Thankful Thursday

Usually I like smoke…smoked cheese, smoked pork chops, a hint of smoke in an earthy wine. One place I don’t like smoke is in the air! We have been stuck inside for a week now because the air quality is so bad.

No matter how bad it feels here I know there are those that have it so much worse, and those that have lost their homes due to the fires.

Today I’m thankful that the only thing we are dealing with in regards to the fire situation is smoke. I’m also very thankful that we have a great H-Vac system keeping the air inside our home clean and safe to breath. Most of all I’m thankful that I have two very entertaining people to be stuck inside with and a dog that is, for the most part, ok laying around not going for walks or to the dog park for a week.

Really hoping we get the rain that is in the forecast for the weekend we all need it! How crazy is it that we are begging for rain in the PNW?!

I hope everyone is safe from the fires, and able to stay inside until the smoke passes.

Thankful Thursday

After 5 days of learning from home I am so thankful that we seem to have the kinks worked out.

The first few days it was something every day! From the system crashing, Sky logging into the wrong class at the wrong time, me loosing track of time and Sky being late to class, to the power going out…every single day something has gone wrong.

Yesterday things went smooth though! It helps that I have learned the power of setting daily alarms…three a day to be exact all to keep Sky fed (yes I have to remind myself about lunch) and to get to class on time with all the things she “needs” for class. Important things like the right bracelet, water bottle, the good paper (?!), the sweater/jacket/hat of the day, and styling her hair. Alarms are my friend, 9 year old whims are not.

I’m also thankful that today is the first day of NFL Football! I LOVE football season so much! And, even though I’m a bit conflicted if it’s the best idea to being playing football at all, and fear it will be short lived if players get sick… I am thankful that the season is starting. Doing my happy dance! GO STEELERS!

What are you thankful for today?

First Day of School 20/21

It is the first day of 4th grade for Sky and the first day of me not working this school year.

I did go back to work last Wednesday, for 5 days, and got as much done as I could to help students and families with health needs be ready for the new school situation, and for when we return to in-person learning.

But, I have a 4th grader at home, and while Mark is working from home, he’s doing just that working, and in a lot of meetings. So him managing Sky and remote learning all day every day is not realistic. Currently I’m on leave that protects my job, once that expires I don’t know what will happen, but I do know I’m a mom first no matter how much I love my job and my co-workers.

I keep going back to the years spent waiting for a match in our adoption process. My mantra was “It will be the right birth mother and the right baby at the right time”. That same mantra (adjusted to fit each new situation) got me through being laid off while I was on leave after bringing Sky home, helped me embrace being a stay at home mom, lead me to working for the school district and finding the perfect job for me, in the best school, with the absolute best co-workers. I don’t know if I will be able to preserve my job and be home for Sky for the duration of COVID and remote education. But I do know that whatever happens with all of this it’ll be what needs to happen, at the time it needs to happen, and will lead me to the exact spot I’m meant to be.

So far today the system students log into crashed first thing in the morning, and it was a scramble getting breakfast and all the on-line stuff figured out. Since there was no independent work posted for her (which is what her mornings are supposed to be made up of) Sky and I ended up in one of her alternate classrooms…her tree house…to do some work in one of the many work books I stocked up on over the summer.

This whole experience is a learning curve for everyone, and has created a lot of big life changes for a lot of families. I don’t know what life will look like at the end of all this, but I trust it will look exactly how it’s supposed to for our family.

Sending good vibes to everyone…lets make the best of this school year that we can! And, good luck and much grace to all the teachers out there!

COVID Changed Some Things

Change is one of the few constant things in life. We just never thought change would be because of COVID.

But, with so much time being spent at home it prompted some changes for us for sure, some little, some fun, and some were a lot of work.

-I became a bed maker, or at least a pull up the blankets person. I admit I’ve been a “why bother to make the bed” person for years. However, being home and seeing a messy bed all the time made me feel like the bedroom was a mess, even if everything else was neat and tidy. So, now I spread up the blankets and make it looks nice.

-We completely renovated the master bedroom and walk in closet. The only thing that didn’t change was the carpet and window dressings. Upgrading our bedroom furniture led to the next renovation…

-We renovated Sky’s room twice! Initially she got our old bed, which was a Queen, and ended up being way to big for her room. She needs floor space for toys, and playing in her room and she didn’t have it with such a large bed. So, we sold the Queen size bed and got her a low loft bed, and created a pretty great hang out space under the low loft.

-I stopped making a weekly menu for dinner the first few months at home. Groceries were so hit and miss and we focused on shelf stable foods, so I got creative using what we had in our freezer and combining it with what we were able to find in stores. As a meal planner it was not easy the first few weeks, but then I sort of loved it. I’m back to planning meals now, but feel like I improved my food improve skills.

-We decided to pull up all the grass/moss in the yard and re-seed it. We had to block off the yard for most the summer, which was a little bummer since we have been home so much, but the old dog kennel space became the new pool hang out area.

-Thankfully there is a swing set in a big open field across the driveway for us. We used it on and off before COVID, but since it didn’t feel safe to be in parks/playground, and they were not open for month anyway, an evening visit to the swing after dinner has become a regular things for us. It also gives Ruthie a chance to run around a big field and burn some energy.

-We eat dinner at the coffee table. The dinning room turned into an at home classroom, and it hasn’t really changed back. We have been doing school work all summer long, and it also serves as the craft room. We don’t have an extra room in our house, so for now the dinning room is where all the learning and crafting happens.

-We have not made a trip to E WA to visit family at all this year. Usually by this point in the year we would be on trip 3 or 4 to help in the vineyard or just to hang out and have fun. I really hope we get to visit the Thanksgiving!

-I did not jump on the bread baking train, but I did learn how to tie-dye and I love it! Now I just need more plain white shirts! 🙂

-Family Charades night and movie series marathons are an official thing!

Over all I feel like I am better at appreciating life more, like there was all of a sudden time to just stop and think and be even more thankful. Yes I miss seeing all the people, and doing all the things, but I really enjoy being less busy, having less plans, and making the most of being home with the people I love. Having said that, I can’t wait to be able to plan vacations again, and meet friends at the bar for a drink, have meetings in person (I despise virtual meetings so much, especially without video!), and let Sky play on a playground again and have play dates with school friends!

What has changed for you being home so much?

COVID Summer

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of summer for us…this is my last Monday of no work/Summer Break. It has felt really long, and not long enough all at the same time.

I go back to work in two days (at least I think I do, that’s a whole up in the air situation, but for now I report back to my school on Wednesday) and Sky starts distance learning Sep 2nd. I’m not sure yet what that will look like, but we’ll figure it out when we get there.

This summer goes down as the COVID Summer. We camped a lot, spent a lot of time hanging out by the little pool in the side yard, found our bubble of a few people that we are able to see, took a lot of family walks and bike rides, and visited the dog park a lot. Oh, and we have painted nails a ton and played with make up a lot too. It looks like a circus some days! 🙂

I haven’t posted much because the days kinda all feel the same. And, when we did travel for camping trips I didn’t want to make those that don’t have an escape feel bad. Also, didn’t want to explain that we were extremely safe and had little to no contact with anyone other that those in our safe bubble.

A strange summer to be sure, but I’m glad I get to spend it with my two favorite people and Ruthie too! We have made the best of the situation and will continue to make the best of whatever comes our way!