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Five on Friday

Happy Friday! It’s been an interesting week around here! The North Carolina Governor announced the options for re-opening school in the fall, and then our school district announced their plan…

Similar to New York’s plan, schools will allow for 2 weeks of in-person instruction in the classroom at 50% capacity to learn the virtual learning process followed by remote learning indefinitely…

I honestly have no clue how we are going to handle remote learning for Caroline this time around. Our last virtual learning experience was honestly pretty terrible for many reasons, but the biggest challenge was trying to juggle two full time jobs plus homeschooling. I’ve learned teaching is definitely not my gift (although Matt was really patient and good at being a teacher) and Caroline really struggled with the social aspect of remote school and was reluctant to participate most days. While I’m beyond thankful to have a job that allows me to work remote, there are just not enough hours in the day to juggle roles as teacher, employee, cafeteria worker, guidance counselor, janitor, PE teacher and more. Our family got pretty run-down, agitated and burnt out with our last attempt at juggling work and remote learning so we’re scrambling to come up with a much better plan this time around!

Additionally, I’m incredibly concerned for all of the kids in our community who rely on school for meals or safety, who don’t have internet access or an adult at home to help them with remote learning, and who will ultimately be left behind. I’ve cried many tears throughout this pandemic as my heart breaks for these students. If you are aware of any initiatives to help, amazon wish lists, families we can sponsor, or organizations/schools seeking donations for school supplies or gift cards, please email me.

Lastly, I really liked this New York Times article “In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both.”

OK, moving on!

1. The Best (Local) Candles

I wanted to share this gorgeous citronella candle I recently received from Made By Kippen. This candle is a much prettier alternative to the ugly metal tins we were using previously and is the perfect decorative and useful addition to our porch to keep the bugs away. The geo bowl container is made out of concrete and can be turned into a planter after the candle has finished burning too! I highly recommend checking out Kippen’s shop. She has lots of indoor candle options with tons of incredible scents to pick from. We also received the salt+ orchid scented candle and it makes our home smell like we’re on vacation. It’s heavenly. Kippen hand pours every candle out of her home in Charlotte and uses high quality essential oils and cotton wicks.

2. Outdoor Peloton Runs

I’ve been rotating between lots of different workouts lately and accidentally started running using the Peloton app for outdoor power walks/runs! Spoiler — they are mostly running with a little walking. My friend Shannon and I share our favorite workouts back and forth and I loved this challenging walk/run with Olivia Amato she sent me that I completed earlier this week outside. I didn’t realize you can do the indoor treadmill workouts outside too, and they are actually way better than the “outdoor workouts” in the app. Also running related: I am really excited for this running belt to arrive so I don’t have to carry my phone on runs. And I am obsessed with this lightweight, quick-dry, stretchy running hat! It is amazing. Now I just need to find sunglasses that fit under it and don’t slide off my face constantly.

3. Porch Progress

Our porch construction is finally completed! I cannot believe it! We have two more coats of paint on the railings but we are crossing the finish line! Since my last update, we had the cabinets installed, granite installed, all of the AV was completed (hanging TV, speakers, etc.) and the Chippendale railings were completed! I am so excited with how it’s all come together! Now it’s time to decorate!

4. Everhart Masks

I wanted to share some really amazing masks I recently received from Everhart! They are lightweight, breathable and come in a ton of fun prints for the entire family! Highly recommend these — especially for all day wear. These homemade masks also help fund their donations to the children’s hospital of Orange County.

5. Matching Slides

A few weeks ago I purchased these adorable slides for the pool and have been wearing them non-stop! They are super comfortable and inexpensive. As soon as Caroline saw them she asked for a pair too. Even though her pair of slides are also from Walmart, they are a slightly different shade of pink but have a velcro backstrap that helps keep them snug. They are only $7 and there’s only a few left in stock!

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Leslie S

Monday 20th of July 2020

Hey! Same boat here, except our district has still not released the final plan. We have looked into an actual homeschooling plan rather than using the public school plan of “virtual learning”. We weren’t thrilled with the spring experience either. I have 3 in elementary school, 1 who is NOT an independent learner at all. So there are several homeschool curriculum. One that some of my friends has used is Abeka. It has actual virtual lessons by teachers and is mostly independent learning focused. Parental involvement is less, but Caroline is so young I’m not sure that would be the case? There is another called K-12. Anyways. Something to consider. God speed mommas! May we lift each other in prayer and be kind to one another this year!!


