Well, folks, that's finally a wrap on 2020.

If you're new around here, I typically plow through a pretty hefty questionnaire to review my year every December, but I simply don't have the energy for that these days.

Right now, I'd rather reflect on this messy year in haphazard fashion—by calling out what comes to mind organically—because that seems like less effort at this point and, besides, it's keeping in true 2020 fashion.

So, without further ado, I give you the most memorable things of 2020:

Covid came to town—and changed everything.

Why not start with the one thing eeeeveryone can relate to? It conveniently brings us back to January, when Jude was 2 months old and I was still in a blissful yet isolated postpartum haze.

When word got around that Covid-19 was on the horizon, I wasn't particularly worried. The symptoms sounded no worse than having the flu, and I figured the media was blowing it out of proportion (like they do). Plus, I was already used to the #quarantine life.

When it picked up in March, my reaction was that of a high school student during a surprise fire drill that got me out of 5th period geometry: a little excited, kind of nervous, but mostly dubious. I know how insensitive that sounds now, but at the time, none of it seemed real. (A global pandemic? In 2020? Really?) And in a way, it felt nice to come together as a unified country for the first time in years, standing shoulder to shoulder—metaphorically, of course—with our fellow Americans in a fight against one common enemy. Maybe, I remember thinking, some good might come from this.

But by summertime, any semblance of unity had completely dissolved and quarantine fatigue became all too real as the longterm implications of this illness really set in. For our family, that meant cancelling a trip to Florida in April—a small albeit annoying price to pay for everyone's safety. But when my brother lost his job at a company he'd been with for more than 10 years, it finally sank in that this virus wasn't going away anytime soon; things were only getting worse, and there was no vaccine in sight.

Then the holidays hit, and Covid said, "Hold my beer."

My 84-year-old grandfather somehow contracted the virus on top of pneumonia two weeks before Christmas. He fought it long and hard for my grandmother's sake, and even appeared to be holding his own before suffering a stroke that would ultimately take his life.

He passed away on December 23rd, a month after this picture of him and Jude was taken. He was a man of few words and the hardest worker I've ever known. His legacy lives on through his 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, all of whom have benefitted from his kindness and love. 

Shortly after we found out that Papa was in the hospital with Covid, my grandmother also came down with the virus. Her symptoms were mild, and she has since fully recovered. My mom somehow dodged that bullet (for a while), despite acting as their primary caretaker, but my Dad ended up testing positive on the 26th of December—following five days of holiday festivities amongst our immediate family. 

As I type this, I'm currently on Day Six of my 14-day quarantine. I just got my test results back this morning: Negative. My brothers tested negative as well, but my mom wasn't so lucky this time around. Thankfully, both my parents are doing alright.

If I'm being honest, sitting here in my cush little corner of the world and lamenting what I've lost seems selfish when so many people have lost more. But I guess, at the end of the day, we are united in something: Covid has impacted us all—in ways both big and small—drawing attention to the fragility of our humanity and reminding us that we are not in control.

I swear there were more things that happened this year. Happier things. Let's continue!

Jude morphed from baby to toddler practically overnight.

It goes by so fast, y'all. The best thing about this year was getting to see Jude grow from a little newborn babe into a wild walking, talking 13-month old toddler. There were a lot of firsts, including his first haircut, first swim lesson, and first steps. His personality has blossomed these last 12 months, and it's been such a joy to witness!

The little guy turned one on November 12th, and since then, he's really started to show his true colors. Jude is extroverted, adventurous, fearless, resilient, and loud. From the looks of it, I'd guess he's going to be a musician when he grows up. He adores music, splash pads, park slides, bananas, tractors, and spending time in the great outdoors.

Being a first-time mom in 2020 has had its challenges, to say the least, but I also can't think of anything more worthy of my time and energy. Weekly(ish) park dates with the sis-in-law and Mara helped tremendously, as well as hanging out with Marissa and Reese. It's good to have friends navigating the same murky waters as you at the same time.

But one thing's for sure: Motherhood has been my grandest adventure yet, and Jude Michael my greatest reward.

We traveled to Rayne on four separate occasions.

Once in January, so that Jude could meet my extended family. Again for the Fourth of July, to make up for our cancelled beach trip. Next in November, because LaLa (aka Uncle Lance) was in town, and then one last time for what I've coined the Very Covid Christmas.

