Year In Review: Highlights (and Lowlights) From 2020

Well, friends. It’s officially 2021!!!

No, the world didn’t suddenly return to “normal” overnight, but I am so happy that 2020 is now officially in the rear view mirror. It is a year I do not care to repeat for so many reasons.

In fact, I have so much pain and sadness and confusion and disappointment associated with 2020 that I came this close to not even posting a Year In Review at all.

But there were also unexpected blessings and precious moments that I’ll treasure, and I can’t imagine NOT doing this post, so here we are.

2020 Year In Review


January started off with a bang. There was so much going on, and I had such high hopes for 2020. Oh, the irony…

I started intermittent fasting in January, and that’s been a game changer for me.

On the blog, I did a 5 Ways to Wear a Grey Sweater series, which was very popular. I’m thinking of doing a similar one with a camel sweater this year.

Jo-Lynne Shane shares 5 ways to wear a classic grey sweater for women over 40, with other wardrobe basics for a variety of fall/winter outfits you can recreate from your own closet!

I also had my eyebrows microbladed in January, which is one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

Here’s a before and after picture of my first session. You’re supposed to go back six weeks later for a touchup, but I didn’t make it back until June! #thankscovid

We also started our kitchen makeover project last January. It’s hard to even remember how this space looked before… Here’s a picture I took the day we closed on the house.

Paul and I saw Phil Phillips in concert at the end of January, and that was so much fun. He puts on a good show.

And C finally got her driver’s license. (On her third try, poor kid! That parallel parking got her every time.)


February was a little more ho-hum. I finally got around to addressing the hip/bum pain I’d been having for a while.

Meanwhile, I wasn’t able to run and work out like I’m used to, and that was a bit of a bummer, but I used the opportunity to take up yoga. I’d like to get back to that this month.

On the blog, I did a series on 5 Ways to Wear Black Cigarette Pants, and I also teamed up with Tania and Deborah for a Valentine’s Day Style Collab.


And then there was March, when terms like “social distancing” and “shelter in place” became household lingo and #stayhome was a trending hashtag.

Here in the Philly area, we went into lockdown on Friday, March 13th. I got the news as I was driving to pick up R from an after-school jazz band rehearsal that Thursday afternoon.

They waited to make the announcement until after schools let out, and they didn’t give the kids (or parents) so much as a warning. I had a feeling it was coming, so I had warned R, but the lack of closure was disconcerting, and she struggled with that for the rest of the school year.

D was home from his sophomore year of college on Spring Break when everything shut down, and he never went back to his apartment after that. His room down there is still sitting empty to this day.

C was the least affected of my kids since she already does online schooling, but even her cyber charter school was affected by the lockdown. The staff and teachers operate out of a brick and mortar building, so they had to shut down for a time, but they were able to get things back on track and continue teaching from home fairly quickly.

Meanwhile, she did a lot of baking and taught herself to make sourdough bread. A good friend of ours surprised her one afternoon by dropping off a 25-pound bag of flour when it was so hard to come by.

Of all the kids, I think R struggled the most. She missed out on so many 8th grade end of year activities and middle school rites of passage, including a trip to Quebec with her French class that had been planned for June.

But D struggled too, in his own quiet way. His newfound freedom (living in an off-campus apartment) was pulled out from under him, and a job he had lined up was also canceled.

As for Paul and me, our jobs continued on, but there was definitely a period of uncertainty as we waited to see how things would play out. He set up an office in the basement, and of course, I already have a beautiful office setup here at home.

Due to the nature of my blog, I was able to pivot pretty quickly. My content suddenly became centered around Social Distancing Outfits, What to Wear for Video Conferences, and Work At Home Tips.

We also wrapped up the kitchen makeover in March. That was a huge blessing because we could have gotten stuck with it partially finished during the lockdown.

Kitchen Makeover: quartzite counters, subway tile backsplash, painted cabinets, new appliances


April is when we got word that PA schools would be closed for in-person instruction for the rest of the school year.

That was also the month that R’s June Quebec trip got canceled, we canceled our Easter weekend family vacation at a resort on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Paul and I rescheduled our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Paris for May 2021…but I’m not holding my breath for that happening.

To give us a happy distraction, we decided to get ourselves a pandemic puppy. R had been begging for a second dog for a long time, and this seemed like as good a time as any.

Ozzy was supposed to be a bright spot in this crazy Covid year, and we didn’t know it at the time, but our puppy venture would become one of the most heartbreaking aspects of 2020.


In May, some states started opening up, but we remained on strict lockdown here in Pennsylvania. I watched from afar and waited anxiously for our restaurants, salons, and retail stores to reopen.

The weather finally got nicer, and we were able to enjoy our backyard, which helped us power through. I’m so thankful for this space.

The Front Porch Project became a thing during quarantine, and Alison took a picture for us to commemorate this insane year… not that we will ever forget it!

(And no, D did not lose his legs… it was an unfortunate oversight that he was kneeling behind us, not sitting with us on the step.)

We celebrated Mother’s Day here at home (of course) and I managed to corral the kids for a picture.

By this time, I knew things weren’t looking good for us being able to keep Ozzy. I talked to both my family doctor and an allergist and was trying out several medicines to control my asthma, but I was still having issues, and the side effects of the meds were almost as bad as my allergy symptoms.

