Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Post-Op Update July 13, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:36 pm

Here I am! I’m alive! (Okay, that’s a bit dramatic!) I am thankful to be on the other side of my surgery and I’m happy to share my weekly update!

Last week our family tried to lay low for self-isolation. Since I had to take a pre-op COVID-19 test, the hospital didn’t want me to pick-up something between taking the test and surgery. The only downside to this isolation meant a quiet week before my operation and a quiet week after my operation. I feel like this surgery has taken two weeks of my summer from me. While it might feel like a waste of summer days to just stay home, it’s honestly what I would be doing anyway – thank you, Coronavirus.

The only day that isolation was inconvenient was Wednesday (the day before my surgery). Wednesday was Jeremy & I’s 14th wedding anniversary. The boys were off to a sleepover at Nana & Papa’s house, so Jeremy and I had the day to ourselves. Now we could have stayed home and tried to pretend like the next day wasn’t a big deal, but that would have been hard. We needed a distraction. Since the weather wasn’t too bad, we took a drive to the beach. It was nice to talk on the ride out to the beach without having to talk over the kids. We got take-out from our favorite restaurant. We went to Costco (which is apparently how we spend our dates). This was the only non-isolated activity of the day and I was very careful to social distance. We took a walk on the beach and then took off for home. It was a quick outing, but it kept my mind occupied which was helpful.

Thursday was my surgery to remove a benign mass that had been growing quickly and causing me discomfort. I got to the hospital at 10:00am and spent a considerable amount of time waiting. Someone had arrived two hours late for their surgery and it threw off the timeline for the day. I had ample time to wait and be nervous. I had one moment where I shed a few tears. I was sweating in the plastic hospital gown with my mask on (these materials don’t breathe well). My IV wasn’t going into my hand and they couldn’t get a good temperature or heart rate from me. Apparently the forehead thermometer is very sensitive when you are sweaty so they had to find an oral thermometer to get a better reading. It was frustrating because I was fever-free when I entered the building only an hour before. I blame the plastic gown, face mask, and nerves. I was a sweaty mess. The IV had to be placed in my arm instead of my hand. I told the nurses I am an Enneagram Type 1 so I hate when things aren’t “right” and I struggle with failure. My most stressful moments were over things I couldn’t control and yet I felt like I was failing.

Once the actual surgery happened, things improved. I was told by one of the nurses that my doctor/OR nurse combination was the absolute best in the hospital. I’ve heard so many good things about my surgeon from multiple staff members. It gave me peace of mind. I opted for a form of anesthesia they call “twilight” instead of full-on general anesthesia. I was asleep for the surgery, but I had an easier time coming out of surgery. I can remember being in the OR both before and after surgery. I hate feeling out of control, so the ability to think clearly matters to me. I don’t like feeling out of it. I left the hospital fairly quickly post-op (especially in comparison to pre-op). I was numbed so well from the surgery that I really felt has “normal” as I possibly could have for just having surgery.

My recovery has gone better than I imagined. My pain level has been minimal. I’ve been able to rest and lay low with the help of family. Both Jeremy’s parents and my parents have provided meals for us. Jeremy’s parents kept the boys until I was comfortable and settled at home. My mom has watched the boys for me a few times. Jeremy took the kids on adventures. We even rested as a family last night by watching a movie in our big bed. I am doing my best to rest, but I glad that I am comfortable enough to do daily tasks like laundry and keeping the counters clean. I’ve taken a few short walks.

I’m so glad that this surgery is behind me now and checked off the to-do list. July is a bit of a business month. Between surgery and MOPS planning, I’ve been in grown-up mode. I’m looking forward to “fun” adventures in August. With the fall being unknown still, I want to enjoy this down time and make the most of these quiet moments. They might not be exciting, but I have a feeling that my soul needs to recover just as much as my body does right now. I’m praying for peace, comfort, and rest. While this hasn’t been the busiest, flashiest, or most fun summer I’ve ever had, I am grateful, I am blessed, I am loved.

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Extra time at home before surgery meant many large blanket forts for these boys!

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Enjoying fort life!

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When we have time alone together, we go to Costco!  It’s our love language! Haha! We do appreciate a kid-free trip to Costco!

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A walk on the beach to celebrate 14 years of married life!

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You can’t tell from this picture, but this one size fits all purple gown was practically a sumo suit on me!

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Post-op goodies from family! Feeling loved and taken care of!

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To give me some quiet time at home, Jeremy took the boys on an adventure with some of the cousins.

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Down time and s’mores go so well together! As you can see, Jeremy approves!

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I got a six pack of these ice packs on Amazon! Possibly the best thing I’ve ever purchased. Ice packs are my new best friend!

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Family movie night! Instead of sharing what I’ve read this month! I might share what I’ve watched instead!

