Anxiety, Decorating, Favorite Things, Life

Nesting and Routines

I’m doing better than I expected during this pandemic. I have bad days, but nothing like what I expected before all this started.

I honestly believe our home has a lot to do with it.

I’m grateful for everything that my home has done for me lately. It is currently tasked with keeping all of us safe, entertained, warm, healthy, and happy. However, it also has the responsibility of keeping my anxiety at an all-time low.

Last January, I described how an episode of Marie Kondo made me cry because she essentially suggests thanking your home for everything it does for you, including protecting you.

And boy, has it been keeping us safe for the last five weeks.

I didn’t always appreciate my home, despite what you may believe based on all of my DIY and decorating projects I’ve done over the years.

I was appreciating it on the surface, but I didn’t realize how much it was doing for our family. I’ve learned to be grateful for the fact that we even have a home at all, and I’m trying hard not to complain about being inside of it all the time.

Oh, my dear house, I’ve never been more thankful for you than I am right now. Thank you. I love you so much.

This happened to me on the first day of lockdown, and I felt compelled to document it for posterity

I enjoy routine. I even included it in my list of 100 Things I Love. It is how I retain my sanity in my environment, and with anxiety. Trying to keep the scary thoughts out of my mind is a lot easier when I have a routine. It’s my way of controlling things in an otherwise uncontrollable time.

When the girls were little, our routine was something we all looked forward to and almost craved.  When there was no routine, we all went off the proverbial rails.

Routine is part of what is saving me right now during the stay at home orders.

I keep busy Monday through Friday from the time I wake up until around four in the afternoon. During this time, I keep music on downstairs, no television. This is not to say the girls’ can’t watch television, but rather they watch it in my room or Anna watches on her laptop during the day after school is finished.

If they want to watch television downstairs, they are more than welcome to, but they also have their little routines as well, so it works for them too.

I am unable to sleep in, unfortunately, no matter what time I go to bed. I thought I might be able to start sleeping in every morning but alas, my body won’t let me. So after Mike leaves for work for the day, I write for several hours while the house sleeps. This has become one of the self-care routines that I love.

I usually exercise on the treadmill for an hour after or go for a walk with the dog or walk with Mike at a forest preserve near our home on his day off.

Then as the girls wake up, I make breakfasts, clean, put the dishes away, feed the animals, do laundry, homeschool and so on. I call my mom as I am drinking my afternoon coffee, and then try to take Buddy for another afternoon walk before starting dinner and eating together at the end of the day, followed by Mike and I binge-watching something distracting until bedtime.

Woman in White Bed Holding Remote Control While Eating Popcorn

But on Saturdays, I have my “Luke’s dark day”. If you’ve never watched Gilmore Girls, you won’t understand, but essentially one of the characters (Luke) has a dark day every year on the anniversary of his dad’s passing, November 30th.

My dark day is nothing of that sort, but rather the one day a week during this lockdown where I let myself sit in my feelings, binge eat, binge watch and just lay around the entire day. No routine, no schedule, no nothing. Mike works every Saturday and while it isn’t normally my favorite day of the week in normal time, it is during this time that Saturdays just suck more than normal for me.

I don’t shower on Saturdays, I don’t eat anything healthy on Saturdays, I don’t intermittent fast on Saturdays, I don’t exercise on Saturdays, I don’t cook on Saturdays.

I just. Don’t.

At first, I felt guilty having this day. I felt like I should be mothering more, cleaning more, cooking more, or doing something more. But with each new Saturday that came around, I would look forward to being lazy. It became my secret guilty pleasure.

Within a pandemic, I was actually excited about something.

It has been while we’ve been locked inside that I thought  I might miss all of this. This not having anywhere to be, this not feeling guilty for eating cereal for dinner, this jammies all day long.

I almost don’t want to say it out loud, missing it. But I will miss it.

The time I had both of my daughters just up the stairs.

The time I got an extra couple of months with my oldest.

The time the four of us sat downstairs and watched conspiracy theory YouTube videos while eating Doritos from the bag. When making homemade cookies was the highlight of the day, or ordering takeout was met with such glee, it almost felt like Christmas.

