Going With The Flow

I’ve been quiet on here lately. Mostly because I really haven’t had much to say, but also because my brain is in a weird place.

I’m having a lot of really good moments I want to squee about and not so good ones I want to whine about. When I think about coming here and posting, I manage to talk myself out of it for one reason or another. Instead, I’ll just focus on working on my doors when I can (it is stupidly hot in the garage and I can only get in an hour or two of work at a time) or I bury my nose in a book and get lost in a story all while doing a lot of navel gazing on the side.

I feel like I’m on the edge of a major shift in my life right now. Yes, a lot of that is because my youngest, BG, is going through her senior year. Some of it is because of how different things are now that MCG is here and some of the emotions that is dredging up with those changes. There are also the signs that I’m physically shifting into a different phase as well (yay being female, NOT).

Maybe it’s because there is just so much, I can’t separate it out into post sized pieces or decide which piece to focus on when there are so many. I’m just not finding many words lately. For now, I’m going to sit back and see where this part of the ride takes me and hopefully I’ll find my words again along the way.

Yet Another Side Project

I think it is becoming glaringly apparent that I’m am utterly incapable of doing a project from start to finish without getting pulled off on a side project, because here I am, starting yet another project instead of finishing off my room.

This latest side project is a huge office swap that also includes getting the carpet shampooed in one room and the walls in both rooms painted.

These rooms have been tossed around between Hubby and I over the years. One room was originally just a general “the office” but was mostly Hubby’s. The other was our dining room that is too poorly designed to actually function as a dining room. After a while, the dining room became my craft room, but I hated that the mess and disorganization of that space was always front and center when you walked through the front door. Hubby felt a little crammed in the office as it is on the small side and is the worst place in the house for being cold in the winter and hot in the summer. So, we swapped rooms.

The smaller room didn’t end up working for me as a craft room, so that’s when we moved the craft space (mostly my jewelry bench and supplies) to the unfinished basement, but left the room as my office. It is the room I wrote my book in and was such a perfect space for me, at least for an office kind of room and felt absolutely cozy, but I still had to go to the dank basement to do anything not on my computer.

Above photos are from when the office space was first mine.

Then Covid hit and Hubby needed to work from home.

Because the dining room space he took over was never intended as an office, there is no door. There was no way he’d be able to do any of his meetings in there and have any kind of privacy or quiet, so he shifted his work stuff into my office (he stole it back, so this is really ALL his fault! lol!) and kept his personal computer and office things in the dining room.

Of course, him taking over my room is a huge part of what prompted me to build my craft room in the basement. Especially after we found out that the work from home part was going to be a semi-permanent hybrid kind of thing.

When I got about half way through working on my room, we started talking about rearranging things between the two rooms. There were still all kinds of things in the office he took over that were still mine and I needed in there often and had to wait if he was in a meeting. He is often between the two rooms for various reasons, so we just decided to move him back in and rearrange things in a way that will work better all the way around.

Part of why that room was so crowded before was because it was still considered something of a joint office space and I had some of my bookcases in there. The dog’s crate was kept in there as well, which wasn’t small. Between those, Hubby’s computer cabinet, a big roll top desk, and a good size file cabinet, there wasn’t much space to move.

Now, we are moving all my bookcases into the “dining” room and turning it into a library/den/sitting room (we can’t agree what to call it, though media library is the most accurate as it will have books, movies, music and all the kids video games store in there). Taking those out of the equation of what has to go into Hubby’s office makes it so much easier to give him some room. That and he won’t have my bookcases and all my junk as his meeting background anymore.

His room is going to get painted as I never wanted to deal with that in all the other moves and those walls desperately need it. That carpet is also going to get shampooed because that was the dog’s favorite room and she loved to come crawl under the roll top after she’d be outside and had dirty wet feet, so I have a seriously ugly stain that needs to get cleaned (though I’m pretty sure I attempted that before and it didn’t even lighten, but I’m going to try).

I’m also going to repaint the other room as those walls are in just as bad a shape after having been my craft room. Doing the jewelry and silver work is shockingly messy and the walls are evidence of that.

A huge reason why I’m doing this now is that my Hubby is on a hybrid work from home schedule where he has to be in the office for 4 days every so many weeks or so. This coming week will be when he isn’t home, so I need to get this done now or wait for an extended period again. Considering I’ve started pulling things out of that room already that need to go in my new room, I figured I might as well just get it all the way done so he doesn’t feel like he is living in limbo.

Doing all of that means that I have to completely empty out each room, one at a time. My house is now completely upended. Again. Everything from the office is now spread out in every open space in my kitchen, living room and dining room. Talk about crowded!

It will take a couple of days to get the first room done and then my hands are tied until Hubby can help me move things back in before I can start on the next. By the time these two rooms are done, it’s going to feel like my entire house has gotten a makeover.

Last First Day

Today is one of those life milestones that you can’t decide to be happy about or cry about, but always feels like a mess of both.

It is BG’s first day of her senior year.

Her last first day of school.

It is even harder because she is my baby. The last one to do this. You’d think it would be easier the 3rd time around, but it so isn’t.

