Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020: What A Year

There are a lot of words that can sum up 2020-but I try and keep this blog family friendly, so I won't post any of them. I have no excuse for not posting since February- it's not like I was too busy going out with friends, or traveling, or doing anything "normal". It just goes to show, a person can be lazy even during a pandemic when there is nothing else to do but stay home.

So, I decided to end 2020 with a recap of my year and how I coped during all of this craziness. That being said, I do hope that everyone is doing well and staying safe. 

I last posted in February, and until about March 16, things were going "as normal" as they could. I had already planned out my annual baseball trip with my friend Lisa and I was going to see a Padres game in late March when I was on a business trip in San Diego. I also had a front row ticket to see the Monkees on their 50th Anniversary Tour, and I had tickets to see Julie Andrews speak. Oh, if I had only known what was in store for us this year.

Feb. 28-Mar 1: I worked at my first comic con show in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was a lot of fun- and I even got time to meet some of the guests who attended. My friend Donna was the organizer of it, and I hope one day we can start having cons in person again because I would love to volunteer at another one.

Top left (clockwise): Guy Gilchrist (cartoonist for many things, including Muppet Babies and Fraggle Rock); Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie); volunteers of the con with actor John Wesley Shipp; John Wesley Shipp (best known as Dawson's dad on Dawson's Creek); Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle on Little House on the Prairie). 

Mar. 7-8: I went to San Antonio for my first half-marathon- the one that I trained like four months for. My sweet friend Corina decided the week before to go with me (and I'm so glad she did, she kept me from giving up when I felt I was in over my head). We got there the day before and visited the Alamo (because that's what you do in San Antonio) and we had dinner with my Aunt Beth. We stayed at the Menger Hotel (which is supposedly haunted), but we sadly didn't see any ghosts. The half-marathon actually went very well. It was nice having a friend there with me. She is an expert at races and gave me a lot of good advice. She also told me to suck it up when I started complaining. Lol. We were able to stop in Austin on our way home, and I got to see my BFF Mandy for the first time in over two years. It was a great trip. 

Why yes, I did have Alamo socks for the Alamo Half Marathon. Also, I bought that red cap at the Alamo, and it is one of my favorite caps now. I wear it a lot when I'm out jogging or walking (you'll see it in many more photos). 

Monday March 16 is when things started to change. We heard rumors going around the office that different departments would work from home one day a week, and by the end of day, we were told we would work from home that Wednesday. I got a call that night from my supervisor that we would work from home Tuesday and Wednesday. By Wednesday afternoon, we were told we would be at home for the rest of the week. And then by Friday, we were told we would be working from home until further notice. I never imagined that in December, we would still be working from home. To be honest, I love working from home. I like that I can wear my "daytime pajamas". I also feel I'm more productive and I get more accomplished during the day. 

My company still offered free flu shots, so I went up to the building for that in September. They had socially distanced areas set up out front of the building for the flu shots. It was well organized. I did go back into the building for the first time since March a few weeks later so I could sign a retirement card for a coworker. I went by my desk and it was how I had left it- with my calendar still on March. It was weird. Lol.

So, what all did I do to pass the time in 2020? I took a LOT of photos while wearing masks.

I also took unmasked selfies. 

I got excited when I was cleaning under my sink in April and found two new bottles of cleaning supplies. Lol.

I also stocked up on Elderberry to keep my immune system in good shape. I had started taking it in February to make sure I stayed healthy for my half-marathon. 

Since all in person races were canceled, I signed up for a lot of virtual 5Ks, and three virtual 10Ks. For those not familiar with virtual races, you sign up and they send you the shirt, bib, and medal, and then you log in your time once you are done. Yes, it's all on the "honor system", but if I'm spending money on a race, I'm going to complete it and earn that medal. Lol.

After spending 11 weeks alone in my apartment, I was able to safely go see some of my family for my birthday in May. Let me tell you, 11 weeks without a hug was almost the death of me. My sweet kiddos made sure Aunt Rachel got plenty of hugs that weekend to make up for it.

I did more eating at home this year, but I made sure to support local businesses by during curbside pickup every so often. You can probably guess the three places I supported the most. Lol.

When restaurants opened back up (to limited capacity), I did make a trip to Norma's Cafe (as you can tell, I was very excited). I have felt very safe and comfortable the several times I've had a meal there during this time. 

