Friday, May 29, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 10 (Last Week of School, Quaranteaming, and Finally Celebrating My Birthday with Family)

Last week was a big week, y’all… we officially survived distance learning/e-learning/homeschooling/whatever-you-want-to-call-it!!!!  The kids finished up and we are officially out for summer break!  The week was also big because we officially expanded our quarantine circle for the first time since all of this began over two months ago!!!!  More on that later in the recap…

Monday, May 18 (Day 66 of Quarantine)

Monday was the start of the last week of school, so the kids’ workloads lightened tremendously.  Jacob only had one Zoom meeting Monday and it was just for fun… his teacher had planned a virtual escape room for the class and they loved it!  Olivia actually had the same amount of work Monday – Wednesday, but with pre-recorded Zoom lessons instead of live ones, but she finished up long before lunchtime and both kids were free to play after that. 

The afternoon was spent having lunch, doing yoga, and playing indoors because it poured down rain all afternoon.  I sure do love a good afternoon thunderstorm during the spring and summer!  As long as there’s no threat of tornadoes, I’m good!  Haha. 

Olivia surprised me by making up her bed Monday afternoon.  Girlfriend despises cleaning and tidying so I was shocked.  Look how cute, though, with her stuffed animals all over it...

I made an early dinner Monday evening, and then afterward, Olivia went to get dressed, I curled her hair, and then… we were off to have professional cap and gown pictures taken!  Since our school wasn’t able to have a kindergarten graduation ceremony as we usually do, they arranged for a photographer to take cap and gown pictures. 

They spaced all of the kids out so none of the appointments overlapped so we didn’t come in contact with anyone except for the photographer and the other kindergarten teacher at our school (not Olivia’s teacher because she actually had surgery that day).  They had a freshly cleaned cap and gown for Olivia to wear (no kids had to share) and everything was very clean and professional. 

I told Olivia there was a possibility that maybe we would be able to see someone from her class depending on who had the appointments before and after ours, and she immediately yelled, “Ohhhh I hope I get to see Aubrey!!!!”  (That’s her best friend.)  I told her that out of 40 students the odds weren’t in our favor to see one specific person, but when we rolled up in the parking lot, guess who was shouting at us from the window of her daddy’s truck?  Aubrey!!  Haha.  That Olivia has some luck, I tell ya!  She was thrilled to be able to see her BFF even it was from all the way across the parking lot.  They’d had the appointment just before ours, so they were heading out.

Picture time went well.  Olivia posed for her pictures like a boss, and she looked so dang cute (AND GROWN!) in that cap and gown.  I was so thankful to get to see her wear them since it’s not likely we’ll get to have a graduation ceremony. 

After pictures, she and I stopped by the gas station to fill my car up for the very first time since March 13.  I kid y’all not.  I have literally only been driving to get my allergy shots, to get groceries, and to go to a couple of doctor’s appointments that were necessary, so I literally used the same tank of gas for over two months.  And it only cost $20.22 to fill it up.  I mean, WHAT?!  Prior to the quarantine, I was filling up about every 7 or 8 days (sometimes more) and it was typically around $30 each time.  Now, just $20.  Unbelievable, y’all.

When we got home, I did some strength training, and then the kids got ready for bed.  They had set up an elaborate pallet in Olivia’s room and they begged for a sleepover and B and I said, “WHY NOT?”  Even if it is a “school night” It’s not like we have to be up early and physically go anywhere.  They were thrilled, but their fun was cut short about an hour later when Jacob couldn’t fall asleep because of Olivia’s incessant throat-clearing.  She’s been doing it for a couple of years now, but it gets particularly bad this time of year when the pollen is out.  It drives Jacob crazy, and once it was time to sleep, he couldn’t.  It broke Olivia’s heart when he decided to go get in his bed, but she cheered up a little when we told her she could still sleep on her floor.  Why not?

Tuesday, May 19 (Day 67 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, I had several errands to run.  Since the kids were born, I’ve been getting their teachers to sign a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go for each of them, and I plan on giving it to them for senior graduation.  Well, due to the circumstances, I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was going to have to physically take the books to the teachers’ houses if I wanted to get them signed this year, so that’s what I worked on Tuesday morning. 

Jacob had three teachers this year (two + one assistant) and two of them happened to be working at our church’s outreach center that morning, so I was able to go there and knock out two birds with one stone.  The one teacher that wasn’t there lives just a couple of blocks away from our church and school, so I swung the book over to her house and left it in her carport for her to sign and then she’ll just put it in his bag for us to pick up at school on June 2.  Woo hoo! 

While I was visiting Jacob's two teachers at outreach, they presented me with a sweet gift for being the room mom.

