Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 22 (Back to School and SUV Shopping)

Since the kids started school in-person again, that obviously means we’re not 100% quarantining anymore.  But other than school, we’re still not going anywhere in public, and we also won’t be seeing the grandparents or any other family or friends anymore (because – germs), so I’m just going to continue counting these weeks as weeks of quarantine.  Until things go back to normal and we’re able to do our usual things again, quarantine it is!

Monday, August 10 (Day 150 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, my alarm went off at 6:00 AM for the first time in five months.  While I haven’t missed that AT ALL, it was nice to know that we actually had some place to be!!  The kids obviously haven’t been up early in five months either, so I was thinking they’d be on the struggle bus, but they both bounded out of bed right at 6:30.  They were beyond ready to be back at school! 

They ate breakfast quickly and got dressed without a fuss, and we snapped a few first day photos before heading out the door to drop them.

This year was obviously different in many ways.  For the first time ever, we weren’t able to walk the kids in on their first day, and instead we had to drop them off in the car line as we would on any typical day.  B did come along since it was their first day, so that did make things a little more special for the kids.

When we pulled up, the school had bubble blowers going and they were blasting Can’t Stop the Feeling and other feel-good songs.  It made for a fun and relaxing environment and I know it really put the kids at ease, despite the fact that this wasn’t their typical first day of school.

As I’ve said before, our school is requiring masks for everyone, so all of the teachers working the car line were wearing theirs, and our kids had their temperatures checked with a touchless thermometer before they were even allowed to get out of the car.

Both of them got the green light, and off they went, up the sidewalk in their brand new uniforms and masks… a sight I never ever thought I’d have to see.  Neither of them were nervous in the least.  Last year, Jacob was such a bundle of nerves that he ended up getting sick right after I dropped him off, and I had to go pick him right back up.  I was worried more than ever this year about their nerves getting the best of them, since they’d been home with me for five whole months, but they were both just too excited to be nervous!!

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I promptly burst into tears and I cried all the way home.  After flipping and flopping back-and-forth between the decision to let them go in-person or do distance learning for so long, it was scary that the day had finally come to put our decision to the test.  I’ve second-guessed our decision to send them back in-person a million times, and I’m sure I will continue to for the duration of this pandemic. 

When we got back home, I dropped B and then ran to Publix for some groceries, and then when I got back home I tried (and failed) to get some work done… it was just too hard to concentrate. 

Our school livestreamed a first-day-of-school prayer service so I was able to watch that and be with them in spirit for a little bit, and it was really beautiful.  Our friars did a quick solo ceremony in our church sanctuary, and then they went to every single classroom in the school and prayed over the kids.  Just one more reason why we love having our kiddos there… it’s nice that they are allowed to engage in prayer.  We need all of the extra prayers we can get right now in this crazy situation.

B is still working from home, so he and I ate lunch together and then I spent the rest of the day trying to work, doing some laundry, and counting down the hours until I could go get in the car line and pick up my babies.

When they both hopped in the car, I expected them to be exhausted and possibly a little cranky (they usually are after the first day), but they were both GLOWING with excitement.  They both chattered all the way home telling me about their days, talking about how happy they were to be back, and being so excited about making new friends.  That was the first thing Olivia said when she hopped in the car… “MOMMY, I MADE A NEW FRIEND TODAY!!!!”  Gosh, I just love her.

The one thing I was worried about the most was that they would both hate having to wear a mask all day, but y’all, they were completely unphased!!!!  It was like they weren’t even wearing them… I had to remind them both that they could take them off because they had forgotten all about them.  Praise be!

I asked them both if they were nervous, and they both responded with a resounding NO!  All in all their first day back was a HUGE success and I’m just so relieved.  Now we just have to pray constantly that we don’t have any horrible germs lurking anywhere.

The rest of the afternoon was spent covering Jacob’s books, having dinner, watching the kids play ping pong, and squeezing in a 1.7 mile walk before I had to run inside from a lightning storm. 

