Wednesday, April 29, 2020

My Quiet Time Space + How I Do Quiet Time

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Last year, I decided to make daily quiet time one of my top priorities after finding it to be more beneficial for my mental health than anything else.  Prior to last year, I did quiet time sporadically, but I never had a dedicated space to keep all of my supplies, so I failed again and again at doing it with any consistency.

Wish List

Last year, I spent the better part of the year refreshing my home office, and at the top of the list for my office was a dedicated space to do my quiet time each day.  I wanted it to be beautiful, but comfortable, and I wanted it to have all of the things that I needed to make my quiet time successful each day.  The requirements for the space were as follows:

Small chair that is both beautiful and comfortable
Pillow for chair to add comfort and coziness
Small table with a shelf and a drawer for storage to hold:
-       All of my devotionals/self-improvement books
-       List of daily affirmations
-       My prayer list
-       Pen for taking notes
-       Highlighter for highlighting important passages
Basket to hold a cozy throw
Cozy throw
Small lamp for extra lighting
Live plant
Picture of my family

My office is small, which means that my quiet time space is even smaller, so it took a while to hunt down the perfect items that met all of my requirements, but over the course of several months, I was successful!  This space is every bit as functional, cozy, and beautiful as I had imagined it would be and it’s now one of my favorite spots in the whole house.  I use it every single day for my quiet time and having this dedicated space has really encouraged me to be consistent with it… I haven’t missed a single day in months!

Ready to take a peek?  Come on in!

The Tour

The chair is comfy, but not too comfy.  I didn’t really want something to curl up in because I was worried about falling asleep during my meditation.  Meditation requires you to sit up straight and lengthen your spine, so something with a straight back was just what I needed.

I already had the pillow on hand… it was originally purchased for the chair in Olivia’s baby nursery, and since we made over her bedroom last year, this pillow has been sitting in my box of unused décor, just waiting to be displayed again.

The table I found is absolute perfection because it has a little drawer to store my list of affirmations, my prayer list, and a pen and highlighter.  I keep a running prayer list for everyone/everything I’m praying for, and I cross off/add new ones as prayers are answered or new prayers need to be added.  I also like to highlight things that are particularly inspiring and things that speak to me the most, so it’s important for me to keep a pen and highlighter handy.  The table I ended up getting is also perfect because it has a shelf to store all of my devotionals and self-improvement books.  I read from several of the books most days, so I like to keep them all together in one spot where I can see everything that I have.  

The table top is the perfect size for a lamp (already had that on hand!), a plant (which is growing at a rapid pace these days!), and a tiny picture of our family at our favorite place in the world… the beach in 30A!

Finally, I keep a basket on the other side of the table, and it holds a cozy throw as well as a cozy pullover because I’m pretty much always cold, and I always love to snuggle up. 

How I Do Quiet Time

My quiet time consists of four parts – meditation, time spent reading my devotionals and other self-improvement books, time spent in prayer with God, and time spent saying my daily affirmations. 

With regard to meditation, I downloaded the Calm app last fall and I haven’t looked back.  I love it.  There are guided meditations for all sorts of things – anxiety, depression, sleep, stress, etc.  I always do one of the guided meditations, mostly the ones for anxiety, and they typically last about 10 minutes (sometimes a little longer).  One day I hope to do an in-depth post about meditation and count all of the reasons why I adore it, but I’ll save that for its own post.

After I meditate, I usually feel nice and calm, and I use the next couple of minutes to read from my daily devotionals.  Jesus Calling and Jesus Always are the two I read every single day without fail.  I cannot rave about them enough.  There’s one page per day for every single day of the year, and each one only takes a minute or two to read.  I feel like both of those speak directly to me almost daily, and I never tire of reading them over and over.  So many wonderful nuggets to be found in both of them.

