Faith · Family · Love · Parenting · Perspective

Puppies and Other Good Things

If you think back over the last 25 years, you’ll come across multiple instances where society’s anxiety is built up into a frenzy and the majority believe act like the world is over as of tomorrow. One of those instances was Wednesday. I’ll not reveal which candidates I voted for, nor will I spout ideological convictions. I did my civic duty. Period. I presume you’ve come to your wordpress feed to escape all that chaos. Also, the world didn’t stop turning.

In that vein, here are a couple things we’ve been up to around here.

Puppies. My father-in-law’s Labrador Retriever apparently got out of her pen and got super friendly with the neighbor’s Australian Shepherd. This afternoon tryst resulted in eight adorable, chunky, snuggly puppies- four with spots and four mostly black. My kids and niece have been loving on these little babes since they were 24hours old. Three are already spoken for. Two chose their new (in 4 more weeks) owners by literally running up to the child and crawling in her/his lap. That’s a definitive way to be chosen!

Halloween. When you only have 50 people in your local, rural community, you do Halloween. Yes, even during the pandemic (which we have no cases in S-town) and all things 2020. We’ve never bit into the thought that this is an evil holiday. Our family mantra has always been focused on the fun of dressing up and visiting neighbors. It brings so much joy to our older neighbors to see the kids dressed up. This year, I had a cowboy and a dancer. I also donned a luchador mask and cape. My parents returned from a trip with the mask and my mom sewed the cape. Oddly enough (sarcasm), my kids were mortified that I walked up to people’s homes wearing the mask and cape.

We also carved pumpkins. I wielded the knife, but the kids did all the dirty work and free-handed what they wanted for a design. Currently, the ballerina is melting down on my porch. The owl was crushed earlier in the week when M fell off her grandpa’s piggy back ride and the pumpkin broke her fall.

Obviously, we’ve had many more happenings dotted here, there, and everywhere in the last week. Normal life rolls on. For that, I’m thankful! I continue to strive to focus on glass half-full, positive experiences. Sure, there’s plenty of muddy puddle style anxiety and negativity that I can sit in. I could choose to turn on the news, scroll the headlines, or make comments on social media (that have no effect y’all). But… in the words I used with my sister earlier this week, “I just don’t want to.” Instead, I’m choosing to love on the kids at youth group who shyly smile and say they are saving their snack so they have one to eat at home. I choose to not gossip about the stunning local news while at the salon getting my hair trimmed. I choose the good.

I hope you are able to choose the good this coming week. Lift up your eyes and say hello to your neighbor. Be kind.

— Jen

Family · Health

Plans Cancelled…

When your plans are pushed off a cliff…

After a week of being ill, I’m back up and moving. It was the strangest illness or illnesses smushed together I’ve had. No fever at all, the entire time. It started with a sore throat and headache, then add congestion and a nose faucet with the previously mentioned symptoms, then add on exhaustion. That was the first three days. Day four I had my energy back and considered myself good to go other than the persistent headache. Day five, the headache continued and I was easily tired. Day six, I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I hid in my basement away from the world, in the dark and cool. Day seven, BAM – stomach flu. Like vicious, this must be what it feels like to have your guts ripped out. Thank you to my leftover pregnancy Zofran for the eventual respite. Day eight, after the final round of death at 2am, I started slowly trying to replenish fluids. Headache gone!

It was like a bad cold mixed finished off with the stomach flu. Who does that happen to? What kind of evil concoction is that pairing?

So, in the interest of public health I cancelled pretty much everything I had planned, distanced myself as much as I could from my children, and then worked in solitary confinement on the “cold” days. Obviously on the stomach flu days, I was completely isolated and then had a Lysol barrier sprayed around the rooms I ran between.

These are obviously first world issues, but this killed my 5K a week streak. I wasn’t able to help with my 1st graders at youth group. I did a no-contact pick up from my daughter’s dance class. My house looks like an explosion of all the different crafts, socks, shoes, clean laundry, dirty laundry, dishes… Grrrr…..

Thankful that all of my family is healthy and was healthy prior to my illness. No symptoms of any sort. All happy (except the 10yr old battling 6 digit by 2 digit long division).

I guess this was my little rant. I take all the suggested precautions. Where did this last week come from?! I don’t post this for sympathy. Rather, I am trying to process losing multiple days to inactivity. I’m not good at self-care, not even when I’m obviously sick.

I hope you stay healthy readers. May this week meet you with positivity, perspective, and blessings!