Tuesday, August 11 (Day 151 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, I had a better day.  I wasn’t quite as anxious since I knew the kids were doing well with their masks, so I dropped them and got out for a walk around the neighborhood before the extreme heat settled in.  After I showered and got ready, B and I headed to the Kia dealership to test drive a Telluride. 

We had started SUV shopping back in February, and then the pandemic hit, so everything was put on hold.  I’ve been obsessing over the Telluride for months, and it was my top pick, which was why we chose to test drive it first.  We had a good experience and the guy who helped us was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and most importantly, HE WORE A MASK.  As a matter of fact, everyone at the dealership did. 

Unfortunately, he did have to ride with us for the test drive, which made me anxious, but all three of us wore masks, so I’m praying no weird germs got passed around.  I kept the drive quicker than I normally would have, but I was able to test it out on the highway as well as some smaller roads.  It didn’t take two seconds for me to figure out that I LOVED it, but unfortunately so does everyone else in the United States.  Sigh. 

We’ve been watching our local dealership’s inventory all summer, and they rarely have them in stock.  As soon as 1-2 are delivered, they are purchased within 24-48 hours, so it’s nearly impossible to get your hands on the exact one you want. 

Our salesman said the hype over these is just unbelievable and that the Telluride is stealing customers from many luxury brands.  They’ve had customers trade in Corvettes, Mercedes, Range Rovers, and BMWs for the Telluride which would be baffling if you’ve never driven one… after driving that one, I can honestly say, it’s every single bit as luxurious as a Range Rover but with a muuuuch smaller price tag.

We didn’t make any decisions that day because I still had a couple more vehicles I wanted to check out, but we took our guy’s card because I had a feeling we’d be back.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working and meeting with my therapist via Zoom which is getting old… can this please just be over so I can start seeing her in person again?!  There is truly something to be said about talking with someone face-to-face.  I feel like I get so much more out of it when we’re there together in person.

I picked up the kids that afternoon and they’d both had another fantastic day… seriously, all week they came home gushing each day about how wonderful it was to be back.  It just makes my heart swell to know that they’re right where they’re supposed to be again.

We did our evening routine, which now consists of a whole lot more stuff (tons of additional cleaning and sanitizing and prepping because of The Rona), and then I cooked dinner. 

We’ve been getting the kids in bed around 8 again since they have to wake up so early, but we’ve been letting Jacob stay up to read until about 8:30.  He’s loving that independence!

Tuesday evening after the kiddos were in bed, B and I started a new show, Love Life on HBO Max.  It stars Anna Kendrick and I just love her, so I was happy to find that I love the show.  The show spans at least a decade and each episode appears to be about an entire year of her life, and it’s all about her love life, obviously.  Haha.  It’s most definitely rated R for language and some other adult content, but I’m absolutely loving it.  The characters are quirky and endearing, and it is just a really great show.  So far it’s only one season, but I did read that they just picked it up for a second season!

Wednesday, August 12 (Day 152 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids and then got some work done.  B was free mid-morning, so we rode over to the Volkswagen dealership to test drive an Atlas.  I knew the second we pulled in the parking lot that we weren’t going to have a good experience, because I kid you not, two of the salespeople were waiting in the parking lot, and one literally walked over to my passenger door after we parked and waited for me to get out of the car… and she was not wearing a mask at all.  Sigh.

Sure enough, she pretty much attacked us when we opened the door to get out and it was just overbearing.  B and I both wore our masks and tried to keep our distance from her, but she kept getting really close and it just made me feel uncomfortable.  The girl was nice enough, but she surprisingly didn’t seem very knowledgeable and the whole experience was just really weird with her waiting for me outside my passenger door.

We told her we wanted to test drive an Atlas and when she went inside to grab the key, I told Brian that there was no way I was getting in a car with her if she wasn’t going to wear a mask.  Fortunately, she gave the key to us and told us to take as long as we wanted with it and she didn’t even attempt to get in the vehicle with us.  So that was nice.