I didn’t see any way we could manage to keep Ozzy without sacrificing my health and quality of life, but I didn’t feel like talking about it publicly yet, and even the kids were still in denial at that point, so I held it all inside.

I remember being so sad on Mother’s Day as I sat on the deck sipping my wine while the girls made chalk drawings by the pool with their dogs resting beside them… It was a rare moment when they coexisted without fighting. (The dogs, not the girls… well, both, actually!)

And if that wasn’t enough stress and sadness, Paul’s father was sick (not Covid-related) and declining rapidly. He passed away the Friday after Mother’s Day.

We couldn’t have a proper service for him at the time, and it was all very unfortunate with the way the timing worked out. I wrote more about it here.

And then the next weekend is when we decided to rehome Ozzy. I wrote about that here.

I took this picture the morning I told R that I’d found him a new home. The grief and sadness in this picture is almost palpable, isn’t it?

Telling her she had to part with her dog shattered my heart into bits and pieces, and I still can’t think about it without choking back tears. In fact, if I’m being totally transparent, I just sat here and had a good cry.

I do want to add, though, that she took it like a champ. She was devastated, but she never once got upset or blamed me. Of course, I’ve beaten myself up enough for both of us.

I realize there are many things more devastating than losing a pet, but the way it happened and the timing of it all just added insult to injury in a very trying year.

Meanwhile, the show must go on, and I kept working and pumping out blog posts through it all. That was actually a much-needed diversion.


Cyndi and I decided to bring back 22 Days of Summer Fashion in June, and you guys were thrilled. We were all seeking some kind of normalcy in all of the chaos around us, I think.

We were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, as Covid numbers were falling and more and more states were starting to open up… ours included.

The kids all finished up their respective school years, and we started making plans with small groups of friends outside, as soon as our Stay Home orders were lifted.

But our country was going through a lot of turmoil due to the murder of George Floyd and other current events. It was, well, a lot. Social media was a rough place to be. I wrote more about that here.

In light of all that, it was a relief to be doing 22 Days of Summer Fashion. Outfits posts are the easiest posts to create, and I welcomed the busy work at that point.

I spent most of June trying to spend as little time as possible online, and as much time as I could outside. I was definitely in the pool more last summer than the previous two combined.

I was also able to make some long overdue appointments, as our governor moved us into the Green phase at the end of the month. I have never been so happy to get a mani/pedi in my life!

And I took R to visit Ozzy in his new home. He crawled right up into her lap like he always had. Even though it broke my heart to watch, I think she was comforted to know he remembered her.

We’ve visited him several times since, and it gets easier every time. Seeing him happy and thriving there is a balm to our wounded hearts. We still miss him and wish it had worked out differently, but we can look back at pictures and videos of him when he was with us, and laugh and rehash those days.


I turned 48 in July. Our restaurants had recently opened up for outdoor dining, so we went out to eat with some of our best friends. I even got a picture to commemorate the occasion.

And the next night, we hosted a July 4th cookout. That was so much fun.

It’s weird to look back on those social gatherings now. We’ve been back on a semi-lockdown again for the past few weeks, and our weather prohibits most outdoor gatherings, but I’m glad we got a little reprieve there for a while.

The other major event that happened in July was the passing of my grandfather. He was 103, and while it was not unexpected, the timing just really stunk. Much like Paul’s dad, he lived a long, full life and had lots of friends. He would have had a large service, and it would have been really cool to witness that.

And then on the other hand, sometimes I think the small family funeral we had instead was so appropriate. He lived a quiet life, and his family was always his #1 priority. The people who really mattered to him were there, and were able to be together, and that’s what counts.

(I decided not to attend, worried about travel and Covid and all that jazz. But I watched the livestream on YouTube, and it definitely helped me feel a part of things.)


August brought with it the iconic Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, although in true 2020 fashion, we had a freak summer storm sweep through the area the day before, and we ended up without electricity.

At least our malls were open, and while the shopping experience was different with masks and social distancing, I was able to share it with my girls, which was fun. I thought for sure I had a selfie of the three of us, but I can’t find it.

Paul and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on August 5th with a nice dinner at a French bistro — a sorry excuse for the Paris trip we had to cancel back in May, but we decided to count our blessings and enjoy being healthy and together… and able to dine out again!

Also in August, R got her braces off and started high school marching band camp. She was beyond thrilled with both developments.

Staying true to 2020, I posted 10 Ways to Wear Joggers in addition to all my #NSale content.

10 Stylish Ways to Wear Joggers for Fall


In September, Cindy and I partnered up again for 22 Days of Fall Fashion.

And the kids all went back to school… remotely, of course.

R was getting really sick of being at home, so we took her into Philly one Saturday in October to see the sights, and that was fun. (The older two declined to come.)

At the end of September, we finally had the memorial service for Paul’s dad. It was small, and we had to wear masks, which was so weird at a funeral, but it was good to be together. It was well past time for the closure the service provided.


R turned 15 in October, and her present was to go shopping with a friend and get a 2nd ear piercing.

And we were finally allowed to see a couple of her marching band performances, once our governor expanded the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings.

Also in October, I started really running again — with no walking intervals. There was a time when I didn’t know if I would ever be able to run again, and I’m so happy to be back out there!

But we also got word that D’s spring semester would be all remote, so that put a damper on things. I encouraged him to take some time off and work instead, and go back to college whenever in-person classes resume, but he’s decided to keep plugging along with the remote learning.

