Hello Again…

I hadn’t realized that so much time had passed since I sat down to write about one of our adventures… Seeing the date of my last post is admittedly quite shameful, as I truly do enjoy writing here, and had promised myself to spend time enjoying the exercise of writing creatively and reliving our experiences. (and hopefully entertaining the one or two readers who find there way here…)

So, what on earth have I been doing with my time?

Well… in the past 18 months, we have: remodeled our kitchen and most of the house; gotten married; gotten engaged (yes, in that order); each accepted wonderful job opportunities (and work full-time +); we got pregnant!; had some family changes resulting in more time with our other children; had a baby… and, of course, continued to travel here and there whenever possible.

I always have the best of intentions to share our travel stories… every time we go away, I take notes – business cards of places I want to make sure to recommend, photos of significant things, and outline posts in my mind with every intention of typing them up and clicking “publish”…. BUT somehow, I end up putting my ideas in my mental “later” file, promising that “someday” I’ll catch up.

…Enter Maternity Leave, which I thought would be a great time to pick up where I left off, and blog away…

…Then reality set in.  My pregnancy was not the easiest (though, quite thankfully, we are both healthy and happy now).  I ended up going out earlier than planned; only to spend two days per week at the doctor’s office, a couple of days in the hospital, and the rest of my time cramming in as much prep as I could get done (freezer meals, cleaning what I could, washing baby clothes… the whole nine yards) and trying not to work or worry myself into labor.  Baby’s birthday was also expedited… abruptly putting an end to the “relaxing” pre-baby time that I had set aside.  After a few nights in the hospital, and readjusting to the cadence of life with a newborn… COVID-19 came.

Preparation for our family’s safety became our number one.  Getting what we needed, pantry staples to serve as back-up if stores stopped carrying certain items… jokes about toilet paper (no, despite having a household of 7, we did not stockpile) … the usual.  After getting baby and I to our first checkups, my husband and I stopped at the nearby Target to grab some things… lightheartedly joking about the “Doomsday Preppers” and trying to think logically about what we would actually need.  A couple more days passed, news coverage escalated, and we soon realized that we had to have real plans. We made the decision pretty quickly to close off our home to any visitors for the sake of our newborn – and I stopped leaving the house other than to get fresh air and walk around the block. We then found ourselves planning for our worst-case scenarios.  What to do if one of the kids got it (our other 4 move between our house and their other parents’);  what to do if my mother-in-law got sick? How to use the attached apartment (where my mom lives) as a quarantine area… and how to somehow stay safe and set up decontamination once my husband, an ICU physician, went back to work after his week with us.

At first, my thinking was that it couldn’t be a worse time to blog about our travel… adding unnecessary fuel to anyone’s wanderlust (including my own) at a time when we should all be hunkering down and staying put for everyone’s greater good.  After giving it some more thought, however, I don’t ever want to lose sight of the great big world outside of home – especially as these walls feel smaller by the day.

When the immediate threat is over, we will all need and want to get out there again.  We will all be hurting – some financially, some potentially with health concerns… some by loss, some by the pure experience of it all.  None of us will ever be the same.  We need to remember that the world is not as small as we think, and we are all in this together.

So- I will do my best amid sleep deprivation and homeschooling chaos to share my stories- my love letters to the places we’ve been, (from Disney to Thailand) and promises to future destinations.  On the other side of this crisis, we will be back out there.

Stay tuned, and be safe.

Gabby

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