Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

35 January 16, 2021

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Recollections,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:18 pm

On Thursday, I turned 35. I am now officially closer to 40 than to 30. Hello mid-30’s, good-bye early-30’s. I’m okay with the shift. The wrinkles on my forehead and the gray hairs remind me that time is marching on. I’m thankful for each year I get. At this point, I don’t mind getting older. My opinion might change, but right now, I’m cool with owning 35. I will claim my years without remorse. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I love love love birthdays. I love celebrating. I don’t need a big party, but I always strive to have as much fun as possible on my birthday – which usually involves eating all my favorite foods and spending time with my favorite people.

How did I celebrate 35? I kicked the day off with my free drink from Starbucks. Jeremy took the day off and we adventured up north to Bellevue. My one birthday request was going to The Container Store. According to their website, the Bellevue store had the two items I wanted. Sadly, when we arrived at the store, it was closed because it’s system was down. Bummer moment. We continued on with the plan and went to a nearby park. We walked in the sunshine, looked at the water and ducks, grabbed MOD Pizza and ate outside in the fresh air (indoor dining is still closed here in WA state).

After lunch, the kids twisted my arm and I agreed to visit a chocolate shop that Blippi (the YouTube star) filmed at. It was only 10 minutes away, so it seemed like a small, self-less act. I figured it would be a highlight of the day for them. After our Boehms Candies adventure, we took off for a different Container Store. I figured I might not get both items on my wish list, but I could at least get one. I was pleasantly surprised that the next store had restocked and both my coveted items were available. My birthday wish came true! What was I looking for? A large can riser for my pantry and more special hangers for my reusable bags. I sure do know how to party!

We ended our outing with a stop by Costco, where I picked up mac and cheese for dinner. I enjoyed my favorite meal followed by my favorite dessert – chocolate cake. It was a super fun and super tasty day from start to finish. The sunshine made it extra special. I enjoyed getting out of the area and adventuring with my boys. I wondered if COVID would put a damper on my celebration, but yet again, we rose to the occasion and had a great time despite restrictions. God is good and I am so blessed. I don’t take these good days for granted. I know how precious they are.

So where does 35 find me? A homeschool mom… which I never saw coming. I am home a lot… more than ever before and it turns out I love it. I keep my two wild boys alive, tidy my house, read books, bake treats, and try to make dinner as easy as possible. I’m obsessed with getting 10,000 steps a day and having my FitBit register that I exercised daily (usually 30 minutes of walking). I’ve restarted the habit of journaling alongside my Bible reading because I want to remember these days. I prefer to read but when I do watch television it’s mostly Hallmark channel, This Is Us, or The Pioneer Woman. The color navy is best color ever. I’m in my fourth year coordinating our local MOPS & MOMSnext group and my eighth year as a member. I occasionally work my side business through Usborne Books & More. I’ve learned that I enjoy hiking, especially if it’s through trees and on a level trail. I might not be super outdoorsy yet, but I’m making progress in outdoor appreciation. I love spending time with my family whether it’s running errands, eating out, exploring a new place, playing games, or enjoying the inflatable hot tub in our backyard. Jeremy, Owen, and Graham have been the best quarantine team. Our relationships have been strengthen by our time together. I am so thankful I get to do life alongside these three guys!

I mentioned in my last post that having a new year and a birthday so close together tends to make me extra reflective. Usually, I would go into each year with new goals, dreams, hopes, vision. 2021 and 35 feel different, though. I continue to hold to the motto that I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got. I don’t know what next month looks like, let alone the whole year. I plan to be faithful to things that I am doing right now. I am praying for discernment as the world returns to normal (hopefully) over the next year. I’ve set down so many commitments and expectations in 2020. I don’t plan to pick them all back up again. My biggest prayer for 2021 and 35 is to know what to invest in and what to completely let go of. This will be a crucial time in setting the pace for the second half of my 30’s. Wish me luck!

