Scenes from our Quarantine

The following post includes photos from my daily #ScenesFromOurQuarantine series on Instagram, along with portions of my journal entries from the past six and a half weeks. While I have certainly gotten quieter on the blog in the past few years, I thought it might be nice to share some thoughts and images from this strange time in our lives. I am sending love to anyone and everyone reading this…I hope you are healthy and safe.

March 15, 2020

I truly cannot believe that any of this is happening. It feels like a dream (nightmare?) and when I wake in the morning, for a quick moment I forget it’s real. It’s here. COVID-19 is here. This weekend, while we hunkered down at home, doing our best to practice “social distancing” – a term I’m sure we will grow to hate – irresponsible people went out to bars and parties. A majority is not taking this seriously, and it’s scaring the crap out of me.

There have been bright spots, like watching Little Women with Lucy. We both sobbed when Beth died and she yelled out loud at Laurie for being a complete dumbass! I went and got journals for them to write in because I think we will want to remember this in 20 years. Plus, I’m hopeful it will help them process everything. It’s only going to get more difficult and strange. I hope I am able to guide them through it.

March 16, 2020

Today I finally received notice that we will be able to transition to working from home. The minute I got the call, my stress lifted, and I immediately felt safer. This evening we found out all schools will be closed until April 3rd, and starting at midnight, all restaurants, retail shops and movie theaters will be closed. It just doesn’t feel real.

March 19, 2020

The kids and I went on a family walk with the dog today. There were tons of families out together, keeping a good distance, but trying to enjoy themselves and each other. One of the gratitudes I am finding right now is that life seems to be slowing down. For years I’ve talked about how out of control our life has felt, espeically as the kids have gotten older. Just a week ago I was getting up at 5 a.m. so I could get Lucy to skating before work. Then I’d work all day and come home to practice or lessons or a board meeting. I’d fall into bed and then wake up at 5 the next day and do it again. Now all of that feels like another lifetime.

March 29, 2020

For now, I think it’s okay to find small joys. To be hopeful. To smile and laugh and find gratitude. I’m sure I won’t feel this way for long. I am grateful we are doing everything we can to stop the spread. We won’t be perfect, but we will do our best. It’s all we can do.

April 6, 2020

I know while my ability to stay home is a privledge, it is also my duty. If you can stay home, you should. So we do. But it’s just incredibly odd. We are finding this new normal. Our lives are going to be really different from here on out. I feel weirdly calm about it. And then I feel guilt for feeling calm. So many are suffering. And all I can do is hope we’ve done enough.

April 7, 2020

I’m feeling grateful every day that I have had years of practice “staying in the day.” Recovery really was a crash course for how to survive a pandemic. Everything is changing, but we can’t focus on the past or the future. Right now is where we have to live, and thank god I’ve had practice because I’m awful at it!

April 8, 2020

Today was a harder day.

April 13, 2020

Another Monday in quarantine is done. It’s been four weeks. It feels like such a long time. Almost like another lifetime. I’m grateful for all the time together with the kids. It feels like a good thing to have a lot of control over there whereabouts right now. I haven’t had to worry about my kids being in a school shooting, overwhelming peer pressure, too competitive sports, school friendship drama or grades in over a month. And that has felt glorious. Those were all huge weights I was carrying with no end in sight…and now they are just gone. I don’t miss them. I do miss quiet time in my car, coffee at my desk at work, endless hours to get things done at work (not really, but looking back, being at work vs working from home while home schooling meant it felt endless), stopping at Target after work, the library, movie theater popcorn, chats with other moms in the bleachers at skating, my in-laws, watching Lucy skate or Tate hit a home run, evenings at the farm, my dad’s hugs….a lot. Just like everything else, there is good and bad. I guess we are all learning to live with it.

April 23, 2020

Today was a better day.

April 24, 2020

Gratitudes of Quarantine:

  • Family dinners (which we’ve never done before)
  • My garden
  • Don’t have to dress up or wear makeup
  • My sleep is the best its been in years
  • No rush to get out of the house in the morning
  • Leisure time in the evenings
  • Runs and walks with Tate
  • Watching my favorite movies with Lucy
  • Trent and I sharing the load at home
  • I can work easily from home
  • Shatto Home Delivery on Thursday mornings
  • Our quiet neighborhood now that the cars are not loud on the neighboring highway
  • So far, no one I love is sick

When Questions Outnumber Answers

We are still unsure when these two will go back to school. Instead of our planned spring break road trip, we took a 24 hour jaunt to Oklahoma and back. We kept our distance from others and washed our hands often. We stopped at Sunnyside on the way home and talked about all the barriers kids experience to get an education, both in the past and currently around the world. We talked a lot about how white people (like the Ingalls family…this is the school house from the book “Little House on the Prairie”) took everything from Native Americans and how we have rewritten history to make them the “heroes.”

