2020 Recap – Major Plan Changes, One Very Difficult Year for Everyone

Jan 31 2021
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Writing this 2020 recap I had to keep stopping myself from bringing up everything we already know that we all lived through (and are still living through…) A plague, Australia on fire, quarantine, the tiger king… (Carol Baskin definitely killed her husband) $1200 subsidy checks… all in the first couple of months… where would I even stop if I started recounting everything? And my brain pretty much just stopped recounting stuff after April because there were JUST TOO MANY MAJOR HISTORICAL EVENTS AT THAT POINT.

So I’m going to try to stay in our household in this 2020 recap lol though there is NO denying how much this year impacted all of us.

Painting out a faux stone chimney in white so I hate it a lot less now. Beginning the big remodel of my living room with a brand new sofa and paint!

A farmhouse living room remodel renovation reveal. Farm house living with a boho and practical twist, finally completing the main floors of my home

A snowy and cold November starting out winter off in the expected way in northern Minnesota. Getting to know my house again and getting cozy.

A farmhouse living room remodel renovation reveal. Farm house living with a boho and practical twist, finally completing the main floors of my home

Happy Bird Day, Xmas and New Years from my little spot here in Grandma's House! Weather report is short and brutal. Winter started and no one is happy about

Well I am REALLY into my 30s now... 34th Birthday in the Icy Tundra Nobody likes Minnesota in February. If its not a blizzard on my birthday then its COLD

Before the whole world went to hell though I did manage to finish my living room!

I started with repainting the whole room plus the Chimney.
I added a skirt to my Sofa Table Charging Station.
I built shelves out of one of my Grandma’s old ladders.
I built a Shelf that included a hanging for one of my Grandma’s Quilts
I also upholstered a Coffee Table!
I also built a Serving Tray out of an old Window
(and took that idea even further)
making artwork out of old windows too!
See the whole Living room reveal here.

This was a particularly tough year for me. Besides all that was going on in the world that was totally out of my control my Mom was also diagnosed with cancer.

Lodi lived a couple of hours away but was spending his weekends here (and any other days he could depending on his work schedule). When quarantine was looming and his house sold it just made the most sense for him to move in or we thought we might risk not being able to see each other for months.

I wanted him here even though I was a total wreck.

Getting to this place in my life, through an awful relationship and divorce, left me with major trust issues. This home was my safe place to handle those things in life that I have no control over.

(And Lodi and I had only been together a few months at that point.)

Him moving in and all of my plans and my life in this home changing shook me hard. It felt like my little safe place was in danger and that, combined with everything else that was going on with my Mom and in this world, hit me like a freight train.

Of course I can’t speak for him but Lodi’s own mental health took a hit too.

His entire life changed as well. Between quarantine and moving here he wasn’t able to see his kids, friends or family anywhere near like he was used to.

Spring 2020 at Grandma's house DIY making the decision for Lodi and Annie to move in with me here at Stoyrhardt Farm - I'm getting room mates!

Redesigning my farmhouse guest bedroom with a unisex color scheme and design for guests, kids and friends to be comfortable and stay at our place anytime

Bedroom Reveal - Completing my New Guest Bedroom Unisex Redesign! Adding a power grommet to the desk and redesigning the shelves and adding storage

May 2020 was a far less freaky month for me than April was - I guess I adapted to the pace of quarantine. The farm here burst into life spring photo gallery

Open industrial basement ceilings spray painted black for a theater and a reck room area in the downstairs basement ceiling blackspray paint.

Open industrial basement ceilings spray painted black for a theater and a reck room area in the downstairs baseent ceiling blackspray paint.

Putting up plyboard and trim on our basement walls. When we talked about the material we were going to use on our we walls we agreed no sheet rock

How we completed our Basement Epoxy floors using Rustoleum's RockSolid flooring Kit - after a thorough cleaning, scrubbing and acid wash Lodi

Continuing the tradition of every year buying, planning and planting over a weekend with my awesome mom in our 2020 gardens, Lodi joined us this year!