Some days when I have a little bit of extra time, I also read from one of my other self-improvement/inspirational books.  When Less Becomes More is another book that spoke directly to me, and I read the entire thing in just a few days.  I couldn’t put it down.  If life feels too busy or overwhelming for you, give this a read.  It’s fantastic.  There are several other books in the stack that I haven’t yet started or completed, but I’m really looking forward to doing so since all of them are highly rated. 

Once I’m done reading my devotionals, I spent a few minutes in prayer with God… just chatting with Him, thanking Him, and praying for specific intentions (the ones on my prayer list). 

Finally, I spend a minute or two going over my daily affirmations.  Daily affirmations are just positive statements that you say to yourself each day to strengthen your outlook on life and other things.  It’s basically like strength training for your brain to help it think good, healthy thoughts.  I only recently started doing this, so the jury’s still out, but I’ll try to remember to report back once I’ve been doing them longer.

My whole quiet time routine only takes about 15-20 minutes each day depending on how long my meditation lasts, and I’ve found that it has helped with my anxiety tremendously these last six months.  Some days I do more and some days I do less, but I do meditate and read my devotionals every single day without fail.

And that’s my special space and how I use it, y’all!  Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I’ll list the sources for as many items as I can below.  Most of them can’t be purchased online, unfortunately, but here they are nevertheless.  Also, if you're interested in seeing my whole office, I'm finally putting together the post and will have it up in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!


Chair (TJ Maxx, similar here)
Throw pillow (old from TJ Maxx)
Table (At Home Store, similar here)
Lamp (old from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, similar here)
Gold picture frame (TJ Maxx, similar here)
Basket (Target, similar here)

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Quarantine Confessions {4.27.2020}

The last round of confessions I did was last August, and we were all blissfully unaware of what was to come in just a few short months.  Today I’m sharing a new round of confessions since it’s been so long, and these are all from the quarantine era…

I confess…

… that out of the 45-ish days we’ve been quarantining, I probably didn’t brush Olivia’s hair about 20 of those days.  We finally have a routine, and I’m now brushing it almost every day.

… that during the first week of quarantine, I ate an entire box of Thin Mints all by myself.  Self-control went out the window during quarantine, apparently.

… that my roots are officially 2-3 inches long in some spots.  You know how I know?  I actually measured just for the sake of this post.  By the time we come out of quarantine, I’ll officially be a brunette again.

… that I’m SO SICK of cooking!

… that I have to do clothing checks before all Zoom meetings because our kids mostly just run around in underwear now.  I do make them both get dressed every morning for school, but once their Zoom meetings are over all bets are off.

… that for the first couple of weeks of quarantine, I’m pretty sure our kids didn’t brush their teeth in the morning.  We were all struggling (and failing) to find a routine and everything was just crazy.  I’m happy to say that they’re back on track with it now.  Most mornings.  I think.

… that I’m definitely reaching for the wine bottle more on weeknights than I used to.  We typically save the drinking for Friday – Sunday evenings, but we have definitely been popping the tops on random weeknights during quarantine.  I mean, why not?  It’s not like we have anywhere to drive.


… that until about two weeks ago I didn’t even have the urge to organize.  Or work on projects.  Or get stuff done.  I was pretty much just living day-to-day for the first few weeks and not working on any projects or stuff that usually makes me happy.  I think my project mojo is back now, though (much to B’s dismay), so never fear.  I pressure-washed our driveway a couple of weeks ago and I just started revamping our laundry room and now I want to DO ALL THE THINGS!

… that I’ve been eating way more junk for lunch than I used to.  During “normal times” I typically eat very healthy lunches every day – avocado toast, salads, green smoothies, Greek yogurt with fruit, lean proteins and vegetables – but now that everyone’s home?  Grilled cheese sandwiches?  Yes please!  Mini pizzas?  Don’t mind if I do!  Chick-Fil-A?  You don’t have to twist my arm! 

… that I’ve made breakfast for dinner more times than I can count.  #NoShame

… that I’m SO SICK OF COOKING!!!!

