life in the time of corona

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21 March 2020

1. Last week (feels like last year!) when hanging in the dirt pile next to the gym parking lot didn't feel as luxurious as it does now. I debated keeping any mention of Covid-19 slash Coronavirus out of the title but hopefully I'll see this post title in years to come and have a greater appreciation for everything I took for granted beforehand? Maybe not! I don't know.

2. Hope you're doing as well as can be expected - I'm sure this is looking so different for everyone and I feel lucky we're all able to be at home for the time being and the minor disappointments and inconveniences far outweigh the risks we pose and assume by simply going on living our regular day to day life. Simon has been home as he'd already taken the time off for the kids spring break (this week! and now alllllll the weeks until August and also until we get our distance learning directions from their school - out of sight out of mind is my philosophy for now) which has been so nice and made a huge difference. We're not sure what the weeks will look like moving forward but we're taking things one day at a time! There are lots of great book recommendations for 4th/5th graders over on my ig and I've been told that Audible for kids is free to stream at the moment!

3. We were going a little stir crazy until yesterday when we were gifted with the most gorgeous weather and things felt a lot less hopeless and my gratitude was at an all time high. We woke up to a 40 degree temperature drop but I know it will warm up again and the sunshine will continue to be a literal light in our (totally fine! just a little different now!) lives. Last year I was reluctant to buy a blow up pool for our yard (but I did and it was thee best purchase) and this year I can't wait until we can pull it out again. We might even add a slide.

4. I hit the 3rd trimester milestone somewhere in the thick of all of this and aside from occasional sciatic and insomnia I feel mostly fine. I have a laundry list of house projects I'd like to get done before June but know the majority of them will have to wait which is perfectly fine. The Lovely War and In Five Years have been keeping me company when I can't sleep and I've also started Grace Based Parenting which so far? Pretty good.

5. There were some new things listed over in my Kidizen shop if you'd like to take a peek - the in between weather makes me want to summer-fy every dresser and closet in the house but then I check my March madness self - soon enough! Soon enough.

6. Last day that my favorite machine washable summer kid shoes and are on sale and Old Navy is running a really great 50% off everything sale (couldn't resist this for the little boys and these for the older boys).

7. Again, hope everyone is doing well! I'd love to hear how you're coping/passing the time!

love from the Camp!

Paris in February

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12 March 2020

Alright! Because if anything deserves a dedicated blog post in an era where lots of people consider blogs all but dead (minus me! not me! dedicated blog reader to the bitter but hopefully never end) it's a trip to Paris so here we are and here we go. 

+ I spent a spring semester (aka very frigid few months) at my college's campus in Austria and was able to travel around Europe on the weekends quite a bit for for some reason did not make it to Paris and SO it was such a blast getting to experience it for the first time with the girls. And now I want to go back with Simon when it's just a teeny tiny bit warmer. 

+ I will say that the forecast called for it to rain the entire time and I came prepared with thre perfectly compact umbrellas with loads of 5 star Amazon reviews and used them: ZERO times so if you're in a similar predicament - I wouldn't stress. But, if you're about to travel somewhere where the sun is supposed to shine the entire time -- maybe stress. Kidding. I'm kidding. But, I was anticipating terrible weather and only one day was truly windy and frigid and cold but the magic of being in Paris made up for it, truthfully. 

+ We stayed at the Hotel Le Lapin Blanc which was adorable and very accommodating when our flight landed an hour early and we found ourselves on the streets of Paris a little too long before sunrise and the girls all but fast asleep (because they weren't able to sleep on the flight, I couldn't blame them but uh - wish they did) and they let us nap in an empty room free of charge until we felt rested and more importantly safe to roam about. We were a few blocks from Notre-Dame which was obviously under loads of construction but was still a sight to see and a fun, "first" of the trip. I was initially told we couldn't go inside but then right before we left to come back home - was told oh! actually you could go inside so I'm bummed we didn't. 

+ We did go to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal which I highly recommend doing if you're in Paris and have the time. The Sisters are the absolutely sweetest and I felt like we bought a lot of the gift shop's inventory but now wish we would've bought double for gifts and for ... ourselves. Next time! Next time. I do wish I would've prepared Phoebe for seeing the incorrupt body of Saint Catherine Laboure but I was so focused on getting there before it closed for the evening that I did ... not. She took it in stride and left the question peppering for after we left, thankfully. 

+ Lauren arranged a brilliant kid-friendly scavenger hunt at the Louvre on our first day which was perfect for the girls. They were in separate groups (according to age) and while it's impossible to see the entire thing in one afternoon - I felt like we got a really great interactive trip that ended with seeing the Mona Lisa and the girls getting a little gift/memento which is obviously their love language. This was the "roughest" day on the jet lag front as they were fading fast around 5pm so we got some food at a deli down the street, had a little picnic in our room, and called it a night. 