Free Birthday Drink – Hot Chocolate!
Park, ducks, water, sunshine, and happy boys!
Awkward family photo after lunch in the park.
The Blippi inspired visit to Boehm’s Candy.
One of my favorite places! Not as cool as Disneyland, but still pretty awesome!
Thankful for everyday with him!
35 candles on a chocolate cake!
The Home Edit inspired hangers for my bags. Organization makes me happy!
More The Home Edit inspiration – can risers in two sizes to fit various cans in my pantry! Love this look so much!
 

Reflecting on 2020 January 1, 2021

2020! What a year! Mostly, I feel profoundly grateful for 2020. This year also brought a whole new level of anxiety and was not without struggle. Despite the ups and down, God has been faithful and good through it all. In a world where the term “shelter at home” has become common, I am thankful for the shelter my family, my home, and my faith have provided.

Let’s recap 2020. In January, I celebrated my 34th birthday with a snow day. Our calendar was full with church and school commitments. For President’s Day, we took a trip to the beach. Not realizing that the world would shutdown a month later, we are thankful we took that day trip. In March, I helped coordinated my first (and so far, only) wedding for our church. The same weekend as the wedding, school closed for what we thought would be six weeks and we got our first taste of homeschooling. We celebrated Jeremy’s birthday on the first official day of the “stay home, stay healthy” order. We started doing church through video recordings and our family jumped in to help Jeremy when needed.

Six weeks of no school turned into the entire school year. We wrapped up Graham’s first year of preschool and kindergarten for Owen by documenting the moment in our pajamas. In 2020, we neglected our put-together-outfits and opted for sweatpants and pajamas around the house. I used Zoom for the first time in 2020. While Owen never had to Zoom for school, this became the way my MOPS & MOMSnext group stayed connected and as well our virtual small group for church.

Summer 2020 was spent mostly in the backyard pool that we were gifted by a friend. In July, I had surgery to remove a benign mass that was causing me discomfort. My recovery went well and quickly I was back to keeping up with my wild, outdoor men. We enjoyed lots of hiking, got to go camping, and took a vacation to Yellowstone.

This fall, we opted to homeschool for a less digital learning experience for our kids. Homeschooling has been a positive experience. I truly love being a part of my kids’ education. In October, we celebrated Owen and Graham turning seven and five. We also participated in a Family Scavenger Hunt with our church that kept us busy and having fun! We celebrated Halloween with a massive drive-thru kids event at church.

This holiday season has been unlike any other. Washington State COVID restrictions called for no gatherings with those outside of our household. To pass the time at home for the holidays, we invested in an inflatable hot tub. We made the most of all the holiday celebrations at home. We have missed our people, but we also enjoyed a simple and scaled back holiday season.

I will admit that before 2020, I often wished I could scale back my commitments and live a quieter life. 2020 granted me that wish. As an introvert, I’ve enjoyed the extra time at home. The blessing of this roof over my head is one that I don’t take for granted. I’m so glad I got to “shelter in place” in this home on the hill with my little family. I’ve loved spending more time with my family. We’ve grown closer and made some amazing memories together. The anxiety and uncertainty of 2020 has not outweighed the goodness I have experienced and for that I am incredibly thankful!

The one thing that fell apart in 2020 was publishing my book. I spent the first three months of 2020 editing my book with the hopes of self-publishing before the end of 2020. I wrapped up editing my book in March and then walked away from it. My brain just didn’t have the capacity to move the project forward. I want to say a huge thank you to the friends and family who read it, helped me edit, and offered feedback. While I don’t plan to complete this project, I believe God will use this experience as a foundation for the future. Publishing a book isn’t impossible, it’s just not on my agenda right now.

What is in store for 2021? I honestly have no idea. Our current COVID restrictions will expire on January 11th. It’s almost impossible to plan when you don’t know what will be allowed. We will be jumping back into school. MOPS & MOMSnext took a holiday break and will resume again. We will continue to meet online at least through March. My birthday is in two weeks and I’m unsure what celebrating it will look like.