Basement lighting - moody. Creating a basement speak easy with edison bulbs and an edison bulb chandelier. Moody and warm and cozy

Bizarrely, my day job exploded. The introvert, who would have loved to stay home, was frantically sprinting through her essential day job along with her coworkers, barely holding it together, in the middle of a fricking plague!

2020 Recap, historically busy.

I made what should have been years worth of upgrades and changes for my company into the digital era in just a matter of weeks so employees could work from home etc.

I have never known stress at my day job like that before.

Changes that the older generation had been fighting against that left me utterly brain dead at the end of every day. Changes I am thrilled to have finally implemented but seriously – not like that.

I also had this blog to keep going besides and doing all I could do to be there for my mom through her many months of treatments.

The extrovert, who would have loved to be working, Lodi was stuck for three months in the house both because of quarantine and because it was really hard to find a job here in early 2020.

Moving from a big city where he never spent a day at home or a day alone to out here in the sticks with nowhere to go…

He was desperate for human contact when I would get home from work and I didn’t want to be talked to, or touched, or even looked at.

It was REALLY hard on us both.

I don’t shift gears easily.

I plan WAY out with house projects and for this blog so it really took me awhile to put back all of the plans I had for 2020 and focus on what now, suddenly, needed to get done since Lodi moved in.

With his furniture and extra stuff filling the garage now the basement, which I had had no intention of touching for years if ever, was now a mandatory section of this house that needed to be finished.

Fortunately Lodi is as handy as I am and started in on that big job (at least a little out of boredom) during quarantine.

You can see how he completed the ceilings.
How we finished the floors together and
How we finished out the walls and the trim.
And how we finished out the lighting too.

(The full reveal of the basement living room is coming out here in a few weeks.)

During all of the work we were doing on the basement we also tackled the guest bedroom and gave it a complete head to toe makeover as well as a full makeover of our main floor bathroom too.

I've been seeing bar top deck railings all over the internet the past year and it occurred to me that its definitely something we would get use out of!

I've been seeing bar top deck railings all over the internet the past year and it occurred to me that its definitely something we would get use out of!

How to build a simple deck coffee table out of treated lumber, 2x4s and deck boards. Wood working project easy tutorial building it your self diy

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Starting in on our tiny main floor bathroom floors and a thorough cleaning and assessment of this neglected space so its not so embarrassing!

A before and after of my main floor bathroom in my Grandma's farmhouse that I renovated and tiny bathroom ideas and reveal remodeling, valspar purple paint

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

Lodi and I living through July 2020 in absolute bliss, enjoying all the Minnesota has to offer which is total summertime Heaven, nothing better!

When spring arrived in Minnesota I found some solace in “normal” things that I always look forward to. The garden, the weather, the heat and opening all of the windows after so many cold months.

Normal, simple things, like caring for the property or having a bonfire truly helped me deal. (Though, I admit, I did not put the time in to my garden at all this year like I normally would have. I just didn’t have the time.)

Annie became a real north country Minnesota doggo just like Lodi became an official Minnesotan.

Unfortunately for little Annie her transition included a case of Lymes disease and two broken teeth! Antibiotics and dental surgery later and she returned to her chubby (sometimes annoying) sweet, little self.

Grandma’s perennials returned and bloomed gorgeously again this year. 2020 recap, another reminder that life does just go on.

I did something in August I think I will forever be glad for. I climbed up in our old barn and took what will almost certainly be the last photos of our falling down hay mow.

Even after an awful hard freeze in late September here we enjoyed a long and lovely fall giving us even more time outside and on the deck than we could have hoped for.

We changed and added a lot of seating and did a whole bunch of rearranging. Check out the reveal here to see the new table top, coffee table and bar we put in.

Lodi also helped me replace the old conduit rails with new wire cable rails that I’ve wanted for the deck for years. We took full advantage of all of our improvements and enjoyed them all summer and fall.

The last of my mom’s treatments took the two of us to Rochester and the Mayo Clinic alone together. It was absolutely some of the hardest days of my life and I feel terrible typing that because I didn’t go through anything in comparison to her.