 

July is here! July 6, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:02 am

This last week we said good-bye to June and hello to July. This summer certainly has a different feel to it. Usually July would mean daily swimming lessons at the local pool and multiple play dates a week. Now our days are mostly spent at home. We keep social events outside so we can have distance and limit the use of masks. Even with our endeavors to be outdoors, we are getting used to wearing masks when we aren’t home. We are adapting to this new normal and making the most of it.

This last week we made a couple of meal deliveries to families with new babies. I love that this ministry can continue even through a pandemic. Dropping a meal at a door is a quick and simple way to show love. We did two deliveries last week and we have another one to do today. Lots of babies to celebrate in our community!

With plenty of time at home, we’ve had time for puzzles, games, fort building, and baking. The days have been cloudy and gray for the most part so we’ve been snuggled inside playing and enjoying the free time summer brings. When it warms up, we head outside to play, explore, and exercise.

The special outing of our week was a trip up to see my sweet grandma (or GG has my boys call her). I’ve been keeping in touch with my grandma through phone calls and mail over the last few months. It was great to finally have an in-person opportunity to connect with her. My heart was definitely full after our visit!

This weekend was full of celebrating with family! We had Jeremy’s brothers and their kiddos over for the 4th of July. Our kids were so excited to swim with their cousins, show off the beaver dam, and light off fireworks. There is such a happy feeling watching cousins play and make childhood memories together! Yesterday was my dad’s birthday so we celebrated with my side of the family. My sister and brother-in-law joined us. It had been many months since we’d all been together. It was a great way to celebrate my dad! Nothing like good food and family to make a weekend feel special!

Now to share about my next “adventure”… I will be having surgery this Thursday to remove a benign mass that is growing and causing me discomfort. I’ve known about the mass for years, but this November it started to bother me. I went to the doctor and had it monitored for six months. It grew considerably during that time so it was decided that it was time to biopsy it in May. Thankfully the the results were benign. The fact that is continuing to grow and cause me discomfort is the reason I opted for surgery to remove it. I am nervous and not looking forward to the surgery, but I am trying to be a grown up and take care of my health. From having a biopsy, to having a mandatory pre-op COVID-19 test, to surgery – I keep reminding myself that I am capable of doing hard and uncomfortable things. I don’t have to like it, but I can get the job done and take care of myself.  Thanks to this being a slower summer, I will be able to rest and recover without too much disruption to commitments. I will be leading a MOPS leadership retreat 8 days after my surgery, so please pray that I will be able to lead without discomfort.

That’s the news for now! I’ll see you on the other side of my surgery and hopefully I’ll have a positive update to share with you all!

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Learning how to play checkers!

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This week’s baking project! The boys helped me make a red, white, and blue layer cake. They even put the sprinkles on the cake!

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Graham received his school art portfolio this week. He had a lot of fun walking down memory lane!

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Visiting GG!

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New puzzle! Oh how these kids love geography! They are obsessed with maps of any kind!

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Happy 4th of July from the Scotts!

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Parachute men are a favorite activity on the 4th!

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Introducing the cousins to the beaver dam!

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Sparkler Time!

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I hope Grandpa didn’t want to blow out his own birthday candles!

 

 

Does It Feel Like Summer? June 27, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 10:21 am

We’ve had two weeks of our summer schedule and I keep pondering to myself – does it feel like summer? Now in Washington state, I could mean the weather. As I look out the window next to me, I am looking at gray clouds and the forecast even has showers for tomorrow. We’ve had some gray days this month, especially over the weekends. But really, I’m not referring to the weather when I wonder if it feels like summer. I’m referring to the change of pace, the summer vibes. Do I feel them?

My answer is kinda. They are there, but they aren’t as strong as years past. Usually the end of the school year brings a dramatic change to our household. With the kids being home all day since March, school being out doesn’t seem like a big shift. We started each day this week with 30 minutes of summer workbooks (15 minutes for each boy to keep their brains engaged) and then we moved into an hour of VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure) at home. Rocky Railway was the theme this year and my kids LOVED IT! It was a great time to sing, dance, learn about the Bible, and do a fun craft/activity each day. In a way VBA took up the window of time that “school” had filled just weeks before. Our flow of focused mornings, quiet afternoons, and free evenings has remained even after school is out.

Now there are some ways that it does feel like summer. Over the last week, we’ve turned on the air-conditioning as the days have risen into the 80’s. That feels like summer, for sure! My boys have spent every sunny evening in the pool. Jeremy is doing swimming lessons at home with the boys. Graham’s confidence in the water has sky-rocketed in just the last week. It’s fun to watch them learn important life skills from their father. I can swim, but I don’t relish time in the pool (unless I can just sit on a lounge float and soak up the sun). I’m thankful that Jeremy can engage our little swimmers at their level! He is truly the best dad ever! Another way that it feels like summer is our family adventures on Fridays! Last Friday, we hiked around Mt. St. Helen’s. Yesterday, we went to NW Trek with Nana & Papa. What a unique experience we had as we drove our own van through the wildlife park! It was also our first family outing where masks were mandatory. The boys did a great job keeping their masks on in public. The whole experience gave me hope that we can continue to do fun things that we love even if they look different for a while.

