(in a nutshell and with LOTS of pictures below)
2020 was a hard year for everyone in so many ways due to the pandemic and all that went along with that. Our family experienced additional loss because we lost two babies back to back to miscarriage. We also had a very sick child with pneumonia for two weeks that entailed multiple doctor visits and hospital tests. I have never seen a child so sick in all my years of parenting. It was a very scary time, but the Lord worked some miracles through the help of kind friends and medical professionals and he began getting better. What made it even more difficult, was that I was having to take care of him all by myself because my husband, Kyle happened to be out of the country in Scotland, with our eldest son on a graduation trip, during that time.
Our ancestors came from Scotland and there is still an active Clan Hay over there as well the Clan Hay headquarters at a castle they visited. Both my husband and son also have Scottish names, so Scotland was the chosen destination for this trip for the two of them. You can see a picture of the Hay tartan below as well. Kyle ordered me a skirt made from our Hay tartan while he was over there, which was really neat. Thankfully, they were able to take the trip right before the pandemic. They arrived home from their trip the night before the international borders were closed to foreign travel. You can see pictures from their trip below. There are also pictures of our son’s graduation with two of his homeschool buddies that we hosted in the backyard of our home.
The months of quarantine were not very different from normal life for our family since I stay home and homeschool the kids and Kyle’s profession wasn’t affected. We had our high school graduate at home with us during that time, which was a special time of bonding. I’m so grateful to have had that extra time with him since he met the love of his life in 2020 and got engaged and married in 2021. Be sure to see their awesome wedding pictures in my next blog post Volume #3 Hay Family Mega Life Update coming soon!
In the fall, we found out that we were expecting another baby…I had never been pregnant three times in one year before and I had lost the previous two babies that year, so I was very worried through the pregnancy that this baby wouldn’t make it as well. I had to give my fears over to the Lord and in His lovingkindness He allowed us to keep this baby and we are beyond grateful. In my next blog post about our 2021 year you can find out what we had and see pictures of this miracle baby!
One other exciting thing that happened in 2020 was that Kyle and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in August! We had a really neat over-seas trip planned, but that all got cancelled when the world shut down and the countries we were flying in and out of were not allowing foreign travelers. I was especially bummed because I am so rarely able to go on an over-seas adventure due to usually being pregnant and/or nursing a baby, but the Lord had other more important plans for us. One plan I believe the Lord had for me, was to be here to capture a sweet family’s last portraits together before the father unexpectedly passed away just days after their photography session with me. They had just had their newborn baby boy about a week prior and the portraits I took of them together as a family and of the father and baby son together were the only portraits they will ever have.
Hopefully someday we can take the trip we had planned, but instead of the over-seas trip, we decided to take a smaller trip to Charleston, South Carolina and we ended up having a splendid time there. The historical buildings and the gourmet food there were FABULOUS! My favorite day we spent in Charleston was at the serene English gardens of the Middleton Place Plantation. It was raining part of the time, so we look wet in many of the pictures below, but we still had a delightful time and because of the rain, we were some of the only people there! If you ever get the chance to go to Charleston, there is so much to do and see and I highly recommend it if you like historic sights. I’ve included lots of pictures of that trip below!
Another trip that got cancelled due to the pandemic, was a trip with my oldest daughter to my niece’s wedding in Ohio. The airlines would only give us a voucher for a future ticket, so in the fall we decided to visit my brother’s family as well as my Uncle, and my cousin’s family in Ohio. It was a really nice time with all and I’m so glad my daughter and I got to get away together for a little adventure. I’ve included a few pictures from that trip below as well.
