2020 family update year review

2020 Year In Review

Hello everyone. Here we are on the last day of 2020.  The year has officially run its course.  When I write that this year has truly been like no other in my life, I mean it.  Who would have thought when I penned the yearly review for 2019 that its successor would be filled with such mental and emotional experiences?  We’ve seen borders closed, mandatory mask restrictions, countless deaths and infections.  We’ve also spent a lot of time with each other sequestered in our homes awaiting a call for “All Clear” that seems never to come.  It’s definitely been something.

This year’s 2020 review is going to look a little different than usual, but I don’t mind.  That’s the kind of year that we have had…a little different and requiring adaptations.  I’m super pleased to be alive to even share it. So, here we go.

1.  #Motivation2020

On January 14, 2020, I shared in a post that I’d decided to return to school to seek my graduate degree.  As you can see from the graphic, I had some pretty great memories in 2020.  I shared that I allowed someone without the best of intentions to deter me from that goal years ago and felt it was finally time to rectify that situation.  God is truly a good God.  I have been in school for my Master of Science degree in Social Media Management since that time.  Next month, I begin my last two classes and if it is God’s will, I will receive my degree in May 2021.  I am very excited and thankful that God allowed me the opportunity to fulfill a desire that I had.  I hope I am able to use it for the benefit of His kingdom.

2.  2020 Highlights

As you can see from the graphic, 2020 still made for memorable experiences, thoughts, and family time. 

  • January 2020:  #Motivation2020 allowed me to set the tone for getting things done.  That hashtag helped to propel some new business for my social media management company allowing a higher revenue than 2019.  It also allowed my husband and I to delve into new opportunities including investing and diversification.  
  • February 2020:  In February, we celebrated S.’s and Honeybee’s birthday.  Since our family is always up for something new, I took the party to an axe-throwing business.  Everyone had a great time.  We made fun memories and the girls beat the boys in points!
  • March 2020:  By now rumors had begun circulating about a pretty dangerous virus.  Lots of countries were beginning to shut down and there was suspicion that the U.S. was about to follow suit.  Before that happened, our family was able to watch Bug do an amazing job in his middle school musical.  Bug played Phillip in the musical Emma and did a phenomenal job! Shortly thereafter, schools were shuttered.
  • April 2020:  Easter was the first holiday that was celebrated in the pandemic bubble.  It was a beautiful celebration honoring the great sacrifice of Jesus and the glory of His gift of salvation. My favorite part was Bug reading the story of Easter to his siblings.  My second favorite part was the Zoom party with the family.
  • May 2020:  May was the last “official” day of school for the kids.  I shared their last day of school pics in standard 2020 fashion.  The kids wore pajamas and masks.  It was the culmination of the kids’ first foray into virtual learning.
  •  June 2020:  By now, the quarantine was pretty consistent, but things were happening.  The death of George Floyd along with Ahmuad Arbury and so many others.  It seemed every time we turned on the television, another person had been killed and another march was happening.  Mentally and emotionally, it was draining.  Opinions ran hot on both sides. I watched a 14-year friendship dissipate.  It was a hard time and full of things I never thought I would experience in my lifetime.  There was a wonderful lining in June though.  We announced pregnancy #4, baby number 5.
  • July 2020:  July had to be one of my favorite months this year.  I turned 40 and, because of COVID, wasn’t expecting to do anything.  Original plans of a trip were cancelled.  That was fine.  I was just going to have dinner picked up from a restaurant and spend it at home quietly with the family.  My husband and family had other plans.
  • August 2020:  August was an attempt to return to pseudo normalcy.  The older children started their first day of school–virtually.  Baby J. turned one!  We did a very intimate birthday party for him with just the core family and  he was perfectly happy.  We did the same a few weeks later for Miss A. when she turned three.
  • September 2020:  September brought my favorite season-Fall.  You all know I’m a huge lover of all things Fall.  I was able to share some of those in a blog post along with the hope that we would be able to participate in a few family traditions like pumpkin patches and fall picnics.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way and we spent much of the month sequestered.  That’s okay though.  We were able to make Bug smile as he turned 14!
  • October 2020:  Throughout this entire time, I’d been visiting the office once or twice a week for in person meetings (socially distant) and training my backup in preparation for maternity leave.  On October 31st, I started maternity leave and began to finally prep for our baby’s arrival.  Maternity leave was very different from previous years, but no less blessed.
  • November 2020:  November started beautifully!  On November 5th, we welcomed our third daughter and our fifth baby.  This birth came along quite differently when I was admitted due to rising blood pressure.  All was well even though I once again delivered without epidural.  But it wasn’t as bad because of my experience with Hypnobirthing.  We celebrated Thanksgiving as a core family and had a great time by ourselves.  We also had a couple of sad moments with the passing of my godbrother and my friend/church member.
  • December 2020:  And here we are.  December has been something.  While we celebrated birthdays of friends and family, we also said see you later to those who passed in the month before.  Funerals were live streamed and we watched services on computer screens.  We had a beautiful Christmas and spent time together, once again, as a family.  In ALL things, we give thanks.  
2020 Most Viewed Posts

Last year, readers seemed to appreciate my most viewed list.  This year, I decided to do the same.
2020 Reads

It’s been a great year for reading!  With the pandemic, everything was closed.  No more practices, rehearsals, games, after school events, etc.  I was able to spend more time in the evenings reading while everyone was sleeping.  Even better was the fact that it was pleasure reading (in addition to the reading for grad school).  Amazon Kindle has a great tool call reading insights that gave me the run down of my reading for the year.  I figured I’d share some of it with you.

Every year I set a goal of 12 titles to be read.  This year I was able to read 15 books.  The difference in this year and previous years was I read quite a bit of sci-fi, zombie, and infectious disease titles.  What I do not have included in the Calm Birth Hypnobirthing book, which was phenomenal!  
Favorite titles read:  The Scourge Series.  These books, penned by Tom Abrahams in 2020, focus on a plague that kills two of every three people on Earth.  Only this plague descends into madness and zombies ensue.  It’s a pretty good series with a twist I wasn’t expecting.  
Extinction Level Event Series.  This series, by K. J. Jones, also focuses on a plague.  This one is a flu pandemic that originates in Wilmington, NC.  My being a Carolina girl was all on this.  I liked the series but am waiting for more since the last ended in a cliffhanger.  I was disappointed like the characters at a certain turn of events and hope to see how things evolve.
Bible Plan:  Remember I told you last year that our family was entering into 365 Chronological Bible Plan.  We should be done in April.  I wish I could tell you I was doing phenomenally.  I was at first, then had the baby, and fell off quite a few days.  I am working to catch up to S. and Bug so we can discuss at length what we have read.
Biggest Takeaway in 2020

God is always in control.  Trust Him even when you don’t understand what He is doing.  It will always work out for your good and His glory, even in the times your tears are more than your smiles.
Happy New Year, everyone.  See you in 2021 (God willing).

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