Monthly Life Update, January 2023

The latest update on my life and behind-the-scenes
A quick life update about my health, our cabin, our pets, my business, and more. Green bedroom with batten and board, vintage quilt and mushroom lamp

Ummm hi! I know it’s been precisely 3 months since I last shared my monthly life update and that’s because, well… life got really crappy. Sometimes it’s really hard to show up on the internet when you’re having a really hard time showing up for yourself. But it’s time. So without further ado, here’s a really long post about all the stuff that’s been going on in my life!

Monthly Life Update: January 2023

My Health

The biggest reason why I didn’t write ANY blog posts and barely posted to social media for the past month or so is because I spent the entire month of December incredibly ill. It wasn’t covid, RSV, any varietal of the flu, strep or anything really identifiable… but I literally puked for two and a half weeks straight. I could not eat at all during that time. I barely was able to stay hydrated. Also, I slept for about 20 hours a day and when I wasn’t sleeping, I had body-shaking chills that I felt deep in my bones. I was having literal fever dreams, too. It was horrible.

I still don’t have answers as to what it was. And I am still regaining my strength and energy… which is why I’ve given myself so much time off. It was honestly such a scary experience and has once again driven home the point that I need to focus on my health as my #1 priority, always.

The Tiny Zoo

The last time I shared a monthly life update, I shared the news about Noodle’s unexpected passing. In hindsight, I was most definitely in the denial stage of grief because WOW it is hitting me like a ton of bricks this month. There are days where I don’t even feel like I can function fully because the ache is so intense. Even right this minute as I type this, there’s a giant swelling in my throat and I know I’m about to cry any second. I miss my dude so freaking much.

And, because I am crazy, we adopted a bonded pair of 4 year old dachshunds in December. The house was so quiet, my life felt so empty, and honestly… it felt like we really just needed to give another dog or dogs a good home. There are so many animals out there who need a home! So we have welcomed Adeline (black and tan) and Milo (dappled red) into our family. It’s been a wild ride getting them acclimated, but they are so sweet.

Here’s a cute little Tiktok I made introducing them:


♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I still very much have days where I look at them and they feel like strangers who are just living here when all I want is my Noodle. But I know in my heart of hearts that we chose right and that they will mesh into our family more and more each week and month that goes by. Both Diamond and Georgette are handling the new family members like pros, btw.

A quick life update about my health, our cabin, our pets, my business, and more.

The Cabin

Pretty much every project that was in progress in our home was immediately put on hold while I was sick, for obvious reasons. The only project we were able to complete was moving our laundry appliances into the guest bathroom. Sometimes it’s ok to pause on projects! That’s a hard sentiment for me to take to heart given that it’s my bread and butter as far as my career goes… but I was so sick that there was nothing else I could do.

Business + My Blog

Getting very, very sick when you’re self-employed is truly one of the hardest things ever… especially when it happens during the busy season. Most of you may not know this, but I generally make 1/2 or more of my annual income during Q4. But not this time. I literally took the entire month of December off. That means missed opportunities and a massive dip in my analytics, which then impacts my ability to get future work.

The first two weeks of this year have been spent with me doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to right-side my business and my analytics. Part of that is facing some hard truths about where I should be spending my time and energy… and things I can let go. Which is why, I am yet again scaling back with new content here on the blog. I used to post 5-7 times a week! But now, I will be posting 2 blog posts a week.

Instead of pushing newness all the time, I will also be updating old blog posts so that they can continue to be a great resource for you. That means updating links if a product has sold out, adding new information, or simply updating the photography.

As always, I appreciate your support SO much!

A quick life update about my health, our cabin, our pets, my business, and more. Snowy pacific northwest cabin


I think the best part about being sick was the extra time Sean spent at home. Is that weird to say? Also, he was home more with time off for the holidays and to get the new dogs settled.

So that’s a snapshot of what life’s been like for us for the past couple of months. As always, thank you so much for following along on our journey and being so wonderfully supportive of everything I share here and on social media.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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