I’ve heard sentiments about wanting 2020 to be done, but it looks like 2021 is going to start out very similar to 2020. The virus and it’s ramifications aren’t going to disappear because it’s a new year. I am hopeful that we will see change toward “normal” in 2021. I will continue to do the best I can with what I’ve got. I will prioritize my faith, my family, and my community (however COVID restrictions allow). As the world works to return to normal, I will prayerfully consider what old things I pick back up and what things I have truly walked away from. 2021 is a chance for a fresh start. Happy New Year!

Watching their friendship deepen has been one of my biggest blessings in 2020.
Found some snow on the last day of 2020!
First time sledding was a hit!
Owen lost his 3rd tooth of 2020!
We spent NYE air frying everything! We are loving this air fryer lid for our Instant Pot.
My Top 9 Instagram Posts of 2020: Family Pictures. Easter. Baby Blanket Quilts by Nana. Green Eggs and Ham Cookies. Mother’s Day. Visiting GG. Sunset. Decorating for Christmas. Mother’s Day Shoutout to Friends & Family.
 

Pumpkin Day October 21, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:00 am

Pumpkins have to be my favorite thing about fall. They are my favorite way to decorate, my favorite flavor, and my favorite scent. I look forward to the pumpkin patch every year. In fact, most years you will find our family at the pumpkin patch multiple times in October. We go with friends, family, school, MOPS & MOMSnext… if there is a pumpkin patch outing, we’re there.

Because of COVID-19, we only visited one pumpkin patch this year. In a way, this created some pressure. Which pumpkin patch? We usually go to a variety of pumpkin patches and usually the location is determined by who we are going with. This time it was completely up to us. We finally settled on a pumpkin patch right down the road from us. We pass it every year and the boys always ask about it, but it’s never on the list of scheduled patches to visit. It was important to Jeremy and I to support a local pumpkin patch, so the one closest to our house seemed like a great choice.

In his need for independence, Owen grabbed the wagon and pulled it for almost the entirety of our visit. Graham (true to his nature) took the longest to select his pumpkin. I picked a pumpkin and Jeremy carved it. We did a “Team Parent” pumpkin this year. There were three challenges involving pumpkins for the Fall Family Scavenger Hunt, so we were able to accomplish those during our pumpkin day. Graham scrubbed the pumpkins clean when we got home and helped set them in the sun to dry.

Graham wanted a jack-o-lantern with a big nose this year. Jeremy made a traditional jack-o-lantern for our pumpkin. Owen wanted a spooky pumpkin. He decided to make his pumpkin look like it was saying “Boo!” I’m thankful that is his idea of spooky at this point. Owen did all the cutting of his pumpkin with supervision and guidance this year.

Every year, I am thankful for pumpkins! They make me happy. They bring joy to my world. Little things can make a big difference. For me that means pumpkins! Pumpkin day was a good day. Pumpkin season is a good season.

Commander of the Wagon
Taking his time to find the perfect pumpkin
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt: Visit a pumpkin patch
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt: Carve pumpkins
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt: Take a picture of the inside of a pumpkin
The end results! Our 2020 pumpkins!
 

Autumn at It’s Best October 15, 2020

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:04 pm

October is autumn at it’s best (in my humble opinion). In October, the chill is a novelty and I bundle up in layers and with blankets. In October, the rainy days are a welcome excuse to snuggle in and be cozy at home. October leaves are brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. While leaves are actively falling, the trees aren’t bare yet. October sunshine is my favorite of all. It washes the world in warm light, but doesn’t carry the heat of summer. October activities are some of my favorite traditions. October foods are some of my favorite flavors. October is simply the best. In the words of Anne of Green Gables – “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Overquoted, yes. True, also yes.

We had a minor wind event this weekend. We lost power briefly on Sunday night. This happened about 15 minutes after we put the boys to bed, so of course, the power outage completely derailed the boys’ ability to fall asleep. Graham was scared, despite having a lantern light up his bedroom. We moved him into Owen’s room for the buddy system approach, but that also led to extra excitement. The power outage became a grand adventure at that point. The power returned around 10:15pm. The kiddos were still awake at that point. Needless to say, no one fell asleep early on Sunday night.

