I started this blog when I was laid off from work and had nothing but time on my hands a not a lot to do, and here I find myself in a similar situation. Life over the past 4-5 years has been busy and exhausting. I am working for Head Start as a teacher in a preschool classroom. The days fly by and I am usually stressed and exhausted. I feel at times like I am on a hamster wheel, just running and running and not really going anywhere. Still, time marches forward. Evelyn has started school and is now in the second grade at a small, rural charter school. Michael is working for a different early childhood program, as a mental health and behavioral support specialist (not his official title). We have been busy…and tired…and stressed.

Today, we are at home for the 11th day in a row, isolated due to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. I figured it would be a good time to update my blog since this is something I never imagined would happen in my lifetime. I guess I always knew there was the possibility of world-wide pandemic, but of course, we never think this will happen to us or that we will live long enough to see events like this. Yet, here we are, with nothing to do but wait to see what will happen. Our days have been fairly calm here at home, but I do have an underlying feeling of anxiety (and who doesn’t?) which I try to keep hidden from Evelyn as much as possible. We have always taken the honest approach with her in explaining how things work in our world, so we try to be open and honest with her about the state of things without sharing TOO much, like how in Spain the military who have gone into elder care homes to help with disinfection have found dead bodies, abandoned by the staff. We try to share to good things, like videos of Italians on their balconies singing together to pass the time and raise spirits during their lockdown. For me, it is both scary and comforting to know that this is happening all over the globe. People are isolating themselves at home to help to stop the spread of the virus, which is very contagious and has a very long incubation period. While the feeling of solidarity makes all this a bit more bearable, it also scares me to think about the economic impact that these lockdowns will have. Schools are closed and all non-essential businesses have been asked to shut down in Pennsylvania and in many other states. We are extremely blessed that we are still getting a paycheck…for now.

I will never forget the look of excitement on Evelyn’s face when she jumped off the bus on March 13 and exclaimed, “No school for 2 weeks!” I had only just found out that the governor was closing schools for two weeks a few minutes before her and it was hard to hide the worry that was probably on my face. I knew even then that we would be closed much longer than 2 weeks. I think the novelty of being off school is going to wear out for her quickly. We have just been trying to make the most of the time at home…cooking,  playing games, doing puzzles, catching up on Netflix, enjoying a little time outdoors when the weather is nice. It’s all we can do right now.

Recording story times for my preschool kids
Camping out in the living room
State parks are open for hiking, but the playgrounds, pavilions and campgrounds are closed.
“Stained Glass” Painting
Silly Social Media Games


Our Summer Bucket List

So Evelyn and I decided we wanted to make a summer bucket list.  Ok, maybe I was a little more excited about the list than she was.  Since I decided to apply for a teaching position at work (and I got the job), I am going to be off for the summer and I am more than a little excited about it.  I have struggled with the work/stay at home debate ever since Evelyn was born.  I have done both and neither option felt 100% comfortable for me.  So now, I get to work while Evelyn is at school and be off when she is off.  It’s the perfect balance and I actually really love my job.

Aaaannyway, I could probably come up with a crazy-long list, but I decided to keep it sort of short, so that I don’t kick myself later if we don’t get it all accomplished. Evelyn did contribute a few ideas, but I had a hard time getting her to understand the concept of a bucket list.  When I asked her, “What do you really want to do this summer?” her response was, “Have a movie day!” So then I had to explain that we should put things on the list that we couldn’t do any other time of year.  We could have a movie day any time.  So then she came at me with…

Eat lunch at Odd FellasWell, we really can eat there any day, except for Sunday when they are closed, but she rationalized it with, “Well, we can’t eat lunch there any day because we have to eat lunch at school.” Ok, makes sense to me.  Lunch at Odd Fellas for the win.

Go camping: I already have 2 camping trips booked for this summer so, easy peasy.

Make a fairy garden: We spent quite a bit of time pinning ideas for this during the winter when we were home sick or on snow days.

Outdoor movie: I just got a flyer from Evelyn’s school about some free movies in the park this summer.  Now I just have to add the dates to my calendar so we don’t forget!

Paint Rocks: I really want to paint some story rocks to use in my classroom next year, and I think this will be fun for Evelyn too.

Go berry picking: We do this every year, so this one shouldn’t be a problem.

Have a paint day: Michael got me an easel and paints and brushes for Christmas, so I have been painting every now and then.  Evelyn likes to paint with me, so this will be a perfect rainy day activity.

Make popsicles: Because summer.

Swing painting: Saw this video circulating around Facebook.  We’ll have to drag our supplies to the park, but that won’t stop us!

I could probably come up with more, but I think I better quit while I am ahead.  Evelyn is doing a headstand on the couch, so I think she’s finished contributing to the list.

The Next Big Thing

next big thing

I haven’t been posting much over the past few months.  Truth be told, there is not much to post about.  We’ve fallen back into a working parents’ routine of routines.  Get up, go to work, come home, make/eat dinner, get ready for bed and to start it all over again. Weekends are either busy, busy, busy with family gatherings and other events, or just taking care of the ordinary chores and errands that will keep us going for the week.

