Back to School

Like everything this year, back-to-school season was a lot different.  Cora's first day of school was delayed a week or two. They eased into the school year by splitting the class in two. They had an orientation day one week, then half a week of in school and half a week of virtual school the following week.  This was a great way to give us all a taste of how virtual school would work in case we have to do that in the coming months (spoiler alert: we do).  The school gave everyone the opportunity to choose in-person or virtual and we are lucky to have had half the class choose to be virtual!!! There are only 10 kids in Cora's in-person class! After the first couple days seeing how awesome the school and children were doing with the new rules, we were all feeling much better about choosing the in person option. 

Cora has moved into hybrid where she is at school half the week and at home half the week. It has been interesting to watch her learning style and how she interacts with the class. She is a go-getter and wakes up early to get a head start on her afternoon lessons so she can have the afternoon to relax.

Ida's school delayed the beginning of the year by a month, then had orientation days and partial days for everyone to ease into the new restrictions. Ida has been asking to go back to school multiple times a week since March, so she was happy to get back into the classroom. On her first day of school, she ran off into the classroom barely glancing back and saying "bye". Every single day I picked her up, she gave me one of the wild twinkly smiles and tells me "I had the best day today!" 

We will likely be moving back and forth between in person and at home schooling this year and I'm interested to see where the year takes us and how much my girlies learn.


QuaranSummer 2020

We are in full on Fall mode, but I still want to document and remember things from this summer... so as I always say better late than never!

This was such a weird summer, but also one of my favorite summers of my adult life. Working from home full time has changed things so much for our family life. Work is no longer a huge stressor for me since I don't have to deal with commuting, meal prep, missing my kids, getting distracted by coworkers, or being inside all day long. 

We spent a lot of time outside playing soccer, running around, going on walks, and just soaking up the sun. My goal for the summer was to get Cora riding her bike. We ended up bike riding nearly every day and it quickly became Cora's favorite thing to do. Luckily, we are a couple doors down from our town's bike trail entrance so we spent a lot of time on that trail. where we enter, there is a flat section to the right and a large hill to the left. We spent the first couple weeks exclusively riding on the flat part of the trail until Cora worked up her skills and courage to try the large hill.  She did awesome on the hill and a couple days into riding down the hill she really started to love it.  One day we were riding and there was a young girl at the top of the hill working up the courage to ride down.  Cora gave her a little encouragement and we went on our way.  Later in the trail we ran into the girl and her family. Her dad said that Cora gave the little girl the courage to ride down the hill. Cora was so excited to inspire the little girl to ride down the hill and I could see Cora become that much more confident in riding her bike.

Towards the end of the summer, we got a pool pass and hit the pool every other day. The first day, Cora took her test to get the yellow band and passed. When she walked out the door with her new yellow band, she threw up both her hands and shouted "I DID IT!"  We found that we loved the earlier pool time which was mostly old people and us. Cora tested for her green band at the end of the summer and it was so sweet watching all our old people cheer her on and congratulate her. 

We got to spend lots of time as a family this summer. Over the last year, Ben started taking one day off a week and we had an intentional family day. We'd go swimming, hiking, play outside, cook big family meals, watch movies, etc. Overall, we really just enjoyed spending time together all summer long.


Sunflower Staycation Outing

We had a small staycation at the beginning of August. We did a lot of our regular weekend things like trips to the pool, gardening, projects, cooking, and being lazy. I wanted to try and get out and go on one little adventure with the girls to somewhere we normally don't go. A couple of my friends posted pictures at Cottell Park, so we thought we'd check it out. 
I woke the girls up and tried to get there early (about 9:30) to beat the crowds, but there were still quite a few people there. We took couple pictures, explored the fields, and avoided people at all costs. All of the sunflowers were beautiful and kind of makes me want to plant our own little sunflower 'field' in a chunk of our yard. 


Life With Ida : 4 Years


Since Ida's birthday last year, she has grown so much. It is so fun to watch her personality grow. She is always surprising me with how silly or fun or sweet or fierce she is.

Ida is always up for an adventure with Mom and/or Dad. Wherever we are, she is there too. She loves to go on walks, to the park, go swimming, or just go on a ride in the car with us.  When big sister isn't at school, Ida loves to play Barbies, be read to, or just follow her sister around and be with her. Ida is so sweet and randomly throughout the day she'll say "I just love you!" and give big hugs.  

Ida is my little nature girl. She is always by my side when I'm working in the garden... and sometimes she even asks to just go out and sit near the garden. It is fun to watch her interest in plants. She likes to dig and find worms, collect rocks, help spot new vegetables, and water the plants. 

