Part III.

Continuing my Year in Review. The Fun Fall.

Eventually, the USTA ruled that tennis was safe to play outdoors, provided proper protocols were followed. I gladly followed them and returned to the courts ASAP.

We celebrated birthdays and milestones. September through November are packed with them. This year’s events were small, but fun and full of heart. Steve turned 50. We enjoyed the celebration, even if the balloons failed to show.

Halloween was muted, but the kids did hit a few houses in the neighborhood. Most people just left buckets of candy on the porch and kids took a couple of pieces. It wasn’t perfect, but we avoided crowds and lines.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving at home, though we dearly missed being with friends and having family join us. The food still rocked, though.

We all acquired new skills, whether they were dealing with all things virtual or learning to climb rocks or help others do so. Projects were started, many were even finished before the stroke of midnight tonight. Others are still ongoing, but it’s all good, at least they’re going!

Instead of traveling too far, we decided to make the house even more fun. (See if you can guess this “ongoing” project in the pics below!)

Steve and I even enjoyed a mini getaway to San Marcos, just the two of us. A beautiful city that gave us many happy memories. Go Bobcats!

Grammy joined us in December to ride out the remainder of the year. We’ve already had a lot of fun together making treats, taking a short day trip to Galveston, and just chilling at home.

That just about wraps up the year that wasn’t. It looks pretty good from where I sit. I know it hasn’t been easy for everyone and nearly every single human has felt the strain of COVID in some way. My hope for next year is that we can find our way through this, as a planet, and as a society. We are all humans, all of us, and we all deal with challenges and opportunities in different ways. Let’s remember our individualities and take care of our collective selves. Let’s celebrate joyful days and provide comfort to those who need it.

May you and your families enjoy a safe and happy New Year celebration and may good health and love see you through the next year.

Bye for now. xo

Part II.

Continuing my year in review. Enjoy!

J’s first ride in an ambulance (mine, too).

In February, my son had to have an emergency appendectomy (is there any other kind?). That was exciting. Back when we were able to be there in the hospital to support and comfort our family members in distress. He made it through without issue, but it certainly wasn’t as fun as he makes it appear in the picture from the ambulance. Our house is down to one appendix. Unless animals have them? I don’t think so. Anyway.

We spent January and February worrying about if and when the virus would reach us. But, ever the intrepid (or perhaps not very bright) travelers, my son and I traveled to New York City over spring break. We saw the last show of Hamilton on Broadway. We took the subway and the Staten Island Ferry and touched things that other people had touched. A lot. We used hand sanitizer when we could, but it hadn’t become a staple yet. I was concerned, especially because we were staying with a friend and I didn’t want our actions to jeopardize her or her partner’s lives, and at the time upstate New York was dealing with the virus pretty heavily and it was making its way to the City. It still seemed a little unrealistic then that we as a nation would be where we are today, so we made the best choices we could at the time. We chose fun. I introduced my teenager to Indian food. We didn’t hit the “best places” in the city for it, but we had a great meal that afternoon, and now the boy asks for Indian food often. Score. The day we flew home was the day they shut down Manhattan for all intents and purposes. But, the four days we spent there are still with me. As expected, really.

Hamilton.
J tries Indian food!

Just one more anchor in my life holding me to New York. We moved there just under twenty years ago. If you had told me then that I would one day have all that is New York coursing through my veins, all the grit, all the glamour, all the noise and busyness, all the adventure and fear and natural and manmade beauty, and art and joy and love, and food, so much food, and the people, from everywhere and right there, with different views and ways of expressing themselves all cohabitating with relative ease, I would’ve scoffed. I had been excited to move there, but I wasn’t convinced I’d love it. Now, it lives in me. We went through Hell. We came out the other side. We got married there. I threw roots down that I didn’t know I had. They’re still there, waiting for me to come back. I hope.

No, really, we did. Just from the Staten Island Ferry.
We saw the Statue of Liberty.

Annnyyyyway, enough about my love for New York.

After that we learned all about virtual learning. New terms and ideas seeped into our vocabulary and daily lives: synchronous, asynchronous, virtual learning vs homeschooling (they’re not the same), proper mask etiquette and protocols, how long to wash your hands so that it actually counts, social distancing, face-to-face vs virtual academies, grab-n-gos, virtual learning platforms (and all the headaches associated with those), navigating not only learning subject content but how to find it and upload it and show your teachers you’ve understood it. Zoom took over our lives. And we went through so much printer ink.

Then summer hit and we were all bored. We made the most of it, seeing friends outside when we could, or over zooms or gaming and social media platforms when we couldn’t. Our family took a short trip and wore masks and kept our distance and washed our hands. Doing our best to balance living our lives with the protocols of the new normal all while keeping the safety of ourselves and others ever-present in our thoughts and actions.

And of course, I played tennis. When the pandemic first hit our area I stopped playing with other people. I trained on my driveway – my sloped driveway – and hit balls against the not-at-all flat brick walls of my house. I learned how to react quickly when the ball doesn’t go where you’re expecting it to. Silver linings abound.

Part I.

I guess it’s that time of year where we talk about all the great and terrible things that happened in our lives over the last twelve months.

I’m not sure if you guys have heard, but there was a virus. And an election. And calls for change through social justice reform. All in one year. Oh, and wildfires. Nearly WWIII. And who can forget the murder hornet hoax. C’mon. Hornets? That murder. Methinks you’ve all seen My Girl too many times.

Okay, I jest, especially about that last one. I do not want to meet any murder hornets. Any hornets, actually.

So, what happened in my life? Well, we rang in the new year, you know, the one full of hope and awesomeness, because how could anything called 2020 – perfect vision, for crying out loud – be anything other than perfect?—We rang in that New Year in Colorado. It was a great night. Clear. Cold. Beautiful fireworks. Surrounded by my family. It started off so well.

I published my first book, Turning Point (technically, it went live on December 28, 2019, but we’ll call it 2020). I met my goal of 100 copies sold in the first year, so I feel pretty good about it. It’s a fun story and I enjoyed writing it; I call that a win. I would love sales to be higher, but honest truth? Marketing drains me, especially social media marketing. I’m afraid of doing something wrong or offending someone with how I say things, so I worry for hours over things that shouldn’t take nearly so long. So I haven’t been full on or even very consistent with my marketing game. It’s okay, it’s kind of my M.O. I am hoping to put another book out before summer 2021, you know, if we don’t go full on civil war/zombie apocalypse before then.

In the mean time, if you bought my book, THANK YOU, sincerely. If you liked it, well that’s even better. You can look forward to more of Alice’s nocturnal adventures very soon.

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