Monthly Life Update, January 2024

The latest update on my life and behind-the-scenes
Monthly Life Update, January 2024: A quick life update about my health, our cabin, our pets, my business, and more. snowy winter scene in the north cascades, cabin life inspiration

Why did January feel like both the longest and shortest month ever? This year, I intentionally ignored as much ‘new year, new me’ stuff as possible. Instead I chose to focus on staying cozy and resting. After all, spring is around the corner and that’s when I basically become a full-time outdoor cat in the garden! I hope you’ve had a good month and were also able to ease into the new year.

Monthly Life Update: January 2024

My Health

I feel like the most exciting thing has happened for my health: Sean’s new job offers really great healthcare which means that I’m not longer paying for a super-expensive plan just for myself! As a small business owner, this means so much to me. Now I have dental and vision insurance for the first time in years! I’ve chosen this year as THE year I’m going to focus on my health and get everything back on track and in order. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars a month for the insurance and not being able to afford care, I can actually do what I need to do! Stoked!

The Tiny Zoo

The geese are approaching mating season and this is the first year we have ladies for the ganders. I’m already super-excited to get my first goose eggs! Not as excited for the ganders to get territorial as they protect their ladies, but that’s just part of the adventure.

The dogs are doing well and enjoyed a few snow days which is always so cute. Diamond especially loves a snowy romp.

At the end of last month, my 16 year old cat Georgette passed away. She all but disappeared over the holidays into a quiet corner of our cabin, so we knew something wasn’t right. When we brought her to the vet, we discovered she was approaching kidney failure and we made the decision that she shouldn’t suffer anymore. It’s been so quiet without her and sometimes I swear I still hear her on the stairs when they creak. She was my companion for nearly 2 decades. There for me any time I was sick or upset. And while she was challenging at times, I still really loved her and miss her.

The Cabin

I know I shared my intention of actually finishing projects this year, but I haven’t gotten started yet. Mostly, January has been spent putting stuff back after putting away the holiday decor: taking the plants out of their winter homes, deep cleaning areas Georgette might have gotten sick in, and experimenting with new furniture configurations in the living room.

It’s really weird how much our house has changed now that Georgette is no longer here. The house smelled of cats long before we moved in, but now it’s so apparent how much fresher our home smells. I feel so guilty saying that, but it’s a huge thing I’ve become aware of lately. Her last few weeks were really hard on our home, specifically our rugs. Some of them are completely ruined despite my best efforts, which is why I mentioned there will be some updates to our living room at some point. These feelings are so complex.

Business + My Blog

This was actually one of the busiest Januarys I’ve had in a while! I’m so fulfilled with the freelancing working I’m doing and enjoying flexing a different creative muscle.


I am STILL not over how amazing it is to have Sean here full-time. It’s like I’m rediscovering our marriage and our relationship and all the ways that we work so well together… and I LOVE IT. The future looks so much brighter and it feels like we’re building again instead of maintaining.

So that’s a snapshot of what life’s been like for us for the past month. 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!

Photography & styling by Jojotastic.

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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  1. 2.9.24

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s tough losing a pet. I had four cats over the last few decades. They were an important part of our lives.