Our state is opening back up this week like a lot of others. Restaurants and stores are open. Salons are open. Churches are making plans to open up. We are for the most part still home. I go to the store when I need to and we get outside but for the most part - we are staying home. Scott can work from home and we are finishing up school soon. I'm not planning to get back to normal any time soon. And as much as it was hard the first few weeks, I feel like we have hit our stride. I miss a lot of things but there are a lot of things I'm loving right now during this time. I thought I would share 15 things (I'm sure there are more but these are the ones that come to mind) that I'm are bring me happiness right now! In no specific order!
1. Drive By Parties and Parades
I love that you can't stop everyone from celebrating each other! We can't get together but we will find a way!!! We have been on several drive bys for birthdays and yesterday to celebrate our friend being cancer free! It's SO much fun and the sense of love and community just overwhelms me! I cry every time. Our school drove by all of our neighborhoods when this first started and it was the best thing ever. I will NEVER forget this part!
2. Long walks and Bike Rides
We have spent SO much time going on family walks and getting outside as much as possible. Arkansas is the Natural State and we live in the Ozark mountains and never have I been more thankful for how beautiful it is here and for all the nature trails we have in our area. It's the highlight of our day. We also have taken up family bike rides. We never did this before and most of our friends can't believe we are doing it but we love it!
3. Laundry Caught up!
One bonus of being home is just having the time to catch up my laundry. My house isn't as clean as I thought it would be at the beginning. With all 5 of us home 24/7, it's hard to keep it clean as hard as I try. But I have cleaned out a lot of closets and drawers and that does feel good.
4. TV shows filmed at home
Watching things like the Today show or American Idol or Jimmy Fallon which are being filmed at home just brings me joy. I can't explain it. It's just another one of those things that I won't forget.
I love wearing cute clothes but it's kind of nice being able to wear athletic clothes every day. Or pajamas. I still try to fix my hair and makeup every day to just feel better and it makes me more productive. But I just rotate the same few t-shirts and yoga pants. And I'm ready at all times for a walk or ride (see #2).
6. Daily Drives
After the first week or two we were home, we quickly found that we had to get out at least once for a daily drive. We usually drive around town or we drop something off for people (we love leaving little happys on door steps) and we get a sonic or coffee drink and it just keeps us going. It's so much like when I had a 2 year old and a newborn. For my sanity, I got out every day and put the kids in their car seats and I drove. It broke up the day and just gave me a moment.
7. Creative ways to stay connected
Whether it is social media or FaceTime or zoom calls or google hang outs - we just need people. My kids got messenger kids recently and it's been the BEST thing. I approve who they can talk to. They are now texting and face timing their cousins almost daily which is so sweet. And they are able to talk to a lot of their friends. Hollis doesn't get to talk to her best friend in Texas very often but after they both got this - they talked for hours and she just was the happiest she has been in months.
8. Church from Home
As much as I miss going to church, I have kind of loved being able to watch it at home. It's become a sacred time. And Scott and I watch several churches each Sunday so we are hearing a lot of sermons and experiencing a lot of worship which we are loving. Sundays are always so busy so it's nice for a time to be comfy and move slow and just watch. We will be back serving soon. The only hard part we are finding is having our kids as active. The girls watch one service with us but it's harder to sit and watch a sermon and they miss Sunday School and choir and GA's. But we listen to worship music and we talk about Jesus a lot and I'm thankful this is temporary.
The memes just keep me laughing. I know this is a horrific time for so many and it's scary and there is loss and uncertainty and we don't want to make light of it. But it's also okay to laugh at the sillier side of things. And the constant memes just make me happy.
10. Getting packages
I'm not going to lie. I love ordering things online these days just because I look forward to mail and packages more than ever. It's a highlight of the day. And I'm tracking packages constantly like a mad woman!
11. Some Good News
If you aren't watching Some Good News with Jim Halpert - you need to get on board. It's always SO MUCH FUN! This latest one had me crying all the way through. We are massive Office fans in our house so we LOVED the end of this!!!
12. Local Take Out
One thing do at least once a week is get take out from a local restaurant. This gives me something to look forward to. I don't have to cook one meal. And we are trying to support our local businesses. So I love planning out where we will go next! Even though restaurants are back open as of yesterday - we will keep doing take out for a while. And most of them have run really fun family meals which is out of the ordinary and I've loved it!
13. Staying up late and sleeping in
Our kids are off of any kind of schedule and they are as much night owls as we are and they love to sleep in except for Will Holden who is still an early riser. But I'm not setting an alarm and it's glorious. Now by sleep in - that means I'm still up by 7 most mornings. But it's NOT 5:30 alarms going off and I'm so thankful. Even Scott can sleep in since his commute is 30 seconds now and he doesn't have to dress for the office.
14. Coffee at home
Our coffee maker broke a few weeks ago and we finally got a new one yesterday! It was only a little more than a regular one and it makes lattes! I'm so excited! It has a frother that warms the milk and it makes expresso shots!
15. The kindest of humanity
Sure there is a lot of meanness and awful people but I think we have seen the overwhelming love and kindness of people towards each other and it keeps me seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! We are praying for everyone involved and the medical workers and those who have lost loved ones. And I'm thankful to hear stories every day of how we are supporting each other!