Sunday, October 17, 2021

Fall Break Week

I have desired a guest room for quite awhile now so when we moved Ty upstairs, his gray room with the handpainted border quickly became the guest space. I decided to roll it back to the original off white color I have throughout the rest of the house. I had no idea what I was getting into. The walls were in rough shape, requiring sanding, primer and three coats of paint. Unfortunately, there were areas needing a fourth coat and I ran of both steam and paint before achieving that goal. I decided it was good enough and cleaned up for the time being. Someday I will tackle another coat of paint but it won't be anytime too soon. That being said, the room was ready enough for our first little guests. Anna and Ava loved it and their first sleepover at our house. We made jewelry, painted, made headbands and ate snacks. It was a sweet night of memory making.

Ty's room upstairs is pretty spacious despite his "need" for a green screen and gaming section. The carpet needs replaced but I'm not brave enough to tackle that pricy item with an emerging teenager living in the space. As it stands, spills are not worth crying over and there will be spills.

Kate and I went out and about together a few times this week. She needed some fall clothes and I needed one-on-one time with Kate. On Friday though, we brought Grace along and she surprised us by walking with a walker down her driveway to my car! She smiled the whole challenging way and has set herself the lofty goal of walking exclusively by Halloween. Her therapist is suggesting Christmas as a more reasonable goal but Grace isn't yet choosing to be reasonable. We love her.

Ty spent one day with a friend and the entire week caring for our neighbor's dogs while they went to Florida. He was otherwise occupied with basketball in the driveway or Fortnite with online friends. 

Makenna ended up with covid on her honeymoon. She and Noah enjoyed most of their week together before she felt sick. By the time she had a confirmed covid test, she was in pretty bad shape. She was able to get it turned around on her own but her doctor was encouraging her to go to the ER. We checked in frequently and by Friday, it was clear she was recovering. And today, she visited for the first time since her wedding day. Her car needed some service and Greg tried to explain a process that pertained to the car and Makenna put up both hands and stated simply, "I have a dad and a husband. I don't need to know this." Just like that, he was dismissed and we all knew Makenna had recovered fully. 

Saturday evening, Ty and I met Kristin and Avry at my parent's house so my dad could explain astrophotography. Avry has been experimenting with his telescope and his mom's phone for awhile. He seemed to enjoy the visit. It was good to see everyone as we wrapped up fall break. 

Tomorrow starts a busy week. Ty is trying out for the school basketball team and Kate starts working every day after school. Lauren flies in Friday for a bachelorette weekend and I have two appointments. Makenna took a picture of our menu board this evening so I anticipate an extra place at the table too. I miss fall break already.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Fall Break Start

It's been a week and I'm still basking in the glow of simple miracles. Last weekend was amazing. We moved Makenna around a fall parade route and heavy rain forecast without incident. We then squeezed in a quick, private wedding between rain showers. On Monday, a teacher asked me to pray the rain held off until we managed a recess for one hundred squirrelly fourth graders and I laughed, "I am pretty sure that request is not one I'm allowed to make for a significant period of time." I've decided to just be grateful for what I was given. Amen. 

I spent my week as substitute teacher for a fourth grade teacher out with covid. After eight days in her classroom, I was pretty comfortable with the role. Monday morning though, I hit a post-move and wedding wall. My head was heavy, my eyes were wanting to shut and my tongue was thick. I was so tired I could have laid down right there and napped. I knew better than to let anyone know because fourth graders sense weakness, so I had the entire class stretch and move because, "you guys spend a lot of time in front of the chrome books and need to wake your bodies up." It worked but it was the kind of day I wished I'd packed an emergency Coke. 

Anne gave me flowers for my birthday and as the larger blooms wilted, I reworked the bouquet into a smaller jar and loved the little arrangement as much as the original. 

Some of my students approached another teacher with a few of his students and asked him if he has ever had covid. He let them know it was a personal question they weren't actually supposed to ask but answered that he had not. The giggly girls all but suggested he should go ahead and get it then because Mrs. Baughman is a great substitute teacher. I failed to maintain my poker face as I watched him process what they said. Kids are hilarious. And brutal.

By the end of the week, a debate broke out as a few students argued over who was my favorite. I assured them I didn't have a favorite because I didn't actually like any of them. Fourth grade is a good time because you can joke around with students and they understand. 

Grace is improving and was able to simulate walking in therapy this week. She and Kate spent two evenings together and it was so good for both of them to get out and about despite the wheelchair and stress it puts on Grace.

Kate started Fall Break without us last week and spent it babysitting for a couple families. She squeezed in a festival and football game too. She still has a little chest pain remaining in her lower left lung but has otherwise fully recovered from pneumonia. 