… that my creativity for the blog has been sapped ever since we started quarantining.  The only creativity I have been able to muster these last six weeks is for my essential oils Instagram account.  Styling pretty pictures is the only thing I really feel like doing (and have time for) creatively right now.

… that I had a totally different post planned for tomorrow, but it was going to take too much time that I now don’t have (because – homeschool) so I scrapped it and here we are with this one.

… that I really miss going places, but I’m also worried that once we are finally allowed to go places again, that I might not want to because I’ll be conditioned to stay at home.  We’re all going to be shell-shocked when we finally get back to reality!

… have I mentioned that I’m so sick of cooking?!

Happy Monday, y’all!    

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Five on Friday - Laundry Room Organization, Plant Update, and IG Wins

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Last week I didn’t have a chance to do a Five on Friday post and I truly missed it.  I’m happy to be back today even though I had to slap this post together at the last minute yesterday… please forgive me for any typos you’ve seen lately.  I barely have time to write these days, let alone edit.  Haha.  Let’s get to some of my favorites from the week, shall we?

O N E – Let’s Stay In

I bought this adorable sign from Target several months ago, and it’s taken on a whole new meaning these last few weeks.  While we’re sad we won’t be able to flip it to the “Let’s Go Out” side any time soon, we are finding ways to have fun while we’re staying in.  :o)  That sign is now sold out, but Target does have another cute one that says “Hello There” and “Miss You Already.”  Another appropriate sentiment for the times.  I miss everyone so much!!

T W O – Laundry Room Cleanout and Organization

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I spent a lot of the day on Sunday cleaning out our laundry room for the first time ever.  We’ve lived in our house for ten years and I have literally never once taken the time to organize or decorate or clean out the laundry room.  It’s been on my list of things to do for years, obviously, so it feels incredible to have gotten it started!

The before picture below was exactly how it looked when I walked in there to organize it.  The cabinets were a hot mess, and yes, all of that crap has been sitting on top of the washer and dryer just like that for years.  My friend, Katie, moved away overseas almost a year-and-a-half ago, and she dropped off all of their old laundry detergents and cleaning supplies at our house since they couldn’t take them with them.  They have all been sitting on top of our washer and dryer ever since because I never took the time to do something with them.  Face palm.  That is just so embarrassing.

This past Sunday, I cleaned out both sets of cabinets, got rid of a ton of old crap, and I organized everything in the cabinets, including the old stuff from Katie.  The right set of cabinets ended up being practically empty, so I was able to get all of our paint cans out of our downstairs utility closet and bring them upstairs to the laundry room to get them out of the way.  There’s now a ton more space in the downstairs utility closet, which is nice, considering we use it more than the laundry room.  And now that all of our paints are organized in the laundry room cabinet, I can see all of my spray paint colors without having to dig through all of them to find the one that I want!  Yessss.

There are still many things left to do in there but I’m so glad that I finally took the first step.  Here’s what we have left to do in there:

  1. Paint walls
  2. Paint cabinets
  3. Install white subway tile
  4. Install shelf over washer and dryer
  5. Hang iron organizer
  6. Purchase organizers for the countertop
  7. Decorate
And now for the befores and afters…



AFTER (left set of cabinets)
AFTER (right set of cabinets)

The lighting is awful because it's a tiny room in the center of our house away from all windows and it was also rainy that day, but if you could see it in person you'd appreciate it much more!  Makes my heart sing!  I may just work in there a little more this weekend, so be sure to tune in to my Instagram stories just in case…

T H R E E – Mama Cass Plant Update

I’ve talked about my grandmother’s plant on here several times, but for those of you who are new around here, a little refresher.  My Mama Cass (my grandmother) has had a plant in her living room since the 1960’s.  It was a gift for my great-grandmother during a hospital stay, and my Mama Cass inherited it when she passed away in the 1980’s.  The plant grew and grew and it’s now gigantic, so she is always giving away clippings from it. 

