Taking in Life Around Me.....Sunday Stills--My 2020 in Retrospect

One thing I've wanted to take part in this year are some photo challenges. I've always loved taking pictures, however when my girls stopped playing soccer and I got a job outside of home, my picture taking dwindled dramatically. I thought maybe a few challenges would help get me going. 

So I'm starting out by joining in on #SundayStills hosted by Terri at Second Wind Leisure.  You can find her post for this week here. Every week will have its own theme. I may post each week or wait til the end of the month. We'll see how it goes. 

However this week, is all about looking back at the year 2020, and boy what a year that was. We seemed to start off strong and then WHAM, the "pandemic" hit and threw us all a HUGE curveball. For my family, we all were essential workers so honestly not a whole lot changed except the time we spent going places outside of work. It was mostly; work, home, grocery stores, home...repeat. However, as the months progressed we did make a few trips as some restrictions lifted and I guess we'll just see what this year holds. 

In January our grandson had a fever induced seizure and had to go to the ER. That was such a scary moment when we received that phone call. It all ended up fine. The blanket pictured above was one made by a group of ladies who make blankets for children, and when the EMT's go to homes for emergencies, they give the child a blanket to keep. How special. I'm sure a lot of love and prayers went into this. 
The day they came home, we went over to see them, and I love this photo of my hubby snuggling our little buddy. 
This little guy has made our lives richer, and I'm sure he'll be in many of the photos I choose to share in this post. 


Indy loves his grandparents and this is him with my dad. My dad had his leg amputated earlier in the year and my sister brought him down to visit. It didn't bother Indy one bit. A special moment. 

I started working on an embroidery piece that my girls had gotten for me as a Christmas gift. I figured if I was going to be home more often, this would be a good time to get started. 
Just before the pandemic hit, my youngest daughter celebrated her 21st birthday. She and a bunch of girls, including our oldest daughter went to Disneyland to celebrate so we helped our Son in law watch our little buddy when he had to work. When the girls got back, Disneyland shut down that week. Phew they just made it. 
I started reading this awesome book. I've been trying to read more, and this was a great one. I joined the launch group which was so so fun to be a part of. 
We had a plan to hike Mt. St. Helens in June of 2020 so we had slated to do 4 hikes to prepare for it, and this was the first (and what would be the only one since they shut down the trails....alrighty then). They also canceled all permits for hiking Mt. St. Helens. I'm so glad we got this one in. It was a beautiful, but REALLY long hike. I was so sore. 

In honor of my grandma, my girls and I made Pizza Fritte (fried dough) one afternoon. So good and something they always enjoyed making with her. 


Because we were all considered essential employees our oldest daughter was still working, so we kept babysitting. It was fun doing this craft with Indiana. 
We made use of our fire pit. Not the way we really wanted to use it....with a lot of people around it, but with those of us living in our own home. 

My in-laws are the best and live just down the road from us. They watched Indiana once a week. My father in law worked the entire time during 2020 at our local Ace Hardware. 


If your grocery stores were like ours, it was hard to find a lot of items...including bread, flour, yeast, and of course, TP. I have always wanted to try making sourdough bread so I thought, "why not now". I made quite a few loaves and they were so good. It's always funny how homemade bread goes so much faster than store bought. I probably could have made a loaf every other day. 
Mother's Day certainly looked different this year, though my daughters and my mother in law and I went to a local juice shop for take out and then for a nice walk around one of the local lakes. 

My girls bought me a beautiful necklace. On one side is my moms handwriting, and on the other side my grandmothers (who passed away in March). I love it.


My dad came for another visit. Indy loves his Bapa. 

We played outside. It was warm enough to break out the swimming pool. 
We took some drives down the road and just pondered life. 
In June, some restrictions were loosened and so I flew to Ohio to be with my moms side of the family on Kelley's Island Ohio. I just posted about that here, so you can check that out. It was a beautiful and needed trip, even though I hated wearing a mask on the plane the whole time. I seriously considered eating for 8 hours straight. 

My aunt and uncle own a vineyard, make their own wine and have a tasting room on the island. This tree is what their wine is named after....Crooked Tree Vineyard. Also the wind chime belonged to my mom, who passed away 16 years ago. 


July brought us lots of blueberries so I spent a lot of time out picking blueberries each day. It really became a time of rest, a time to just be quiet, sometimes I listened to music, sometimes I just listened to nature. 
Our little buddy turned 2 and a friend dressed up like his favorite Blippi. Fun day celebrating our little guy. 
Things tightened up for businesses so we decided at my small workplace, we would go ahead and wear masks....I figured why not wear a cute one, and of course my shirt happened to match. 

Someone else loved picking blueberries with me...well, picking and eating them. His never made it in the bowl. 


Our oldest and her hubby and our grandson moved to Texas at the end of the month so we did one last family vacation with everyone. So bittersweet. 

One of our favorite vacation spots is Hood River, Oregon. We spent time playing games, watching movies, playing in the water, and just being together. 

If you're ever in Hood River, Oregon stop by Draper Girls Country Farm. They have beautiful flower gardens, antiques, fresh produce and a petting farm. The view of Mt. Hood are stunning. 
I also paddle boarded for the first time. I loved it. I was nervous because I don't swim well and I'm not a fan of deep water, but I did so well I was excited. It was really relaxing even though the water was a little choppy (it was on the Columbia River).


