I Miss Reading

Day 37

Every year I set a reading goal. I put it on Goodreads so that I can hold myself accountable. Two years ago, it was 30 books. Last year it was 40 books.  I achieved both of those goals. This year, I decided to really challenge myself and try to read a book a week – 52 books. When we first entered this stay at home order, I was actually looking forward to days when I wouldn’t have a lot on the schedule because that meant I would be able to read – maybe even surpass my goal for the year. 

I don’t know about other readers out there, but I am having a lot of trouble reading in this time of quarantine. I have read exactly one half of one book. I’ve started multiple books, but I only make it a few pages. I’m thoroughly disappointed in myself.  My husband once told my mom that one of the reasons he married me was because I like to read.  If he met me now, I doubt he could make the same assertion. I still like to read, but, man, I’m having a hard time calming down my mind to do so.  Somehow, binge watching a show I’ve already seen a couple times has captured my attention like a book is incapable of doing.  I hope that changes.  I miss reading.  I really do love it. 

Tomorrow, Arden has her first online video call with her class.  We found out about it a couple days ago and it is all she’s been able to talk about since.  She is really missing her friends.  I’m hopeful our woefully inadequate internet will cooperate so that she can see and be seen. 

We both really need hair attention. I told her a couple of nights ago (when I was combing out her very long, very unruly hair) that when we can get out of this house, she and I are going to make a weekend of going to Springfield. We will both get appointments with our favorite stylist. We will stay in a hotel and eat at all our favorite restaurants. We will go to all the stores we love.  And we will get this hair TAMED.  It is definitely something to look forward to. I am praying that happens sooner rather than later. We both are.

News of the Day

Over 2.5 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 174,000 people have died.

The United States has more than 800,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 43,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

President Trump announced on Twitter that “in light of the Invisible Enemy” he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are extending restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days.

As some areas of the U.S. begin relaxing social distancing restrictions, a new poll showed a majority of Americans fear easing those guidelines could result in more deaths.

Plan for the Day:

Yet again, I’m writing this in the evening, so I don’t really have a plan. I did get all the laundry finished and put away today. And Romeo and I took several long walks. Tomorrow is supposed to be 72 degrees, so I’m hopeful we can do the same before and after Arden’s class call.

See you tomorrow!
Cheers!

How Fast Can You Pedal?

Day 36

And it is the start of Week 6 at home. That is a very strange thing to write; at times it feels that long and at others it doesn’t seem quite that long. It feels long, but six weeks sounds crazy.

This weekend was beautiful and warm.  It was also really windy. I was outside a lot on Saturday and by the time evening rolled around, my allergies were so worked up by whatever was blowing in the wind that my eyes looked like I’d gone 12 rounds in a boxing ring. It was incredibly attractive. It was also incredibly uncomfortable.

I hid inside yesterday and, thankfully, my eyes have returned to their normal shape and size. I was surprised that I had that reaction so quickly after the SNOW STORM the day before, but this is my first spring in this area of the state.  I guess I will be learning as I go as far as the allergies are concerned.

Arden and I have finished up our schooling for the day. Today was relatively painless. We started a new section in Science and are learning about energy. We got to learn about an amusement park in Italy where all of the rides are powered by human effort. We decided that while it looked cool and fun, neither of us would want to work that hard to ride a roller coaster! However, if we were given the chance to go to Italy TODAY and pedal our way through a bunch of amusement park rides – we’d jump on it in a second because it would get us OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!!

We also watched a demonstration of how scientists can (through burning food with liquid oxygen and a flame) determine which foods have more calories.  In case you are interested- cheese puffs have more calories than marshmallows. The more you know…

Nothing else to report on this lovely Monday.   Are we there yet?

News of the Day:

Over 2.4 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 160,000 people have died.

The United States has had nearly 760,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 40,000 deaths.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are extending restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days.

As some areas of the U.S. begin relaxing social distancing restrictions, a new poll showed a majority of Americans fear easing those guidelines could result in more deaths.

