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2020, it’s been a strange year. I had high hopes for a good year. 2019 was tough and I didn’t put a lot of pressure on the new year but did think it would be better. (Read more about my last year’s recap here.) This year was full of ups and downs. Toilet paper and meat shortages (which, FYI, you can survive off zero meat, folks, but zero TP, I don’t want to try). We’ve evaluated our lives and then reevaluated them. Lost people who were important to our country. Tried to figure out what the eff is happening all around us. Who we are and what was going on. It truly was a year unlike any other I’ve seen (and hopefully ever see again). We had numerous hurricanes in our area and lots of nature catastrophes worldwide. We had unrest and divisiveness as a country; constantly arguing with one another all while the world dealt with a pandemic. We’ve been worried and nervous and scared. But there’s been good too. We learned how to stay connected to love ones we can’t constantly see (um, why did it take a no travel ban for me to partake in Zooms with my out-of-town family?!). Many people learned what WFH entails and also that we may never want to wear normal work clothes again. More businesses are moving to a remote working model and that is exciting. We can pretty much get any restaurant or pretty much any item delivered now. Overall, people thought out of the box the best they could.

Here’s what my 2020 looked like…

  • January:

    Went to Nashville for our newly annual Silewski cousins’ trip, NASHSKI. I remember talking about Coronavirus while we drank Corona Light, never imagining what was truly about to come our way.

    Had a change in our finances and then God generously opened a door for a new job opportunity for me.

    My stepdad’s mother passed away and then quickly realized we wouldn’t be able to have her celebration of life due to the impending shutdown of gatherings and group events.

  • February:

    Saw Lauren Daigle and Boyz II Men in concert, not knowing that large crowds would soon be a thing of the past, at least for now.

  • March:

    Our world shuts down and masks are the newest accessory almost exactly as I jump back into a career in healthcare as a home health and hospice branch Administrator. What a time. Jeff and I, as we were both in healthcare, continued to go into work each day, which hasn’t changed. Also, Pfeiffer’s school remained open to provide help for those people without the option to WFH.

  • April:

    Jeff celebrated a birthday without watching the Master (it was postponed until November and to be honest, it just didn’t feel like much of a birthday celebration without that).

  • May:

    Celebrate Mother’s Day and our 6th wedding anniversary by escaping for a staycation of sorts to Cape San Blas (beach nearby).

    My brother Ron turned 40 and we had a small surprise party at his house (mile away from ours in Tally) and Zoom gathering to celebrate.

    Begin our attempt to have another baby (and a boy, at that).

    Able to have Betty’s celebration of life (see Viking ship pic below my stepdad made to be set on fire and sent out to sea with some of her ashes) when there was a glimpse of our cities opening up again.

    Also begin cutting my own hair. Partly because no where is open. Partly because I still haven’t found my person in Tally. Partly because I’m cheap.

  • June:

    Jeff opens a new nursing facility as a COVID unit.

    Chug along in this odd world we’re living in.

  • July:

    Had to put down one of our dogs due to declining health issues which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. Not simply for the loss of losing a furry family member but to witness the severe pain my husband was in was unlike anything I’ve seen. And I am not trying to compare this to losing a loved one during this pandemic and not being able to be with them; I am not saying it is anything the same but it was still extremely difficult for our family.

  • August:

    Begin celebrating my 30th birthday month. We had to cancel our trip to Iceland but decided to still do a lowkey trip and rent an RV and go to the Great Smoky Mountains for some social distancing and hiking and outdoor time. Was not the 30th I imagined but I felt loved every day that month and it was great. (Trip actually took place the beginning of September.)

    Also, decide to fly solo (literally and figuratively) to my cousin’s wedding in North Dakota. Traveling was beyond strange but I appreciate the empty seat next to me on each flight.

    At this point my not quite 2-year-old daughter understands that everyone wears masks and tells me to get mine and also put one on her.

    Fully commit to writing a funny, self-help book about my silly family.

    Wrote blog post on how much CBD seems to be helping me. Find it here.

  • September:

    Go on our Smokies trip and have a blast. Part RV, part Airbnb. Can’t wait for another national park trip soon. Also, practically instantaneously as we get home I am searching online for RVs for sale, completely hooked.

