Day 168 August 24th-30th

We started to feel better this week! I was able to return to running and my workouts which I was so grateful for! I can’t describe how good it felt to get back at it! I even signed up for my personal training exam. I have been putting that off due to feeling like I will fail but with my energy back I am feeling a little more ambitious:) The kids enjoyed playing again and swam in the evenings.

I worked hard to try to get us back to work and school sooner but ultimately the doctors said they would not write us a letter to return and that we just needed to stay home the 10 days. So that is what we did! It was a long three days before we could return. Addie was able to join her class live through Google meet this week so that was different. I tried to spice up her mornings a bit by allowing her a small amount of coffee. 

The day before we returned to school and work I guess the health department came out with new guidance stating that if anyone in the household has symptoms, everyone must isolate for 10 days UNLESS they can produce a negative COVID test or an alternate diagnosis for the person/people with symptoms. So the good thing is if one of us gets sick with something and we can get a negative COVID test we can return without staying out so long! Bad news is now we have to stay home if one of us gets sick at all or has symptoms:/ 

Thursday was a much anticipated day for all of us! The kids were so excited to return to school. It felt like the first day of school again. After school on Thursday the kids were so hyped up and had nothing but good things to say about their day! Aaron and I had a pretty good day too, we had staff training all day so our first day back was without students. 

Addie was able to go to an outdoor birthday party on Friday night. She was so thrilled to be invited to a party. She even wrote a book about it for the birthday girl. While she was at the party Aaron and I took the other two kids to get takeout from Panda Express and Chic-fil-a. We took it to a nearby park, it was not busy at all. After playing for a bit we decided to check out Cold Stone to see if it was too busy to go in and there were only a couple of people so we had a sweet treat! We ate our ice cream in the car on the way to get Addie. 

Over the weekend, on Saturday, we went to see my family in Michigan. We visited my dad’s for a while. The kids loved playing with the cats while my dad showed me his amazing garden and just kept giving me tons of food! He has a tomato plant that is over 10 foot tall! I enjoyed going around the garden beds with him picking the fruits and veggies! 

After visiting my dad we went to my moms.  My two teenage sisters took the girls shoe shopping with them and Parker was able to get some one on one time with my step dad. He took him on the golf cart and let him drive it and played some yard games with him.  When the girls arrived they got to drive the golf cart as well and then later in the evening they got a tractor ride with grandpa.  Their cousins that are usually around were not able to make it to see us but it turned out to be super sweet for them to have extra time with grandpa. I enjoyed visiting with my mom, grandma and sister. I got to catch up on how my grandpa is doing and talk with him a little too.  We did end up going in the house for the first time in over 165 day. The kids were so excited. Alaina was just saying the night before how she misses the smell of grandma’s house and she didn’t understand why she couldn’t go in, so she was beyond excited. We returned home just before midnight.  

Sunday morning was so sweet! I went on a bike ride to Starbucks with my cousin. We have not been able to hang out because we were keeping our distance since we were sick. We were able to walk together twice this week early in the mornings as part of our workouts. She even made me pumpkin chocolate chip scones! ❤️ I love spending time with her. 

Our bike ride was about 12 miles. We waited just for this day to enjoy the seasonal release of the pumpkin spice lineup! I even got the pumpkin scone! SO YUMMY! This is one of my favorite things about fall. My other favorite is watching the changing trees on my runs. I run so often that I get to see the transformation of the trees so clearly! It is just beautiful. I love the sign of a new season that is coming! I am praying as we change seasons that this season of life we are in will change too…for the better! 

Final thoughts and challenge: I have really struggled this week. I have been so emotional and cried so much. I have been feeling a lack of joy and a whole lot of uncertainty, anxiety and dread.  There are a number of reasons for this. 

One of the things I am most anxious about is one of us getting sick again and having to miss so much work and school. I do not want to have to do that again and again! Another thing that is weighing on me is my kids mental health. They are just declining and they are so unsettled. There is a lot of frustration and fear floating around. 

Addie and I had a talk this weekend and it left both of us in tears. In regards to Covid and this hard time in life right now I pointed out that this all really stinks and that it is not easy for anyone but that it will make us (her) stronger.  She agreed that it would but she looked at me in my eyes and said it also is making deep scars that will not go away when all of this is done, there are things about me that won’t be the same. My heart sunk! She is so right. I just had to agree with her and there is nothing I can do about it. I cannot protect these guys from the damage that is being done during this time. No matter how much we try to distract them and stay positive, they will still get scars from this. After we spoke I just cried to Aaron and then to God in desperation. What am I to do? I will just keep moving forward, taking one day at a time as I told Addie we must do. I will love them as much as I can, cry with them, walk with them through this and have grace when they get out of control because the Lord knows, I have been out of control lately too! Even Aaron told me the other day that he is concerned because my mental health seems to be declining.  That is pretty bad when he has to tell me that! :/ He offered his anxiety meds to me lol! 

How are you helping your kids during this time? Are you just doing damage control like I feel I am doing? How can we best help our kids?! I am praying the Lord shows me each day!

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