In the midst of a slow (long?) and distant year, life has continued to move and progress. I’m not sure if it’s even appropriate to call this a life update because where did we even leave off? Should I just completely reintroduce myself? Honestly, that feels outrageous because if you’re reading this you surely at least know who I am.
As depressing as this may sound, and I truly don’t want to be a downer, the only word I can come up with to fully and accurately describe 2020 has been grief. The year has been heavy and hard and ultimately heartbreaking in so many ways. Grief isn’t necessarily negative, but there is a weight to it – to love something, really anything, is to grieve for it.
When I look back on 2020, I imagine an old-timey newspaper salesman (paperboy?) on the street yelling “Extra! Extra! There is immeasurable joy! There is immeasurable grief!” When I find myself in seasons of sorrow, I can more clearly see the true joy of my life- the things that really matter. The valley is the place of vision.
This week Ray and I watched a Dolly Parton documentary on Netflix and it talked about how many of her early songs were incredibly dark. Mountain music is dark. It talks of struggle, poverty, heartbreak, and death. In the future when people look back on 2020 I’m sure there will be songs written of sorrow and death… but maybe there will also be songs of vision, creativity, justice, and how we moved forward.
I don’t have anything really profound to say about 2021, but we’ll have a new baby a few weeks in, which inevitably will start a new season in our lives. I’m going into 2021 hopeful and my prayer is that you are too.
Gardening during a pandemic
2020 has been… stressful, to say the least. One of the things that kept our spirits up over the duration of the spring and summer was tending our garden. We’ve gardened in years past, but this year we went about it with more intention. Not to mention, with quarantining, we had much more time!
In the midst of this pandemic, I’ve noticed a lot of people baking banana bread – some for the first time! Banana bread is so comforting, and honestly, that’s what we need during these unpredictable times. I’ve made countless loaves of banana bread and tried tons of different recipes. A few years ago, I figured out my perfect recipe and today I’m sharing it with you. I hope you try it out and enjoy!
- 1/2 Cup Room Temp Salted Butter
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Very Ripe Bananas
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Cinnamon to Taste
- Heat oven to 350 and prep a loaf pan by spraying cooking spray on the inside.
- Cream room temperature butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs to butter and sugar mixture. Mix until eggs are completely combined and mixture is smooth.
- Add milk and vanilla to mixture.
- Add bananas. I use a stand mixer, so I just throw the bananas in. If you're hand mixing, I suggest mashing them before adding to the mixture. Mix until smooth.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to mixture.
- Add cinnamon to taste. I love lots and lots of cinnamon.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes. Bake until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Remove loaf from pan and allow to cool. Enjoy!
Updated… I guess
What is there to say when you’ve neglected your blog for 2 years? Should I start with life updates? Should I explain myself? Give excuses? Does anyone even care? These are just a few questions I’ve been bouncing around for the better part of the last year.
My life is very different than when I originally created this blog, but also kind of the same. My husband and I still live in North Florida in a 125 year old home. In May we had a baby and we’re 100% obsessed with him. We have different days jobs and different side projects. We still love to binge on Netflix. I still paint my nails and Ray still owns a lot of weird shit.
So, that’s the current goings on in the Hancock family. More to come. 🙂