Coronavirus or not, the farmhouse has been my home away from home ever since it was built five years ago, and I'm thankful to have a place I can go to just chill with my brothers and parents when life becomes either too heavy or monotonous. (If only it wasn't a six-and-a-half hour drive away!)

Scott and I finished watching Suits.

Nine seasons of greatness.

Other delightful things I watched this year: Younger, Emily in ParisBlack MirrorKnives Out, When Harry Met Sally (I was late to the game!), Life Itself (my absolute favorite), Miss Americana, WW84, and a lot of cheesy Christmas movies.

I discovered the Continuous Glucose Monitor.

Yep, I've reached a whole new level of nerdy. This probably wouldn't be considered noteworthy to anyone other than me, but in case you're into health and all that jazz, here's a whole post on why I am borderline obsessed with blood sugar.

I started a cul-de-sac book club with some really awesome ladies.

You may laugh, but out of all of my "accomplishments" in 2020, this is by far the one I'm most proud of. Let me explain. I've lived in the same house on the same street for four years. And up until December of last year, I'd only really known one couple on my block—and that couple moved away shortly after we met.

Once Jude was born, I knew I needed to get out and make more friends, lest I be the loneliest new mom in all of Frisco. Luckily, my cul-de-sac is FULL of amazing women who love to read, sip wine, and #realtalk just as much as I do. I can honestly say this group has become my lifeline this year, and it all started with one nervous text proposing a book club.

Speaking of books, my most loved reads this year were Little WomenThree Women, and The Nightingale. Personal fact: I was so moved by the last novel that when we found out we were pregnant (only a couple days after I finished it), I told Scott that if we had a girl, I wanted to name her Isabelle after the main character. I've always had a soft spot for the lovely French name, but this book solidified it; Isabelle Rossignol is everything I want my future daughter to be.

I committed to daily meditation. And then quit a month later.

You win some, you lose some. (But really, I need to get back on that.)

Scott and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary in Vail.

This was our only real vacation this year, and it was life-giving. After 10 months of nonstop #momlife, I was ready for some adults-only time. You can read more about our trip here, but basically all we did was eat, hike, sleep, repeat. Colorado is gorgeous in the fall, so if you're thinking of planning a visit there (and don't care to ski), go in September or October!

We found out we were pregnant, and then miscarried a month later.

This is such a strange one, because on one hand, learning we were pregnant was one of the highlights of our year—but going through a miscarriage was probably the hardest thing we endured in 2020. I wrote about the loss in detail, which helped me to process my emotions and let go of the destructive ones.

I'm one of those corny people who finds peace in believing that everything happens for a reason, and while I'll never know the extent to which that is true, hearing the stories of pregnancy loss from other women—family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike—actually turned this tough experience into something more positive and even uplifting than I ever would have imagined. Yet another example of how incredibly healing sisterhood can be.

I was a guest on a podcast, and I gave a talk on marriage.

These are two separate things, but I grouped them together because they 1) happened within the same week, and 2) both involved me overcoming my fear of public speaking.

My new friend and postpartum doula, Sarah, interviewed me on her podcast about Jude's birth story and how nutrition can play a role in prenatal/postpartum health. This was my first time ever being on a podcast, and I was scared that I would choke. (I tend to talk really fast when I'm nervous and, as a result, find it difficult to catch my breath. Yes, it's as awkward as it sounds.) But the interview was actually super low-key and fun, and Sarah made it very easy to relax and just be myself.

As for the other thing: The hubby and I gave a talk on marriage together, thank goodness, and it was to a group of eight or so newly married couples at a Catholic dinner event. I won't lie, I was very much dreading this, but Scott the over-achiever convinced me to commit—and after the whole night was said and done, I was super glad I didn't chicken out. We had a good time!

My coffee shop game stayed strong.

Although I didn't frequent my old beloved coffee shops as much as usual this year, for obvious reasons, I did discover two more that opened up in Frisco. Not even a global pandemic will stop this girl from seeking out good coffee (and supporting small businesses).

I thought a lot about what it means to be anti-racist.

Many challenging conversations ensued. I still don't have it figured out, and I possibly never will, but I think if 2020 taught me anything, it is to just stop and listen to other people, especially when it comes to perspectives that aren't your own.

