Saturday, October 24, 2020

Proof of Life

Hi all! I've gotten a few concerned emails, which prompted me to finally open up Blogger and upload some pictures from my phone. I'm here! (I actually tried to publish this last weekend, Oct 18, which is when it was written, but Blogger changed in my time away and I couldn't get my usual settings to work and I can't open comments even if I wanted to - and I did, so I'm still working on that, but didn't want my proof of life post to languish any longer. my email is at the top right if you want to "comment" in an old school kind of way!)
We are good!
Busy, really busy, happy, sometimes sad, isolated, savoring connections, making memories, cooking a lot, baking too, not working out nearly enough for the baking... laughing at the animals, soaking up the kids, reading, not getting enough sleep, and working too much.

We'll take it by pictures:

Cora lost her first tooth! 6.75 years old, she was very excited and delighted by the $2 bill the tooth fairy slipped under her pillow. The toothfairy is grateful that unlike her lightly sleeping sister, Cora sleeps like a damn ROCK.
Maggie remains perfect in every way and wore this season's first sweater a few weeks ago.
Moose the kitten has grown into a sleek stunning black teenager cat who is in NO MOOD for my seasonal attire.
But he is always in the mood for his bulldog big sister. You guys, Maggie and Moose are best friends.
Like BEST friends.
But also siblings who are sometimes annoyed when someone steals the best spot in the sun from someone else.
They like to cuddle, chase each other, and give me guilty looks whenever I catch them plotting something together.
I enjoy them so much.
On the human front, the kids started virtual school in September!
It went really well. Our teachers absolutely killed it and the kids were engaged and happy and learning and I emailed all of them my appreciation.
Look at that beaming little face

Cora was a little tech support 1st grader, doing her coloring and writing and dancing and songs and just BEING an interactive little first grader thanks to long stretches of synchronous learning that literally saved our working-parent lives.
Claire, now in 5th grade, got to take over my old desk and no one has ever been more delighted by tiny cubby holes and drawers. She didn't start her day until 9:30, but without fail, she'd be sitting in front of her desk, wearing her not-required-at-home uniform, logged in and searching for extra work, by 8 a.m.
Landon, in 7th (!!), was perhaps the least interactive thanks to the apparent lack of GoNoodle dancing breaks in the middle school curriculem. But he logged in to all of his classes and did all of his things and James and I never had anything to do with it, so it was a win as far as I could tell. One thing that was truly a win was how he'd come into my bedroom office during his breaks and share funny little stories about his day, and while there is PLENTY about this pandemic that is absolutely terrible, these little moments with my 13-year-old that I wouldn't have otherwise had are something I've held close to my heart this past month.
James continues to run the swim school and a new cross-training dryland camp out of our backyard and has added many new games and toys to his repetoire. Like this zipline that is NOT for the swim school. There isn't a liability waiver long enough, but our kids love it! And now that he has invested in a pool heater to keep running his lessons, they can swim year-round. With us still mostly staying to the boundaries of our property, this is QUITE a key upgrade.
I am also still working from home and will be forevermore, or so it seems. I miss people. I miss going to the office. I miss the separation between home and office, which used to be 5 miles and is now about 18 inches from my bed.
But I'm also amazed at what I can do from home now. I have been working a lot (a LOT lot) and have seamlessly handled taking depositions, settlement conferences, counsel presentations, huge multi-party conference calls, and even wrote an action memo and filed a case all from my bedroom. I worked over 80 hours in 6 days a couple weeks ago and they only reason I got to sleep or be with my family is because I did it all right here in this very house.
(One afternoon of nonstop conference calls I texted James to have a kid bring me water and of course Claire volunteered and then did it in the most Claire way possible.)
Today was James's birthday and we celebrated with all the homemade cards and some new t-shirts and a shiny new scooter so he can join the scooter gang without having to keep stealing the kids'.
We went on a long walk/scooter ride, ate a fantastic dinner that used all my sheet pans (flank steak, twice baked potatoes, risotto cakes, roasted carrots, salad with roasted beets, goat cheese, and candied pecans, and a funfetti cake), and enjoyed our favorite kind of lazy family day.
Much is hard.
I'm thankful for all that is easy. I hope there are days, moments, people, pets, hobbies, or habits that are giving you ease as well.


P.S. Go vote.