Saturday, June 27, 2020

When Life Hands You Lemons

Hi friends!  It's been a few weeks since I last stopped by for an update on our day-to-day life.  Things have gotten a lot busier and time seems to be flying by.  Honestly, it's been a bit of a mixed bag as of late, but I'm hanging in.

Thankfully, for the most part, I've felt good.  The headaches and migraines I suffered with earlier this year seem to have subsided with my diligence.  I've continued to get more restful sleep, even though I seem to need less of it lately.  I've been more awake and alert throughout the day too though, so that's good!

On the business front, Eliot and I have been busy with a lot of desk accessory orders for Snowblade Creations and a few mouse ear orders for Happily Ever Hatter.  Things are still slower than we'd like, but with the parks opening up in a few weeks, I'm hoping mouse ear orders will pick up!  We're continuing to work on new samples and new products.  Eliot's got a lot of new designs that he's working on so hopefully we can debut those sometime next month!  (I have big hopes for Christmas in July week!)

I've left the house a lot more lately.  It's been weird.  I'm simultaneously excited to be out and about and slightly terrified.  I won't lie, I am legitimately scared to go outside... but it's not because I'm one of "those" people.  I have a very valid reason for my fear.

My family's private lives are not something to publicly share on my blog, but I feel it's necessary to divulge a small tidbit.  My Mom's had some stuff going on with her health over the past 8 months or so.  (Rest assured... she's going to be ok!)  She's had to have 4 surgeries since the beginning of this year.  It's been a lot, and it would be a lot anyways... but with COVID-19 also happening, it's been really rough.

I've really struggled with not being able to see my family while all of this coronavirus stuff is going on.  There have been a lot of tears.  I used to call my Mom daily and now we talk only 2-3 times a week.  Honestly, there was a period a few months ago when I couldn't call her without sobbing.  I really missed her and knowing that she was going through all of this and I couldn't see her was killing me inside.

However, all that pretty much changed a few weeks ago.  I've been up to my Mom and Dad's house twice in the past few weeks.  Mom needed to go in for another operation and they needed an extra set of hands to help out with their accounting business and with keeping my Nana company.  Having Nana go into a nursing home temporarily wasn't an option we wanted to entertain, and she couldn't go anywhere else.  So, I found myself packing my stuff up to spend a few days up in Trenton.

I was terrified of possibly infecting them, but it was what it was.  I was extra careful... bordering paranoid, with disinfecting everything on the way up.  But after driving the first hour or so, I found myself enjoying being in the car, listening to my music, singing with the radio, enjoying the lupines growing along the sides of the highway and being somewhere different.  I found myself appreciating all of the small things.

I don't feel that I did anything out of the ordinary while home, but I know Dad and Nana appreciated me and enjoyed me being there.  Mom ended up in the hospital a lot longer than she was supposed to be... for over a week.  I know she felt better knowing that Dad, Nana and I were all set and had everything under control back at home.  

And we had fun too.  Nana and I spent hours curled up in the living room reading our books.  Nana played Solitaire on her tablet while I worked on my laptop.  Nana and I got a chance to visit and talk.  Dad, Nana and I watched Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and a few movies together... including a few different Hallmark movies.  

On Wednesday, we watched "The Wonderful World of Disney" on ABC and caught Toy Story 3.  Both Dad and Nana had never seen it and they really enjoyed it.  Nana had never seen any of the Toy Story movies and she kept saying how much she liked it and wanted to see the first two.  (I made sure that Dad knew how to get into our Disney+ account... so hopefully she'll get to see them soon.) 

Nana even told my Mom how much she enjoyed watching it with us when Mom finally got home from the hospital.  That's what I want to remember from the past few weeks- not the stress and fear of Mom's surgery and her being stuck for over a week in the hospital, not the judgement that I wasn't doing what I should be to help out, not the helplessness, loneliness and frustration.  Honestly, there have been some moments that have really sucked- but watching Toy Story 3 was a glorious highlight.

I'm back down at our house now.  Mom needs to go back for another surgery in mid-July.  The timing isn't great with the extension of the income tax deadline, but it is what it is.  Thankfully, my brother Jeremy will be home that week helping with the end of tax season.  He has a lot of vacation time for this year that he obviously won't be using to travel, so he decided to go home to help out for the week.  He'll be able to stay with Nana while Dad's with Mom on the day of her operation.  I'm not sure when I'll be able to go up again, but I'm hoping I'll get to see my Mom between now and then.

The rest of our time has pretty much been the same as the past few months.  Eliot and I finished Once Upon a Time through Season 6.  We just have the time jump in the final season to watch.  I'm hoping we can finish that in the next few weeks.  Eliot and I have also continued to watch Hallmark movies.  I've recorded a ton of movies that we've never seen.  Thus, I've checked a ton off of our Hallmark movie app.  I even completed two of the sections this past week!  It was a small thing, but it brought me joy.

Like I said before, I've really tried to soak in the little moments.  The people at the rest stop probably thought I was insane when I stopped and leaned over to take pictures of the lupines... but they were beautiful.  Mom and Dad have a beautiful rhododendron bush (that's more of a tree) in front of their house.  The flowers were the most beautiful shade of pink during both of my visits.  I got there right at the perfect time because they were just starting to fall off when I left this most recent time.

Back home, I enjoyed eating a chocolate wand that Eliot's Mom bought us as part of his birthday gift.  I took pictures of the violets that recently sprung up in our wildflower planter in front of our house.  Eliot found one of our Dory Build-A-Bear outfits so one of our donkeys has been wearing it all week.  Eliot and I spent part of last weekend putting furniture together in the basement so we could start to set up our new toy and business tool.  We've had all sorts of critters in our backyard the past few weeks including a cardinal, wild turkey, groundhog and porcupine.  And the other day we had a double rainbow over our backyard after a torrential downpour and lightning storm.  It was so beautiful that I went outside for a few minutes to take pictures and enjoy it.

The most exciting thing that's been going on is the progress that we're making on our house.  Eliot dove in on cleaning our master bedroom while I was up at my parents' house.  He cleaned a section that I've been struggling with.  Now, I've spent two days this week working on organizing it more.  We ordered a few more cube organizers from Target and they arrived in the mail yesterday.  Eliot's going to put them together this weekend so I can finally start to organize my jewelry and accessories!

As you can see, it's truly been a mixed bag these past few weeks, but I'm hanging in there.  When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade... right?  

Thankfully, aside from my Mom's upcoming surgery, things seem to be looking up for the most part.  (Hopefully, this will be her last operation!)  I'm hoping things continue to get better- even if we're all still spending a lot of time at home.  Maybe by the end of this year our house will finally be mostly finished.  And if that's all that I get out of this year, I'll consider it some pretty good lemonade.  °o°

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