The next stop was Fresh Market for their Tuesday chicken sale, and then it was back home to help the kids with school.  Jacob did have some new math to do on Tuesday, and Olivia had her standard load, so they both wrapped up just before lunch time. 

After lunch, it was yoga for me, and then I drove over to Target to collect some Rae Dunn mugs from a friend who’s moving away and doesn’t want to take them with her.  While I was there, I decided to go inside and pick up a few things.  We’ve had several things on our list that can’t really be shipped (like lightbulbs and toilet paper) so I decided to brave the store for the first time in months. 

Y’all.  Can we just talk about how freaking much I missss my Target shopping trips?!  I was literally giddy walking in there and seeing that dollar spot.  I, of course, wore my mask and steered way clear of everyone in the store, and it was a fairly successful trip.  I found TP!  WOO HOO!  But sadly, they didn’t have the lightbulbs we needed. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent putting away all the Target purchases, working a little bit, and then prepping for taco Tuesday.  Yummmm.  

After dinner, the kids were begging to play cornhole, so we got the boards out and the four of us had a blast.  May I just say that I miss having teeny tinies, but the kids are getting so much more fun the older they get!  I absolutely love that we can all play cornhole together now!  Even Olivia is nailing it now!  These kids will definitely be ready for college and tailgating when the time comes!  Haha.  Also, something else worth noting… B and I played against each other, just the two of us, and I smoked him 24-15.  Ha.

While we were outside, Olivia caught a ladybug and she was so excited.  She loves bugs, y'all.  Loves them.  It's the weirdest thing.

The kids showered when we got inside, and Olivia decided she wanted to sleep on her floor again even though Jacob didn’t want to.  I guess this is going to be her thing now.  Haha. 

Another thing worth noting on Tuesday was my activity for the day... check out those stats!  I've been closing all three rings every single day since I got my watch back on April 5, but the percentages are rarely that high for all three.

Wednesday, May 20 (Day 68 of Quarantine)

Wednesday was supposed to have been Olivia’s kindergarten graduation and last day of school (cue all the tears) but, obviously, that didn’t happen.  She did have a few last assignments and Jacob had another fun Zoom (this time a scavenger hunt) and then they were done for the day.  Well, Olivia was done for the summer!

The day was somewhat chilly which is just unheard of this time of year here, so we took full advantage after lunch and we went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Most of time by now, it’s too hot in the afternoon to walk after lunch (unless we want to sweat buckets), so it was nice to be able to do that.

While the kids watched their afternoon movie, I prepped for a special graduation celebration for Olivia later that evening, and then the rest of the evening was spent celebrating our girl!  I recapped that in its own post and you can see it here if you missed it. 

After our celebration, the kids wanted all of us to play Cornhole, and then we watched the friar bedtime story and chat.

Thursday, May 21 (Day 69 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning, Jacob had a Zoom scavenger hunt with one of his teachers and all of his classmates, and Olivia was, of course, all up in his business.  Let it be known, that Olivia’s teacher provided work for her class for Thursday and Friday in case any of the kids wanted to do it, and she opted not to.  I was so shocked, y’all!  Haha.  Little Miss never used a homework pass actually forfeited work!  I have to say, I was relieved, though.

While the kids were occupied, I started working on a couple of house projects.  I decided to move the floral print from my office to go over the mantle since I love the print so much, but I had to spray paint the frame first.  The frame was gold to match my office décor, and I spray painted it black to match the décor in the living room.  Let me tell you, that black frame makes the design pop so much more and it just looks fabulous!

Frame Before

Frame After with the print

While I waited for that frame to dry, I started on the next project… hand painting the frame that was over the mantle.  Eeks!  I decided to move the wedding portrait from over our mantle to our bedroom, but the black frame didn’t look great in our bedroom since everything is deep brown and white in there.  I thought a brushed silver frame would look good so I decided to DIY it.

I just so happened to have metallic silver acrylic paint on hand, so I brushed a few coats of it on the black frame, taking care to let the brush strokes stay visible so some of the original black frame shines through.  That texture helped give it the overall brushed look.  When I was done, I loved the way it looked, but I didn’t love the shade of silver.  Unfortunately, the black and the silver together gave the frame a very cold, blue-ish hue, so I headed to my office to see what I had on hand to remedy that. 

I ended up having some metallic gold acrylic paint on hand as well, so I brushed one very thin layer of that over the silver, and it gave it just the right amount of warmth without making it look gold.  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and I have to say, I totally patted myself on the back when I was finished because I truly did not think it would turn out at all. 

B headed out to do a quick Sam’s Club run and while he was out, he picked up Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  Bringing in CFA once a week for lunch sure is nice to break up the monotony of soup and sandwiches that we typically have.  While he was gone, I continued working on house projects while the kids played.  Jacob created a lizard out of Legos and he asked me to take a picture.  He is getting so good at making his own creations!