Monday 20th of July 2020

An idea I’ve had personally is hiring a HS or college student (I guess HS would depend on their school schedule & if it was flexible or not) part time to be with my daughter from 8am-noon M-F to assist with school & lunch so that I can work uninterrupted for those hours. Also, I do know that schools should still be providing meals. The district I work for has multiple stops throughout the city that the buses bring meals to for pickup! These include breakfast, snack, & lunch. I hope you know you’re not alone & everyone is feeling similar!


Friday 17th of July 2020

Your porch looks great! What did you end up thinking about screen squad? I live in the CLT area ND had them give us a quote for screening in out deck. We wanted to proceed, but they have been very unresponsive. It makes me hesitate to use them! I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


Friday 17th of July 2020

I appreciate you acknowledging that the fact that you are able to work remotely does NOT mean that assisting with virtual learning will be a breeze. Way too many people assume that just because you are "working from home," all you have to do is jump on some calls and send a few emails every day. That's just not true for so many jobs. I am an attorney, and a lawyer friend of mine recently put it perfectly -- "we're not working from home. we're living from work." I am tired of people telling me to be grateful for the "luxury" of working remotely, when what it really means is that none of it ever ends and I have the "luxury" of working around the clock because that's what it takes to get it all done. This sucks for everyone, and yet has devolved into the "who has it harder" and mom-shaming debate like everything else in parenting. It's so disheartening. Good luck; I know all too well the stress you're feeling right now.

Kaye Dobbs

Friday 17th of July 2020

For sure the article was written from a very PRIVILEGED viewpoint. My daughter works with a non-profit called WINGS (based out of Charleston, SC). There is only one program set up in NC and its at Thomasboro School, which is a Title One School. CMS and Verizon provide laptops and internet, they still get lunch (& breakfast for the next day), but the problem in these lower (less privileged) neighborhood, are so many of these children have very little support and some with very little supervision at home. While privileged families complain about having to work from home but these precious parents don’t even have a job, they have very little education let alone the expertise or education to help their children even link up for Zoom! My daughter has had parents who couldn’t fill out applications for the program bc they can’t read! YOUR CHILDREN will be fine(no matter what....but THESE precious children are the ones who will fall through the cracks even more than they normally do💔. Covid19 will continue to call us all to show how strong and resilient we can be and how to re-INVENT school & the workplace during this horrific pandemic. It will also test our ability to PROVE that we TRULY BELIEVE that “we are all connected!” We will have tremendous opportunity to SHOW that we believe in EQUALITY for all and that Black Lives REALLY DO MATTER TO US bc all of us make up our community and unity has to be #1 priority! There are so many ways we can join together to help these neighborhoods wha are truly in desperate need. I live in Burlington, NC there is a ministry here done through local church-Grove Park Baptist called GPALS . It is a backpack program where they collect donations (food basics/toiletry basics) from a list and then volunteers meet to pack the backpacks and normally send home food for the weekends to children who are need(im not sure if DSS provides the list or the school provides it.) But during covid19 since they were unable to send the backpacks home with the kids, they have been delivering them/no contact(leaving them on the porch or wherever they can!) They have also partnered with NC Farmers Market and they are providing fresh vegetables and dairy products! CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE what a witness that could be not only to these communities but to your children? Even if you didn’t want to deliver, you could help pack backpaks ❣️Charlotte has tons of ways to reach out and help these kids in low thriving areas. There are Social Workers available to work with local churches Or neighborhoods to engage them. Our daughter has a close friend who works with READ CHARLOTTE who work along side of organizations to help students . I recently read that when its cloudy & gray day, a sunflower doesn’t have sun to look up to so they FACE EACH OTHER and SHARE ENERGY.....can you imagine during all this chaos ....if us HUMANS would do the same🌻❣️🌻. Blessings to you and your family🌻 kaye