How are You Holding Up? + Links I Love

Hello my friends! I heard the new “hello” is “how are you holding up?” My feelings change day to day, minute to minute. There are days that I’m good and there are days that get my anxiety takes over and I cry all day. A friend of mine on Facebook described it as “heavy,” and that’s how this quarantine has felt a lot for me. The beginning was great- the kids did really well and I managed okay, but things were new, and there wasn’t a lot of school work to do yet. Then the novelty wore off. It got really hard to manage school and work and staying healthy and staying safe and keep up with the virus and watch the news and grieve for others and sew enough masks for healthcare workers and cook ALL the food and feel secure and be a good wife and take care of myself and it has been SO MUCH on my mind. It has been hard.

The kids are doing really well, all things considered. They would love to get out of the house, but they are managing just fine. We had a lovely and extremely low key Easter yesterday. We got up late, the kids enjoyed their Easter baskets, we stayed in our jammies all day, and ate our nice, big, traditional Easter dinner. We had our spring break this past week, and it was nice to have a break from digital learning and have a bit of a rest. School has been canceled for the rest of the year, which, no matter how much I wholeheartedly agree with the decision, was really hard to hear. Brantley will miss the end, the most fun part, of her fifth-grade year. Her trip to Washington DC, that I was going to chaperone, was canceled. BUT- if that’s the sacrifice we have to make, then so be it. We are blessed, we are privileged, we are lucky, we are together. And we will listen to the experts, we will listen to our healthcare workers, we will listen to the warnings of those who know better and more than we do, and we will stay home and do our part.

The Coronavirus has taken a lot from us as a family and us as a culture. I’ve told a few people, through chuckles, that I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel comfortable leaving the house again. But, I’m really not sure I’ll ever feel the same about large crowds (not my favorite anyway), or cold and flu season, or hand sanitization… I think we will have lost some innocence (naivete?) in this pandemic. Kind of like your grandma that saves every piece of aluminum foil because of her experiences through the great depression and the war years, I think there will be things that we keep with us too. I don’t ever want to be, or feel, so unprepared or ignorant ever again.

But we are rolling with the punches. The kids seem to have an internal clock like me- they like to stay up late and sleep late, they are raring and ready to go on Mondays, but by Fridays (Thursdays?) they’re done. So, we’re adjusting. They sleep late and then get their schoolwork done midday, and then they do what they want. I don’t overschedule them because we don’t overschedule our time at home at all anymore (and haven’t for a good while, even before the coronavirus)! I am that girl that’s doing alllllll the baking (you know I love cooking, but I typically do not bake) and make desserts to go with dinner almost every night. Scott makes big breakfasts (and has perfected sunny side up eggs) and makes dinner too when the day has been too much for me. There’s been more family dinners, lots of game playing, even some dance parties (not my thing). There have been some blow-ups, but more apologies. Some tears, but more hugs. More anxiety, but OH MY GOODNESS, so much more prayer. Like a friend of mine said on Instagram, I 100% do not believe that God is punishing his children with the coronavirus. But I DO believe that he is using it to bring us closer to him. I’m choosing to lean in.

If anything good comes of this virus, I know we will learn a lot about each other and how a connection with our family unit and the people we love most is the most important thing in the world. It will give us the opportunity to take a good look at our life at a bare-bones level, and really think hard about what we want to add back in. Who we want to add back in. Which activities are necessary and soul-filling and which are worth letting go. It will also give us the opportunity to draw closer to Jesus. I have joined a new prayer meeting group at church via Zoom calls, and it’s been life-changing. I may not have been able to join if it was not for the zoom call option which wouldn’t have been an option at all if we were not at home. This is a hard, HARD time, and it’s so very tough on all of us in different ways. But like my Bible study friend said the other day, we just have to be tougher. That’s it. We have no other options. And we WILL. But we don’t have to be tough alone. He is with us. Now, through this pandemic, and always.

Here are some more fun links to get you through, help you out, make you laugh, and keep your spirits up. This is hard. No need to deny it. But you know what? We can do hard things.

Dinner: A Love Story is a favorite blog of mine anyway, but I am loving their Project Pantry Purpose series right now.

The CUTEST doodle house project for the kids.

Cards Against Humanity created a FREE downloadable version of their new Family Edition!

This Green Chile & Cheese Dip & Spread tastes homemade but it’s from the store (and I’m obsessed- available at Kroger)!

So funny, but so good (I mean, her scarves ARE amazing!).

Nikon is offering free photography classes the entire month of April (10 classes usually $15-50 each!).

We hadn’t had baked potatoes in a long time, until I started making them this way. Now Scott requests them almost weekly!

The kids and I did this online Watercolor Class for Kids over the summer and it’s so great. Great spring break staycation or art class-sub activity!

If you’re not following Leslie Jordan on Instagram, you need to! SO FUNNY!!

I made these Lemon Bars last week and they’re delicious!!

The second episode of Some Good News with John Krasinski is out, and SO GOOD!! Check out the first episode with special guest Steve Carell too, if you haven’t yet.

A fun (and tasty) activity for the kids this week!

Y’all take care. Stay home, stay safe, and love on your family.

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