One Year Later

One year ago today school was cancelled, I was figuring out how/if to keep working with a 3rd grader at home, how to make sure she was still learning, and not disturb Mark who was sent home to work a few days before schools closed. I remember running “normal” errands (like getting my enhanced drivers license) just hoping I could get it done before things started shutting down for who knows how long.

It was the beginning of the crazy. I don’t think the last year would have felt so insane if it was just COVID we were dealing with. But, some pretty horrible things happened socially, racially, politically that just kept adding onto this feeling of What the actual F is going on?!

I remember tuning into every press conference from our Governor because it seemed like every time he spoke there were new orders for staying home, shutting down businesses, mask mandates, parks closing etc. And, as each announcement brought new levels of caution we would adjust our activities, and make sure we had what we needed to be home for an unknown length of time. Grocery shopping was wild for a few months…so many empty shelves, and worrying about running out of TP because there was none to be found. I was not expecting Costco to run out of dog food, but they did…I was worried for a bit what we would feed Ruthie, but thankfully we managed.

Family walks at the park, and a ton of solo walks, for me time, have been life savers and get us out of the house.

It is a lot to take in when you look back and remember everything that went down the last year from COVID, to protests, to innocent people murdered by police, to an attempted insurrection in the capital, and a zillion other things that happened but I’ve forgotten or blocked. It’s like stuff you see in movies, only now it’s real life.

COVID aside there is the fall-out from seeing what some friends and family really think about racial injustice, social issues, political issues etc. As hard as getting back to normal after COVID is going to be, it’s going to be even harder to come to terms with what those realizations mean to relationships that feel different now, or broken.

Some days are PJ days no matter what we are doing. 🙂

The good news is we are closer to the end of this than we were a year ago. Vaccines are rolling out and things are slowly opening back up. I wish it was easy to just return to “normal” life, but I think there are some strange times ahead navigating when it’s safe to visit friends and family, will it required masks still to be around loved ones, what do we do about being around those that will not get vaccinated, what will school look like in the Fall, when will we feel safe traveling/join sports/eat at a restaurant indoors/going to a concert/have a BBQ with all our friends…I don’t know. A new normal will emerge, some things will return to how they used to be, and others will forever be different.

What I do know is we will continue to make decisions that feel safe. Decisions not made out of fear, but love. Love for Sky and keeping her healthy, keeping at risk friends and family healthy, keeping ourselves healthy, and doing what we can to keep our community at large healthy.

It’s important to be thankful we are here a year later because there are over 500,000 of us who are not. Stay safe, stay healthy, and here’s to settling into a new sort of normal.

Overnight Escape

For the most part Team Yeatman enjoys being home and being safe together. But, all 3 of us hit a wall a few weeks ago and decided we had to get away. Sky had a long weekend from school, so Mark took an day off from work and we made a quick, overnight trip to Leavenworth to play in the snow. The best part was the Bavarian Ritz Hotel (https://www.hotelleavenworth.com/) allows dogs, so we were able to take Ruthie with us! We don’t get to hotel travel with her very often, so it was extra fun, and a nice change for all 4 of us!

I can’t tell you how much we needed this little trip, and how good it felt to do “normal” things. like eat at a restaurant, they have only ever done outdoor dinning so they had a great system in place and we felt safe, wander through shops, and we even found a winery to do a tasting at. It helps that we were there Sunday afternoon-Monday, so there were way less people which was helpful. While we were eating lunch I realized that’s the first dinning out experience we have had in over a year. Yes, we have done takeout, but this time we actually sat and ate at an outdoor restaurant and it felt so good! Everyone has to make their own choice about what they feel is safe, and I can’t say we will dine out again any time soon, but we sure did enjoy it!

We also found a great hill just outside of town for some sledding, snowball fighting, and snowman toppling as Sky and Ruthie proved to be better at knocking them down than building them. The highlight of the trip was walking through town after sunset….all the Christmas lights were still up and it was so beautiful! We had never made the trip to Leavenworth during the Holidays so it was an unexpected bonus to see the town dressed up for Christmas still.

