What are your favorite moments in 2020?

I’m switching up things here this week, and my initial plan for the rest of the month for my schedule of blog posts. I’m pushing back my planned posts on top 5 TV shows of 2020, top 5 books I read this year, and One Word of 2021 until either later this week or next week.

Today, I am looking back at this week on my blog as it was busier than it normally is and you might have missed some of the posts. I know there are a lot of links this time around, and I encourage you to click on what catches your fancy, but especially that by other bloggers.

All this month I’ve been joining Kim and Tanya of Girlxoxo.com for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics. To learn more about the event, visit Kim and Tanya’s introductory post on the event. Earlier this month, I posted “My End of Year Bookish Plans.” Then this week, I jumped right in with three posts:

  1. These are a few of my favorite moments in 2020,”
  2. then “These are a few of my favorite things (at home) in 2020,”
  3. and finally “These are a few of my favorite (Christmas) things.”

The first one resonated with a few bloggers, including a couple from The Sunday Salon, who created their own favorite moments in 2020 posts:

So either by putting together your own post on your favorite moments from this year or just sharing in the comments below, let me know what are some of our favorite moments from this (otherwise, on a global scale, godawful) year.

These are a few of my favorite (Christmas) things

This month I’m joining Kim and Tanya of Girlxoxo.com for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics. Earlier this month, I posted “My End of Year Bookish Plans.” Earlier this week, I posted “These are a few of my favorite moments in 2020 and “These are a few of my favorite things (at home) in 2020.” To learn more about the event, visit Kim and Tanya’s introductory post on the event.

Today’s topic is “Favorite Things [Holiday Edition]⁠
(Treats, Traditions, Books, Movies, Songs, Decorations, Activities, etc).” No treats really or decorations either for my wife Kim and me, thanks to one old cat, but we have got movies!

Our Christmas will begin this year on the eve of Christmas Eve after I get off work at the library at 6 p.m. We plan on watching two of our favorite Christmas movies, Christmas Vacation and Elf. We own both after discovering a few years ago streaming services never have Christmas movies available around Christmas.

We decided this past weekend that this year we’re having our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Here’s what is planned so far:

That way, we can have leftovers Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, we’ll watch my favorite Christmas movie Diehard, which yes is a Christmas movie as science proves it.

Then sometime on Christmas Day, we’ll watch my wife’s favorite Christmas movie, and also my favorite version of A Christmas Carol too, the 1951 version with Alistair Sim.

I also have a Christmas tradition of listening to A Child’s Christmas in Wales as read by its author Dylan Thomas. So I’m sure I’ll do that again on Christmas itself too.

While we are not getting together with family in person, we are planning to get together with each side of our families virtually in one fashion or another. For my wife’s side of the family, that probably will entail Zoom; for my side of the family, Google Hangouts.

Last year on Christmas via Hangouts, Kim and I were able to hear my mother read the story of the birth of Jesus as recounted in the Book of Luke, Chapter 2. It is a tradition for one of my parents to read it every year before Christmas gift-giving for us to remember “the reason for the season” and we will look forward to hearing it again this year as read by one of them.

What are some of your favorite holiday treats, traditions, books, movies, songs, decorations, and/or activities?

These are a few of my favorite things (at home) in 2020

This month I’m joining Kim and Tanya of Girlxoxo.com for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics. Earlier this month, I posted “My End of Year Bookish Plans” and yesterday, I posted “These are a few of my favorite moments in 2020.” To learn more about the event, visit Kim and Tanya’s introductory post on the event.

Today’s topic is “Favorite Things [At Home Edition]⁠
(Room in the house, reading spot, time of day, daily habit, etc).”

My new favorite place: the corner in our office.

Room in the house: Office. Over the summer, I moved my computer desk, which was in our living room to our office. While it’s not perfect (one of the cat’s litter boxes is behind my chair, for example), it still gives me a place on the other side of our living room and our bedroom, where Kim sleeps during the day since she works night shift four days. Also during the few Zoom calls I’ve had and therapy (biweekly now) via Zoom, I felt crowded with our recliners right behind us, so it’s nice to have the privacy now. I also can play music on one of our Nest minis, one of the many Google devices in our house…which leads me to another one of my favorite things at home:

Google Home: We started first with a Google Home Mini, then got a Google Home, a Nest Mini, and now a Nest Audio and another Nest Mini. It might be is overkill for our small house, but I like that we have speakers for music in almost every room in the house, except for the bathroom. We had Google Play Music, which we loved but they killed it off in favor of YouTube Music, which I’m not a fan of and now am trying Spotify Premium, which I am enjoying. I’ve also had fun moving the speakers around and renaming them as I go along with super exciting names like “Desk,” “Dresser,” “Kitchen”, etc.