Plan of the Day:

Laundry. Still working my way through the Good Wife. 

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

Good Grief

Day 33

We were “blessed” with about 10 inches of snow overnight. Which promptly melted in the 50 degree temperatures of the rest of the day.

The Governor announced the end of the school year – at least in an actual school today.  We, parents, are required to finish out the learning year at home. I’m totally great with that…not….I suck at this.

There is a 3 stage plan to reopen the economy (which no state except for Idaho is ok with) that was announced yesterday.  

So, basically the whole thing is GREAT.  Everything is FINE. We are all going to be OK. Nothing to see here.

I have nothing else to say.  Today basically sucks. 

I’m not writing anymore today – because nothing goes away on the internet and I don’t want to be held responsible for my emotional outbursts at a later date.

News of the Day:

Over 2.2 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 149,000 people have died.

The United States has had over 683,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 34,000 deaths, leading the world in both numbers.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unloaded on President Trump after the commander in chief criticized him for “complaining” about a lack of federal assistance.

Cuomo called Trump’s new federal guidelines to help states reopen the U.S. economy meaningless. “He didn’t announce anything,” Cuomo said. “He’s doing nothing.”

Plan for the Day:

Yeah, who cares.

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

Full Of Whine

Day 32

Did you notice I didn’t post yesterday? Probably not, because every day seems like the day before and all of these just run together. I really am running out of things to say – which, for me, is very troubling. I never run out of things to say!

Our internet service is not bringing me joy right now. We are using it all day long and it isn’t keeping up with what we need. When we moved out here, we had to get satellite internet service and it just isn’t great. It is fine when just one of us is trying to stream things or do online shopping or watch Netflix, but when all three of us are trying to do things all at the same time – it is SLOW.  I try to do some of the things I need to do online when no one else is using the WI-FI, but even this morning when Terry has already left for work and Arden is still in bed – the daggum thing isn’t doing very well. I’ve tried to adjust my Wal-Mart order 10 times this morning and it just keeps buffering. It could be a problem with the Wal-Mart app but I’m betting it is our junky WI-FI. Just one more thing to complain about this morning I guess.

This morning I turned on the news and saw that we have the potential for 8 – 10 inches of snow tonight. What in the ACTUAL HECK IS GOING ON!?!? I know it can snow in IL in April, I just don’t want it to. Thankfully the temperature is supposed to be up near the 60s this weekend, so even if we do get the snow they are predicting, it won’t stay around long. I just dread the mess that 10 inches of melting snow will bring. One of the interesting and different things that we discovered when moving to this area is because we are very near the River, our ground is very sandy. Because of the sandy ground, things dry out pretty quickly – but the clumpy, sandy mud that results after a big storm or snow gets EVERYWHERE in the house because it sticks to your feet like glue. I suppose this isn’t a big deal now, because what else do I have to do other than vacuum for hours on end. Sigh. I would not be upset at all if the weatherman was wrong this time. I’m not looking for 100% accuracy in this forecast – it would be totally OK with me if the snow skipped us altogether – I would throw an internal party if this forecast was completely WRONG!

Yesterday, Arden’s school posted a video for the kids of a lot of the teachers saying hello to the kids.  I didn’t get the chance to show Arden last night – it is on the list of things to do during our “school” time today – but I just sat in my bed with tears running down my face as I watched it. I am very sad about how this whole thing has upended her life and the lives of all the kids at school. Moving to a new school district is HARD and she was kind of hitting her stride of having a group of friends and starting to “fit in” when this all blew up. As much as she says she doesn’t want to go back to school, I know she is struggling with not knowing if she will be able to keep up with that momentum of settling in when they finally allow schools to reopen. Yet another unknown in this cornucopia of unknownness.  I keep asking her if she needs to talk or if there is anything I can do to help her cope, but we both know that other than just “being here” there isn’t much we can do other than walk through it and pray for a quick end to the separation.

