What’s Up March

Hi friends! It’s time for my monthly What’s Up Wednesday when I fill you in on what’s been going on over the past month. Who could have predicted that a big chunk of our month would be spent at home. I’m a homebody at heart that loves nothing more than spending my days with the people I love most, but I know that this is not an ideal situation for most people. Part of me feels guilty writing this because I know many of you are struggling…anxiety, parenting, finances, illness, being separated from loved ones, etc… I’ve been thinking a lot about our teens during this time too. It is such a short season of life filled with so many special moments including prom and graduation that can never be replaced. Please know that you are all in my prayers.

What We’re Eating This Month

We are doing more cooking as a family this month, but also ordering take-out a couple times a week to support our favorite local restaurants. My son and I are going to continue our 2020 resolution of having a special Wednesday morning breakfast together by placing an order for french toast from Vally Medelyn’s today and my mouth is already watering at the thought of the bean dip from Los Panchos we are planning to include in our Mexican food order this weekend. If you need dinner ideas I included a list of the meals we currently have stocked in our fridge and pantry here.

I ordered all my favorites from The Peasant and the Pear last Friday; the Harvest flatbread, Bishop Ranch salad and a Peartini.

What I’m Reminiscing About

This time last year we went to see Hamilton with friends that we had gotten out of the habit of going to the theatre with after our children were born. Before the kids arrived we had made a point of going to dinner and a show together at least once a year. It was so nice to resume this tradition and I am definitely looking forward to getting dressed up and heading to the city again once we are done sheltering in place.

What I’m Loving

I love having the opportunity to say yes to projects and activities with my family that we didn’t always take time for before. Pope Francis asked that we join together on Thursdays to pray the rosary. I’m embarrassed to say that we had never prayed the rosary together as a family. I felt so thankful afterwards that I was given the opportunity to teach my children how to do something that might bring them comfort and relieve anxiety in the future. I know that normally the excuse of homework, activities, or just having had a long day would have kept us from setting aside this time on a Thursday night. I am so grateful that my family haven’t protested most of my ideas and am more open to supporting their ideas as well. One of the projects I have enjoyed watching most is my daughter paint everything she can get her hands on…a deck of cards, rocks from the backyard, the back of my calculator!

What We’ve Been Up To

Over the years I have discovered that I am at my best when my days have some sort of structure to them and I have taken time to exercise. Starting my Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings with a live Orange Theory class on Zoom has been so helpful. Not only does it get me out of bed at a reasonable hour, but it ensures that I am out of my pj’s before noon. Going outside at least once a day for a run, walk, bike ride, or hike has also been a priority. At the beginning of the week I go over all the emails and assignments my son has received from his teachers. We use his planner to map out what he needs to do each day. Every afternoon I check in with him to correct his math and take a look at what he has accomplished that day. I have alternated taking online art lessons with each kid a couple times a week and competing as a family to see who earns the most XP on Duolingo. The kids are alternating helping us cook dinner each night and we end most days with either a game or a movie. Zoom and FaceTime have been such a great resource. My daughter and I have story time with my god-daughters, my husband had been able to continue playing poker with his buddies and my son started a Lego building meet-up time with his pals. We have enjoyed happy hours and celebrated birthdays remotely. Staying connected is so important and I have encouraged the kids to pick a friend or family member to connect with each day. It isn’t always sunshine and smiles. We each have our moments, but thanks to the fact that we can still enjoy the outdoors and have enough space in our home to retreat from each other when needed, the last couple weeks have proven to be more of a blessing than a curse.

What I’m Watching

I rewatched two of my childhood favorites with my family on Disney+, Swiss Family Robinson and Pollyanna. They were just as good as I remembered. I was surprised how much the kids liked Swiss Family Robinson considering it was made in the 1960’s. I was ready to bet money that they would complain they were too old fashioned and want to turn them off within the first 10 minutes. It helped that the actor my kids got the biggest kick out of starred in both of the movies. Have you seen Pollyanna? Is it just me or does the train station in bear an awfully close resemblance to the Danville landmark? If you you have Disney+ I would highly recommend watching these two classics.

What I’m Listening To

Thank you for all the podcast recommendations you gave me following last month’s What’s Up Wednesday post. The recommendation that I have enjoyed most is How I Built this with Guy Raz. It is about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. My favorite so far has been listening to the story of how Lululemon got its start.

Did you know that when Lululemon opened its Vancouver location they offered a free yoga outfit to the first 30 people that showed up at the opening naked?

My son really enjoyed the episode featuring Michael Dell, founder of Dell computers and my daughter just listened to the Kendra Scott interview. This is a great podcast for the whole family! Other recommended podcasts were Your Own Backyard and Crime Junkie.

I can’t get enough of the Dixie Chicks newest song, Gaslighter. I am counting down the days until May 1st when the rest of their album is due to be released.

What I’m Reading

I read the last book Mary Higgins Clark published before she passed away this past January. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry is a timely thriller about an investigative journalist looking into claims of sexual misconduct at a large television network. Mary Higgins Clark has been an author I have turned to often when looking for a suspenseful page turner that isn’t gory or overly disturbing and I’ll miss her seeing her books arrive on the shelf.

The Last Year of The War has been my favorite book to date in 2020. It is the story of a young American teenager whose German immigrant family is sent to an internment camp during World War II. My high school history teacher first introduced me to the plight of prisoners in internment camps after he shared his own story with me and assigned me to read the book Farewell to Manzanar. I had never stopped to consider that Germans were also imprisoned in these camps alongside the Japanese. This book was fascinating from beginning to end.

What I’m Wearing

I have been living in leggings and joggers ever since we were asked to stay at home. I make a point to shower and get dressed everyday, but I haven’t ventured away from wearing my coziest pieces. One of my favorite outfits is this striped long sleeved top and these soft camo leggings. I love that in addition to being comfy I also feel cute. Taking a shower, getting dressed and just putting on a little concealer helps me feel my best each day…even if that shower isn’t taking place until later in the day.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

We have been celebrating mass as a family on Sunday afternoon. It is comforting to have a weekly ritual during so much uncertainty. Afterward we have been brainstorming ways that we can be of service to others during the upcoming week. We alternate between the Facebook Live service our parish has been posting and an online gathering for Catholic teens at Project YM Live.

I’ve also been trying to brainstorm ways to make out upcoming spring break and Easter special while staying at home. I would love to hear any ideas that you have! If you need any last minute Easter basket ideas for you teen or tween you can check out this post or would like to start a new Easter tradition with little ones, click here.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

I’m looking forward to continuing to make the most of our time together as a family. Typically, I spend time blogging while the kids are at school and my husband is at work. I realized the first week that the kids were off school that I really don’t want to spend my time while they are at home typing away on my computer. I realize how incredibly fortunate I am that my family doesn’t rely on the income I receive from substitute teaching and blogging. I want to use this time I have been given to be available to doodle, bake, play games, etc… That being said, I am going to step away from Parker Posts for a little while. I might check in over Instagram and I plan on letting you know how we spend our April with another What’s Up Wednesday post next month. I will always be available if you need something or have a question. Don’t hesitate to send me a comment or an e-mail.

Take Care Friends,

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  1. Joan

    April 1, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    When I was about 14 my favorite movie was the first version of The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills. I know there was a remake but I never saw it. I so wanted a twin sister after seeing it.

    1. M Parker

      April 4, 2020 at 11:22 am

      I’ve watched the newer version umpteen times with my daughter. It was by far her favorite movie when she was younger. I tried showing her the Hayley Mills version, but she wasn’t as impressed. I personally love them both!

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