I find that I’m living in a season with more questions than answers. I had no clue when things shut down in March that life would look this way heading into July. I honestly thought this whole virus thing would blow over by May. I thought kids would go back to school, I thought I would coordinated weddings at the church, I thought we would be back to “normal” by summer. Now I’m realizing that normal seems like a distant memory – the good old days. I’m wrapping my head around a new world where masks are necessary, schedules are disrupted, and adapting to change is crucial. It might not be the summer I expected, but summer is here. I told Jeremy that I don’t want to spend my summer wringing my hands with anxiety over what the future holds. I want to live this summer day by day, moment by moment. The big picture might be hard to see, so I’ll focus in on what I can see – today, this moment. As we continue to move forward, I’m hopeful the summer vibes will come our way!

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Collecting moths has become a thing to do around our house. I’m happy to report that as of last night all the moths have been released back into nature! 

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Excited for their first day of Rocky Railway! I love that my kids didn’t miss out on a VBA experience this year! And they got to do it in their pajamas (which as you know is how we roll these days).

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Learning the Bible Lesson from Teacher Lauren! These boys were so excited to watch “their” teacher from church. Jeremy and the kids team worked hard to make VBA a fantastic experience for our community of kiddos! 

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Tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe to see if I could achieve a different kind of cookie… they turned out just like my go-to recipe, so apparently I only make one kind of a cookie… 

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Second play date of the season, so we had to go the beaver dam. It never gets old!

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The determined face of a kid trying to master the kick board.

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This feels like summer right here! 

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Family Outing to NW Trek! 

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Usually you ride through the wildlife park in a tram, but for a short window of time they are having personal vehicles drive through! Such a unique and memorable opportunity! 

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Even though the world feels weird, raccoons are still cute! 

PS: If you want to watch my 5 minutes of VBA fame, you can here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFFjU008neg. I had fun teaching a short and sweet Bible lesson about being good friends!

 

Officially Official! We are done! June 22, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:42 pm

I am happy to report that the 2019-2020 is officially over! We are done! Last week I shared my frustration over the confusion surrounding the last day of school. In true Amy fashion, I invested way too much energy into letting my mistake make me feel weird about the end of year.  It turns out that Monday really felt like the last day of school. On Monday, we received Owen’s report card in the mail. It included a diploma for making it through the COVID-19 closure and a 1st grade supply list. Monday was also the day that Owen’s school had a drive-thru pick-up of a summer packet and a small gift. The summer packet is meant to be worked on over the summer, so it didn’t feel urgent to complete it during the “last” week of school. We started our summer school workbooks last Monday and I’m fairly confident we’ll finish them quickly. Once the workbooks are done then we’ll move on to the packet from the school.  Monday definitely carried more of a school’s out vibe as we waved good-bye to the staff of Owen’s elementary school.

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Owen’s school drive-thru on Monday – it took us over an hour and a half round trip to pick up the summer packet and wave good-bye!

The days are starting to pick up in pace. Now that staying home isn’t mandatory, we’ve been slowly rejoining the world. On Monday, the boys and I went down to the church to work on the MOPS closet. The closet received some TLC in the form of new carpet and fresh paint. I came down to help get the items that were moved out for the work back into the closet.  My boys are very familiar with Monday mornings at the church with me prepping for MOPS so this felt somewhat normal. Tuesday we had dentist appointments. Many of our church members work at the dentist office so we got to say hello to friends we haven’t seen in a while. Thursday was a big deal for our family – we hosted our first play date in over three months! Since it was a sunny day, I kept the kids outside the entire time. It was fun to watch my kids play and it was a special treat to chat with a mom friend in person. The boys got to share their new tree fort and we took a hike down to the beaver dam. An outdoor adventure with friends was the perfect way to ease back into hospitality.

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Enjoying a stroll to the Beaver Dam

We spread the celebration of Father’s Day out over three days. We celebrated Jeremy on Friday with a hike near Mt. St. Helens. We packed a picnic lunch and ate near Coldwater Lake. After we ate, the boys dipped their toes in the water. This was our first family outing since February! It was so much fun to get into nature and explore a new trail! On Saturday, we celebrated with the Scott clan. Our kids had been waiting for the day when they could see their cousins again and it finally arrived! My heart was so happy to watch all the cousins running around in the backyard at Nana & Papa’s house! I was just as happy as my kiddos to chat and catch up with family. Sunday was dinner and dessert with my parents. The whole weekend was full of happy moments spent with the men who mean the most to us! My boys are blessed with an awesome dad, they have two grandfathers who are active in their lives and they have some crazy, cool uncles. Celebrating this year felt extra special after the time apart!

And that’s a wrap of the last week’s adventures. This week promises to be extra fun and special as well! All I can say is that we are ready for some summer fun!