I really liked everything about the Atlas, but it didn’t drive nearly as smoothly as the Telluride, so because of that (and the pushy sales team + lack of mask-wearing + the fact that I HATE the conglomerate who runs that dealership… I got my Honda there and their service department has been a PITA to deal with) I pretty much ruled that one out on the spot.  It’s a shame, though, because we probably could have gotten a really great deal based on how desperate the people were to keep us there.  They literally asked us what they could do to keep us from walking off the lot.  Lol.

The Hyundai dealership was right next door to the Volkswagen dealership, so we walked next door and asked to drive a Palisade.  The sales team there was awesome, the guy who helped us was friendly and not pushy, and I really loved the Palisade, too. 

It is almost exactly the same on the inside as the Telluride – very luxurious, very sleek – and it rides just as smoothly as the Telluride, too.  While we were driving, the sales associate (who did ride with us, but with a mask!), told me to take my hands off the wheel and let the vehicle drive itself.  EEEEK!!  I removed my hands but kept them like a millimeter away (just in case), and sure enough, since lane assist was turned on, the vehicle kept itself within the lines.  It’s just creepy, y’all.  I do not care anything about having a self-driving vehicle.  The Telluride has all of these features as well, but thankfully, you can turn them off.

B had to get back home for a meeting, so we headed straight home and then I spent the rest of the afternoon comparing the Telluride and Palisade.  Every single thing online pretty much says they’re one in the same when it comes to handling, driving, luxury, safety, etc. and that it really just comes down to which one looks better.  Every comparison I read had the Telluride barely ranked higher than the Palisade, but the Telluride did get top pick for safety in its class, and I love that! 

The rest of the day was spent picking up the kids (they had another wonderful day!), making dinner, watching America’s Got Talent, and watching a couple more episodes of Love Life.

Thursday, August 13 (Day 153 of Quarantine)

Thursday, I dropped the kids at school and then walked a few miles.  My friend, Becky, called me to chat about a couple of things, and we ended up staying on the phone for 30 minutes.  I miss seeing her every week.  Is The Rona over yet?!

I had found out that morning that my cousin and her husband both tested positive for Covid, so I spent the morning texting back-and-forth with her.  At the time, her symptoms were not requiring hospitalization, but unfortunately, things changed over the weekend, so please please keep her in your prayers.  And for those of you who are still not taking this seriously, I beg of you to reconsider.  I now personally know at least 22 people who have had it (and that’s not even including friends of friends who we know have had it), and many of them were hospitalized, some of whom have still not recovered.  It is no joke. 

After all of my research, I had decided that I wanted to look into getting the Telluride, so B and I headed back to the Kia dealership just before lunchtime.  Our guy was there, so he let me test drive it again (just to be sure) and then he ran some numbers for us.  Unfortunately, there is NO wiggle room right now in the price of the vehicle since they are flying off the lots at record speed (trust me, we tried), but we were able to negotiate the amount of our trade-in to squeeze out some more money which made me feel a bit better about the overall price. 

They were able to place an order directly with the factory for the exact one that I want… I was able to pick everything out from the trim to the exterior color to the interior color to the extras (I had to have a sunroof… had to) and they are going to manufacture mine just for me!  The downside is that it’s going to take at least 6-8 weeks (best case scenario), so I won’t be getting my hands on it until at least October… I should have an exact date from the factory sometime this week.

And even though we ended up paying a bit more overall (compared to the other vehicles), I think it’ll be worth it to be able to have exactly what I want.  I also love the fact that we bought it from a family-owned dealership (instead of that awful corporation who runs our Volkswagen and Hyundai dealership), and I love that my Telluride will be American-made.  And not only is it American-made, it’s Georgia-made, too!  The actual Kia plant is just right down the road from our house right here in Georgia, so we are literally supporting local business, and I’m all about that.  Not to mention the Telluride has a fantastic warranty (10 years) and it comes with free tires for life!  WOOT!  That alone will make up for most (if not all depending on how long I drive it) of the difference compared to the other vehicles. 

So yes, yes, I’m very excited and I cannot wait to see my new baby in a couple of months!  Momma is ready for some technology… my current SUV doesn’t even have a backup camera or Bluetooth so it’s long overdue.  Lol.

