What I Read… 2020 Recap

I don’t have a lot to show for this year… Reading wasn’t a top priority this year & that’s ok. I averaged about 1 book per month- ending the year with 13 reads. I usually strive for three books a month so needless to say I did not meet my GR goals 😂

I’m linking up with Jana and Steph today for the Show Us Your Books yearend recap. I am so grateful for these ladies and this community of book lovers that they have built! It’s one of my favorite parts of my blog world.

**2020 Reading Stats**

Number of Books Read: 13
Number of Rereads: 0
Most Read Genre: Mystery

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Best Book You Read In 2020?

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t?

Frogkisser by Garth Nix

 Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Seven and A Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

 Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

Lucy Foley

 Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

I just love the way this one looks… A little ominous, a little festive, a little haunting. Yet so simple.

Most memorable character of 2020?

Zikora (from Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

75 pages (The Mermaids Melt at Dawn by Grendolyn Peach Soleil) and 505 pages (Hardcastle)

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Lia Mara & Grey from A Heart So Fierce and Broken.

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Emily’s (I *think* that’s her name) relationship with the girls from Gloss in The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan

Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

A Dangerous Engagement by Ashley Weaver

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Not new- still in love with Grey (A Heart So…)

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London by Penrose Halson

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One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

Hoping to read more than 13 books this coming year, lol.

Survey borrowed & altered from Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Now for my charts…

Not my best year for reading, but I also know it’s not my absolute worst.

What did you read this year?

Life According to Steph

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I hope everyone is having a happy and festive week. I know the holiday season can feel overwhelming… so don’t forget to carve out a little time for yourself- even if it’s a warm cup of cocoa under the sparking tree after your family has gone to bed ❤️

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I wanted to share a few favorites that I’ve seen floating around lately…

Like most readers, I have way too many books on my tbr shelf (in my house and on my GR page). I’m obviously driving M down the same path. I love collecting children books for her. Carolann shared some of her daughter’s favorites and I’ve added them all to my wishlist for M.

In the fashion department, the always cute and comfy and cozy Chelsea has been working on affordable Amazon styles. Some day we’ll be able to safely brunch and shop and party… so we’ll have somewhere to wear these adorable ensembles. Fortunately, Chels puts together some cozy looks, too!

In keeping with book recs, Lauren has put together a list of great reads for specific people who’d enjoy them! I can vouch for a fews of these! (And now want to read all the others!)


Ok… I’ve gushed about this series before but I just saw SEASON 3 is now out! If you love period dramas and you haven’t checked out High Seas (Alta Mar) on Netflix, you really really need to!

K and I have started to get serious about zero-based budgeting. I used the Dave Ramsey free trial to kick it off, but I got rid of the subscription after the trial was over and I’m going at it alone. This isn’t a new novel idea… just something I figured I’d share.

Alright… I know I had more to say but I forget. Have a happy Tuesday!

Chats With K

One week and one day until Christmas! Woo!

That’s a weak lead-in to some pretty humorous* chats with K that I jotted down…
*in my opinion

K: I need DEF. [for his truck]
Me: … Mos Def? LL COOL J. Luda. Biggie biggie biggie. Tupac
K: *just stares at me*
Me: Want to name 90s rapper with me?
K: Mos Def is an actor. 
Me: He’s both. Like Ice Cube. 
K: …
Me: Ice-T?
K: There ya go. 


Me: You have a booger. 
K: I know! I feel it. 
Me: Did you put it there?
K: Yep. 
Me: Have you named it?
K: Yeah, Batman. 
Me: …because it’s in the cave. 
K: I call him Bruce. 


Me: Can you look at the timer?
K: Yep. 
Me: …
K: …
Me: Can you tell me what it says? 


K: Bristol is stoned tonight. 
Me: How many drops of the cbd oil did you give her?
K: Just five like the bottle says. 

Three hours later & Bristol has been asleep the entire time. 

Me: How many did you really give her?
K: … eight. 


K: Whoaaaa. The girl I married wouldn’t have out these black flecks on the veggies! (pepper)
Me: The girl you knew is all grown up.
K: …that girl just made little smokies for dinner. 


Me to Moo: You about ready for a nap, babe?
K: Yeah. 
Me: Is she giving sleepy cues?
K: No, I meant me. 


Me*while watching Dan & Shay perform with Justin Bieber*: You know, I’ve never in my life found Justin Bieber attractive but this might do it. 
K: Oh yeah?
Me: I mean, they say he is very talented.
K: Yeah, he just leaves monkeys in Germany.


K: They just called the Goo Goo Dolls classic rock. 
Me: Yeah… they are. What would you call them?
K: Just rock. 
Me: How old does a car have to be to be considered classic?
K: …25 years. 
Me: And when did the Goo Goo Dolls start? 
K: Leave me alone.

In his defense, most of Twitter was outraged to hear the Goo Goo Dolls referred to as classic. Lol

COVID-19

At the end of October I started feeling miserable- stuffy nose, sore throat, pressure in my head, & body aches. I assumed sinus infection, but to err on the side of caution I got a COVID test at our county health dept.

Two days later I received a call telling me I was positive for COVID-19.

You know the scene in Monsters Inc. when they called Code 23-19 on the monster?

That’s what it felt like the moment I hung up with the health dept. K whisked Moo away to get tested, then to my parents, & he scheduled a test for himself the following day. He then moved out to the camper to quarantine. I felt awful.

Actually… in that moment I felt fear, disappointment, guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, resentment, failure, sadness, anxious, overwhelmed, furious, confused, alone, terrified, isolated, etc.

I wear my mask, I avoid inside gatherings, we don’t go out to eat, I didn’t take M to any orchards or pumpkin patches this fall, we often have groceries delivered… Honestly, I felt so betrayed to hear that I was positive for the coronavirus.

Then my mind spiraled… who had I seen recently? Had I been anywhere that I could’ve exposed people? Is K going to get sick? Does Moo’s cough mean she already has it? Will it get worse for her? Will there be long term repercussions for her? For me? Who do we need to call? How did I get it?!

I’m grateful because the worst part for me wasn’t the actual sickness. I was fatigued and achy for 48 hours, but after that it felt like a mild sinus infection; easily treated with some Tylenol. The worst part was being away from M and K. Moms want an hour or an afternoon to themselves- not six freaking days. She was away from me on her first Halloween. I turned off my porch light and sat alone, crying for the holiday we lost.

I sat on the couch and cried after M and K left. For hours.

K quarantined away from the house, but he called several times a day to check on me. I know he was terrified; the stories that people tell about their COVID experiences are heartbreaking. He was so worried my health would take a turn. I feel very fortunate that I never had trouble breathing, a loss of taste/smell, or even a fever. It was a mild case.

A positive test followed by quarantine was mentally taxing. I fretted over K and Moo’s health. I worried about every interaction I’d had in the last two weeks. I wondered how this diagnosis would affect me in the future. I missed my family and drowned in guilt for 6+ days. Turns out I now run out of breath pretty quickly- which didn’t used to happen.

I also cleaned/sanitized the entire house.

We learned that a negative test doesn’t take the place of quarantine. We didn’t understand the specifics of COVID-19 and the non-symptom spreadability. I now cringe when someone says, “I got tested before going to that (party/vacation/etc.).” Turns out that doesn’t matter- you can still be carrying and spreading coronavirus.

A zoom dinner date with my loves.

It’s confusing and we’re all navigating very uncharted waters on an uncharted planet. My experience with COVID has given me more grace for other, appreciation for what I have, and caution for what I do. It was not a positive experience, but it was an educational one.

Please wear a mask. Please stay away from other people. People rethink travel & holiday plans.