Reading Spot Device & Time of Day: These actually are connected. In mid-May during the Spring lockdown, I began what I called “my own personal Sabbath,” where I put my phone away on Sundays. I didn’t read news, only books, listened to chill music and watched fun TV. Initially I allowed myself to read on a Kindle Fire but I still would see notifications there so I switched to a simple old Kindle with less bells and whistles. It was, and still is, just what I needed.

(Almost) Daily Habit: Meditation and journaling. My year, appropriately it now seems, began with my reading slowly through Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Later in the year I uploaded an app to my phone called Insight Timer and then at the invitation of Deb Nance of the blog Readerbuzz, I joined an online meditation group in the Houston, TX area for a six-week course. The group is part of the World Community for Christian Meditation, whose founder was John Main, a Benedictine monk. His main teaching is to meditate for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night, reciting a mantra, preferably “Maranatha” which means “Come, Lord.” I have been trying this, but usually only doing in the morning and not every morning to be honest, but I want to be more diligent in 2021 than I have been this year.

As for journaling, I began doing that, again like the meditation, intermittently as an extension of therapy (via Zoom) that I started earlier in the year and am continuing now. It has been helpful and like meditation, I want to be more disciplined with it in the coming year.

Sleep aids: Primarily a new mattress, a base for it, and a weighted blanket. The mattress technically was used (once by one of Kim’s supervisors, who sold it to us cheap). It has been a godsend, even more so when we bought a new base that sets on the floor and then Kim got me a weighted blanket. The only thing we didn’t know since we never had one when we got the blanket which is with a duvet is that it needed to be tied in so that the beads were evenly distributed. For the first couple of weeks, all the beads were at the bottom or to the side and it didn’t feel comfortable.

So what are some of your favorite things at home? Share in the comments or with your own post, if you like. You can link up to the event at the introductory post mentioned above.

These are a few of my favorite moments in 2020

This month I’m joining Kim and Tanya of Girlxoxo.com for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics. Earlier this month, I posted “My End of Year Bookish Plans.” To learn more about the event, visit Kim’s Instagram post announcing the event.

This topic was from Friday, Dec. 11, but I’m just getting to it today: “Favorite Things [Daily Life Edition] ⁠(Recipes tried, happy moments, shows watched, skills learned, or just 5 things you appreciated about 2020)⁠.” For me in photos, these are my happy moments from 2020, roughly from the start of the year until the end of the year.

January began with a late Christmas at my parent’s house right before my dad’s birthday. In February, we got a new kitchen table. In March, right before the Spring lockdown began, my friend Joe and I traveled to the Corning Museum of Glass in New York State. In April, Kim joined me for a couple of months at 50 (I turned 51 in June). Also in April, my sister gave my mom a makeover of sorts and Kim and I got together via Zoom with some of her family. In May, we got a new air conditioner. In June, with the lockdown ended, I went and saw my parents on my birthday and also saw my sister and her two children as we drove to see their new house a few miles away from my parents.

In July, the sun did come out some when I was walking. In August, Kim received news that she didn’t have covid after exhibiting symptoms (she had a staph infection and with her heart issues, if she hadn’t had it addressed immediately, she might have been hospitalized or died). Also in August, I continued getting takeout from a local restaurant, a tradition I continue to this very day. In September, we were able to get our first yard sign of the season (from a neighbor on the Main Street of our town who was kind enough to give me one of his). Also in September, we ordered wine from the Finger Lakes in New York State (for the second or third time this year) and were not disappointed. In October, we got rid of a chair that we weren’t using but not before Seamus and Alexandra (on the back) “cuddled” (that’s pretty much as close as they get). In November, Kim and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. December began with coworkers decorating the sill in front of the new window at the library where I work.