In fact, he also told us he plans to continue living at home and commute for his senior year, assuming they are having in-person classes next fall. (We would have had to renew his apartment in November, had he decided to live there for his senior year.)

That’s not what I pictured when we moved him into his dorm as a freshman. I wanted him to have the full college experience away from home, even if though he chose one that isn’t very far away, but I guess that wasn’t meant to be. I’m learning that there’s only so much I can control as a parent, and if that’s what he wants to do, so be it.

As far as the blog goes, my work really started ramping up in October. Even though 22 Days of Fall Fashion was over, I still posted a lot of fall outfits.

Luxe Meets Sporty: A Casual Monochromatic Outfit for Fall

The general theme was casual, layered looks for outdoor dining and other socially-distanced activities. This monochromatic outfit is one of my favorites.

And I got the memo that a lot of you wanted to start your holiday shopping early, so I started rolling out my 2020 Holiday Gift Guides.


D turned 21 in November, and my parents came for a visit. It was so good to see them!

Also in November, C and I took a trip to Boston for a college visit at my alma mater. She got an email a few weeks later that she was accepted!

And later in the month, we celebrated Thanksgiving quietly at home.

On Black Friday, the girls got up early and went shopping with friends, and then we went to a local tree farm to get our tree.

The next day, we visited Paul’s mom and helped her set up her Christmas tree, and that was a nice time. I got some good pictures of Paul and the kids with her, looking through some of the ornaments my father-in-law made through the years.


Ahhhh, December, it was so good to see you!!!

Paul got a backgammon tournament going this month between him, D, and R. They play almost every night, and it has become quite the competition. I love how it gets D out of his room and brings everyone together.

And we didn’t get the white Christmas we were hoping for, but we did get one good snowfall earlier in the month, so that was fun.

Our holiday celebrations were small and quiet this year, and the kids struggled with that a bit, but I was perfectly happy with this laid-back holiday season. I am busy enough with the blog and trying to play Santa to my own crew, and I kind of enjoyed not having any hosting gigs or parties to dress for.

To be honest, I’m just over 2020 and wanted to see it come to an end as quickly and uneventfully as possible.

Holiday looks and winter sales dominated my blog content. This post was my favorite… maybe of the whole year. I just love how these photos turned out.

And because 2020 is the year that keeps on giving, two people who at one point in our lives were close friends passed away this past week — one due to Covid, and the other after a long battle with cancer. I haven’t even fully processed that yet.

Meanwhile, we celebrated C’s 18th birthday Christmas Eve with sushi takeout and a movie… and chocolate cake, of course! As you can see, I’m not much of a cake decorator, but it sure does taste good.

And we had our usual quiet Christmas morning celebration with cinnamon rolls for breakfast and presents afterwards.

(D is doing this new thing where he won’t smile for pictures… I swear, he is not as sassy as he looks.)

We had a steak dinner later on that day, and we were able to see Paul’s mom, which was really nice. She and D played double solitaire, and C showed off her knitting (a new skill she has taught herself — I’ll have to get a picture of the cardigan she made!)

And then we rung in the New Year last night at about 9PM with chocolate fondue and champagne. We watched some of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve before giving up on that and going to bed.

I don’t have any pictures of last night worth sharing here, but there are a few I can put in our family photo book whenever I get around to making that. (I do one every year.) I usually like to start that on New Year’s Day, but we’ll see if that happens today…

So yeah, that’s that! Today we get to officially say buh-bye to 2020! For such an arduous year, I have to say, it kind of flew.

2020 Reflections

I’ll just put this right out here. When people talk about how 2020 gave them time to slow down and focus more on family and reflect on what’s most important, I simply cannot relate.

It’s been a whirlwind for me, quite frankly, but I’m not complaining. I think I would have gone stark raving mad if I’d been bored in addition to the losses and disappointments of this past year.

But I have to admit, right now, I am tired. Like, really tired.

I get plenty of sleep, it’s not that kind of tired. But I am mentally drained and emotionally spent.

I was doing my devotions this morning, and this verse from Isaiah really hit me:

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

It was exactly what I needed to hear, and today I handed over all the stress and disappointment and pain of this year to the only One who can give us true peace and joy.

I’m certainly hoping for a better and brighter 2021, but there are no guarantees in this life, so no matter what this year brings, I am putting my trust in His words: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And finally, if you made it to the end of this post, thank you! Thank you for your comments and encouragement during this trying year, and just for being here and reading along. You are appreciated more than you know.

Join The Conversation

95 Responses

  1. Happy New Year Jo-Lynne and what a beautiful scripture passage to ring it in! That is actually one of my all time favorites (Isaiah 40:31 has been “my verse” since I was a kid). Thanks for the poignant reminder! 

  2. Yoga with Adriene has a new month practice, Breath, which starts tomorrow. I am looking forward to be more consistent with yoga. I decided that one of my words for 2021 will be consistent, for a year that will be full of changes for us.
    2020 had the best and worst of times. We welcomed our new grandson in May, and we were able to go down there over July 4 weekend to meet him. I was able to go down to help with childcare for a week in early August. Decided to retire in May (due to a special Covid early release from the university – I am 66 so it doesn’t feel like “early” haha!)
    I have only been able to see my mom three times since March, 8 feet apart, masks, etc., and she hasn’t known me for at least 2 years, but with the restrictions I cannot even get her to look up at me across the room. She is safe and comfortable in her own reality, so that is a small comfort.
    As we prepare to sell our house and leave this area (I have lived here since 1981, my husband much longer), I am thinking of all the good (and hard) times I have had here. A time for reflection.
    May 2021 bring everyone safe times, health, and hope for the future.

