It’s Wednesday morning here, staring ahead at the 12th day of quarantine since all of this went bananas a couple weeks ago.
On Friday, March 12th, when it was announced that schools were closing and going into quarantine was strongly suggested, we charged ahead with our women’s night at church and then (unknowingly) said goodbye to each other for what will likely be a good little chunk of time. I love this group of women, and being at church that night was just what many of our concerned hearts needed.
And since then, we’ve been home. I can count all of the places I’ve gone since March 12th: the grocery store twice, the vet once, a nearby greenway trail once, a local restaurant to grab carry-out once, and my parent’s house once. Otherwise we’ve kept it parked at home. (Plus side: We’re saving money on gas?)
My heart has ached for our local businesses who are struggling, but I’ve heard that our community has really rallied around them and has been taking advantage of curbside options a good bitl. I hope every single one of these businesses come back bigger and better and thrives when all of this is over. I’ll tell ya that I didn’t mind taking advantage of Goodland Pourhouse’s “to go” options one bit. 😉 Their pizza is DIVINE.
I know our elderly community is feeling all of this in big ways too. I know some are making light of it and really aren’t too concerned or affected, while others may understand more fully the gravity of this and have some anxiousness. We’ve been trying to FaceTime with my grandmother, color pictures for my great aunt Ronnie, and do whole-family Zoom calls with Jamie’s Mamaw.
I’ve been using Zoom for about three years as a way to touch base with my two “blog besties” Kait and Chelsea, but it seems now that Zoom has become the big thing to do! And for good reason: it’s easy, has zero-cost options, and can include a ton of people and devices. Like anything, there is a small learning curve to get it up and going, but it really is very simple and fun. I highly encourage it as a way to keep up with your loved ones!
We’ve had a small home gym for five or six years, but it wasn’t until this past weekend that I ever intentionally did a workout with Jamie. I’ve used some of our gym equipment before, but I wouldn’t say that we’ve ever worked out together at home with our equipment.
We worked out together both early Saturday and Sunday mornings before the girls got up, and it was such a good start to the day. I slept in on Monday and he said he missed his workout buddy. LOL. We just invested in a Concept2 rower which Jamie has drooled over and wanted for a couple of years now. We went ahead and bit the bullet on that one since we’ll both be working out at home for the foreseeable future.
I’ll have to take some pictures and show you more of our home gym at some point. We have some plans to spruce up our garage space a bit this spring, so maybe I’ll wait until after all of that is done.
My sister and her kiddos are here! Illinois is in nearly complete shutdown, it’s still really cold there, they have some work that’s about to start on their home, and my brother-in-law is working from home (with his two young kids at his feet)… so she said they were getting out of there and heading south. We were so excited! It’s roughly a nine hour drive, so she brought the potty chair from home for the kids, packed food, and brought gloves to pump gas once. I was impressed with her prep and planning! It’s been nice to spend time with them.
Our “quarantine crew” has been limited to our parents, obviously my sister and her kids, and a couple of neighbor families (except we are sticking to only hanging with neighbors outside). Receiving some help from the grandparents with the big girls has been welcomed and more than appreciated. Last week my mother-in-law brought the girls birdhouses to paint while I snuck back to our bedroom to do some work in peace. The girls absolutely loved it.
I was in my happy place Sunday morning. After getting in a good workout, we were ready to hang with our girls. I made a big breakfast for five, enjoyed it around the table all together without feeling rushed, and then sent the girls off to the playroom so that we could clean up and watch our church’s online live stream.
Our church is having a live online service this evening called Unite that I totally recommend you tune into. Head to BuildingChurch.tv or watch it on their Facebook page. It’ll start at 6:30 p.m. CST. Consider flipping it on while your kids are in the bath or watching it while letting them play a little longer. Services like this always center, encourage, and teach me, which are all things I need during this confusing season.
Fresh air has made every single day better! I have a few “cures” for the blues when I feel them start creeping in, and getting outside and enjoying some fresh air is definitely close to the top.
Hadley lost her third tooth last week, and seeing her precious smile with that big, gaping hole makes us so happy.
Having a couple of good neighbor friends to quarantine with has truly made the world of difference for our family. They’re all quarantined at home too, so we feel somewhat safe with each other. I also love that Alyssa got all decked out for St. Patty’s Day, even though we were all confined to the neighborhood. She is a priceless friend.
This street. Up and down and around on bikes and scooters, with strollers and wine and smiles and hands ready to wave at everybody who is also outside too. I’ve really enjoyed how our little neighborhood community has come alive even moreso.
I’m not sure I’ve spray painted anything in two years, but these little urns got a super spontaneous little touch-up over the weekend with spare paint I found tucked away. So ready to do some potting!
Our sweet neighbor Paula purchased a ton of cookie decorating kits and gave them to some neighborhood kiddos. We were one of the happy recipients and loved the kits! They included royal icing, which was so fun!! I totally see what the hype is. I’m not very artistic, but now that I know somewhat how to use it, I want to get more cookies and try a little harder. 😉 My mom stopped by as we were about to decorate, so she got to play too. 🙂
One good thing about quarantine is that I have said “yes” to random requests from the kids more often. We have nowhere to be and no one to see, so anything pretty much goes! You want to go play in the rain and get disgusting? Go have a ball! This has resulted in some happy kids who are still just so sweetly oblivious to the fact that we really haven’t gone anywhere in a while. 😉
Jamie has still been going to work every day, but when he’s been home, we’ve tackled some deep cleaning around the home and some organizing projects.