We are living through a really weird time right now, but I keep reminding myself there have been worse times. We will only get through this by doing the next right thing, one moment at a time. We must be kind to one another. We must push our leadership to do more. We must make smart decisions and do whatever we can to help, regardless of the inconvenience it may be to our lives. To all the mothers out there trying to keep our families safe, while also keeping them calm, I am with you.

I hope this may give some of us more empathy, so when we see mothers at the border with their kids or refugees in camps we understand how easily that could be us. What would you do to protect your kids? Leave a COVID-19 hot spot? Empty the shelves of your local store? Go anywhere to keep them safe? This is universal. We need to do what we can to be helpers, because someday (maybe sooner than we hope), we will be the ones needing help.

Tate Birthday


Dear Tate,

A few weeks ago, you turned 9-years-old. I hardly ever write on this blog anymore, but every year on your birthday, I want to make sure I get something written here. You are such an interesting, fun, wonderful kid, and that certainly hasn’t changed in the last year. But other things about you have changed, and I know if I don’t get them down in words, they will float away, just like all memories do.

Tate Birthday

The other day a friend of mine posted something to social media about how parenting is basically deciding where in the house you want to keep the giant pile of acorns that your children bring home and HAVE TO KEEP BECAUSE THEY ARE TREASURES. I was immediately taken back to your preschool days, when you’d come home with random items in your pocket…an acorn, yes, but also a lego guy, a feather, three pennies, a nickel and, of course, a couple of rocks. Those days feel so far away to me now, but I still keep a jar of your trinkets on a shelf in our kitchen. It reminds me of how much you’ve grown, and of how much I have loved being your mom.

Preschool Tate was cute, and honestly, so is 9-year-old Tate. You’re my own, real-life Peter Pan, a little imp who sometimes gets into trouble, but who easily skirts out of it with a wink and a smirk. In fact, the smirk is your go-to expression, including in all school photos and selfies. You pretty much always have a twinkle in your eye that suggests you might be up to no good. But mostly you just like to have fun, and you don’t often think about boundaries or limits.

This year has been difficult in ways I couldn’t have imagined when you blew out your candles last year. Since you were 2-years-old, I’ve worked from home and been able to be there for you whenever you needed me. If you were sick, I was there. If you had a school event, I was there. If you needed a snack or help with homework or someone to enter the password into the TV, I was always there. But this year I began working outside of the home again, and all of sudden, I wasn’t there. We are so fortunate, because you have a village of people around you (and me!) who have stepped up to fill the gaps since I went back to work. In fact, sometimes I think you like it better this way, as you get to spend time with neighbors, our super-fun babysitter, and at playdates with friends. Your relationship with your dad has strengthened in immeasurable ways, as he has been the parent volunteering at school and coaching your teams, instead of me taking on every role. We have gained much, much more than we lost.

This year we also moved to a new home, one that we chose, in part, because it kept us at your elementary school and near your friends. You love our new house, and it’s been so fun to see you here with friends and cousins, running around our new backyard and playing football on the front lawn. There has been so much change this year, and you have handled it all in stride. I’m so proud of you.

We also had an unfortunate experience where we, as parents, made a mistake and kept you in a situation that wasn’t healthy for you. Parents make mistakes, buddy. In fact, I make them every, single day. But this one ate away at me because I knew from the beginning it wasn’t a good fit for you, but I kept you in it because I didn’t want to seem overprotective or inflexible. I let my fear of making trouble direct how I parented, and I deeply regret it. But when we finally did make the decision to move on, you never blamed us. You kept a good attitude, even when it would’ve been understandable for you to lose your cool. You stuck it out and you held your head high, and I’m so grateful for how you navigated all of it. You are an incredible person, Tate.