There are many aspects that I will never miss of this time, but I will never forget the good stuff.

And how all of it happened within the walls of our own home.

While a virus raged outside, during a pandemic lockdown.

22 thoughts on “Nesting and Routines”

  1. YES to all of this.
    My situation is different than yours, (no kids, no winter) but I know there are things that I will miss too. I’m a natural home-body, so this has been pretty easy on me. (not to say I don’t worry about others who are out there working, or sick or worse)
    I love routine too and yours seems to work just perfectly for you and your family. I also have music on all day and I don’t usually put the TV on until I start making dinner or after we eat.
    I LOVE your green front door and your home overall looks comfy and cozy; you’re doing a great job Mama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a homebody too and didn’t realize I was until this situation happened! I mean, I always kind of knew deep down I was a homebody but this cements it. 😂

      Even my oldest daughter who has homebody tendencies but is very social at her core, is enjoying this even though she probably wouldn’t admit it.

      My youngest is a homebody and now she’s starting to go a little stir crazy which I find funny.

      I love that green door so much. I open it first thing in the morning so that I can see it all day long. 💚


  2. Your home is beautiful and I can see why you love it. Now that we are living at home every day I’m grateful that I’m an interior design groupie, having put together a comfortable nest for us. As for routine, I think you’re right. With my husband keeping 8 to 5 weekday hours, working from home, we have a routine superimposed on us. If we didn’t I think we’d flounder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband works from home and I know you’ve mentioned your husband is still out there working in it. How are you holding up? As sick as I am of my husband right now, I can’t imagine having added stress of him being out there everyday. Because YOU are on the front lines everyday too. So I completely understand why you need to have routine.

    I love your home. It is so comforting and I’m sure your daughters feel that way even if they never say it. You have created a haven for your family. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m doing surprisingly well. I have days where I melt down but mostly it’s because I’m worried for him. But I sympathize with those of you who have your spouses home. 😂😂

      Aww thank you! I love our haven so much. ❤️


  4. Oh Kari, I love this. I am so so so grateful for this time and I know that comes from a place of privilege – we have plenty of room for us to sprawl out in, I don’t have to worry about how the mortgage is going to be paid, I have internet and an abundance of hobbies (and the materials for them). I’m glad you are too. I know that doesn’t mean there isn’t anxiety or fear or frustration, but it’s so nice that we can have both. Xoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hear you on all of this…loving and appreciating your home, craving routine, the anxiety, the allowing yourself time to binge watch and eat. Routine helps my anxiety, too. So, at first, this whole pandemic thing really threw me for a loop. Because it was different. I’m feeling myself settling a little bit more into it now, although I have my days where I’m like, “THIS TOTALLY SUCKS!” and it’s because I’m missing my family and friends. I miss my yoga class. I miss running to Home Goods to look for something new and pretty for my home.

    My hubby is still working too and he’s gone long hours. Sometimes I enjoy the solitude (I’m an introvert) and other times I get a little lonely.

    Love and hugs to you…and can’t wait to hug you in person once again!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt overwhelmed at first. Like it was the end of the world. Or at least the end of our world as we know it (REM WAS RIGHT).

      But it’s amazing how I’ve adapted. I never thought I would, so that is something to be grateful for.

      I can’t wait to hug you too. ❤️


  6. What a beautiful home! I will miss some of this when I have to go back to my old routine…getting up WAY too early to get to the office. I have found that I honestly don’t “need” to be in the office for more than a couple of hours a week. And I am enjoying the quiet house during the week – I don’t love that my husband has to go to work; but dear God, if he was able to work from home, I would have buried him in the backyard by now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No wonder you love your house – it is so lovely. Really. And neat and tidy and clean. I think my routine is missing the cleaning detail that you are managing to maintain. I clean up at times but dear God, they destroy it in a nanosecond. This morning there were huge chunks of Doritos on the family room floor. Like, Lad didn’t even try to clean it up. I refuse to touch the Doritos so they are undoubtedly still there.

