I know its been a minute since I have posted an updated blog post. I honestly really struggle with keeping this updated. I was having a hard time last year keeping it up to date and now it seems life has been turned upside down. Looking back my last post was made in September. When life was seemingly normal. We as a nation didn’t know what was on the horizon. What changes we would face as people, communities and just our day to day lives.
Looking back to September and all the wonderful trips that my husband and I had last summer. The last few that we took for the year. That I of course didn’t get around to posting. You know life… It tends to get in the way and we put things on the back burner. Had I known of the new reality of the life we were about to live. Perhaps I would’ve done a better job of taking advantage of being able to freely do the things I liked the most then.
I’m writing this on May 11th. Yikes I whole whopping nine months has went by. An eternity so to speak. A monumental of changes. Not only in my life, but as you know our world. The way we’re living our day to day lives. It’s all different, everything has changed. And while I look back on those last few blog posts I feel a sense of regret that there isn’t more that I didn’t update you all on. That there wasn’t more trips that we were able to sneak in. Unfortunately there were only a couple. I really wish I had packed last year a little fuller because sadly this year has been turned upside down.
As you know, we’re dealing with a global pandemic known as covid-19. Here in Washington State it has been less than pleasant. Technically our lock down here started March 16th. Andy and I pulled the girls out of school the 12th and we’ve pretty much been stuck at home. We’ve been doing the whole online and distant learning. That has been rough. To say the least. The amount of people that have been online slowing it down has been hard. Communicating with teachers back and fourth has been hard considering we have three kids in school. They’re really wanting the kids each to be online at the least three hours a day each. HAH! Yup, until the school is footing my internet bill that isn’t happening.
Aside from the schooling, I have been deemed a nonessential worker. So I haven’t been working. My photography business has been pushed to the back burner to comply with the government’s orders on social distancing. Although I have snuck in a few photo sessions of moments that could not wait or times that couldn’t be replaced. Have done a couple maternity sessions and elopements. So many of my weddings this year have now been pushed out to next year. And this was suppose to be my last year shooting weddings. Thinking maybe it’s a sign that I not stop?
Andy is still doing well in his industry. Houses are still flying off the market. People aren’t slowing down on buying and selling that’s for sure. Even while all this is going on people are still making moves. Has been a constant go, go, go with the housing market. While I am so thankful one of us is still working. I couldn’t imagine us not working and being able to make ends meet.
Since my last post as I mentioned things have changed a lot. Just the influx of work for both Andy and I. Me more so, before this covid stuff happened. I was working up a pretty busy schedule for this year. But I will say, on the downlow. The break I have has been nice. It’s been nice to not constantly be working and starring at a computer all the time. I sometimes find myself picking up the laptop after a couple weeks and thinking about how to use it. Haha. Andy picked me up a new one about a month, month and a half ago. So it being still new is my excuse there. Admittingly, yes the break has been great. Has just been a hustle of Andy working verse both of us. Has been a nice change of pace.
Lets see, September was along time ago. We have done a few small hikes and outings in the area before all this happened. We had visited Rainier a few more times before the first fall snow. We hiked our local favorite spot Michelle Falls in Eatonville a few times. Was able to catch it when it was super frozen out. Made for huge icicles. Then another time after a hard rain which flooded the falls. That was an experience. Not that I have ever been in a hurricane, but that I feel could’ve been a great comparison.
December… That was when the first real reports of covid. Not in the U.S. but in China. Cheyenne (my daughter) was due to go on a trip to Japan with some classmates that we were planning. So I had been watching the news and happenings that way a little more than I would normally and it was actually on her birthday that it was reported on American news that it could potentially become a widespread problem. If only our government would’ve taken preventative measures then. Having known about it then and not… really makes one think. Ugh. Not the place for this conversation as it really irks me.
January was a busy month. Andy had three clients he was working with getting them settled into new homes. He was busy, I was working, but its winter so the flow of people wanting to shoot after the holidays in the nasty weather was pretty slim at this time. Kids were in school, all was well. Wasn’t until the end of the month that finally the virus made it to the United States. And from there it was a daily talking point on the news.
February we bought a new car. Was a breath of fresh air. Getting a new car, a fresh start. Something that was ridden with problems and issues. An amazing moment for sure. Something that is large enough to hold us all and then some. While it’s a little more on the luxurious side and doesn’t fit the bill for our rugged outdoor lifestyle, we at least still have our truck and we are thinking about getting a mountain goer. We ended up with a Lincoln Mkt. Full of amazing bells and whistles. Its nice for Andy and carting clients around while showing houses. And that’s really what he was trying to get.
