2022 – The Year In Review

Another year is in the books, and as expected, it was a blur more brief than those before it. I think that’s one reason I make the time to sit down every December and do these retrospectives; the older I get, the faster the years go, and it pays to slow down and think about each one.

As with most years, there were highs and lows. We found out Dolly was pregnant in the spring, and we had the amazing blessing of spending a month out West in the summer. Though we battled more sickness than usual, Blaise continued to grow and flourish in his second year of preschool. Without further ado, a summary:

  • 2022 started with a thud as we tested positive for COVID on New Year’s Day. We had avoided the scourge up to that point, but it slowed us down for a couple of weeks. My parents also had it around the same time, and though it hit them hard, thankfully everyone made a full recovery.
  • In February I got the opportunity to change jobs and join a startup based in Nashville. I learned a lot in my year at Scott’s Cheap Flights, but I realized that something closer to home and faith-based is a better fit for me. Plus I get to spread my wings as the lone backend engineer at Tether.
  • March was largely a time of getting settled after the job change, although I did get to go to my first concert since 2019 and see one of my recent favorite bands, Earth Groans.
  • Early in April we all traveled to Pittsburgh, partially for my birthday, and partially because Dolly had a branding shoot there. I had never been to the city, so it was very much an enlightening experience. Also, Blaise got sick, so he and I stayed in the Airbnb all day on my birthday while he puked. At least I got to see my lifelong friend Kyle while we were in town.
  • We continued to go deeper at our church this year, including the big Easter egg hunt with the children’s ministry.
  • I got into home-brewing kombucha this year, which was a fun hobby I can actually devote time to – about 30 minutes every two weeks. Some batches turned out better than others.
  • Around this time we also learned that Dolly was pregnant with our second child, a huge answer to prayer! That news would affect much of the rest of the year.
  • Not much stood out in May until the end when we joined my family in Ohio for Momocation at Lake Erie. Although I had to work some of the days, we also got to (very briefly) visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park and also Cedar Point where I hadn’t been in almost twenty years. Riding all those coasters with my nieces and nephews made me feel both young and very old at the same time.
  • June began our least-favorite time of year, summer in the South. Dolly and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary with a weekend at a rural bed and breakfast (and seeing the new Top Gun). Then we tested positive for COVID again as soon as we got back. Thankfully this time was more of an inconvenience than the January round.
  • I spent Fourth of July weekend assembling a wooden swing set for Blaise. It was the most manual labor I’ve done in years, all in sweltering heat. While the end result turned out alright, it wasn’t quite the hit I had hoped, even if he does like to race cars down the slide sometimes.
  • Speaking of Blaise, by this point in the year he had really nailed potty training when it came to #1. He would conquer #2 in the fall, and we celebrated big time.
  • Much of the year was spent building up to the big trip we had planned for August. We drove from Nashville to Montana, stopping to visit some national parks in South Dakota. Once in Montana, I worked during the week from our Airbnb, and we ventured out further on the weekends. We didn’t escape the heat as much as we had hoped. It was often near 100 degrees where we stayed, but the cooler nights and camping trips made up for it. We also got to visit the following places: Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, Badlands, Devil’s Tower, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier. For us, it was one of those experiences we’ll talk about for the rest of our lives, and it was a reminder that working remotely is a huge blessing.
  • We headed back to Nashville Labor Day weekend, just in time for Blaise to start his second year of preschool. He never tells us much about what happens at school, but his teacher is great, and he continues to learn a lot.
  • By this point in the year, we were mostly focused on preparing for the new baby to arrive. We had learned just before our trip that he would be another boy, so we spent time over the next few months getting everything ready.
  • Fall in Nashville included all the usual fun with seasonally-mild temperatures throughout October, which was another blessing. Blaise was Dash from The Incredibles for Halloween this year, a fitting choice since he runs pretty much everywhere he goes.
  • Everything after that was a fog as life accelerated toward the holidays and baby’s arrival, which we knew would probably be around the same time.
  • We hosted Thanksgiving for Dolly’s mom and step dad once again since we weren’t allowed to travel anywhere. By this point I’m halfway decent at making a turkey.
  • This Christmas season was truly fun and magical with Blaise. He learned a bunch of songs for his preschool Christmas program, and he went around everywhere singing them. Even though it was a very hectic few weeks, and a record-breaking freeze and snow hit Nashville making our house uncomfortably cold just before Christmas, it was so sweet seeing his excitement on Christmas morning as he opened his gifts and stocking.
  • Perhaps the biggest news of the year is that Jack Isaac Scott DeLong was born on December 27th. Because this pregnancy was harder for Dolly, she was induced, and the labor and delivery went smoothly, thanks be to God. We were able to come home after just a couple of days, and we’re currently adjusting to life as a family of four.
  • As I’ve gotten older, my ability and desire to seek out new music continues to wane. Mostly I find things I can listen to while I work, which is often extreme or instrumental metal, due to their mathematical nature. So I enjoyed the following this year:
  • I did make time for some good books, mostly consumed via audio. I’m finding more and more enjoyment in classic American literature lately:
  • In terms of goals, which I try to make time for each year, I only really achieved a few noteworthy ones:
    • Listened through the entire Bible thanks to the Bible in a Year Podcast
    • Bought a new-to-us car for Dolly and our growing family
    • Became proficient in the React Javascript framework

Laying it all out like this, and even paring it down some, it’s a good reminder that God has blessed me and our family immensely. Though there are frequent frustrations with parenting, things breaking, jobs, and the spiraling culture around us, He is good, and He has provided all that we need and more. As we try our best to be a light in the darkness, I am more thankful than ever for the spiritual gifts He has given to sustain us now and for the promise that He will one day judge the world and make all things new for those who put their faith in Jesus. May His truth and grace bless us all in the year to come.


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