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I’m “that” mom! Summer workbooks to avoid brain drain!

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A visit to Mt. St. Helens

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First family outing in what feels like forever!

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What a beautiful way to spend time with our favorite dad! Jeremy is the best!

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So many great moments celebrating Father’s Day with these awesome dads!

 

We’re done! Just Kidding! June 12, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:18 pm

I spent months pouring over our district website to confirm the date for the end of school. Many school districts in our state have extended their school year through June 19th and I expected ours to do the same. However, when I couldn’t find that information anywhere by the end of May, I stopped checking. This means that I had been hyping up June 11th as the last day of school with my kids. We had special plans, special food, special gifts to celebrate. I took the official last day of school photos and shared them on social media… and then I got a message from a parent informing me that our district was going to the 19th and another homework packet was expected to be given out this coming Monday. I asked where this information was shared and I was told at the end of the last robocall. I don’t receive the school phone calls and my husband missed that information when he took the call. I’m a little frustrated that there was no letter from the district on the website or an email explaining this change to the calendar. Owen’s teacher didn’t mention this change while sending her weekly assignments.

As an Enneagram Type 1, I strive to do everything right/correct.  I have been the champion of the homework packets, we didn’t take Spring Break because I thought the endless free time with nowhere to go would be hard on my kids, we’ve done 13 full weeks of school at home and I was ready to celebrate right alongside my kids. I quickly took the pictures off social media because I didn’t want people to think I was blowing off the last week of school. This situation was embarrassing and frustrating. I’m not upset about another homework packet or that school isn’t officially done. It’s not a big change for my kids since we plan on doing workbooks over the summer. My big issue is the lack of communication took the wind of my sails. We still celebrated with the boys, but it wasn’t the same level of joy that I had been hoping for. Now that I’ve processed my frustration and embarrassment, I’m choosing to look at next week as a chance to continue celebrating the end of the school year. Let’s make the party last longer!

Even though the school year didn’t officially wrap up this week, MOPS & MOMSnext did! Monday was a big day for me as I met with the ladies through our online Facebook group and a Zoom call in the evening. This year certainly didn’t end the way I had expected, but I am thankful for how things turned out. Our online format allowed ladies to connect with the large group and expand their relationships outside of the 6-8 ladies at their table. We saw new relationships form and a deeper sense of connection come from our online experiences. One of my favorite things about the last meeting is our group picture. Since we couldn’t take a group picture this year, I asked the ladies to send me a photo so I could assemble a collage. I’m so happy with how the picture turned out! I prayed over each lady as I assembled the collage and it made my heart happy to celebrate that each one was a part of our group. Community matters and in a season of separation, MOPS & MOMSnext has kept me grounded in my community. It is easy for me to turn inward and focus on my family during this time, but MOPS & MOMSnext continually brought me out of my shell and reminded me to think of others.

On Tuesday, I filmed a Bible lesson to be included in our upcoming VBA. My hubby and his team got creative and transformed VBA into a home-based experience. Families get all the supplies from the church and then videos will shared to walk them through the VBA experience. Jeremy was able to film many of our key kids leaders so this experience will be unique to our church and local area. My boys froze in wonder when they saw their Pre/K teacher on the preview. While I didn’t want to be on film, I was reminded how much it will mean to my Wednesday night girls and the kids that I hang out with at children’s church. They haven’t seen me in months. I haven’t been able to teach them in a classroom environment. While it was a stretch for me to teach on camera, I am hopeful that it will encourage our kiddos.

My adventures on Wednesday took me up to Olympia for an appointment and errands. For the first time in months, my boys stayed home with my mom while Jeremy and I went out alone! It was our first date in what feels like forever! We grabbed Red Robin to go and went to Target and Costco. I’ve been dreaming about Target for months and I was so hopeful that it would fill a void in my heart. First of all, we were on a time crunch so the experience was rushed and secondly, the vibe was weird. It wasn’t the shopping experience that I had dreamed it would be. I was bummed about that, but I was still thankful for the opportunity.

And now on to today – the final part of this update! Owen was given an award for most improved in math from the school. His math abilities surprised me this year. He surpassed all my expectations. By the middle of the year, he was confidently doing first grade math. It was mind blowing for me since I struggle with math. The award was given to Owen outside of the school by his teacher and the principal even came out to say hello and congratulate Owen. The smile on Owen’s face was worth the outing even though there was a fair amount of shyness as well.  To wrap up the day, we celebrated my mom’s birthday! It’s a special treat to go over to Grandpa & Grandma’s house since we didn’t go inside each other’s homes during the stay-at-home order. Now that we are entering new phases in our state, being able to see our people and visit their spaces is a fun treat!

Wow! That was a long update! It was a big week, though. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of good things. Lots of good work. I look forward to fully, wholly, and completely celebrating the end of the school year with you all next week! Stay tuned!

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Owen lost another tooth!

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Love this group! They hold such a big place in my heart!