Since I was eating at home more, I was excited to get a Mandoline from Tupperware, which slices and dices vegetables (I love cooking veggies in my air fryer). It was all fun and games until I sliced opened my thumb. **insert face palm emoji**. Thankfully I didn't have to go get stitches (this was decided after sending a lot of photos to my niece, who is a nurse, and she told me how to take care of it and that it didn't need stitches). I'll spare you a photo of the actual injury. For those wondering, it has healed quit nicely. And yes, I have even used the Mandoline since then. 

By early summer, I was finally able to see some friends in person. Well, I could see their eyes since we had masks on, but it was better than nothing. 

I also worked on some crafts during the year (I should have worked on more, but again, laziness took over). I am leaving out photos of some of the crafts because they are gifts I haven't delivered to friends yet. The top two wreaths are ones I made for my apartment. The bottom wreath is one I made for my neighbor because I noticed he didn't have a Christmas wreath up. The map at the top are all the states that I've visited, I have four left to go to. I have a photo of me in each state. The bottom photo is a tissue box cover that I made for a friend- his bathroom has a Batman theme.

When I wasn't working on crafts, I spent time working on jigsaw puzzles. I don't have a table, so I have a large foam board I use for puzzles, The only problem is that I forget I can't sit on the floor too long, and my back will start to hurt. Getting old is horrible. Lol.

My folks, oldest sister, and I took a short trip to Galveston in August. We were able to social distance on the beach for a day and it was very relaxing (the closest people were over 200 yards from us).

My dad and I recreated a photo we took when I was seven. :)

I also took a stab at baking during the pandemic (despite being a walking disaster in the kitchen). I know, this is a shocker for anyone who knows me. I'm by no means ready for my own cooking show, but I've had fun. 

I shared my political opinions on social media.

If you know me, you know this is as political as I get. I hate politics. Lol.

Two friends and I went to the town of Jefferson over Labor Day weekend for a little getaway. It's a cute town and we had a lot of fun. We went on a ghost tour and stayed in a haunted hotel, but again, I saw no ghosts. I was kinda bummed, maybe next time I'll see something. But, we did meet a professional paranormal investigator- Jeromy Jones. He and his wife bought and now own the Jefferson Hotel. I plan to stay there next time I visit Jefferson. 

So, my college roommate Mel and I went to New Orleans for Spring Break our senior year. We realized when we got home that we didn't get a photo by the Louisiana state sign, so 20 years later, we got a photo by it. Lol.

Meeting Jeromy Jones

We also went to the town of Elysian Fields (which isn't far from Jefferson). This town was founded by my great great great great-grandfather, so I wanted to go by and see it.

I also did a day trip to Waco with these same friends in October (to celebrate Mel's birthday). We went to the Waco Mammoth National Monument, Dr Pepper Museum, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. It was a lot of fun. I did put my hand on the wall of the Dr Pepper Museum like I was entering the Promised Land (and yes, I used hand sanitizer afterward). Lol. 

My alma mater's Homecoming was all done virtually-they mailed alumni these Homecoming decorations and supplies so we could celebrate at home. It was the 175th anniversary of our school, and we were supposed to have a big celebration. Maybe we can do that next year. And yes, that cake mix and icing is what I used for the cupcakes in the baking photo above.

The State Fair of Texas was canceled but they did have a drive thru option. It was a lot of fun, and I have to admit that I liked being able to get a photo with Big Tex without a lot of people in the background. They had it set up very well. The entry ticket got you a photo with Big Tex, lots of food, a drink, and a Midway game prize (AKA a stuffed animal). I really enjoyed it. And yes, I did my annual photo of my corny dog with ketchup so I could cause great controversary on social media. Lol.

Even though there were more important matters going on, I was sad that we didn't have in person sports, especially since it was the inaugural season of the Rangers new ballpark. Not only was baseball season shortened, but then fans weren't allowed in to see the games. At least, not until the NLCS and World Series, which were played at the new Globe Life Field (sadly the Rangers weren't playing, but hey, I got to see live baseball). I was able to attend a game of the NLCS and the World Series. They only sold 11,000 tickets and they were sold in pods of four- you had to buy four (it was to keep people by people they knew). They had the seats not sold zip-tied together so people couldn't move around to other seats. And we had to wear a mask unless we were eating or drinking. The Braves were in the NLCS, so my first photo in the new Rangers ballpark is of me wearing my Steve Avery shirtsey. :) The new ballpark is nice and I'm sure it will grow on me, but I do miss the old one.