For the first few weeks of this stay at home situation, I kept up a lot with the news and the predictions of the “experts”, but I have found in the last 4 or 5 days I just can’t watch or listen much anymore. The predictions are so disheartening that I feel my anxiety pick up with each news report. The idea that we will not have sporting events or gatherings until 2021 or 2022 is not something I can wrap my brain around. Predictions of business not opening this summer. Companies failing and not being able to reopen at all. I can’t even envision how that would work. I can’t imagine how people would be able to live and eat and survive.  It is just too much. So I’ve turned it off for the most part. I listen to one or two news updates in the morning and try to find other things to occupy the time. I suppose if something really important happens, there will be an alert on my phone and I can deal with that when it occurs.

Well, I guess I haven’t run out of words!  Thank God! Crisis averted! 

Tomorrow is Friday – just in case you needed that reminder. Praying for some good news this weekend – I think we could all use it.

News of the Day:

Over 2 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 138,000 people have died.

The United States has had over 639,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 30,000 deaths, leading the world in both numbers.

Another 5.245 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the week ending April 11, according to numbers released by the U.S. Labor Department. In just the last four weeks, the number of total unemployment claims has reached 22 million.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has extended its lockdown until May 3.

Plan for the Day:

Try to get my grocery order fixed. School work for Arden – we finished fractions yesterday, so today is a “Play” day, which means I trick her into doing math by using a game app. Prepare for the snow apocalypse. 

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

Eat More Pig

Day 30

Does anyone else have a ton of leftover ham from Easter? I ordered a small spiral ham on my last Wal-Mart pick up order, but they were out of the one I requested and gave me a much larger one. Ordinarily that would be ok – we would have more than 3 people eating and I’d be able to send leftovers home with whomever was over.  However, that was not the case this year. We have SO much ham leftover, we will never eat it in its original form.  

We don’t like ham and beans or ham salad, so I was searching for something to use the ham to make – other than sandwiches. Here’s what I came up with:

Slow Cooker Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder:

  • 6 – 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups half and half

Place potatoes, corn, chicken broth, ham, onions and salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. After cooking, mash potatoes to desired consistency. Add butter and half and half. Turn up the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for an additional 30 – 60 minutes.

 

Arden, of course, would not try it, but Terry had two bowls and I think it will reheat nicely for the next few days.  I had everything (except the half and half) in my pantry – so it was a good option to use up a good portion of the ham. We still have quite a bit of leftover ham – but at least some of it was put to another use.

I wish I had some corn bread to go with it, but I forgot to grab a box when I went to get the half and half.  Oh well – still a tasty dinner on a way too cool night (for spring).

Other than that, not much to report on this last day of spring break. We were quite lazy. Tomorrow we are back to the grind of school. Arden can’t quite decide if she wants school to resume or if she wants it to be out for the year.

I know which I would pick!

She asks every day if the Governor has announced if he is going to allow the schools to reopen. He has not – at least not that I’ve heard. I agree with her, in that I wish they would just announce it one way or another. It is hard not knowing. It is hard not to have a way to plan, even if the plan is just that we are here for the remainder of the school year. It would be nice to know if the end of the school years is what was scheduled or something different. It would just be nice to have any definitive information! 

I will say, that as hard as it is for Arden to be alone so much of the time, I am particularly thankful that I don’t have multiple children to keep entertained and on task for school at home.  I am quite confident I would be ready to be fitted for a straight jack! I don’t know how parents of multiple children are doing it. Especially if one parent is at work or trying to work while the other is primarily responsible for the child care/schooling!  

Like I’ve asked before, Are we there yet?!?!?!?!?

News of the Day:

Nearly 2 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 123,000 people have died.

The United States has had over 592,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 25,000 deaths, leading the world in both numbers.

President Trump lashed out at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after Cuomo dismissed Trump’s assertion that the president has “total” authority to reopen state economies.

Trump used Monday’s coronavirus task force briefing to berate reporters who challenged his assertion that “everything we did was right.”

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments by telephone beginning next month.

Plan for the Day: I started re-watching The Good Wife. So that will keep me busy for awhile. 