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Is it really June? Here I am snuggled up with my electric blanket on a rainy day.

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Even though we have to mask up to go out, I am thankful for kid-free, alone time with my hubby!

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Since Graham is in preschool, his last day of school could really be whatever day we wanted!

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Let’s pretend this picture was taken on June 19th ;)

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Love my little learners! While they may have spent the last 13 weeks in their pajamas, they have accomplished so much! I am proud of them!

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Seriously, this kid! So expressive!

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Sticker books with flags and maps are perfect for these geography lovers!

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Special sleepover in Mom & Dad’s room!

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Owen accepting his award at school!

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Happy birthday, Grandma!

 

One More Week of School! And Quarantine Reflections… June 7, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:57 pm

Just one week left in our homeschooling adventure! We will have accomplished a grand total of 13 weeks of home education by this Thursday. You can tell that summer is right around the corner. Our schooling times are the basics now – math, reading, and writing. Owen still has a weekly assignment from his teacher. My supplements of crafts and board games have become optional. We have been doing quite a few science experiments throughout the week, so that counts as extra credit, right?

We had a milestone at our house this week – we had kid-led sorting/purging take place. I’m a tidier and I am constantly evaluating what needs to stay or go in our house. I was talking with my MOPS & MOMSnext group this spring about keeping clutter down and they asked me how I do this with the kids. I shared that most of the time I de-clutter when the kids are not aware and they very rarely notice the items I get rid of. I did acknowledge though that my kids are getting older and that soon I would need to include them in this process. The reason for this is two-fold – 1) I need to honor their belongings and 2) they need to learn how to sort/purge their own items. I’m a big advocate of leading by example. My kids have watched me sort and giveaway items their whole lives. This week, they decided to go through their bins and take down the clutter. I was proud of them as they recycled papers and tossed happy meal toys that were no longer played with. A few nicer items were added to our donation stockpile. It was a highlight of the week for me! 

Now that we have moved out of the quarantine season, I’m reflecting on the things that I’ve learned through this whole experience. One of the biggest wins for me is I broke the social media addiction in my life. I am now averaging around an hour of screen time on my phone a day and that is because I limit my use of Instagram and Facebook. Now my phone sits on the counter or my nightstand, but I don’t feel the need to check it every few minutes. This discipline has been life-giving through my time at home and I hope I can continue to keep my phone usage down in the future.

I’ve also been reflecting on the pace of life. I’ve valued the slower pace of quarantine and I want to take that pace with me as I move forward. I used to pack the summer weeks with all kinds of plans because I thought my kids needed to be busy. I’ve since learned that my kids do well for long periods of time at home. It turns out we are a family of four introverts. While we enjoy people, we don’t need to go out and do something everyday to be fulfilled. Right now in Phase 2, we can see one household outside of our own a week. This pace sounds about right to me. We can add seeing people in person, but one outing/play date/dinner a week is just enough. As I made a play date for later in the month with a friend, she remarked that her family tires out easily after play dates. We have some muscles to rebuild in the socializing department. Building muscle takes time and I am ready to slowly build our schedule back up. I am hesitant though to go back to the way things were before.

The last things that I’ve learned to value during quarantine is my health. I also give credit to my fitbit for this realization. Since the first week of quarantine, I’ve been exercising daily and making sure to get my 10,000 steps a day. Before quarantine, I didn’t have “time” to prioritize daily exercise, now I make it a daily goal to have my fitbit register that I have exercised. For me, my exercise of choice is walking. Moving my body is important not only for physical health, but also mental health.

Overall, quarantine has given me time and space to evaluate healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle. I’m determined to take the lessons I have learned over the last few months and to live differently here from here on out. The nice thing is that they say it takes 21 days to build a habit. I’ve had almost three months to build new habits. This gives me confidence that these changes might just stick.

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The boys requested that I take a picture of our newest backyard buddy. I find him much cuter than the birds that Jeremy draws to the house.

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First time making mini pies!

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So cute! And yummy!

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Still hoping a summer vacation might happen!

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Celebrating National Doughnut Day

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Baking soda and vinegar never gets old! Yay for science!

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Owen claimed this island in the creek near our house. He has a flag to make it official. Welcome to Owen Island.

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Exploring the beaver dam is always a fun outing.

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Papa & Nana came over for pizza on Friday night! We showed them all the changes around the house from our quarantine projects. The boys got to show them the beaver dam for the first time!

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Everything is sooooo green!

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Owen helped Jeremy with the video announcements this week! Moments like this make my heart happy!

 

 

A New Season May 31, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:05 pm

We are at the start of a new season. Slowly our area is opening again after the coronoavirus shutdown and slowed down our country for months. Change is happening all around us as the next season unfolds for our family and our community.

