2020: Highs & Lows

Last day of the year. There's always something so wonderful about new years to me; the promise of something new and fresh, the poignancy of reflection. It's on the list of things that make my toes get all tingly and my heart go all soppy. And I love it. 

At the end of the year, I usually take stock over the past 365 days and reflect on the highs and lows. 2020 has been a particular challenge but I still find the joys have outweighed the sorrows. 

January: 

+ Highs: 

Took a fun business trip and discovered I actually love history podcasts while driving. I’m obsessed with BackStory. 

Redesigned my in home boutique into a definite glow-up. 

-Lows: My wonderful cousin passed away unexpectedly.  

February:

+Highs: 

Celebrated four years in business with a big open house and leggings pinata. 

Took a super fun girls trip with my in-law sisters to Chicago. 

Started selling Girl Scout cookies and Ellie totally crushed it.

-Lows: Had to go on an airplane (I have terrible flying anxiety) 

March:

+Highs: 

We took a lot of walks & bike rides. 

I did zumba on FB live for everyone to laugh at me haha. 

Every room got a thorough cleaning. I love organizing actually, and I would totally have a container store house if I didn’t have all these kids ruining my cleaning all the time hahaha. We also got rid of all the baby stuff, which was definitely exciting. 

Started writing my book ...in secret haha. I was so nervous and embarrassed that I wouldn't even tell Peter for another month. But this was HUGE for me. Taking this dusty dream off the shelf has quite literally been life-changing. 

-Lows: 

The world basically shut down overnight. 

Had to cancel my hard-earned cruise trip. 

Schools went to remote learning and school life basically descended into chaos overnight as we navigated a new way of learning.

I will never forget those early pandemic grocery store trips where no one knew what was really happening and things like eggs & milk were hard to come by. 

April:

+Highs: 

Celebrated Easter and did our annual family egg decorating contest. 

Gave in and bought a blow up pool for the backyard. 

Launched my accessory and shoe line in the boutique! 

Wrote a lot and finally confessed my secret hobby to Peter. I think he legit thought I was doing something shady with all my secretiveness haha. 

-Lows: 

Realized school was never going back, gave up on doing most of the assignments, let's be real here. 

Started wearing masks everywhere. (Not that I am in any way opposed to masks #besafe) 

May:

+Highs: 

Decided it was time to get the house ready to go on the market and move to SoCal to be near family. 

Mother's Day social distanced blueberry picking. 

Both girls learned to ride bikes without training wheels. 

Started house hunting. 

Last day of online school, woo hoo! 

-Lows: 

Zoom dance class with the girls. Nothing wrong with the dance school, just freaking hate zoom and all the anxiety it gave my kids, especially Eleanor. 

Lots of uncertainty and doubts about our move. It's hard and scary to pack up your whole life even when you know it's right. 

Closing the LuLaRoe chapter of my life. It was hard and scary, and a little like leaving an abusive relationship. 

Packing.

June:

+Highs: 

Closed my LuLaRoe business completely and launched my new independent boutique! This was seriously one of the best decisions I made in years. 

Discovered the ice cream truck. 

Our house unofficially went on the market. We never technically went on the market, but had a lot of pre-showings and pre-market offers.

Accepted an offer on the house.

Wrote and wrote and wrote.

-Lows: 

Saying goodbye to preschool with a drive-thru. 

Discovering the ice cream truck. 

Packing up half our house into a pod. 

July:

+Highs:

Put an offer in on our new house & it was accepted!

Finally made it to the beach.

BLM Protest on our street and showing my kids the importance of activism and advocating for social justice.

Social distanced dance recital.

Finished my first rough draft! 115 pages. 

-Lows:

Alllll the drama of selling and buying houses. Nothing ever goes perfectly smooth.

Had to cancel our favorite family trip to the Outer Banks.

August:

+Highs:

Camping trip in the redwoods.

Moving to our new home in SoCal!

Finally getting the chance to go swimming at great-grandma’s pool. The three big kids all learned to swim without floaties and jump off the diving board.

Starting zoom school again and it was way better.

-Lows:

Saying goodbye to Danville and our wonderful friends and neighbors. I am still sad about it. 

Packing is the worst. 

Unloading the moving truck in 100 degree weather was even more terrible. 

Being essentially homeless for a week while we waited for houses to close so we could get the keys. 

Unpacking. 

September:

+Highs:

Eleanor’s birthday

Lots of fun new furniture and home design.

Mini golfing trip--one of our very few outings all summer.

Setting up the new boutique & hiring Lizzy.