Like a lot of other people, I did online church for the first time ever. My church has done a great job during this time. After watching the "Big Church" service, my Sunday School class would meet via Zoom. Yes, I still call it Big Church, I don't know what else to call it. The church held our spring food drive back in April- but instead of dropping supplies off in boxes inside the church, like we usually do, we did a "drive by" food drive. A church staff member (wearing a mask and wearing gloves) took the canned goods from our trunk or back seat and then left a packet that included our Good Friday communion (Lord's Supper to you fellow Southern Baptists). We did about six months of only online services before the church opened back up (to strict guidelines). Rows are spaced further apart and you can only sit next to someone who lives in your house. **Cue the song "All By Myself" playing as I sit alone on my row.** They also limit how many people are allowed in each service. Masks are required to enter and they recommend no handshakes or hugs, only elbow bumps. (**Full disclosure: there are a few members who are okay with hugging so I totally hug them- with masks on of course**). 

Some photos from the Spring food drive "drive by". Also, for Easter Sunday, I actually got all dressed up for online services. And yes, I gave myself an Easter basket. My mom was upset that I was going to miss coming home for Easter, so I bought stuff so I could have a basket. Like I need an excuse to buy chocolate. 

Going to church looks a little different right now

The non-profit I work with (Who Needs Sleep) was able to hold our 4th annual 36-hour telethon, despite the pandemic. We limited staff members to only about seven of us, and all guests had to wear a mask until they were on stage. It was a big success and we raised over $5,000 for two local cancer-related charities. 

So, it might not be as exciting as previous year recaps, but I can't complain too much about 2020. It's made me appreciate the little things in life- and what I've taken for granted. I hope after all of this we all can be better versions of ourselves.

Happy New Year to you all and I hope 2021 brings you happiness, blessings, and peace. 

Much love,


Thursday, February 13, 2020

It's Ok!

It's OK...

...that I only updated my blog once last week (and so far just once this week). I've already posted more in seven weeks than I did ALL of last year.

...that the Renegades didn't win their season opener, I still had a blast at my first XFL game. I had field access before the game and the atmosphere was amazing. Fans seem super excited about the new league. :)

...that I needed a night out on Tuesday and went to the Stars game with some friends. Thanks to Uballn for the AMAZING tickets. Side note-if you are into pickup basketball, check out their app here. They are awesome!

...that I stopped in the middle of my run last weekend for this photo op (it's a giant baseball glove, why would I NOT stop?) :)

...that I'm less than five visits away from achieving Red Status for ANOTHER year on my Chick Fil-A app.

...that I will legit weep the whole time I'm there if I'm able to score a ticket to see Julie Andrews when she is in Dallas in June. Fingers crossed that I can get one!

What's OK with you today?


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving...

...that the XFL starts this weekend. I'm excited about the new(ish) league and I really hope it succeeds this time around. I became a season ticket holder for the Dallas Renegades and I look forward to their home opener on Sunday. They had a kick off party last weekend where fans could see the new field at Globe Life Park (it still looks weird having a football field instead of a baseball diamond). Fans were also able to mingle with the coaches and players for autographs and photos.

Renegades head coach Bob Stoops

View from my season ticket holder seat
Former Cowboys player Daryl "Moose" Johnston. He is now the Director of Player Personnel for the Renegades.

...that I'm back to regular training for my half marathon. I did 6.5 miles on Saturday afternoon. I walked it, just to see what my time would be if I wasn't able to run any of the half. Not a great time, but I would still finish the half in the allotted time allowed, even if I walked the whole thing. I'm still freaking out a little about it, but not as much.

...that I was able to watch the Super Bowl with some amazing friends last Sunday. And yes, I wore a baseball themed shirt to a Super Bowl party. It was a lot of fun. I was cheering for the Chiefs (their quarterback is a Texas guy) so I was glad that they won!

...that actress Marilu Henner started following me on Twitter this week. :)

...that my friend got me this authentic All Star game jersey while on vacation a few weeks ago.

...that one of my favorite authors released a new book this week. I've been listening to the audiobook version. It's VERY good!

What are YOU loving today?