Today was Jeremy’s first Sunday back at church in over two months. This week our governor made it possible for churches to gather indoors with small numbers and social distancing guidelines. The announcement was made on Wednesday and the church staff jumped into action so that Sunday morning could happen. Since the number of people in the building is limited, the boys and I stayed home to continue watching church online. The transition back to church will be one of patience for our family. Jeremy, obviously, will be there because it’s his job as a pastor. The boys and I will wait for larger gatherings sizes. It felt strange to send Jeremy off on his own this morning. While we were home together, we enjoyed having a sit down breakfast on Sunday mornings. As a pastor’s wife, I got the special treat of sitting through a Sunday morning message with my husband. I wholeheartedly believe that the church is meant to gather together in person, but I’ve also enjoyed Sunday mornings at home together as a family. It will be an adjustment as we move forward.

In month of June more change is coming. The MOPS & MOMSnext year is wrapping up for me. The school year is wrapping up for the boys. We are moving towards summer mode – whatever that looks like. Summer is still a bit of a mystery. One of the lesson I’ve learned during the stay-home season is to take things one day at a time. The big picture can be unclear and that is okay. What am I doing today? What needs to be done? What should be celebrated? Each day holds so much potential. I don’t need to know all the answers and see the whole picture, I can trust that today is enough. June will definitely bring changes to the new normal we’ve established.

At the end of Christmas break this winter, I got teary-eyed. It had been such a fun time. I enjoyed the break and part of me wished I could freeze time. In a lot of ways I have that same feeling now. It’s been a good “break”. It started off weird, but eventually our family found our groove. While things are changing slowly, it does feel like a break is coming to an end. Our stay-home mandate might be gone, but we are also heading into the summer months. Maybe I should look at it as a shift from one break to another – from quarantine spring to summer break.

I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to have lots of feelings – both positive and negative – about change. It’s okay to be excited and unsure at the same time. There is still tension to be lived in. I realize that I prefer to operate in an all-or-nothing kind of a way. I either want to stay home 100% or be back to normal 100%. There is going to be an window of time where we live in-between those two extremes. We are not mandated to be home, but we are not back to business as usual. I’m reminded that grace for myself and grace for others is so crucial. The tension is yet another opportunity to give grace and show love.

I can see the new season on the horizon. Parts of it have arrived and are becoming clear. Many elements of the new season are yet to be discovered. I went to into quarantine thinking of it as an adventure. This mindset is helpful in tackling something new, especially when I feel unsure.  There is another new adventure unfolding – the start of re-opening, the start of summer, the farewell to quarantine. I want to meet this new season with a hopeful heart. If I keep my eyes on Jesus and follow his lead, I can go into the great unknown, ready for the next adventure.

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Another science experiment! 

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It was too chilly to swim in the pool, but not too chilly for a float! I got into the pool the day after this picture was taken and it was too cold for me! I did one lap around the pool on the turtle float and then I was out! Brrr….

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I’m much more of a dessert-eater than a swimmer! It’s fun watching my family enjoy the pool. I’m hopeful that I will get some pool time this summer once the water warms up more!

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Owen selected the next round of fresh flowers. I originally planned on keeping flowers on the counter during quarantine, but now I might be addicted. I love having flowers in my kitchen. It brings me so much joy! 

 

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The boys are super into astronomy and geography right now. My mom found these felt maps at Target and the boys were so excited! 

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The front walkway is looking good! Jeremy just added special sand to fill in the cracks between the stones.

 

Week Ten at Home: The Last One? May 23, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:53 pm

Could this be the last official Week at Home post? Just yesterday, our county was approved to move to Phase 2 of reopening. I had to do a little research on what that means. We can now gather with 5 or fewer people from outside of our household per week, more stores should be opening for in-store shopping, restaurants can reopen at 50% capacity.  I feel a bit conflicted. There is this part of me that is celebrating and part of me that is still unsure. I probably won’t rush out to stores and restaurants, but I am happy to have the option of a play date or dinner with another family.

While it’s not quite as imperative that we all hunker down at home, I’m realizing that my life won’t change too much with this phase change. We will still be homeschooling. Jeremy will probably still remain our designated shopper, but we can relax a bit on the kids going into stores. With so many community events canceled, we still have plenty of time at home moving forward. VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure) will be at home this summer. Swimming lessons will take in the backyard pool. We had every weekend of summer planned before the world shutdown. Now we are hopeful to regain some of our plans, but we are also aware that it won’t be the same summer we had originally envisioned.

So what did week ten at home look like? If there was a theme to the week it would be Zoom.  On Sunday, we had our first virtual group with our church. We had 3 other families join us to catch up and say hello. On Monday, Jeremy and I watched a Zoom call on what reopening children’s ministries might look like in the future. On Tuesday, I had a Zoom call about MOPS with my co-coordinator. It was really good to talk things out with her and work through so many of the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head! On Wednesday, I had a Zoom call with a friend just to check in and catch up. On Friday, I had a Zoom call with the Network of Women Ministers. We’ll have another Zoom call on Sunday to hang out with more church families. Zoom, zoom, zoom. While I don’t love Zoom calls, I am thankful for the connection they bring. I love sitting in my pajamas with only my shoulders up being presentable. I love that there is no travel time involved. Hosting a call means that I don’t need to clean the house or provide food.  Thanks to technology like Zoom, Marco Polo, Facebook and Instagram I have felt very connected to my community during this season of separation.

