Two years ago today we sold our home of 10 years and set off on a world travel family adventure. After traveling accross the US, to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Canada, England, France, Italy, Austria and Spain we came home to ride out the pandemic.
This week we’ll move into a rental home in Lilburn, GA literally right around the corner from where we used to live! We are prepared to sit tight for a year, put the kids back in public school and figure out what comes next for our family. It’s exciting and crazy and hard and wonderful all at the same time but it was the next right thing. We’re excited to see what this year will hold for all of us and we can’t wait to soak up our loved ones here enough to last us a while should we decide to keep going after this! Lilburn friends, we’ll see y’all real soon!
Do you know what I wish for sometimes? I wish that I could bring my mama to meet all our new friends from all over the world. My mom has always known and been loved by all my friends, all along. You just have to understand, she’s one of the cool moms. One you want to introduce to your friends. The loud one in the stands at every soccer game and front row at every concert. The mom you don’t mind having as chaperone at your senior prom or on your band trip to Disney World. The one your friends run up to (some still are) with arms wide open shouting “Momma Lowry!!!” So sometimes it crushes me that the lovely friends we’ve made may never get to know the goodness of being loved by Momma Lowry.
So I wanted to do something today.
I wanted to introduce you to my Mom.
My mom’s name is Geri.
She’s Canadian and STILL says “soh-ree” instead of sorry. She’s a hospice nurse and is exactly the kind of person you’d want at your side when you are in that impossible position. She has 5 super cool kids (I’m the oldest) and is herself the youngest of 9! She has 9 almost 10 grandbabies she loves to spoil and who lovingly call her Bonga (thanks to Thatcher when he was 2). She loves babies and dogs and is the kind of person who goes out of her way to compliment someone walking by. She loves to talk and laugh and be crazy, she’s the life of the party, I’m telling you– you’d love her!
So friends, if you haven’t met my Mom and you want in on some of this goodness, come over to the comments and say hi to Momma Lowry! Introduce yourself and let her know where you’re from! I think she’d genuinely LOVE to meet every single one of you and maybe, hopefully, one day we can make that happen in real life.
I’ve had a great weekend soaking her up and am forever grateful for this mama of mine!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
We’ve been trying to pin down this feeling. It’s funny because we’re already used to homeschooling and working from home, that hasn’t been a big adjustment for our family. We’re even used to traveling and not knowing anyone, so going days and weeks without seeing friends and family is not foreign to us. Yet we’re struggling with this sense of heaviness. We’re feeling unstimulated. We’re bored. Weightless, we’re just floating through the days… Doing our normal school and work and self care routines but somehow this is just different. The thing I always come back to when life starts feeling aimless and boring is setting my intentions every day. I find that when I’m intentional about taking care of my body and mind, my house and my kids I always feel better. When I set my intentions I’m more likely to accomplish even just little things every day and that give my spirits a boost. My basic daily intentions right now look like: read a chapter, write one paragraph in my journal, play one song on the piano, shower and get dressed, drink water, walk and run, vacuum one room, wipe one thing that needs wiping, do one load of dishes, one load of laundry. Also, I plan dinner in advance so I don’t just throw another frozen pizza in the oven at 9pm 🤷 When I make small, simple goals I can easily get that shot of accomplishment when I can cross it off my list AND I usually find that once I’ve started I can easily do more than just 1… So that turns into 2 or 3 or 10 and then I feel even better! But even if I only do the one… That’s better than the nothing I’ve been doing and that’s still exciting progress!
I don’t know, it’s not much but it helps me. Hopefully this helps someone out there get another day closer to the end of this!
How about you guys; What does self care and motivation look like for YOU right now?
Alright friends, how are we? Are we holding up? Not really but we’re still here? That’s ok here. We’re all in this hot mess together and here it’s ok to not be ok but all that matters is that we are still here, we’re not running, ok maybe we can’t run from this literally but let’s just keep showing up ok? Just a quick GO TEAM from me 💪
Ok. Here’s how WE are. We had a solid 12 days of total quarantine when we got home from Spain. We landed in the softest way we could have landed, given the circumstances. Evan’s parents were away for a couple weeks so we were able to quarantine at their house. I need you to just appreciate what a gift that was with me for a minute. We had just been through a wicked whirlwind of panic and lockdown and cars breaking, 2 last minute international flights, and we knew the next right thing was to quarantine. And the grief and the stress and the wildness of those weeks and those transitions and those sudden, scary changes was just waiting for us to slow down enough to see it. It hit Evan’s back/neck hard enough to land him at the Chiropractor. But there we were in his childhood home. Our kids’ grandparents home. A home filled with sweet memories with cousins, familiar toys and music and familiar, familiar, happy, comfort. That was a gift. Thank you Grammy and Papa (who had to actually extend their time away when the country began shutting down right in front of them and couldn’t just come home earlier than planned, out of respect for our quarantine needs). We came out happy and healthy on the other side of our quarantine just in time for Atlanta to start shutting down. We were able to soak up Evan’s parents for a few days, and then we moved into a month to month Airbnb rental in Augusta, which is where MY parents live. We enjoyed one week of visiting with our parents and my brother and his amazing, beautiful family with a new baby cousin for us to love on before all of Georgia was put under a shelter in place order. So now we’re busy doing just that. Lots of egg hunts, music, walks, crafts, cooking, cleaning, yard work, school and work, self care, movies, MP3 players, hammock time and playing in our Airbnb’s great backyard. Stay SAFE
Sorry Insta-friends, I’ve been posting on Facebook for the bigger character allowance but here’s our update!
