Sunday 20 December 2020

2020 - An Emotional Year

It's time for me to go on a blogging break.  We have Christmas to look forward to with our family and 2 adorable grandbabies next week.  The presents have been purchased and wrapped.  They'll go under the tree Christmas Eve to keep them away from little fingers.  We have a holiday planned and Megan turns 21 next month.

Our year has been quite an emotional one even without Covid 19 turning the world upside down.  We lost a close family member back in February.  Her passing was quicker than expected and resulted in some family relationships becoming very strained ( to say the least ).

My Mum finished her final round of heavy chemo treatments in March just before Covid restrictions came into force.  Mum and Dad have been in their own version of lockdown all year with Mum mostly staying home for the last 2 years.  She's doing well now but still has her challenging days.

In March we had the birth of our second grandbaby.  Bryson is just a delight to be around and his constant smiles light up a room. Unfortunately the panic buying had just started a couple of days before Bryson's birth.  Darren and I raced from supermarket to supermarket to buy nappies and formula for both Luka and Bryson. 

We had family living with us from February until 2 days before stage 4 lockdown in August.   Our full house worked quite well most of the time and it was wonderful to be a part of Luka and Bryson's life every day.  Luka loved to sit on my knee to share my toast and jam every morning.

We helped move both Jessica and Megan a total of 4 times.   Three of the moves were emergency moves during various stages of lockdowns.  Hopefully things have settled down and both girls are happy where they are living.

Darren and I became empty nesters at the start of August.  The quietness of our home was a bit of a shock after having a full house.  Thankfully we enjoy each other's company and have spent many hours out on the deck drinking cups of tea and watching the clouds go by.

We celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary on 2nd September.  Although our Cook Islands holiday was postponed,  we did enjoy a candlelit dinner at home, just the 2 of us in stage 4 lockdown.

We've seen work come and go.  When things got tough,  I started sewing face masks to sell.  When that slowed down,  I made cards,  sewed hanging tea towels / hand towels,  made bath bombs, soaps,  book marks and jam.  With shops being closed,  there was a real demand for handmade goodies. My newly acquired craft room was buzzing and the sewing machine went into overdrive.  At one point I  ' employed ' Darren to take orders.

I enjoyed online card making days with my friends from The Cheapskates Club.  It was wonderful to catch up,  compare notes on how we were going and made a few cards along the way.  Luka enjoyed bringing me biscuits and saying hello to the ladies.

We spent as much time as possible out in the back yard gardening and tidying up.  We planted more veggies,  fed and pruned fruit trees,  helped Luka explore the great outdoors and had many meals and cuppas out on the deck.

We survived ( and at times thrived ) a 14 week lockdown - one of the longest in the world.  The hardest part was not being able to see Jessica and my parents.  Another challenge was keeping our younger family members calm and sane when all they wanted to do was live normally.  This really took an emotional toll on me.

I've spent the last few months building up my stockpile as supermarket shelves returned to normal ( sort of ). Our fruit trees will be supplying lots of fruit for eating,  freezing and jam making over the next couple of months.

Slowly we are getting our lives back to normal although I don't think we'll ever be the same.  On a positive note, our home is squeaky clean,  our backyard looks wonderful and we are more organised.

Thankyou to all of you who read my blog,  especially during my daily posts earlier this year.  We've all travelled this year together through the ups and down.  Thankyou to those who supported Darren and I through buying my handmade goodies.  You've helped and encouraged us more than you'll ever know.

If you are living where lockdowns,  restrictions and ( at times ) fear is a part of your every day life, I'd like to encourage you to get up each day with a sense of purpose of what goals you'd like to achieve.  This,  and God's protection kept me going during our darkest days this year.  Having a list in my head when I woke up really got me going.

 Have a blessed Christmas,  love and enjoy your family near and far.

I'll be back blogging again in late January,  early February.  If I get the chance,  I'll put up some holiday reading posts to keep you inspired and challenged.  

Jam for presents

The day Bryson as born

Luka playing in the laundry basket

Luka kissing Bryson

Our grandbabies

From the kitchen

Our guttering display

Plums growing

Princess sun baking

Luka and Darren picking cherries

Potatoes and tomatoes growing

My birthday flowers from Luka

Our anniversary lunch platter

Out on the deck

Soap making

Selling face masks

Handmade greeting cards

Shortbread biscuits.


  1. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and 2021.

