I completely forgot that I needed to make this post until about 5 minutes ago… so it might be a little thrown together and not perfect, but that’s okay 😂 I told myself that I didn’t have to make this post, but it made me sad to think about ruining my streak! This is my 11th “Almost __” post, and I don’t have the heart to stop yet.

I still have the same problem as last year, and it’s even more pronounced in 2020. My blogging has not been very consistent, which has been partly on accident, and partly intentional. I’ll be linking to lots of Instagram posts instead of blog posts. It’s been two years, but I’m still trying to figure out just how I fit into the blogging world now! No longer sharing pretty wedding photos, or helpful tips for brides and photographers, I sometimes struggle to know what to post.

Since I’ve been blogging since 2008, it’s hard to think about ever NOT blogging! I truly love having so many memories stored online – though admittedly some of those memories are more embarrassing than others 😂 As I’m sure my long-time readers have noticed, I’ve changed a lot. Twelve years is a long time! Especially when those twelve years see you through all your teenage years and into your early 20s.

All of this to say, I don’t know what my future of blogging will look like! Maybe I’ll get a burst of inspiration and know exactly what it is my readers want to see from me. Maybe I’ll finally decide what I want to post! Or maybe blogging will have to become something of the past, and I find a new way to showcase and save my memories. Currently, Instagram is where all of my content ends up, and for now I like it more than blogging. I feel excited about it! Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to hold onto something that’s gone when I blog. But then I get that familiar feeling of joy when I get to take time to sit and write a new post.

For now, for today, I will continue the tradition and share what I can about this year! I know 2020 has been a hard year for many. For us, we faced some of the hardest trials and felt grief in ways I’ve never personally experienced. Throughout the entire year, I have been so thankful to be able to cling to our Lord, and cry on the shoulder of my incredible husband.

But His mercies are new every morning! And I am not looking for 2021 to be my saving grace. Because let’s be honest, a new year doesn’t magically solve problems. Small businesses will still shut down, we may lose friends and family, things will still be hard, and our government will still be corrupt (yes, I said it). Throughout 2020, I have tried to look for joy, even when life is difficult. Sometimes it’s been really hard, and I’ve definitely wallowed in my selfish/angry/sad feelings. I always feel excited about a new year (especially since I get to pull out a brand new planner), but this year feels different. I’m no longer looking ahead to see what joy might await me then (though I’m sure there will be plenty to be joyful about!), because I’m too busy experiencing joy today!

I have a wonderful marriage with the greatest man I’ve ever met. I love my family and am so grateful for the many laughs we share together. I have amazing in-laws and I’m so blessed by them. My dog is obsessed with me. My forced work vacation from March-June gave me extra time to do things I otherwise couldn’t. We bought pigs this year. We’re expanding our little homestead. We have a beautiful white farmhouse that I get to decorate however I want. We are blessed in countless ways, and I don’t want to ever forget it.

I really didn’t mean for this post to turn into such a rant… especially when I have a tight time frame to finish 😂 So I’m going to cut myself off now and try to get a good recap of the year together 😄 Read all the previous years below!

 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

We celebrated P’s first birthday! Looking back at those pictures, I can’t believe how much she’s grown 😭 We got a beautiful snow storm, and like usual I made my way around the property, snapping pictures left and right 😄 Chris and I started working on a bookshelf, but it’s currently sitting in the shop unfinished 😂 This year, we enjoyed plenty of leisurely evenings together, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I painted our master bathroom, though I wouldn’t say it’s perfectly decorated the way I’d like. Maybe some day I’ll get some shelves, and trim out the mirror! January was also the month that I started to do a LOT of reading about the food we eat. I’m thankful that Chris has been so supportive and completely onboard with changing our food! Not only supportive, he’s possibly even more into it than me! 😂

My highlight of the month was taking anniversary portraits for my parents! I just absolutely love them… my parents AND the photos 😉 I hosted a brunch for the ladies at my church, and we had such a lovely time! Dad, Joelle, and I went to see the performance of Hairspray at a local high school. Right at the end of the month, Joelle, Kate, and I attended our friend Megan’s baby shower, held at the beautiful home of Katelyn James!

