Sometimes you just have to dig a little.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


Hi! *waves*

Happy Sunday. I'm sitting under a blanket on the couch. Tenley's watching some kids' Christmas movie with a cartoon version of Mariah Carey, Jarrod is with the boys at the gun range, and I'm relaxing. I thought I'd pop in here and give a little update.

I'm really tired today. I went to bed pretty late last night, so I'm sure that's why, but Jarrod just got over what we think was COVID (He tested negative twice, but so many symptoms aligned.), and so I'm kind of holding my breath and hoping my newfound exhaustion isn't anything more than the dreary weather and lack of sleep. Nowadays, it's not enough to just be tired or just have a slight cough/sneeze/tickle in your throat...amen? Could be anything, but COULD BE COVID. 

The world continues to be so weird. Since I last blogged, of course, Election Day came and passed...still without a real result. The internet is ablaze with opinions and mean words and friendships and relationships falling apart, and let's be honest -- it can be a sad place to be. Yet, I can't peel away. I want to know things, and I want to connect with people, but sometimes it feels like digging through piles and piles of trash to find the good stuff. I myself have tried to stay away from talks of politics and even COVID, only because I feel we've lost the art of communication. Real, authentic communication. Now we sit behind our phones or computers and "comment," but we aren't really seeing faces. And if we were seeing faces, would our responses be gentler? Would we not be so bold or judgmental? Would we listen more and talk less? Would we not be so quick to unfriend or unfollow? I can't help but wonder.

(This got real deep real quick...sorry not sorry.)

Truly, though. Are you finding it hard to step away like I am? I know what's best for me the same way I know it's best for me to eat healthy, get good sleep, and exercise...but that doesn't mean I'm doing it. I know it's best to take breaks from all the opinions and thoughts, from the news, from the chaos...but I also am so curious. Navigating the world right now just seems tricky. And yet, if I step away from it...

It's always so worth it. The fresh air, the sights, the laughter, the curiosity.

Yesterday was a lazy day...kind of. After putting Christmas lights up outside, Jarrod was going to take the kids on a hike, and part of me was looking forward to being home alone. The bigger part of me decided that wasn't a good idea. I needed the fresh air and the exercise more than I needed the couch and some silence. So, we ventured just a few minutes down the road and hiked.

It wasn't much, but it was enough.

Maybe you're like me, and it's hard to peel away. If given the opportunity, my advice is to take it. Take a moment to breathe...preferably outdoors. It's always worth it. In this social media age, I have to remind myself we aren't made for that kind of connection. God didn't create us to have these false senses of relationships. We are "friends" with people we aren't really friends with in real life. If we saw them in person, we may not even say hi or know how to strike up a conversation. There's nothing wrong with being friendly, of course, but the magic is in the real, face-to-face relationships and conversations we have. 

That's where the memories are made. That's where the real conversations are had. Where we can see...hear...touch. Not just type, click, and change the status of our friendships with a quick follow or unfollow.

That's me today. That's what's on my heart. Today my iPhone told me my phone usage was down 16% last week. That's great, but that's probably not enough. I'm going to try to make more of an effort this week.

...and as for Jarrod, he's fine. He did his isolation/quarantine time despite the negative test results. He's still completely without taste or smell, but he's otherwise back to good, and we are SO (SO...SO!) happy to have him back with us.

I hope you're well wherever you are! And because, let's be honest, I won't be posting again before Thanksgiving...I hope you have a happy one with whoever or however you're doing Thanksgiving this year. There is so much to be grateful for among the muck! 

Sometimes you just have to dig a little.

That Promised Update

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Okay...deep breath. Here's my promised update. It's a bit later than I intended. Oops. This will be loaded, so my apologies in advance. Unless you care to know what's been up. In this case, enjoy.