  3. Great post. Thanks for sharing the verses you read this morning in your morning devotional. I try to do the same thing every morning. You really do have to turn things over to God and have faith. I can relate to how you feel about this past year with not really enjoying the same type of slowing down and enjoying time at home. It’s been crazy. But there have been many blessings and I have much to be thankful for. I really hope 2021 is much better for you and all of us.

  4. Happy New Year!  I look forward to the camel sweater post. And thank you for sharing your heart. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, Phil 3:13

  5. Jo-Lynne, I’ve been reading your blog for several years and never miss a post. I appreciate all the hard work and research you put into it. You’ve helped me stay in style at 60+. I enjoy your family updates too. 2020 was a very hard year for our family as well so I can relate to your fatigue. Thank you for being a voice of good sense and good  style with a Christian slant in a crowded blogging world!

  6. Thank you for sharing the verse. I needed to hear this today, I too am beyond tired and need the Lord to be my strength. Joy, peace and hope for 2021. Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Years! Thanks for another year! Cheers to 2021! Still waiting to hear you on the intermittent fasting podcast with GIn!! 😉

  8. Happy New Year Jo-Lynne.  This was a beautiful post.  Thank you for all that you shared.  I have full faith 2021 will be better.

  9. Happy New Year Jo Lynne!
     I enjoyed your review of 2020. Of course we all know it’s been quite the year, but it’s a good thing to look back and reflect. I am especially grateful to have my family all healthy (I just recovered from COVID myself) at the end of this year as I know you are too. Here’s to a better 2021! 
    Courtney 😊

  10. Happy New Year!! Thank you for hanging in there through 2020 and continuing to make this space fun, safe and relatable. Love the scripture-

  11. Jo-Lynne,

    Thanks for posting your year in review. I’m sure it wasn’t the easiest thing to write, but your honesty about the ups and downs in your life is something most of us can relate to. Although 2020 presented so many challenges on so many levels for so many people. Better days are coming, we just need to remind ourselves that. Perseverance is a quality that maybe some of us forgot we had, and maybe didn’t even realize we needed, until now. We can do hard things even when we are stretched to our limits and feeling defeated. The scripture you shared is so fitting. What a good perspective to kick off 2021. Blessings and well wishes to you!

  12. May God bless you and your family in the coming year. Thank you for sharing your feelings and your faith. I’m sure all of your readers can relate to many of the emotions you’ve expressed, each in our own way and with our own particular circumstances. But probably most of us have not articulated those emotions in writing, and so reading your post helps us process them. Take care, Jo-Lynne, and all connected through this blog.

  13. This year was tough for everyone in one way or another.  I absolutely LOVE how you ended your summary with scriptures from God’s Word.  ❤️🙏🏻

    I truly cannot fathom how anyone got through this past year without the Hope that God offers us.  

    I pray 2021 will be better but regardless of what it brings, I will place my hope and trust in Christ alone.  


  14. What an amazingly unpredictable year! You captured it all beautifully- the struggles, the sorrow and the grace many of us feel. Thank you.

  15. What a beautiful post! I enjoyed the review and it took me back and reminded me of what you and your family went through this year. That flooded me with  my own memories. My husband and I talk all the time about how important it is to have hobbies and interests that get you through and 2020 proved to us how true this is! Thank you for all he detail and thought you put into your posts. 
    We all made I through this year. Thankfully, our families are safe and healthy. Here’s to a fresh New Year!

  16. Thank you Jolynne!  This is one of my favorite passages and I need to be reminded! I have been a follower for a few years but I have been hanging on every post this year! Thank you for being a bright spot in an otherwise dismal year.  

  17. Happy New Year! I was boohooing right along with you when you wrote about Ozzy. But in the end he’s a happy doggy and that’s important too! I also feel that same empty feeling in my heart when I think about both my kids’ college experience. They’re both at home now and just not getting the experience any of us expected when they started. It saddens me because I loved my college days so much! And I think living on your own during that time is an important part of growing up. But everything is different now and so many have lost so much more, I’m grateful for what we have now. And I’m not at all upset about delaying my empty nest. Let’s pray for a 2021 that only gets better from here. 

    1. I’m also happy to delay my empty nest… While I hate all that he’s missing out on, it has been nice having him here. And a comfort as well, b/c I can keep an eye on him and take care of him if he does end up getting sick.

  18. I loved the way you so eloquently wrote about 2020. I really think most people are feeling this and have trouble putting it into words . I was really down yesterday thinking about all the loss I’ve suffered personally in 2020 but after reading your post I feel hopeful . I just HATE the new normal and I’m not willing to accept it still after 10 months ! Agh!  Keep on keeping on is all you can do I guess . HNY

  19. Happy New Year, Jo-Lynne! Great post. The scripture is just what I needed to read this morning. 2020 stressed in so many ways. Like you, it drained me in ways I’ve never experienced before. While we did redo our kitchen backsplash (beautiful tile, thank you!) and I expanded my cooking repertoire during lock down, I experienced waves of anxiety during the national virus swells, racial tragedies, and election/post-election antics. Marks mom’s dementia declined so badly in September she could no longer live at home with 24/7 care. She’s been in a wonderful, loving manor but contracted COVID on Dec. 17. She’s now recovering, but there were many residents (on hospice, mainly) who passed. Its so sad.