It is already hard, but toss in the fact that she is also in person for the first time in a year and a half and the fact that doing online isn’t even a choice this year even though kids are being way more impacted by Delta than the first time around and it is also really stressful to see her drive off.

None of that stress is relieved by the fact that even though it is her first day of school, her schedule is still a ridiculous mess because our district cannot manage to actually figure out a decent process to get these kids in the classes they asked for without them having to jump through a million hoops and going round in circles with the counselors. They have two days of basically BS assemblies and activities before actual classes start, so she still has a tiny cushion, but there is every possibility that she will not get it smoothed out until much later in the week.

Senior year is always a big deal. BG has watched how chaotic and so far from normal for it has been for the last two years of seniors and she really wants this one to be normal, but it most likely isn’t going to be.

She also has a challenging year of classes ahead of her if she can end up with all the classes she asked for. Even though she had a hellacious time in calculus last year, her summer going over it one on one with her teacher convinced her to take the second one. That alone will be extremely hard, but she has a couple of other college level classes she is taking as well.

I’m so proud of her for not letting the rough patch trip her up. I’m proud of her for getting back into it and reaching for more. With school and all she will be doing with dance this year, it is going to be her hardest one yet. I know she is more than capable. I still worry. That’s kind of my job.

Yes, she will still get that first day of college, but that is different. The end of high school is the end of an entire, huge phase of her life, so having her go off today for her last first day is full of joy and sadness and worry and pride.

Today I’ll be hiding out in my room, working on my drawers and trying to just let the day wash over me.

Checking Off That To Do List

The last several days have been hectic. There have been so many different things I’ve been dealing with or trying to get done, it has been a kind of musical chairs of tasks and trying to shift everything in a way to actually get any of it done.

My room is completely finished except for the last 5 doors and building the drawers. I’ve spent the last several days working on another project with a deadline, but I’ve done it in that space. Can I tell you how utterly blissful it is to actually work in there now? I have almost everything moved in and put where I want it outside of what will need to go in the closet (I’m counting that as a separate project from the room itself as it still needs to be finished out with shelves).

Just being able to work and find what I needed in a place I knew it was without having to dig through bins to find it or shuffle things all over the place because there wasn’t room for everything was the most wonderful feeling. I have a feeling I’m going to be living in my new room for the foreseeable future. I won’t be posting more photos until I have it entirely done, doors and drawers and all, but it is everything I’d hoped for and more.

That project I’ve been working on is making another massive pile of masks. BG will be needing a bunch since she will be in person at school this year (which is a whole other rant/post as online isn’t even being discussed as an option right now even though the situation is more dire for the younger group now than it was a year ago) and she will be at her dance studio for at least a couple more days a week this year. I also wanted to get another one or two for myself and one to give to MCG with the school logo on it like I did for MC since she will be doing student ambassador things as part of her scholarship. In all I’ve made another 36 masks. It took me several days, but that was me having to work around all the other things that needed to get done.

My new stove finally got delivered yesterday. After all the craziness and headaches and complications, it was a ridiculously easy and problem free event. It showed up in perfect condition. No dents. No issues with hooking it up. No issues hauling off the old one. The damn thing works. And it looks really nice. It was such a relief to finally have that stress over and done with.

Now, I just have to relearn how to cook. It may seem like a joke, but it also kind of isn’t. An electric cook top is different than gas in several ways and I have to learn how to make adjustments in how I cook to work with those differences. I also have to learn the temperature settings for each burner. Not only are they different than gas, but they are different than any other electric I’ve used in the past (well over 17 years ago).

Then I have to get used to the new oven. Each oven cooks a little differently. Most are close enough that it doesn’t really matter, but everyone that spends any time cooking at all learns the little quirks of how their ovens work and how to cook to make use of those quirks. I have no clue what kinds of quirks I’m going to run into. AND I have to learn it for 2 because this is a double oven (which I cannot wait to play around with when I need to bake a cake or do huge batches of cookies or thanksgiving dinner!!) and each one is most likely going to be just a little different. I did see in my owner’s manual that there is the ability to tweak your oven temp settings if you think it cooks “too hot” or “a little cool” so you can fit it a bit better to what you are used to, which was really interesting to discover.

Just having that done has been such a weight off. I’m so done with all the BS that went with this. I’ll  take the learning curve and a few slightly overdone, crispy fried eggs until I can get it all figured out, even if it kind of sucks to feel like I can’t cook well right now.

Yesterday, I also started my massive senior photo project for BG. She very much loved how I did things with MC, where I did several shoots throughout the year. She really likes the idea of having a bunch of seasonal photos as part of her final package, so we will be doing a lot of both casual outdoor shots and nicer, studio style shots. We did an initial round of studio style shots yesterday, getting us off to a very good start. So much so, I’m worried about having enough space for them all on my computer by the time it is done.

While I had my backdrop and lighting set up, I offered to do a shoot with MC and MCG. They never got their prom because of Covid, which means they never got prom photos. Hell, with they way they met and how their relationship has progressed, they’ve only really had one kind of crappy snapshot of them together at all. So, they both got all prettied up in their prom finery and we did some really fun shots of them. Finally!

I still have to go through all the photos from both shoots and do some editing, but I think I got quite a few really good ones. It was awesome to get those checked off my list.