Monday morning was a tired one. We did a pajama day for school (which is becoming a tradition on nights when we go to bed late the day before). Instead of going to forest school on Monday, both kids took long afternoon naps. My biggest hardship with forest school is Monday is marathon day. Between school in the morning, forest school in the afternoon, and MOPS & MOMSnext in the evening, it’s a big day. I’m finding that I would prefer Mondays to a mellow transition back into our weekday routine, instead of a marathon. When the kids asked for rest on Monday, I listened and we made it a mellow Monday. To make up for missing forest school, we took a family walk on the property behind our house (we have permission to explore this land). We followed our favorite trail to the local beaver dam and explored animal dens looking for signs of activity. We talked about the sights, sounds, and smells as we wondered in the woods. It was a lovely day for exploration as the cool, crisp sunshine filtered through the half-bare trees.

Our family is keeping busy with the Fall Family Scavenger Hunt with our church. One of the challenges we completed this week was to visit a local state park – Rainbow Falls. The boys had never been there, so it was fun to let them run and explore a new place. Our family has a thing for waterfalls which made this outing even better. The drive out to the falls was beautiful. Blue sky, sunshine, fall color all around. The boys loved seeing a new waterfall and throwing rocks into the river. We rounded out the outing by following a trail by the river for a short walk.

I know at some point the weather will turn and we’ll feel “stuck” inside. I know at some point all the leaves will fall and the trees will be bare. I know at some point pumpkin season will be over. But we aren’t there yet. I intend to revel in every blue sky, every crisp walk, every seasonal treat. My joy for this season is amplified as I share my favorite things with my family and see them enjoy them too. This is autumn at it’s best!

Another weekend, another birthday celebration. The boys got to have dinner with my side of the family.
Uncle Andrew came through for us when we needed a real sword for a scavenger hunt challenge. Auntie April also let us photograph her VCR and record player!
Supporting the Seahawks (for a challenge)
Puddle jumping (another challenge)
Checking out one of the many beaver dams
Woodland Wandering
Exploring Rainbow Falls State Park
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Always ready to follow a new trail. Also, this picture is blurry because it was an “action” shot.
 

Owen turns 7! October 9, 2020

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:21 pm

Yesterday, our oldest son, Owen, turned 7! My youngest, Graham, will be 5 in a little over a week and I’m truly shocked to have “big” kids these days. It seems like the days of little “littles” are behind us. Each year I love to see who they are becoming. Every new season of development comes with so much joy and excitement.

For Owen’s 7th birthday, we had an epic day full of adventure and celebration. Our day started at Top Golf (which was first for all us, but Jeremy). It was fun to get out of the area and try something new. We had a special lunch at The Cheesecake Factory before exploring the historic waterfall highway at the Columbia Gorge. The whole day was full of yummy treats and awesome adventures. It’s been a long time since we had a full day of outings away from home. We are all super tired today after the big celebration, but we all had such a great time yesterday. It was worth it!

What can I say about Owen to document this moment in his childhood? The first thing that comes to mind is that he loves science. It’s the first subject he decides to do at school everyday. He is always asking me if we can do extra science experiments. He loves space, geology, nature, and geography. His birthday gifts this year included LEGO sets, STEM kits, and a globe.

Owen is creative and imaginative. He is often drawing pictures or diagrams and explaining them to us. He loves to keep tabs on the weather and is often updating us on the forecast – even if it’s for a city in Alaska or Iceland. He is getting old enough that he is requesting more independence. It might be with a chore, a school lesson, or assembling a LEGO set – he wants the chance to do it on his own.

One of my biggest blessings right now is extra time with Owen during his first grade year. I never set out to be a homeschool mom, but now I find myself sitting at the table with him each morning working through our schoolwork. I love learning/teaching alongside him. I love getting to see what makes him excited. He is growing up so much, but he also still brings stuffed animals to snuggle at the table during school or on a drive into town. He also still calls me for extra snuggles at bedtime. He is getting so tall! The taller he grows, the more comical our snuggles become, but I am thankful for all the snuggles I can get!