We landed in Miami Sat night straight from Spain. Europe’s “next Italy.” Our flight came directly from Madrid, the epicenter of Coronavirus in Spain, accounting for over half of the cases there.
The screening as we arrived back in the US was lacking at best. It was almost non existent. They took passengers off the plane in groups of 20. Lined us up against a wall and walked us into a room where a handful of CDC workers were collecting families’ contact info in case someone sitting near you on the plane reports symptoms (why they wouldn’t just alert everyone on whole plane is another concern… Pretty sure we all used the same 4 bathrooms). We stood with a CDC worker in a mask and he asked us a few questions and scribbled our responses on a form. We gave a verbal “no we’re not sick” and went on our merry way. They didn’t even check our temperatures. For all they know we could have put on a happy face to get through screening. (We didn’t, we’re completely heathy at the moment!) There was no mention of taking precautions, there was no recommending we self isolate, only a couple signs around the airport that said pay attention to your health over the next 14 days and stay home if you develop a cough or fever.
Honestly, a big part of me was so relieved. I had lost serious sleep with my anxiety for what this advanced screening would look like, with 4 tired kids whose bodies are still on Spain time (read 2 a.m.), especially coming straight from Madrid (we weren’t staying there, but our flight from Malaga connected through there). They were far more concerned that Evan had an apple and orange in his backpack. We went through a whole work up to clear rigorous agricultural screenings… But Coronavirus screenings on the other hand? 🤷
It felt like I’m more concerned about the potential that we’re carriers than anyone at the airport was. We’ve taken it on ourselves to self quarantine at Evan’s parents house in the Atlanta area while they’re out of town right now and will figure out a longer term plan ASAP!
In the meantime Happy St Patrick’s Day!
It’s been a week 😅 Our house-sit in France ended this past Sunday so we had been soaking up our lovely friends and the sweet “provincial life” until then. Sunday we woke up at 5 to get an early start on our 13 hour drive to our rental home on the southern coast of Spain. There’s a community/hub of Worldschoolers not far from Málaga and we were so excited to be a part of this diverse, like minded community for a month before returning to the States in April! We had plans to visit Morocco from here as well.
Well a few minutes into our drive it was clear Stephen Chancey (our English minivan) was not going to make it. He had started acting up the day before and it was bad. So, we turned around, called upon our AMAZING neighbor friends and they came over with their Dad, took a look at our car, drove around with us, and confirmed… Chancey would have to retire in a junkyard overlooking the countryside in Southern France. We felt SO LUCKY to have friends to help us navigate that and then buying last minute flights to Spain. We were so well cared for all the way to the bitter end. We stayed the night, repacked everything for a flight rather than a road trip, got rid of tons of extra weight, and caught our flight the next morning to Spain.
Crisis averted?! Spain is beyond anything we could have imagined! We were absolutely gobsmacked by the beauty here and also by the incredible community of Worldschoolers here. We get right down to enjoying the beach, the sunsets, the instant friends, and eating every meal overlooking the Marina del Este. And then we woke up the other morning with like 7 text messages altering us to the US border closure. And then 4 cases of Coronavirus are officially reported in the next town over. The hysteria starts to pick up and all day I couldn’t shake the feeling it was time to go home.
Today we bought our tickets and tomorrow we plan to go home. We fly into Miami first then we’re supposed to continue to Orlando, assuming our screenings go smoothly in Miami!
Fingers crossed for us, friends! See you on the other side 🤞😷🤞
This guy. He’s the one. Not the perfect one, not the flawless one, not the best looking or the most romantic, thoughtful one. But the one I choose to make it work with. Every day. Over and over. The one I choose to chase my dreams with. The one I choose to build a family with. And you know what? None of that is easy.
The past few years have been full of transitions for us. New houses, new countries, new routines, new languages, new friends, new beliefs, new faith, new job, new bosses, new school, new lifestyle, new parenting challenges… We’ve become new people. And changes in a marriage don’t come without challenges. Marriage at all doesn’t come without its challenges! I just can’t even believe how naive I once was about marriage. It’s hard. It’s incredible too but before it’s incredible it’s an incredible amount of work.
But we’re up for the task! And one of the best (and honestly our favourite) ways we show up for our marriage is therapy! We had therapists we loved back at home and felt like we would try going without one while we traveled (ha!) but it turns out all these transitions are actually pretty hard on a person, which then makes it hard on a marriage! We’ve found a therapist who can see us online in video conferences and that has done a great job of keeping us on track. We’ve decided it’s going to be a non negotiable for us. We LOVE therapy because we love each other and therapy helps us keep that love in focus, even when things get stressful.
We had to swing by Notre Dame and the Louvre on our way out of town; mostly for Thatcher’s sake! I had no idea Paris was such a big deal for him! He was so sad to leave so much left undone, which is rare, so I guess we’ll just have to come back one day!
Now we’re back in Dordogne wrapping up our last week in France and preparing for Spain next week! 💃