2020 Year in Review

And what a year it was right??

Last year I never wrote a year in review post. Instead, it went out as a belated newsletter to subscribers. In fact I hardly posted in December at all, and in reading my January posts, I’m reminded of the high hopes I had for this year. Lots of things would be wrapping up in the first few months and I’d hoped to feel less overwhelmed and frazzled and be more intentional with my time and energy.

So here’s a break down of the last year featuring some of my favorite life events, blog posts, books, and assorted who-ha.

January

Me enjoying Jennifer Fulwiler at her Naughty Corner comedy tour stop in NYC.

I entered this month with a lot of optimism. Except for a stomach bug on the first which we overcame at home, everyone was healthy, and school was going well. Tony created a cool wearable for a challenge at work that he grafted onto Teddy’s plastic Infintiy Gauntlet. His team didn’t win the challenge, but it was the coolest looking wearable by far.

I’m just as proud of Tony’s ability to create this imagine as the actual wearable.

Top Posts From This Month (out of 10)

February

Heading to Detroit!

Addie and I traveled to Detroit to visit a college, which would become her top pick and Byron and I would perform in our church’s dinner theater production over Valentines day weekend. I released the Self-Care for Special Needs Moms Workbook and finally completed the first round of edits to my manuscript for Our Sunday Visitor. After a lot of hard work by Tony, we finally finished our walk up attic and the girls got a new bedroom! We received our first challenge to our daytime nursing hours from Fulton’s insurance company, but thankfully got to keep 12 hours after only the first round of appeals.

March

Here’s everyone taking live-streamed Mass just as seriously as in-person Mass.

With the upstairs now finished, we were able to get our home inspected to begin the process of becoming foster/ adoptive parents. Addie and I traveled to Baltimore for a fencing tournament where people were starting to chat about a virus in China. By the second week of the month, I informed Fulton and Teddy’s schools I would be keeping them home, but ultimately they would close themselves within a few days. Fulton and Teddy rejoiced at being “homeschooled” again. I quickly learned that distance learning and homeschooling were two completely different beasts. Tony started working exclusively from home instead of traveling to Philadelphia. Addie and Byron’s spring break at the community college was extended so classes could be moved online. I followed the numbers on the CDC and WHO websites almost daily.

Top Posts From This Month

April

Intense egg hunt action!

We stayed put in April, and got used to live-streaming Mass from our parish. Thankfully our priest set up socially distant outdoor confession so we were able to receive the sacrament this month. I tried to reduce our trips to the store, and we emptied our freezers and pantries. Edie’s Confirmation was postponed, as was the homeschool high school formal. We learned that MDA summer camp was cancelled for the summer and that cast a gloomy cloud over things for a bit. The girls started fencing classes online and scout meetings were held over Zoom.

Top Posts From This Month

May

Look at those happy kids! Morale boost x100!

We made progress in our basement library by installing recessed lights, painting the walls, and hanging some shelves. Books that had been in boxes since our move were finally up on shelves. We made a last minute decision to head to the Outer Banks to quarantine somewhere different and spent a week in a large home on the sound in Duck that provided all the fun and entertainment we needed by way of kayaks, air hockey, a big screen TV, and of course a hot tub. The change of scenery was a big boost to everyone’s morale.

Top Posts From This Month

June

George and Harold came to wish Fulton a Happy Birthday.

Addie graduated with no pomp and circumstance, but since the YouTube graduation special featured her favorite band BTS, she wasn’t too sad on what would’ve been the day of her graduation ceremony. Everyone wrapped up school and I prayed I would never need to oversee distance learning again. Fulton turned 12 and immediately started counting down the days until he becomes a teenager. We celebrated the Nativity of St. John the Baptist without our usual large gathering of rowdy Catholics for the first time in a decade.

Top Posts From This Month

July

Tony begins his six hour introductory D&D session with the kids.