Owen is a big brother who includes Graham in his play and the two of them are often running wild together. My boys are blessed with a father who includes them in his hobbies. The boys are often outside with Jeremy doing activities such as golfing, hunting, or gardening. On rainy days, you might find them inside playing LEGO video games together for a minutes. I love this little family of ours and for the friendship that we share.

Some of Owen’s favorite things include: Papa Murphy’s cheese pizza, Swedish fish, and the color yellow. He is the reason we are always buying a gallon of milk at the store. He would wear pajamas all day, everyday if we let him. We love this 7 year old so much and we can’t to see what the next year ahead holds for him!

The official birthday morning photograph
Top Golf gave Owen this super yummy sundae with a special birthday message!
Special memories at Top Golf
Chocolate cake at The Cheesecake Factory
A visit to Multnomah Falls
Jumping from rock to rock at Horse Tail Falls
Right up next to Latourell Falls
 

On to Autumn September 26, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Homeschool Adventures,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:36 pm

We are officially done with summer and on to autumn. While I eagerly anticipate this transition every year, I found myself slightly sad at it’s arrival. The official arrival of autumn was a mile marker – 6 months of this new world. Two entire seasons spent completely differently than I would have planned and now on to a third. We are adjusting well to our new homeschool schedule, but there are times where I’m walking on the driveway and the lighting reminds me of walking to meet Owen at the school bus. Small moments of remembering “this time last year” make me pause. While I might have been slightly less anxious for autumn this year, I am still glad that it is here.

This last week the bad air fully cleared out and we were able to enjoy what I would call our most “normal” week of homeschool yet. This week was more along the lines of what I envisioned our homeschool experience would look like. On Monday, we joined a few homeschool families for “Forest School – an outdoor learning experience. We learned about apples and made apple cider. On Tuesday, the boys got to join Jeremy for an evening hunting experience. They chased elk in the wilderness and had a blast being a part of the hunting crew. Wednesday, was a quieter day after a late night out, so we declared it a pajama day and put a fake fireplace on the TV while it rained outside. Wednesday was all of about quiet and cozy. Friday, we visited our local children’s museum for the first time since January.

I love that were able to connect outdoors with other homeschool families. I appreciate that I am not teaching forest school, so my boys are learning for other adults in our community. I love that the boys got to spend time with Jeremy doing something that he loves. The boys were able to stay out late on Tuesday and have the flexibility on Wednesday to be extra restful. We were able to do a family outing on Friday and enjoy hands on learning . These experiences are what I hoped for when we committed to a different school year.

The beginning of autumn as been beautiful and adventurous! Autumn is season full of traditions and celebrations. I am so excited for all that lies ahead – the corn maze, birthdays, pumpkin patch, all the goodies and treats! Autumn is full of so many good things!

Forest School – Apple Day
A beautiful first day of autumn! So thankful for blue skies and fresh air!
A cozy, fake fireplace on a quiet, rainy morning
Pajama day and learning about light wavelengths
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
 

Wrapping Up Summer August 30, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:41 am

This last month has been filled with adventures. However, there have been plenty of quiet days around the house even still. The boys have enjoyed time to play and be creative. The quiet days have been welcome especially after the excitement of Yellowstone. This last week in particular was a purposeful quiet. It was the week between Yellowstone and the start of school.  We are preparing for a new season and recovering from a big adventure. It wasn’t a thrilling last week of summer, but it was a good way to wrap things up.

We did have one last adventure to say farewell to summer. Yesterday, we took the boys to the beach. Jeremy and I spent a day at the beach for our anniversary in July, but the kids were with Nana & Papa. I got to spend a weekend at the beach at the beginning of this month. It just didn’t seem right to let the boys have a summer without a trip to the beach. It was great to pack up the minivan for one last hurrah! We spent the morning playing in the ocean at Seaview, WA and then we spent the afternoon exploring Cape Disappointment State Park. We crossed over the bridge to Astoria, OR for dinner at Pig’N’Pancake. It was the perfect way to wrap up our summer vacation!