This week kicks off back to school for MC and MCG. Things are going to get simultaneously really busy, but also really quiet at the same time. It’s only another week and BG will be off as well. It is all going to be so strange. I’ve had BG home for a year and a half and MC was mostly home for that same year and a half. There are even going to be weeks when Hubby has to go work in the office again and those days are going to be complete silence around here.

I guess it’s good in a way that even though I’ve checked so much off that to do list that the list is still massive and I’m going to have plenty of things to keep me occupied.

Never A Moment

You’d think I’d have learned by now. Things never really slow down around here.

I’d really thought I’d have at least a week of uninterrupted time to work on my room this week. I stupidly forgot to look at my calendar, which was packed full of things I had to do, mostly shifting into back to school mode and all the things that entails.

Between Dr. appointments for required vaccines for BG (yes! Shock of all shocks! Schools can and DO require your child be vaccinated for things!), yearbook photo appointments, and BG’s summer dance workshop (not so much my thing, but I have to work around it to some extent because she isn’t home) I’ve hardly had a day this week where I didn’t have a full day to get things done.

So far, MC and MCG haven’t had anything yet, but theirs is coming. MCG has some sort of training that she has to go through as part of her scholarship program and MC will have his own back to school stuff to do. I doubt I’ll be needed for those, but… I’m not taking any bets on that.

Even with the busy, I have still managed to get a lot of work in. I now have all the crown molding and base trim on my cabinets. There will be some final trim along the walls that needs to get done, but that will be it for cabinet trim.

I should be able to get my peg board installed today around my jewelry bench area. That is the last piece that needs to be done before I can trim out the counters. With that counter top trim, I’ll be down to just finishing the doors and drawers, though I’m probably forgetting something obvious in that list.

Slowly but surely I’m chipping away at my to do list and getting closer to completion. I’d like to say that when I do finish I can finally sit down and enjoy for a while, but that probably isn’t going to happen. I already have a “must complete” project I have to dive into right away. I might even have to stop and work on that if everything else takes much longer because I need to get it done before BG has to start back to school.

My never ending project list is, well, never ending. *sigh*

New Resident Arrival

We officially have a new resident in the house!

Hubby and MC ended up having to make the trip to pick up MCG without me because my stomach decided to try and secede from my body the night before we were supposed to leave and there was no way I could sit in a car for 8 hours a day for 2 different days. I felt absolutely horrible, both physically and emotionally, because I also felt like I let everyone down.

It was a horrible couple of days while they were gone. This trip triggered some not so fun emotions and stress beyond just not feeling well physically. I talked to some friends and realized that I just might be at that point in my life where I need to be discussing some hormone options with my doctor because my brain isn’t behaving well with way more things that just my old lady memory.  Everyone did make it home safe and sound and both my stomach and my brain have calmed down for now.

We are working on painting her room today so she can actually settle in and start feeling at home. When I say “we” I really mean MC and MCG. I did help by getting most of the edging done, but they are working on the rest of it themselves and I’m trying to stay hands off.

I am discovering that even though I’ve known that I have a few control freak tendencies, there are WAY more than I realized and I need to learn to put a leash on that. lol!

After we get MCG’s room set up the way she wants it after the paint is dry, I am free to turn my focus back to finishing my studio.

One more day!

MCG To Do List: DONE!

All the furniture has been painted. All the touch ups are finished. The room is cleaned.  My house is back to relative normal. Everything is in place and I am DONE!

This was quite the project and parts were more work than I anticipated, but it is completed. I couldn’t be happier as everything turned out beautifully, even the wanna be king bed, which is a shock.

I wasn’t entirely sure the idea of connecting two twins to make a king would work all that well. I got a kit that allowed you to essentially tie the two mattresses together that had a “bridge” of padding for the small gap. I didn’t think that would really be good enough, that and these aren’t the best mattresses, so I also got a puffy mattress pad to go over the whole thing.

I also decided that since this was getting painted, I wanted to make certain it was secure and I rigged a way to attache the headboards and footboards together so there is no chance of them moving. It looks amazing and is really comfy, so it worked. We’ll have to see how well it holds up over time, but I now have a killer set up for a guest room later on down the line.

MCG is going to paint after she gets here and not everything is going to stay in these positions, but my part is mostly done other than helping her paint when she’s ready.

Now, I get a few days to not work on house stuff. I’ll be taking BG back to school shopping instead, but, knowing her, we won’t take long and I’ll have plenty of time to just chill out and not move for a little while.

Crunch Time: Countdown To MCG

I’ll be scarce for a while. I’m in major prep mode for MCG’s move.

The last several days I’ve:

Finished prepping the furniture for paint.
Painted the closet (so frickin’ glad I did, it was so nasty!)
Painted the ceiling where we had water get in.
Shampooed the carpet (again, so happy as it looks way cleaner.)
Am in the process of painting all that furniture.

I still have probably another day’s worth of painting left to do, then I have to set up all that furniture in approximately the places MCG is going to want it. It isn’t critical that I get it right as we will be moving it again pretty much right away because she is going to paint the walls when she gets here.

We talked about having me paint before she got here, but she really loves that kind of thing (is going to school to be an interior designer), so I’m just getting things ready so that is all she has to do to get her space ready. It’s probably good she is so excited about doing that because I’m going to be flat out burned out by the time she gets here, though I’ll be offering whatever assistance she wants or needs.