I realize that moving into the next phase doesn’t change a whole lot for me. I am thankful that my hubby got to go golfing with his brothers and dad today. I am thankful that Owen got to tag along with Jeremy to Home Depot this morning. I am thankful for the quiet day I had at home yesterday while the boys had a play date with Nana and Jeremy and Papa worked outside on a project. This Memorial Day weekend looks different than what I had planned three months ago, but I am thankful for time to read, tidy, bake, catch up on the DVR, and rent a movie. Life at home has been good!

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Thanks to watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Owen was very curious about coconuts.

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Hacking a coconut to pieces counts as homeschool science, right? 

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Owen buried a treasure in the backyard and Jeremy helped him mark the spot. Once Graham saw this, he did the same. I’m living with pirates!

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Pulled the boys out of bed so they could enjoy the sunset!

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Prepping for a Zoom call! I saw this view quite a bit this week.

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Since Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer, I figured cookies with way too much frosting would be a great way to celebrate!

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Graham approves!

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We have loved this science activity book!

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Nothing like ice, salt, and food coloring for a good time! 

 

Week Nine at Home: A Thought-Full Week May 16, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:57 am

After the busyness of last week, I was ready to settle down into a quiet week. While my calendar wasn’t full, the week didn’t turn into the quiet week that I expected. This was due to my own pondering. I hit some triggers this week that sent me into planning, researching, and mulling mode. The amount of thoughts that bounced around in my brain made the week anything but quiet.

As the leader of a local MOPS & MOMSnext group, I feel a weight of responsibility that I have never felt before. As a group, how do we keep connection strong during a time of distance? How do we keep the natural rhythms of our group as much as possible? How do we wrap up the end of the year well? How do we build momentum for next year when we aren’t even sure what meeting in the fall looks like right now?  I’ve been thinking these thoughts from time to time, but now that there is less than a month left on the MOPS calendar these thoughts all seemed more urgent. My personality type likes to tackle a to-do list. I plot a course and get it done. This is a season where I can’t easily predict the future and my mind has a hard time letting go. I’ve continue to mull over details that I know are unsolveable at this time. As a leader, I don’t want to let my team down and I certainly don’t want to let our community of moms down. I have plans to talk with my co-coordinator next week so I can share the mental load with someone. I need to draw others into the conversation as we face circumstances we never planned for.

Another area of major thought-full-ness for me this week was the pros and cons of homeschooling this fall. We’ve found a good groove for school. I’m loving the pace and the schedule that comes with school at home. I’m loving not having to dash out the door for anything. There is no rush in our lives! The schedule mixed with the positives of homeschooling had me weighing our options seriously. After making a mental list and going back and forth, I sat down to talk with Jeremy about where I finally landed. This whole time Jeremy has been leaning toward public school and I was the one who was unsure. As of now, our plan is to still go with public school in the fall. We want our family to a light in our community. We believe that public school is a place to grow our faith muscles and be the light of Jesus to those around us. I’m sure volunteering will look different next year, but I want to be in the school offering support and hope to the staff and students. This was very important to me and something I was sad let go of when school closed. Now this decision isn’t a final one. We still don’t know what public school looks like in the fall. Our final decision will be influenced what what our district decides to do in September.

With plans to phase back into normal life being discussed, I’m taking this time to think about what life looks like going forward. There are still many unknowns that make planning a challenge. I’m not in a rush to go back to life as it was. I’ve found a sweet spot at home. I’m definitely processing what I am valuing in this current season and how can I take those values with me into the future.  Now enough on all my pondering and wondering. Here are few highlights from the week!

The first highlight of the week was Owen lost his first tooth! It’s been wiggly for weeks and with Jeremy’s help it finally popped out. Now he has another wiggly tooth in the same area. Looks like we are in a new season!

My highlight for the week was assembling thank you gifts for the MOPS & MOMSnext Steering Team. Since we can’t celebrate the end of the year together in person I created a party-in-a-bag for them. It took me over 5 hours, but I was able to deliver the gifts to each team member. I didn’t get to see all the ladies, but I saw most of them for a few short minutes. Seeing their faces made my heart happy. I also really enjoyed the quiet time in the van to listen to worship music and be with Jesus. After all the noise in my head this last week, I finally felt peace in my spirit. Also, I was glad to see that I still remember how to drive. It had been almost two months since I was last behind the wheel. Turns out it’s like riding bike – it all came back to me!

I never know what the vibe of each week will be. Life certainly hasn’t been boring in my little corner of the world. I’ll keep working on taking things one day at time and trusting God with all the unknowns.

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Owen’s 1st Lost Tooth!

