Monthly Life Update, December 2023

The latest update on my life and behind-the-scenes
Monthly Life Update, December 2023: A quick life update about my health, our cabin, our pets, my business, and more. Christmas tree forest in my dining room.

Last blog post of 2023! Not gonna lie, it feels a bit like I’m limping across the finish line and into the new year. Yet again I spent December sick with a cold and felt behind all month long. And now we’re just a few days out from Christmas and I don’t know where the time went! Anywho, here’s my last Monthly Life Update for 2023 — I’m excited to see what next year has in store for you, me, and this blog.

Monthly Life Update: December 2023

My Health

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been sick this week and last week. Such is life when you live in a remote cabin and don’t get out very often! It seems like my immune system doesn’t appreciate large events anymore. But other than this cold, my health has been great. I’ve had yet another year of positive reports from my pulmonologist and, really, that’s the best thing I can ask for!

The Tiny Zoo

Everyone is doing great! We recently celebrated the one year anniversary of adopting Adeline and Milo, the bonded pair of long hair dachshunds. I honestly can’t even believe it’s been a year. Sometimes it feels like they’ve been with us forever and sometimes it feels like they’ve just arrived.

But in looking back, it’s amazing how far they’ve come. When they first got here, they were terrible. Not potty trained, super reactive, and all around neurotic little dogs. But now they are really getting the hang of being part of our household! Milo still has some marking issues, but they have really become good dogs. I’m especially bonded with Adeline, who I sometimes call Chunk. She’s lost so much weight and it’s been amazing watching her realize all the fun she can have now that she can actually move better.

The Cabin

I’ve been settling more and more into our home, making it feel fully us and like it’s our space. Just like when I repainted the bathroom not too long ago, I’ve also repainted our bedroom. I’m sharing more about that project in 2024, but you can see it on Instagram.

We haven’t had much of a winter yet, it’s been pretty mild actually. I’m missing the snow! This is our first year in a couple where we won’t have a white Christmas. Let it snow let it snow let it snow.

Business + My Blog

2023 has quite honestly been a wild year when it comes to my work. I’ve shifted gears in a major way, from focusing primarily on working with brand partners on my own platforms to offering consulting and freelance services. I’ve found so much joy in working for other businesses and staying behind the scenes. I like to joke that I’m a content gremlin in the forest. After over 10 years of putting my life online, it feels good to take a breather and see what else is out there. I’m not sure what 2024 will bring my way, but I have some ideas of where I want to go.


The biggest news is that Sean finally lives full-time in the cabin! He started a new job last month and it has totally changed our lives for the better. He’s so much more fulfilled and it’s amazing to have dinner together every night. Even just watching garbage on the couch together is so much more fun. Everything is so much more fun.

So that’s a snapshot of what life’s been like for us for the past few weeks. 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. I hope you have an amazing holiday and a very happy new year! I will see you next year.

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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