She gave me my first clipping from the plant about 4-5 years ago (I can’t remember exactly) and I ended up killing it because back then I was a self-proclaimed black thumb.  Well, I’ve slowly been working to earn my green thumb these last few years, and my Mama Cass brought another clipping to me about six months ago.  It was small, only a few inches high in the pot when she gave it to me, and look at it today!  These past couple of months it has just exploded and it’s growing by inches every single week!  Look at it cascading down the table!!  :o)  I’m just so thrilled to finally have it growing, and I think it’s just so cool that it’s been in our family for almost 60 years!!  Also, don't judge... clearly I need to dust.  Haha.

F O U R – Creative Outlet

I’ve finally had a little bit of time this past week to start using my essential oils Instagram account again, and it has been such a blessing to have some time to be creative again.  I feel like I’ve been on autopilot for the blog for the sake of getting the posts up, and I feel like I haven’t really taken as much time to do the creative side of blogging that I love so much, like styling things for photo shoots and brainstorming new ideas. 

One of my favorite things to do ever is to create pretty vignettes and flatlays and photograph them, and I have gotten immense pleasure this past week from styling some new things for my oils account.  I just love playing with the different fabrics and textures and colors and creating pretty things!  Oh, I love it!

As most of you know, I also love my oils, so it feels easy, too.  If you don’t already follow along and you want to, you can find me here @lindsayssweetessentials.  There won’t be any pressure to purchase oils or anything like that, so even if you don’t intend to purchase, you can still follow along to see how I use my oils or just to see all of the pretty pictures!  Haha.

F I V E – Hooray for 10K!

And speaking of Instagram… I finally hit 10K followers this week!  Like many other bloggers, I focused a lot on growing my Instagram following in 2017, but once Instagram changed some things in mid-2017, it became impossible to grow organically.  A lot of bloggers and influencers started using tactics that I didn’t really agree with (buying fake followers, following and unfollowing people), and their followings were surpassing mine by leaps and bounds, so I ended up jumping off of the IG train to focus more on monetizing my blog.  It’s just smarter anyway, since nobody owns their content on Instagram and Instagram could shut down/change/etc. in the blink of an eye. 

I’ve ended up having huge success with ad revenue and affiliate linking here on the blog, so it was definitely the right decision to stop trying to monetize IG, but I’ve still kept it as a goal of mine to make it to 10K so I can have the swipe-up feature for convenience.  Every now and then I’ll join a giveaway as long as it’s with a trustworthy partner and it’s fitting for my brand, and this past week, I had my most successful giveaway ever… it catapulted me right over that magic 10K mark!! 

However, there is always a drop-off after a giveaway ends, so I’ll likely dip back under 10K soon, but at least I’m close to being over it permanently.  I could do another giveaway soon to ensure I stay above that magic number, but I’ll probably just wait and see what happens.  As I said before, I try really hard to keep my IG a genuine space, so I’m not pushing the followers things too hard anymore.

Friday Funnies

Why is this so true for every single item?  Hahahaha.

On the Blog This Week

We have some positively perfect weather on deck this weekend, so we’re looking forward to lots of time outside!  Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favoriteand Della Devoted for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 5 (Sidewalk Chalk at Church and Laundry Room Clean-out)

Week five of quarantine is in the books and it was a pretty good one.  It’s hard to believe it’s only been five weeks… it honestly feels like months since I picked the kids up from school on that crazy Friday the 13th when everything shut down…

Monday, April 13 (Day 31 of Quarantine)

When we left off last Sunday, we’d had a rough night of bad weather.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any tornadoes in our area, but we did have to spend some time in the closet, and I was up for most of the night because I was anxious.  Thankfully, the kids were out of school Monday for Easter, so we were all able to sleep in… well, everyone except for B who still had to work from home. 

I rolled out of the bed at 8:45, and after breakfast I spent the rest of the morning putting our storm shelter AKA the closet under our stairs, back together.  We use it for a utility closet, so we have to move everything out every time we have bad weather to make room for ourselves and all of our important stuff (hard drives, laptops, life binder, etc.). 