A project that took up a HUGE portion of our year was we bought and renovated my childhood home after my mother passed away. This home held so many sentimental memories for me, as it was the only house I lived in growing up, so I really wanted to not just restore it, but make it classic, yet modern and elevate it to a new level. I have always loved interior design, and Kyle and I have renovated homes for years that we have lived in, flipped or rented out, so we weren’t new to this idea, but this was the biggest project we’d ever undertaken. It took months to complete, but the finished product was so worth it! We did some of the work ourselves as we could, but I had the new baby and was homeschooling, so I was limited in what I could do. We hired workers to do most of the renovations for us to our specifications. We gutted most of the inside of the house then I designed new layouts, a new custom kitchen, and all the new decor to bring it back to life. I’m really pleased with the end result! We were able to sell it at the end of 2020 and it has a nice new family living in it now. See the before and after pictures below!
Before the childhood home sold, Kyle threw a really fun 40th birthday party for me on the new back deck of the home. We had dinner, fellowship, live music and a comedy show performed by some kind friends! Friends and family came from near and far to celebrate with us and I’m so grateful! It was the best night!
Unexpectedly, on a whim, another trip was planned with three of my childhood friends. I keep up with them, mostly on-line or through text, and rarely get to see them in person since we all live in different cities. One of the group lives in Kentucky, so we decided to converge there. Talk about exciting for me…this kind of thing NEVER happens, as I usually have a nursing baby and can’t leave like this. It was a huge treat to get away, reminisce and see the sights together! We stayed in a darling little Air BnB in the quaint little town in Kentucky and had a wonderful time. You can see pictures of that trip below also!
Later, our family decided to take a fun trip to Branson, Missouri in lieu of Christmas presents. We were blessed with snow while we were there, which was great fun for the kids since we rarely get snow where we live! While in Branson, two large families that have been friends of ours for years met us to share the last couple of days of our trip, which made it extra fun.
2020 also allowed us to take some special family portraits (see below) at our friends’ lovely farm, so that was a positive! We decided to dress extra “fancy” for these portraits for something different and it was so much fun! Thank you to my friend Lisa Crow for taking the family portraits for us (I took the individual ones of the kids for their yearly portraits).
Special family portraits we had taken.
Kyle and Caleb’s Graduation Trip to Scotland (Our Ancestors came from Scotland and there is still an active Clan Hay over there as well as the Clan Hay headquarters at a castle they visited)
Caleb’s graduation portraits and pictures from his graduation ceremony with two of his homeschool buddies that we hosted at our home in our back yard.
After losing the two babies in a row to miscarriage, I took a small respite by myself to grieve and heal at a secluded cabin in the woods my aunt and uncle own.
The Lord had other plans for us as not too many months after the two miscarriages the Lord blessed us again with a new baby! I was super nervous during the pregnancy because of the previous losses, but the Lord allowed us to keep this baby and you can find out what we had in my next post about 2021…
A few everyday pictures of the kids having fun, our new kitty, some mischief Raleigh got into and a birthday campout in the back yard with a friend.
Surprise Tea Party that our ten year old daughter prepared for me and her little brothers while I was napping one day! She hand-made chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, cut out tea sandwiches, yogurt and fruit parfaits, fruit and tea complete with our fine china, crystal and silver. She decorated it all by herself and even dressed her little brothers in suits for the occasion! What a surprise to come down and find such a lovely surprise!
Our 20th Anniversary Trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I was newly pregnant on this trip and you can see pictures of my baby bump below.
Before and After pictures of the HUGE renovation project of my childhood home after my mom passed away that we bought then remodeled and sold in 2020.
40th birthday dinner party with friends and family! Sweet friends came from near and far for a fun night of live music, comedy and fellowship on the deck of the newly remodeled childhood home before it sold!
Trip to Kentucky with my childhood friends!
Trip with my oldest daughter to visit family in Ohio.
Christmas Trip to Branson Missouri with Kyle’s mom and two other large families that met us up there at the end of our trip for a couple of days of fun together (we were blessed with snow while we were there)!
In conclusion of our year 2020…
We ended up traveling more in 2020 than I think we have in any other year, which was very unusual for us, but very therapeutic considering the chaos, difficulties and sad losses of the year. I think we can all agree that 2020 was an unusual year all the way around for the whole world in so many ways…Stay tuned for my next blog post on 2021 to find out about our new baby!