Ida has been missing school a lot. She cannot wait to get back to school and play with her friends.  She has asked 2-5 times a week (every week since March) when she will get to go back to school again. While she is missing school, she still enjoys each day. I love her enthusiasm for all things.

Happy Birthday Sweet Ida!  We are so lucky to have you.  xxoo

Check out previous Life with Ida posts: 3 year, 2 year, 1 year, and her birth story


QuaranSpring 2020

I am finally finding time to finish/share some blog posts... so while I normally prefer to post in real time, I'm going to share some stuff from the last 6 months.
Phewww! It has been quite the Spring. I look back over the last couple of months and it feels like it has been a long time, but also like no time has passed at all. My department sent me to work from home about the same time school was closed so a lot happened all at once. I took my weekly trip to the grocery store on Saturday morning and it was shocking to see the empty shelves in person in my usual grocery stores. After the grocery trip, we hunkered down at home.

I was sick for the first couple of weeks of staying at home (tested negative for Covid, but had all the symptoms and was exposed to an international traveler) and about a week after feeling better I threw out my back. So health-wise, this Spring has not been the most enjoyable for me. I had outdoor projects on my to-do list that I'm no longer able to do without lots of help. However, the forced rest has been really good for me. We spent a lot of that time inside, watching tv, crafting, and baking (homemade pizza was a quarantine essential),

With the warmer weather, we did our best to get a couple hours outside every single day. We have construction happening next to and behind out house... At the beginning it was just as entertaining as it was irritating. We did our best to enjoy outdoor picnics, gardening (more on our garden later), soccer, and walks as often as we could. 

Easter this year was weird. Normally, we do a big family get together and spend a large chunk of the day together. Instead we had some swing by Easter egg hunts, waving from the porch to family members, church online, and Indian food for dinner. The day was bittersweet. We enjoyed being at home and celebrating Easter in a new way, but missing our family.  

We celebrated Cora's birthday in May. She got to hug my parent's and siblings for the first time in over a month and that was a real treat. A couple family members stopped by my parent's house for a social distance happy birthday and present drop off. We had a great lunch time hanging out with my family then headed home to meet a couple friends swinging by for social distance happy birthday ice cream. We had some more cake decorated like a soccer ball (Cora declared her birthday soccer themed). Cora's final birthday wish was to have a date with mommy watching Full House and eating pizza rolls. She said it was the perfect day and I couldn't agree more.

Schooling was also weird. Online school was hard for our family to juggle with us both working full time and no childcare. Cora still needs a good amount of assistance with her schoolwork, so we did our best to struggle through. The school had a drive by teacher parade and we were lucky enough to be on route (and close to the beginning!).  Cora loved spotting some of her teachers and Ida loved waving to all of the cars. School ended unceremoniously, so our neighbor friends ordered shaved ice for the neighborhood kids. We were all happy that we would get to take at-home schooling off our to-do lists.

It was a weird season. We had a lot of hard things, but we really enjoyed all of the uninterrupted time together. We have always loved having an open schedule, so while we missed a lot of the regular spring activities (spring festival, soccer, end of school year events) we still had lots of fun.


Life With Cora : 7 Years

Cora is 7 years old! So much has happened since her last birthday. Cora wrapped up her Kindergarten year, we spent a lot of time at the pool over the summer, Cora learned to swim, we traveled to our favorite place, Cora started first grade at a new school, she started playing soccer, she lost 3 more teeth, and we enjoyed so many play dates with friends and family. I was looking back at last year's post and was just reminded how consistently awesome Cora is. She is always loving, creative, driven, silly, helpful, strong, intelligent, beautiful, and so much more. She has grown so much over the years, but she is also always so much herself and I love that about her. 
I love that Cora is always so fashionable. She has an opinion on everything she wears and is pretty particular about her hair, outfits, and accessories. Cora picks some wild outfits and rocks them! She draws lots of pictures and her characters always have the most creative and awesome outfits.

I love that Cora is so thoughtful. She is always helping her sister out, taking great care of the dog, and is always the first to offer to help me with whatever I'm working on. I love watching her with her little sister. They have such a great bond and they are always off playing games, coloring, watching tv, and playing dress up and having fashion shows. 

Happy Birthday sweet Cora - you bring so much light to our lives. This birthday is hard because we do not get to do our regular birthday things like going to the zoo or throwing a birthday party, but you roll with the punches and enjoy each and every little thing to celebrate. We are so grateful that you joined our family 7 years ago. I am the luckiest mommy in the world. May this birthday be the best one yet. xxoo!

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