2020 Year in Review Highlights

Happy, happy new year! I hope y’all had a joyous and restful holiday season and a hopeful start to this new year. 2020 was, for lack of better words, a lot, but wasn’t necessarily all bad. As I mentioned on Instagram last week, I’m grateful for the year that taught us to slow down, find gratitude, and seek joy everyday. Before leaving 2020 as a distant memory, I wanted to take a moment to document the sweet moments, milestones, and memories that were sprinkled through this year.

Favorite Recipes

As I’m sure most others did, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this year. While I never joined the baking bread trend, I made plenty of other recipes, many of which that became favorites and added into our weekly meal plan. Some of our favorites included Greek Chicken Kabobs, Breakfast Pizza, Hawaiian Turkey Burgers, and the Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll Ups pictured below.

We spent many weekends playing bartender and testing out cocktail recipes! Some of our favorites were Haven on Earth, Blackberry Bourbon Smash, and the Cider and Maple Old Fashioned.

We also ate a lot of Charcuterie Boards, Greek snack boards and I made variations of these Chocolate M&M cookies for Jody multiple times throughout the year.

Adventures

While our adventures were not quite as global as we had originally hoped, we found time to still appease our yearn to travel throughout 2020. Prior to quarantine, we were able to spend a long weekend in Richmond celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday, as well as a spontaneous overnight stay with friends. Of course, we were homebound for quite sometime after that, but snuck away with our friends’ to their family’s lake house in southern Virginia in July. In August, we packed up my (new!) car and hit the road for a week on the coast in Maine (you can read about that trip here and here). We made a trip to North Carolina for a long weekend with our best friends and were so excited to make our annual trip to Carter’s Mountain apple orchard. I spent a weekend on Lake Erie helping my grandmother move and most other weekends were spent closer to home where we picnicked on The Strand, hiked Annapolis Rock, and celebrated our anniversary hopping around St. Michaels, Oxford and Annapolis.

Birthdays

Our birthdays acted as bookends of quarantine this year. Jody turned 29 on March 30th, which was also the same day that the Stay-at-Home order when into effect. Thankfully, my family was able to come over to celebrate with quiche, a Spice Smith Island cake and a game controller piñata.

The Stay-at-Home order was technically lifted in May, but most things didn’t open back up until my birthday in June. We celebrated my 27th birthday with a dinner at my favorite local pizza and wine bar on my actual birthday and then with a fun scavenger hunt the following weekend.

Home Improvements

Our biggest home improvement project in 2020 was our back patio, which included a privacy wall, an inflatable pool, new furniture and bistro lights. We also added an electric fireplace to our living room, planted a tree (which may or may not be dead!), gave our front door a little refresh, finished my home office (reveal coming soon!), as well as built a firepit for our backyard.

Holiday Memories

We celebrated Valentine’s Day (one of our last nights eating out!) with gnocchi and pizza at our favorite local Italian restaurant, followed with drinks at the bar at the local Tidewater Inn. Easter fell in the middle of quarantine, so we streamed the Arlington National Cemetery Sunrise Service from our front porch, followed with an Easter dinner that was way too much food for two people! We hosted my family once quarantine ended to celebrate my mom’s birthday with a French day, complete with a French wine tasting and macaroons. We celebrated our 3rd Wedding anniversary by spontaneous pulling our itinerary activities out of a basket, which led us to our favorite coastal towns, as well as a stop at our reception venue. The 4th of July was celebrated with a backyard cookout, while Halloween was recognized by a socially-distant trick-or-treating and a lot of sanitizer. We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time at our house and then enjoyed Christmas with lots of Christmas movies and cookies. We joyfully rang in 2021 with our quarantine friends with oysters, shrimp and a lot of bubbly!

Other Notable Memories

I proudly finished 12 books this year, completing a personal goal I’ve been working on to regularly read more. I purchased the aforementioned car, which may have been the best purchase of 2020. I celebrated four years of blogging here on Blissful Moments, and shared a reader survey, which you can take here. And probably most noteworthy, we adopted not one, but two kittens this year! We brought Mila and Miles home the day before Halloween and have loved how much joy (and a bit of destruction!) they have brought to our home.

Here’s to 2021!

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