2020 has been a “dumpster fire” of a year if we’ve ever seen one. It has been exhausting, unpredictable and quite frankly, hellish. With that being said, however, I want to remember how this year taught me how in pressure comes growth. After the dark comes light. In the quiet comes clarity. It is okay to survive one day at a time. It is more important to be in the moment than worrying about tomorrow. Things are replaceable but memories with those you love are not. Trust the Lord and trust His process.
Below is just a brief recount of my 2020 in hindsight.
January started out in a bang for both Chandler and I. Chandler stepped into his role full-time as Store Manager for Hallmark here in Asheville, NC. I accepted a full-time role at Chick-fil-A (for the third time) and we were commuting for the first two weeks. Let just me say – getting up at 4am and not getting back home until after 9pm is not ideal.
I also flew to New Jersey late January to see one of my best friends from college. We had a blast celebrating Chinese New Year in Chinatown, eating our weight in ice cream and galavanting around Times Square.
February was the last “calm” before the storm.
Chandler and I took a weekend trip to Pawleys Island with his family and it was such a sweet weekend playing board games, cooking dinner together and hunting for the best finds at thrift stores.
Chandler and I were also still getting acclimated to new home here in Asheville. We had many date nights, explored the amazing brewery scene around town and met many people who helped us get acclimated.
The world as we knew it was flipped on its head literally overnight. The first onslaught of the pandemic hit and businesses were being shut down left and right, workers being furloughed and families were left scrambling to make ends meet.
Chandler worked from home for a period of time and absolutely hated it. “House husband” status was clearly not his calling. 😂
We celebrated Chandler’s last year of his twenties in late April!
I got a “DIY” haircut for the first time! Most hair salons were closed and this girl was quickly getting tired of her long hair, so a coworker gladly offered! She admitted to watching a YouTube video on cutting hair, but I definitely recommend getting a spur of the moment hair cut at least once in your life!
Our “dinner group” friends from Charleston also scheduled a long weekend to Lake Lure, NC for Memorial Day. This weekend was full of pontoon rides, shopping downtown and throwing apples off of the second story balcony.
I also got a new car! #debtforever I traded in my 2000 Toyota 4-Runner and bought a new 2020 CR-V. Who knew new cars had this many features? As much as I loved my ol’ reliable, I am so glad that this car will last me another twenty years (fingers crossed) and has all of the new safety features.
Summer is officially here!
Some of my best friends came to visit here in Asheville! I got to play tour guide and show them around the great land of the Sky. We floated down the French Broad River, // and walked to brunch nearby one morning. It was so, so good for the soul.
Another dear friend of mine had her bachelorette weekend in Black Mountain, NC. It was a great way to reconnect with friends I hasn’t seen in a while an
July was relatively “slow” month in our neck of the woods. Chandler and I worked long hours and kept our heads down in figuring out our schedules and what worked best for us.
My family took a trip to Hilton Head over the week of July 4th and it was a much needed break for the both of us. Although Chandler couldn’t come down for the entire week, we had such a great time putting together puzzles, riding bikes around the island, taking naps and enjoying sunset hour on the beach.
August was a big month for Chandler and I both.
We took our anniversary trip to Louisville, KY in early August. We had originally planned out a long weekend trip to Chicago to see the Braves in action and Hanson (the musical), but the pandemic hit and nothing as we knew it was according to plan… In Louisville, we took a tour of Churchill Downs, drank our weight in Bourbon and had a great time exploring a new city.
We celebrated our official one-year wedding anniversary on August 3! Marriage is sanctifying, humbling and gratifying, but oh so sweet. Being married to Chandler has been such a great joy and being his wife is one of my most treasured titles. Here’s to year 2!
August was also a very trying time for me. Reid, who was a my middle school youth pastor, long time family friend and mentor, lost his year long battle with a brain tumor on August 17th. Reid was a giant of a man and was someone who genuinely made everyone feel like they were the most important //. Some days feels more real than others and I am left questioning why he was
After Reid’s death. I have learned to grasp truly just how permanent death really is and how it discriminates against no one. Life is fragile and mustn’t be taken for granted… #RGIR
I also celebrated my 27th birthday in mid-August. Chandler took me out for dinner and scheduled a backstage tour of a local brewery, which was such a neat experience. He made it the most perfect night!
In September, we adopted our kitten, Belmont! I had been pestering Chandler about the thought of adopting an animal for some time and he was finally at the point of caving. We knew a puppy wasn’t in the picture with our inconsistent and crazy schedules, so he entertained the idea of a cat. The humane society was waiving adoption fees at the time and I quickly ran to check out what pets were available. Belmont had just been rolled out into the main adoption room and had not made it to his own cubicle before I spotted him from across the room. He was two months old at the time and was (still is) the sweetest and spunkiest kitten!
October is one of my favorite months! It’s the true start of fall here in the deep south. Chandler and I went pumpkin/apple picking, baked lots of sweet treats and watched Hocus Pocus one too many times.
November brought a trip to my ol’ college stomping grounds in Columbia to see another best friend of mine. Kelsey and I went mural chasing, getting lost in old book stores, strolling down Main Street’s Farmer’s Market and tailgating with our fellow Gamecocks at the A&M game. Thank you, Lord, for weekends like these.
December was a typical ending to the end of 2020. Christmas allowed for lots of baking, endless movie marathons and light show sightings, but had such a different feel than in years past. My mom was diagnosed with COVID the week before Christmas and left us scrambling for alternate plans. We were still able to celebrate with the in-laws Christmas weekend and enjoyed time eating, laughing and opening presents. We plan to celebrate with my family on New Years Eve weekend, which will be so nice to see everybody!
We also visited the Biltmore Estate for the first time since living here in Asheville and officially became Pass Holders. Woop Woop!
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Although I look forward to a new year and new starts, 2020 brought invaluable lessons that will never go away. I have lost, won, failed, fought, cried, loved and laughed, but refused to fold. To the friends and family who have been by my side through the year’s many “highs and lows,” thank you. Thank you for making this year a lot more tolerable and being open to hear me vent, talk about my minuscule problems and pray for me.
In 2021, remember to keep your head up and to stand tall. Ask for help. Show grace and be patient. Know that there are better days ahead. Hope comes in the morning.