Greg and I slipped away for a mandatory checkup in Dayton connected to his accident twenty-one years ago. We decided to make a day of the six hour round-trip and call it a date. Things are getting desperate around here, folks. Anyway, after the three hour drive, an old man wearing sweatpants with a polo shirt and honest to goodness walking with support from a waker "evaluated" Greg's overall mental health in fifteen minutes. Welcome to the incredible efficiency of the state of Ohio and their Worker's Compensation system. This is why we gave up and started paying for treatment out of pocket years ago. It's absolutely not worth the hassle of keeping up with box checking. However, that being said, we actually had a great day. We drove an alternate route home along some gorgeous back roads and talked for hours. It ended up being worth the trip for the connecting we accomplished. 

His house is finished minus shattered appliances the builder is scrambling to replace before closing this week. We are so excited for Lauren and Taylor and can't wait to visit in a few months. 

The weekend was relaxing and we realized we went an entire week without putting out fires in our family. This is big. We ate dinners on the patio and enjoyed lengthy conversations with our kids. Fall break has been successfully kick-started. 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Mr. and Mrs. Clark

I spent my birthday with Noah's family, moving the couple into their first home. It wasn't what I would have planned for my day but it went well. We also moved Ty upstairs into Makenna's previous space and set up a guest bed in time for Makenna to spend one last night at home with us. It was a long, bittersweet day.

And we prayed; oh how we prayed about the weather. All week, we saw only heavy rain in the forecast for both their move and the wedding this weekend. Miraculously, we were able to achieve both goals dry. It was a whirlwind weekend but it was good. 

Waiting to start and he was so good about keeping his back to her. It wasn't until I raised my camera, he knew just how close they were to the moment he had been anticipating. The photographer may have cried briefly here. 

Noah's first look. He worked so hard to keep himself together. 

If you know Makenna, you know she loves bees. This one visited her bouquet just before the ceremony. The pearls belonged to Noah's grandma who passed away two weeks ago. The family asked Makenna to incorporate them into her wedding. Adding them to the bouquet was perfect. 

Greg walked her down the aisle and gave Captain Monahan the rings. 

The bench left residue on the seat of his pants. He cracks me up.

This was Greg's idea. He and I have the same photo from our wedding.

Check out the fancy shoes. The ground was absolutely saturated from all the rain so this was a perfect choice but it still made me smile.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark have paved their own way. The private ceremony was exactly what they wanted. They are grateful they allowed only parents as guests. The intimacy was endearing and we are proud of them for sticking to their plan, despite push back from well meaning family and friends who wanted a role in supporting them. This will carry them far, we believe. Congratulations Makenna (who was Kenna in the ceremony because Captain Monohan only knows her through Noah who never calls her by her full name) and Noah. We love you. 

Friday, October 1, 2021


Saturday Ty attended his first birthday party in years. He was invited by a kid he met at school. The theme was nerf war and for hours,  several 11, 12 and 13 year old boys had a blast shooting one another with nerf bullets. I loved the simplicity of the event. However, the mom I met at drop off, was significantly more tired at pick up. God bless her. 

Sunday, Ty went to the zoo with Kendra's family and returned home with a pop-it, the latest figit toy sitting on teacher's desks in all classrooms everywhere. He loves it. Of course he does. 

We decided we may be a mess but at least we have each other. 

It had been a few days since Greg and I last looked at each other and commented, "well, this seems unnecessary." This is something we do to laugh when life feels stupid; stupid in a , "are we on camera? Is this ridiculousness entertaining someone out there? kind of way." And then Kate had chest pain Monday. It increased throughout the evening. I suggested ibuprofen because my gut told me it was a case of pleurisy.  Tuesday morning she was not better but went to school in hope of making it through the day. The school nurse, who thank God is an intelligent nurse, called late morning and suggested she needed to see her doctor because it didn't sound like asthma but air was not moving well in her lungs. She informed me RSV, pneumonia and bronchitis are all going through the school. 

She saw the doctor Tuesday afternoon and was sent immediately for chest x-rays. We soon learned she had not only pleurisy but also pneumonia. She did not respond to the medication, so Thursday she returned to the doctor for an antibiotic shot and stronger oral antibiotics. They prescribed breathing treatments and rest for the upcoming weekend; the weekend we are moving Makenna and celebrating her simple wedding. There is absolutely never a dull moment around here. However, we once again laughed our way through the seemingly unnecessary drama because falling apart simply wasn't an option.
It appears Ty was sleepwalking Thursday night. His blanket was left with the bread as a calling card of sorts. He has no memory of nighttime snacking but we were amused, none the less.