By day #4 of quarantine (that was already two weeks ago – wow!), I had a zillion thoughts swirling through my head about how these events already had many thick silver linings.
Usually when I have deep thoughts like this, my fingers ache to type them out and share. I held back though because I knew whatever I wrote I’d want to share, but I thought “too soon”.
While many of us may be experiencing obvious bright sides to the shake-up our globe is experiencing right now, I wanted to remain extremely sensitive to those who rightfully so are struggling to figure out how to make this all work: healthcare professionals, those who are financially affected, those with kiddos at home who are also expected to focus and work at home, those who cannot be with their loved ones in the hospital, graduations and weddings, and ugh – doesn’t it just hurt your heart to think about? This is all just very inconvenient at minimum if not flat-out devastating for many.
So, I’ve still never shared those “bright side” thoughts fully, but I think they can be summed up in my deep gratitude for the forced slow down and the irreplaceable time we are having as a family (all very personal bright sides of course). My negative emotions have been set off sporadically by all of this like anyone else’s (i.e. having to cancel the birthday party Sadie has been anticipating for seven months, waking up yesterday to see that all of April will be spent distancing, hearing about my friend’s mother-in-law who is alone in the hospital after a cancer-removal surgery, or getting the text that a close family member is furloughed), but finding the bright sides of this situation hasn’t been that difficult to do.
I am loving the laid-back, non-structured time with my family so much. And while I have found myself lately much more tired at the end of the day than normal, it’s a different kind of tired (purely physical, not mental). It’s the kind of tired where I took 13k steps but didn’t even work out that day. 😉 It’s the days that I tend to the (very different) needs and wants of my three babies from sun up to sun down and collapse on the couch at 7 p.m. But this stuff fills me up. I love being their mom.
Our days have been more fun and laid-back than they have been in a long time; the type of “fun” and “laid back” that we can usually only find when we escape on a vacation. I actually told Jamie that I feel like we are having a vacation of sorts at home (he didn’t really agree because he’s still been having to report to work each day). More games, more playtime, less demands, more time together without other obligations or things we “could” be doing.
Just doing our part by staying the heck home. 🙂
My girls have never played outside more. We have met dozens of new neighbors who have escaped outside to their yards like we have (keeping our distance of course). We have never logged so many miles walked as a family (and we’ve always been pretty good at walking together). My kids have gotten to watch Mommy work out and cheer for me while doing driveway chalk. I’m getting to teach them (and not just school-related things), read to them, play games with them, see what they can do.
So yes, ask those closest to me and they will tell you that of course I’ve had moments of feeling weary about all of this, but for the most part, I am very grateful. I know all of this will end (one day… when???) and that it will feel good to get back to normal. But for now I can see how the Lord is using this situation in my life: to shake up the routines that were exhausting me, to slow me down, to wipe my calendar, to gift me focused time with my kids and spouse, and to shift gears a little bit moving forward when all of this is over.
Okay, enough with my deep thinking. 😉 Here’s a quick glance at our Friday – Monday. 🙂
Last Friday morning, I decided to make a spontaneous big grocery trip and asked my mom if she could watch the kids. I brought them to her bright and early and they had fun playing with my parents and my sister (my dad had his normal “every other Friday” off, my mom is a medical transcriptionist and is off work indefinitely right now, and my sister was in town for one more day.)
My sister made it her little project to work with Jillian on crawling all week, and by Friday morning she’d nailed it! I got in my car after leaving the grocery store to see several snaps from my sister and dad of Jillian crawling to them! So cute.
We reached record highs on Friday, which meant it was the perfect afternoon to treat the kids to the water slide! We got this for Sadie last year for her birthday (we had no clue what else the kid needed, so let’s just get a waterslide! LOL) and we’ve gotten so much use out of it. A couple neighbor families joined (the ones we’ve been quarantined with the whole time), and we had a good time.
THIS IS SO SADIE, and if you know her, you know this is true. Sadie’s brain equates our waterslide with her need to wear her goggles. And did she go down one time? Nope, because “the water was in her eyes”… even though she was wearing her goggles. This child. I love her so much.
On Saturday morning, Jamie made pancakes with the kids while I slept in a bit (until 7… whaaattt!) After breakfast, we loaded up and headed a few miles away to our favorite greenway. The kids knocked out some bike riding/flower picking, Jillian took her morning nap sacked out in the Bob stroller, and Jamie and I enjoyed our “talk time” together mostly uninterrupted.
Once we got home and ate lunch, the girls settled in for a movie while Jamie and I started prepping things to receive my in-laws. We were excited to celebrate my beautiful mother-in-law’s birthday! Jamie grilled his classic fajitas, we hung out in the backyard, and then we ended the night playing one “quick” round of UNO (just the adults LOL) that turned into a 40 minute game. It was the UNO game that would never end, but it was super fun! Great day.
On Sunday, we started the day with some bacon, eggs, fruit, and Jesus! We watched our church’s live stream online, let the kids watch their kids’ service as well, and then dove into some house projects. Jamie worked outside mowing, organizing, and working on a new “busy board” for Jillian while the two big kids hung in the driveway with him.
I worked mostly inside while Jillian took a long morning nap. I did things like sort and put away some of the kids’ schoolwork (here is what we do with our kids’ schoolwork), clean out and organize under our kitchen sink, go through some baby items, etc.
Around noon, the kids came in hungry for lunch, requesting homemade mac and cheese. I made them this copycat Panera recipe, which is always a hit with them and Jamie. It’s sooooo good homemade (the most creamy!!) but not necessarily as good re-heated the next day, so watch how big of a batch you make!
While everyone else ate lunch (I had already scarfed down a salad about an hour prior), I decided to sneak away for a little while and knock out a five-mile run. It was a gorgeous day (sunny and 71), so I figured the conditions were perfect to put on a podcast and log some miles. Oy… it was too hot. The run felt okay but I immediately felt like absolute garbage afterwards.
I got home to a group text from a friend encouraging all of us to steal some time for “self care”, and I sent back this picture and joked that I took self-care too far by punishing myself with a harder run than I should have. LOL. This bath felt good, but the rest of the day was pretty shot. Jamie was sweet and encouraged me just to kick my feet up and chill the rest of the afternoon, so I did. I binge-watched Self-Made on Netflix (highly recommend!), he made us a Home Chef meal for dinner, and then kids were all three knocked out by 7:30.
I hope this post has found you well, friends. I’ve been thinking of you all so often and wondering about the many ways this situation has impacted you. My analytics tell me that you come here from all over the world. I’d love to hear how you’re doing, and maybe what is getting you down AND/OR what is helping you stay upbeat. Let me know. xoxo
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