2020 Year In Review

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.

A Review of 2017

I’ve been meaning to write my annual review of the year for a number of weeks, and I just finally finished. 2017 brought the greatest joy to our lives as we welcomed our first child into our hearts and home!

We started off 2017 with a visit from John’s family to celebrate the new year. My aunt Diana, uncle Kevin, and cousin Cory also visited my family in Virginia to celebrate the new year. So, we had fun visiting with both John’s family, as well as my family and the Glovers.


In February, John had a two-week work trip to Europe. I met up with him in Switzerland for a long weekend. We visited his aunt, uncle, and cousins, who live in Switzerland. We stayed at their cabin in the Alps and ate lots of delicious cheese.


On the very last day of February, we found out we were expecting. Most of the remainder of the year for me was focused on preparing for our baby and welcoming him into our lives.


During the month of March, we kept things pretty low key. Pregnancy brought some severe headaches during my first trimester and some mild nausea at night. We did make it into DC for the B1G Ten basketball tournament. Sadly, Iowa didn’t make it through the first round.


In April, I traveled to Indianapolis for the American Academy of Audiology’s annual convention. I had fun exploring downtown, getting to know my Professional Development Committee volunteers better, and bonding with my Academy coworkers.

The view from my hotel room in Indianapolis.

In May, we bought a car. This was exciting because this was the first ever car that John picked out for himself. All his previous cars were hand-me-downs from other family members. We’d been a one car family since we got married (John’s last car died about a month before we got married). I am so bummed we didn’t take a picture of John and the car at the dealership. It was kind of a crazy day because John flew in from Tampa that evening. He was supposed to fly in earlier in the day, but due to bad weather, his flight was delayed. We were kind of in a frenzy when we went to pick up the car haha.

In early June, we learned the gender of our baby. Prior to learning the gender, I had no inkling as to whether it was a girl or boy, and I was excited for either. We learned we were having a BOY!

It's a...-2

The summer brought both my and John’s 30th birthdays. We officially entered a new decade. My birthday was on a Sunday. John and I went out to dinner the night before at a restaurant I’d been wanting to try. On my actual birthday, we headed over to my parents’ house for a cookout. For John’s birthday, we celebrated by heading into DC the evening prior to his birthday. We stayed at our favorite DC hotel (The Mayflower) and then spent the next day playing tourists. My brother Trevor gave us a tour of the U.S. Capitol. We were supposed to go to a Nationals game that night, but due to a significant amount of rain, the game was cancelled.

An after dinner selfie on my birthday eve.

A quick selfie as we left the Mayflower on John’s birthday.

We celebrated the 4th of July in Iowa. The quad cities puts on quite an amazing fireworks show right on the Mississippi River. I love fireworks and was very impressed. John’s mom and sister threw me a baby shower while we were there, and we also visited Chicago since I had never been there.

The Chicago skyline.

August and September were focused on baby preparation for me. I had three additional baby showers and spent time putting together the nursery. In August, we had a little bit of a scare with the pregnancy, but it turned out to be nothing. We had an ultrasound done at this time, and we’re able to get a glimpse of our baby’s face. This made our baby seem more real than he had before.



October was the month we waited for all year! Sweet baby David was born. The rest of the year was spent learning how to be parents (something we’ll be learning for the rest of our lives). The week after David was born was one of the happiest weeks of my life (yet still stressful as I functioned on limited sleep, dealt with hormones, and struggled with nursing…and John had the flu). My mom stayed with us that first week, which was a great blessing.


Six days after David was born, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We snuck away to Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt to celebrate while my mom watched the baby. It’s amazing how much has changed in my life over the last two years. I am grateful for these changes and grateful for John.


I love the last quarter of the year because it brings cooler weather and three fun holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. John’s parents were here for Halloween. Grandma Lori picked up a cute tiger cub Halloween costume for little David.


We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia. My brother Blake came back from BYU for the week, and John’s uncle David also joined us. That weekend we began decorating our house for Christmas. The weather was very temperate, so we also went on a fun hike with my family in Harper’s Ferry.

The Thanksgiving crew at my parents’ house.

Harper’s Ferry, WV.