At the top of my list: our dreaded playroom. I ordered two of these cubed organizers, six of these inserts, two packs of these bin labels, and then went bananas with my mother-in-law getting it all in ship-shape condition. I’ll do a post about it soon, in case you’re looking for some ideas. I am so thrilled with how much better this room functions (our kids are too!)
Cosmic Kids Yoga and Go Noodles dances have been a hit with Hadley and Sadie! Sadie especially LOVES YOGA! It’s the funniest thing how into it she gets (she’s actually pretty good at it too!) Hadley prefers Go Noodle. This has been a good way for them to get exercise, especially on days when it’s raining and we can’t go on a morning walk.
House projects have been happening outdoors too. I pressure-washed our back patio and furniture, and Jamie spontaneously bought 20 bags of mulch to lay in our front beds. We love this pressure washer (not available on Amazon).
Trampoline, popsicles, some swing time… some of the ways we pass the time.
Home Chef has been a LIFE SAVER in the kitchen! Finding good meat and produce has been challenging during my grocery trips, so receiving dinner at our doorstop has been a sigh of relief. The meals have all been tasty and extremely easy. The less I can run to the grocery store and break quarantine, the better. I also am just plain grateful to not have to think about what to make for dinner each night. One less mental load off my plate after a day full with all of the kids at home. Here’s $35 off your first box.
PS: We get about four meals per week. I’ve been ordering some meals with four portions and other meals with just two portions. On the nights that we eat a Home Chef meal and the kids don’t, we just throw frozen food in the air fryer for them or make them a sandwich, cereal, whatever they want! It’s a win/win for everybody.
The Marco Polo app is still coming in strong as my absolute favorite app, hands down. I now have four group chats going, and “seeing” my girlfriends and catching up on life has been a wonderful thing. If you are one of my besties and still don’t have this app, DO IIIIITTTT. I wanna talk to you!
Our neighbors are launching a new church soon, and they have been loving on our community like crazy during this time. A few days ago they purchases a zillion Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits for our neighborhood and enlisted their kids to help deliver.
My friend Brian (the pastor) snapped this as I opened the door. It was pouring down rain, I was feeding Jillian a bottle, and all of a sudden I had breakfast in my hand. Thank you, Bradfords and Rocket City Church!
Teddy Teddy Teddy. Seeing him age is hard. He’s my shadow and constant companion. I kid you not, he follows me around all day every day. He had back pain flare up last week, which I think we managed pretty well with some meds. Just one more thing to add to the tension of quarantine. 😉
Man, I feel for parents with older kids who are having to really buckle down and do school work. Woof. If that’s you, how are you guys doing? Has it been difficult? Surprisingly enjoyable? Throwing in the towel all together? I’d love to hear.
Hadley is in kindergarten, so I do feel responsible for keeping her caught up with everything she would have been doing at school. None of us know how to navigate this and weren’t given much time to research, gather materials, etc., but we are all doing our best. GO PARENTS! We work through a packet from her teacher every day, do lots of sight word repetition, read books, and color/create. Otherwise, she just plays. And I’m hoping that’s enough. ALSO, THAT SMILE!!!! Ugh, I can’t. So precious.
Yay for homemade pizza-making with cousins! 🙂 If you’re building a kitchen, I highly recommend an island like this. We love gathering around it and cooking together. It also helps with a great flow in the kitchen.
More play time with neighbors. What will these kids do when all of the homes are built and they don’t have rock/dirt piles to play in anymore?!
And finally, let’s just add a legit tornado warning to the mix to make things even more exciting. 🙂 I knew when my MOPS mentor in Kansas was texting me making sure we were taking shelter (meaning they were showing my area on national news) that things could be bad.
Last night we had some concerning circulation headed right for our neighborhood. I have always lived in tornado-prone states (except for six months in Arizona), so I’m no stranger to tornado warnings. I know the odds of them hitting me are slim, even during warnings, so I never freak. But last night’s warning was the first time that I thought “Well crap, this actually might hit.” The girls were in our safe place with socks, shoes, a coat, and a helmet (and the iPad to keep them distracted), I had on my rings, a jacket, and shoes, and Jamie did the same. I also had Jillian strapped to my chest in a carrier. It was serious!
It ended up changing direction and ultimately dying off about eight minutes before it hit our area. YEESH. It had my heart a-pounding! But all was fine, thank you God.
Dozens of pictures and 2,370 words later… that’s our first 11ish days of quarantine.
Most days are great, fueled by working out, prayer and worship music, Marco Polo with friends, fresh air, and intentionality. Other days are hard, ravaged by sour moods, exhaustion, and the weight of the reality of this. Overall, we DeSpains are good.
And if you know my heart, you know that I really hope you are well too. I know this is uniquely difficult for everyone. None of our challenges with this are the same, so I challenge you to give grace to others who may be handling this differently than you are. None of us know how to navigate this (how unifying!), and all of our lives have been altered in different ways. Love your neighbor, help or bless others when you have the opportunity or you feel led, and love the heck out of your family. They are the “end all be all”.
What are your tips for “getting your mind right” and having a better attitude as you navigate these changes to daily life?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo