Before I explain the title, let me just get a few points of business out of the way and answer the two main questions I’ve been getting.
Yes, there will be a declutter challenge! I just posted the details.
Yes, there is a 2021 planner! They were delayed this year, which I’ll explain in a second, but you can order your planner now from my shop.
Okay, now that I have that out of the way, let me try to describe this year.
Even without Covid-19, this year still would have been a pretty tough one for our family, but add in Big Rona and well … it was something else. Not that this year has been all tough, there has been a lot of goodness and joy throughout too.
I feel a little stuck on how to write this. I’ve been stuck, but today I told myself I had to sit down and write a blog post no matter what. Okay, I’ve told myself that several other days too, but today I’m sitting here really trying. How do I do any of it justice? The perfectionist in me is really struggling here, so I’m just going to remove the pressure from myself to say any of this perfectly and just do my best.
Ugh. (After a 10 minute break, trying again.)
In April, my father-in-law passed away from Covid. He was the first person I knew personally that died from Covid, though by now, I think we all know several. I think the hardships created by Covid are almost all I hear about in the news, so I’m just going to leave this here. It’s been hard for all of us and probably no one wants to talk about it anymore, am I right?
The SAME day my father-in-law died, our master bedroom flooded. We waited a while to have it fixed, because at the time in quarantine, it was still a frightening idea to have strangers in our house.
We finally had that fixed in May. The same week we had that fixed, I opened the baking cabinet in my kitchen where I kept flour, sugar, salt … and smelled a deep musty smell. Well aware of what this could mean, I took everything out of that cabinet and noticed the water damage. Evidently for a few weeks, our dishwasher had been leaking water each time it was used. We had to have a water emergency crew come in right away and take care of this one. There was no way we could safely dry out the cabinets and floor on our own like we did in our bedroom. (If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you know we are not new to water damage. In fact, we may be experts.)
The emergency water specialists left us missing a big chunk of our kitchen. They created a temporary kitchen sink stand with 2×4’s, bless their heart. I’m so glad they did, because we didn’t get our kitchen fixed right away … that didn’t start until more than two months later.
Right before our second flood, my parents decided to move to our neighborhood – in the middle of Rona. At that time, we were both strictly quarantining, so we made the choice to include them in our quarantine-safety-circle, or whatever you call it. I was grateful for the distraction from my kitchen situation to be able to spend a lot of my time helping my parents pack up and move. We did a lot of the work ourselves, because my parents were nervous to hire very much help and be exposed to Big Rona. They had lived 1 hour away and now they live 1 block away. Their new house has a pool, which provided a lot of needed distraction and fun this summer for the kids and our dog Cookie (who loves to swim more than anyone else).
Right after my parents were safely moved into their new home, which took a couple months, we started to rebuild our kitchen and replace most of our floors. We had to move into a local hotel for 6.5 weeks. When we moved back into our home, we still couldn’t fully use our kitchen for a few more weeks, but we were glad to be home. I’m a home-body. I just like being home as much as possible. Hotel living was tough, though eating out for every meal was not the worst part of the year. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you that “eating out can get old after a while.” It was simply glorious to not have to meal plan, grocery shop, and cook for almost 8 weeks.
While we were living in the hotel, Matt and I would come over to the house in the evenings to do our part of the re-build. We decided to add a few projects while the house was torn apart. I mean, we might as well get some painting done while there were no floors! Contractors did everything tricky, but we personally painted our laundry room, re-vamped our fireplace wall, re-did our little guest bathroom by the kitchen, and a few little projects like that. It was a tornado of projects, but I was loving every second of it.
Until the concussion. To summarize the most boring concussion story of all time, I hit my head on a metal shopping cart at Lowe’s, then came home and hit my head again in the same spot at the top of a doorway when I was painting inside of a closet. We didn’t realize I had a concussion until I climbed up a ladder to help my husband hang trim at the top of our fireplace wall (I just needed to hold one end of it) … and then I almost fell off the ladder and my husband caught me because I started saying “uh-oh, I feel dizzy, I don’t feel right” and he immediately got off his ladder and came and helped me down. He looked at me and said “your eyes don’t look right.” My pupils were super crazy unevenly dilated and stayed that way for weeks and weeks. The concussion really changed the rest of the year.
I’ve had CT scans, an MRI, seen the neurologist, done physical therapy, but my brain still needs time. So much stinkin’ time. Though I’m doing so much better now than at the beginning, my head still hurts after too much time on the computer. I’m still bothered by over-stimulating situations or bright lights. The neurologist said it could be a whole year to fully recover, the earliest would be 6 months (it’s only been 4 months).
And to add to it, there was also this:
- a country that seems at unrest (this can be emotionally draining for an empathetic person!)
- dealing with a daughter who keeps fainting (we finally saw the pediatric endocrinologist and am happy to say it’s “just” hypoglycemia, which is way better than the things google was scaring me with)
- adding another child to the gluten-free group in our family
- another of my daughter’s close friends going through leukemia
- dealing with such a weird school year (kids not being able to make new friends because of social distancing and kids having to wear masks all day)
- missing regular church and church activities
- missing church choir (it was one of my favorite parts of the week)
And even though it seems like I’m writing this crazy list and want you to feel sorry for me, I really don’t. I honestly feel lucky that Matt still has a job, that we still have a home, and that my kids are all still mostly healthy and mostly happy. I kept telling Matt while we were in the midst of some of these hard things – I’d rather be dealing with this than (fill in the blank). I really feel that way. Every day is a gift!!!
But yes, as you can see, blogging wasn’t the top of my to do list in the last few months. I’ve written a million blog posts in my head and have a backlog of (what seems like) millions of pictures to share. But, I had to start back somewhere, so I’m starting here right now.
It’s nice to be back.