I think we can all agree, 2020 has been a challenging + weird year. I won’t list all the many reasons why because we all know. We’ve all lived it. And I’m pretty sure we can all agree we’re ready for it to be over. So instead of focusing on all the crap that was handed to us this year, I’m choosing to focus on the positive. Because honestly for us, there were a couple of big highlights to a rather crap year. So here is my 2020: A Year in Review.
We started the year strong with a snowstorm, the flu, and a broken elbow for Josie. Haha. Josie actually broke her elbow on Christmas Eve and ended up being in a cast for a good 8 weeks. She did surprisingly well with the cast, but we were so excited to get her arm back to normal.
Isla Belle turned 3 on February 2nd! Then Josie got her cast off and we celebrated with a belated trip to Massanutten Water Park. This was Mommy + Daddy’s “experience gift” from Christmas that we had to put a pause on. But luckily we were able to go before the world shut down and had a blast! We can’t wait to go back! Oh, and we had a BIG announcement to share with the world!
March 13th, 2020. The day our country shutdown due to COVID-19. Kids homeschooled. Noone left the house for months. Masks were mandatory (eventually). And finding toilet paper was nearly impossible. Crazy times! But we quickly adjusted to our new normal. Did our best with virtual school, got outside for fresh air as often as possible, and tried to make the most of the time in quarantine. Announced the gender of baby Rutten #3! And zoomed with friends that we couldn’t see face to face.
May started out rough as we had to cancel a vacation that we were SO looking forward too, but ended on a happier note as we celebrated Josie turning 7. Much different than any other birthday celebration, but in a good way! We celebrated Josie girl all day with a fun scavenger hunt, a birthday parade with friends, and a zoom call with family. Oh, and our first visitor in months, Nana! And how could I forget that supergirl cake. Never again, folks! haha.
Daddy’s birthday month. Mama got a new ride. And the best purchase of 2020 aside from my Nespresso machine was this waterslide! The girls lived in this thing, but we ALL cooled off in it. Especially mama and her big ol’ belly! We took a trip to my dad’s in North Carolina which was a nice little getaway. Aaron also finished painting our kitchen cabinets and I’m obsessed. I know I promised a post on the process and maybe that will come in 2021…if I can get it together. 2020 was NOT my year for blogging.
4th of July delivered some epic fireworks in our neighborhood and mama’s birthday! Annnnd a new favorite milkshake spot that just happens to be on our way to the Outer Banks. It will be a must-stop spot going forward. Aaron is on board with this.
August was all about waiting for baby girl. With lots of peach cobbler, a baby sprinkle with my besties, and finishing the nursery. And then August 28th I went in for my scheduled c-section and Lexi June was born that afternoon. I really need to do a birth post of Lexi girl now that she’s 4 months old and all! I’ll do that soon, because she deserves her own little spotlight. That sweet girl has been the biggest joy in our family this year!
August was also a big month because we finally sold our rental property that gave us a big leap in our debt free journey! Totally celebrated that because it was a long time coming…and that place was a money pit!
September brought some cooler temps and all the Lexi snuggles. She has obviously stolen all of our hearts, especially big sisters. The big girls started school–2nd Grade for Josie and Preschool for Isla. We also ventured out as a family a couple of times to hit up the pumpkin patch and grab dinner. Basically adjusting to life as a family of FIVE and also life with a newborn again. Ya know, because I basically forgot everything from that stage!
October was when life was just starting to feel close to normal again….Halloween, more pumpkin patches, and I committed myself to a new fitness journey. Daddy was still on leave and home with us. Life was good! We even got family pictures taken for the first time as a family of five and I loved just about every single one of them.
As we rolled into my favorite time of year, Daddy went back to work and I figured out life again as a stay at home mama of 3. At Lexi’s 2 month check-up we discovered something abnormal which then led us to UVA for further evaluation and unfortunately will result in surgery in early 2021. It’ll be okay, and I’m confident she’ll be good as new after all this is over, but still breaks my mama heart a little. Daddy also got confirmation of school dates for an 8-week training at this same time. So January will be a doozy…as if we aren’t already used to that. But man. If you want to drop wine off to your girl, I will gladly pass along my address in a dm. 😉 Thanksgiving was a great distraction to all that though. I cooked at home for our little family which I’ve kinda grown to love over the past couple of years. And while we chose to not be with extended family, it was so nice to just be home together. Comfy, cozy, and full of turkey!
Also the tree went up early and our elf, Sophie, came to visit right after Thanksgiving! We were needed all that holiday magic asap this year!
December was full of all the holiday things. Even during COVID, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year. My most favorite time of year with my most favorite people.
Josie did a consultation with the orthodontist and will be starting phase 1 of braces in early 2021. I kind of can’t even believe it. My baby! But she has some spacing issues that will need to correct with Invisalign before real braces most likely down the road.
We introduced #Lexiontheshelf and I’m really hoping I can keep this up for at least one more year. We’ll see. I die over these and her little face in that hat!
We had our first snow and also our very first sledding adventure as a family! The first of many many more to come because the girls LOVED IT.
Finally Christmas day….my absolute favorite day of the entire year. This year daddy had to work Christmas night but spent the morning with us and it was just perfect. I love my people so much.
The girls and I have spent New Year’s Eve together while Daddy works again. We had a fun balloon countdown, charcuterie for dinner, and a couple of dance parties. It’s been lowkey and perfect. The only thing missing is Daddy. Next year we’ll all be together!
While 2020 has been hard in so many ways, I’ve certainly counted all of my blessings as we’ve navigated through these hard times. So thankful for my family. For our health. And so grateful for all of the front line workers who have busted their asses this year while most of the world stayed home. I’m definitely going into this new year optimistic about better days ahead. It might get worse before it gets better, but friends, it WILL get better.
Wishing you all a very Happy + Healthy New Year. Peace and love to you all! XO