Once that was done, I sat down with my planner to map out the week ahead.  While I was doing that, we got word that one of the bridges on our walking trail in our neighborhood had been hit by a tree, and that part of the trail is closed until further notice.  Bummer, since we just started using the trail! 

We had a light lunch and then we all headed straight outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather.  It was absolute perfection again and it was hard to believe we’d had such scary weather blow through just hours prior to that. 

Later that afternoon, I finally sat down and made a weekly checklist for the kids’ schoolwork.  Both of their teachers have given us the roadmap for what to expect these last few weeks of school, so I felt I had all of the info needed to make a good schedule.  And since both of our kids are now having live lessons via Zoom every single day (some of which overlap), plus specials work due every week (Spanish, Art, Drama, Music, PE, Library) I thought it’d be in our best interest to make a weekly checklist for each of them so we don’t drop the ball on something.  I printed the schedule, along with a daily checklist for life things, and they are both tucked in plastic sheet protectors so I can cross things off in wet erase marker as we go, and then erase and start all over again the next day/week.  I’ve been using them for nearly a week now and they have been a Godsend!

Monday evening, we had leftovers from Easter for dinner, and then the kids and I hung our rainbows in the front windows that we’d colored the Friday before.  When we went outside to look at the rainbows, we found a package laying on the doorstep from Jacob’s teacher.  She had made a little keepsake packet of a sample of his work from the school year that we hadn’t yet seen, complete with a sweet letter from her, and his third quarter awards… he was so excited to see he’d made Top 5 for AR in his class!  I teared up as we looked through it because it’s still just killing me that the kids are having to end the school year this way.  They didn’t even get to say goodbye. 

Monday evening the kids and I did a Jillian Michaels workout on YouTube… they are completely obsessed with her workout videos!  Haha.  I hadn’t yet closed my rings on my Apple Watch for the day, so I jumped on the stair stepper after the kids went to bed.  I’m so obsessed with closing those rings that I’ve been working out and moving around so much more since I got this thing!

Tuesday, April 14 (Day 32 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, the kids requested cinnamon toast, so breakfast time took a little longer.  It was worth it for that cinnamon toasty goodness, though!

The kids had been having live lessons via Zoom sporadically up until that point, but Tuesday was the day that they started having them every single day, and on a set schedule.  Jacob has language arts on Mondays and Wednesdays, math on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a question and answer session + something fun (scavenger hunt, show and tell, etc.) with each teacher on Friday.  Olivia has language on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Reading Groups and Math on Wednesdays, and a spelling test + play date on Fridays.  Whew.  That is a lot to keep up with.  It’s like having two tiny little coworkers to manage.  Haha.  And since we have live lessons every single day, that also means we have to make sure everyone is always wearing pants.  And shirts.  And that we brush our hair.  Hahahaha.

Because both of the kids are now using computers most of the day, we ordered a new Chromebook.  Prior to this, Jacob was using Brian’s laptop and Olivia was using my iPad, but the iPad just wasn’t reliable for Zooming.  My laptop has been a hunk of junk for a long time and it’s consistently unreliable, so we haven’t even bothered to use that for anything.  I don’t want to risk it freezing up during a live lesson.  The Chromebook arrived Tuesday morning, just in time for the kids’ first day of daily live lessons, and everything went off without a hitch!  Woo hoo!

We had leftover ham from Easter and made it into sandwiches for lunch and it was just so good.  Does anyone else love Honey Baked Ham as much as I do?!  I mean, I just eat it straight out of the refrigerator, plain and cold, because it’s so dang good.  I think it was one of my favorite things from this past week!  Such a treat!

Both kids worked on their art assignments for the week on Tuesday afternoon once all of their regular lessons were completed.  Jacob had to make a color wheel of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors made from objects he found around the house, and Olivia had to make one of the primary and secondary colors.  I think they both did a great job!

