20 in 2020

One of my goals for this year is to nurture my relationship with Nick and our sons. It's a pretty broad goal that won't end when 2020 does, but it's something that I wanted to specifically focus on this year as our family grows. I've seen firsthand the benefits of being intentional with my time, especially when it comes to family adventures and traditions. So, I've been asking myself, "What action steps can I take to give my best to my boys? How can I love them well?" I've come up with a variety of things so far, and it ranges from date nights to limiting time on my phone. But one of my favorite ideas was to create our family's "20 in 20" – a list of 20 things to do together in 2020. 

My firstborn will turn four soon, and kindergarten doesn't feel so far away anymore. I want to make this time at home with him truly count! When he was born, I wrote about the things I learned that year – which included the fact that a baby changes everything. With our second baby soon to make his arrival, I know that this baby, too, will change everything. Time both stands still and passes in a blur with a newborn. There's a reason people say, "The days are long, but the years are short." There will be many ordinary days this year – full of chores, not enough sleep, and too much screen time. But I want to make things special, too. That's where this list comes in!

Rather than hope we'll fill our days with fun, I want to plan for it. Instead of continuing to scroll Pinterest for things to do as a family, I've been trying to pay attention to the things our family talks about wanting to do. I've seen how my husband and firstborn value quality time, so I know that this list absolutely aligns with my desire to nurture those relationships. I'm obsessed with Em for Marvelous' The Years of Making Magic project and am creating a similar long-term list for our family. But I don't wait to wait to get started, and this list feels like the perfect way to get the ball rolling. So, here are 20 things our family plans to do in 2020:

1. GO: strawberry or apple picking.
2. TRY: bowling.
3. READ: this Bible and this book about prayer.

4. PLAY: board games once a month.
5. EAT: a picnic in our backyard.
6. EXPLORE: the hiking trails near our house.
7. MAKE: a bird house.

8. RIDE: on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
9. SEND: mail to our three great-grandmothers.
10. COOK: for someone else.
11. SEE: marine life at the Georgia Aquarium.
12. CREATE: a new family tradition.

13. DO: a nature scavenger hunt.
14. GIVE BACK: by volunteering at our church's community celebration.
15. GROW: our family savings by 20%.
16. TRAVEL: somewhere we've never been.
17. ENJOY: camping in the backyard.
18. VISIT: Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary.
19. WATCH: a movie at the drive-in theater.
20. BE: thankful. Start a family gratitude jar.

Thanks to Childhood 101 for the format inspiration!

My criteria when making the list: 1) mostly free things with a few expenses that I know will be worth it, 2) that can be completed relatively easily with a newborn in tow, and 3) were specific but still gave us room to be flexible. For example, "Cook for someone else" could mean having extended family members over for dinner or making something for a sick neighbor. I'd love to go on a summer vacation, but this might be a "day trip closer to home" kind of year. I didn't want the list to feel like a burden or become too hard to fulfill. Y'all, I'm so excited about what Nick and I landed on! I'm already thinking about how fun it will be to write My Year In: Adventures {2020}.

Do you have a list of things you'd like to do this year?


  1. This is so great! I especially love the goals of cooking more, vising the aquarium and animal sanctuaries, and trying out bowling. Best of luck in your year of creating new memories with your loved ones!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm excited to do some new things together this year, and I'll have to write a recap post at the end of the year to share what we did and how it all went. I'm really looking forward to some of the exact same things you mentioned!

  2. This is such a lovely idea! I hope you were able to do a lot of them even though I'm sure that real life events (including the pandemic) definitely shook things up.


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