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The things Owen creates with paper!

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Summer workbook done!

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I always look forward to Jeremy’s sunflowers opening.

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A cousin play date before we left for Yellowstone!

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Getting the playroom wall ready for fall. I had a lot of fun printing the apple number cards! 

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After our vacation, the boys have been thrilled to reunite with their toys! There has been so much creativity (and mess) around the house.

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It’s not too soon for Halloween costumes, right? These boys are super into space, so we couldn’t pass up a chance for them to be astronauts at home!

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Nothing like running in the ocean on a sunny Saturday morning!

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This is Owen’s happy place. He could have stayed in the water all day!

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Hanging out on the jetty at Cape Disappointment

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Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The trail to the lighthouse was closed, so that was disappointing.

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Climbing on the rocks at Beards Hollow

 

Camping Adventures! July 29, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:23 pm

We got just back from a few nights of camping near Mt. Rainier National Park. Typing is a good distraction to keep me from scratching my bug bites. It’s also a good distraction from my achy legs. My boys love to hike. They did a certain hike last summer without me and they were so excited to have me come along this year. When it comes to hiking, I would prefer a level walk through a shaded forest on a moderately cool day. What I did with my boys on Monday was scaling a mountain. The trail went up, up, and away. We had to cross patches completely covered in snow. We were close to needing hiking equipment to do this actual hike. By the end of the mountain climbing, my legs were physically shaking! My boys continually surprise me with their stamina. Graham didn’t love the snowy parts because they were slippery, but other than that, my kids climbed a mountain like it was no big deal. They were the only kids we encountered on this steep expedition. Apparently they are mountain goats.

We saw many marmots on our hiking adventures. The boys did their best to hold still and see how close they could get to a marmot. Owen borrowed my old point-and-shoot camera to document the hike. It’s fun to see him process what is worthy of a photo. On one hike, he took a notebook to draw pictures along the way. Other than hiking and marmots, we played the license plate game as we drove around the park. We were surprised to find 40/50 plates. America is still traveling this summer. The effects of COVID-19 were seen throughout the park. Visitor centers were closed, masks were worn in common areas and we used hand sanitizer frequently.

Our campground was right by the Cowlitz River, so the boys played in the river multiple times. They loved throwing rocks and exploring the shallow shores. We set up our big tent and the boys loved having their own room because of a thin sheet that separated the space. We ate lots of yummy camp food. Honestly, camp food is one of my favorite reasons to go camping. I also love reading around the fire which I found a few moments to do while Jeremy took the boys down to the river. Our fires were small and short because of the hot weather. This was the warmest camping trip I’ve ever been on. It was in the 90’s while we were there. At night we went to bed only wanting a thin blanket and only much later into the night did we want anything warmer. It also wouldn’t be a camping adventure without an air mattress that doesn’t stay inflated. Poor Owen started in his own bed and had to move on to Graham’s in the middle of the night. We certainly made some memories!

It’s still 2020 and even camping had some differences due to COVID-19, but overall, we enjoyed all the things that we love about camping. I will admit that a cute Air B&B cabin is more my style these days, but I roughed it with my boys and I know they appreciated it. It was nice to get away for a few days. It’s been forever since I’ve stayed overnight anywhere and it felt like I had been gone a month instead of a few days. I always love coming home, but it was also great to have adventure outside of our usual territory. It was just the mini-vacation we needed!

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Our home away from home!

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Happy to be camping!

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Around the campsite! 

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Camp food is the best! Not pictured is our hot dogs and Jeremy’s freeze dried meals he selected just for this trip! 

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Toes in the river!

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A beautiful day to visit a beautiful mountain!

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We obviously didn’t summit the mountain, but wow, did we climb!

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My hiking buddies! 

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Just a casual hike through the snow…

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Documenting a marmot! It’s amazing how they blend with the rocks! 