The rest of the afternoon was our typical movie time and work, and then around 5 I went downstairs to make dinner.  Just as I was getting it started, I saw B walking fast outside, chasing something through the yard.  I’m sure at this point you can probably already guess what it was… yep, another snake.  Waaaahhhh!  This one was different than the one last week… it was about 3-4 feet long and it was solid black with no patterns.  B texted my brother and he said it looks like another harmless snake.  But STILL.  Please, stay out of my yard. 

After dinner, we all went for another walk around the neighborhood taking care to stay far away from all of our neighbors who were out walking, and then after the kids went to bed, B and I watched another episode of The Office.  We’re now on episode 4 or 5, and I still don’t love it.  I’m going to keep trying, though!

Wednesday, April 15 (Day 33 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning, I woke up super early so I could get to the allergist right when they opened at 7:30 AM.  I still have to get my allergy shots, so I’ve been careful to choose times when I think they’ll be the least busy.  The last time I was there, nothing was really different, but this time, it had all changed.  There was a nurse at the door taking temperatures before they would even allow you in the building, and then once you were approved, you could go to the shot room.  The shot room, which is normally chock full of chairs (and people), only had a few single chairs staggered and spread out around the room, all at least six feet apart.

Fortunately, there were only two people in there other than me, a dad and his son, and it stayed that way the entire 30 minutes I was there.  I wore my mask (my first time wearing it out in public), and I was in and out quickly.  I was also informed while I was in there that I only have to come one more time and then I’m done for GOOD!!!!  (Assuming my allergies don’t start raging again when I stop them.)

That was my first time driving in over a month… the last time I had driven was when I went to the allergist for my allergy shot in March.  It was weird being on the road, behind the wheel, and part of me is wondering if I’ll forget how to drive altogether if this quarantine lasts too long.  Haha.  That was also my first time being in a public place in almost a month, too.  Yikes.

I got home just in time to get the kids started on schoolwork right on time, and both kids had live lessons and lots of work again.  Olivia had her first live one-on-one with her teacher and she was ecstatic to have her all to herself for a bit!

Right when B and I were discussing what to have for lunch, B looked out the back door and… that stupid snake was back again, right by our back porch.  I mean, GO AWAAAAYYYY!!!!  B chased him to the back fence again, and he slithered back under it and out of our yard, but good grief, can we please stop seeing so many of these nasty things?!

B headed out to grab Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and then I had a Zoom meeting with my therapist followed by a Zoom Home and School meeting, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon working.  It was a busy day for sure. 

After dinner we had another leisurely family walk over to the dirt pile so the kids could play, and B stayed with the kids while I walked up and down the hill to get my workout in for the day.  When we got home, we watched the live bedtime story with our friars, and then we sent the kids off to dreamyland!

Thursday, April 16 (Day 34 of Quarantine)

Thursday, Olivia had her first live Phonics test.  Her teacher called out all of the words on their live Zoom meeting, and the kids all wrote them down.  Once they finished, I snapped a picture of it and sent it to her teacher, and then her teacher sent back her grade.  She got a 100!  Not too sure why her handwriting is so dang sloppy, though… she’s getting lazy in quarantine!  Haha.

Jacob had to make a Resurrection garden for his Religion assignment on Thursday, so the kids and I headed over to the dirt pile to gather his supplies – dirt, rocks, and twigs.  While we were there, I let them play for a good 30 minutes while I walked up and down the hill to get my workout in for the day.  The day was gorgeous yet again, so it was a pleasant workout. 

When we got back home, Jacob grabbed some greenery, a few roses from our flower bed, and a couple of Lego characters, and he completed his garden.  I think it just turned out so cute!!