    Needless to say we are hopeful in this new year for so many reasons and trusting God to lead us.

    Looking forward to the camel sweater post!

    God bless us, one and all!

  20. I’ve enjoyed following you for a few years now. Thank you for all the hard work you put into it. It has blessed me, encouraged me and helped me! Happy New Year!

  21. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. Yes I think we are all glad that 2020
    is behind us now.
    Hope and pray that 2021 will be better for all mankind.
    Also thank you for all you do. Loved your post today it was from the heart and thank you for sharing.

  22. Happy New Year JoLynne! It has been quite the roller coaster. I am glad it is behind us, I am trying to stay upbeat and positive for 2021. Here’s hoping for a healthier and happier 2021!

    PS-I got tears in my eyes about your puppy story, I remember how hard it was on you at the time!

  23. Thanks Jolynne for sharing you year in review. It reminded me that there was postive with so much negativity. I’m taking the time today to refect on this past year and remember the good. Thanks for always showing up and helping us through our day.

  24. Wishing you a happy new year with all of the hope ….
    You wrote earlier this year about a cordless stick vacuum you bought – do you still like it and, if so, will you send me the specifics again.  Thanks! 
    My advice – enjoy those kids every minute you have them at home – this year has been rough with mine living away and not getting g to see them and their kids!  

    1. Yes, I should have added that I have actually really enjoyed having my kids around more. 🙂 That’s definitely been a bright spot in this crappy this year. 
      Here are the details on the vacuum: https://shopstyle.it/l/bqkLG

  25. I read those same verses this morning. I also feel weary not from lack of sleep but just the craziness of this time we are living in. It was a great reminder of where to find rest. Happy New Year to you and your family. 

  26. What a great post!  Thank you for sharing.  It has been quite the year with difficult  times and also times to rejoice.   I love those verses from Isaiah – so applicable for now, especially.  I pray this coming year will be a blessing for you and your family, and bring you peace.  Looking forward to all you have for us coming up!

  27. Well done, well written and good job at keeping it real. Especially loved the Bible verses at the end of the post. 

  28. I am also mentally drained and emotionally spent. I’m the sounding board for my grown kids it seems which apparently means I’m always supposed to be ok…so I keep up the front but shed many tears in private….more so as Christmas approached. Your blog has been a bright spot and knowing others also have their share of highs and lows seems to help get us through. I was so disappointed for you about your Paris trip and of course the Ozzy situation.
    My job in the travel industry has been on hold since March and not sure when it will resume so I have spent a lot of time this year at home and alone
    Anyways…..your post has inspired .e to write something similar….it will be interesting to put to paper the good things….AND I’m looking forward to your camel sweater post. I have 3 and would love some fresh ideas. One more thing…when the border opens up I encourage you to take Becca to Quebec to replace her trip….Quebec City is amazing.

  29. If you don’t mind sharing, I would live to know your numbers a year after starting IF. I dabbled last year but I am committed this year. Same situation as you, don’t have much weight to lose just want to feel better and fit some clothes better.

    1. I don’t mind sharing. At one point, I was down 10 pounds, but the scale has crept back up this month, so at this point, I’m really only down 5, but I lost a full clothing size.

      I’m telling myself that body recomposition and autophagy is at work, and the scale isn’t the best gauge of success, but some of my pants are getting tight, and pants don’t like, so…

      I plan to work on my diet here in the new year — cut back on carbs and snacking and focus on getting more vegetables into my life. I’m also starting to go through menopause, so I’m sure that’s not helping.

  30. Beautifully written, filled with emotion, and how I related as I read your Review.
    Thank you, Jo-Lynne…
    “Behold, I am doing a new thing, can you see it?”
    God is Good

  31. Jolynne-
    I found your blog this year and haven’t missed a post! Keep up the great work! Blessings and peace from Tennessee!!

  32. It has been a trying year. I think it hit people in so many different ways. And it has been so stressful for everyone around the world. I cannot imagine, as a woman, being a Mom, an employee, and a teacher..especially with small children who don’t understand any of this.

    It has been like riding a roller coaster. With more to come….but…. I must share, my mother just received the first dose of vaccine..no side effects what-so-ever. She is getting closer to seeing her friends again, and is thrilled. This is a woman who has NEVER even had a regular flu shot – We will all get through this, and it is starting now.

    1. That’s encouraging. I never get a regular flu shot either, and I have reservations about this vaccine, but I’m hoping and praying it will help bring us to the light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel. 🙂

  33. Thank you for your transparency and sharing how you feel; we can relate. It has been a real marathon. Glad to see 2020 behind us too: out with the old, in with the new….. However, the keeping on keeping on is tiring. The scripture from Isaiah is so timely. Thank you! We are not in control however we know who is and God is good. God bless you and your family. Do come up to Quebec once the border re-opens and things “normalize”. Becca will love Montreal and Quebec City.

  34. Hi, Jolynne, thanks for sharing the verses from Isaiah- exactly what I need to read today. I can so relate to your feelings of emotional exhaustion. I feel the same way.
    Wishing you and your family health and happiness for 2021!

