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The Year 2020.

 I fired this blog back up after realizing how desperately I missed this outlet. I kind of feel like a hypocrite though, and let me tell you why. When the pandemic started I grabbed the boys journals and told them to write. For the first several weeks I made them write every day. I encouraged them to document what was going on in their own words. I thought it would be super neat one day for them to read back on, or for their kids and grandkids to read years from now - to see what was going through their little 10 and 7 year olds minds during a world-wide pandemic. That’s not something everyone can say they’ve lived through. 


Now how am I a hypocrite? Well, I forced the boys to journal, but where was my documentation? I’m the one who loves to journal our lives, yet aside from a short social media quip here and there, I hadn’t documented any personal pandemic thoughts in my own words. 


So, over a year into the pandemic and here we are. Back on the space where I document my life and talk through things via writing. It’s time to document the pandemic. The pandemic as it related to my family.  I know we each have our own unique and individual experiences from it all - with our own personal hardships and individual blessings - but I wanted to make sure I document my own. Our own. The pandemic as it effected my family. I want to remember the details. 


What I wouldn't give to have done this a year ago.


What a bizarre year. Am I right? We rang in 2020 on a cruise ship, not knowing that would be our last taste of normalcy for a solid year. (Just so grateful we didn’t get stuck on it like so many did!) 


January 2020


My brother alarmed me to the whole coronavirus situation in late January, well before it became anything to be worried about here in the states. He encouraged me to prep for my family, so I did. With each grocery run I bought extra non-perishables and stocked them away in the garage. (Don’t worry, I never overbought toilet paper. What was that even about?) I purchased masks long before they were unavailable. I remember going to Lowe’s and buying painters masks, feeling like I knew some kind of secret because no one else was buying any. I kept constant tabs on the numbers in China, slowly seeing one and two cases jump over to other countries. 


February 2020


We had a trip planned to Disneyland in late April, and I remember making a remark to Darin that I hoped it would still be open then. He told me it would. That it wasn’t going to blow up like I thought it was. Not to worry.


I still worried. 


As another month passed, things got more and more weird. Slowly, things were starting to close. We were in the middle of building our house and I remember it was time to pick our countertops. I told Darin we needed to go THAT week and pick them out. I told him I was afraid the stores would close for who-knew how long and if we didn’t get them picked we would be at a standstill. He said he couldn’t dream of home-building stores closing, but he humored me and we rushed out on a weeknight to pick our countertops. 


March 2020 - looking at marble slabs.

Annnnd... the very next week it all exploded. Everything was shut down. 


Lockdown was surreal. The entire world went silent. It was so strange driving through town and not seeing anyone out and about. No cars. No people. Everyone was home.


Well, not everyone was at home. Darin still had to go to work. He didn’t miss one day. My dad, a pharmacist, still had to go to work too. The Lord was so faithful to us. Darin was literally on the frontlines of this virus every single day and never contracted it. We prayed for his safety and our own constantly. None of us knew what this virus was capable of. No one did. But it was horrifying. 


March 2020


He came home every evening and took his clothes off and put them straight into the washing machine. Then he went right to the shower. If I’m honest, he still goes right to the shower even now when he gets home. He does so much to protect his family. 


Whereas a lot of families now have a sense of nostalgia about lockdown times - it felt like any other summer to us. Me and the boys at home while Darin was at work. We did projects, experiments, cooked, baked, read lots of books, and played lots of games like we always do. Things didn’t change much if at all for us. It kind of felt like the good old days before my boys were ever in school. Except we didn’t see anyone and didn’t go out to eat. We got pretty good at the old "Parking Lot Picnic"!



It was hard not seeing family. My parents live 20 min away from where we lived at the time and we didn’t see them for over a month. When we did see them, we couldn’t touch. It was Ezra’s 8th birthday and his grandparents stood at the end of the driveway, delivering his gifts and a special supper for us. It took all my boys and all my parents had in them to not run to each other’s arms. That was tough. Seeing your parents & grandparents but not being able to hug them? Stuff you’d never dream of happening. 


April 2020


Their cousins came by for a front porch birthday visit!

We did a lot of outdoor stuff. We went fishing, hiking, swimming, and explored several new spots I’d always wanted to check out. We got so much family time. We ate in our car. A lot. We wiped all the bags and cups down with Clorox wipes before we ate and I remember asking Darin, “is this our new normal? Will it always be this way?”



