Friday, July 03, 2020

What's Been Going On Combined With Life Lately

Oh, I've been missing the blog world lately. I only wrote five posts in June which is the lowest number of posts I've written in a month since I returned to more regular blogging in December 2018. June was a hard month for me (in a "first world, I'm very privileged" definition of "hard").

First, and foremost, I struggled with serious headaches every day. I needed a nap, a Coke, and a Tylenol to get through most days in June. It didn't matter how much water I drank, how much sleep I got, what the weather was like -- it was not great :( Even if I woke up feeling fine, I'd be on the couch napping within a couple of hours. Between my headaches and Dave's work being really busy, the kids basically raised themselves in June.

I did take an intentional blogging break at the beginning of June as the effects of racism, especially systemic racism, were more in the news and on my social media feeds. I saw a post that referred to the many different lanes people can be in when it comes to anti-racism work. My lane right now is to read all the books (you all just fell down in shock, I know!), to diversify my Instagram feed (and highlight a lot of POC voices in my stories), and to support a friend in a cool project (which I'll write more about next week).

Oh, and to have more intentional conversations with Sam and Rachel about racism and diversifying what they read. I have gotten some amazing books out of the library (I cannot emphasize how excited I am about curbside pick up at our library!!!) and I am intentionally watching more videos with them -- usually ones I find on Instagram. We did take the kids to the Black Lives Matter march in our city and it was so powerful for all of us.

I know I've posted this picture before but I honestly can say enough how thrilled we are to be able to get new library books again!!!

Dave's team at work finished a year long project which ended with a week and a half of intense meetings at the beginning of June. It went well but, between that and my headaches, it felt like the first third of June went by so quickly.

Thankfully in June many of our restrictions were lifted -- I've had a massage (with another one scheduled), we've all gotten haircuts, and our pool has opened. These are some HUGE things which have really helped alleviate a lot of my stress lately. And later today I have a long overdue optometrist appointment which I'm really excited about.

I also spent a few days at work, helping close out student records for the end of the school year. We all wore masks and hand sanitized, and I only ended up helping for about nine hours overall, but it felt so good to do something outside the house again :) I miss working.

Heading back to work. Whooo hooo!!!

In blogging news, I missed doing a 10 on the 10th post for the first time since February. June 10th just passed by in a big blur. And sadly, we haven't been keeping up with The KC Post. I am still hoping to do one last special summer edition but I have some thoughts about that and it may not happen until August. The KC Post was such a good way to have all of us write about our quarantine experiences.

So that's a bit of the "what's been going on/why Natasha disappeared from blog world for a month." Here are some pictures of what we've been up to lately.

We made it to the last day of school. It felt so surreal this year. Below are the kids doing the last little bit of their online learning.
We always kick off the first day of summer vacation with a breakfast of strawberries and ice cream. Now usually the first day of summer vacation is a Friday but this year, the last PD Day (teacher professional development day) was cancelled so the last day was on Friday. We had church small group on Saturday morning. And then I realized we had no strawberries. Thankfully the bakery around the corner has a Saturday farmer's market so Rachel and I were able to pick up some strawberries there. It was all a bit rushed, and a little different, but doesn't that just define this year?
Our pool opened for the summer at the end of June. We have to sign up to swim in a section of the pool and can only sign up twice a week (once on the weekends) so it looks pretty different. Sadly, due to a variety of circumstances, I haven't actually been swimming yet but that will change tonight! Whoo hoo!!!
Dave and I celebrated our twelfth anniversary on Monday. In our province we are allowed to "social bubble" with up to ten people. We can hug them, go in their houses, etc, so it's very exciting. We are bubbling with Dave's parents so the kids spent the day with them. Dave and I usually gift each other "experiences" rather than physical presents, and let me tell you, after four months straight with the kids, having nine hours all to ourselves was the best experience ever this year! We went for a few walks, did take out for lunch and supper, and just enjoyed uninterrupted adult conversation again. Yay!!!
One thing I'm super excited about is that the kids will spend two days a week with Dave's parents this summer so I'll have time to blog, go to appointments, and get some other things done. The kids will get a chance to reconnect with their grandparents after not really seeing them for three and a half months and it will be sooooo good!!!
After not blooming for a couple of years, the rosebush in our backyard is putting on a show this year. It is just amazing!