    I honestly will miss the relaxed pace -I enjoy not having to race to Irish dancing and all the regular stuff, and babysitting will one day pop back up and be challenging I am trying to embrace the little things that I get to do right now like update my photo albums. OK this is a big reason no one is getting photos of the inside of my house – in addition to all the e-learning corners everyone has carved out for themselves- paperwork, chargers, textbooks, ka-pow! It is just not pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Friend, you have SIX kids! That’s three times the children I have! There would be no way my home could be clean if I had four more kids. And these pictures were taken on a GOOD day because my girls are not tidy 😂😂.

      The running around isn’t being missed here either. I miss the activity for Ellie but I don’t miss the actual driving to and from.


  8. Aw, Kari–I love these glimpses of your home. It is everything you told me you want your house to be–warm, cozy, and full of life. It looks real, in the best way. I LOVE your green door. I have been painting my living room walls white for the past week or so, and now I think the inside of the front door needs to be a fabulous color to break up all that white and shoot some life into that room.

    I am with you on really liking some aspects of this time. I know I’m not entirely good with it. I can hardly stand Facebook any more, because the glimpse of some higher humanity I saw in the first week or so of this has completely deteriorated into the same kind of stupid, pointless, counter-productive, divisive crap that it was full of prior to this. Only it feels worse now. (See: not entirely good.) But I love the slower pace. I love the sanity that has infused my day-to-day. It is helping me see what parts of my life weren’t working and how much they weren’t working. Not sure what I can do about that yet, but it’s all good information.

    I’m so glad you have this time with your girls. Reading about it makes me miss mine, but she’s supposed to be coming home (for who knows how long) in mid-May. I think we should always be glad for whatever gifts life gives us. Doesn’t mean you aren’t fully aware of the tragedy and that others don’t have what you do or that you should feel guilty for what you have. Life is pretty much always a mix of gift and burden. Gotta embrace the gifts, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A mix of gift and burden. That is perfect. Embracing the gifts are important now more than ever. It is making this time tolerable.

      I am struggling with Facebook too. I adore the private blog group so much but have had to unfollow so many people because of garbage. People who I thought I knew sharing garbage. It is disheartening. But since unfollowing so many people, the majority of posts in my feed are memes from the group. Silver lining. ❤️


  9. First, your home is so beautiful. I love how you decorated it ❤️

    Second, I hear you so much on this extra time with the kids. Sometimes it’s maddening lol but I still hadn’t adjusted to longer hours of them being away this school year. Sad mama (and they were the same). And now I get at least an extra month of time where there is no commute or soccer practice or whatever else that is keeping them busy and away. It always feels like they’re growing up too fast, and now we get to slow down a bit in a way that isn’t possible during summer even, with all of the camps and trips. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! We’ve lived here 15 years this summer but it feels like this has been my home forever. 💕

      I have to say, I’m positive I would feel differently if my kids were toddlers. For real. People who have toddlers at home are the real heroes right now. But it is good to have time when we aren’t running around all the time. I think all of that makes life so much more stressful and having nowhere to be isn’t such a bad thing after all.


  10. How are your floors impossibly shiny?! And it’s weird isn’t it, the things we find pleasure in and then feel guilty for feeling pleasure. For the first time in my life I don’t feel pressured to be doing more than I am. And this is HUGE. I just don’t feel bad about it. I don’t feel bad about the brownie sundae I had for lunch yesterday, or the fact that I popped on the computer at 8:52 to answer a work message and comment on this post. I am just more forgiving with myself, and reading your post helped me understand why. It’s the warm blanket that I am wrapping around myself. It’s ok to be ok with certain parts of this horror show. It’s ok to not be ok all the time. I’m so very thankful that we have this space to connect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The floors aren’t clean, they just give the illusion of clean. They’re laminate, the shine is probably just built in. 😂

      More forgiving! Yes! That’s exactly it. We honestly needed this as horrible as it is to say because we don’t at all need hundreds of thousands of deaths around the globe. But we did need to stop. To be aware. To get the planet healthy. To put things in perspective. Those who are suffering aren’t suffering in vain. We are getting a bigger message.

      I am so thankful for this space, your space, the Facebook group. All of it. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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