Thankfully, I’ll be able to get all of this done and have a couple of days to just chill before we have to go get her. I’m going to need a break after all of this, especially if I have any hope at all of having the motivation to finish my room after she gets settled in.

Craft Room Project: The Cat Milestone

It took absolutely forever, but I reached another major milestone on this project.

The stairs are now fully trimmed out with all the major paint touch ups done (I’m sure there will be more before this is done). This includes the doorway to the basement. That means that my ugly, makeshift, temporary door is finally down and the cats again have full reign of the house. It also means their cat boxes are back in their little room and out of my laundry room.

Finally!!

This was a critical point for me. The stairs are completely ready for the new carpet to get installed, which happens next week. I now have to do the bulk of my remaining work in the garage to keep the mess and paint away from the cats, but most of what is left is on the smaller side, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

It also means that it’s time for me to take a brief break from working on my room so I can shift to working on getting the bedroom ready for MCG. That is going to be similar, but still different to what I’ve been doing.

I have to paint the ceiling to cover the water spots from our freaky cold weather condensation drips that happened over the winter. I have to clean out that closet and repaint it (OC decided at one point to draw on the walls in there when they still lived here and I never got around to painting over it). I’m also planning on painting all the furniture in that room and shampooing the carpet, again, since the cats were in there for a while.

None of those things should be all that horrendous or time consuming. Which is good as we are going to pick up MCG and bring here here in about a week and a half. Yay for deadlines!

Once she is moved in, I’ll be able to get back to my room. I still have a long list of things to do before that is fully finished, but I have a stable usable space right now. I’ll also have pretty much every solid deadline behind me and I can work again without any pressure.

There are a lot of changes coming our way with the arrival of MCG. It is going to be interesting, but I also think it is going to be a whole lot of fun having her here. And, of course, MC is bouncing off the walls impatient for her to get here. It’s hilarious to watch and tease him about. Sometimes it is an absolute blast to be an obnoxiously annoying parent.

 

Vacation, Visiting, And More Work

This last week has been packed so full, I’ve hardly had a second to sit down.

Hubby took the week off, in part because this was our week for our visitors and partly to help me get some things done. So even though he has technically been on vacation, there has been no vacationing involved.

We finally got to meet MCG and her family. Considering we were first supposed to do that in March of 2020 and MC and MCG have been dating for over 5 years now, it has been a long time coming. Seeing the two of them together finally has been adorable. Sadly, they only had a little over a day together before she had to go back home, so now they are struggling with this gap of almost a month before she gets to move here. After finally getting to see each other outside of a computer screen, they aren’t loving having to go back to that for a while.

It was awesome to get to spend time with MCG’s family. With my history of families and in-laws, I was understandably a nervous wreck before they got here. I was worried it would be hard to get along with them, even though I’ve talked to MCG’s mom several times through text and FB. That kind of communication is always different than actually being in person.

Thankfully, it went really well. We all got along great and I can see that how we interact in the future will continue along those lines. It makes life miserable when the in-laws don’t get along at all, so it makes me happy for MC and MCG’s sake. I think it is amazing that both sides are so willing to make things as good for our kids as we can, especially with how unique their meeting and relationship has been.

I did work my butt of to try and get a huge portion of my craft room done before the visit, but putting the floor in kicked my butt. I had to take some time to recover from that before digging into all my preparation for the visit, so that took a slight backseat at the beginning of the week. It has also shifted my priorities knowing I have things that I have to do to be ready for MCG to move in at the end of July.

One of my biggest priorities at this point is to get everything to a point where we can finally get the cats access to the basement again. I hated them in the bedroom and the move to the laundry room for the visit (so MCG’s future room wouldn’t look and smell like a giant litter box), is awful. I do not want them to be in all the mess or the paint. So after some discussion with Hubby, we bumped up getting the rest of the floor in place in the rest of the basement (realized how horrible the dust gets from cutting that stuff when I did the floor in my room).

Unfortunately, to do that floor, I had to completely clear out that room. I didn’t want to move any of the bigger pieces into my room (like the white cabinet and the dresser) until the floor trim was in place. Hubby helped me with that on Wednesday, at least the critical areas. I still have a couple of places that need the 1/4 round, but I somehow didn’t calculate that right and ran out. Thankfully they are in non-critical areas.

The last couple of days, Hubby and I worked to move almost everything into my room, even if it is in a temporary location, to clear out the other room we are going to put the floor in. My room now looks a little like a junk pile, but again, most of that is temporary. I’ll clean it all up better and organize it when I can get things back into that other room as well.

It was a pain and a whole lot of puzzle fitting to get everything out of that space, but that room got completely emptied and cleaned out. We even had some help from BG on that one, giving us just enough time to get the underlayment down as well. We are now in a position to start laying floor on Monday, giving me another couple of days to recover from crawling all over the floor again today.

We even got the carpet ordered for the stairs and that should get installed in a few weeks. I still have that area to trim out, but that is one of the last things I’m doing before allowing the cats down as I have to take off my temporary door at that point.