We welcomed new members to our church, and we visited Polyface Farm for the first time! We’ve been back countless times since 😂  On the 9th we celebrated Lincoln’s third birthday by giving him a doggie bowl from Smiley’s Ice Cream! We started putting together our bee boxes, and used the new sawmill my father-in-law purchased! We milled up some cedar and used it to build raised beds, and a flower box for mom. Our bees came in a bit early, and I learned SO much so quickly about them! Joelle and I also took some portraits to welcome spring ❤️

I celebrated my 24th birthday! We ate chocolate cake and took walks by the river. It was such a fun day! I took gender reveal photos for some friends from church, portraits of Joelle in a beautiful goldenrod field, and went on a spring walk with my friend Mika!

Joelle and I had plans to workout, but instead we made donuts with all kinds of cereal toppings 😂 Kate and Ron visited, and we got in some shooting practice. I perfected my bread recipe, and found my first four leaf clover! We butchered 5 pigs (2 were for my in-laws, 1 was for us, 1 for Kate & Ron, and my parents and Jenny & Thomas split the third) and got 185 pounds of pork! It’s been such a blessing to have a full freezer this year. Chris, Joelle, and I went kayaking down the river, and we spent some late spring evenings with friends.

It got hot fast, so Joelle and I swam a lot. We looked at some land to buy, but ultimately decided it didn’t fit our needs. We went on our first camping trip of the year to Greyson Highlands, and saw lots of amazing views and wild ponies! My garden started flourishing, and little did I know the pumpkins were soon going to take over the whole yard…

For the Fourth of July, we kayaked down the river with some of Joelle’s friends, and ate a delicious smoked pork dinner and angel food cake dessert! Our second camping trip to Bear Creek Lake was so relaxing (and horribly hot), even though I did get super sun burnt 😟 Joelle and I took some really fun underwater portraits, using a fish tank! 😂

We found more land that we absolutely loved, but again, ultimately decided it was not the right path for us. We love where we’re at, but are always looking for good land! We’d love to expand our homestead, but we’re happy to have patience too! I got Affinity Designer, and began drawing custom portraits for people! Kate, Joelle, and I took a day trip to Virginia Beach, and one Sunday evening I took photos of a beautiful orange bush on our land.

I had a craving for chocolate chip peanut butter scones, and we celebrated our nephews second birthday. We took a trip with Chris’s family to Virginia Beach, and it was definitely one of the highlights of 2020! I made the most delicious oatmeal cream pies, and we went to Seasons Yield Farm for their grand opening. It was such a beautiful fall day! After working in a flower bed, I got an awful case of poison oak. I ended up getting a shot for it, since it spread to my face and around my eyes. The last week of September was quite eventful, as our plumbing stopped working, and we bought pigs right in the middle of it!

The day after we got the pigs, and while we were working on trying to fix the plumbing, two of the three piggies escaped! We had let them out into a pen in the grass, and somehow they worked their way out. Thankfully we haven’t had any more problems, and we got the plumbing fixed! I decorated our porch for fall, we hiked Bearfence Mountain (and took apple cider donuts to eat at the top), went to IKEA, and took a Lunatic Tour! On the 26th, we celebrated our second anniversary! And on the 28th we celebrated Joelle’s 16th birthday. It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was posting my 16th birthday photos!!

Chris built a new bed frame out of plywood for us, but we have yet to cover it in oak. I’m excited to see it finished, it’ll be so beautiful! I started watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and Chris finished the mantle for our fireplace! Kate, Ron, Chris, and I attended the Wise Traditions conference held at Polyface Farm, and got to hear from amazing speakers like Joel Salatin and Del Bigtree! We took family portraits, and had a very fun Thanksgiving. Kate, Joelle, Chris, and I foraged in the woods for the table centerpiece. I also got my Christmas cards done early!

After years of wanting it, I finally got our old piano from my parents house! Mom, Joelle, and I visited a local greenhouse to see all the beautiful poinsettias they had for sale. Chris bought several items at an auction, including a box of old cookbooks! One is from 1881, and it’s SO interesting to read through! I made gnocchi for the first time (it was a semi success), and we got the first real snow of the season. We spent Christmas Day with my whole family, and the next day with Chris’s! We are so blessed to be surrounded by people we care about! Our last project of the year was finished when for Christmas I got the big canvas print I wanted to hang over the fireplace!

And of course, now for my favorite part… A collection of my favorite photos from this year!

Almost 2021

December 31, 2020

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