Happy Friday, friends! I have to admit – this week has felt like such a weird one for us. Ryan left for his TDY on Tuesday, and this is our first long(er) one in a while. Between that, freelancing for two companies, keeping up the house, and trying to stay busy, it’s felt like we’re on a bit of a roller coaster – or is it a coronacoaster? A friend sent me a meme this morning that likened our current reality to that of a roller coaster where the ups and downs of this pandemic shifts you quickly from a happy and contented bubble to a depressed mess. If that doesn’t epitomize the summer of coronavirus, I don’t know what will, and I wonder if everyone else feels like this, as well.
We’re doing well, all things considered. Ryan had to be COVID tested prior to his departure and, because I got a cold for the first time in forever, I had to get tested, as well. Spoiler alert – I, too, was negative. So, we have our health. We have our home. We have good things coming, and we have adventures planned for every free moment we have. It’s just this sort of strange in-between and state of flux that feels like we’re about to have the rug pulled out from us at any given time. Nevertheless, it’s Friday, it’s summer (supposedly – someone tell the PNW to lock it up), and we’re heading out on another hike this weekend. There is so much to be grateful for, so that’s what I’ll focus on for my Friday favorites.
1 // Freedom to Make Impulse Purchases
We’re lucky, guys. All things considered, we’ve managed our way through my layoff/furlough and these uncertain times quite well financially. So well, in fact, that I was able to make a significant impulse purchase this past week (more on that later). If there’s one thing coronavirus really helped with, it was those needless expenses that added up. We’re not overindulging anymore, so we have the opportunity to make those bigger purchases when we want to, and I’m so grateful for that.
2 // Farmers Market Picnics
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if the Farmers Markets would open this summer, but they did a few weeks ago, and the kids and I have started a new little tradition. Each Wednesday after work, I pick them up to school, and we head to Steilacoom for an outdoor picnic dinner by the water. The kids get to pick what they want to eat, and I don’t bug them about it. Spencer almost always picks fresh ice cream. Porter picks popcorn. Mieke mooches. It’s been a proverbial – and literal – breath of fresh air because we wear our masks, get our food, then enjoy freedom and fresh air by the water without our masks. It’s the best of both worlds.
3 // Kind Neighbors
Like I said, I’ve been in a bit of a funk as the summer of coronavirus continues. It’s been weird, and it’s hard to see any sort of light at the end of the tunnel. People never fail to amaze me though, and many of them do so in beautiful ways. For example, last night, our neighbor rang our doorbell at 7:30 PM, and while my knee-jerk reaction was to be annoyed that she rang the bell, she showed up with a fresh homemade flan. She said they were thinking of us and just wanted to see how we’re doing. I mean, if that’s not the kindest, sweetest thing ever, I truly don’t know what is.
4 // Countdowns
I’m grateful for countdowns, guys. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s definitely one of those things that’s keeping me sane right now. If I look at how much time we have left at JBLM, it can seem so daunting. So, I break it up into bite-sized chunks. 6 weeks till Ryan comes home. 8 weeks till a little family vacation. 9 weeks till Spencer starts Kindergarten. The marketplace opens, holidays, orders…it’s all coming, and setting those landmarks gives me a goal to focus on when the here and now seems too much.
5 // Technology
I am 100% positive that almost everyone can agree with this one now that coronavirus has left so many people feeling both isolated and stranded. Now, more than ever, we’re relying on our favorite apps. We’re staying connected through technology. Guys, my nephew was born in December, and I haven’t met him yet. That hurts. I’m so thankful for Facetime, and Zoom dinners, and Marco Polo, and all the things that allow us to continue to feel those connections even when we’re not together physically.
I hope this post doesn’t read too much of a downer because, all things considered, we’re doing pretty well. I just miss my husband, I miss my people and, most of all, I miss normalcy. I truly believe these times will make us stronger in the end though, and I’m looking at these little snippets of gratitude along the way because when it all seems too much, these morsels of happiness continue to help us navigate the summer of coronavirus.
Tell me, friends – how are you doing? Has summer arrived where you are yet?