Whatcha been doing to infuse joy into your life during these "unprecedented times"? Here's what I've been up to. Feel free to borrow my ideas, and please share your ideas with the rest of us!
Pre-pandemic, I loved when my daughter invited me on coffee dates. The fact that she'd chisel out time from her social life to spend with her mama was not an opportunity I would pass up. Even though I had to pay for the coffee.
Mid-pandemic, we've adjusted to drive thru coffee dates, supporting our local indie cafe. Instead of kicking back in the shop with our noses in books, we now walk around a park while sipping our treats. Not a bad compromise. I get my delicious hit of caffeine, exercise, the refreshment of the outdoors, and conversation with my "little girl".
My dog has been spoiled with extra long walks lately while I tune in to one of my favorite podcasts. I'm in the hunt for entertaining podcasts that make me laugh!
My absolute favorite podcast is Why Tho? with Tiffany Bluhm and Ash Abercrombie. These hilarious women profess to "land somewhere in between Mother Teresa and Biggie Smalls ... from (their) existential crisis curiosities, to (their) hey girl, why your eyebrows look so good tho". These two friends manage to make you die laughing while diving deep into topics such as adulting, black history, and surviving a pandemic.
She Reads Truth Podcast provides another opportunity to listen in on vibrant women wrestling with those difficult-to-understand Bible passages in a way that brings encouragement, stating, "God's word is for you and for now."
Middays with Susie Larson "offers practical ways to live out your convictions and inspire you to a deep and active walk of faith". Susie Larson interviews authors and speakers. Just this week, I purchased a children's fantasy book from the series The Wingfeather Saga, written by her guest, Andrew Peterson. My ten-year-old son dove into the book right away. I was moved by powerful insights that Andrew Peterson proclaimed during the interview. I'm confident that my son is reading fun and intriguing material.
Have you heard Matthew Mole??? This South African singer/songwriter is at the top of my playlist! He has this cool, unique folk vibe. Some songs are just plain fun, others are about faith or love. Plus, he's just a good guy. My personal favorite song is You Are Loved (because I'm a sap). And I'm obsessed with Pennsylvania, which he wrote for Tim Tebow and Demi-Leigh.
Listen on YouTube:
On my to-read list:
Stay With Me by Becky Wade
Someone Like You by Karen Kingsbury
Read during quarantine:
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Ruth Bader Ginsburg I know this to be true (Nelson Mandela Foundation)
Blessings for Women by Susie Larson
I miss browsing at my local library! I keep forgetting to arrange for curbside pickup. Message me ideas of good reads. Please!
Married At First Sight This Lifetime show that I discovered on Hulu has robbed me of hours of valuable writing time. I should sue!
Pandemic on Netflix.
Dr Pimple Popper For real, it's addictive!
I introduced my daughter to these Romantic Comedies:
Isn't It Romantic
Along Came Polly
French Kiss (Chloe wasn't impressed with this one because the girl was too ditzy and the guy wasn't respectable. She had a point)
Facebook is no longer just for reconnecting with old high school friends. It's now also a source of entertainment. Some is even worth your time!
The Holderness Family is so relatable.
Trey Kennedy Watch the video to see Day 1 vs Day 50 in quarantine
Claire Ryann Crosby 7-year-old singing Into the Unknown from Frozen 2. Wow!
Nurse Blake You'll wanna work night shift too after you watch this video!
When the world begins opening back up, hopefully we will emerge as a little bit wiser than before this whole nightmare called Covid-19. Even if we don't gain wisdom, hopefully we'll have had a few good laughs and experienced an adequate dose of relaxation. Take care!
This pandemic has blessed (or cursed--however you choose to look at it) households around the globe with an abundance of family-time. Or has it?
With three teenagers and one tween forced to "stay at home" with me and my hubby, I've been surprised at how little quality time we spend together. Can any of you parents relate?
The current lack of social interaction is even getting to me--an introvert. Pre-pandemic, I'd relish the quiet time while the kids were at school. As the afternoon progressed, I'd check the clock and wince as the minutes raced toward that dreaded after-school time. When that diesel school bus sound approached my house (yes, I force my teens to ride the bus), I'd groan internally. I mean, I love my kids, but ... The air was about to buzz with activity as backpacks would drop on the dining room table, the fridge would be raided, and friends would come over, adding to the hub bub. Escaping to quieter quarters was not an option as questions would rapid-fire at me, cutting through the air as I raced for a hiding spot. Mom, can I join track this year? Mom, can a friend sleep over tonight? What's for supper? Mom, can you give me twenty bucks? Can you give me a ride later? Needless to say, I cherished my alone time.
The first weeks of the pandemic, my teenagers drove me crazy because they didn't think stay-at-home orders applied to them. They begged to have sleepovers or hang out with friends at the park or host a bonfire in the backyard. Eventually, they accepted the new normal of FaceTime, Zoom, GoogleMeets, and the occasional social-distance walk or bike ride with a friend sufficing for social interaction. School transitioned to distance-learning. Which brings us to the present. Now, it seems, they are always plugged into a device.
These days, there is no afternoon flurry of activity. We are all here, all day, plugged into our own devices or finding our own ways to pass the time. One kid plays his guitar and skateboards, another kid took to painting, another kid bought a gaming PC, and one kid plays way too much Xbox--way too loudly!
More times than I care to admit, I've begged one of my kids to hang out with me. They'd pass by me in the living room and I'd shamelessly say, "Wanna watch a movie?" or "Come sit with me." or "Do your homework down here with me." What has this pandemic done to me? How did I start turning to my angsty teens for company??
I know some of you parents cannot relate. Your toddlers are underfoot all day, everyday, and alone time eludes you. Oh my goodness, I remember those days. It was hard enough without a pandemic. Those days were also oh, so sweet. My only advice: soak in their cuteness and make the most of naptime and bedtime!
My takeaway from this is to maximize this time we have with our families, all trapped under one roof. It won't last forever. So we might as well make the most of it. At our house, we come together for family dinners--whether it be home-cooked or takeout. It makes my heart happy when my six-foot sons get up from the table and thank my husband and me for a good meal. I guess the way into a teenager's heart is through food.
So while I'd love to be the family that goes for bike rides and walks, cooks together, and draws sidewalk chalk creations together, maybe the dinners are all the family-time the kids need.
But I'm still gonna propose we play a board game tonight. It's worth a try.