The Quarantine Diaries

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

Good morning, friends.

Right now, as I’m sitting here in my jammies and drinking my coffee and getting ready to start Monday morning, I keep asking myself this question:

How can I live in this moment fully?

This moment is my life. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been falling into the trap of thinking I just need to “wait it out.” I suppose I feel that way because life is uncomfortable, and it’s different than what I’ve ever known.  I miss lots of things about the past, like being able to go to a fantastic Austin beer garden and order a pint of helles, or drive up to Dallas and have a family cookout with my siblings and grandparents and parents, or make travel plans and book flights and hotels for summer travels. I miss those things, so I tell myself to put life and blogging on hold until we get back to normal.

My struggles are pale in comparison to so many others, those of you who have lost loved ones or lost 100% of your income. For you, it must be even more tempting to wish away the present and hope that the future decides to jump on a high-speed train and get here just a bit faster.

I’m challenging myself to meditate on this thought: how would I be behaving if this was normal life? How would I seek to grow and improve my mind, my business, my body, my relationships? How would I slow down to savor all the beautiful things happening, like random strangers reaching out to offer kindness on instagram by telling me they have extra toilet paper if we need it, or sweet little Milo trying solid food for the first time, or the bluebonnets blooming in Texas? And how would I handle the raw, vulnerable discomfort of seeing businesses close, learning to handle my own work and Nate’s work and family life confined to 1900 square feet, feeling separated from my family and friends, and watching the decline of the physical and economical health of our world? How would I approach my Monday morning if I woke up and approached my day by thinking, “this is normal, and this is now.” If I change my perspective, how will my reality change? 

I’ve been struggling to think about what I want to do with this platform, because writing about Austin restaurants is clearly not a possibility right now. All of the dining rooms in the country are closed for the foreseeable future. (Oh how I wish I could do head out into Austin and start another project like this or this!) I’ve been in a funk about it for 2 weeks. Other than sharing a few resources about where you can get fresh produce in Austin right now, or how to help struggling restaurants, I haven’t written much. I keep thinking, this is not normal life, so is it ok to write about normal things? 

Restaurants will come back and I’ll be able to share more about those in the future, but I need to get back to the present moment. And I’ve decided that life without creativity and creation and art is not a life worth living. So, here’s what I’ve decided to do. I’m SO excited about this:

I’m going to go back to blogging a la 2012. Haha! I’m going to go back to blogging daily about my daily happenings. A blog literally means “web log.” Back in the day, blogs were originally used to log regular occurrences. Over the haze of the 2010s and the growth of social media, blogging has grown into a mad rush for winning the SEO game, creating online courses that sell for thousands of dollars, scaling businesses and creating podcasts and getting book deals. And don’t get me wrong – all of that stuff is super fun! But right now, I feel that I have the gift to provide a little bit of “normalcy” to this time. 

So pop in here every single weekday morning for something light and heartfelt before you start checking the news headlines. (And keep checking those headlines – I think it’s important to stay informed. But our brains can only consume so much news, and I feel that my job right now is to alleviate the stress, not add to it.) You can expect a new blog post here every Monday-Friday at 5 am CST, come rain or shine. My hope is to provide a beacon of happiness at the start of your day as you drink your coffee and get ready to face whatever craziness is heading your way… 😉 I’m excited to chat with you daily! (You can also find me on instagram.)


The Quarantine Diaries

Phew, ok. That was a long intro. Are you still here with me? Today I’m sharing my “quarantine diaries” from the past two weeks. 

I've been married for three years...here's what it feels like

Nate and I went to the UK at the beginning of March. Our trip was cut short when travel bans started going into effect, and we caught an emergency flight home and immediately went into a 14-day quarantine to protect ourselves and others from anything we might have picked up in the airports or abroad. 

Two adults. One 5-month-old baby. One crazy cat. And no food, haha. 

Seriously, we did not think this through very well! We flew back to the US, and we were immediately dropped off at our house and assumed we could do a grocery delivery service to stock our empty fridge and pantry. But (surprise!) there was a 7-10 day wait on all of the grocery deliveries. I didn’t want to do curbside pickup, because that wouldn’t be a full quarantine, and Nate and I decided to commit to doing it 100% for 14 days.

But we managed. Thank god for restaurant delivery services like Favor and UberEats, because we were able to keep supporting some of our favorite restaurants by ordering. (Yay!) We also had some sweet friends who dropped off staples like chicken breast and ground beef and veggies and eggs. My friend Shveta did a trip to the farmers market for us and placed the produce on our front porch before sending me a text, “food’s here!” from her car on the street. (Gosh, I miss being able to open the door when someone knocks.) 