Now we are just hanging on until camping season! Camping season brings with it a lot more opportunities to get out of the house and have a change of scenery and pace, and we all need that right about now!

P.S. We picked Leavenworth because we wanted to play in the snow and it wasn’t looking like we would get any at home any time soon…little did we know we’d have over a foot of snow at home just a few weekends later!

Food coloring and sprinkles make for a festive snowman!

Thankful Thursday

I’m not going to say I’m thankful that this is the last day of 2020. I know a lot of people are “Peace Out” to 2020. But, here’s the thing. 2021 is not some magical fix. We are not going to wake up tomorrow morning with a whole new world and everything that went wrong is fixed. Life tomorrow is not going to be different just because it’s a new year.

What I am thankful for is that my friends and family are healthy….That Team Yeatman has not been sick this year with COVID, or anything else really. I’m beyond thankful that I get to live life with with my two loves. I am very thankful that we have a comfortable home to spend so much time in, and that we have been able to roll with the changes this year has brought to my job, remote learning, and Mark working from home full-time.

Has it been easy and stress-free…nope. But, by and large we are good, and we will continue to be good no matter what comes our way. For that I am very thankful!

I don’t have any resolutions for the new year (I don’t believe in them in general) but, I do plan on rolling with whatever life brings our way in 2021. For better or worse we have each other, and we will make the very best of life that we can.

I wish everyone nothing but the best for all in 2021, or at least the ability to adapt and adjust! 🙂

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for Fall! It is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love the changing leaves and cooler, crisp weather. And, I really love Football, and am extra thankful Football happened at all this year….it has been a really nice distraction even with all the COVID related issues that have popped up with different teams. It’s a little bit of “normal” in a not normal year.

We have been lucky with a pretty nice PNW Fall this year which means we get to go for walks a lot. If it’s not raining, then I’m out walking and try to find spots of time during the day to get out for a solo walk just to clear my head. I love being home with my two favorite people, but for someone who craves alone time, there hasn’t been much alone time this year with all three of us working and/or schooling at home. So, walks have been a lifesaver for me, and I get to catch up on podcasts that way too!

Lastly I’m thankful that tomorrow is the last day of school before winter break! We are so lucky that Sky likes remote learning and it’s working for our family. However, even though we don’t really have any complaints we are ready for Winter Break! We have important things to do like sleep in, cuddly up and watch Hallmark Christmas Movies all day long (Sky and I anyway), winter puzzles, build a gingerbread house, and just have a break.

What are you Thankful For today?

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful to finally have a choice made and feel settled into how life will be the rest of this school year. I never thought I would be taking an unpaid leave of absence (LOA) for the remainder of the school year, but I had little choice but to do to what I could to be home with Sky, and try to preserve my job at the same time. I have no way of knowing if/when school will resume full time, and until that happens Sky’s home and needs support managing remote learning.

I love my job, so was thankful there was an option to take a LOA, so I can return to it once Sky’s back in school. It is really fascinating and fulfilling being home and supporting Sky through the school day. I get to overhear some of her class participation and it’s kind of cool getting a glimpse of her being her in a space that is hers to own. She is doing great with remote learning (not that she doesn’t have her “moments” because she for sure does!) but for the most part she likes schooling from home.

There was a lot of uncertainty leading up to the LOA, as parents it was really hard knowing what was best for Sky, our family, and me as an individual. And, none of us know how COVID will play out, when/if things will open back up and be “normal” again. There are so many questions and really no right or wrong answer no matter what answer we land on. I was changing my mind in regards to our options almost daily. Needless to say I was feeling a fair amount of stress over the whole situation.

So thankful to have a path, follow it, and know what the rest of the school year looks like for me, and somewhat for Sky. The whole going back, not going back situation is no big deal. I figure she’s home and that’s how it is until it’s not, and I get to be home with her.

The best part of the situation is being able to walk out the door as soon as the school day is over and enjoy PNW Sunny Fall days! I feel like I’m getting so much extra “bonus” time with Sky this year and it’s pretty great!