And as of Tuesday, day lily season has started. I love day lilies and am so happy they bloom for most of July.
Also, as of Tuesday, we all have fresh haircuts. The kids don't want me to post an "after" picture online until a few more people have seen them in person, but let's just say, between quarantine hair and the hot summer weather we are experiencing right now, we might have gone a little crazy :)

And that's just a little bit of what's been going on with us lately.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What's Up Wednesday: June 2020

Welcome to What's Up Wednesday for June. For context, our province is just starting to open up regionally. Thankfully, we're in one of the regions which can open a little more so I got a massage a couple of weeks ago and our pool will be opening next week. And as of a couple of weeks ago, our library started doing curbside pickup. Whoo hoo!!! We can gather in (socially distant) groups of 10. We can't yet go to church or have larger gatherings but I feel like we're headed in the right direction.
image from here

What we're eating this week... We've had our first two CSA (community shared agriculture) pick ups. So last week we had salad with fresh greens and ate steamed bok choy a few times. YUM!!! We're just so happy to have fresh, locally farmed veggies again! Yesterday I was able to chat with a few friends but it sure does feel different. And inspired by a What's Up Wednesday post I read last month, we also grilled some cauliflower a few weeks ago and it was so good!!! I have to remember to add cauliflower to the grocery list so we can have this again soon.


What I'm reminiscing about... Three years ago today we were enjoying the first day of a two week trip to Kenya to visit our friends. During that time we went on safari, climbed a volcano, and made so many great memories. You can read more about that trip, starting here. We've been talking a lot about that trip recently and have been grateful that we took the opportunity to travel while we could. Eventually we will travel again but we know it could be a long time coming... I am sad for those of you reading this who had to cancel big trips this year.
Riding on the roof of our friends' vehicle -- the better to spot zebras!
Eating lunch with a giraffe in the background.
We climbed the volcano in the background.

We went on safari and visited a Maasai village.
Giraffe kisses!!!

What I'm loving... Inspired by a woman in the US, my friend took on the project of diversifying the Free Little Libraries in our area. I've been so excited to support her by buying books and printing labels for the books going to the libraries as a part of this project. You can check out the original project (which is US based) on Instagram here or you can check out our local project here. (Since we live in Canada it doesn't make sense to support the US project due to cross-border shipping and the exchange rate which is why my friend started a separate local one.)

What we've been up to... Since some restrictions have lifted, we've been up to a lot.

Getting fresh library books (and returning old ones)!!!

Making an (unsuccessful) attempt at tie dying with food colouring.

Celebrating Rachel turning 9!

Going into the school to do a small bit of work, mask and all.

What I'm dreading... Almost every day since the beginning of June, I've had a headache. I need to take a nap (and Tylenol) to feel better. I am so sick of not feeling well and I don't really know how to get good answers as to what's going on. So I dread my daily headache and just not feeling great. Boo :(

What I'm working on... We haven't done a lot of take out during this time but now that the weather is nicer we're working on taking more walks and supporting local businesses.

This was a walk for ice cream. Mine had lavendar and something else.


This was a walk to take things to the thrift store with a stop at a local bakery. I had a chocolate croissant. Deliciousness!!!


This was a walk to the library, with a stop at the local bakery/cafe around the corner.
I LOVED my strawberry-basil gelato.
We should probably be working on getting more exercise without stopping for treats but that doesn't seem to be happening.

What I'm excited about... DID YOU HEAR BASEBALL IS RETURNING?!?!!?!?!?!?!? Is there really anything else to be excited about?!?!?!?!?! If you missed this news, you can read it here.
image from here

What I'm watching/reading... I haven't been watching much of anything lately. We did watch a couple of the new "America's Got Talent" show but then it fell off our radar. We watched Coco as a family on Friday night and we all loved it. We're kind of boring lately.

In terms of reading, after months of light, fluffy quarantine reading, I've been trying to delve into books with deeper topics. I read Know My Name by Chanel Miller on Sunday. And right now I'm reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

What I'm listening to... Flies buzzing in our house. We have a fly problem right now and it's so frustrating. ARGH. One has been buzzing around me while I've been writing this post. This seems to be a new problem this year so ugh...

What I'm wearing... I bought a palm tree printed headband and I've been wearing it a lot. It's really fun and is helping keeping my hair off my face. Of course, I might not be wearing it as much after next week when I am getting a haircut!!! Whooo hoooo!!!!!

What I'm doing this weekend... We might do some yard work. We might put our new BBQ together. We might do some housecleaning. Dave and I might have a date. We really don't have any concrete plans. We should probably figure that out.

What I'm looking forward to next month... Swimming at our pool!!! And now the return of Blue Jays baseball!!! Whoooo hooooo!!!!!!

What else is new... On Monday, Dave and I will be celebrating our twelfth anniversary. HOW has it been twelve years already?!?!? If you want to read about our wedding, I wrote extensively about it in July 2012. You can find the first of those posts here.