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Mini-bottle of sparkling cider + rainbow chip mug cake + pinata ornament + party hat + noisemaker = party in a bag!

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We had a popsicle themed week!

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Homemade juice pops!

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Pom Pom Popsicle

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Pom Pom Popsicle

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Using the sliding door as a white board

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These are the moments I end up filming when my husband is on video announcements.  Bath tub full of bubbles, industrial bubble maker on, and the Rubber Ducky song playing in the background.

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The next installment of fresh flowers! I’m loving this new tradition. Flowers on the counter bring me so much joy!

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Jeremy’s latest project! It’s not completed, but I had to share his hard work! I’m amazed at all he is doing around our house! Also, notice the grass is coming in where he took out part of the flower bed!

 

Week Eight at Home: The Busiest One Yet! May 10, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:26 pm

It’s crazy to say, but this last week was a busy week! I haven’t had one of those in a long time! While it wasn’t pre-pandemic busy, it was busy enough. It made me appreciate the quieter moments. I am truly thankful the change of pace this season at home has brought. I’m reminded that as we phase back into “normal” life, I might not want to be as busy as before. I’ve found peace and contentment in this new pace. With that being said, here are highlights from our busy week.

Monday was a MOPS day for me. My monthly steering team meeting happened through Facebook posts to discuss the end of the year and we also met via Zoom in the evening. Half of the team wanted to meet through Facebook and the other half wanted Zoom so I opted to do both. I learned the hard way that this makes the day feel like I did double the meetings. It was good to connect with my team, but it took more energy that I had anticipated.

Tuesday was a meal/gift delivery to friends who are home from the hospital with their twin baby boys. The family was on the front deck when I dropped off the food at their door and I waved at them from a distance. It was so hard not to snuggle a tiny baby (or in this case – two)!

Wednesday was a full day! I had an appointment in Olympia so the whole family joined to make it an outing. The boys sat with Jeremy in the van during my appointment and then I sat with the boys while Jeremy ran into a few stores. Our big treat was getting Chipotle for lunch and eating it in the van. We got home in time for me to have a coffee date with a friend via Zoom. This was my first time using Zoom for a coffee date and it was delightful! After the coffee date, our family jumped into the van to do a birthday drive-by celebration for one of the girls in my Wednesday night class. It made my heart so happy to celebrate this lovely young lady and to see her family for a few brief minutes.

Thursday was the National Day of Prayer. Jeremy watched a local prayer gathering at home before heading into work. I got to have a phone date with a friend during nap time. Later that evening, I joined Jeremy on the couch to watch what our fellowship called a Sacred Assembly. It was a day to remember we are all in this together and the power of prayer. It was also the kick-off to our weekend. Since the boys had another great week of school, they got to have a sleepover again. This time Graham got to host the shindig in his bedroom.

Friday and Saturday had less of an agenda for me – mostly housework and books on my to-do list. Jeremy is always conquering a project and the big project for the weekend was setting up a swimming pool that was gifted to us. Owen learned a lesson in patience (aka a watched pool never fills). Jeremy learned a lesson in chemicals and well water. Unfortunately, the iron in water our reacted with the pool chemicals. Jeremy spent most of the weekend filtering out the rust color to return the water to a more appealing color.  One highlight of Saturday was getting to attend the wedding of the worship pastor at our church via Zoom. I was supposed to help coordinate her big church wedding this weekend, but obviously plans changed. It was great to still be a part of her special day even if it was through a screen.

And that leads us to today! Mother’s Day! It’s been a day filled with special moments! Church online in the morning, picnic lunch in the yard with my parents, gift delivery to Jeremy’s mom, two birthday (at a distance) hellos and then take-out for dinner. I’m a pretty easy girl to please. My family showered me with my favorite foods (chocolate cake and macaroni & cheese), books and flowers! I’m so thankful for my family. I’m honored to be the mama of my two wild boys. They keep me on my toes and make life an adventure.

And now we head into week nine at home. I expect it to be a slower one than last week. I’m very much okay with that. It took a few weeks (okay, months), but I’m feeling pretty settled in this new quarantine life. Oh, and Benny the Betta is still alive. Life is good!

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Adding a little flare to Cinco de Mayo. Always looking for something to celebrate!

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My first time out in the real world on Wednesday. I can’t say I love this look.

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Hanging in the van!

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Hello Chipotle! I’ve missed you!

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Coffee Date!

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Science activities!

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Owen wanted to read Graham a book he made before bed. So sweet!

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Sleepover in Graham’s room!

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When I tell them to look at each other and laugh! Haha! This sums up their relationship fairly well. Mostly happy and loud!

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Wished a couple of special family members happy  birthday from a distance!

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The progression of the pool water! So glad it’s clear again!

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We are ready for the summer pool parties!

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This cake with lunch and mac & cheese for dinner! Perfect food day! Also, loved the flowers, cards, and books I received as gifts!

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Life with these boys is a wild adventure! So glad I’m their mama!