See you tomorrow!

Cheers

Darling Girl

Day 29

It is the beginning of week 5. How are we doing? Everybody still hanging in? We have two days left of “spring break” before we start back up with “school days” on Wednesday. Arden informed us last night that she thinks she should “pull an all-nighter” last night and tonight because she wanted to see if she could. 

First, how does she even know the term “all-nighter” and Second, what kind of mother does it make me that I was like “good luck to you, I’m going to sleep!”?  I’m fairly sure she made it until about midnight, and she is still asleep. So, if you see the Mother of the Year Award folks around, send them my way – because I am definitely WINNING that prize this week!

Before you call in the parent police – we will return to our regularly scheduled bed times Tuesday night.  But there are battles I’m willing to fight right now and others that I am not. And making sure the child was asleep by 9:30 p.m. was not a hill I was willing to die on last night.

All these days alone or at least separated from everyone but the three of us has me thinking back to the past. I’m sure we are all wool-gathering, as my grandma used to call it, these days. I get Facebook memory reminders everyday – and some of those have sent me down memory lane to more fun times, more connected times.

One of today’s memories was a picture of Arden in dress up clothes. She was dressed as a princess with a paper crown on her head. She was smiling a big smile and the caption read – Ready for the ball!

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I remember those days of dress up.  She would try to put on every piece of play clothing she had. I would hear her sweet voice talking to her dolls and stuffed animals – instructing them on proper behavior. 

I would sneak down the hallway and stand outside her room and just listen to her.  She could talk to those “friends” for what seemed like hours. She has always had an extensive vocabulary – probably because we always just talked to her like “normal” – so those times of instruction with the dolls were full of very familiar phrases. It was like listening to a four-year old version of myself talking!  A very good reminder that little ears are always listening.

Now that she is 10 years old and nearly as tall as I am, there are times I miss those days, but mostly I love this stage of her life.  Listening to her explain things or reason through problems or tell a story, is one of the most fun things of my day. I love how her mind works.  I love how intuitive she is. I love how empathetic she is. I’m less enthusiastic about the emergence of some significant “tude” as Terry calls it.  She actually said “whatever” to me last night and, even though she was kidding, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up in fear of what her teenage years may bring! Lord, give us all strength!

Well, the princess has arisen from her slumber and now requires nourishment. We do live to serve!

News of the Day:

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passed 115,000 on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.8 million people have tested positive for the virus.

The U.S. has had more than 22,000 deaths and 558,000 COVID-19 cases, leading the world in both reported numbers.

A U.S. Navy sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt died of COVID complications at a military hospital in Guam Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments by telephone beginning next month.

New York State passed 10,000 deaths, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “the worst is over.”

Plan for the Day:

I pulled out some Bible studies I bought when the Lifeway store in Springfield went out of business a few years ago.  I never got around to doing them before now. My brain is dying for some study – so I am going to start one of those. Arden has a plan to do a lot of nothing. We will likely stay inside as much as possible today – the winds are gusting around 30 mph and it is 30 degrees out there.  Not fit for man, nor beast – especially on April 13th!!!

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

Celebrate Jesus, Celebrate

Day 28

Happy Easter! He is Risen Just as He Said!

This year, we all did Easter very differently than we ever have before. We gathered separately, in our homes, around computer screens or TVs.  My family wore pjs and wandered in and out through the service (we are all having a hard time settling in one spot for long). It feels weird to sing out loud when there aren’t other people around – at least as loudly as we usually would in a more corporate setting. It was just a strange experience. 

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This Easter got me thinking about my Easters growing up. When I was a child, we lived in San Diego, California and attended a church which held Easter Sunrise Service at a local lake. When one thinks of California, one thinks of warm, sandy beaches. I can assure you, Easter Sunrise Service was not warm and the shores of the lake were not sandy.  It was always cold, always rocky and always damp. My mother, in proper Christian lady form, made sure that each year we wore brand new patent leather shoes (which were typically ruined by the end of the service because my sister and I would try to stay warm and awake by chasing the ducks around the lakefront), a new Easter dress (normally sleeveless)  and a hat. This tradition may be why I’m always late to get Arden a new dress for Easter – there may be some PTSD associated with these experiences. 