I haven’t talked much here about my return to work.  About two years ago, I was preparing to leave my job so that I could be at home with my daughter. I was excited and I got lots of positive feedback from family and friends who all told me it would be hard, but so worth it and it was an awesome thing to do for my daughter and our family.  Evelyn and I had a little over a year together before some financial upset in our family forced me back to work.  I was not happy about it. I wanted to return to work on my own terms.  But, the year that I was at home was a hard one.  I suffered several miscarriages and we decided to stop trying for another baby.  I was sick a lot during that time and probably very depressed. Once I came to terms with the idea of going back to work, I started looking forward to it. Now that summer is approaching, I find myself missing my long days at home with Evelyn.  I miss packing up to go to the park or the beach.  I miss some of my mom friends and their kids.  I miss having a (sort of) clean house. I sometimes think I failed at the stay-at-home mom thing, like I wasn’t very good at it.  And even though I miss it sometimes, I know that God put me where I am right now, so I am trying to give the best I can to both my job and my family with a much more balanced approach.  So far, so good.

It feels strange not to be waiting for the next big thing.  We’re at a place where life is pretty ordinary.  No weddings to plan, no houses to buy, no babies to expect, no new jobs on the horizon.  I’m not really sure how to be here.  It’s a nice kind of calm, but it’s also kind of….boring.

I feel like I have hit a mid-life crisis of sorts.  Now that all the “big things” have come and gone, I’m not really sure what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m sad to say I don’t really have much ambition either.  I guess years of school and work have left me just wanting to take a nap.

At least with this new calm, I can focus on some hobbies that I have been putting on the back burner for so long.  We have some camping trips planned for this summer (3 to be exact) and some vacation time coming up. There is work to be done on the patio and around the house. I guess this is a season to just kind of roll along with the current and enjoy the scenery as it passes by. There are glasses of wine to be consumed, camp fires to enjoy and songs to belt out with my daughter. There are dance parties to be had and road trips to take.  It’s time to slow down…at least for now.  I think it was the wise Ferris Bueller who said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

time to make a switch

Dear followers,

I have decided to switch over to a self-hosted wordpress blog.  That means you won’t find my posts here anymore.  You can see my newest posts and updates at and once you get there, you can follow along via RSS, with direct links to Feedly, and Bloglovin’.

You can also keep in touch by liking my page on facebook or following along on Pinterest or Instagram @a_scenic_detour.

Hope to see you there!

friday’s letters


Dear Evelyn, I’m so excited about the fact that you’re blossoming into such a sweet little lady.  You’re learning things at warp speed…I can hardly keep up!  You’re starting to learn 2-3 word phrases.  Some of my favorites right now are Thank you, Mommy/Daddy, Thank you much, Oh man! and All right! You’re curious about things and starting to ask questions like Who’s/what’s that?  I find myself watching you and wondering, where did she learn that?  You’re just like a little sponge.

Dear Geek Fairy, thank you for your awesome tutorial for adding social media buttons to my blog. Yay! I’ve been trying to figure this out forever!

Dear 36th Birthday, Bring it! I’m not afraid of you!

Dear 4th of July, you weren’t as cool as year’s past, but you had your good points. Mainly, my girl had a blast in the pool and visiting with family. We didn’t see a single firework this year. Boo!

Dear Body,  I’m so sorry for the abuse you’ve taken today.  I’m very well aware that the Chinese food and ice cream I ate today will haunt us long into tomorrow and perhaps beyond.  I promise to behave myself tomorrow.  Try not to be too hard on me.  Today was our birthday, after all.


friday’s letters

Philly Oct 2011 (80)

Dear baby bump, I miss you and I keep thinking about trying for another one soon.  The timing’s not great, but is there ever a perfect time?

Dear tornados, thank you for staying away from my home and family yesterday. It was really weird how a tornado warning didn’t scare me. Usually, I am freaking out at the slightest rumble of thunder. Somehow I managed to stay calm.

Dear Friday, you rock! This week kicked my butt and I am so happy you are finally here. I can’t wait to kick back with the family tonight.

Dear local friends, I’m planning to be home all weekend and hanging out on the patio as much as possible. I see home made strawberry ice cream and a variety of therapeutic beverages in my future. Stop by and say hello. 🙂

Dear Evelyn, I love our little “conversations” at bedtime. I love that you tell me all about your day and I almost understand everything you say. I think that you might even be more of a talker than your daddy, if that’s possible.

Dear erectile dysfunction commercials, You’re creepy. That is all.

Dear 36, you’re rapidly approaching. Can it be possible that I’m on the other side of 35? Yikes!

friday’s letters

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest


Dear Winter, you suck.  Because of you, I am cold and bored.  Please go away.

Dear Evelyn, I love how you gave me lots of snuggly kisses tonight.  It was just what I needed after a long, crazy week.

Dear Downton Abbey, what the heck?!

Dear Facebook, I’m so glad I decided to let you go for awhile.  Our relationship was toxic and smothering.  I’m so much happier without you.

Dear Philadelphia, I might have to pay you a visit soon.  It’s been awhile.


I can do it myself!

So, I read in a book that when you want to start feeding your baby solid foods, you should give her a spoon to explore for a few days before you introduce the food.  This will give her time to get used to the feel of the spoon in her mouth.  Well, all it really succeeded in doing for us is creating a child who insists on holding the spoon all by herself.

I have to say she did a pretty good job, even if she did get most of the food on her bib instead of in her mouth.

Gotta love that squash!