  35. Thank you for sharing your heart and for that verse. Thank you for always being real and for all the hard work you out into this blog and your readers. We appreciate you too! Happy New Year and may it be full of more highs than lows! 

  36. I read your post with mixed emotions today, rejoicing over the joyful things and commiserating with you over the not so good times. I think you have inspired me to write my own reflections on this strange and challenging year. We have been enduring a serious family problem that began last year and is ongoing still. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery and chemo. My hair only thinned with chemo, and I could get away with wearing a hat in public. Three weeks after chemo, all of my hair fell out and since it was unexpected and apparently an unusual occurrence, I spent one day weeping over it and my hair is now growing back in, for which I am thankful. I was forced to change plastic surgeons because I needed a specialist for the type of surgery I need. She is in high demand, and told me in November that I wouldn’t be able to get the surgery before April, then a few days later our governor suspended all elective surgeries indefinitely due to Covid resurgence. But my husband read this morning that the governor has lifted that part of the restrictions, so hopefully I can get a date for my surgery soon, even if the surgery itself will probably not be until May, now. And I shared with you that a good friend was murdered by her schizophrenic son the week after Thanksgiving. I just have had trouble coming to terms with that, and so many things remind me of her and memories I have. It’s just been very difficult, but when you quoted the words of Jesus at the end, it really helped me to put it all in perspective, and I thank you for that. We will have troubles in this world, but one day the troubles will be over, because of Him. In the meantime, I do appreciate you and your blog. I have purchased 3 camel sweaters this year, so I look forward to that post. 

    1. Oh, Patt. That is a lot. My goodness… I hope you can get that surgery scheduled soon, and I do remember you telling me about your friend. I know so many people going through hard times right now… not even covid related. Sometimes it seems like too much to bear.

      Another verse that I find comforting is Romans 8: 18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

      It’s a good one to hold onto during rough times. xo

  37. I am so sorry for the losses that you and your family dealt with last year!  It’s never easy, but last year there was definitely a twist that made it even harder.  I enjoyed reading this post.  I hope that all of us can find some good things to remember from the year that just ended.  You are so right, there’s so much that we can’t control, but if we can remind ourselves to let go and let God, we will be able to handle whatever comes our way.  God bless you and your family in 2021! 

  38. Our pastor shared a story during a sermon that essentially said being lonely will make you tired. I think a lot of us have struggled with that while we’re distancing from each other.

  39. Wow where do I begin ….such a great recap!!,,,,
    First of all thank you …I don’t always comment I had to
    You hv been my bright spot …thru the year during lay-off from
    work.  So fun to hear about your adult children as mine hv married 
    and are no longer at home!  I remember those game times around 
    the kitchen table!  I had to crack up laughing at David …who reminds 
    me of my son..who is now financial planner in the city.  Who would have 
    Enjoyed every one of those posts and the work that went into them!
    Thank you for always highlighting my king he is on the throne and my 
    Hope in 2021 is in him!
    Blessings and health to your family!

  40. What a beautifully written post.  I cried along with you as I read it.  But oh, the encouragement in the passage from Isaiah!  Thanks for so eloquently reminding us of the One who is still in control.  ❤️

  41. I can totally relate to your reflections. And all of your emotions and feelings are completely understandable. You and each of us are doing the best we can to navigate this new world we are in. Trust in God is important every day but even more so now. Thank you for sharing the Isaiah verses. And thank you for keeping this blog going for all your faithful readers.

  42. I can totally relate to your emotions.  The picture of Ozzy and Becca brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you for sharing with us.  Happy New Year.  😘

  43. Thanks for your post- I cried through the whole thing, which helped me realize I haven’t processed this past year for myself. Thanks too for your honesty and sharing your family’s ups and downs, it helps frame my own experiences. Blessings on your 2021, here’s to faith and resiliency!

  44. I so appreciate your honesty, Jolynne! (I especially relate to the way you describe your son). Hopefully 2021 will bring brightness and light to you and your family!

  45. I enjoyed your post and hearing about things from your family’s perspective! My daughter was a senior in college last year, doing an out of state internship in the healthcare field, when everything shut down in March-including her internship. She was in an unfamiliar area, living alone for the first time, no friends or family, and quarantining on top of it. I give her a lot of credit for her resilience and mental strength during that time. She was able to graduate, but was not successful in finding a job due to so many hiring freezes and economic uncertainty, BUT the Lord was looking over her and she was contacted by her alma mater to return for a graduate assistant position this year. Bottom line, they pay for her to obtain a master’s degree in her field and pay her to work for them and promote her program! We are counting our blessings for sure.
    Your son will do well at home and is learning a good work ethic, how to set deadlines and complete tasks, and how to be self-reliant-all skills any employer will want.

  46. Absolutely well said!!!  It WAS a draining year.   So many changes in our lives over 2020 as well, starting with our eldest daughter’s father-in-law passing away totally unexpectedly 2 days after Christmas.  And he didn’t leave a will……  our daughter & son-in-law spent the whole year working in his estate, finally closed in Dec. We watched with broken hearts, our youngest daughter become a single mom of 2 young children after our son-in-law decided married life and our family weren’t for him. I was sooo heartbroken for her, I started losing my hair….ending up with alopecia and a head of pure white hair…..We lost 12 friends/acquaintances over 2020, celebrated the homecoming Mother’s Day weekend of our miracle baby cousin, born January 3rd, at 24 weeks, weighing just 1lb, 7 ozs.  God’s little miracle baby for sure!  And our other family baby boy just arrived on the 22nd of December!  Your quoted scripture is perfect for starting out 2021.  We pray for the Lords strength to carry us through the events that started in 2020 & hopefully be resolved for 2021!  Blessings to you and your family!