Anyhow, today is day 15. We want to do everything we can to play our part to knock out this virus, so we’ll still be working from home and pretty much staying home 24/7, but it’s nice to know that we have the option to do curbside pickups at grocery stores and restaurants! 

Here are a bunch of photos from our past 14 days at home: 

^Starting with this, because it kept me sane. I am a daily bed-maker. I have to make my bed to feel like I have any sort of control over my day. For me, it’s the most valuable 60 seconds of my morning because it creates a snowball effect on the rest of my day. Anyone else? 

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ We had one rather brisk, rainy Saturday but we really felt cooped up and needed some fresh air, so we put Milo in the baby carrier and enjoyed some time outside. (Always staying on our own property or just a walk through the neighborhood.) Love these two boys!

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ My sweet friend Shveta not only remembered the fact that Nate and I were having our anniversary…she also had flowers delivered to our front door! (They’re from this Austin flower delivery service, for anyone who needs something similar.) These beauties are such a bright spot in my house. Note to self: keep fresh flowers on the kitchen counter during quarantine.

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ Hi 5-month-old baby! He’s getting so big and so strong! These past two weeks at home have been all about getting him back on a sleep schedule, because we got wayyyy off during that week in the UK. Oh my god. He was sleeping 12 hours through the night before we left, and then while we were over there he started waking up ever 2-3 hours. TORTURE. He’s back to normal now. 😉 

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ This cat gets so excited whenever a delivery comes, because she loves to jump in the boxes. #itsthelittlethings. (We ordered this massive 5-pound bag of coffee from Tweed Coffee Roasters, Houndstooth’s roaster.) 

^ Virtual happy hours with my friends are giving me life right now! I poured a beer from our kegerator (Nate brewed a golden ale and an ESB and they’re on tap in our dining room) and plopped down on the couch for an hour of catching up with Caitlin, Rachel, Shveta, and Monique

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ These are my workouts right now! The Barre Code Austin is temporarily closed, so they launched a virtual program that members can do from home. PS: if you want to revamp your workout routine while you’re stuck at home, they’re doing a special of $79/month for a full schedule of LIVE classes on the app! Or you can do $39.95 for on-demand pre-recorded classes. Both are an incredible value because these barre classes make me feel so invigorated, strong, and happy right now. 

^ A pretty typical morning for me: wake up and make my pour over…

….take my coffee and some laundry upstairs to get it started while I…

…play with Milo in his room in the mornings. He is SO sweet in the mornings! He wakes around 7 am, and 7-9 am are my very favorite hours with him because he is pure joy and energy. We listen to classical music, do tummy time, read books, practice rolling over and sitting up and smile a lot. Smiling’s our favorite. 

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ Meals have been unique for the past two weeks as we’ve been low on ingredients. We’ve mostly done fried rice and stir fries, because those are easy ways to use the hodge podge of frozen protein from our freezer and random veggies we’ve been able to have delivered. God bless Nate Kennedy, because he’s a genius at taking random old veggies in the fridge and creating a fantastic meal…you know, a meal that an adult would eat. 😉 Me? I’m more likely to do grab an apple and smear it with almond butter and call it lunch. Haha. 

^ This was a really good one that Nate came up with! We had some old corn tortillas in the fridge. They were getting to the point where they would break if we tried to fold them, so he put them in the air fryer and crisped them up and made tostadas. Then he topped them with some black beans from the freezer, some diced chorizo, sour cream, and cilantro. Rice and peas on the side, because those were random things we could find in our kitchen. 

^ Oh my goodness! We tried giving Milo solids for the first time on his 5th month birthday, and we told the family that we’d broadcast it on an instagram live from our private family account. HILARIOUS. Babies are so funny! His first taste of rice cereal resulted in the face he’s making above. We’re going to keep trying a few bites every day until he gets used to it, and then I’m excited to start introducing some fruits and veggies. 

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ A virtual Sunday morning church service. Storm wasn’t interested in watching with us. 

quarantine diaries in Austin Texas

^ And one more of a takeout meal from Saturday night. Nate and I ordered in from Clay Pit and then watched a movie after Milo went to bed. We decided it would be fun to focus on one movie director at a time and watch our way through all of his or her movies. We’re starting with Wes Anderson because he hasn’t made too many movies, so it’s a manageable goal. We’re going in chronological order, so we’ve watched Bottle Rocket and Rushmore so far. Kind of a fun break from binge-watching a Netflix show!


Ok friends, I’ll see you here tomorrow morning! I’m going to show you some of the Austin restaurants we’ve been able to enjoy from home during the past few weeks. Talk to you then! XO. 

 

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