Hello There! + Pandemic Randoms

Hello my friends! I suppose I ought to check in, say hello, and play catch up for a bit. It’s been quite a few months, right? I’ve needed lots of time to rest and center myself and WORK and WORK and WORK and get/keep my priorities straight, and sometimes keeping up with this blog just felt like too much! But as school starts back (in a much different way as ever before for us:)), we are developing a routine again (albeit a totally new routine), which does feel good. So let me get you caught up as best I can, and throw in a few randoms too, since it’s been a while! Here are the high points:

-I think my last blog post was from early May, and honestly, not much has changed around here since then! We’ve continued working from home exclusively which has been great, and the dogs LOVE laying at our feet under our desks all day. We went on two vacations, so we did get out of the house a bit! We went south to the Okefenokee Swamp for our first camping excursion (in a cabin) and boated through the swamp (in complete terror) but had an amazing weekend with the wildlife and without internet!

-And then we went to the beach, to St. Augustine/Ponte Vedra, Florida, about a week before the coronavirus started getting really bad in the state. We were in a beach house with my family (who had all been quarantining the same as us prior to the trip), and we didn’t even leave the house the whole week! It was so nice to get out of the house and hug family!

-We started back to school on August 4th, and elected to go with digital learning for the Luton Family (#LutonAcademy). I’m not going to get into all the details of our decision, but with SO MANY THINGS to consider going back to school this year, it was the best option for us. And with three weeks under our belts now, it is certainly a challenge, but honestly, digital learning is going better than I had expected! The kids are being troopers and we are keeping a positive attitude. We really are trying to see this as a God-given opportunity and a blessing instead of a burden and an inconvenience. Easier said than done some days, but when we focus on the good instead of the bad, the more good we see. And the better attitudes we have overall!

I recognize how overwhelmingly blessed we are to be in the position to be able to homeschool the kids during this time. Owning our own businesses provides a great deal of flexibility, but it has by NO means been easy. I am still working FULLLLLLLLL time and have more or less moved my office into the playroom that we converted into the classroom! But if I can do anything, I can multi-task, and it has been an extensive exercise in time management, for sure. But honestly, all things considered, I wouldn’t change it for the world. This experience has also given me a very different perspective on my kids. I have always been proud of them, but watching them work so hard and dedicate themselves to school work in such unusual circumstances, and treat each other so well (for the most part), and also have grace in their hearts for old mom and dad who are doing their best here, well, I have NEVER been more proud of them than in these last few weeks. Blessing, I tell ya. I am typically pretty hard on my kids because I know what they are capable of and expect them to live up to that. But God has given me an opportunity to see them in a different way and learn that the kids that He has entrusted to me are pretty amazing and I’m not sure that I would ever receive the opportunity to see them this way otherwise. I’ve had many moments this week of overwhelming pride and gratitude, and I’m holding onto those moments during the harder times.

-Scott and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on Wednesday! We usually like to go out to a nice dinner for our anniversary, but since we’re not dining out in restaurants yet, I put together a menu and made a nice dinner at home! The kids helped and loved the idea of a fancy dinner at home. They also loved the chocolate fondue for dessert! After dinner, we had an impromptu family movie night, piled on the couch and watched the Princess Bride, which they LOVED. We have been going through a list of family movie classics for a while now, and it’s so great to see the kids fall in love with movies I’ve loved all my life! Next up- Footloose!

-And last, we quietly celebrated Scott’s birthday yesterday! He is not big on celebrating his birthday, so we made it a very low key day and just made him lots of yummy treats and gave him lots of hugs all day long! We started the day with homemade cinnamon rolls (they rival Cinnabon, honest to God), snacked a bit during the day, I fried chicken for dinner that we ate with some pimiento mac & cheese (from Up in Smoke– check it out of you’re local!), and then wrapped up the night with a peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake. If only the Braves had won! I still think he had a pretty good birthday. We sure are thankful for him.

Now I think we’re all caught up! I thought I’d also share some other random things that have been going on or on my mind. Take a little read through!

-I’ve basically only worn two pairs of shoes all summer, these and these, and they are the most comfortable shoes I own. I never considered myself a Birkenstocks girls, but they are my absolute favorites, I wear them ALL the time.

-And I’ve worn dresses lit-er-ally all summer long. This dress is far and away my absolute fave. I have it in three different patterns and want it in at least two more! It’s loose and light and comfortable, and as comfortable as pajamas but looks like you’ve given a bit more effort, ha!

-I am counting down the days until November 15th and the premiere of Season 4 of The Crown. Already looks AMAZING!!!

-I’m so tired of paying for Uncrustables and I went ahead and ordered this Sandwich Cutter & Sealer to make our own! I’m made a bunch at one time, stuck them in a ziploc freezer bag, and will be pulling them out to thaw as we need them. But more on our lunch routine another time!

I am still making bread multiple times a week and I would love to try this recipe. Sounds so good!

This candle smells EXACTLY like Capri Blue’s famous Volcano candle, but 1/4 the price! I’ve bought whatever WalMart has in stock when I’m in the store!

-If you haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek, you need to watch it. If you’ve already watched Schitt’s Creek, watch it again. It’s funnier the second time around and everyone needs a little bit Alexis right now.

I think that’s it for now! I have plans for several new posts, and hopefully I’ll have time to get them written before three more months have passed, but I can’t make any promises, ha! I am praying that you are all doing well, or at least hanging in there, and know that doing the best you can can look very different from person to person right now. STILL. Hope you have a WONDERFUL day!

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