After lunch, I did some work, and by the time I was done, both frames were dry and ready for hanging.  I spent the next few minutes getting them hung, and, y’all, I’m so freaking in love with that floral print over the mantle!  The colors could not look better in the room, and I just love how it completely transformed the room for the better… it’s brighter and much more colorful in there, and it just looks so fantastic! 

We had a frozen pizza for dinner since I’d been working on projects all day, and then after dinner, the four of us went outside and played Cornhole all evening.  My momma and daddy stopped by to give Olivia a graduation gift, and for the first time in almost three months, we hugged them.  They still didn’t come inside the house, and we all hung out on the back porch instead, but it was nice to be a little more “normal” with them. 

We discussed quaranteaming with them, but they’re not quite ready to get back to indoor Sunday dinners with each other just yet… hopefully soon.  

Friday, May 22 (Day 70 of Quarantine)

Friday was Jacob’s last day of school and all he had was a live Zoom meeting at 9 AM.  His class had their awards ceremony and he was rewarded with the Principal’s List award (all A’s), the religion award, the advanced reader award, and the multiplication station finisher award.  To learn their multiplication facts, they spent the entire year completing the “Multiplication Station.”  Each child worked individually at their own pace, and fortunately, Jacob finished his before we had to start homeschooling, so that was one less thing for us to worry about at home.  Whew.

After the awards ceremony, they had the class birthday celebration for March – July birthdays, and then everyone said their goodbyes for the summer.  It felt like such a relief for it to be over, but still, so bittersweet that it had to end the way it did.

Right after the ceremony was over, Jacob’s friend Jack called my phone to talk to Jacob and they chatted for about 20-30 minutes.  They miss each other so much and it stinks that we can’t have play dates with any of the kids’ friends.  They arranged a Zoom playdate for Saturday, though, so he had that to look forward to.

While he chatted, I cleaned up the dining room table once and for all!!  It has served us well for homeschooling and I'm so thankful to have had a dedicated space to do school.  That said, I'm so happy to have my dining room table back!!!!

The kids played with Legos all morning and they asked me to take a picture of them with this little world they built.  They were so proud of it!

Jacob's teacher had sent each of the families special homeschool certificates as a little "award" for doing such a good job, so you better believe we printed ours and took some pictures to celebrate!  I survived unexpected homeschooling, y'all!!

B’s boss let them off early for the holiday weekend, so we decided to take full advantage of the day and get out of the house to celebrate the end of school.  We had a quick lunch at home, and then we all piled in the car to get ice cream for the first time in months!  We did get takeout Blizzards once about six weeks ago and we took them back home to eat them in our own dishes, but other than that, we haven’t had ice cream out this whole time. 

We opted for our favorite place downtown, and fortunately, there were no other customers in there when we arrived.  B went in alone to order for all of us, and the kids and I stayed outside.  As B brought them out to me, I wiped the containers and plastic spoons down with hand wipes before any of us ate.  So much work, but it’s worth it! 

It was SO GOOD to be downtown visiting one of our favorite places.  Afterward, we strolled around downtown for a few minutes before heading back to the car and driving down to the river walk.  We were hoping to watch the white water rafters since our rapids just opened back up, but unfortunately, a storm was rolling in, so we weren’t able to stay for long.  Still good for the soul just to be out and about, though!

The rest of the rainy afternoon was spent snuggled up inside working, eating Carrabba’s takeout, and watching A Bug’s Life on Disney +.  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched The Lovebirds on Netflix.  It was SO CUTE, y’all!!  I wasn’t super excited about it after watching the trailer, but I was pleasantly surprised by it!  B and I both laughed so many times!  And it is definitely not for kids, by the way.

Saturday, May 23 (Day 71 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, I woke up to some very sad news.  My cousin had delivered her first baby Friday afternoon, and I woke up to the news that the baby had passed away early Saturday morning.  We knew he had health issues and we were all praying for a miracle, but sadly, our prayers were not answered.  I won’t go into further detail for the privacy of our family, but if you could please keep my cousin and her family in your prayers it would be much appreciated.  We are all just heartbroken for them.

It’s hard not to be in a funk after hearing something like that, and it took me some time to clear my head.  I spent the morning in quiet time with God, in meditation, and then doing a hard workout, because that’s what I do to cope with bad news.   

Mid-morning, Jacob had his scheduled playdate with his friend, and while he did that, I moved two frames from our bedroom to the guest bathroom downstairs.  Those two frames have held our engagement picture and a wedding picture since we got married, but now that we have our huge wedding canvas over the bed, I figured we didn’t need two more wedding-related photos in there.  So I’m moving those frames to the bathroom downstairs, replacing the wedding photos with art prints, and then I’m moving the travel gallery from my office to that now-empty spot in our bedroom.  And if you’re wondering what those frames are replacing in the bathroom, they are replacing the old builder-grade towel bar (that we don’t need since we already have one next to the sink) and a piece of outdated wooden wall art. 