Finished my second draft of my book! Editing was hard the first round through, and the draft grew from 115 to 200 pages.

Started new dance classes for the girls.

-Lows:

Discovering I had no idea teachers were sending me messages about distance learning and we were missing a bunch of things. That was fun haha.

Assembling new furniture. 

Still not going anywhere exciting.

October:

+Highs:

Lucy & Jude’s birthday.

Decorating our new house for Halloween! I love holiday decorating. 

First SoCal beach trip and it was AMAZING. That was the day I truly felt home again. 

Got to start in person, social distanced church. 

Pumpkin patch trip.

Parks finally reopened! 

Got to go to the temple for the first time since February with my friend Tessa. Everything about that was significant and meaningful. 

-Lows:

Cancelling Halloween. No trick or treating or extra fun. The kids didn’t seem to mind too much but it really broke my heart as I love Halloween! 

Buying an awesome Halloween costume for once and not being able to show it off haha. 

Politics sending Facebook (basically my place of business) into a hellscape. 

Foot procedure that I thought would put me down for a few days turned into almost a month of not being able to walk and it was awful. 

November:

+Highs:

Finished my third draft of my book! Currently, it’s 223 pages and editing is actually kind of fun, like being able to play around in my own world. 

Biden/Harris election. Watching our first female VP to-be brought tears to my eyes. 

Took family photos at the beach and I’m still obsessed with them. 

Started a backyard project and got artificial turf put in.

School went back in person (limited hours, masks, distanced, smaller class sizes) 

Thanksgiving

-Lows:

Had to cancel yet another family trip. 

The weight of constantly having to make moral choices about a pandemic really pressed down on me in November. There was definitely a lot of decision fatigue and anxiety that left me in tears more than once. 

December:

+Highs:

Christmas and decorating for Christmas!

Drive thru holiday party at the church.

Listening to Christmas music.

Having an employee to help with the holiday rush for shopping was life-changing this year. SO much less stress than years before! 

Finished our backyard project with a patio and firepit. 

I felt a lot of love and support for my small business in a slow holiday shopping season. 

I gave my draft to beta readers. So far feedback is generally positive.

-Lows: 

The original foot procedure didn’t work completely and I had to redo it. It was even more painful than the first time and despite my hopes for a better recovery this time, I still could not walk Dec 1-20th. Really put a damper on the holidays. 

USPS backed up shipping and I lost hours of sleep stressing over customer issues. 

Probably because I couldn’t get out of bed for weeks, it seemed like the holidays snuck up on me. 

I handed four people a chunk of my soul by giving them my book and I lost track of all the panic attacks that induced haha. 


Top Three of the Year:

  1. Starting my new business. 

I will always have SO much gratitude and happy memories from my days at LuLaRoe, but I am very grateful I finally gained the confidence to leave and go independent. My stress levels have gone down astronomically and my time is mine again. I spend more time with my family and doing things I love that I had essentially forgotten about in the busyness before. I love the real control I have now over my business and the possibilities to do anything I want to truly serve my clients. Most importantly, I finally feel like I am becoming myself again. I spent four years hustling so hard and dealing with a lot of drama and stress until I no longer recognized myself. I had no time or energy for my passions; I was constantly rearranging my life to fit into someone else’s schedule, often at the very last minute. It cost me sanity and relationships. Since June, I control my life again, not a company. I’ve written two drafts, read many books, spent more time with my kids, listened to history podcasts, and rekindled that joy I get from my nerdy hobbies. I no longer have to drop everything or waste hours of time over things I cannot control. And I haven’t even mentioned all the JOY I get from my business itself. I adore my clients, going live, handpicking items, and challenging myself to do hard things to hit my goals. I love my community of shoppers fiercely; they are my people. 

  1. Moving to SoCal. 

Leaving our home of eight years in NorCal was heartbreaking, but beyond a doubt, I know we made the right choice. Everything fell into place beautifully and we ended up with a dream home in a beautiful place. Being near family has changed our lives for the better and we feel a real support system around us. Plus, nothing beats SoCal weather, beaches, Mexican food, strawberries… 

  1. Writing my first book. 

It’s still a huge work in progress but it’s getting there, slowly but surely. Since March, I went from literally too scared to show my husband my computer screen to sharing a 223 page draft with beta readers. All my life I wanted to be a writer and for the first time ever, that actually feels achievable. Writing is hard and draining sometimes, but it’s also life-giving. It’s passion, it’s joy, it’s heartache, it’s so human. I am praying 2021 brings more writing opportunities and the chance to share stories for everyone to read.