I hope you and yours are healthy, (relatively) happy, and finding silver linings as we continue living the quarantine life.
At the risk of jinxing myself, it seems that after about three weeks of pandemic schooling we finally found our groove. (To clarify, as of today we have finished five weeks pandemic schooling. But I felt like we kind of figured it out - thankfully - a couple of weeks ago.) Our days include school-guided academics, independent academics, fine arts, physical education, soccer training, dance classes, and occasional lessons in Real World Adulting. I've also come close to figuring out my own daily schedule, how to exercise effectively in my living room, how to shop online for groceries, and how to "get together" with my family members and friends over Zoom and Instagram. We miss our lives pre-quarantine, and like all of you we are grieving lives, time, hard work, and experiences lost, but we are pretty darn good at staying home when that is what is asked of and needed from us.
Here are a few of our high fives from the last couple of weeks!
On Friday, we celebrated Hallie's birthday. The day was - of course - simple, but in the best possible ways. And even though there were no family trips, wild parties, extravagant gifts, or celebrations at school or dance, I think Hallie felt as loved as she ever has on a birthday thanks to quality time with her family; the many calls, texts, emails, cards, and gifts; and the very best Birthday Brigade.
|Our traditional birthday "room full of balloons".
|Ready for the birthday girl!
|Will insisted on arranging the birthday confetti.
|Hallie asked for a cat stroller for her
birthday. She LOVES it. Tux HATES it.
|Tackling this one scared me, but
it turned out beautifully in the end.
|And she loved it!
|Ready for her birthday brigade!
One of Hallie's friends, Abby, turned 11 the day before Hallie, and Hallie and I of course participated in Abby's Birthday Brigade. That evening, Abby's mom - my friend Anne - wrote this about their experience.
And then, there were the friends who ALWAYS show up when called, who have stepped in to support and love Abby in so many ways, who formed a parade of cars down our street, complete with signs, smiles, gifts, music, and even dancing, who left me and her dad in tears; there were dance friends.
I'm borrowing these words from Anne because if you swap out "Abby" for "Hallie", the sentence perfectly summarizes how this group of women and their dancing daughters steps up and in when one of their own needs ANYTHING as well as the incredible impact these relationships have had on our lives. This special new tradition is absolutely, positively my favorite thing to come out of this season, and I hope that when the world eventually shifts back to business as usual we can keep it alive.
I know that to some people this is just a series of photos of mom-mobiles driving by my house. But to me, each of these photos represents a friend of mine and a friend (or friends) of Hallie's, and is evidence of the love this community so generously shares.
As was the case for everyone celebrating last Sunday, Easter for us looked different than it has in years past. We slept in, delighted in the contents of our baskets, and hunted for chocolate eggs before welcoming church into our living room. We went for walks and bike rides, played outside, worked in the yard, and connected with our families and friends. I also prepared my calendar, our Zoom schedules, and the kids' school lists for the week. It was a day spent thinking about and focusing on faith, family, and friends, which is all that really matters.
|The Easter Bunny made it, but Mom helped him out.
|Caffeinating up before the egg hunt.
|Can you spot the chocolate egg?
|Our neighbors put out little bags and "hid" eggs for kids to find.
|Painting Easter egg cookies.
Every year the kids and I go out for ice cream the minute the temperature reaches 90 degrees for the first time. Mother Nature decided to gift (or punish, depending on how you feel about summer) us with summer-like weather last Wednesday afternoon, so even though we couldn't visit our favorite Farmhouse Creamery ice cream shop, we kept our tradition alive by making ice cream cones in our kitchen. Thank goodness for an accidental order of three extra half gallons of ice cream earlier this month!
Also last week (or maybe it was the week prior - no one keeps track of the date or days of the week anymore), one of our dance company moms organized a simple scavenger hunt as a fun but safe activity to get us out of the house when we needed a break from coronaschooling. Each participating family wrote a clue that would lead searchers to a hidden item in their yard. When the item was found, we took a picture with it and sent it to that family as a way to say hello. We found all of the treasures and had a great time (even Will, who didn't want to go in the first place) along the way!
|A rock painted with a sweet message. 😍
|A roll of toilet paper. 😂
|She misses you too, CG.
|Found this on my desk last Monday morning.
|She can't watch Friends just yet,
but she was a fan of their puzzle!
|I finally started cashing in the coupons Hallie gave me
for my birthday last year. Clean Your Bathtub - check!
|Dance Moms Night Out on Zoom!
|Both Tom's mom and my mom made us masks. Hallie and I have
small heads, but we figured out that pigtails make them fit us better!
|Cuties in Quarantine!
|All dressed up for music video dance night (she
learned and performed "It's Good to be Bad" from
Descendants) for Apprentice Company.
|School supplies and books outside of Hallie's school. 😍
|...and after. Professor Mohawk, at your service!
Happy Friday, friends!