Apparently I baked and cooked quite a bit in September. I helped my daughter make Cannoli. 
I tried my hand for the first time at making sliders. These were Philly Cheesesteak and they were so good. 

Also continuing to work on my health...drinking a Bai drink with my Arbonne Fizz and Mind Health. So good. 


We continued working on finishing the exterior of the second phase of our home...you can search home building for more posts. And actually, I didn't do much, well, anything...a friend who is living with us and my hubby are doing it all. 

When I was in Ohio in June my aunt brought up this painting. We figured out my mom had painted it so I brought it home with me (one on the left), and then I took it to a print shop and had copies made for everyone. They turned out so well. 

In October during our anniversary weekend, we headed to the beach with a few friends for a few nights and a day of crabbing. The guys crabbed and my friend Val and I explored the area. It was a nice, relaxing weekend. We had crab fettucini alfredo for dinner and then when I came home I made a yummy crab dip. So good. 

Married 28 years to this guy!!!! Here's to many more. 

October is also when my son in laws family opens their pumpkin patch. I help every year. This year thankfully they were allowed to be open with certain restrictions in place, but it went well, and was busy. It took up all my weekends, but it's one of the highlights of my year. 


The biggest highlight of November was flying to Texas to see the kids. We spent 6 days with them and loved every minute. I'm not sure I could live in Texas but I'll be visiting for sure. I got to go to Magnolia Market....yippee, and we did the Stockyards which were cool, saw the cattle drive, went to several parks, visited the Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Water Gardens (both are awesome), ate some real good BBQ and enjoyed being with them. I also got to go to one of my daughters appointments with her midwife. 

This kid is barely two and a half and has this awesome electric "motor bike" that he LOVES and has mastered pretty well. 
Walking with his Poppi at the Stockyards. He loves the people in his life. 

Back home, hubby and I walked our hill several times on non-rainy days because I don't like rain. haha. 


December was weird. I was excited but wasn't excited. Work was crazy busy, the kids were coming from Texas...hubby got sick, and we worried we wouldn't be able to see anyone at Christmas, but thankfully it was all good by Christmas. 
We finished siding and painting the house by December and that was exciting. Now to finish the inside.
I love decorating for the holidays...this year was a little more of a struggle, but I decided to just jump in and do it. 

December is also my birthday month (the 9th) so my daughter and her friend bought me a cake, balloon and we did a simple celebration. 

I love these people that are mine! They are amazing. 

My youngest daughter and her friend went and picked out our tree while we were gone in Texas. They did a fabulous job!

So that's my year. It was crazy, busy, thought provoking, at times anxiety inducing, and I'm really hoping 2021 is better. 

With Joy Unquenchable,



  1. Oh what a beautiful post. Looks like you had quite an eventful and happy year, despite everything happening in the world. I love the necklace you got. :D :D

    1. Thank you. I'm so excited to check out the other challenges you posted. I just got a new lens today too so I'm excited to try it out.

  2. Oh my gosh, Kirstin, you had an amazing 2020, so full of life and love. Your photography is quite wonderful and you should do more. I gather you live in Oregon judging by the photos. You were brave to travel by jet to Texas, but I'm sure it was worth it to see your children. And to visit Magnolia, sounds like so much fun! I was impressed you hopped onto a SUP at the gorge, it was obviously not a windy day. We hope to head over there this summer for a long weekend. My hubby windsurfs and I used to but I wouldn't touch the ridiculously windy gorge with a ten foot paddle! I'll enjoy a SUP session when the wind dies. I'm so glad you linked up. It's weird I did not get notified of the pingback, which must be a Blogger/WP issue, but once in your post, I could click over to mine. You mentioned weekly or monthly, either is fine. Another blogger does a monthly wrap up with the Sunday Stills themes and it works fine! Didn't it feel good to wrap up the year on a positive note? Once again, thank you for joining the challenge, and I will "see" you next time!

    1. Awww thank you Terri. We live in Woodland, WA, just 30 minutes over the border and joke that we should just be dual citizens since we typically spend a lot of time in Oregon. The water was decent, but there were a few times the wind kicked up and I had to work...I was just happy I was able to stand. We love watching the wind and kite surfers. I mostly blog for my own fun and as a "creative outlet" and even though I'm a VA for bloggers I mostly deal with the social media aspect so I was like, how in the world do I do a ping back. I couldn't find it anywhere in blogger but I'm going to do some research.

  3. I just re-read your About Me and see you live in Washington! We're practically neighbors! I'm loving it up here...Spokane does get snow, but since Christmas with its 8 inches on top of the previous 3, it has mostly melted due to 40 degree temps and rain. Talk soon!

    1. Haha....I have a few friends who live in Spokane. I'd love to get some snow, but it's rare (we are only about 100 feet above sea level), maybe in February.

  4. What a year - so much happened despite the pandemic! So loved the little guy and all the blueberries!

    1. Yes....sometimes it was hard to keep going. He's the best.

  5. What a fun post especially since I lived in Oregon from age 15 - 30 and loved it. My brother still lives there. You accomplished a lot in 2020. Your grandson, Indiana looks like so much fun. How did he get his name. That's my home state. Your blueberries look fabulous, so does your bread. I am glad you kept safe and healthy during the pandemic. :)


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