Gabe, Tenley & Ethan in the OBX - August 2020

So, I last posted in January. Ethan had just turned 9. Shortly after, we decided to adopt a second kitten because 1 cat and 2 dogs isn't enough, apparently. Next, we will be living on a farm. We adopted our "Molly girl," and she gets along really well with Max and our pups. She's on the shy side, but she's so sweet, and she's the same breed as Max, so they look very similar.


In February Tenley had her first and hopefully last episode of chopping her own hair. The boys were at school, and I was in the office getting some things done. She *was* having quiet time, but got too quiet. She walked into the office super nonchalant with a huge chunk of her bangs chopped closely to her scalp RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF HER HEAD. She also snipped some off from one of the sides. Only a month or so ago did it finally start to look like good bangs. Oh, Tenley.

Ethan had two indoor soccer tournaments, and little did we know they would be his last soccer games for months. COVID-19, of course, came in strong in March. Quarantine began, and we were actually grateful to not only have lots of family time, but to have Jarrod working from home as well. We went on hikes and little local adventures, enjoying the time outdoors, and our nights were filled with lots of Uno Flip, our new favorite card game. Gabe also turned 7 in March. His first grade friends sang "Happy Birthday" to him on Zoom, and it was really cute. Lots of friends and family mailed him cards, which made my heart happy to see him so happy and feeling so loved.

Gabe's 7th Birthday on Zoom

Jarrod refinished our dining room table in April. What else is there to do when you're stuck at home, right? We have had it for years, and the table and chairs were both in really rough shape. He didn't want to buy a new set, so I suggested refinishing it. It looks amazing! I have yet to fix up the chairs, though. Tenley turned FOUR at the end of April. She, too, received lots of cards, drive-by visits, and gift drop-offs from friends and family on our porch. It was such a special highlight of our quarantine time.

Tenley's 4th Birthday

In May we did a complete overhaul of our landscaping out front which was neglected for years. It was our biggest project this year, I think, and it was so refreshing to have it looking nice! I had a great Mother's Day, and was spoiled with breakfast from one of my favorite "healthy" restaurants locally and more flowers for our garden. Jarrod and I celebrated 12 years of marriage, and it was finally warm enough to start venturing over to Nana & Pop-Pop's (Jarrod's parents) house to swim in their pond, fish, and ride four wheelers. After so much time cooped up, we welcomed it.

Father's Day

School finished up in June. Jarrod left for a period of time because of riots and protests in Philly. This triggered some anxiety as the state of our country just seemed to be getting worse and worse, and now he was a direct part of aiding in the mayhem. My oldest niece had a baby this month, which made me a great aunt for the first time! June had its ups and downs.

Pool parties and visits with a couple of close friends, and our nightly walks and hangouts with our neighbors were big parts of our summer. In July, we made the decision to keep our kids home for the school year. We purchased curriculum, and I threw myself fully into homeschooling and teaching the boys. Our school's plan wasn't yet finalized, but them staying home felt like the right thing for us personally to do. We are close to 40 days in (We started at the very end of July.), and while it certainly has its challenges, it is still the decision that was right for us.

In August we went to the Outer Banks. Our vacation was originally schedule for June, but due to the pandemic, Jarrod was unable to travel (military travel ban), and we had to cancel. We were pretty sure our vacation was just not meant to be for 2020, but then we found a reasonably-priced house at the last minute, and we spent a week away in our favorite place! It was so fun and relaxing and necessary.

Now...we are just doing school every day and trucking right along. Jarrod has been away a LOT this year, and that's been hard...especially with homeschooling. I obviously adore my children, but dang - being with them 24/7 alone is exhausting. Thankfully, we have really great friends and family nearby who have helped when they can with what they can. I'm talking random coffee and donut deliveries, friends coming over and sitting with one kid while I help another with school, and grandparents taking kids for sleepovers. Sweet relief. Also, Tenley is in preschool a few days a week, Ethan has begun fall soccer (modified, of course), and Gabe has Cub Scouts, so we are sort of in a "normal" swing...without it being fully normal.

