BEST OF 2020

*there are affiliate links throughout the post. no cost to you; just pennies in my pocket. 

BEST ADVENTURE/TRAVEL/TRIP:  our trip to colorado in september. we stayed at a lovely airbnb + ate good food + had the best time. jackson still talks about that trip months later. 

BEST BOOK:  "open book" by jessica simpson. i knew when i read this in february that it would be the best book i read all year. jessica narrates the audiobook + it is so good. other books i loved: "lock every door" by riley sager; "american royals" by katharine mcgee; "followers" by megan angelo.

BEST MOVIE:  as i looked back on our purchases + rentals for the year, i felt a pang of sadness. no date nights to the theater. no overpriced food/drinks. no discussions about our favorite parts on the ride home. there were still a few movies we rented at home though. "love and monsters" was cute. we rented "frozen 2" and had a fun family night. 

BEST TV SHOW:  it may not have been the year of movies, but for me, it was the year of tv shows. i watched the full series of bones, little fires everywhere, + S.W.A.T. i caught up on the blacklist + NCIS.

BEST ALBUM OR SONG:  there wasn't just one album for me, but there were many songs. "never lost" - elevation worship; "another in the fire" - hillsong united, taya; "constellations" - ellie holcomb; "available" - elevation worship; "goodness of God" - bethel; "peace be still" - hope darst; "holy ghost" - maverick city. 

BEST PODCAST:  verity  //  murder with my husband  //  crime junkie  //  from the front porch   

BEST FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM:  kristen lavalley. in the age of choosing sides, whether it be politically or spiritually or whatever the discussion, i often find myself falling somewhere in the murky middle on hot-topic issues. it's often mistaken as apathy, but i try really, really hard to see from multiple perspectives. kristen has shared nuanced views on a lot of christian topics + i find it refreshing.

BEST DATE:  we supported our local businesses on small business saturday this year. it was such a fun day of local food, coffee, plants, + other little things. jackson was with us, so it was more of a family date, but it was so much fun! 

BEST KIDDO MILESTONE:  i initially was going to say successfully potty training + getting rid of the binkie, but the best milestone is starting preschool. jackson has exceeded (and surprised!) our expectations. he loves school! i am so thankful for his teachers + the school. hands down, one of the best decisions of the year for jackson.   

BEST FAITH GROWER:  our fourth miscarriage. i hate that last year's answer to this question was our third miscarriage. but when death happens in your body, you have two choices: you can live with the grief or you can live through it (although it will never truly go away). i chose the latter. the night i discovered we were losing our baby, i sat in the passenger seat, stunned. what a difficult night. and then the morning came. and with it- a peace amid the pain + grief. He has walked with me each step since. 

BEST TREND YOU TRIED:  tiktok. i thought the app was just a bunch of teenage girls dancing + twerking, but it so much more than that! there are recipe/food videos, makeup tutorials, and all different kinds of videos. 

BEST BEAUTY PURCHASE:  cleen vitamin c serum + cleen moisturizer  //  pacifica lip balm  //  elf brow liner  

BEST FAMILY MEMORY:  our camping trips in the spring. jared was on furlough + i was working from home. we would camp during the week when absolutely no one was around. i would wake up + drive home to work, and then drive back out to the campsite that evening. it was springtime, so the trees were blooming + in the middle of the chaos, the lake was our safe haven. 

BEST HABIT YOU CREATED:   waking up early to have time in scripture before i start the day. i was trying to squeeze in bible study in the evenings when i had this realization that i should never look at scripture as a checked box. i started waking up 45 minutes earlier + it has changed my days. yes, there are mornings when i want to hit the snooze button, but i make myself get up. i am a better wife, mom, + person for starting my days with the Lord.

FAVORITE BLOG POST WRITTEN:  "i luv u" // i wrote this post at the beginning of quarantine. 

BEST NEW RECIPE:  avocado brownies + cream cheese chicken chili + these tiktok cookies  

BEST LIFE OR MOM HACK:  parchment paper. it's my new BFF when baking or cooking. 

BEST MAMA MOMENTS:  when jackson caught his first fish • working from home + being with him throughout the day • his bigs hugs as i cried after learning about my grandma's passing + our miscarriage • how much he loves school • and as i type this, i can hear him singing with jared "oh, there's nothing better than You" 

BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT:  this was the year of house projects! jared built a greenhouse. he remodeled our back room into a second living space. he also put in pavers by the pergola. 

BEST LITTLE LUXURY YOU'VE ENJOYED:  house slippers. they're so cozy + make me feel fancy. 

this idea came from em for marvelous  


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