January 2020 Lookback

2020 started off differently than I anticipated. It's been beautiful and gross all at once. There are some positive things yet to come, but I have been reminded that each day is a gift and that tomorrow is never promised. But for now I'm going to sip on my English breakfast tea with heavy cream (a luxury to say the least), and just be. I can't control the future and maybe the best I can do is just enjoy the moment for what it is.

Listening to:

Marc Cohn - "Walking in Memphis"


This past Christmas and the days following. It was a whirlwind. A death in the family has got me contemplating life and my values.


mostly travel. I just got an update from my employer regarding the next 6 months and my work schedule, so I've been putting mine and Justin's holidays into a calendar and working out our schedule for the upcoming year.

Scotland, a cross-country road trip, and some time in Florida on the panhandle, maybe Hawai'i for Christmas?

This month for Scotland planning, we booked train tickets from Paris to London, and from London to Glasgow. We also laid out a general road trip plan.

For the cross-country road trip, I booked a rental car. At current prices, the road trip may not happen? We're going to watch the prices though and see if they drop to something we are comfortable with.

For the trip to Florida, I just booked a rental car.

While we had been looking at a trip to Australia for the new year, I'm not entirely sure that will fit in with my work schedule. We might try to meet up with our Australian friend in Hawai'i or elsewhere over the holidays. This has yet to be decided. Alternatively, it may be another year at home.

I also bought a birthday gift.

Anxious about:

picking hotels for Scotland travel. I know I need to start looking, but I just haven't wanted to.

Interested to Know:

if meeting a friend will work out. If the friend will stay in my life.


Intimately FP Adella Frilled Chemise in wine, rose, dark grey, moss
FP Adella Burnout Slip in navy, slate, and ballet• FP From the Valley Mini Skirt black, and red
Bloomingdales My Featherdown Euro Pillow
FP Rumors Denim Jacket
Anthropologie Orsay Knit Mini Dress
FP Forever Your Girl Babydoll Tee in Turquoise Mirage, Garnet Empress, Black, White, and Plum Lilac
FP Moonbeam sweater in rose, white, black
FP Daisy Chain Beanie in Peony Pink, Hyacinth Purple, and Natural
Anthropologie Stella Ruffled Mini Dress in grey
Steve Madden Belted Ruffle Trim Coat in black
FP Dancing in the Forest Sweater in mauve and neutral
Dolan Left Coast Cherie Babydoll Top
Hansel From Basel Fleece-Lined Leggings
Vicky Thermal Waffle Tunic in Black


Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn. I received the book free for review from SheSpeaks.

IWSG 2020 #1

December Goals
Finish Christmas shopping.
Research Scotland. Make more decisions.
✗ Get all of my French notes in one place. Print.

Additional Successes
• Lots of family time.
• Planning travel last minute.
• Drinking all of the tea to calm my nerves.
• Replaced 4-year-old boots with new ones. (I've been looking for a while.)
• Bought a canon 5d mk iv.

January Goals
– More tea.
– Continue planning Scotland. Do two things.
– Oil change and tire rotation for both vehicles.

IWSG Question –– What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

In 5th grade, we were required to do one new research project each month and present it to the class. We could choose any topic we wanted. We needed a visual aid and had to write a paper on it. During the beginning of the year, it was a real struggle. I didn't want to do it. But by the end, I was becoming really creative. I got my dad to help me make a birdhouse when I did a presentation on cardinals. Then, I did a research project on bluebirds and created a clay bird nest, bird, and bird eggs which I had my art teacher heat in the kiln. By the end of the year, my grandfather, who worked for AT&T at the time, hooked me up with a computer, an email address, and the internet. I did a research project on Walt Disney World and the history of it. I made a book using pictures from the internet.

Going into 6th grade, the encouragement to write continued. My teacher told me I was a good writer, and I decided to enter a writing contest, which I didn't have a chance of winning.

In those next few years, I developed skills in writing and researching.

Some of my favorite assignments included challenges related to writing. My best friend would check my papers for errors, as I would hers. We wrote emails back and forth, all the time. Writing to people whose first language wasn't English helped to develop my vocabulary. And, at the time, Word came out with a thing where your writing would be graded and it would say "this is a grade 12 paper" or whatever. So I always aimed for the highest grade I could achieve – longer words and sentences, the use of more vocabulary, lots of descriptive adjectives.

I've never earned money from my writing, but I still very much enjoy doing it Maybe one day?

Your Turn

December was hard. Buying presents in time for the holidays, baking a cake using a French recipe... Just getting to the holiday break was overwhelming and stressful. Then, when I thought I had gotten there, my husband's grandmother got into a car accident, was put on life support, and died shortly thereafter. My world was turned upside down. All my plans were out the window. And by the grace of God, we were able to be at the hospital for her passing. I'm still not sure how I feel about that.

I sincerely hope your holiday break was better than mine. Having six days straight of family time, saying hello to a new baby (husband's cousin gave birth), and goodbye to a relative within the same week is mentally and physically exhausting.

Where does this put me in 2020? What is my takeaway from the past week as I transition from the holiday season to the new year? I'm still trying to figure it out, but I would love to hear what your plan is for 2020. Did you learn anything in 2019 that will help you transition and become a new, better, or stronger individual in 2020? Did you make any new year's resolutions regarding writing?

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