The main goal is to get the cats access soon, so I can stop and work on getting MCG’s room ready. I have a ceiling and a closet to paint and I’m painting all the furniture in that room as well. She wants to participate in the painting of her walls when she gets here, so that will happen later.

I’m so close to the end of this project. All that’s really left to finish out my room is building and installing the last 5 doors, building and installing the drawers, finishing out the trim on the upper cabinets, putting in the corner shelves, and doing the peg board sections around my jewelry bench area. I think. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.

I never expected this project to take nearly this long. The deeper into it I get, the more of a toll it is taking on my poor old body. I think most every major joint in my body would be happy to be in a brace because it hurts. It has definitely triggered one hell of an episode with my tendonitis in both arms, which is a whole lot of fun. I’m having to force myself to take more breaks to heal from all the work. So while I’m close, there are just so many things left to do that I’m probably looking at two months or better before I can finally say I’m done.

Happily, Hubby and I will get to relax for the next two days and attempt to enjoy a little bit of his vacation before I force him back to work helping me.

Rolling With The Changes

It seems as though we are just past the edge of several major shifts around here.

MC has gotten and started his first job. So many things prevented this from happening before, but he is finally getting out and getting a taste of the real world. Of all the jobs he could have chosen, he is working in a small fast food restaurant because he has a friend there. It is so weird having to make plans around his work schedule now. Him going off to work is making it feel way more like he is growing up and becoming an independent adult than his first year of college ever did.

Since we are all vaccinated, he is also starting to get back out and socialize. Again, it feel so weird as he was never that kind of kid in the first place, but he is finding his feet and that is an amazing thing to watch. He has shown in so many ways what a considerate, respectful person he is by making the choices he has and why.

I had expected the late nights of waiting for my kids to get home from wherever to have happened when they were still younger teenagers and not almost 20. It is an interesting shift to have something you expected not happen, get used to that, and then have to reshift when it does happen much later on down the line.

Hubby returned to the office for the first time since March of last year. It is so very different in the house with him not home. His work is doing some odd things with going back right now. They are supposed to return to a semi-in-person basis with 3 days in person and 2 as work from home, but his department doesn’t have the space for that yet as they have revamped the offices for more distancing permanently. So for them, they are doing a rotation with the smaller groupings, having them in the office for 4 days every 5 or 6 weeks, at least until they can work out something different. He won’t be going back to a pre-pandemic “normal” work schedule at all.

That will take a little adjusting, but we’d both prefer as much work from home as possible. He has an ugly commute and he is much more productive when he can avoid that. Not to mention how much better it is for the environment to not have to burn through all that gas. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense to house him with his “team” as most of the work he does is with a variety of other groups and not that specific team. The whole thing is a little odd and will definitely take some getting used to.

BG has been going to the school several days every week to work with her calculus teacher. Not once have my kids ever done any kind of summer school thing, so, again, it is so weird to have her take off for school when she would normally be jumping in the pool. She also opted to take the summer ballet class since she is going to be an assistant this next year. For the first time ever, she has a busy, fully booked summer.

Between the 3 of them there are large chunks of some days when I’m the only person in the house again. I’ve gotten so used to having everyone around almost all the time, that the quiet takes some getting used to.

On top of all of that, my mind is trying like crazy to start addressing some of the things I need to do to get prepared for MCG moving in with us in August. It is going to be so different having a new person in the house. Her being here has become a near constant topic around here. We are all looking forward to seeing how she reacts to our particular brand of crazy.

Even though this is only June, if I had to pick a theme for this year, it would definitely be change. Most of it is the good, growing kind of changes. Though they also bring hints of bigger, future changes I’m not quite ready to start considering too deeply. Like MC being ready to get married and move out, or BG heading off to college in a year (if she doesn’t choose to stay local).

Thankfully, I have a goofy, wonderful Hubby that likes to recreate some of his more romantic gestures, like getting me a rose for every day he will be gone, except times 3. He makes all those changes so much more bearable.

 

Getting To Share

I’m finally getting around to sharing the photo of the bouquet I got and modified for BG’s recital this year. And doing a little bragging along the way.

I knew I wasn’t going to have time to build a bouquet for BG this year and couldn’t decide what I was going to do instead. Then I tripped across an ad for wood flowers and kind of fell in love. Much like me, she hates that the flowers eventually die, so it was really kind of perfect.

The flowers themselves perfectly matched her pointe costume. Since I always try to show at least hints of all of her costumes in her bouquets, that made it a great foundation for small tweaks to get it completed without a lot of extra work.

I just added a few little loops of ribbon with a bead or two and then wrapped the stem and it was completely finished. BG was thrilled with it.

On the brag end of things, BG got invited to be a ballet assistant for this next year. It is a huge honor as they only ever ask the best dancers at the studio to be an assistant for ballet. It is something that she has wanted to do since she did ballet her first year way back in 4th grade. She was pretty convinced that she wouldn’t get it as she wasn’t asked this last year as a junior, so she was floored when she found out.

I’d gotten an email from her teacher the other day asking if I could get BG to the studio for the in person invite without her knowing. I had to come up with a very convincing story that would not only get her there without suspecting, but keep her from blasting all her dance friends with a notice about a meeting. I didn’t know who did and didn’t get the invite so I couldn’t have her telling someone to show up at the studio that wasn’t included.