We attended Mass in person for the first time since early March. I finally finished hanging the remaining shelves in the basement. No more books in boxes! We went to the beach in Atlantic City with friends for the first time this summer. Tony organized his comic book collection and introduced the kids to Dungeons & Dragons. After years of moving this stuff around from house to house, these collections are finally being put to good use! Addie and Byron scored jobs and I was able to worry a little less about future student loan debt. I released my e-book Using Google Classroom in the Homeschool and wrote a series of posts to help new homeschooling parents.

August

Here’s Teddy just being the king of upper and lower Egypt.

Our parish held a small impromptu graduation ceremony for all the homeschooled seniors early in the month. It wasn’t the big homeschool graduation and party I’d wanted for Addie, but ultimately, it was a very special day. Tony turned 42 and I indulged in the one month a year when I can brag about being his younger wife. We took our second and last trip to the beach in Ocean City. After living with exposed sub-flooring in the hallway and younger boys’ bedroom since moving in, we finally got hardwood floors installed. Tony made progress on an app he’s developed and submitted it to PAX Online. I began homeschooling at the end of the month, Fulton having been withdrawn from the public school in June, and Teddy only slightly later once I saw the district’s plan for distance learning in the fall. St. Bruno’s has four enrolled students this year.

September

A celebratory back to school boardwalk trip.

College classes start up remotely for Addie and Bryon after Labor Day. Our church’s scout meetings start back up with outdoor, socially distant meetings and Tony begins his fifth year as a leader. Only Byron is enrolled as a scout. Tony continues to work full-time from home and learned he’ll be home through June 2021. I blink and Addie is now 18, and I’m 42. Throughout all these months Edie has been quietly helping in the background, always available to entertain her younger brothers, not complaining about anything except the state of modern fashion, and being my sweet and dutiful middle child.

Top Posts From This Month

October

That’s not what we meant when we said oral medicine.

Teddy hit double digits and turned ten on the 8th. Tony and I celebrated 19 years of marriage on the 13th. The boys were able to start taking Evrysdi, an oral medication that can possibly stop, or even reverse, the progressive weakness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. No more Spinraza lumbar punctures! Byron turned 17, and we celebrated Halloween the way we always do- with elaborate homemade costumes! The insurance company once again tried to reduce our daytime nursing hours but thankfully after several appeals, we would learn in November that an outside arbiter determined the insurance company could not cut our hours.

November

Handsome group of gentleman.

After months of waiting, Edie was finally Confirmed. We took the boys on a belated birthday(s) trip to Gettysburg, PA while the older three spent time with my parents. We had a nice, small Thanksgiving and managed to take a good family photo.

Favorite Book

Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes To Far

I read only 16 books this year. I started several more, but never finished them. I’m hoping to finish The Reed of God, by Caryll Houselander for Advent, so then I’ll be up to 17, but worst case, I will finish it within the Christmas season and it will be a good book to kick off my 2021 reading list. While I enjoyed many of the books I read this year, none were earth shattering, which is why I’m only sharing my top pick. You can see some of the other books I’ve read, and what I’ve recommended to my newsletter subscribers HERE.

December

It’s been a month of more homeschooling, online college classes, and working from home. Numbers are back up, and more friends and family are catching COVID. Some are doing okay, some are still struggling weeks later. Edie turned 15 and we celebrated with a mother-daughter trip to Cape May, NJ to tour a Victorian house and do a trolley tour. I’ve managed to keep up with all my Jesse tree ornaments so far, and we’ve gone all out with the Christmas lights this year. We visited Shriners this week and we can now expect Teddy to get back surgery within the next 12-18 months. Thankfully, it’s not urgent, but it’s no longer some far off abstract thing either. This is our last day before we start Christmas break, and I’m looking forward to Christmas baking, finishing my shopping, and bottling the first batch of limoncello I’ve made in a few years.

How was your year? If you feel like sharing, link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the the rest of the Quick Takes. (even though this post is not quick in any sense.) I look forward to reading your posts!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. Let’s just say that the meme about 2020 being colon cleanser if it was a drink proved to be a little prophetic for my wee bairn.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.