Lest you think it was all misery, one of my favorite memories from childhood is the time in every year’s service when our pastor would sing He’s Alive. I can still remember the goosebumps rising on my arms when he would get to the part that went…

“But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With His arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried”

I could smell the air. I could see the light. I could see Jesus in my mind. Today, I could nearly type all those lyrics from memory even though I haven’t heard that song in decades. I’m not sure that I could bear to hear it today – it might just do me in!

I know there have been many famous artists who have released this song, but none will ever have more impact on my heart and mind as the memory of that song, on that lakeshore, every Easter at sunrise.  

We will get back to our “normal” lives at some point – whatever “normal” means in this world after these trying times. But I am reminded, that just as life was never the same after that first Easter; life will not be the same after this one. But one thing, the most important thing, remains.  He’s Alive!  And because He lives – I can face tomorrow. (another song we sang nearly every Easter!)

Today, when the sun rose and I walked outside with the dog, the first thing on my mind was those Easter mornings so long ago and I hummed the song as we walked…

He’s alive. He’s alive.  He’s alive and I’m forgiven – Heaven’s Gates are open wide!

Happy Easter All!

News of the Day:

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passed 110,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.8 million people have tested positive for the virus.

The U.S. passed more than 21,000 deaths and 530,000 cases, leading the world in both reported numbers.

Pope Francis live-streamed Easter Sunday Mass for Catholics celebrating the holiday under lockdown.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from the hospital where he was treated in intensive care.

Plan for the Day:

Easter lunch, finish watching Ben-Hur, nap.

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

Breakfast and Boredom

Day 27

Another weekend. Have I mentioned the weekends are the hardest? Looks like, yes, I did – last weekend. I will reiterate – the weekends are the hardest. The lack of plans gets to me. Not that we had a lot of weekend plans before this, but we always COULD have weekend plans. So, I guess the lack of the possibility of plans is what is getting me down.

We are due for some nasty weather later this afternoon and all day tomorrow – so that is a bummer as well.  This morning I woke up early (thanks, Dog) and couldn’t go back to sleep. Couldn’t really concentrate on anything on T.V. Couldn’t calm my mind to read much.  So I got up, turned on some music and made a big breakfast – sausage, eggs, cinnamon rolls, coffee. My family was a bit surprised. I don’t often make breakfast.  I don’t really eat breakfast, so I don’t spend a lot of time making breakfast. We sometimes have breakfast for dinner, and I can whip up the full spread. But in the morning?  Nope. Morning breakfast is grab what you can and Mom makes coffee.

After breakfast, I baked brownies. I cleaned the kitchen. I took the dog for another walk. I took a long bath.  I AM BORED!!!! I guess I’m not actually bored in the real sense of the word – because there are things that can and should be done, but I don’t want to DO any of them. 

Easter is tomorrow. I have all the things to make a big meal. I found Easter basket materials and Terry found plastic eggs – so the child will have an Easter surprise awaiting her. I am pretty much sure she knows there is no Easter Bunny, but she is clinging to the hope that there is – so we will lean into that. No sense shattering any more illusions just now.

I will have an Easter service ready on the computer in the morning and hopefully we can spend the day eating and singing and celebrating. I guess that is something of a plan.

Monday we are still on “spring break”, so no formal school assignments – I know Arden likes that – but I feel like we are trudging ever closer to complete slothfulness.  I need to get something pulled together that we can do that doesn’t feel like school, but actually IS learning. Unfortunately, my creativity button broke about two weeks ago – so that seems like a very daunting task!  I did put together an indoor and an outdoor scavenger hunt idea before my creativity deserted me (and by “put together” I mean copied with some adjustments from something I saw on the internets). Maybe we will do one of those. 