I managed to convince her that her teacher wanted copies of photos I took during recital of the studio owner (the teacher’s mom) and BG needed to drop off a flash drive. She was still a little suspicious, because BG is so observant and picks up on the tiniest of things making surprising her nearly impossible, but she still didn’t really pick up on it until she got to the studio.

I also had to sit on this information for nearly two days and not say a word to her or let my excitement boil over and give it all away. BG is just giddy and still can’t believe she got it. She is loving it, but she is also a huge ball of nerves because there are things that she gets to do or is responsible for now. With this step and her decision to add the last available class to her schedule this year, she will be adding another 3 dances to her recital program. Add to those their once every 4 year special performance and it will be 4 more on top of her already 9.

She is going to be incredibly busy this next year, but what a way to spend your senior year of high school? Doing every single thing that you had ever hoped you could do. And here I thought her senior year was already going to be hugely emotional for me and we are only one day out of her finishing her junior year and I’m already kind of a mess.

Let The Beautiful Chaos Begin

This afternoon begins the first of the three days of recital chaos.

It is the one day that is going to be the most odd as I won’t be able to be at the venue at all today other than dropping off and picking up. That isn’t something that has ever happened before. Even last year with all the restrictions on audience size, we were still able to be there for the final show so we were there when BG was done for the night and just took her home.

Today, though, because of how they have set up the shows, none of them are “hers” even though she dances in every one of them, so we don’t get to attend as they are still keeping the audience size down. It is going to be interesting to try and time everything so we can get there in time to pick her up, but not have to drive around forever waiting for her to be finished. There is zero parking around there that isn’t paid, so getting there and parking to wait isn’t going to be an option.

Even though that is kind of a pain, it isn’t the main reason I don’t love this arrangement. I hate that I can’t be there to watch my girl dance. Even though I will see the same routines in her designated show, I still want to see her every time she is on stage. I hated that part of last year, but it feels worse this year with this odd night where I can’t be there at all.

It is going to be interesting to see how many of these changes the studio adopts for their future seasons once all the restrictions are lifted and things go back to some semblance of normal. I do like the fact they started doing “ticketed” seats. They don’t charge for tickets, but you still have your seat and don’t have to battle the groups that are massive and save 2 or 3 whole rows even though the studio explicitly tells everyone that isn’t allowed.

Them breaking the recital into 5 shows instead of just 2 should also help with the crowds and parking a bit, though once the capacity restrictions are gone, that may no longer be the case. There are a whole lot of people that show up to watch that don’t have a dancer in the show. Some are parents from other shows that want to watch the other grades. Others are people that used to dance at the studio and their friends and family. With the current restrictions, those people aren’t allowed in to ensure all the dancers’ families are able to attend.

The plan for us for tonight is to take BG and drop her off at the door (she most likely isn’t even letting me help her haul her costumes this time), then leave to come back and pick her up when it is over. Thankfully, they are live streaming it this year, so I might still be able to see at least a couple of her dances from home.

It is going to be a LONG couple of days!

Just Enjoying

There has been no work done on my craft room the last few days. There were things that desperately needed to get done and Hubby wanted to spoil me a bit, so I took a bit of a break.

Hubby and I both had our 2nd vaccine shot scheduled for Thursday morning, so I suggested he just take the day off so we could go car shopping for MC. We have managed to hold off as long as possible on actually buying another car, but both of our kids are most likely going to be working over the summer and them having to try and share or have one of us take them and drop them off was going to be awful. We might be able to get away with it over the summer if we really twisted ourselves in knots, but there would be absolutely no choice come fall when they were both back in school, in person, so we decided to at least start looking.

We lucked out and found a pretty awesome deal on an 8 year old car that was in near pristine condition and relatively low miles for the age, so MC got his first car on Thursday. One he no longer has to share with BG and there is no longer any need to attempt to coordinate who gets the car and who is getting driven where. It is kind of a relief for everyone. BG is ecstatic that she actually gets to drive to dance again and MC is being quietly happy.

Yesterday, I heard back from BG’s school about her AP calculus class. This has been something of a problem this last semester. I’ve been in talks with a district superintendent at the school about the program they moved her to for second semester that turned out to be something of a disaster. After a lot of phone calls and one very unhappy superintendent (yes, the program ended up being that problematic), we finally have the problems resolved and BG will get to sort of redo second semester with her old calculus teacher on a one on basis over the summer to get her credit and not have this impact her GPA.

I may complain that our school district hasn’t been the best about a lot of things over the years, sometimes even downright crappy enough to earn the tag phrase of “a bunch of drunken monkeys” from me, but they have bent over backwards and gone above and beyond to fix this issue for BG even though part of the problem fell squarely on her shoulders. Even with her part in this, I’m so relieved to see that our district isn’t willing to accept such a low level of quality when it comes to the educational programs they offer and are more than willing to help BG through this.

She is lucky that her previous teacher absolutely adored her and was willing to take the time this summer to work with her. She is lucky she has this chance to fix things. This has been a harsh lesson for her with regards to learning to ask for help when you need it, but she has learned that she has enough anxiety issues that things will snowball on her if she doesn’t. So after much stress and worry, things are worked out and she is going to get through one of the most hellacious parts of her entire school experience with only some emotional and self confidence bruises.