She conquered cancer though and got through it.

MAJOR HISTORICAL EVENTS AT THAT POINT. So I'm going to try not to mention too much outside of our household in this 2020 recap lol

A photo gallery of an old barn in northern minnesota with a broken spine, fallen down roof, proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A photo gallery of an old barn in northern minnesota with a broken spine, fallen down roof, proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A photo gallery of an old barn in northern minnesota with a broken spine, fallen down roof, proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

August 2020 went by far too quickly for my liking. I promised I would kick my panicking ass in gear and get some things done this month

Continuing the tradition of every year buying, planning and planting over a weekend with my awesome mom in our 2020 gardens, Lodi joined us this year!

August 2020 went by far too quickly for my liking. I promised I would kick my panicking ass in gear and get some things done this month

August 2020 went by far too quickly for my liking. I promised I would kick my panicking ass in gear and get some things done this month

Deck Reveal with Updates and lots of new seating and additions! OMG Where on earth did this summer go so fast!? I can't believe its November

October 2020 - so when I said in my August 2020 post that our back entryway just kept growing into a bigger and bigger monster

October 2020 - so when I said in my August 2020 post that our back entryway just kept growing into a bigger and bigger monster

Looking back, writing this post, we achieved a lot this year, though I never would have agreed with that if you had asked me anytime in 2020. There was not a single second of this whole year that I did not feel like I was behind on everything.

I guess that makes sense a little though.

Our world was in a state of anxiety and worry and panic and that translates differently emotionally for everyone.

For me it was I’M NOT GETTING ENOUGH DONE because that’s just my go-to in stressful times. And with the whole world seeming to be freaking out with, “What are we going to do?! DO SOMETHING!” My state of being went right along with it.

I remember thinking, “I’m giving way beyond what I have to give. I’m going to have a break down and its gonna be a going postal moment over something totally trivial.”

By the end of 2020 though I was starting to feel better.

My day job slowed down.

Mom beat cancer, she was truly on the way to a full recovery.

Lodi and I were finding grace and our lovely normal.

He moved in with me at my worst of times and there were moments when I wondered if we could possibly make it. Moments when I felt like I had nothing left of myself emotionally, physically or even time-wise to give him.

There were such good times too though, moments when I looked at him and was so relieved to have him in my life. Moments when life was sweet, sitting out on our deck together, just glad to be alive in that space of time.

With the basement living space complete we emptied out the garage and finally got it back to park our vehicles this winter. Besides that we got one other job done that was on our before winter bucket list.

We replaced the old back door with a window in what will soon be a new room and moved a new exterior back door into the workshop.

The old door had been in terrible shape and letting out a ton of heat all winter long. The new door is insulated steel and even boasts a new doggie door that I built as well!

Because we got through so much of our heavy lifting early on the holiday months were the best of 2020 for me. I began to relax a little for what was definitely the first time all year.

We had a lovely Xmas and I think we can learn something from the forced, much quieter, holidays of 2020. Though we missed all of our friends and family dearly, we won’t be returning to the normal, anxiety-ridden, holidays of the past.

Having what felt like an actual vacation over Xmas was wonderful!

And we all totally deserved it after this year of all years.

So glad to see 2020 end!

MAJOR HISTORICAL EVENTS AT THAT POINT. So I'm going to try not to mention too much outside of our household in this 2020 recap lol

Comments

  1. D Gehman
    January 31, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    You and Lodi look so comfortable and happy together. Your mom is just gorgeous(can DEFINITELY see a resemblance there). The Horrible Year didn’t break you, even though things bent a little. Moving forward to better things.

    • February 2, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you and so very true! Perhaps we can all learn something and take something good away, from this year of all years.

  2. MADELINE NEWTON
    February 1, 2021 at 10:59 am

    so glad for this new year but wow you got a lot down around the house …wow really looks nice ….starting of a new year may it be a lot of fun and getting what ever you want to get done …take care and enjoy family and be happy…

    • February 2, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you Madeline – take care and I hope for a happy year for you too!

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