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Life at Home [Corona Virus]: Week 1

03.17.20

Welp. It is official. I picked up my kids from school today. Their last day of school until the cornoa virus clears [an inner voice wondering if it’ll clear at all]. It’s been crazy and scary. I honestly don’t think I’d be this concerned if I didn’t have kids. I am also aware of this not completely being fatal at my age unless my health isn’t great, but, there are so many elements that are nerve wrecking should we be infected. Our kids were frozen in fear last week. When we addressed it, they finally cried and admitted the fear of losing us, their parents! I mean…talk about a brave moment on our behalf. We had to brave through that conversation. Dancing with this fine balance of being real while not freaking them out, and being hopeful while not creating unrealistic illusions. It’s tough isn’t it, parents? There…I’ve caught you up to the speed of my thoughts with the corona virus without going too deep into other areas that the virus are affecting.

Now…why this blog series?

I’ve been in this situation before in my life [only a lot less dangerous of course] where I’ve been a full time business owner and a full time parent. Juggling both responsibilities is incredibly hard. Summer time gets so stressful for me because I’m at the peak of business and all my kids are home full time. This is going to feel a little like this. I realized that every time I picked up my camera I wasn’t as frustrated, and I was able to focus my attention on the little things…and that became the big thing! For example these are the two perspectives: Your child is about to jump in a pile of water and get all wet and muddy and it could be frustrating that you have to go clean them up OR you’re holding a camera [aka iphone] and then you’re intrigued as you shoot the moment and all of a sudden it is no longer as frustrating as it would be. I guess I’m going to do this series to keep me sane through this season, but also…to hopefully inspire others to take photos and shift perspective.

Here are some captures from the week, an overall thought of the day and a thought from a specific photo that day.

3.17.20 [The boys had finished their chores, jumped on their games inside with their cousins online and Sophia and I played with Moss, our dog, outside]

What I want to remember about today: Life has a way of throwing some punches-but it’s how we react to the punches that will make all the difference.

Sophia, my daughter, with our dog, Moss “the boss.”

What I want to remember about this moment: Sophia-your radiance outshines the sun. I love this photo of you because you love YOUR Moss. Being around him makes you happy-the way you’re standing here really represents your strength-you’re a tough one baby girl. Also-your dress-dad just said he never thought he’d ever know the day where he would melt because his GIRL wants to wear a “princess” dress, and twirl in it while asking if you look pretty. And you do my girl…with a dress or with PJ’s…you are so pretty-ALWAYS so pretty. -Mom

03.18.20

Today was the first day that we were all home. Jimmy was off [thank God!] and all three kids were home. It simply felt like a summer day. Before heading out to Starbucks for a pick me up coffee, I ran into a post from Crema [a coffee shop in Nashville], and their post really encouraged me to support my local coffee shop instead. So instead of my run to Starbucks, I called in a coffee order [and a few pie hole orders] from Cafe Smitten. It made my day knowing that I was doing my part to support our local community during such a tough time.

Also, can I just talk about Sams! My husband wanted to avoid the trip to Sams Club all together when he noticed a line that wrapped around the building! I encouraged him to brave through it and he did. He came back thoroughly impressed by the order and process that they had going on over there. Thank you Sams Club!

03.18.20 [This moment was around dinner time. I was working on my dining room table just so that my husband didn’t feel alone with the chaos. My kids were asked to get off of their devices and then of course things get loud and wild. My husband was cooking, bless his soul, and taking care of all of Sophia’s demands. Yikes. He got some love in return]

What I want to remember about today: There’s love in the world. Love and community will always shine brighter than the darkness.

What I want to remember about this moment: How grateful I am that they have each other. I am one of seven kids and although me and my siblings fought a lot…when things got tough, we knew we had each other.

03.19.20

Somehow it all felt normal. It all felt a little like US. I started to really feel for the families that feel shaken. Like their world has been turned upside down. My husband works a lot but is also home a lot. Me, I’ve been working my business from home most of my days for the last 10 years, juggling life and business all in one. So today just felt like what our life has looked like, at least for the past 4-5 years.

Today, I’m just super grateful for my husband. We’ve really grown TOGETHER. As spouses and as parents. We’ve understood over time that we are a team and that sometimes one of the team mates has to take lead in the home while the other takes lead in the workplace. They made it official in California today…we are all supposed to stay at home. It doesn’t seem all that bad to be mandated to stay at home, right? Well, unless you’re really ill. I think this is good for us. Home is good for us sometimes. In a weird way…I feel like the world is being forced to pause, and simmer. It’s tragic, but beautiful all in one.

What I want to remember about today: Despite the tragedy of what’s going on. This is the pause that I’ve been needing since the beginning of the year.

What I want to remember about this moment: How grateful I am for the day I stopped feeling guilty for being an entrepreneur. It made room for my husband to be a more connected dad. It took time. Time for him to understand me and WHY I needed to pursue this. It took time for him to trust that something would come from my crazy ideas. It took time for him to adjust to the idea of a home where his wife also pursued something. When he accepted it, he then supported it, and after he supported it…everything fell into place like a sweet harmony.