  47. I really, really enjoyed this post. It’s so odd that we feel like we can know people whom we have never met, by being exposed to good writing and sharing that is obviously honest and open. Thank you so much for what you do, it is worth while and God is using it. I sure hope you have a better year this year too! Out here in Northern California, we wish you a very happy and prosperous and “open” 2021. God bless you!

  48. Thank you Jo-Lynne for your beautiful recap of 2021. I love your blog, and the effort and hard work you put into it shows. I never miss a post. It has helped keep me sane in 2020. My son and his girlfriend both had Covid but fortunately recovered and regained their taste and smell in time for Christmas. My husband & I are doing our best to stay safe and healthy, but miss seeing our friends and family.  I wish you and your family a very happy healthy New Year with many blessings. 

  49. Just a quick note to let you know how very much I appreciate all the work you put into your blog.  It is fun and informative, and you manage to convey a very real sense of friendship with your readers. Most of all, you are an excellent writer! Blessings to you and your family:)

  50. I loved this post.  At first I started skimming as I’ve read your blog all year so I know what happened, right?  But I love all the additional details you added in and photos etc.  it makes me want t do my own hear in review for our family.  I’m sorry you’re exhausted but that passage is so perfect for how you’re feeling.  I hope you have some time to rest and recharge soon.  
    Are you doing 30 days of yoga with Adriene?  I plan to and look forward to it.  
    Also, my son is your sons age and isn’t so crazy about the photos these days.  They are at such an age – handsome grown ups but still our little boys.  😀 My sons best friend goes to Gordon College. He loves it.  My daughter is a HS senior too.  I’m dreading September when both my kids are away at college.  
    Have you ever thought about doing meet ups/shopping or coffee?  I say these not to sound creepy but it would be so fun to meet up with you and you’re up here in New England visiting.  It must be weird though,  we feel like we know you and your don’t know us, your readers.  Anyway, Happy New Year!  Let’s hope 2021 is a good one!

  51. I can so relate Jo-Lynne. That brought a tear to my eye. I appreciate the Bible verse and the reminder that I don’t have to handle the struggle alone.

  52. Happy New Year.  This has been a tough year for so many
    .  I really do feel bad for all kids your children’s age.  Such a socially  hard time for them.  I truly hope and pray that we can all go back to a more “normal” existence..  

    I really enjoy your blog.  Be well and safe.

  53. What an emotional read that was JoLynne . Your recap was so real and I felt like we all went thru this year with you, like good friends would. The flour picture, David’s “smile”, and the Ozzy dilemma make powerful statements. I too have been sleeping more than I ever have yet feel worn out! So glad to have 2021 here and to have hope for our country’s recovery. I love your fashion sense and thank you for hanging in there with us!

  54. Thank you so much for your post today. Your blog has been a bright spot and something I look forward to daily. And wonderful scripture…

  55. Thank you for keeping it real, Jo-Lynne. I identified with much of what you shared about 2020. The most meaningful insight was your verses from Isaiah. Your comments were very helpful and encouraging. God bless you and your family.

  56. Happy New Year! The word the Lord is speaking to me for 2021 is JOY. The JOY of Lord is our strength – We need His strength more than ever. Much love! 

  57. I don’t think I’ve ever spent an hour on a blog post, but it was so worth it! Thank you for all you did for me in in 2020. Yes, I also am tired and emotionally spent and your Isiah verses were a perfect ending and new beginning for 2021.

  58. Thank you for taking the time to write this post and for creating content that made this year seem somewhat normal. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  59. Thank you for sharing your life with us! Your writing makes me feel like one of your friends in real life! Your blog is the first one I read every day. Thank you for all of your hard work. I appreciate it – having fashion, a little decorating, and talking about life helps me get away from what is really going on in our world. Thank you and here is to a better 2021! 

  60. What a beautiful and well presented post today. I love the reflections over the past year .. and I’m so sorry to hear of the recent loss of two people who were part of your lives. This past year has sure been different and one for the books but we got through and have learned and are still learning to do things differently.. I have much to be thankful for especially as I hear other stories being told, even though there were some hard and trying days. Our province experienced heartache in more ways than just covid but the way people came together was a testament of the maritimers we truly are. Thank you for your blog and sharing with us even on those days you were perhaps not up to it while dealing with your own losses and discouragement and for keeping a positive space in what was a difficult and different year:) looking forward to what you have planned for us this year!! Happy New Yeat🎉

  61. I felt it in my heart when I read your post. This year has just hurt. The family members we’ve buried, the injustices we’ve witnessed, the family & friends we can’t hug, the sadness in the elderly & the young. Thank you for putting one foot in front of the other when it seems impossible to do so. Thank you for the awesome content, posts, words, & pictures (Allison is amazing!). The tiredness & heaviness of the year will definitely take some time to get thru but but I think we all will appreciate it when it when we do. This “community” of followers that you’ve built is a blessing. Thank you so much💕

  62. Spoken right from the heart, pulled me in and I felt right along with you in all your adventures.  It makes me feel closer to you. I know it’s one sided as we don’t dialogue back and forth. But man are you good with writing! Love your honestly and words.  I also love your fashion sense, input and humor. 