B and I swung by Chipotle afterward to grab some lunch to-go, and then it was back to work for both of us until it was time for me to pick up the kids… which wasn’t long!

Thursday evening was a repeat of Wednesday – dinner, AGT, Love Life, and then B decided to throw West World in the mix.  Has anyone ever seen that before??  We watched the first episode so far, and I’m skeptical… it is weird.

Before bed, Olivia put some of my fuzzy socks on Sheepie and asked me to take her picture.  That's Olivia's newest thing... stealing aaaallll of my fuzzy socks for herself (and her stuffed animals).  That little stinker.

Friday, August 14 (Day 154 of Quarantine)

Friday morning, Jacob asked me to take a couple of pictures of him with his little star machine that he's had since he was tiny.  B accidentally dropped it when he was changing the batteries and it broke.  RIP.  We found a new one on Amazon and he likes it even better than this one, so he wasn't too disappointed.  ;o)

I dropped the kids and spent the entire day work work working.  All I had done all week at that point was be anxious about the kids, car shop, do car research, and catch up with a few friends and family members.  I had barely worked at all, so I had lots to get caught up on.

When I picked the kids up from school Friday afternoon, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw this:

Haha.  Olivia had put Sheepie in a seat belt before I dropped them off that morning.  She's always looking out for her babies.  And side note, I've been driving B's SUV since the kids went back to school.  The air conditioner in mine is being finicky again and the engine light keeps turning on and off without any rhyme or reason (and nobody can figure out why), so I've just parked it for good.  B will be working from home indefinitely, so he's not using his SUV anyway!

When the kids got in the car, I asked them if they were happy to be back at school or if they were missing the lazy days of summer break and they both shouted in unison, “HAPPY TO BE BACK!!”  Neither of them even had to think about it.  That made me feel so good, because I’m telling you, I’m constantly beating myself up about the decision we made to send them back in-person.  I just cannot stop all of the what-ifs from constantly popping in my mind.  It was a pretty stressful week, and my old friend, anxiety, decided to bring back my shortness of breath, headaches, and neck and shoulder tension this week.  I haven’t had any of that in months.  Sigh.

Friday evening, B picked up Five Guys for dinner, and I treated myself to a much-needed beer and then we had a movie night.  The kids wanted The Lorax, and it started off looking pretty good, but I just couldn’t hang, and I passed out on the couch at, like, 7 PM.  Lol.  After a long week of 6 AM wakeup calls, I had pretty much known it was coming.  Haha.  

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched the movie How Do You Know with Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon.  Y’all, I adore both of them… how did I not know that they did a movie together ten years ago?!  The only reason I even found out about it was because ENews posted something on Instagram about it last week.  At first, I thought they were promoting a brand new movie, and then I realized it was old.  Where have I been?  Lol.

The movie didn’t end up being as good as I’d hoped, but it was definitely cute, and it was worth the watch.  I mean, Paul Rudd makes pretty much anything worth watching.  I’ve loved him since he was Josh in Clueless and Paris in Romeo + Juliet.  I miss the 90’s.  Movies were actually good back then.  Why do they not make good movies anymore??

Saturday, August 15 (Day 155 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, I made waffles for breakfast, and then I headed out for a solo walk around our neighborhood.  It was cloudy, but the humidity was 95% so I was drenched 15 minutes into it.  I managed to make it four miles, which is my longest consecutive walk since I’ve started keeping track with my Apple Watch.  I’m already sitting at over 30 miles for the month, which means I’ll hopefully blow my goal of 41 miles out of the water!

After my walk, I showered and got ready, and then I left to run some errands… I had to drop a package at the post office, pick up a prescription, and return and pickup some library books.  My BFF, Jeannine, was doing the curbside pickup at the library so I got to see her for the first time in person in MONTHS, and we spent a few minutes chatting and catching up while wearing our masks and standing six feet apart.  It was weird not just walking up to her and hugging her like we usually do. 

