Top Ten of The Last Five Months

By | Posted August 31, 2020

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Has is really been five months?

And two and a half weeks?

The other day, we went to the orthodontist, and as we ran up the stairs to the office, Mason moaned that that was the only place he’d been during the pandemic.  Not entirely true, we did take two vacations.  But as far as Houston goes, the orthodontist and the eye doctor are it for him.  Alec has had the added bonus of seeing an orthopedic for his broken arm.  And while I LOVE our orthopedic, I never want to see him again unless we run into him outside of his office.

Cute side story- Alec broke his arm on July 8, the day before he turned 16.  We spent the morning of his birthday waiting to be seen by our orthopedic.  His break wasn’t that big of deal.  He wore a brace for six weeks.  We came home happy because that meant he could still swim, one of the few things we’ve allowed our kids to do.

Mari lost her shit.

A four time veteran of broken arms, she didn’t understand why he didn’t have a cast and why he wore the brace longer than she needed for her first break.  She was so upset, I ended up sending her to her room to calm down.  That didn’t work, and she finally wrote her questions for the doctor.  She would have asked him herself, but she couldn’t go to the appointment because of COVID.  I love the curiosity, but man, she was pissed.  She even wondered about the doctor’s abilities.  This girl drives me crazy, but she’s pretty amazing.

The last five months have been crazy.  For everyone.  It’s stressful.  It’s definitely not been the happiest time in my life.  Yet, there have been some amazing things.  Even during the hard, and there’s been hard.  I had an uncle with COVID who spent five weeks and two days on a vent.  Most recently, the doctor told my cousin that her father was the oldest patient he’d had with the most underlying symptoms to live.  He waited until the vent had been out four days to tell her that.

The best thing during this time has been the Villegas family.  My dad is the oldest of ten.  We’ve been through a lot together as a family.  The aunts and uncles fuss and disagree on a fairly regular basis, but man, they come through like no other.  I’m really close to my cousin so we’ve kept in contact nonstop, and she’s called when she has needed extra support.

The neatest thing has been the family rosary via Zoom.  Honestly, I hate Zoom (and any form of FaceTime).  But this was different.  It was a way for us to be together.  Honestly, most people didn’t participate.  But I did.  And of course, Mari did.  Tonight, she pretty much led the entire rosary.  And it was beautiful.  And my uncle is doing so much better.  I’m so grateful.

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t started a garden or that we aren’t playing tons of board games together. Embarrassed isn’t the right word, honestly, it’s disappointing to me.  I love board games and generally my kids do too.  That’s something we did before the pandemic.  We aren’t spending a lot of time making a shit ton of memories.

Except we are- my mom was scheduled to go on our Spring Break trip with me and the kids.  She came on Thursday, March 12, and hasn’t left.  We’ve had the best time with her.  Her and I spend nights doing puzzles and making drinks.  The kids spend their mornings watching Bonanza with her.  It’s not always perfect, but my kids have the best relationship with her.  They will always have these memories of this time spent with their Mimi.  And me.  I have a gift I didn’t realize I wanted.  I will forever be grateful for the last five and a half months.  Nothing tops our time doing puzzles and talking.

I am the biggest baby ever.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep perspective and not pout about all the cancelled plans.  Spring Break, NYC Draft Trip, NYC with my mom, Mexico City, Family Road Trip that I planned perfectly so that I ended up in Chicago on my birthday because there is no place I’d rather be.

I pout and complain to Lance, but I can see the big picture.  I’m okay staying home and away from people.  We did manage to take a trip to Colorado.  We figured our activities would only be outside and felt safe going.

Colorado was spectacular.  We haven’t been in a while and the weather was perfect. I could have hiked all day, every day.  Unfortunately, nobody else felt the same way. But it was such good trip.  Lance hasn’t done a road trip with us in years so that was really fun. Palo Duro on the way to Colorado was so much fun until Lance got heat stroke and I couldn’t drive us out of the park.  Total shit show, but it was a great hike.  Colorado is just so easy going.  I think Lance would move there in a heartbeat.

A few weeks later, I took the kids to the beach at South Padre Island, and we had a blast.  Especially Marianna.  That girl is amazing. Her and I took morning walks on the beach, stayed the latest and went alone the day we drove home.  She’s such a fish, and we loved just being together.

Now if only Lance and I could get a trip in for ourselves…This is such a long time for us to go without spending time alone. And without seeing Paul and Brian.

My favorite thing now is to listen to podcasts.  I have a schedule for each week and just added another today.  I am even running while listening.  It’s crazy. I would have never done that before now, but something changed.  I find myself paying more attention, researching more and mostly having better conversations.

It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on music.  I did make a top 40 all time favorites for my birthday. I love my list, obviously, but I never run to it.

I’m reading again.  Nonstop.  I have a TBR stack and more on hold at the library.  I can’t read fast enough. I’m so happy to be back in that place.  I tend to reread the same paragraph over and over which slows me down, but I am loving it.  I have so many books I want to read and I would honestly rather do that than watch any show.

I turned 50 in July.  I had planned my celebration for Chicago, but that couldn’t happen so I was stuck at home.  The only thing that worked- the letters some of my friends sent me.  It’s pretty cool to see yourself in your friends’ eyes.  Each one was so different and not at all what I expected.

The only place we’ve really gone to eat is Riel.  We’ve picked up food from elsewhere, but Riel is where we dine.  It makes me feel sort of normal during this time.

The top two things that have kept me sane and going are pretty much a tie.  Texting with certain friends and time outside.

Nothing makes me smile more than a text from certain people.  It can be something stupid, something serious, a complaint about the state of the country, a meme, a podcast recommendation, a song, plans for next summer.  It doesn’t matter.  Certain friendships have made this time bearable. Even enjoyable.

And last, time outside. When this started, I was running five days a week, and I injured myself.  I started walking instead.  It’s gotten hotter and hotter, and I don’t care.  I spend as much time outside as I can.  I need to run, I need to walk, and I need to be outside.  I even read outside.  I sit with the dog and read.  It’s crazy hot and quite frankly miserable.  But I love it.  Most of the time. And thank goodness I’m running again. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have that escape.  I never get up early anymore, so I’m running in the heat of the day, but it’s an escape I can’t live without.

I saw something about finding ten positive things in your life during the pandemic.  At first, I figured I wouldn’t have five, but in the end, I had to cut my list down. I can get really down when I see people are doing tons of creative things with their kids, but I constantly remind myself that that’s not us.  We play basketball together, my kids bake nonstop without any help from adults and its really good stuff, we read, and ask the same sports questions nonstop.  I get to see my favorite chef and bartender fairly regularly while wearing a mask. We’ve spent time with a few couples.  The pool is open, Mari has swim again.  It hasn’t been bad, and I’m glad for the reminder that it’s mostly been good.  And I say that even though I’m over it, that I want to be able to go anywhere I want or for my kids to go back to school or for sports to come back full-time.  Things really have been okay. I just need to remember that.


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