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Our day two hike through the Grove of the Patriarchs. This was much more my speed – mostly level, shaded, and through the trees. 

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Jeremy’s scenic photograph of a marmot on the mountain. 

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One of my favorite shots taken above Myrtle Falls.

 

 

 

Summertime Downtime July 23, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 12:39 pm

I am two weeks post-op and doing well. I had my post-op appointment with my surgeon yesterday and it was wonderful to hear that I am healing well and that this process has finished. I’ll experience discomfort for a few more weeks as my body adjusts, but it should be minor. I’m back to my regular activity level and it’s been such a relief to have this recovery process go better than I expected. I tend to be imagine the worst and I then am pleasantly surprised when the worst doesn’t pan out. I am grateful to have this all behind me.

Because of my recovery, our family has had plenty of downtime these last few weeks. I’ve enjoyed reading (of course) and I’ve started watching a bit more television to help me relax. The boys are swimming every night in the pool. We’ve been doing workbook pages in the mornings, crafts and experiments, and there have been plenty of hours at play.  Jeremy has on the hunt for a small SUV and a great deal. We test drove a Nissan Rogue last week. While we didn’t purchase that vehicle, the test drive was good for our research. We aren’t in a hurry for a new vehicle. I appreciate Jeremy taking his time to search out the best fit for our family and budget.

I’ve enjoyed the slower pace for my recovery season. This week things picked up. I had dinner for the first time with a friend inside a restaurant.  We had a play date at a friend’s house. The one piece of my plans that didn’t pan out this last week was my MOPS & MOMSnext Leadership Retreat. At the last minute, we had to postpone due to unforeseen circumstances. This was a disappointment because I was ready to have the “big” discussion about how our group will operate this coming year. I was looking forward to having it settled. I am still living with the unsettled feeling, but having our conversation in August might give us more clarity. With local guidelines changing every few weeks, we might have more insight closer to our September launch time.

Living with an unsettled feeling seems to be the new normal for me. Like most parents, I am waiting to know what our local school district plans for the fall. I am waiting to settle details for MOPS & MOMSnext. I am aware that cases of COVID-19 are rising in my area. When the world shut down in March, I had no clue that our present reality at the end of July would still be so affected by this virus. It’s hard to live with so many unresolved questions on my mind. I know that I am not alone in this mental struggle. I’ve stopped reading books about homeschooling because constantly contemplating education was making it hard for me to relax. When my anxiety level rises, I pause to journal, read my Bible, and pray. I am reminded that I don’t need all the answers. I know the One who does. Trusting God is a daily decision and sometimes it feels like a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour decision.

What helps with my unsettled feelings is living in the present. I can’t answer questions about tomorrow, next week, next month, the fall. I can make plans, but I have seen how easily they change. Nothing is certain. So I focus on today, on this moment. I read stories to my kids and bake muffins with blueberries from Jeremy’s garden. I read on the deck while my boys swim in the pool. The sweet, slow moments add up and they create momentum. I gain optimism from these good and lovely moments. I count my blessings. I do my best to rest and take of my body and my family. While I would love to know more, I learning contentment. It’s a lesson I never seems to fully master, but it is a good ambition. I will keep practicing.

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Graham completed his preschool workbook that we started in April! He was so excited to start a new Pre-K workbook. 

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Love listening Owen read out loud to his brother!

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It took us many prototypes to create vehicles that would actually roll! 

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The decorated “tube” cars. Getting smiles out of these wild boys is sometimes a challenge! 

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Jeremy had the boys help him make his lesson for church this last week. I love that Jeremy includes our boys in ministry! 

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First time inside a restaurant since March! And first time seeing this lovely friend since the end of February! 

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Every night is a pool party at our house!

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Graham gives summer two thumbs up! 

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Introducing my boys to Peter Rabbit… in a tent… on the back deck. These are the sweet moments that keep me going!

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Today’s baking project – blueberry muffins with berries from Jeremy’s garden! Yum! 

 

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!