2020: A year in review

31 December 2020

Well, well, well, 2020. Let’s see what you had in store for the Thomas family.

We kicked off the year with June’s 4th birthday and an epic “day of fun” to celebrate (including her favorite, gem mining!). Sadly, we also experienced our first (though not last) ER visit this month, also for June. Work continued on the Cultivate office, and our Peloton arrived!

As always, I started the year by sharing my 2020 goals (and 2020 reading list!), as well as 9 decisions that led to a life I love in honor of our 15th dativersary.

Valentine’s Day brought lots of fun celebrations, like the Lovebug Dance (complete with corsage) at our church for John and June and a tea at the Carolina Inn with friends for me. We unveiled the sand table on our front porch and my newly-painted desk, played in the snow, completed our second ER trip (this time with ambulance ride!), and celebrated my birthday with sweet deliveries from friends.

On the blog, I shared my thoughts on The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and the subsequent changes to my Instagram use.

On March 2, we officially moved into Cultivate’s new offices. On March 5, we had a photoshoot. On March 8, we ate our last meal inside a restaurant – for the year. On March 11, the NBA canceled their season, we officially began working from home, and John said, “I think you’d better go to the grocery store” (which I did, two carts later, along with almost everyone else in our town). On March 16, our kids’ school closed indefinitely. Empty grocery shelves, a new juggle of work and childcare (with babysitters added into the mix toward the end of the month), fear and uncertainty… and also penguins roaming aquariums, days off spent with our kids, hikes and car picnics. Weirdly, I published a North Carolina bucket list on the blog this month, ha!

April was high quarantine: lots of bike rides, s’mores, my first mask wearing, lunches in the backyard, starting our garden, chocolate chip cookies, making muffins, cancellations (soccer, family trip to Florida), porch deliveries, strawberry picking, all the sensory bins, playing in the creek, at-home haircuts, at-home Easter. I did a day-in-the-life on Stories to remember this weird time.

On the blog, we chatted about a simple meal-planning hack and Earth-friendly swaps in our home (loved your comments on both!).

May was more of the same: more bike rides, more hikes and creeks, more strawberries, more porch deliveries, and so many snack trays. We punctuated our days with a backyard campout (!), a new porch gate, and the sweetest Mother’s Day celebrated with picnic and scoot in downtown Raleigh. My parents were also able to visit for 10 days or so, which was a huge blessing for everyone (especially when our car was broken into and wallets stolen…).

On the blog, I shared a pair of posts about meal planning: my recipe binder and my routines!

As you can see in June in June, we continued to make the most of our time together at home, with ice cream, hikes, another campout (this time with Mama!), Father’s Day celebrations, trips to the Eno, and a backyard kiddie pool. We also spent much time thinking, reflecting, and talking as the racial justice conversation exploded. The tomatoes continued to roll in.

On the blog, I shared inspiration for a stay-at-home Fourth and some thoughts on raising kids I like, inspired by my Dad.

July had a LOT of highlights: road trips to Maine (with a beloved stop in the Berkshires along the way) and Connecticut (with a celebration for Shep’s birthday), so much family after such a long drought, John’s birthday, and progress on the Advent calendar (finally!). We have SO many sweet memories from this month!

We headed home from Connecticut in August, then celebrated our own Octonauts movie premiere, an Articles Club reunion (outside!), and, most momentously, our kids’ first day back at school. I also recorded my episode of Work & Play and began the upstairs bathroom refresh!

On the blog, I shared a few reflections upon the first day of school and FINALLY published my photo organization guide!! (Parts one, two, and three!)

You can see all the highlights from September in Shep’s second moviecamping, though tough, was definitely the most exciting event! On the blog, I shared my guacamole recipe, all about our net worth meetings, and the banned phrases in our marriage, in honor of our 8th wedding anniversary.

VERY grateful for our annual trip to the mountains – this year to Highlands for a twist on tradition. June mastering her big kid bike and the most fun Halloween were other October highlights! On the blog we discussed our fifth year of Articles Club, four-year-old favorites, and Instant Pot recipes.

Thankful for cousin visits, bike rides, trips to the Museum, and a cozy Thanksgiving just the four of us in November. I shared what we planned to give our kids for Christmas, always a popular post.

We ended the year with a really wonderful December, complete with a miraculous Christmas shrub glow-up, a visit from my parents, and plenty of magic for our first-ever Christmas morning at home, just the four of us (a fitting end-cap for the year).

Friends, thank you for indulging me. No matter the year, these posts are such a treat for me to write, and always some of my favorites to look back on years later. They help me to notice the good things, do my best to facilitate more of them, and remember to thank God for every delight (and for being with us in the struggles) along the way.

I know I’ve said it before, but I am SO excited for what we’ll discuss here in 2021. Thank you for being here, and for sharing so generously with me! It’s one of the delights of my life. Wishing you a healthy, happy, and abundant new year. I’ll see you soon! :)

2019 year in review
2018 year in review
2017 year in review
2016 year in review
2015 year in review
2014 year in review
2013 year in review
2012 year in review

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Kelly Strawberry
January 1, 2021 9:14 am

Thank you for taking the time to write! I love that you’re still blogging after all these years. It is such a joy to read, always. Happy New Year to the Thomas family!

Kelly C
January 1, 2021 5:20 pm

Love these posts! How do you remember all the details throughout the year?

January 4, 2021 7:41 am

Your blog is my very favorite and the inspiration to start my own blog this year! Having this tangible documentation of everyday life will be such a joy for your family to look back on in years to come! I hope I can mimic a bit of the same. Thanks for continuing to post such wonderful and inspiring content!