During the whole mess of 2020 our house build never got delayed beyond reason. There were typical/normal delays, but construction never closed and they were able to complete the build in an efficient and timely manner. I keep seeing and hearing about how so many people are stuck in the middle of home builds right now and are having to jump ship because of the outrageous influx of prices and gosh, my heart just drops and I thank God for His provision and His timing. That easily could have been us. The construction business is night and day different now from the day we broke ground to today. We squeaked by without having to deal with any of those harsh consequences due to the pandemic. And we thank God. 


We moved in July. Since everything was still shut down over the summer and our trips were cancelled, we got to spend the entire summer breaking it in and making our house a home. And we thanked God!



My boys spent more time at home in 2020 than any other year since they started school. We were dismissed after spring break and finished the school year out at home. Our school started a YouTube channel so each family could make videos and keep up with one another. We had virtual chapel each week and the boys got to see their classmates and friends via zoom meetings each week day. We even had virtual PE! 


My boys did a hydro-dipping tutorial for the school YouTube channel. 

We started back in August and never had to shut down at all, thankfully. Then in November, our school planned for an extra long break (Thanksgiving to New Years) to slow down travel spread, but it ended up being 2 weeks longer than that original break due to a spread throughout our school. I got 6 precious weeks home with my boys this winter. I loved every single minute. I thanked God. 


It was one year that we didn’t step foot in our church. Never in my life have I missed more than two or three weeks in a row of church, let alone an entire year. We had church every Sunday morning in our living room, but wow - I never dreamed there would be a time in my life of that ever happening. A solid year. From March 2020 to March 2021. Wow. 


We had different precautions that had to be made simply because of Darin’s line of work. We had to not only protect ourselves, but everyone around us. We had to do whatever we had to do to ensure he stayed healthy for his patients or else they would be without a doctor for weeks due to quarantine/exposure protocol. We also had to protect his job. Navigating all of that was tricky. Complicated. 



We all had such unique circumstances for this pandemic that it was frustrating when people tried to tell everyone else how they should be living through it and what they should or should not be doing. Our situation was not yours, and yours is not ours. I think if we all reminded ourselves of that daily, things could’ve been a lot more peaceful as a whole.


I had a lot of personal revelations over the year. I feel like I finally got a hold on with what I was filling my mind. With the onslaught of opinions about every.literal.thing, I had to disconnect from some things and focus inward or I was going to snap. The Lord was telling me in a big way - Focus on YOUR life, YOUR family, YOUR world. Cut out the noise and fill your mind with what matters - stop cluttering it with things that don’t. I can’t even begin to tell you the peace in my heart and the clarity of my mind when I finally did. When God says do something, for your own benefit and well-being, do it. 



In this wild, hard, long year there was so much good. The Lord proved his goodness and faithfulness to us in more ways than I’ve even discussed here, and in a time of fear and the unknown, He filled us with peace. 


Everything changed - but He didn’t. He stayed the same. The same God that led Moses through the wilderness is the same God that leads us through a pandemic. The HOPE that He gives in promising us that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, is what I’ll continue to cling to for the rest of my life. 


Just like the little children sing, “Oh, Jesus is a rock in a weary land. An anchor in the time of storm.” 


The longer I live, the truer these words become.


This was my pandemic experience. What was yours? I encourage you to write it down. Remember the hard times and thank God for the good!

I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.

Comments

  1. I'm still working from home over a year later but cannot wait to see my coworkers again soon. Chatting over messenger just isn't the same as talking on person. I also so thankful to work for a company that understands the demands of working 40hrs a week and managing a 1st grade education when my daughter was still home. They allowed me the flexibility to take time away from my desk when I needed to to help her and I would just finish my work day after bedtime.

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    Replies
    1. Praise God for such flexibility. I know that’s an enormous blessing for you. Excited for you to get back to your co-workers!

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  2. I love reading your blog. I agree with how you wrap this up. There were so many good things to be thankful last year! They far outweighed the bad. We gained a whole lot.

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  3. I love reading your blog. I agree with how you wrap this up. There were so many good things to be thankful last year! They far outweighed the bad. We gained a whole lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erna!! I miss you! Thank you so much. And yes, I agree completely - we truly did gain so much. ♥️

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)