I am currently binging Schitt's Creek, dodging political junk on social media (and DAILY debating deleting it all from my phone for a little while), trying to cook more (ha - cooking real meals has taken a back seat), and enjoying a new bible study by Lauren Chandler I started 2 weeks ago.

More fun on vacation

That's me in a nutshell. I will try (try) to post more so that I don't have to write a novel updating you on what's happening...but now you know -- homeschooling and often solo-parenting = busy and tired Laura. And that is honestly part of why I decided to try to blog more. I needed a little bit of a outlet for me again. So, whether it's just my mom and mother-in-law reading (hi!) or anyone and everyone else...thanks for following along. ;) My next post will be shorter.


Guess who's back...

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Well, hello. It's only been 8 months since my last post here. Eight. To be honest, I was confident I had finally reached the point where I was done with this space, but I guess it's a good thing I never gave in and canceled my pesky monthly web hosting payments no matter how much of a waste they were during that time. Here I am!

2020 has been crazy, hasn't it? Since I last posted, it seems like so much has happened and yet not much at all. This year has both crawled and sped past. Is it just me? I'd really like to get back into writing here, if time allows. As a new homeschooling mom (more on that to come), I'm learning now more than ever I really need to find outlets and pockets of time for me, and that's what my blog has always been, so I'm going to see how that pans out here.

I'll post again very soon -- hopefully some time this upcoming week -- with a real update. For now, hello...if you're still here. ;) (Is anyone here?)

Official New Year Hello

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Other than Ethan’s birthday post last week, I realize I kind of skipped out of town after Halloween and we welcomed Max into our home. I missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even the new year, so, I wanted to officially say hello, and happy 2020! I hope your holidays were amazingly blessed.

We had a seriously great holiday season. It was low-key, and no one was sick. That’s really two of the best ingredients for a great holiday season, in my opinion. Someone in our family is ALWAYS sick on Christmas the past few years (maybe even ALL of them since having kids, actually…I’d have to go back and check), and this year…no one. We went to a few parties and socialized, had lots of laughs and fun, and then had our family get-togethers here and at Jarrod’s parents’ house. It was all good.

On New Year’s Day, Jarrod got his hand chomped into by a dog. It was a total freak accident with a normally sweet dog we know very well who was just being defensive about some yummy food he found in the trash (eep). It’s better now, but it sure added an interesting element to our New Year’s Day!

We had a birthday party here at home for Ethan the weekend before his actual birthday. He had some of his best friends here all afternoon and it was — again — low-key and memorable.
We’re easing into 2020 pretty nicely, I’d say. We had an unusually warm Pennsylvania weekend this past weekend. Windows were open, kids were playing outside, and the fresh air inside the house reminded me of spring. I didn’t want it to leave. But alas, it is still winter in January, and so we’re expecting 5-8″ of snow this upcoming weekend. Ha! I’m all about it. We don’t have any major plans, so, getting snowed in sounds pretty great. Ask me how I feel when it’s snowing in March…STILL. 
Anyway. I think that’s all for now. Just wanted to update a little. For reasons I’m unaware of, I’ve gained quite a few new followers here over the past month, so hello, new friends! I can’t promise you’ll be super entertained here, but I’ll try my best. 

Ethan is N-I-N-E!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Nine years.
In some ways, it feels like it was last week, and looking at this picture and thinking back to where Jarrod and I were and what our life was like, it feels like forever. But nonetheless, we blinked, and Ethan is nine today. 
Almost double digits. Hold me.

I could say lots of fluffy things about him. I’m his mom. But the simple truth is he is so big and so grown, and we are just so proud of who he is and who he’s becoming. Soccer is life, if you’re Ethan, and he continues to improve there. He’s so smart. He cares for his friends and is sensitive to others. He feels deeply. He’s such a great big brother…despite those times he pushes buttons just because he excels at that, too. 😉
We just love him to pieces, and can’t imagine life without him.
Happy, happy, happiest Birthday, Ethan Cohen! We couldn’t love you more if we tried.
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