  2. If this comment goes through, I’ve popped in over the last several years. I enjoy reading what you’ve been up to on the other side of the world. Your grand babies are adorable! I have four and they are a joy even though we haven’t seen them in person in a year. Have a wonderful, family filled break!

  3. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and enjoy a more relaxed time. Kathy, Brisbane

  4. Thank you Wendy for your inspiring post. Here in the uk, in the south east we are going into a tier four lockdown, a stay home order has been given and it will be just the two of us at Christmas. I won’t get to see my eldest 9 year old granddaughter, she lives in London with my son and his wife, and that’s heartbreaking. No idea how we will get her present to her either. We had little to no warning, it all happened in hours. It may last six weeks but who knows? We are a support bubble for our daughter and granddaughter so we hope to see them but not as much as we would like. Finding the resolve to keep going and not sink into depression will be key, anxiety is high but controlled for now, sadly we are in winter and my sewing machine is broken but I have my sisters and must figure out how to use it. You were so productive in your lockdown I must try to do the same. I read that Mother Teresa used to start her day with a Good morning Jesus to remind herself what mattered before she started her day. I’m trying to get into the habit of saying the same. God is with us through all the dark times.

  5. I send you and your families much love and wishes for a happy and holy Christmas. May our 2021 be a more positive experience for us all. Enjoy your break and your times with your growing grand babies.

  6. Have a Merry Christmas!! Stay well and I look forward to reading your blog in the New Year.
    Barb in Pennsylvania USA

  7. What a thoughtful post to sum up 2020- it has been a year none of expected.
    Merry Christmas!
    I enjoy when you post regularly but I think a break is a great idea.

  8. Merry christmas Wendy. Thanks for another year of wonderful ideas and posts

  9. This has been a year we will all remember, that's for certain! It has been a great comfort, especially when things have been at their grimmest, to come online and realise that there are women like me on the other side of the world experiencing the same trials, unselfishly keeping their families on an even keel and making the best of things with a smiling face, even when they felt like howling with fear and frustration. Thank you, Wendy, for being one of them. I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. X

  10. Merry Christmas Wendy and Darren and have a blessed New Year. Enjoy the break from Blogging

  11. A big thank you for wonderful posts all year. I am in Florida, USA. To say this has been a tumultuous year is an understatement. Our elections were a mess, there is so much uncertainty and fear, summer rioting and the like. We haven't seen one set of grandkids in a year, the other in a year and a half---we had plans for our annual family reunion in June cancelled. Christmas tickets were cancelled. You get the gist. My hubby retired last December, so all we have known, really, of both of us being retired is isolation! Fortunately we love each other (married 53 years) and we can Zoom with our 3 families.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours...we WILL survive this! As one blogger friend said...this is for now---not forever...

  12. Have a lovely Christmas time, Wendy. I am sure it will be even more special given this year's hardships. A day to cherish and give thanks for being together.

    I always find lots of frugal ideas here on your blog. It reminds me to look for savings each day. Thank you!

    Warm wishes,

    1. Thankyou so much Meg and thankyou for your continued support.

  13. Enjoy your Christmas and your blogging break. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  14. Hi, First time commenting but long time reader. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and to wish you a very happy Christmas.

  15. Lovely. Looks like you are living a "stop and smell the roses life". Very authentic. So organised too. Inspiring. I love reading your blog. Getting some good ideas. Barbara

  16. Have a very Happy Christmas Wendy. What a year. You did very well and did a lot! xxx

  17. All the very best to you and you family after this very challenging year Wendy. Merry Christmas. Mimi

  18. Merry Christmas Wendy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Looking forward to 2021 and hopefully returning to a more normal life. God Bless.
    Take care:) Rachel

  19. Dear Wendy, I hope all is well with you and your family. We are still coping, husband and I work from home, fulltime, both daughters (9 and 12) go to school fulltime. The before and after school care at the primary school has been cancelled and is only for emergency/urgent cases (parents working in healthcare, etc). The secondary schools have fulltime schooling at school for years 1 and 2, and parttime schooling at school for years 3-6. The secondary school will change to homeschooling/long-distance learning from next week, then they will have spring break for a week. The government hopes this will reduce the number of infections. All I know is that it is all getting a bit depressing. We are very happy to both still be working fulltime, but it's not easy if you have to concentrate, phone or e-meet clients and colleagues when there are 2 children around you.

    We are in the middle of winter here, and I am very happy that the days are lengtening again.

    All this to say: do you feel up to blogging again, please? I, very selfishly, appreciate the motivation I get from reading your blogs.


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