Life Update | What a Year 2020 Has Been

Life Update | What a Year 2020 Has Been- Monique McHugh Blog

Where to even start? Gosh, this post feels extremely overdue and there are so many things that have been going on behind the scenes that I want to update you guys on. From Tim’s job search to looking for a home, and the ups and downs of life during a pandemic. Here is a little life update for you guys. To say the least, 2020 has been a rollercoaster. 

Tim’s Job Search:

First, let’s talk about Tim’s job search. I shared on Instagram back in March that Tim had been looking for a new job. In December, he left his salaried position with benefits in search of a more fulfilling role. At the time, his company asked him to stay on as a contractor until they filled the position. 

Little did any of us know that three months later a global pandemic would happen. Most companies announced hiring freezes and the entire landscape of the job market changed. Thankfully, Tim continued to have contractor hours and still does to this day. But it has been such an uphill climb the last few months. He has had many interviews and companies that posted job positions but have forgotten about them because of the virus. And the timeline to hear back from companies has been extremely long which makes it hard not to get defeated. Most of this year has been a big unknown for us. We haven’t been able to plan or look forward because we are focused on the day-to-day.

After 8 months of searching, interviewing, and hearing nothing Tim had two very strong potential jobs. In one day, they both offered him positions and we were so excited. Talk about an answer to prayer! One was a university job with great benefits and a good culture. The other was a smaller company based in Pensacola that builds software for churches. They offered the ability to work from home and seemed to have a great culture, but the position had no benefits.

We really feel like the last 8 months prepared us mentally for this exact decision. By Tim becoming a contractor, we were forced to find new healthcare and pay for it out of pocket. We learned how to cover all of the standard benefits included in a job on our own because we didn’t have that luxury anymore. It is so clear looking back how that mentally prepared us to take the leap so Tim could pursue the job he was most excited about.

He started about 3 weeks ago and we just got back from our first monthly trip to Pensacola! It was a celebration of a very long season and we are both so excited for the new things to come. I already notice fresh energy in Tim 🙂

Our House Hunt:

In the midst of Tim’s job search, we’ve also been looking at houses. We reached our down payment savings goal a few months into 2020 and had started looking to get an idea of what was within our budget. Back in February, we found a house that we really loved. It was built in the 70’s, with great bones, and crossed off all of my boxes. I have been dreaming of a fixer-upper to make our own. A space that I can pour my Interior Design passion and degree into. It would be so fun to share all of the DIY projects along the way with you guys! I didn’t realize how excited I was for a new chapter and being creative in that way again. 

This house was a strange situation. The family was dealing with the passing of their parents and the home was going through probate. The day we saw it was their estate sale so it was several months before they put it on the market. I prayed and prayed for that house every single day.

We trusted our realtor and put in an offer that in hindsight was far too low. But he told us it was comparable to other homes in the area. I never quite felt settled with the offer, especially after the sellers didn’t even counter. About a month later, the house was put on the market for almost $100k higher than our realtor told us to offer and they had a buyer within 3 days. At that point, we put in a backup offer at full price (which was still within our budget) because we realized our realtor had been wrong.

To give you an idea of how excited I was about this house, here are some photoshop plans. I rebuilt the floorplans from memory the day after I saw the house. Ove the next few months, I started adding in future renovations including a garage conversion and addition, pool house, and landscaping. Photoshopping the floorplans before they put the home on the market is what made me realize I loved it. It’s been so hard to decide between buying an older home or building. This helped me approximate renovation costs and plan out what I would want to do. This way we knew if the house and renovations would fit our overall budget and be a good financial decision in the end.

Life Update | What a Year 2020 Has Been- Monique McHugh Blog

In the end, we didn’t get the house. The buyers closed after 3 delays and somehow in that time frame, the Lord really settled my heart that He would take care of us and bring us the right house. It is easy to point fingers and be upset. I could easily blame our realtor for costing us that house. And trust me, I’ve gone through some of those thoughts and have had to pray through them.

At the end of the day, it is what it is. The other buyers closed on the house in June and our backup offer never saw the light of day even though we could have easily had that house before it went on the market. For a while, I thought about all of the what-ifs. What if our first offer had been better advised and the sellers had accepted it? And what if we had chosen a better realtor to work with? What if Tim and I had been on the same page from the start?

I’ve worked through all of those questions at this point, and I’ve realized the positives of our experience. We are more clear than ever on what we want in our future home. We are more aligned on what things are deal-breakers and what we are flexible on. And going forward in our home search with our new realtor, we don’t feel any pressure to move quickly. It’s taken us years to save up so we can purchase a home, and I don’t want to compromise on a house I don’t fully love because I think its the best we can get. Now that we have seen a home with everything we want, we are happy to wait until something similar comes around. Even if that wait is years from now!

So the house hunt is slow and somewhat on pause. I look at the new listings that come on the market and so far nothing sparks my interest. We are praying about the idea of building as well, but honestly, I don’t know if anything will happen for another year.

This Season:

When the Lord spoke to me a few months ago that this season would be one of waiting, I didn’t fully grasp what that meant. Now I do! 

We have been in this season for more than half of 2020 and for the longest time we were ready for it to be over. Ready for a new chapter with Tim’s new job and the excitement of a new home that we could start renovating and making our own. We were looking forward to new things and though there is nothing wrong with that, we have come to appreciate the present. The slowness. And our little apartment that we don’t have to upkeep or renovate.

I’m not sure when this season of waiting will come to a close, but we are committed to being content through it and finding small things to be thankful for every day. I trust that when the timing is right we will find a home that we love, but until then . . . we’ll just keep waiting 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

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  1. Kim McHugh
    September 8, 2020 / 6:56 PM

    Great post! Good to hear more about what all has been on your minds. Great attitude about being in the present. It isn’t easy, but it is good to set your mind and heart to that. Also love your photos and the house plan.

  2. Amber
    April 3, 2021 / 2:29 AM

    Love this post! My heart hurt for you going through that. I’m excited to see what God has planned for you both in the future. Love you guys!

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