My hope for you this year is that you find a way to give yourself a little grace, kiddo. You are a very competitive person, and sometimes that gets the best of you. It seems especially difficult because you are someone who tends to just be really good at almost everything you try. But then, when something doesn’t come as easily, you can get really down on yourself. As you get older, there are going to be so many things that you won’t be the best at, but I don’t want you to give up. I want you to enjoy the experience of trying something new, failing, and trying again. I want you to encourage yourself, instead of putting yourself down when you’re not perfect. You’ve already been working on this, and I can see a big difference. In fact, you just went snowboarding for the first time, and your dad said you fell constantly…but you always got back up. That’s the good stuff, kiddo.

I am so proud to be your mom, Tate. I cannot wait to see what this next year will bring!



Halloween with Queen

For context, this is the look we were going for….

The Peters family continued the ridiculous Halloween family costume tradition this year, and friends…it was a DOOZY! When Trent and I saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, we immediately knew Queen would be the perfect family costume. Mostly because Trent really wanted to shave an epic Eddie Mercury mustache. Challenge, accepted! The kids were mortified, but played along to get us to leave them alone, then promptly changed into their own costumes (Tate was a blow up dinosaur thing, Lucy was a witch) to go trick-or-treating. I’m grateful they at least let us take a photo for the now legendary “Wall of Halloween” in the new house. Their faces really say it all!

Tate 8th Birthday


Tate 8th Birthday

Dear Tate,

Yesterday you turned eight and today is the last day of school before we start holiday break. I’m starting the break with a bit of a “fun headache” from the epic tale that was your birthday. I know having a birthday so close to Christmas can be a bummer (just ask your dad), so I do my best each year to make it extra joyful. This year was supposed to be more chill, since we only do parties every other year, but a late night stroke of genius changed all that when I sat up in bed and thought “We should take the kids to Winterfest at World’s of Fun for Tate’s birthday!” You were thrilled with this idea, so last night we closed down the amusement park with two of your best friends and our family. You were the only ones on the rides by the end of the night, as it was under 30 degrees and most of the park visitors had lost feeling in their toes (including myself and your dad), but it was worth it to see how completely happy you were to have this special celebration.

Tate 8th Birthday

You are simultaneously goofy and very serious, which is sometimes challenging as a parent. You’re incredibly sensitive and intense, and your moods are EXTRA. You are often the happiest kid in the room, but just as often you can become withdrawn or upset, and teaching you how to feel your feelings, work through them, and come to a resolution has been one of my main goals as your mother. I don’t want you to stuff any of those emotions, but you also can’t wallow, and that’s a hard lesson for me at 36-year-old, let alone you at EIGHT.

Tate 8th Birthday

This year we dealt with some real fear for the first time as I watched you experience episodes of anxiety. Your fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes spiraled to a point where we were having a hard time managing them. I am so grateful we were able to find a wonderful child therapist who has taught you (and me!) so much about fear and anxiety. I am incredibly thankful we are able to deal with some of these issues now, instead of waiting until you are an adult and so much of your thinking is solidified. I’m so proud of how you’ve handled these obstacles this year and how hard you’ve worked to overcome them. I know this is not a straight path, but what we’ve learned this year will help both of us for the rest of our lives.

Tate 8th Birthday

Right now your loves include: sports (soccer, basketball, swim team, baseball and recently you’ve started talking about hockey too), cats, your friends, video games, making mama laugh by making derpy faces, and reading. That last one is HUGE for us, since we started this year way behind on your reading abilities. But in the last three or four months, it all finally clicked for you and now you’re reading for pleasure whenever you can find a minute, just like your sister. Your favorite books are Dogman, Catstronauts and the Ranger the Dog series.

Tate 8th Birthday

Tate, you are bold and brave, often overcoming fears just to prove others wrong. You strive to be the best at everything you do, and want others to do the same. You are kind and sensitive, wearing shirts with sloths and kittens on them because they are “just so cute,” inviting a girl in your class to sit at the special table on your birthday because she was having a bad day, and loving to snuggle whenever the opportunity allows. I am so grateful for you and how you’re growing, learning and changing every day.

Tate 8th Birthday

A few weeks ago you came into my bed to snuggle and chat, and for the first time in ages, you fell asleep in my arms. I couldn’t believe how big you felt, and I realized it won’t be very long until you will no longer EVER fall asleep curled up in my hug. I felt a bit of sadness for future me, who will miss those moments so much, but then I looked at your face with your long eyelashes fluttering on your cheeks as you dreamed, and decided instead of being sad, I wanted to fully be present in that moment. That way, even when you’re a giant, smelly teenager, I’ll still have that memory to pull me back to these wonderful moments of parenting my sweet eight-year-old.

I love you, Tater.


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