2nd Half of April 2020

2nd Half of April 2020

Let me pick up the 2nd half of April. The day after I left off, it snowed. A lot.

Noel and I went on what I called a stupidly miserable run. It was cold and wet and very blah. But, we did it, so that’s something.

The theme for the day (it was spirit week) was dress like your favorite character. Both kids just wore their Halloween costumes. Spirit week was a fun little boost to the kids’ morale, especially with the weather being so dreary.

Friday was the final day of spirit week and the theme was bring your pet to school. The kids brought Charlie to morning Zoom announcements. After announcements, we went out for a quick snowshoe excursion before all the snow melted.

It was one of those seize the day moments. I’ve had a few of those during this stay-at-home period. The kids really didn’t want to go, but after dragging them out they had fun. It was so good to see the sun. We limped through school that day, but crossed the finish line.

I’d been feeling like Noel and I weren’t really getting any quality alone time. Yes, we’ve spent a lot of time together, but I missed date nights where we put in a little extra effort. We decided to do a stay at home date. We got dressed up and picked up takeout from the restaurant we were going to go to for our cancelled anniversary date five weeks earlier. We’ve gotten takeout a few times and each experience has been very interesting. Each business has different protocols. Some businesses have done really well with following state guidelines and have been really organized. Others clearly are floundering as they try to figure out everything. I suppose that could be said about people as individuals too – ha, ha . (Side note: Isn’t it funny how if you get takeout now you’re a hometown hero #saverestaurants, etc whereas before you were just lazy?) The kids ate in the basement and watched tv. They thought it was fantastic. I think we all enjoyed having a little space.

No pictures from Saturday. It was kind of a lazy day.

Sunday we had another passable church at home. A bunch of the neighbors were basically having a block party in the street (definitely more than 10 people and no social distancing) which was getting under my skin. It’s hard to be a rule follower sometimes. I’d noticed I was getting really worked up about other people not making the same decisions as me. I know it wasn’t helpful and only hurt myself, so I started to pray for more love, patience, and lower levels of annoyance. That evening we did a Zoom call with Noel’s cousins where we played Scattegories which was pretty fun. We finished off the night with some homemade buckeye ice cream – very delicious.

On Monday, I actually went in to work for a few hours. The Rec Center was still closed without an open date (and still is as I type this). In anticipation of when we would open, they were having people sign up in small shifts to come in and do cleaning. It was nice to leave the house, but obviously different than work was before Covid-19.

Nothing worth mentioning happened Tuesday. Wednesday was Earth Day. We went on a hike on the mesa which is always a mood boost. It was a busy day at home getting the kids to all their meetings and helping them understand their assignments. In the afternoon, I had three phone calls which was unusual, but also really energizing to talk to people.

Thursday I was really on with our schedule and keeping the kids on track. We doorbell ditched some canned fruit at a friends house and talked from a distance. When we got home, we left some sidewalk love notes for delivery people and anyone walking by.

On Friday we had some real lows with online learning (screaming and crying), but also some small triumphs. Ellen and I have really been butting heads about, well everything, but especially reading and writing. As an English major, it’s like a dagger to the heart. I’d been praying to figure out how we could help her. One of the answers came from Noel with a suggestion that we use a voice to text app to help her get less frustrated with her writing. We tried that and it was really helpful. She told her story to the app, it transcribed it and then she hand wrote it. It took so much less time and drama. The second was I felt like I should ask my parents for advice. I’m sure my parents could vouch that I rarely ask them for advice. I’m stubborn and independent, what can I say. When I asked them for advice, they suggested they could read with Ellen twice a week via Facetime. We tried it for the first time and it was amazing. Ellen read without screaming, crying, or throwing a fit.

There was a decent rain that afternoon so we grabbed our boots and ran outside to jump in some puddles. It was a really good natural release and way to celebrate the end of a week.

At that point, the state Stay-at-Home Order was going to expire the next Monday. That afternoon, our county announced that they would be extending their Stay-at-home order through May 8th. It was a bummer, but not surprising and in some ways felt strangely safe.

On Saturday, the big thing was getting some plants from a local nursery. I’d ordered online and we picked up the plants in the parking lot. The workers were a little frazzled and actually gave us the wrong tree which we sadly didn’t realize until we got home so we had to go back. I’d done a lot of research on trees that do well in CO and decided on a Hot Wings Maple Tree. I’m really excited about it. We had to cut a big limb off one of our big trees so it will get enough sun, but it will be good to have that tree when some of our older trees eventually bite the dust. I also bought some plants that hopefully do well in the area of the yard I call the bog. It was a physically exhausting, but fulfilling day.

Sunday was one of those days where I just felt really down. To quote the great movie Groundhog Day, it just felt like “every day is the same and nothing I do matters.” Noel was trying really hard to support me and give me space. Sometimes we just have sad days. I did make a few masks a neighbor had requested for their parents. You can also see from the picture that I gave myself a bang trim. It’s not unusual for me to trim my own bangs, but I did cut them a bit shorter than usual. It’s fine, they grow out.

Monday was a no-school day and the weather was lovely so the kids and I spent some time outdoors working in the yard. It was really good for my soul.

On Tuesday, Noel went to Home Depot to pick up a bunch of stuff for house projects. Even though he went early and on a week day Home Depot was crazy busy – like regular weekend busy. I guess not as busy as it is on weekends though. A worker told him they often have a line outside on Saturdays since they only allow so many people in the store at once. I guess everyone decided to work on their yards and houses since we’re all stuck at home.

On Wednesday, the yard was inspiring me. I wrote this on Instagram:

It’s been a rough spring even for the plants. Due to late repeated frosts, my crabapple tree that would normally be adorned with delicate pink flowers just looks stripped down with dead buds clinging to the branches. There are times I feel like that crabapple tree, but I’m reminding myself to be more like my tulips. Tulips are resilient. Despite being buried by deep snow multiple times and having their leaves crushed and mangled, they still bloomed. When people walk by my house I see them stop and look at the tulips and smile. The flowers bring color into people’s lives and into mine. Be like the tulips. Hang in there. Bloom anyway.

PS And even though that crabapple tree didn’t bloom this year, it’s resilient in its own way and will try again next year. It still has beauty to come.

Cooper mowed the lawn with our new mower.

On Thursday, the last day of April, I made another grocery store trip. (Isn’t it great that grocery store trips are now considered so monumental . . . ) The kids seemed to finish school in a timely manner and I wasn’t in a mood to question whether they’d actually done everything and let them turn on the sprinklers and have some fun. That night Noel and I had another scheduled “date” – watching the Parks and Rec special. It was fun, but also a tiny bit sad because the actors, just like the rest of us, can’t be in the same room.

That finishes out the roller coaster known as April. I hope all of you are hanging in there on your own wild rides!

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