Friday, January 15, 2021

Top 15 New Reads of 2020

Hello, lovelies! 

In the midst of reflecting on all that 2020 was and all it wasn't, I decided to delve into the less-serious sides of 2020. Namely, my reading material over the past 12 months. 

I read 81 books in 2020, which sounds good compared to 68 in 2019, but lousy compared to 201 in 2018 or 168 in 2017... Still, it was a nice number, in light of the limited reading time I had for most of the year. 

So yeah, I picked my top five reads in three categories to spotlight! I removed a few books from this list that were Christmas, since I'd already talked about them during 12DoC, or were re-reads to help narrow down the list. Because...I'm terrible at picking favorites. *throws up hands*


A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

/ beautiful eloquent prose / deeply woven mystery / pretty names: Tressa, Trevalyn, Donegan / vineyard setting / one first person POV & one third person POV / oceanside estate / buddy read /

Untitled by Jesseca Wheaton

/ raw, heartfelt prose / WWII - war in the pacific / brotherhood / harsh war fiction / painful / indie fiction / totally broke me / spotlighting the untitled, forgotten ones / 

r e v i e w

Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy

/ single father trope / bookstore vibes / broke my heart and put it back together / stunning cover art / sequel to Live Without You / adored the audiobook /

Tattered Wings by Kassie Angle

/ working dog rep / spunky girl MC / strong brotherhood relations / fragments of a memory / wounded soldiers / tattered wings still fly /

r e v i e w

He Wore Brass Buttons by Willowy Whisper

/ beautiful historical collection / intoxicating writing style / one novelette + three short stories / The Tiny Gift was my fav <3 /

N O N - F I C T I O N 

All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols 

/ thoughts for boundless living / free-style poetry / inspiring artwork / encouragement for every heart / 

He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado

/ lingering at the foot of the cross / soul-stirring thoughts and reflections / well-done audiobook / 

War Letters compiled by Andrew Carroll

/ genuine letters from America's wars / revolutionary war through Iraqi conflict / over 500 pages of history / a total treasure / aside from being abridged, epic audiobook / 

Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris

/ inspiration to use the middle and high school years as something more / teen encouragement / upstart of the Rebelution blog / late to the party on this one / best suited for teens /

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon 

/ "10 things nobody told you about being creative" / insight into the life of an artist / humorous / oddly inspiring / includes original art / 

S H O R T   S T O R I E S

Off Course by Angie Thompson

/ sibling relationships / foster care and juvenile detention rep / cemeteries always get me / might have cried a lot / 

A Touch of Purple Paint by Hailey Rose

/ broke my heart into pieces / childhood cancer rep / amputee rep / grief and loss / cried so dang hard / 

What the Cat Dragged In by Angie Thompson

/ perfect winter story / adorable little kid / foster care rep / reunited / sibling relationship /

Lockdown by Angela R. Watts

/ prequel to the Infidel Books / 2020 vibes / all the feels / "America forgets too much." /

Tin Can Serenade by Amanda Dykes

/ epistolary historical story / adorable story / deeper story than I expected / precious Christmasy tale /

what was your top favs of 2020? 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

2020 || He is Still Good.

Hello, lovelies <3 

I'm here today to talk about 2020. Ya know, that "dumpster fire of a year we're calling 2020." (It's like... a train wreck. Except the train is just rows of dumpsters. And they're all on fire.)  

Slightly kidding... ;P  It was a rough year, but God is good. At many times, it felt like the whole world was shrouded by pain and fear and grief and loss. So much loss. But no matter what, I know He is still good. 

So yeah, I'm gonna talk about a few things from this year and throw out some random highlights from each month and dump some photos on y'all... Here goes. 

Words of the Year. 

My words of the year for 2020 were fearless and faithful. 

By fearless, I meant I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to do things that intimidated me. I wanted to work past the fear of the unknown. 

By faithful, I meant I wanted to be faithful to the people in my life. I wanted to be faithful to following the Father's leading and spending time at His feet. I wanted to be faithful to spending quality times with family and friends. I wanted to be faithful to giving my all, no matter the task ahead of me. 


2020 was not what I expected. 

Fearless came to mean being present in the moment, when it was uncomfortable and difficult and painful. It meant showing up to work, when work was exhausting and wearying. Satisfying my heart with peace from my Creator, mustering a smile, and setting forth into another long day. 

Faithful... ahh, what a special word. Instead of me being faithful to others, time after time I experienced others being faithful to me. Friends who showed up and showed love. People—special, lovely, broken, amazing, beautiful people—who loved me through the hard times this year and let me love them back. Faithful friends are an incredible thing and realizing you have several is even better. <3

(I might talk about faithfulness more sometime... we shall see...) 


• Discovered the early 2000s TV show, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye and my life will never be the same. 

• Ventured off to the Atlanta AmeriMart with work peeps. It was fun, but exhausting. xD

• House-sitting/pet-sitting for a week. 