03.20.20

Jimmy went back to work today so, a full day of just me and the kiddos. This isn’t overwhelming…just yet! The thing that was going to be the most challenging for me today would be to juggle all the work I had to get done, chores, cooking, and homeschooling gigs. I survived for the most part and it honestly felt really amazing. There was a lot of light that came into our home in the morning, the kids naturally started to play with some wood blocks we had and then laughter filled the air. The day started feeling very light and airy and I was all for it. We managed to keep the house clean throughout the day. I got to work while Sophia played outside. Cooking all day for the kids and dinner to be ready by the time Jimmy came home. Just one of those days that you sort of feel a little “super” you know?

Oh…and I can’t even begin to say how incredibly grateful I am for ARTISTS showing up these days. I’m beside myself that they are showing up live on instagram GIVING of their time. My boys took a drawing class online by Ben Clanton [an author]. It was an hour long, it made their day and it made mine. I’m so grateful.

What I want to remember about today: EARTH without ART is just…EH. I love artists and today I did my part by supporting one, and another artist showed up for my kids. I love the power of art in a time like this.

What I want to remember about this moment: There’s wonder in the weeds. Somehow…it can become a beautiful thing. Sophia walked around our yard, and all of a sudden, one by one, she started to pluck the flower weeds and brought them and threw them into this little puddle of water. The fact that she was just going back and forth for almost half and hour doing this felt so magical to me. I stared at that puddle of water that turned into a beautiful flower water bed and smiled. There was so much beauty in this moment. She saw it, and I saw it.

03.21.20

Today didn’t go as smoothly as yesterday. I realized that I had totally forgotten to post something I had been looking forward to posting since the beginning of the month. I felt frustrated for a moment and wondered if “quarantined brain” was a thing. Anyway…my kids went into “it’s Saturday” mode and so they expected a less ordered schedule. I thought it was fair so I gave it to them. For the most part it was a lot of cleaning [like Saturday] and a lot of playing on their video game [6 hours of it to be exact-I know…horrific right?]. We had sweet moments in between but nothing too fancy today. Today just felt like time was rushing and that I was in the kitchen A LOT trying to feed kids…good Lord these kids can eat! Our sweetest moment had to be when we opened the “decorate at home” cookie boxes from Franco Baked [she dropped them off on our front door a day before]. I mean, the kids were looking forward to it and they just had a blast and I couldn’t have been more thankful for cookies in a box, some frosting in little piping bags, and some sprinkles. It brightened my day so much and it MADE the kid’s day. So much so that at prayer time, they thanked God “for good times in the midst of hard times. And laughter even when things are tough!” [insert me balling!].

Jimmy got home from work with coffee for me. I closed my night with a little bit of fear and sadness, wondering how long it would be before I could hug my mom again or go to coffee with a friend or see my siblings in person. My heart hurts. I quickly had to tell myself…this scripture over and over again “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ” [Matthew 6 for reference]. I just had to remind myself that I needed to stay aware, but I didn’t need to worry. Worry wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I needed to stay hopeful and believe that this too will pass. Luckily it wasn’t long until I ran into a post of a lady comically talking about how she didn’t sign up for homeschooling…she’s praying to God about “common core” [hahaha…it lifted my spirits]. Today…I’m thankful for people who are helping others find joy in the midst of the pain. Thank you to the lady who decided to film herself joking about this moment, it lifted my spirit. If you’re out there wondering if you should stay light hearted about this season….YES, please do…someone needs you to!

What I want to remember about today: Don’t worry…about a thing…because every little thing is going to be alright. There is joy in the midst of pain.

What I want to remember about this moment: I’ve never had a better tasting sugar cookie in my life. Or perhaps it was the sweetest moment I could have asked for in a day like today. My kids had so much fun decorating these cookies. Sophia connected sprinkles to somehow being her birthday. So there you go…we had a birthday party today. Jacob, got a kick out of decorating a little private part on his bunny [he’s my inappropriate boy]. I didn’t know whether to scold him or laugh-I laughed…we laughed. Oh well. It is what it is, and it’s all good.

03.22.20

This morning, Jimmy went to work and I made the kids and I get ready for church…only we didn’t leave our house. We went straight to the living room. My daughter was a little frustrated that we couldn’t leave the house. She was confused [she’s 2]. We did the best we could. We rejoiced that we had access to God, right there in our living room, and we did our best! I couldn’t be more proud of the church as a community showing up and shifting in the best way possible these days!

Today was hard. Sunday’s are usually the day of the week that I leave my house. It’s the day I go visit family or take our kids our for brunch. It felt strange and sad when I came to terms with the fact that I could not do that. I mean, I could, but at a cost. A cost I wasn’t willing to pay. So we stayed.

A highlight had to be watching Tori Kelly go live and sing “Reckless Love!” Her showing up and doing that made my heart so happy and reminded me that all is well and God is still in control and that now is not the time to get quiet.

In closing of this week, I want to encourage us all. Let’s be GRACIOUS to one another. Don’t judge the way someone is choosing to live these moments. Don’t compare and get envious. Just do whatever is BEST for you and your family right now and let others do what’s best for them and theirs! It’s a time to love and it’s a time to stay healthy, mind, body and soul. I’m hoping this season comes to an end very very soon. Until then, I might just keep documenting. Who knows. This seemed to help me. I hope somehow it helped you a little. So much love to everyone. Stay home, Stay safe, Stay ALIVE [as in…keep on livin’]. With all my heart and soul….Rubi Z

What I want to remember about this day: God is STILL in CONTROL.

What I want to remember about this moment: My kids have been outside more this week than any other week…that’s got to count for something, right?