Happening now

So I remember…

Anna is 12 years old. She loves to make parody videos with Mia and the two of them laugh for hours when they do this. Anna also loves Harry Potter and is reading the series again. She loves to swim, ice skate, mountain bike, camp, read, spend time with her family and friends, sing, play guitar, paint, and make crafts. She also loves ballet, but has not done ballet in over a year due to covid restrictions. Ballet studios require she wear a mask during classes, and this has inhibited us from joining again. However, it looks like the mask requirement isn’t going anywhere, so maybe she’ll join again and wear the mask (a very thin one!). Anna spends a good amount of time chatting with friends on her phone and on Instagram.

Mia is 17 years old and in her second semester of PSEO at Normandale. She’s worked at Kowalski’s for over a year. Both of these ventures have gone really well, and she’s shown perseverance, loyalty, commitment, and maturity in them. In addition, she has been writing music, playing guitar and singing, making parody movies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings with Anna, and reading and writing a lot. She loves classic books, theater, music of all kinds, and collecting classic books. She loves to shop at Barnes and Noble with her spending money. She is generally happy and independent and very introverted. Covid quarantine didn’t impact her too much, since she doesn’t have a high need for social time–and we didn’t restrict her from doing anything. Mia has impacted wisdom teeth (4 of them, unfortunately), and is having them removed by an oral surgeon late next month.

In two weeks, we are going on our first tropical vacation as a family to North Captiva Island, Florida. We’re staying in a big house with two other families and hoping to have lovely weather and lots of time to relax on the beach. We had originally planned to go in November 2020, but had to change our dates when a tropical storm hit the island just as we were going to travel there. Because of this, we obtained some flight credits, since flights were less expensive in the spring than in the winter. So…

We are also taking a trip to Maine in July. We had a few options with our flight credits, and decided on Maine after Mia expressed an interest in seeing the home of Stephen King, who lives in Bangor, Maine. Bangor, Maine is also known for having some of the cleanest air in the United States and neither Alan, our girls, nor I have ever been there. We will fly into Portland and drive to a few different cities and stay at a few different places. We will see Acadia National Park, the coast, and some historical sites–and of course, Stephen King’s home! The downside to Maine is that they have strict guidelines for travelers regarding covid testing. We have to have a negative test 72 hours prior to our arrival, and present this certificate to every place we stay. Super controlling and super annoying, but we’ll just grin and bear it.

Alan has been working from home since last March when schools closed. He has enjoyed the flexibility of this new arrangement and has had a lot more time to do other things, including woodworking projects, mountain biking, and becoming very good at pickleball. His work has been stressful due to politics and administrative decisions at his school district, on top of the stress of dealing with how the government mandates affect how the school district is run.

I went back to work about 2 months ago after an 8-month medical leave. It has been a difficult transition. I had originally intended to work full-time, but am finding that my body and spirit will not allow me to do this. Keeping up with my health and exercise routine has been very difficult, and I have fallen off-course quite badly. So, I am already cutting back on hours and will likely end up taking on a part-time contract instead, sadly losing my PTO benefits. However, my health and wellbeing have to be top priority, so this is ok. Besides, with two kids homeschooling, how did I ever think I could get away with working full-time, anyway? Also, I want to engage in a hobby like the rest of my family has been doing. I would like to learn to play cello, but since this is out of our budget right now, I’ll have to wait on that. So, today I signed up for figure skating lessons that will happen in May and am looking forward to that.

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