March started out hard. Andy lost his grandma. Not 100% sure the reasoning or cause, as it wasn’t looked into. Was definitely a hard moment for the family. Then it was about a weekish, two weeks later that we got our shelter in place order. At first him and I both were deemed nonessential for working. But thankfully that got changed in Olympia and he was allowed to work. Which is good too, because he has steadily been busy. I’m so over the moon grateful for that.
April was a bit of a bummer. Andy and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on the second and Madison’s birthday is the eighth. We had to stay home for both. We had made plans for both occasions, but ended up cancelling them. For our anniversary we ended up just staying home. Was honestly just another day and for Madison’s birthday I ended up reaching out to the community to try and come together and recognize her. And boy did they really come through. She got so many letters and gifts from people all over the states. It was really a great moment seeing so many people send things to her to make her feel special for her day. Was a great moment. And honestly a great teaching moment, not only for her, but all the kids that ended up sending her things too.
May… Its now almost 50 days into this stay in place order. My mental health has fully went to hell. Seriously I was holding it together. Not like I turned into being into drinking or drugs bad. But I was having a hard time dealing with being home around the clock, dealing with the kids schooling stuff. Not getting out. Not being able to do all the things we normally did. Our lives were literally turned upside down. Watching all the news reports. Reading all the contradictive news reports from this doctor, that scientist… It was becoming overwhelming and I said fuck it. Asked Andy if we could go for a ride. Well we spent twelve hours in the car. We went to Eastern Washington and all the way down to Oregon. We social distanced. We were in the car almost the whole time. Stopped at a few view points on the side of the road, stopped at truck stops for bathroom breaks. We wore masks when we stopped, made sure we washed our hands. We even brought our own food from home. So not like we stopped for anything extra in that sense. Then the new car gets great gas mileage, we only got gas once. Getting out was refreshing. Seeing different scenery, oh my god. It was needed. It helped so much. Plus we referred to it as a field trip. HAHA. Helped justify it. I mean the conversation with the kids in the car for twelve hours was a pretty in depth discussion about Washington. We talked about trees, wildfires, weather, land formations, dams, energy, farming. Seriously was actually an almost hands on experience and visual to go along with the conversation.
Okay, I’m spoiled and a tad selfish now. I honestly don’t know what sparked the idea. I think he had been thinking about it for awhile and just didn’t say anything to me. I’m not sure. About two weeks ago, at home of all places, Andy just belts out “Do you wanna get beach front property?” Um… Where did that come from. We started talking about it and after looking into it further it seemed like it could be a reality more than I realized. Instantly a new board on pinterest. A new interest a new hobby… and a new search with him on the MLS sending me potential properties. Well… He sent me some. Eight as a matter of fact. We went the next day to check them out. We really liked three of them. The kids loved two of them. They really liked how close to the beach we were. How we could see it. They were all so excited. And well. No trip the beach is complete without putting your feet into the ocean. And that’s where the selfishness came in. We knew of the closures. And the SIP order. But it was bustling with people. So we did it. We let the kids play on the beach. The played in the water, they played in the sand. We searched the sand for treasures from the ocean. We had a great time. The entire ride home we talked about living at the beach part time.
We did it again. We went to the beach. This time after having been there and seeing just how “closed” it wasn’t we planned for a day at the ocean. Trying out the idea of beach life all the time. And again the kids loved it. Andy and I love it. We talked about it all day. And we have been talking about it ever sense he brought it up that day. So we have decided that we’re going to invest in a small lot out at the ocean. Not sure yet what we’re going to do as far as a house. But its our plan. And as a family we’re all so excited to jump in and do it. So stay tuned for that fun part of our life.
Yesterday was mothers day. The kids and Andy did such a great job at making it a great day for me. I woke up to breakfast in bed. They showered me in gifts and flowers. They all made me something. Mostly from treasures they found at the beach. So that was pretty awesome. We went for another ride… I know. Like I mentioned selfish. But we’re not getting out and mingling. We’re not even hiking. A lot of these trips minus the ocean have been A – B rides. Get to point A and return… Just nice to get out and see a change of scenery. Anyways, yesterday Andy drove us down to Mount Saint Helens. Boy was that a change of pace. Been years since we had been down there. Nothing was open of course. All the visitor centers were closed. But the girls enjoyed the scenery and the views. They loved looking at the noble trees. Haha. They said looking at them, they looked like pixeled trees on their video games. Was pretty funny.
So while we are still technically in this quarantine, we’re hanging in there and trying to do things to social distance and not completely lose our minds as I was. I just couldn’t stay home like we were. It has been hard dealing with this. I knew it would be hard, just didn’t realize that it was going to be this hard. Anyways, I will include some photos of our quarantining. Hope this blog post finds you in good health.