After lunch, we all spent a couple of hours in the back yard, laying out in the sun and playing, and then B and the kids played video games while I did some work… typical Saturday and Sunday afternoon stuff.  Olivia caught a butterfly and she was thrilled yet again!

I changed out some pictures in frames around the house for the first time in about a year, and then we had Five Guys takeout for dinner.  After dinner, we started watching the series Be Our Chef on Disney+ with the kids.  It’s a family cooking show that takes place at Disney World and it’s really cute!  Our kids are loving it!  After the kids went to sleep, B and I watched the movie Uncorked on Netflix and it was a little slow, but pretty good.

Sunday, May 24 (Day 72 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning was cinnamon rolls and church via livestream, and then after that I did a dance workout.  Before I could do my workout, I had to move a ton of stuff out of the way in the play room.  The kids have been building forts nonstop and most days it drives me bonkers, but I do love seeing how creative they get with it.

After my workout, we all got ready because… we actually had plans!!  My mother-in-law, step-father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and two nephews have all been quarantining/working from home, so after lots of discussion and prayer, we decided to start quaranteaming with them.  We figure, they’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going anywhere, so we might as well hang out together!!  Olivia even requested to have her hair done special because she was so excited to have somewhere to be!

We did, however, decide not to go back to normal 100%, and we did all sit at separate tables while we ate, but at least we got to go over there, eat my MIL’s yummy cooking, and be together.  And we also got to celebrate my birthday with them, finally!!  After we finished eating and opening gifts, we all went out in the back yard to spread out for the remainder of the afternoon.  We toured around my MIL’s garden, and Olivia was thrilled because there were blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries for the picking (and eating).  I cannot even tell you how happy I felt the whole time while we were over there, just to be doing one of our normal Sunday things.  First time since March 15.  I can’t even believe it.

When we left their house, we had to stop at Target – ugh – because we needed napkins and paper towels.  B had tried to get them at Sam’s and they were all out, so, Target to the rescue!  B and the kids stayed in the car, and I ran in with my mask to grab them.  Somehow, I managed to avoid the crowds and there weren’t many people in there the entire time I was there.

There was more rain that afternoon, so the kids played video games while I got caught up on some stuff around the house, and then we had a charcuterie board for dinner.  The rain had cleared by the time dinner rolled around, so we ate on the back porch.  I turned on the twinkle lights and some jazz, poured some wine, and B and I lounged on the back porch while the kids blew bubbles in the sunset.  It was a lovely, lazy evening, one of the rare ones where everything just feels so simple, but perfect. 

Once it started getting dark, we all came inside, piled on the couch, and watched a couple more episodes of Be Our Chef, and then B and I watched the Adam Sandler movie The Do Over on Netflix.  It was entertaining enough, and had quite the unexpected twist, and it was better than I had expected it to be.

The next day was Memorial Day, and I normally try to keep the long weekends together in one post, but I’ll save it for the next recap since this one is already so long.  And since it’s the last recap of the month, it’s time for a currently update…

Currently Reading

I’m actually reading nothing right this second because I just finished Elvis Duran’s book, Where Do I Begin and I haven’t started a new one yet.  If you enjoy his morning radio show, this book is definitely worth the read!  I also finished 10% Happier by Dan Harris and I loved it… it makes me want to continue with my meditation even more!

Currently Watching

This month, we finished American Idol, Too Hot to Handle, and Outer Banks.  We BLEW through Outer Banks, y’all!!  If you haven’t seen it, watch it!  It’s so good!  We literally stopped watching everything else until we were done with it.  Once we finished that, we started back up with The Blacklist and The Office and we also started watching Be Our Chef with the kids as mentioned earlier in the post + Magic for Humans on Netflix. 

The Blacklist is pretty good, although, not riveting.  I don’t feel totally invested in it yet, but I’m thinking it might happen soon because the back story that continues from episode to episode is getting more and more interesting.  As for The Office, well, sorry Office lovers, it’s just not for me.  We’re now well into season two and it just does nothing for me.  Yes, there are funny moments, but I could totally give it up tomorrow and never look back.  B likes it more than I do, though, so I’m sure we’ll keep on trucking.  Maybe I’ll have a change of heart?

Currently Listening To

Now that summer break is here, I’ve had my summer playlist on shuffle, so we’re listening to a lot of Luke Bryan, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews Band, Blake Shelton, Justin Timberlake, and so on…

Oh, and standards/jazz.  I’m pretty much always listening to that at some point each day, too… especially on the rainy days!

Happy Friday, y’all!

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