The question that keeps coming to my mind throughout this entire thing is – are we there yet? I don’t know where “there” is – but I’d like to get there.  “There” holds a lot of unknowns, but at least it would be a kind of destination. The ambiguity of this present time is a lot to handle – especially for a personality type that thrives on a plan. 

Hope you are having a more productive Saturday!

News of the Day:

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passed 100,000 on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.67 million people have tested positive for the virus. 

The U.S. remains the epicenter of the pandemic, with over 500,000 cases and more than 18,000 deaths. More than 2,000 people died in a single day. New York State now has more reported coronavirus cases (161,000) than any country except the U.S. as a whole.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is out of intensive care and said to be “in good spirits” able to take “short walks” in the hospital.

Plan for the Day: 

A plan would be nice.

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

About Death

Day 26

Good Friday. I did not write yesterday. It was the first day of “spring break” and so I took a break as well. 

Today is a solemn day in the church calendar. It is the day when we, as Christians, come face to face with the consequences of our sin. It is a painful day to look at – full in the face – and acknowledge that because of our rebellion, Jesus had to die. It is a horrific day. It is a gruesome day. 

I’ve been listening to Holy Week scripture readings every day this week. One of the podcasts I listen to has been using each day’s broadcast to read the happenings from each gospel for each day of this week. I’ve been fascinated to hear the story from the four gospels and how each of the authors remembered the events. From a purely historic perspective it is a reminder that we all see, remember and value different elements from a common event. I think that is true of all shared experiences – we each take something different from the moments we witness. It was definitely true in the retelling of the life of Christ. What Matthew found worthy or important to include was very different from what John chose to include.  These differences carry through into the death of Jesus. 

I’ve been awake for a couple hours and have been putting off listening to the Good Friday readings. I know what they say. I know what is coming. I know it will hurt to listen. I also know that it isn’t the end of the story.  However, I have to walk through today to get to the resurrection.

Good Friday has a personal relevance to me as well, aside from the salvation offered in the sacrifice. Good Friday is the day I faced one of the biggest and most heart-wrenching decisions of my life. Good Friday is the day when I came face to face with my personal and professional failings and had to let a big piece of my ambition die.  I don’t think I’ve shared this story publicly before – in fact I’m sure I haven’t. Writing it down is hard. Acknowledging the utter failure is humiliating, but walking through it really did bring about a resurrection in my soul.

Five years ago I was working in a very demanding job. I was running at 100 miles an hour every day/all day and not really making any headway.  I was failing on an epic level. I would take 3 steps forward and fall behind 5. I was neglecting my family to try to keep up. I was drinking too much to dull the feelings of inadequacy.  To say it bluntly – I was a hot mess.

Things came to a head on Good Friday.  I was called in and told that I wasn’t meeting expectations and something had to change.  I felt exposed and embarrassed and useless and devastated. I went home completely defeated and just cried in my bedroom for hours.  The ironic thing is that I didn’t even like the job. I had worked really hard to get it because I thought that was the next right thing, but it was killing me on the inside. That is a really hard reality to come up against. 

When the tears subsided, Terry and I sat in our room and he asked me a question that changed my life. He asked me what I wanted. Not in the sense of what I wanted for dinner or what I wanted to do for Easter, but what I wanted from and for my life. That question stopped me in my tracks.  I don’t think I had asked myself that question in a real sense ever, and I know no one else had ever asked me that. And so I paused and thought about it. What did I WANT? And the answer was as clear as day – I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I wanted to write. I wanted to pour my energy and skills into my marriage and my home and my daughter.  I didn’t want to miss out on Arden’s life because I was always at work. I wanted to quit this job that was killing me and focus on my home.

As soon as I said those words out loud, all the reasons why this was a completely irrational idea came.  We couldn’t afford what I wanted. I had worked since I was 15. I have never not worked. I find value in myself through work. Did I mention we couldn’t afford it? Terry and I talked through all these obstacles and prayed.  I stayed up all night praying. When morning came, so did peace. We made the decision I would quit my job and become a stay at home mom. 

