel like it.

These small things will be my focus in 2021.

Helping You Celebrate New Year’s

Champagne Cocktail Recipe

I am a fan of the author Debbie Macomber. The subject matter of my books is similar to hers, and many of the things she has accomplished in her career are on my list of things I hope to someday achieve. She recently shared this blog post with champagne cocktail recipes. I chose the one that looked most delicious to me and made this video to share the recipe.

Mocktail Recipe

Then I adjusted the recipe and made this mocktail version. Honestly, sometimes I want a fancy drink but I just don’t want the alcohol. It’s so nice to have a change from soda or sparkling water. It’s also nice to have an alcohol-free drink available for underage celebrants.

Since New Year’s celebrations are encouraged to be small this year, the recipes are adjusted to only make two or three drinks. So, never fear… you won’t be stuck with a whole punchbowl!

Happy New Year!

37 thoughts on “Looking Back at 2020 & Forward to 2021

    1. Aargh! You’re right. Since you mentioned orange juice I assumed you were referring to the mocktail recipe. But I did say the wrong thing in the champagne recipe video. I hadn’t noticed! Good catch!

  1. Great reflections, Jill. Appreciate the recipes as well. As it happens, my mom is a Debbie Macomber fan and got to meet her there in the PNW when she visited last. Meanwhile, our planning goes on apace to come north in June. Thanks for the reminders of living faithfully and a bit smaller, useful and necessary. A blessed and much Happier New Year to you all!

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