Christmas took us to Iowa this year. We had a white Christmas! Something I haven’t experienced in many years. Snow seems to make Christmas feel more magical. We got back from Iowa on December 30 and spent the last day of 2017 at church (it was a Sunday) and then visiting with my family. We spent the last moments of 2017 laying in our bed watching on my iPad the ball drop in New York City.

Christmas Eve.

Christmas Night.

Each year I pick a scripture that I want to focus on and seek to emulate. My 2017 scripture was Doctrine and Covenants 19:23, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.”

december 3, 2019-2

I wanted to focus this year on studying the life of Jesus Christ. While I spent time in the scriptures every day, I’m still working on truly studying them. I need to be better at that. This may sound strange, but the way I came to learn of the Savior the most this year was through being pregnant. I remember one night  in particular when I had a really bad headache during my first trimester. I prayed to God and expressed that sometimes the physical pain of pregnancy was hard on me and that I didn’t like being pregnant (although I was so grateful to become a mom). In that moment, I felt a great sense of appreciation for the Savior because I realized that like the physical pain I was experiencing that would bring physical life for my son (something he could not do on his own), it was through the pain Christ endured (which is an infinite number of times worse than pregnancy), we can have eternal life (something we cannot provide for ourselves). I was grateful for that realization and it made the pains of pregnancy feel more like a blessing than a burden as it provided an even greater appreciation for the Savior Jesus Christ.

I look forward to 2018 and the experiences this year will bring.

2016 Year In Review

Before I start posting more about 2017, I wanted to take a moment to recap 2016. The first few months of 2016, were calm and quiet months for me. I simply enjoyed newly-wed life and appreciated not planning and preparing for a wedding. John had a full year from the start due to lots of work travel. Once the spring hit, life seemed to speed up for me a bit and became even more full for John.

In May, we signed a contract to build our first home.

In June, we celebrated my birthday.

In July, I concluded my time (nearly five years) at the U.S. Chamber (Institute for Organization Management program) and started a new job at the American Academy of Audiology. This picture was taken with my colleagues the last night of West Institute. After I returned from West Institute, I was back in the office at the U.S. Chamber for one day and then started my new job the next day.

Also in July, we celebrated John’s birthday. Sadly, John’s birthday was spent in a car driving to Iowa for his grandfather’s funeral. Next year, we will have to celebrate with double the fun to make up for this year. This picture was taken right after his grandfather’s funeral. We stopped by his grandparents’ farm and the corn was lush and beautiful.

In August, we had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia LDS Temple Open House. We met up with John’s friend Dann and ate at an amazing restaurant afterwards.

We took many trips out to our house to check on the progress.
We took many trips out to our house to check on the progress.

In October, we spent two weeks in Taiwan. John’s Uncle David lives there right now. It was a neat experience, and one I know we’ll always treasure.

Another picture from our Taiwan trip, just for good measure 😉

We celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary on October 24.

More trips out to the house.

In November, we went to Iowa twice. Once for John’s grandmother’s funeral, and the second time was for Thanksgiving. During the second trip John’s friend Dann came with us, and we spent two days in Nauvoo, Illinois, which is where this picture was taken. Dann had never been to Nauvoo, so it was fun to be there with him.

On December 9, we closed on our home. This is a quick selfie we took after the home was officially ours. I had to run off to a work meeting right after. John stayed at the house and worked hard installing curtain rods and a ceiling fan in the great room.

On December 16, we officially moved into our new house. We were supposed to move on Saturday, December 17, but a predicted ice storm made us change our plans. And thank goodness we changed our plans. The ice storm was no joke! Shortly after we moved in, the first few decorations were hung 🙂

We capped off the year by celebrating Christmas. We celebrated with my family in Virginia. John’s family came out to West Virginia a few days later for a visit. We had a fun time with both of our families.

Each year, instead of setting formal New Year’s resolutions, I pick a scripture to make my focus and theme for the year. This year, I picked the scripture that says, “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not,” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). Truth be told, I don’t feel like I did the best job emulating this scripture. During the home building process, there were many times I let fear/anxiety creep into my mind. Even though I felt I could have better emulated this direction given by the Lord, I am certain I grew in ways (perhaps unrecognizable to me right now) as I sought to better trust in God. I am grateful for a Savior who can help me when I fall short of the person I want to be.

Well, that’s a wrap! I look forward to see what 2017 has in store.