It was scary and daunting and really hard.  The years since haven’t been easy. We’ve sacrificed a lot of things to make it work. I’ve had days when I missed putting on work clothes and picking up my briefcase and going to work. There have been days when I have wondered if I’m wasting my life. I’ve had days when I’ve regretted the decision. But I’ve also had days when I know down to my bones that I saved my sanity by making the choice.  I’ve had days when I was able to be an advocate for my child because I was present and involved at a level I could have never been had I stayed in that job. I have days when I am able to write for hours and find deep satisfaction and worth in the words that fill the page. And most of all, I have these days. These days of mandated stay at home. Because of what happened 5 years ago, I have been uniquely equipped for these days.  Thankfully, the choices and adjustments we had to make when we lost my income have made this time easier. I have an at-home rhythm established. I’m able to more easily navigate food and menu planning on a budget because I’ve been doing it for a long time. We don’t fear the loss of my job, because there is no job to lose. There are a lot of things that were planted 5 years ago that are coming to fruition today.

I tell this story to say this – something died on Good Friday 5 years ago. But something rose as well.  It has taken a long time for me to look at that time and see the beauty that came from those ashes. I have worked hard to forgive myself for the failure.  I haven’t always been great at it. I haven’t been a perfect stay-at-home mom. I have been a far from perfect wife. But I will always be so grateful for the journey, because it allowed me to see in a small, personal way that life can come from death. 

And so, I will listen to the story of the Crucifixion today.  I will sit in the sadness and hopelessness of this day. I will feel the guilt and shame that this day brings.  And I will rejoice – because this is not the end. 

Sunday is coming.

News of the Day:

Over 1.6 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 97,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. remains the epicenter of the pandemic, with over 466,000 cases and more than 16,000 deaths.

Multiple cities are reporting that the virus is disproportionally killing black Americans.

New York State now has more reported coronavirus cases than any country except the U.S. as a whole.

There were 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims or the week ending April 4 — almost 1 million more than economists were expecting.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is out of intensive care as he continues to recover from COVID-19.

Plan for the Day

Good Friday readings. “Attend” a Good Friday service. Start preparing for Easter. Enjoy the sunshine

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

Covid19 Playlist

Day 24

Good morning, friends.  I hope you are doing well today!  Today I’m bringing you a little gift I made.

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but the titles to all of the blog entries I’ve posted since starting this Covid19 journal have been the titles to songs.  Everyday, I tried to find a song title that linked with whatever the “topic” of that day’s entry happened to be.  To be honest, some days that was the thing that got me writing – I was on a streak of songs!

So, today I put together a playlist of all the songs from that list.  There are 23.

As I was compiling the playlist, I realized that there is really something for everyone in there – old and new; country and Christians; Rock and Blues – it is QUITE eclectic! I hope you enjoy it.  It is just a way to say “thank you” for walking along this road with me.  I appreciate the encouraging words and “keep it ups” y’all send.

Today is our last day of school before “Spring Break”.  So we will soldier through our assignments and then put away our work for a few days. I’ll keep posting, but now that I’ve let you in on my little “secret” with the songs, I’m going to have to come up with something a bit more clever to title the posts!

Here is the link for the Spotify playlist:  Covid19 Playlist

(If you don’t have Spotify – it is a free music app you can download. No pressure, but that is where this playlist lives if you want to listen.) Enjoy!

News of the Day:

There are over 1.4 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 83,000 deaths.

The U.S. leads the world with more than 399,000 reported COVID-19 cases. The death toll has surpassed 12,000.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has tested positive for the virus, spent a second night in the intensive care unit at a London hospital, where he is “responding to treatment” with his condition described as “stable” on Wednesday.

Wuhan, China — the original epicenter of the pandemic — has ended its lockdown, 76 days after closing its borders.

President Trump on Tuesday acknowledged that African Americans have been disproportionately affected by the virus.

Plan for the Day: Finish up school work before “spring break”.

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

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