At the beginning of each year, I like to write a review of the prior year for my and my family’s memory. Well, it’s the end of May, so I wouldn’t say it’s the beginning of the year (ha), but I didn’t want to miss capturing an overall snapshot of 2020.
The year began for us with lots of packing and preparing to move. January was filled with Chick-Fil-A trips during home showings, visits to our new house to see the construction progress, filling what felt like hundreds of Home Depot moving boxes with our belongings, and praying that our West Virginia home would sell.
We closed on our new home on February 12. Our “romantic” Valentine’s Day included renting a moving truck and lots of heavy lifting for John and a few teenage boys from our church congregation who offered to help us move. The move was A LOT of effort, and we’re so grateful to friends and family who helped out. My sister, aunt, and cousins came over after we moved our belongings and were a big help getting the house organized. I ordered pizza for them, and David helped himself to as much pizza as he wanted. That night, in the middle of the night, his stomach decided he had eaten WAY too much pizza. This was the first time David ever had thrown up and of course it happened BEFORE we had a chance to hook up our washer and dryer ha!
We celebrated Brooke’s first birthday at the end of February. My mom and my aunt Diana were both in town for the celebration. We had a joint birthday party for Brooke and my sister Melissa.
Our West Virginia home officially sold in March. The selling process was a bit bumpy due to a very demanding buyer, whom we chose not to sell to in the end. But thankfully other buyers came along right after we terminated the first contract. I made a number of trips back to West Virginia during March to ensure the house was ready for the new owners. The pandemic and shutdown orders began in March, and at times I was worried that would affect our home sale. I had to remind myself that we’d seen God’s hand all throughout the moving process and that He would see us through, even if the home sale fell through.
April was spent at home as the pandemic really became a matter of great concern. We were so fortunate to move right before the pandemic hit. Our house sits on two acres of land (when we bought it, it came with one acre, and we bought an additional adjoining acre in September), and there is plenty of room for our kids to run around and have fun.
May was very similar to April. We spent lots of time at home. Since salons were closed, I cut David’s hair and John’s hair for the first time, a skill I’m grateful to have and am still working to improve upon. In the middle of May we learned that we were expecting baby #3.
June brought more time at home as the pandemic continued. Brooke learned to walk (finally!). I stayed busy playing with the kids and using their daily naptime to plan a virtual audiology research conference that would take place in August. I had spent many months planning and preparing for an in-person research conference that was supposed to take place in April but was cancelled because of the pandemic. While preparing for the virtual conference, I decided that once the conference was over, the time had come for me to quit my job. Since David was born, I worked a few hours a week from home for my previous employer. It was a great outlet for me. Over the last few years, I’ve asked God to help me know when/if I needed to give up my job. During the month of June, I felt strongly that that time had come for me to focus fully on my family and grow myself through other avenues.
July was much like June. My life was full of time at home with the kids and preparing for the virtual audiology conference. John and I did sneak away for a date to DC for his birthday. There was a restaurant we both wanted to try, and we were excited to get a reservation. However, when we arrived, they sat us at a table outside the restaurant in an adjacent business complex atrium. The food was still delicious but the ambiance definitely wasn’t what we anticipated haha.
John’s parents came for three weeks in August. John’s uncle had been in a cycling accident and John’s dad stayed with him as he recovered. John’s mom stayed with us. We hadn’t seen them since Christmas, so it was nice to be able to connect. I also appreciated that John’s mom was here and able to watch the kids on the day of the virtual conference I had been planning. At the very end of the month, we learned that baby #3 was a boy!
September brought our first and only 2020 getaway as a family. We headed down to Myrtle Beach to visit my aunt and uncle. They live in a private beach community. So, we were able to go to the beach without worrying about being near other people. David was super scared of the ocean. He didn’t want anyone to even put their feet in the water. This made our time at the beach a bit adventurous haha. Brooke on the other hand, loved it. I love the beach too and this trip was a welcomed respite. At the end of the month, we switched Brooke to a normal bed and out of her crib. I decided to paint and decorate her room to match the new quilt we bought her. It was a fun project, and I love the finished product.
October brought B1G Ten college football (a very exciting thing for John!), David’s 3rd birthday, and our five-year wedding anniversary. The traditional five-year anniversary gift is wood. John decided he would add decorative molding/wainscotting to our dining room. He knows how much I love details in home design, so this was a VERY thoughtful gift. Since I had painted Brooke’s room in September, I decided to paint David’s room in October. Once again, I loved the finish product.
In November, John made good on his anniversary gift to me. I painted the dining room and he did the hard work of installing the detailed molding. We celebrated Thanksgiving and welcomed the Christmas season at the end of the month.
John’s family has a generational tradition of making lots of cookies in preparation for Christmas. There are about 12 different kinds his mom and grandma bake each year. John and I decided to continue this tradition in our family. His mom sent us the recipes and beginning in November, we dedicated our date nights to cookie baking. It was one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. It was fun to embark on this project with him. We often put on a Christmas movie to watch while we baked.
My brother Trevor got married in November. He and his fiancé, Morgan, were supposed to get married in the Philadelphia LDS Temple on December 26 but that plan had to change because of COVID. They learned on a Monday that their wedding couldn’t take place in Philadelphia because of COVID restrictions, and that Thursday, they ended up getting married in a courthouse with just the two of them present.
We started the month off with an emergency trip to the doctor after Brooke fell and smacked her head on the door molding in David’s room and severely cut her head. Thankfully they were able to glue the cut shut. She was a trooper!
December brought snow (yay!) more Christmas cookie baking and lots of Christmas movie watching. The kids favorite movie was “Frosty the Snowman.” We celebrated Christmas with my family this year (aside from Trevor and Morgan, who were in Connecticut). We had fun playing games and hanging out at home together. We also did a few hikes in the Shenandoah Mountains. John took a week off from work, which was his first week-long vacation this year. I loved spending time with him. We were able to sneak away a few times without kids (a luxury), which was awesome.