The rest of the day was just another ordinary quarantined day… work and movie for the kids and then dinner.  After dinner, we got the kids outside in the back yard to try to work with them on their bike riding.  Jacob is just so darn scared of it most of the time, and he just wasn’t having it that evening.  Olivia, on the other hand was balls to the wall Thursday evening (for lack of a better term – haha!).  Neither of them remotely have the hang of it yet, though, so if anyone has any tips on how to teach a kid to ride a bike without training wheels, PLEASE HELP!!

Friday, April 17 (Day 35 of Quarantine)

Jacob’s teachers try to do fun stuff in their Friday Zoom meetings, so Jacob had Show and Tell Friday morning.  He brought his Lego Voltron (of course), and he was excited to show it to everyone.  It’s so funny, because he probably hasn’t had Show and Tell since kindergarten, so I love that they’re bringing it back for quarantine! 

After lunch, it was another day at the dirt pile for the kids, and a walk for me.  I’m loving the fact that the empty lot is on a big hill, so I’m able to walk up and down over and over again to get a decent workout while still keeping my eyes on the kids.  They are completely obsessed with that dang dirt pile and I’m seriously considering paying somebody to come dump a giant pile in our back yard.  Lol.

We had to be home by 2 PM for Olivia’s live spelling test, and then she also got to have Show and Tell.  She brought her Sheepie, her favorite stuffed animal.  While Olivia had her Show and Tell, Jacob worked on his library assignment for the week… an origami ice cream cone!  My oh my, that single origami video opened the door for him in a big way, and he has been begging to do origami ever since!  I just ordered a pack of origami paper for him so I’m sure he’ll be thrilled when we surprise him with it later this week!

B got off of work around 4 and we all decided to pile in the car and head to our church and school campus to leave some surprises for our friars.  We left some fun little notes for them in sidewalk chalk and dropped off some letters that Olivia had written to them earlier in the week.  It was the first time we’d been on campus in five whole weeks… since March 13… the last time I picked the kids up from school.  That is probably the longest I’ve ever been away from that campus since I’ve grown up there, attending church and school there daily and weekly.  It was nice to be back, if only for a few minutes.

We had initially planned on picking up pizza from one of our favorite local spots right down the street from church, but we found out they’ve closed temporarily along with our other favorite local pizza place.  Sigh.  I’m so worried about all of our favorite places not surviving this.  :o(  We ended up picking up pizza from Old Chicago instead, and we’ll for sure be researching some new local places to support in the future until ours reopen!

Old Chicago is right next to Dairy Queen, so we thought… why not… and we swung through the drive-through there to get Blizzards to save for dessert.  The Blizzard cups got scrubbed down and put in the freezer to save for later, and we served them later in our own bowls with our own spoons so as not to risk getting contaminated.      

After dinner we watched the Disney Singalong that we’d recorded from earlier in the week and it was so good!!  It’s just wild seeing all of those famous people singing from their kitchens and bedrooms and back yards and recording with their phones.  What a strange time to be alive!  Michael Buble and Demi Lavoto ended the show with A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, so naturally, I cried.  Everything makes me cry these days.  Everything. 

After the show was over, we watched some more of The Imagineering Story and then we put the kids to bed so we could watch some Ozark before hitting the hay ourselves.

Saturday, April 18 (Day 36 of Quarantine)

Saturday ended up being a great day!  We got up, made homemade waffles, and watched the Lego Masters finale.  We were all rooting for a particular team and we were excited to see them win the whole thing. 

When that was over, I decided to go for a run.  I mean, seriously, who even am I anymore?  I think this quarantine may just make a runner out of me again.  I ended up running 3 miles in just over 40 minutes, so my pace was awful compared to what it used to be, but I’m calling it a huge win since I’ve hardly run in the last 20 years. 

We had a light lunch shortly after that, and then I spent the next hour laying out in the back yard and reading my book.  B took the kids to the dirt pile to give me a break, and it was soooo nice having an hour all to myself when I wasn’t having to clean or cook or run.  B and the kids walked the good part of the trail that wasn’t closed off from the storm damage, and when they got directly behind our house, they yelled hello up to me!  Haha. 