+ I'm not going to turn this into a retroactive itinerary of our trip, worry not.

+ We also enjoyed seeing Monet's Water Lilies, a tour of the Royal Apartments at Versailles, a golf cart excursions of the grounds of Versailles (I wouldn't mind spending a day on foot in the gardens but this was our one truly cold and bitterly windy day and we were pressed for time so, golf cart it was!), going to not-the-the-top of the Eiffel Tower which was perfectly fine with the girls thanks to the wind, and multiple dining establishments. The girls were also treated to macaron making lessons which was definitely very high on their highlight list!

+ We went to Mass at the Basilique de Sacre Coeur where Phoebe almost received her First Communion from a well-meaning French speaking (duh) priest but I intervened like the buzzkill that I am. We wandered around MontMartre (photos with pink building above - and where I fully expected Belle to come waltzing and singing around the bend!) and ate our favorite meal of the trip: a Nutella and strawberry crepe from a street vendor (and we ate a LOT of good food!). The girls still talk about it. I still think about it. No words will do it justice so I'll stop but it was so good.

+ As much as I missed Simon and the boys I kept thinking what great ages the girls were for the trip since Phoebe is very firmly out of nap/stroller age, Julia will have vivid memories of our time together (Phoebe's will be murkier but thankfully I have 9238472347 phone photos to crystalize the memories), and they're still young enough that even the snacks and little bottles of water on the flights excited them to no end. Simon and I have tried very hard to impress upon the girls that a trip to Paris is an enormous privilege (and one we owe to Lauren for the invite) at any age but especially at their age and we hope that they'll understand that to a greater degree as they get older.

+ Overall, it was the most wonderful 5/6 days (4 days in Paris and 2 days of travel) that I'll never forget. We can't wait to find out if it was a full on girls trip or if we had a little brother tagging along for the ride ... soon enough!!

+ Oh! I do have to add that we used Land Sky See to book our flights and saved almost $1000 in doing so. I have no affiliation with them but they came highly recommended by Lauren and I'm SO glad we went that route! 

in like a lamb

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06 March 2020

1. Greetings from one of the most gorgeous first weeks of March I've ever experienced here in Kansas. Not that I have many Kansas springs under my belt but this one is far and away been the most beautiful in terms of weather. Am I expecting a lion-like exit? Absolutely. But, if we coast right on into summer floating around the 50s and 60s .. I will not complain. At all. Hopefully your weather has been equally cooperative because it does a sun-starved human a whole lot of good.

2. The rug for the boys room came (pictured above) and it's a little lighter than I anticipated but overall I'm pleased and honestly I am not sure the boys even noticed the switch which is ... not surprising. I'm in the middle of painting a small hallway with chalkboard paint (as a sort of gallery to hang all of the kids artwork and hopefully redirect Abe's enthusiasm for drawing on white walls ...) and I'm one week in and maybe halfway finished. I blame Clement's penchant for getting into everything at the moment and Simon blames the tiny roller I've been using. We can both be right just this once, I suppose.

3. Kate wrote the most fun baby naming post for us and gave us a lot of food for thought. We're still not nearly decided on names but Simon says we still have a long way to go which is sadly very true.

4. It's rare for me because I love the show so much but I couldn't get through the WTA episode of the Bachelor this week. Luckily, Lauren provided the most entertaining recap imaginable and I'm allll ready for the finale on Monday + Tuesday. Lucky us.

5. I finished Before We Were Yours (ill-fitting title and cover, in my unprofessional opinion) and if I were to ever organize slash facilitate a book club this would be high on my list of books to read. It was really tough to read but also one of those books I couldn't put down. I don't know if I can read about the true atrocities behind the Tennessee Children's Home Society because reading the fictitious tales was difficult enough but we'll see. In the mean time I'm on the hunt for something new to read if you've got any suggestions!

6. While Easter is definitely not quite around the corner I'm still scoping out Easter garb for the kids and was surprised by this cute selection. Paired with this or this? Very cute. I'm rarely let down by the boys dressier clothing selection here but am looking for a suit for Sebastian's First Communion and might just let that double as as Easter outfit. I just might.

7. If I wasn't at the mercy of maternity (or at least bump friendly) maternity clothes I would have a hard time passing up this dress especially being half off at the moment.  This one might work for maternity ... I love the navy/pink combo. I haven't tried it yet but I'm a big fan of the sneaker/dress trend and love the look of these dupes (instead of their pricier partner) and just might have to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.

Have a wonderful and hopefully sunny weekend!!


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