• Make plans/goals for the year—most of which didn't happen, ahaha. 

explored cemeteries


• Took a trip eastward to spend the weekend with special friends. <3

• Lots of reading and writing. 

• House-sitting/pet-sitting several times. 

• More snow. 


• Discovered Murdoch Mysteries as a result of watching Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye and quickly became hooked. 

Talked about my poor, neglected WIP on here

• Work started back up full-time as we prepped and received inventory for what turned out to be a crazy busy summer/fall season.

• A dear friend, teenage son and brother of a family very close to us, went home to be with Jesus. It was totally unexpected and a very difficult month in many ways

• Lockdowns began. Work wasn't immediately affected, but church and other activities were. 

crazy bro ;P


• Yellow flowers brightened my room, a thoughtful gift from a friend. <3

• Apparently I had iced coffee + shrimp&grits for lunch at work a couple times?? #whattacombo

• Sending lots of snail mail. 

• We started having church services in the parking lot and gathering with other believers was breath of light air in an otherwise heavy time. 

• Work Work Work.

• Wrote a three-part Easter series that meant a lot to me. <3 

{ fridaysaturdaysunday }

My family... xD


• Spent a Sunday afternoon on the lake with dad. 

• Work shenanigans... like microwaving Doritos. Don't ask. 

• Baking every time I got bored. What is it they say about #QuarantineLife? 

Shared my heart. 

• A weekend visit from friends. <3 

• Golf cart races in the dark + getting a plastic cup of Cheerwine thrown in my face during one such race. 

sweet sis <3


• Began the summer semester with a math and English course. 

• Exploring creepy backroads with the fam. 

• Wore overalls and plaid tops to work many days and felt like a total southern country girl. ;)

• More work shenanigans. Like wearing cowboy hats and racing in the rain and who-can-carry-the-most-beer... The store where I work opened a deli on the property, and I got to experience working in food service for the first time. It's a lot more fun than I expected. 

Published Window Fellow on Amazon Kindle. <3


• Spent the Fourth of July weekend pulling long shifts at work. But hey, I decked out in red, white, & blue from head to toe. ;)

• Sunday afternoons on the lake with the fam, spending every extra minute soaking up the sunshine, and long Jeep rides with the tops off. 

• More house-sitting. 

• Cows! Meet the newest additions to the Potts family farmstead... 

Rain. So much rain.


• Finalized enrollment for the fall semester + ordered textbooks and student ID. First day of official, on-campus classes was the 19th. I feel like such an adult, what is this madness?? 

• Went on an adventure! A lovely gang of us girls took off to the beach for a super sweet 4 day weekend (three and a half days? it felt wwayyy too short). We lounged on the beach, explored the island, and visited Fort Sumter and the USS Yorktown. So many memories. <3

my favorite dress ever *heart eyes*


• I took very few pictures this month, compared to others?? Oh, right, because I was SWAMPED in homework. Ahahahaa... But yeah, seriously, college + a 3hr roundtrip commute a couple nights a week kills your free time, but also allows for lots of audiobook/music jam time, soooo... We ain't complainin'.

• House-sitting multiple times. The kind where you're home for like one night, gone somewhere, home again, gone again. Add in work and school, and I basically lived in my car sometimes. xD 

• Hung out with the bro one night and helped him change the wheels and tires on his truck, so I'm basically a certified mechanic now. 

Life update + 9/11 Tribute.


• More school, more work, more long weeks, more COVID, more being tired all the time.... but never running out of grace. <3

• Church cookout on the banks of the river was a special time. <3

• Bought a new ball cap and I LOVE IT. 

• Watched all four seasons of Chesapeake Shores after considering it for awhile. I liked it a lot more than I expected to. ;)

• Dressing up as Toy Story characters with the work squad. I was the little toy soldier/army dude guy. (<< this coming from the girl who hasn't actually SEEN Toy Story). 



• The election...happened. 

• My ASL teacher brought his dog to class and succeeded at distracting everyone from the lecture. 

• Work busyness with holiday crowds + people looking for Christmas tree farms, haha. 

• Enjoyed Thanksgiving with the fam—which consisted of Thanksgiving dinner, and then hauling logs with the bro. xD

0% battery life? #mood


• Christmas decorations + Christmas baking. 

• Final shifts at work. The company I work for closes during the winter, so we worked to shut down + do inventory the week before Christmas. 

• Hosted 12 Days of Christmas again and loved it. 

• Work Christmas party + church Christmas gathering. 

• We woke up to a beautiful snow on Christmas morning and it made me deliciously happy. <3

• New Years Eve visiting + dinner with the cousins. :D

// list of accomplishments 

• grew closer to my Savior than I've ever been before 

• bemoaned everything that got canceled...

• worked 45-50 hours weeks for most of the summer

• started college & am now 24 credits toward my degree 

• house-sitting/pet-sitting sooo many times

• only traveled once *sob*

• read 81 books

• published my short story, Window Fellow

what was your bright spots of 2020?