I went inside and opened some packages I’d been quarantining, and then I got showered and dressed for the day.  The next couple of hours was pretty productive, and I got the whole house tidied, I completed a couple of small projects that needed to get done, and I got some pictures taken for my Instagram oils account… it was SO NICE to finally have some time to be creative.  Lately, I’ve had zero time whatsoever for creativity since I’m schooling the kids during the week.  I’ve been struggling just to even keep new content flowing, so time to be creative has been completely out the window, and I feel like all of my blog posts as of late have reflected that.  Such is life right now in quarantine, though, I suppose.  

B picked up Mex from one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and we spent the next hour sitting around the dinner table stuffing our faces with chips and cheese dip.  My gosh, I miss our Saturday evening Mexican dates at our favorite restaurant with our whole family after church. 

B went out to pressure wash for a bit after dinner, and I called my momma and daddy just to chat.  I miss them terribly, too.  I really miss Saturday and Sunday evenings with them.  :o( 

B came in around 7:30 and we all watched the original Peter Pan movie, put the kids to bed, and then B and I watched some of the One World show that was on to raise money for the current happenings.  Again, it was just wild to see all of the famous singers and actresses performing in their own living rooms with no fancy lighting or makeup or anything. 

Sunday, April 19 (Day 37 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning, B went through the drive-through for donuts and then we all watched church after breakfast.  We were all excited to see that the friars had gotten our sidewalk chalk messages and they posted some pictures of it during announcement time after mass.

After church it was time to get ready and have lunch, and Olivia decided to accessorize with every single piece of jewelry she owns.  Lol.

I spent the rest of the afternoon tackling our laundry room.  We’ve lived in this house for ten years now and I’ve literally taken zero time to ever clean out, organize, or decorate the laundry room.  It’s disorganized and just plain gross and it has been on my to-do list forever, so it felt good to finally get it done!  Here's the before... come back Friday to see the after!

I got all of our cabinets cleaned out, I tossed a ton of old crap that we didn’t need, and I also brought up all of the paint cans from our closet downstairs and organized them in the cabinet above the dryer.  They’ve been taking up precious space in our closet downstairs, and it made zero sense to have them there, so I’m happy to finally have them out of the way. 

I still have a lot of things I want to do to the laundry room – paint the walls, paint the cabinets, put some subway tile in there, add a countertop over the washer and dryer, and get a few organizers + some décor and then it will be done.  We have a long way to go, but I’m just glad to have finally started!

Having all of the paint cans out of the downstairs closet freed up a bunch of extra space to move some things around in there, and now it’s nice and organized again, and there’s more breathing room than there was before. 

We had another bout of severe weather predicted for Sunday night (strong tornadoes predicted again), so we spent the rest of the day preparing the storm closet again, and then we had leftover cheese dip and chips along with Taco Joes for dinner.

After dinner, my anxiety was running high because of all of the tornado talk in the news, so I went upstairs and turned on a Jillian Michaels YouTube video to burn off some steam.  I felt a lot better afterward, and then we got the kiddos settled in their sleeping bags on our floor again so we could make a quick exit to the storm closet if we needed to.

B and I hung out downstairs for a bit after the kids went to bed and we listened to the storm outside.  We had a bolt of lightning hit super close to our house and my brother even sent me a picture of how close it actually was.  He has some kind of fancy weather tracking software that is crazy… he’s our own personal meteorologist.  Lol.

Just as B and I were heading up for bed and I was sure I wouldn’t sleep all night again, our local weather people announced that the line had changed course slightly, and the worst of it would go south of us… hardly any more risk for tornadoes!  Woo hoo!  That was enough for me to let go, and I ended up falling asleep quickly and sleeping like a baby all night.  The bad weather did, indeed, go just south of us and, thankfully, we were spared again.  We did wake up to the news on Monday that we had gotten SEVEN INCHES of rain on Sunday alone, though.  Is that not crazy?!