B and the kids and I had lunch when I got home, and then B and I spent an hour or so looking at mountain houses to rent for our fall break.  We’re trying to find one with a really good cancellation policy since we just don’t know what October is going to look like. 

We figure, we can easily take this trip and stay safe, because we spend our time apple-picking, hiking, gem grubbing, and going to wineries which is all outdoors in un-croweded spaces.  We’ll obviously have to change the way we eat (there will be lots of cooking and takeout at the house and we will not be going out to eat at all), and we won’t be able to go to Helen, GA (because it’s too crowded) but other than that, most everything else can be the same. 

We had some storms roll in Saturday afternoon, so I spent some time reading on the couch with my little buddy, and then I did some work while B and the kids continued their Zelda: Breath of the Wild journey.  Those kids love some video games!

B picked up Mexican for dinner and we enjoyed tacos and margs, and then we watched Lilo and Stitch with the kids.  For some reason they always tell us they don’t want to watch it, but we’ve pretty much watched every movie in existence during this quarantine, and we couldn’t find much else to watch.  Haha.  They ended up enjoying it as I figured they would.

B and I watched a couple more episodes of Love Life and a little bit more of West World, and then it was bedtime for us, too.

Sunday, August 16 (Day 156 of Quarantine)

Sunday was a lazy day.  We had cinnamon rolls while we watched church, and then I spent the morning planning the week ahead while B mowed.  Since the kids are back at school, there are actually things on the calendar now, so my Sunday morning planning sessions will likely be back most weeks now.

The rest of the day was spent photographing pictures for yesterday's post, prepping for the week ahead, and eating lunch and dinner at home.  Since the kids are back at school, we won’t be seeing the grandparents because we don’t want to pass along any germs.  Not having Sunday lunches and dinners sucks, but it’s just another sacrifice we have to make for now to have the kids where they need to be.

Sunday evening, we had leftovers for dinner, went for a family walk, and then B and I finished the first season of Love Life after the kids went to bed.  I loved it SO MUCH.

Happy Tuesday!


  1. Car shopping is so crazy right now!! We've been looking for a new truck for Dustin and cannot find anything that isn't insanely over priced! If it's a good price, they are bought the same day they are put on the lot. It's so wild!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. I'm glad your kids are happy to be back at school! We've had some news that upset Simon - his teacher that was supposed to continue with his class isn't coming back, and a few friends are homeschooling, so he's a bit sad. I hope it will still go well for him though. I can't believe you know so many people who have had the virus! I only know of people indirectly or people who think they had it but aren't sure. Good luck with the SUV shopping!

  3. So glad the kids are loving being back at school.
    We have to start truck shopping for Ian soon. He turns 16 in December. Cue all the tears.

  4. I am new to your blog and SO happy to see you taking this pandemic seriously. I follow a lot of blogs that aren't and it's hard to see that.

    1. Aw, thank you. I agree. I do see lots of people who aren't taking it seriously and it just makes me so angry. If everybody would just do their part, this would all go away so much faster! Thank you for your sweet comment... I'm glad you stopped by!

  5. We drove by the Kia plant coming home, and I also saw several trucks carrying Tellurides on the highway. Thought of you and I'm glad you got one. :)

  6. I cannot WAIT to see your new car. It's going to be soooo pretty. I think you will be so happy you went with the one you've been wanting! And the time will fly by. Especially with the kids back in school. Sounds like they had the BEST time and I know that is a huge relief!

  7. Nothing beats ordering a new car - especially picking the fun bits like the colours and accessories! I was so touched reading how Olivia and Jacob's school welcomed them back - I wish our schools were as fun and imaginative! So sorry to hear about your cousin and husband - I hope they are now much better. I cannot beleive how many people you know have had it - I am sure everyone here has had it but far too early (in that there wasn't the same testing) - your area will get there too! Hang on in there!

    1. Yes, it was exciting and I'm even more excited to see how it looks in person! And thank you for your kind words. B is doing very well and my cousin is starting to see some improvements, too, thank goodness!


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