Falling back into routines

This week felt strangely…normal. The biggest difference from past months was that the girls were back in school. But also we were busy in ways we haven’t been for a long while. And with a beautiful fall weekend and a surprisingly normal start to the kids’ soccer season it was as close to “normal” as we’ve felt in a long time.

During the pandmeic our calendar has been pretty empty but this week we had a full week of activities. It was a little overwhelming at times, but it felt great to be busy again.

Monday was Jeanne’s birthday (Happy Birthday, honey!) so we went out to a family dinner in Belmont Center. It’s starting to get chillier in the evenings (so outdoor dinners may soon be coming to an end) but we we went early, brought sweaters and enjoyed a lovely birthday dinner.

Tuesday we joined the virtual audience for America’s Got Talent. We had been to the show in person last summer in Hollywood but in 2020 we were able to join from our couch. Not as much as fun as being there in person, but it was a neat experience to be part of the show.

Wednesday was the first day of remote school for the girls. They logged on to their classes from computers in their bedrooms and started 8th and 4th grades in ways we never could have imagined. We had a few technical issues with weak wifi (solved by moving an access point) and uncomfortable earbuds (solved by using the computer speakers) but it went surprisingly well. After two and a half days of school they are quickly getting the hang of using Google Meet and the rhythm of the school day. This week will start their first full week of school and we’re optimistic that things will continue to go relatively smoothly.

Wednesday evening we joined a virtual gathering to celebrate my mom’s retirement. After a decade in Dallas she is retiring and moving back to Belmont. COVID meant it to had to be a virtual celebration but it was a lovely chance to celebrate her work and the connections she had made to colleagues. I spoke on behalf of the family and I enjoyed getting to tell stories about my mom, while Caroline looked about as bored as a kid can be during a 4-minute speech.

Thursday night I had a meeting for soccer coaches because the season was starting this weekend. We went over all of the new guidelines and how to make a soccer season work. The volunteer-run town league has done a tremendous amount of work to prepare and they alleviated a lot of concerns.

Saturday was our first morning of soccer with both girls having games. Along with other rule changes, the biggest is they have to wear masks while playing. And despite the masks, the rules, new teammates, and not having played in 10 months, the kids did amazing! They played well, they followed the new guidelines and the consensus was that it felt almost normal. For me, it was so good to be back on the sidelines on a beautiful fall morning and I was so impressed by how good it felt to be doing something normal again.

Saturday afternoon we went apple picking. Despite the crowds, the orchard had things organized and spread out and we came home with two large bags of apples, cider donuts, and apple cider (although technically the donuts didn’t make it all the way home).

All masked up for a trip to the apple orchard

We’ll see how the upcoming weeks go, but this week and especially the weekend were such a nice change to be active and busy again with almost normal routine

Things that went well today:

  • Caroline’s friends have continued to turn our garage into a clubhouse. It’s not the part of our house that we expected her to take over but they’ve figured out how to be outside in creative ways
  • Remote school has been a positive in our house so far. Hannah is not happy that homeroom starts at 7:45am but at least she can roll out of bed to her desk without having to go outside
  • Daisy had a very successful first trip to the soccer field and is clearly going to be a sideline soccer puppy

Things that did not go well:

  • COVID deaths in the US are just about at 200,000 and steadily rising every day
  • The politics around the election are so frustrating and distracting from real issues, I just wish the next 6 weeks would pass so we could stop talking about it and get out and vote
  • Doing yard work and housework this weekend wore me out and reminded me how out of shape I am

Random happy find from the web:

Cute puppy photo of the day:

Staring off the back deck, wishing she could be running around

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