Cleaning, Home renovations, Life, NaBloPoMo, Pandemic

What I Did (and Didn’t Do) During The Pandemic

Remember when the pandemic started? When we were all confined to our houses and visions of cleaning, organizing and DIY projects filled our heads (and your social feed)?

I watched as friends purged their basements, organized their linen closets and finally refurbished that flea market find. Children’s playrooms turned went from disarray of toys to neatly stacked bins. Kitchen cabinets were orderly. Garages were cleaned out.

But not at my house.

It seemed that during this pandemic, while everyone was putting their life (and house) in order, my life and house was going in the opposite direction. Our kitchen looked like a (6-year-old) hurricane hit it each day. We couldn’t see our tabletop because it was covered in crayons, paper and dinosaurs. Our counters were cluttered. And somehow our sink ALWAYS had dishes in it, even after I loaded the dishwasher.

Was I the only person who accomplished nothing on their house and life to-do list?

I will admit, Marie Kondo I am not. However, I thought I’d at least get something done. Mr. KK – on the other hand – created a gigantic to-do list at the beginning of Spring and basically crossed off every single item. I was lucky if I got the laundry done every week.

Instead of feeling like a total failure, I decided to make a mental list of the things I did accomplish in the last 8 months; those things I didn’t cross things off an official “to do” list, but were personal and emotional wins.

What I Did During The Pandemic

I helped Little Mister become confident in coloring and drawing. Being a lefty, our Little Mister hadn’t been a big fan of coloring or drawing. He just didn’t think he was “good at it”. So we spent lots of time with me drawing scenes for him to color and decorate with stickers, which slowly transitioned to him drawing something and asking me to fill in the rest, to us creating little “books” together with drawings and words. Now, he takes out the crayons and paper on his own and starts drawing. He’s so proud of what he draws that he asks to hang it up in his room.

I stuck with my fitness and healthy eating routine and instead of gaining the COVID 15, I actually lost the COVID 15 (and then some!)

I changed my closet over from fall/winter to spring/summer in a timely manner. Each year it turns 80 degrees and I’m still trying to find something to wear from ponchos and boots. (Never mind that I didn’t wear 3/4 of the clothes I put in the closet. If it wasn’t leggings or denim shorts, it didn’t get any wear time.)

I read. A lot. I posted a few days ago about my favorite books so far this year. Reading is something I love doing and usually I feel like I just don’t have the time. Nothing a little pandemic can’t fix.

I saved money. This shouldn’t be surprising since we literally didn’t leave the house, have any social life, or spend money on anything besides food for months on end. I didn’t go into a Target for 6 months (much to Mr. KK’s happiness). Heck, we actually made money during the pandemic because we had to cancel a few vacations!

I played. Because we’re the Little Mister’s only playmates, I spent quite a bit of time playing and pretending. We played pet store, Octonauts, Lion King, stickers, hide and seek and explorers. And just when I would think I was the worst playmate in the world, Little Mister would tell me how much he loved playing with me and I’d be suckered into another hour of being Ryder from Paw Patrol.

I stopped trying to do everything at 100%. Our house was a mess. Sometimes we ate meals that consisted of all leftovers. I worked weird hours, sometimes starting at 6am or stopping at 10pm, so I could find a work/life balance. And if something didn’t get done, so be it.

I spent a lot of time with our family. Once the weather was warm, we spent every weekend with our parents, either at our house on the patio, or at my inlaws’ or parents’ houses at their pools. And while we kept our distance (I still haven’t hugged my parents since the beginning of the year!), we were able to be together, which was the most important thing.

I lived the opposite of FOMO. During the last 8 months, we missed out on a lot of things. There were places we didn’t go, people we didn’t see, events we didn’t attend. Was it hard making decisions that would mean Little Mister might go another month (or two) without playing with another child? You betcha. Did I want a little taste of our “old life” with overnight trips and boozy boat rides? Hell to the yes. But, in the end, the health and safety of our family kept us on track. In order for Little Mister to spend time with his grandparents (who eventually came to the rescue and started watching him while we were working before school started) we had to stick to our isolated routine.

So while I didn’t rearrange my office, organize the holiday bins in the basement or clean the toy room, I did have the incredible experience of watching Little Mister grow and become confident, appreciating the little things and going to bed at the end of the weekend without Sunday stomach.

And to me, it was worth it.

1821, Home renovations, Patio, Uncategorized

The summer of the patio.

Summer (and fall) of 2019 will forever be known in the KK house as that time we built a patio.

When we purchased our house (where Mr. KK’s grandmother used to live), there was a concrete “deck” off the back of the kitchen that Mr. KK’s grandfather had built. It was not the prettiest thing, but it allowed us to have our grill close to the kitchen, with enough room for our chiminea, table and chairs, and my potted herbs in the summertime.

Unfortunately, it started cracking and wasn’t in the best shape, so we had to take it down. And with it, went our only outdoor space (that had a floor, anyway) where we could eat outside and hang out.

We knew when we took away the old patio that we would eventually build a new patio off of the new family room. We had beautiful french doors that would be the perfect gateway to our outdoor living paradise.

And this past July, in what will be called the “Summer of the Patio”, Mr. KK spent every waking moment working on this creation with his friend. From drawing the plans, to changing the plans, to picking out the stone (this is where I came in!), to clearing the land and digging in, this project took over our lives.

When we started, it was July and it was HOT. Notice the lush green trees, and my lone lounge chair.IMG_0008

The was was the first thing to get dug and built.IMG_0029



I believe this photo was taken during the hottest day of the summer, it was about 100 degrees and 1,000,000% humidity. But these two soldiered on:


And, oh, all the deliveries! Stone, gravel, sand, more stone, more gravel. Our yard was a disaster:




Check out that wall!


From what I could tell, the wall was the “hard part” and it was finally over!



Next up, digging and clearing where the floor was going to go:


It may be hard to see, but it’s the beginning of fall here. You can see the leaves in the grass in the back of the yard. Summer was over, and we were yet to enjoy our first drink on the new patio.


That rush of laying down the first stones!



Fall meant shorter days, but that didn’t stop these two. They worked well into dark, using the floodlights to see.






The patio itself is officially finished, but there’s still a ton of work to do. Besides cleaning up the yard and scraps, there are planters to be filled in, walkways to plan and lighting to think about.

All I know is that I’m going to have a celebratory drink on this thing of beauty, even if I have to wear a parka and boots!