    Pfeiffer turns two and we have a small little You Are Our Sunshine birthday party. Also, days before, find out we are pregnant!

    Head to Rosemary Beach in 30A to celebrate one of my besties bachelorette party. Again, lowkey but super fun.

  • October:

    All day pregnancy sickness kicks in hard.

    Travel to Vail for Jeff’s college buddy’s wedding where we hiked, enjoyed the scenery, received cozy blankets and masks as party gifts, and watched the Seminoles win a big football game.

    Leave my job in healthcare. It was practically beyond stressful from day 1 . I was ready for a challenge and knew what I was walking into but the lack of support, overwhelming sickness from pregnancy, not to mention abundant stress that I was genuinely concerned about effecting my health (and the 24/7 on call didn’t help), wasn’t good. Kicked up Pat Pierce Etsy store a bit more (since I put my main Pat Pierce website on hold).

    Celebrate my bestie’s wedding being a bridesmaid in Pensacola. Interesting the differences in wedding from Colorado to Florida with COVID guidelines and protocol.

    Get on medicine to help with the nausea from pregnancy (and if you know me, you know that I hate taking meds and only take them as a last resort, so you know it was bad). Nothing can help the exhaustion besides more sleep. With Pfeiffer I had less than two weeks of feeling blah. This time, it was practically the entire first trimester. Fun. Have our first ultrasound to confirm Baby Bell #2. None of my appointments Jeff will be able to go to, until I finally deliver the baby.

    Celebrate Halloween by riding around on our golf cart and being dressed up as a variety of turtles.

  • November:

    Celebrate my niece’s birthday at farm in Tally and watch P ride her first horse and play with animals. Super fun.

    After what seemed to take a very long time, find out we will be getting a new president as well as our country’s first woman VP.

    Get to spend some family time in Pensacola with small groups for Thanksgiving.

  • December:

    Christmas festivities kick off and P gets to experience Christmas movies for the first time. Seeing the joy of this holiday season through someone’s eyes who has never fully experienced it was something special that I will never forget.

    Head back to Pcola for Christmas and see more family and a few friends as well. Handful of members either had COVID or were effected by it and couldn’t come so the small crowd was even smaller.

    Rumors of the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available for healthcare workers is true and Jeff gets the vaccine with no foreseen side effects.

    Find out the baby is a BOY!

    Finish my first nonfiction book (pic with the working title below) and send to my editor (i.e., my uncle who has years of experience as an editor)! Now looking for a publisher and ready to take on the new year with a new book published (I actually self-published a children’s book earlier this year just for fun about an albino dino but wanted to enlist the help of a publisher for this bigger endeavor).

P had milestones, we had new experiences as a family, cut the cord with cable; variety of things that were neat but not necessarily timeline appropriate.

I’m still struggling with finding myself. Finding my way and what the next steps for my life are but I’m also realizing that we are all constantly finding ourselves as we go through life and the different stages and phases. So while I ask myself what the eff am I doing with my life, I’m excited for what’s to come. I have my family, my health, and I’m hopeful without putting too much pressure on it. Completing our family (no more kiddos coming from this body of mine) will be a highlight and a new adventure in itself. Also, I’m proud of the work I’ve put into writing my non-fiction book and looking forward to sharing it with as many people as possible.

The grandeur of a new year, for me, is still there. However, this upcoming one doesn’t hold as much pressure. Let’s just sneak on into this year. Yes, with a renewed sense of optimism but let’s not try to expect too much here either. Have hope but let’s all just battle through whatever it brings, together. It is a new start but many of us will still carry the weight of 2020 into 2021. Let’s have patience with each other. Love one another. We’ve had too much strife and grief and loneliness to continue on that way. Let’s find new ways to connect with one another. Come back together the best we can and march into a happier year. I pray we all take the best of what we learned and gained from this year and bring it with us into the next and may we not forget the importance of cherishing the simple pleasures that this year stripped from us.

I always love creating goals or resolutions but think I’ll settle solely for a word for 2021. Don’t want to get too carried away. Hope continues to be the word that comes to mind.

How was your year? Do you have a word or goals or any type of resolutions for 2021 or what are your thoughts on the new year?

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