  63. And last but not least I want to compliment you on a year well done! You kept me in the know of what was in style.
    I have switched over to Nordstrom pretty much and get things delivered. I can’t picture what will happen this year! But your verses in Isaiah set the tone. Good Job Jo-Lynne!

  64. Isaiah 40:31 has been the verse that has lifted me through some very difficult times.

    Thank you for being there with your stories that resonate with so many of us during this devastating pandemic.

  65. Happy New Year to you and your family, Jo-Lynne! Your 2020 review post was exceptional and re-read twice. I also was blessed by reading the almost 80 responses from fellow readers of your blog, reminding me that we have a community of women who are experiencing similar emotions and feelings during this crazy pandemic. It’s soothing to know we are all in this together. Here’s to brighter days ahead, God willing!

  66. I love reading your posts. Your blog is a bright spot in my day. I have been working from since March and away from Co-workers and friends and it has been a struggle. Thank you.

  67. Happy New Year to you! Like you, it was an emotionally draining yr for me as well. We lost 4 family members, none due to COVID. I was not able to attend any of the services, which made it all the more depressing. My FIL was the last member we lost in December. I have felt like our little family has been on hold since October, when his health began declining. I’m hoping January gives us a reset, but I’m not sure my husband is ready for that. Ugh! Still so much uncertainty for us, which is what I feel like most of 2020 was like. 

  68. Happy New Year! Like others, I don’t miss any of your posts. I look forward to them, it’s part of my morning routine now. I’ll miss it when I get to go back to work. And I really appreciate the candid phots you added.  I like your blog because we are similar in some ways – age, kids, sense of style, lifestyle choices – it makes me feel like I am reading the pages a friend wrote. Thanks again

  69. I love your annual recaps. I look forward to them every year! I’m going to try and do the same thing in 2021! I have loved your blog for years, and look forward to more in 2021!

  70. Thanks so much for being real. Love the scriptures at the end. A great reminder as we go into this new year. 

  71. I loved your review of 2020. It makes me realize that we are not alone, which it feels like during this pandemic. I work in law enforcement and I too am tired. It is nice to read your posts with such an open and honest heart. God bless us all for a better 2021!

  72. Thank you, Jolynne, for sharing so much. What a year! I don’t know what else to say. I’m trying to process 2020 and don’t feel like I have the energy to. (Or time with two younger daughters who I’ve started homeschooling this year.) Reading what you and your family has experienced helps though. I’m across the country from you, 43 years old and I read almost all your posts each Saturday morning. It’s my little indulgence. I appreciate how down to earth you are. Thanks for building connections in this strange online world that’s come about over our adult lives.  I’m sorry for your losses and wish you the strength only God can give as we move into 2021. 

  73. I found your blog last January and wish I’d found you many moons ago. I love your classy style, and really, just everything about your format and the content you choose. I read few things daily, but I love following your shopping finds and hearing about your life. So thank you!! Good fortune to you in 2021!!

  74. Yes, I like the idea of 5 ways to style a Camel sweater in 2021! Also I have not been with you for a full year, so I love this review to see what I’ve missed! 🙂

  75. Happy New Year Jo-Lynne!  I wish you and your family many blessings and much health and happiness for 2021. 
    Thank you for the poignant year in review!  It has been quite the year. In August I made the decision to drop a lot of the blogs I follow. The pressure to buy more stuff was getting to me.  Seeing new stuff I loved but didn’t need and getting rid of that was the one thing I could control in this crazy world. But I was hesitant to get rid of you my friend. I did drop down to your weekly post which still allowed me to see your week and keep up with what is going on without the daily posts. All of my other bloggers I just dropped cold turkey. I must say the pressure release has been good for me. 
    Stay safe my friend, stay healthy, stay you!  

  76. Thank you Jolynne for sharing your beautiful year 2020 in review. It brought me back to memories of my own crazy roller coaster year in the pandemic. My husband and I also celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in June of 2020. It wasn’t at all what we had planned. But we made the best of it and luckily restaurants reopened to patio service just in time for us to share a nice dinner out. Lots of milestones in our family this year had to be reimagined and pivoted to celebrate together but apart. My daughters nursing degree achievement, my dads 80th birthday. Fortunately no major illnesses or deaths in our extended family. We managed to keep working from home. I’m a home body by nature and expanded my newly found love of sewing a quilt, many face masks, mug rugs, dog scarves, vegetable gardening. Got out moneys worth from our new hot tub, and lots of dog walks with my hubby! 
    I also really feel inspired by your kitchen Reno. We are rethinking where we live and hope to move closer to family and build a small dream cottage/home on some family land by the ocean. Your new kitchen is a lot of what I imagine. I also love the stone work on your fireplace. I’m hoping to source some local beach stone for the one I envision. 
    Thank you for all your inspirational posts! 
    Happy 2021 to you and your family!

  77. I really enjoy reading your blog. Your end of year recap was very well done. I really like that you keep things real, don’t sugar coat everything to make it so perfect. I think of you as a friend that I enjoy seeing what you are up to. 

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