We took professional family photos—twice!

This is a big deal, you guys. We haven't had professional photos taken of us since our wedding in 2015! Naturally, with our new addition to the fam, it was time. The first photo below was taken in October, and the second was a gift to Mimi and Papa (Scott's parents) in December:

Both sessions were done by Lindsay Rapier, a super talented photographer here in DFW.

I turned 29 on a sunny day, and Jude turned 1 on a (very) windy day.

I can't believe I'm embarking on my last year as a twenty-something. This feels like a true milestone, and of course, I had to document it.

This particular evening celebrating with my parents was one of my favorite memories of the whole year. There was simply something magical about sitting outside and drinking a glass of champagne with my people in perfect October weather. I wasn't thinking about Covid or the election or the dumpster fire this year has been for the first time in months. We were all perfectly content, making fun of each other and talking about the future and ordering just one more drink because why not?

A couple weeks later, Jude had his first big birthday bash in a park here in Frisco. The theme was "camping," and The Kackie (aka The Karen, aka my mom) cooked a big pot of chili and decorated the pavilion like a pro. Everything would have gone down without a hitch if the weather had chosen to cooperate, but instead we had 20 mph winds all morning. Talk about chaos!

But Jude had a blast, which is all that matters. If he remembers this birthday at all, he'll recall stuffing his face with homemade banana cake and running (err, crawling) around with his three best pals (Mara, Reese, and Peter) 'til he conked out.

While all of this was going down, we received word from Germany that my bestie was in labor with her first baby. Miss
 Jane Louise entered the world the same day (November 14th), and oh my goodness, I can't even begin to describe how special she is! Here's to hoping a 2021 visit to Europe is in the cards so I can finally meet this cutie pie.

Jude celebrated his first Halloween.

On a Saturday, no less! Our little pumpkin dressed up as Max from Where the Wild Things Are and went trick-or-treating on our block with Cousin Mara. We even let him eat a few pieces of candy and stay up past his bedtime—because I'm not a regular mom, I'm a cool mom. (JK, Scott is the cool one.) Then the adults watched Hocus Pocus and drank red wine in the cul-de-sac. What did I tell you? Best neighbors ever.

My wellness business evolved.

I took a step back from my writing job with Women's Health Coach Nicole Jardim in August to focus on my nutrition consulting biz, and in November, I enrolled in a 10-week course on digestion with Restorative Wellness Solutions. Long story short, I can now offer my clients gut health and food sensitivity testing! I'm looking forward to seeing where my career takes me in 2021, but for once, I'm not stressing over it. The reason I got into health and wellness was to help people (sounds cliché, but it's true), and that's my only goal this year.

Well, that, and to enjoy what I do. My Beautycounter business is still making me happy, and I'm hoping I can grow my team this year with a fun group of gals. Interested? Let me know!

I voted in the 2020 presidential election.

I won't tell you who I voted for, but I will say, I'm satisfied with the results. The most wonderful part of this election was how many people—especially of the younger demographic—turned out to vote. No matter which candidate you supported, that fact in and of itself is a major win for our country.

I learned I'm gonna be an aunt (again)!

A few days before Thanksgiving, I found out that my brother and his wife are expecting their first kid! Baby Alleman will be here in June, and I'm looking forward to spoiling him or her rotten.

We saw the Star of Bethlehem clear as day.

This couldn't have happened at a more perfect time, because Scott, Jude, and I had just arrived at the farm that morning (December 21st) and could see Jupiter and Saturn oh-so-clearly through my dad's telescope by sunset. It was breathtaking, and I truly felt like a kid on Christmas morning—giddy and in awe of God's masterpiece. Living out in the country sure does have its perks!

I will say, for all of its downsides, 2020 threw us a few bones. A full moon on Halloween AND a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event on the Winter Solstice? Pretty darn neat. (This isn't from the cosmos, per se, but Taylor Swift's folklore and evermore also count towards 2020's blessings.)

We welcomed 2021 in quarantine.

Today is the final day of 2020, and it's also the wettest and coldest day of the year. We plan on staying inside, watching the ball drop in Times Square at 11pm, and being in bed by midnight. You'd think that this would be a lame way to start a new year—but ya know, there's no place I'd rather be than with my boys. Safe, healthy, and at home.

Happy New Year, everyone! Love, the Blasiks.