• Laura

The Best of 2020


(affiliate links used throughout this post. photo here thanks to megan scott photography)


A week or so ago Laura Wifler started a #2020goodlist and I'm 110% on board with it. Yes 2020 brought uncertainty, anxiety, frustration and unknown, but there was a lot of good that came out of this past year too.


I think words matter and we can find good in all circumstances knowing God works ALL things together. I want to call out some good that happened in 2020. I want my kids to realize hard things will happen, but there is always good to be found. In this post I share some good life things + some good product things we loved this year. Of course I share some good food things + good books too. Are you ready? Let's dive in.


FAMILY



Summer Road Trip. The death of Benjamin's grandfather brought a road trip into our life that turned out to be a highlight of the year. We saw family, new states, and stayed in our first pop-up camper which planted the seed of wanting a camper and truck in our life!


Taking back Saturday's- we hit pause on playing Fall sports this year and it's brought weekends and Saturday's back into our family life. We're no longer running around on weekends with the days flying by- praise!


FAITH


Emboldened. That's how I feel going into 2021 thanks to 2020. The word and the truth in it became brighter and clearer. 2020 illuminated a hope that can only be found in God and His word. I continue to love this Bible for the wide margins to take notes.


The Give me Jesus Journal- I started using this journal in late 2020 and am loving it. It's a good change for me to get back to journaling, simply read the word and write down what I'm learning. Highly recommend!


FOOD


Sourdough. It didn't happen initially but thanks to a friend's starter and colder months we now have sourdough starter either on our counter or in the fridge at all times. I try to make 2 loaves at a time now so there's always on in the freezer. You can read more about my adventures with sourdough here.


The Bible + Food. I had a lot of fun writing some articles on the Bible and food for Root and Vine this year. You can read what I wrote about bread + salt + feasting and how it relates to our faith using those links.



Seafood We've never used the words "picky eater" in our house and feed the kids whatever we eat. Thanks to that mentality and travel this summer the kids love oysters, clams, lobster and E even declared himself "a mussel guy" at age 4!


BOOKS


I love my kindle and found reading is my favorite way to unwind and turn my brain off at night. I read more because of the kindle and not being able to see how far I've read and how far I have left to go. Apparently it's all mental to me! Here are some favorite books from the year.


Where the Crawdad's Sing- If you haven't read it, make it a plan for 2021. A real page turner and one I wanted everyone else to read!


Wonderland Creek- My Mom suggested I read some books by Lynn Austin. I'm a big fan. Her books are mostly historical fiction with Christian undertones. Wonderland Creek was the first one I read and I'm now reading All She Ever Wanted. I also really liked While We're Far Apart. Highly Recommend!


The Hiding Place- a must read for any believer! Very timely and such an encouragement.


Adventuring Together- 2020 brought more camping and hiking for our family. This was a fitting book to read by Greta Eskridge and great if the above doesn't come easily for you.


Awakening Wonder- 2020 may be the year my affection for Sally Clarkson deepened. I loved this one to help me feel confident in schooling at home and love Sally's reassuring wisdom as an author always.


Different- This year brought to light some things that made this book a very good read. If you've got a kid whose different, I can't recommend this one enough!


Triggers- Super great on Biblical responses to our kids based on anger + anxiety. Highly recommend!


SCHOOL


Homeschooling 1.0- 2020 is the year we're in the first version of homeschooling for our family. My husband knew there would be growing pains, and there have been, but overall we've enjoyed schooling this year mostly at home and I've loved not living in the car!


Inspiring Mama's- I found some new people to encourage me this year. Allison of @herheartshomeschool and @withhisgrace are good ones to follow. We listened to the Wild and Free Book this summer and while I'm not all wild and free, it brought about an interesting perspective for me and I love being pushed to get my kids outside more. @wildandfree.co on IG is a good one too.


Bundles- I was a sucker for themed bundles this year from Home and Haven Community. My kids loved their worksheets and I found them helpful when working with another kid. Worth the $25 when they went on sale.


Tuttle Twins- My oldest wizzed through these books. We love them for having meaningful conversations about business and government. There's even a curriculum we could dive into more, maybe in 2021!


Classical Education- I realized how much I like this way of teaching and was thankful for friends who pointed me to resources like A Well-Trained Mind, Veritas Press, and Classical Academic Press. Maybe in Homeschooling 2.0 I'll have more to share on that.




Field Trips- We explored Jamestown and Yorktown this year. We saw the aquarium in Chattanooga and hope to go back! We got to go to Mount Vernon and the White House too!


Read Aloud's- Highlight for sure was reading the Little House on the Prairie series. We also go into the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls and read the first of the Wild Robot books.


Personal Faves


Pilates- Whenever I can get on the mat I feel so much better. As a TBL Partner you guys can sign up anytime using this link! I love how much better I feel after even 20 minutes on the mat. The recipe section within the Sisterhood is always a good place to go when we need to consume healthier options. Will you join me for more Pilates in 2021? Great for pregnant + post-partem Mama's too! I wasn't awesome at this in 2020 but it's something I still love and want to do more of in 2021.





Family Devotional- We've never done this well in the past but 2020 brought this book, 24 Family Ways, into our lives and it's one that will carry us through into 2021. Very simple and easy if you need some guided help too!


Kids Watches- I thought my kids would care about their steps but really we use these watches for timers! They know if I tell them "come up in 10 minutes" or "you can do that f0r 20 minutes" to start a timer on their watch and be done with the beeper buzzes!


I think that's about it. A lot, right? As we head into a new year I know we're all ready. I hope you're able to look back on 2020 and see the good that God did in your life though then tomorrow keep walking in a direction that brings you closer to him in 2021. Did you make a #2020goodlist ? It not- there's still time.