Hubby also took off yesterday so he could spend the day spoiling me. Mother’s day on Sunday is for the kids. He wanted a day for himself so he picked Friday. I’ve now gotten breakfast in bed two days in a row. Yesterday we went and got me some flowers for my pots and some for the flower beds. Flowers that I’ll be out planting today.

He also converted a nook in our bedroom to a mini, private movie theater. He moved our big TV, DVD player and sound system and we spent the night just watching movies that we wanted to watch that the kids weren’t interested in. It was so nice and relaxing and cozy.

There will be no craft room work again today because of said flower planting. There will be no work tomorrow, either. Both because of Mother’s day and because I’ll be spending a chunk of that day with my car turned into a dressing room for quick costume changes so BG can get her dance pictures done. While it may be a bit of chaos, it is always such a fun day.

I will only have a couple of work days next week because it is recital week and a HUGE chunk of my time will be dedicated to either prepping for recital, taking BG to and from her shows (the ones we don’t get to attend), or attending her shows. Again, tons of chaos and stress, but also an absolutely amazing time. Considering this is her second to last year for dance, I’m going to be enjoying every single second of that chaos.

It has been a really amazing couple of days. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy a few more.

Fauci Ouchie Time and Recital Season

Almost everyone in this house will have gotten their first shot by the end of the week and I’m SO relieved! MC got his first on Friday though the university. BG has an appointment for Monday for her first and I go on Tuesday for my one and only. Hubby has an event at work towards the end of the month, but may try to get an appointment closer to home sooner than that.

All of this is awesome news for this house for a number of reasons. The first is that we are entering into what I call recital season for BG. She is starting multitude of events that happen around this time in preparation for her dance recital. All the extra rehearsals, costume days, pictures, and of course, the recital itself.

As stressed as I was doing the recital last year, it is a massive relief to know that we will all have our vaccines before the big event this year. And my girl doesn’t have to show what an incredibly strong willed person she is by being the only one willing to wear a mask on stage. I know she is thrilled by that. Masks will still be required off stage, same as last year, but she will actually feel comfortable ditching it for onstage this year.

Recital season also means my schedule just got really packed. While she can get herself to the majority of her classes and rehearsals, I’m tied to my computer so I can record the live streams so she can use the videos for practice. Considering she will be in the studio for herself at least 4 times a week, that is a lot of time I’m pulled away from my craft room. Things might get interesting on that progress front for a while.

The other big deal is that we will finally be safe to meet up with MC’s girl and her family. This one has been a LONG time coming as they were supposed to finally get to meet up so MC could take her to her prom last year, but of course Covid happened. We’ve had to be extra careful because MCG’s sister is extremely high risk and we all wanted to make sure she stayed safe so all plans got canceled and no effort had been made to make them up until now.

They will be coming this way on their way to their vacation in early summer so MC and MCG can spend at least a little time together. We get to steal her this fall as she’s coming here for college, but this gives them a little time to ease into that considering it will be the first time they have actually met in person. It’s about time after almost 5 years. I absolutely love how very different their high school sweethearts story is and that they finally get this chance.

While there will still be precautions taken, everything will be a whole lot less stressful once we all get those shots. With mine, I may still get sick as it is only 65% effective against preventing it, but it is 100% effective at keeping what you may get on the mild side and keeping you out of the hospital. I also only have to get the one, so I will be fully protected sooner.

As much as I despise needles, I’m actually pretty excited to get jabbed with this one.

 

More Frozen Fog Spikes

Today starts MC’s second semester in college. While almost all of his classes are from home, he is going to be spending a large chunk of time almost every day at the school for his eSports practice.

It does make me nervous, but there are protocols in place. Everyone on the team had to take a Covid test before they could participate and they have the space in their gaming zone for plenty of spacing and distancing.

The amount of time he has to be there for practice also means that he won’t be home at dinner time most of the week. While that isn’t different than when he was on campus last semester, it is still going to feel a little weird. It is also throwing one hell of a wrench in the car situation as there are conflicts between when he needs it and when BG needs it for dance. It is possible I’m going to have to go back to taking her and sitting in the car for the entire time she’s there.

It may be that things get a little crazy around here until we can settle into a new routine. At least the contractors should be done this week, removing that mess and stress from the mix.

3 days.

I’m counting.

And planning.

Playing With Snowflakes

I’ve been wanting to play around with a better technique of getting really great shots of individual snowflakes and their crystalline structure. With the snow coming down like crazy and my front porch protected, I thought it’d be a great time to try to play.

Unfortunately, my first thought to capture the flakes individually didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. I’d taken a piece of glass outside and let it sit for a little while to try and acclimate to the temperatures, but either I didn’t let it sit long enough, or it pulled too much heat from my hands when I was trying to hold it out to capture the flakes because they melted too quickly for any of the individual flakes to last very long at all. I also noticed that they tended to break apart pretty quickly on that solid surface.

I’d had a towel with me to dry the glass off in between attempts and I noticed that any of the flakes that landed on the towel, and even my gloves, never really melted away or broke apart. I want to play with this idea more, but my battery died before I could explore it much and the few shots I got, while so much better, didn’t have great flakes to share.

