Not sure what your state currently looks like as far as stay-at-home orders, but Arizona’s expired over the weekend. It came and went without much fanfare or change. I talked to someone who tried going to the mall to pick up some shoes and although the mall was open, not many stores were open. I suppose stores will open when they feel ready to handle the increased regulations of being open. I don’t have a burning desire to be out in public but I think we’re all looking forward to some human interaction.

I saw this graphic on Facebook over the weekend (tried to find the source and it was a dead link) and it screamed the thoughts running through my head. There I sit, smack dab in the middle.

This virus has stirred a hateful pot unlike any I’ve ever seen. We all claim to be on the right side of whatever the argument is, passing judgement on everyone who doesn’t think like us. There is so much good in the world, even today and yet it’s hard to see past that with everyone shouting their superior claims. And perhaps you’re like me and see that this is a complex social issue and understand why each area is worth fighting for.

As we end our stay-at-home order, we’re fully aware that we are not in the clear, but it’s important to reemerge cautiously at some point. Briggs keeps asking if coronavirus is done yet – I wonder how much, if anything my kids will remember about this time, so I wanted to capture a snapshot of this historic time.

Life is quiet – even in a house full of 7 people. Steve was just saying a week before the stay-at-home that life was too busy. We needed to reevaluate what we were putting time into and then this happened. The timing couldn’t have been better for our family.

Yes, it came with it’s hardships. Steve and I both work from home which is much easier when only 1 kid is at home. My work came to screeching halt (I work for many industries and it was amazing to see how fast it stopped when everything shut down.) it ended up being perfect timing in order to take on the responsibility of the kids and their school.

The kids have adjusted seamlessly. We spend a lot of time together on our summer roadtrips and this felt like an extension of that, except we never left the home.

Life completely shutdown. We went from running to crawling.

They played together…a lot…with far less fighting than we anticipated. While they’re usually hyper-focused on spending time with friends, that was all redirected to each other and it’s been sweet to witness.

Most used toys/activities were bikes, skateboards, trampoline, pool, soccer balls and board games. We’ve yet to do a puzzle even though I normally love doing puzzles.

The kids have free rein of the TV until I get out of bed. Lucky for them I stay up late which means I wake up late. After that, it’s off for the day unless we watch a movie at night.

Bedtimes and meal times have been very flexible. We normally run a tight ship in this department and we’ve let it go because we don’t have a schedule to adhere to.

I’ve turned time and attention back to the kitchen which has been fun to share with the kids. We’ve made a lots of bread – Hallie’s perfecting french bread. Which paired well with our fresh strawberry jam. I think its time to can some salsa – it’s been a couple years and it’s my favorite.

We watched Survivor as a family and the kids were totally into it. We even had our own version of Survivor, complete with immunity idols, challenges and voting.

I’ve never spent less time with my camera. Its a little weird to look through my lightroom and not have new pictures. I think my camera misses me.

I’ve been cruising through my 95% list. You know, the projects that are 95% done but rarely ever make it to 100%. I’ve been going through that list. The list that I never made time for and now I didn’t have a good enough excuse not to do them. The shelves in my kitchen that I’ve had on my list for a year and a half and even bought all the supplies for months ago – finally got them done. The shelves in Bennett’s closet – done. The media room closet – done. Then I was bugged that they didn’t take much time and I could’ve done them months ago!

We’ve harvested a lot of lemons and oranges and we’ve spent hours juicing and freezing and juicing and freezing. We’ve given fruit away and we’ve still got buckets on the back porch left to juice.

Distant learning school was a success and completely shifted my preconceived ideas about homeschooling (more on that another day). I think the biggest disappointment was knowing the last day of school party wasn’t going to be what they’re used to. Trying to figure out how to end school with a bang.

For the first little while, we didn’t personally know a single person affected by COVID. And then we had several family members test positive and they became part of the statistics we see today. They couldn’t leave the home so we did grocery drop offs and treats and bread, anything to lift their spirits.

It’s been two months since we’ve attended church with our congregation and it took some adjusting but I think we’ve found our stride.

I’ve turned back to listening to audiobooks. I go in spurts, but I’ve hit the jackpot on the last two which encourages me to try another. Because of that, my podcast listening has gone down. There’s only so much time in a day to listen!

Online shopping had to be one of my larger disappointments during this time. We were doing everything we could to not go to the stores, which meant turning to online stores. But large stores like Target and Walmart let me down. Cancelling online orders, not allowing curbside pickup, making me go into the store instead of pulling items for me. Amazon could be thrown in there as well when you want to order a ream of paper and they tell you the soonest you can get it is in a month. The lack of online options forced people back into stores unnecessarily. (which I understand was to prioritize their resources) I admit, I have totally taken for granted Amazon’s two day shipping and Wal-marts grocery pick up. I had to go into stores more than I ever have because these services were no longer available.

Because of the isolation, it’s weird to look back on movies or pictures where there’s large crowds. Hallie just watched a clip tonight from just before this all started when Steve was in a stadium full of people at an NCAA college basketball game. Her comment, “Wow that’s a lot of people, that’s weird.” At the time it wasn’t weird, it was normal but now its a little unsettling. Watching people shake hands on the TV even seems weird! Funny how the normal has shifted.

For whatever reason the days are short and the time has past quickly. Everyone has been good about finding things to do and there have been very few “bored” moments. The first week was full of frustration on everyone’s part but we settled in and found our groove. This has been nothing I could have imagined and yet oddly what our family needed. The silver lining.

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