Leah and Joe: Home DIY Projects & Crafts

leahandjoe.com · Jan 2, 2020

Happy New Decade: 2020


Word for the Year and Reading List

2019 Recap

Whew, 2019 you were a big one. I’ve unfortunately had to let the blog updates fizzle out, but for anyone curious, we are cozy in our new bedroom as of a couple nights ago. We have a long way to go, but have made a LOT of progress on the house addition. I’d love to share all the juicy updates, but it simply can’t be a priority with my current schedule. I’m just popping in for a quick annual reflection post.

Last year, my word was “equipped”. I had no idea how much I would need that one! I was thrust into many situations in my new job and life that I was ill-prepared for, but trusted in myself and God to bring me through day after day. I remember at times thinking if I could just make it through until Christmas I’d be ok, on sure footing. Here I am! Feeling like life is still keeping me on my toes, but more resilient and handling stress really well, if I do say so. Pressing into challenges rather than away from them.

Wabi – Sabi

My guiding word for 2020 is Wabi-Sabi. This is a design term I learned this year that means embracing imperfection. So fitting for a house that’s perpetually under construction… But taking a broader interpretation, it’s an approach to living. Trying to enjoy each moment for what it is. I really believe letting go of expectations is key to happiness. The word “forbearance” has also been creeping into my mind. So I guess I need to be patient this year and accept things as they are. Sounds about right. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯

Year in Review

2019 was the year we finished our siding (Joe and Bart working all through January). We got plumbing, electrical and insulation done prior. We spent the rest of the winter months hanging drywall, mudding and taping. UGH. Still some spots to finish. From here on out its, priming, painting, flooring and finishes. We took the summer months off to work on the yard, and enjoy a few days off for weddings (8 of them this year!) We have sacrificed a lot of free time that would have been spent with friends and family to work on the house this year. We’ve been MIA and we’re sorry. We fully knew this would require sacrifice, and we have to carry on until it’s done as to not live in a construction zone for all of eternity. Our plan is to be free of projects this summer to enjoy life to the fullest!

I can’t complain about all the blessings this year has brought. We got engaged in June on my birthday. We’re getting married in May 2020 in the backyard! There’s so much to do in 4 months and the wedding seems like the simplest part. A girl’s gotta make money and finish this house up. Stressful, but I have to keep a good mindset — I’m able to have a home to work on, job to pay for it and an amazing partner in life to experience it alongside. It feels like having 3 full time jobs right now. Joe has more side jobs than ever and is on a leadership path at work. The right people always seem to show up at the right time to help. We’ve pretty much cut out any “extra” activites, but I still do book club and church group. If I have to skip one, I skip one. I’m sure life gets only busier. But these are good problems to have. It’s been an extremely difficult year for a few close people in our life: cancer, surgery, grief, and diagnoses. These are not my stories to share. But it leaves me feeling like I have no right to dwell on a single negative, but to cherish each day. It also leaves me feeling like I’m not doing enough, not helping these loved ones as much as I need to. In 2020 I’m praying for renewed stamina to do all I need to do and create more margin in my life for people.

Bucket List Review

  • Take some pottery throwing classes. Still on my list for 2018 2019 2020
  • Travel more. Always on my list. We had a trip to Denver in August. I went to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day and Joe went on a 2-week road trip across the country in an RV with friends. Bachelor/bachelorette parties.
  • Grow vegetables. It was not the year of the garden. It was not even the year of eating vegetables 🙁
  • Supplement my income in multiple ways, diversify with investments etc. Basically worked my 9-5 this year again. My job has been fairly demanding, but rewarding. I’ve learned a lot about the housing/construction industry and have been able to achieve some financial goals because of it.
  • Pay off one student loan and make one additional house payment. At this time last year I had $2,000 left in loans. I have officially paid them ALL off! See ya later student loans. It was a big goal for me to pay off these on my own. I will make an extra house payment in May for our house-versary. Now I need to save for a new car.
  • Redesign Blog — I uploaded a new theme a few days ago! Still some tweaking to do, but Wabi-Sabi, right?
  • Appraiser’s License — I’d love to get my appraiser’s license to become more knowledgeable about the real estate market and property values. Put it out into the universe, and things start happening. Stay tuned.
  • Journaling — I have a few different apps, devotionals and journals I use each morning. I completed a PDF book called 100 Steps Closer that helped with journal prompts. This year, I’m excited to use the 5-minute journal and see how that goes!
  • Have more fun — Just gotta push on until summer!

2020 Bucket List

  • Have a stress-free wedding!
  • Make more space for my relationships
  • Use our gym memberships
  • New (new to me) car!

2019 Reading List

Here are the books I read last year. Below is a five second review of each.

Dream yoga : illuminating your life through lucid dreaming and the Tibetan yogas of sleepHolecek, Andrew, 1955-
Fierce faith : a woman’s guide to fighting fear, wrestling worry, and overcoming anxietyWorthington, Alli, author
Nothing to prove : why we can stop trying so hardAllen, Jennie, author.
What is the Bible? : how an ancient library of poems, letters, and stories can transform the way you think and feel about everything

Wolfpack : how to come together, unleash our power, and change the gameWambach, Abby
The alter ego effect : the power of secret identities to transform your lifeHerman, Todd (Leadership coach),
The surrender experiment : my journey into life’s perfectionSinger, Michael A., author.
Creative calling : establish a daily practice, infuse your world with meaning, and succeed in work lifeJarvis, Chase, author.
Educated : a memoirby Westover, Tara
Girl, wash your face : stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be
Real life dinnersby Hollis, Rachel (Event planner),
Truly madly guiltyby Moriarty, Liane, author





Leah on the offbeatby Albertalli, Becky author
Joyful : the surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happinessby Lee, Ingrid Fetell,
Reading people : how seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everythingby Bogel, Anne
Now, discover your strengthsby Buckingham, Marcus.
Calm the f*ck down : how to control what you can and accept what you can’t so you can stop freaking out and get on with your lifeby Knight, Sarah (Freelance editor)
Then she was gone : a novelby Jewell, Lisa author.
Where the crawdads sing : a novelby Owens, Delia, author.
One day in December : a novelby Silver, Josie, author.
Educated : a memoirby Westover, Tara,
The murders of Molly Southbourneby Thompson, Tade author.Ca
Little womenby Alcott, Louisa May,
No happy endings : a memoirby McInerny, Nora author.
Imagine it forward : courage, creativity, and the power of changeby Comstock, Beth, author.
The snow childby Ivey, Eowyn, author.

Books Listed (with commentary)

Here’s hoping 2020 brings you more ups than down, smiles than frowns and good friends and family through it all.

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