A Covid Summer

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the daily life

Shall we take a stroll through the weirdness that this spring and summer have been? What have you been up to? We’ve missed you so much!

Mostly all of our spring was spent sunbathing naked and watching this bird. Or hotel of birds.

My goodness those guys were busy. They went in and out in and out all day it seemed! And I STILL never got a good picture. Oh but how I love spring :)

Just before covid hit, I was cooking up some delicious steaks and lovingly basting them with the butter, and just so happened to accidentally, oh so barely, graze the side of the cast iron pan leading to the most insignificant, minuscule burn on my hand, but the most outrageously giant, spoon shaped spaz burn on my face. It literally felt like my face was melting off… I kept waking up all night cause puss was running into my eye. HA! I’m such a dork. It seems like things like this keep happening. I stepped on a rake the other day, yes like a cartoon, and now have the most giant painful bruise on my cheek… I got shingles all over my stomach with a scar that just does not want to go away. GOODBYE YOUTH! Hello loneliness and harrowing sorrows. :D Anyways, so thankful it didn’t take out my eye too so let’s just remember it as the blessing it was :)

This became a new reality :)

And as soon as we got the stay home orders, we got a little stir crazy with the string and started to dream up a new yard like everyone else in the world.

There were lots of picnics…

And creepin in on my kids sleeping cause HOW CAN YOU NOT!?

Abbie and I even made it into US Magazine. Just LOOK how happy that beverage makes you.

We figured out how to entertain Noah and all our neighbors for hours at a time.

This is my favorite scene in the whole wide world. If I remember correctly, they were all on top of each other moments before, clawing and screaming and somehow turned that into this so let’s remember THIS. It’s the best 30 second moment to look over at :)

And for a more accurate representation of everyday life… found this on my camera from one of the kids and I sort of adore it :) all the dishes and me always overwhelmed and breaking down and the sweetest of all husbands trying his best to figure out how to handle his hormone filled wife :)

Didn’t even want to celebrate mother’s day this year cause I’m the absolute worst, but I DID think it would be funny to hold all the kids one last time. My back was not happy with that decision, turns out :D when did I get so old and when did my kids get so heavy!?

Is anyone else like me? I could have the messiest house but if I make one pretty corner, I’ll be happy. Now if you want to reverse that jovial mood, go ahead and put your takeout bag right there in front of it. Does no one else see the sacredness of this sanity spot?? I have my ways. :)

This is a 100% photoshopped picture but I love those kids and their sweet little faces so let’s pretend like it was completely naturally obtained.

So covid’s been hard.

Like really hard.

On all of my furniture. Some of us over here have been going through yet another “decorating” phase. Not one piece of furniture has been left unscathed. Hence,

this picture on repeat :) So, nothings white anymore, carpets, sofas, chairs, dressers, walls, you name it. We have marks and lipstick and pens and all sorts of fun coloring situations that literally happen when I leave the room for A SECOND. I have officially lost my mind and now we are just living with it. So come on over and join the coloring party. We have pens at the door for your convenience. But seriously, how do you make it stop??

But then I look outside and see the light coming through my bleeding hearts and everything is calm again, because the door is shut and you can no longer hear their screams… and I remember the purpose of life is not to have a perfect house or even a clean house! To make a home that is welcoming and loving and allows us to love on others amongst all the marks and stains – that’s so much more important and needed than any perfect white couch or :'( lovely :'( leather :'( barstools ;) so we hide the pens and forgive again and again …and again.

WE FINALLY GOT OUR TRAMPOLINE IN THE GROUND!!!!!!! Three dangerous years later :D

We planted a garden!

I’ve been occupying myself with projects that nobody notices – can you see the two different whites?? Ok well, I do… and now it doesn’t bug me anymore so there.

I’ve been replacing furniture that nobody notices. Do you remember our black chairs? Well, now they are brown. Again, I’m more happy so there’s that ;)

There have been science experiments…

And smore nights…

And more science experiments…

And toilet paper treasure hunts!

And pretending like we get to go to a pool!

And this scene over and over again <3

And drawings…

And Passover celebrations!

And trays of goodies brought to me whilst already relaxing! Can we just take a moment to appreciate the bugles and rosemary sprig!? I’m tellin ya… that Greg Nettles is really good :)

There has been a lot of bread experimentation and I am oh so happy to report that after MANY different recipes and trials, I have FINALLY found a bread I love. HALLELUJAH! I didn’t have many goals during this pandemic but that was one of them – to be able to make a bread I’m satisfied with :):)

We’ve been soaking up the last bits of our wild yard

But were so excited to not sprain an ankle every time you walked out there so this was an exciting day when things started getting smoothed out.

Our garden started springing up which was equally as exciting! Have you ever planted things from seed? It’s such a magical experience cause it really looks like nothing will happen AND THEN AND THEN!!!!

My snowball bush finally FINALLY after 5 years decided to bloom!

Some small piles of dirt were delivered!

And our yard was finally put in place! It was only after I took this picture that I saw it. I accidentally created the most phallic yard of all time. So HEY, there’s that too.

I took that as an OK to run out and get some plants. I think I told Greg I was getting 8. I guess I got a little carried away.

Hehe but anyways, there were naps…

And Noah just could not get into his precious little head that there was a flour shortage in the world.

There was more nudity.