This was the best from a too short play session. Sadly, I think the snow is now done for a while, so I’ll have to shift my focus to something else.

Maybe some more frozen bubbles if the weather decides to cooperate soon. It’s funny, MCG’s mom sent me a video of someone doing these asking me to do them sometime. I had a good laugh while pointing her to my photo albums that had the images of the ones I’ve done so far. I love the fact that I’m getting along so well with her as it looks more and more likely that she will become MC’s mother-in-law at some point in the next few years.

Makes life so much easier for everyone if I can manage to maintain that, but next year when MCG comes here for college will be a pretty hardcore test. I am really looking forward to having MCG here, though. Of course, so is MC. I’m pretty sure he is counting down the days.

New Year’s Snow

We are getting a really heavy snow storm today. Heavy for us anyway.

Even better, it seems to be on the dryer side so that means I get some detail on the flakes. These aren’t the really detailed crystalline flakes. These are more spiky, sharp flakes, but they are still cool to look at up close.

This is all great for photos, but it also kind of sucks because I’ve now had to cancel an appointment for a second Covid test. Still incredibly doubtful that’s what I’ve got, but the doctor wanted to be absolutely sure, especially since BG started doing her cough thing and that is what changed mine. She was also supposed to get one, so she is thrilled she doesn’t have to get a brain jab.

Not really sure where the timeline break is to no longer test positive if you had it, but I’m going to have to try and figure out how and when to reschedule since the guys will be back to work on the craft room on Monday and I’ll have to try and work around them a bit.

But hey! I finally got some snow, so I AM happy about that.

Icy Lights

Today is our annual movie, games, and great foods day. It looks like we will also be ringing in the new year with a lovely winter storm. Depending on how it tracks, we will either get more ice and yuck or we will get upwards of 6 inches of snow, so it could be interesting and a very different kind of NYE entertainment.

Hoping you all have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve tonight! I invite you to join me in flipping this year the bird on its way out the door. May next year be kinder to all of us.

Cookie Day

I did a whole lot of procrastinating, but these finally got done. I do love doing these, but I HATE mixing up all the batches of icing and getting them colored. It just really seems to take forever. When you are still feeling like crap, the thought of having to put in all that work just seems overwhelming.

We still had a blast. Again, I love the fact that both of my kids still love to do these every year. We got Hubby to jump in and decorate with us this year, too, which was even more fun.

Sadly, I STILL have two other things on my list of stuff I was supposed to bake for the holidays that hasn’t gotten done yet. I’m thinking they sound just as good being New Year’s treats.

Ugh! I’m Sick!

Even with all of our precautions, the masks, the distancing, the staying at home, we STILL somehow managed to bring something nasty into this house.

It started with BG just after her Christmas programs at dance, which is where I’m sure this came from even though masks were worn (until some girls decided they needed photos without their masks on) and it was virtual so there was no audience. There are so few other options for it to have hit us and she was the first to feel bad, so that is the most likely source. She started feeling off a few days after her first class back after the Thanksgiving break. Nothing really awful, more just a cold, but enough to make her not feel great.

As is classic around here, just a couple of days later and it hits me. On top of my already existing bronchitis, it is SO not fun. Now instead of just coughing my fool head off, I’m also congested as all hell, had a sore throat (which is now thankfully gone), one of my ears is completely blocked and I can’t hear out of it well. I was feeling crummy enough yesterday that I didn’t get squat done that I needed to do and just stayed bundled up on the couch, goofing around on the internet and reading. That was all topped off last night when I popped a bit of a fever, low grad, but still a fever.

Normally, this would just suck, especially so close to Christmas and with so much I still need to do baking wise. But this isn’t a normal year. It is a very real concern that this is more than just a cold or the flu, though I do think it is just a cold and my poor body is already stressed from fighting the bronchitis. We are taking all precautions, though.

I am still making my FIL his Christmas dinner, though I’m fully masked the entire time. Hubby and the kids will take that and his gifts out to him to drop off later today, but the kids will stay in the car, there will be zero contact. They will only be there long enough to drop it all off and leave. No one will even go in the house. Just wave and wish him Merry Christmas in person, but that is it.

I’ll be staying home while they do this. We discussed BG staying home as well, but she never ran a fever and is nearly over hers. With everyone staying masked even though there won’t be any contact or closeness, there should be little to no risk of passing whatever this is along. Considering he hasn’t seen the kids since Spring other than the 5 minutes it took us to drop off Thanksgiving dinner, it is important that he gets at least that little bit.

I might have to cut down on what I’d planned to bake this year. Or, at the very least, delay getting it done. I don’t have a ton left to do and I managed the energy to get the fudge done so I could send that and some cookies to my FIL, but I still have to put together his soup and I know that is about all I’m going to be able to get done today. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful that my fridge is currently full of leftovers so I don’t have to even think about fixing dinner on top of it all.

I will say that I am worried and a bit stressed because it is still a very real possibility that this is Covid-19. I don’t think it is, but it is still a possibility and that is scary. I can only hope that this is as bad as I’ll feel no matter what it is.

And PLEASE! Wear your damn masks!