And plant floodings and budding gardeners…

Let’s just pause here for a second cause MY ROSE FINALLY SHOWED OFF and she was so pretty.

Bentley officially went down in history as the BEST DOG!

Like seriously, the best.

And Sabrina won worst cat. I’ve literally been watching my delphiniums get sucked into the ground by those blasted gophers and there she is lazilly stretched out RIGHT NEXT TO THE CRUNCHING AND SUCKING of the plants! WORST kitty. But I did find a dead gopher next to that spot the next morning so maybe she’s good… one can’t really tell with her.

He’s such a ham <3

These boys and their little relationship. It’s the best.

Our yard finally went from this

To this! And our ankles rejoiced!

There were lots of popsicle breaks…

And days where I finally got to see my sister!!

Greg built me some compost bins!!!

We aren’t happy at all that he’s home all the time now :)

We became carrot farmers

And had the most glorious beach days

Greg kept making the most delicious basil gimlets from our garden! I feel like the homegrown basil obviously made all the difference ;) obviously.

We got our money’s worth out of our doggy pool.

^^Typical brother

And yet, he only has love for him <3

There were church distractions

And attempted sleeves

There was a chair that is not pictured but that is now infamous in our household. Is this another chair situation? he says. The story is, our house is very white. Too white. When we moved in we did not have much money and it was old and dirty and smelled so I bought a lot of the same white paint and went to town trying to freshen everything up. And it has stayed that way. And I always think, it’s too white. But I hate painting and I really do love the airiness of it… so I keep trying to think of ways to warm it up. Hence the “character chair” we shall call it. I thought, if we have a cool old chair, it will solve all our problems for the time being. So I found it. And it’s beautiful. And it’s from France from the 1800s and has cigarette burns all over it and is all things lovely… but while we were waiting for it to arrive, I started to look around. Our new pretty chair will feel so out of place in our stark white house! So I began to look for other things I can warm up… like this railing that was started in July and has yet to be finished. Cause my gosh that’s a long and messy project! And then the railing didn’t feel quite right so well then there was plastering to be done and then and then and then :D the chair.

And don’t you just love that scaffolding?? :) Makes me feel better about how I do things. So yes, Greg keeps cursing the chair that was promised to be “like putting on an old pair of loafers” and is the most uncomfortable thing you’ve ever sat in. Ha! But she’s so pretty… AND if you picture yourself in a corset in the 1800s, it would definitely seem mighty comfortable ;)

I sure love seeing their little relationships :)

Our yard went nuts this summer! It was glorious! There were so many buzzing bees and butterflies and hummingbirds all swirling around you! Ahhhh it was so magical! So magical that I hardly took any pictures :[ you couldn’t capture it though so you might as well enjoy it :)

Noah has been going through the stage of the open mouth :)

Lukie learned to swim! That kid is fearless.

Boys learned how to make farting sounds. Just kidding. Boys come out of the womb knowing that.

We got to go on a camping trip!!!

Obviously everyone stayed perfectly clean.

^^You know he was saying “Hai” in his very Noah way

This boy and his kisses for his dog <3 DEAR GOODNESS!!!

The world is her stage :)

Oh yes… it happens even on camping trips…

But what with the face…

Noah’s mouth :D

I did love setting our table. I felt so prairie. It felt so right :D

Bentley was obviously happiest of us all. He went nuts the first day. We all noticed he was moving a little slower by the second :) dear doggy.

This one had the best time dropping stones in the water for h o u r s! Seriously shocked he wasn’t burnt to a crisp!

Naps on towels…

Naps on Papi…

Naps on boats..

Papi took Lukie fishing again :):)

I think the fishing was more fun than the eating for him ;)

And then we came back the day the fires started. The skies turned red…

Just kidding that’s just a sunset. But my goodness the sky has been weird lately! Really eerie…

Luke split his head open and got his first stitches… bravest boy!

Abbie started kindergarten!!!

Mom and dad got evacuated which was really so much fun for us – probably not so much for them… We spent the time having hymn sing nights and watching foreign films about water going away!

Naturally, our well collapsed the next week and we had no water. Ha! Oh what a whirlwind :) But the good news is, there were some enormous trucks in our yard that the boys couldn’t get enough of…
We got three apples and two pears off our fruit trees haha…

I find pictures like this on my phone, and all my kids are still alive…

We are still busy making friends from train sets…

And forts from whatever else we can find!

Truth is, we are all just hanging in there. So thankful for His grace and provisions every single day. I’ve been so blown away by how personal our God is and how He provides for us so specifically. And what a cool place to be in – with all the craziness happening around us, we can either only go up from here or things are gunna get a whole lot worse and we have the most amazing hope that He will be returning soon! Either way, look up! Good things are coming :)


  1. Cindy Yahoo says

    That was the BEST one you’ve ever written!! So sweet, so funny, so moving! And the pictures – Awwww! Luke upside down! -or covered with marker- all three together reading! -Noah sitting on the dog!- Abby at the beach! Beautiful photography – no kidding PS: why didn’t you tell us about: Shingles, ( OH HONEY!) The magazine ( which month? Can we still buy a copy? ) and Luke at large -with a marker? (I’m pretty good with stains – would have LOVED to help you!) LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! Thanks Hilary ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. This was my favorite post of yours too and I think the reason why was it was so real. Even though you look about 853 times better crying in your kitchen than I do dressed up for church, (😂) I loved how relatable it was. 😁


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