Hey guys, and welcome back to Swingsets & Snapshots!
Let’s be honest, many of us are not thrilled at the prospect of returning to school this year – and that’s not only the normal back-to-school dread, but the thought of returning to school online. Those of you who are able to attend school in-person are very fortunate!
I’ve finally decided to reveal a bit more of my personal life on my blog so I have a place to talk about it. So if you didn’t guess by the title of this post, I’m a senior this year.
Ooh, I just got goosebumps.
To me, and everyone who graduated this spring/is graduating next spring, our senior years look absolutely NOTHING like we imagined them to be. Sports are functioning outside-only, so no real swim practice for me. There’s no homecoming dance or football game. We didn’t have our junior prom, and it’s almost guaranteed we won’t have our senior prom, either.
I realize that doing school online is difficult for everyone, no matter what grade they’re in. But having to do senior year online adds an extra little touch of difficulty and loss. There’s a lot the Class of 2021 is missing out on.
I’m sure I’ll be talking about this more as the school year goes on but I wanted to start the post off like this so it’ll make more sense when I talk about what classes I’m in. And without further ado, here’s my school supplies setup for the 2020-21 school year!
Our district set up our schedules very differently this year. No one is taking for than three classes in a quarter. We will be taking the same classes first and third quarter and second and fourth quarter. We also have to do a semester’s worth of work in a quarter so we can do the whole year’s material in a total of one semester. Confusing, right?
My schedule for first and third quarter (the schedule I’ll be starting the year with) is as follows:
1st period – Algebra 2 (I already took this class as an underclassman but I’m retaking it just because I want to solidify my basic math skills before college)
2nd period – AP Literature & Composition (the only class I think will be remotely challenging)
3rd period – Forensics (I absolutely LOVE the teacher I have for this class and I’m so excited!)
I also have my ASL 4 class which is not through the school district, as well as another work-at-my-own-pace required class called Alaska Studies.
Second and fourth quarter, the only scheduled class I am in is AP French. (Second quarter I’ll still have AK Studies and I’ll have ASL 4 the entire year through).
I don’t really think you guys honestly care about my schedule that much but I’m putting here just in case you’re curious. 🙂
Here’s the little setup I have on the left side of my desk – a basket for books I don’t yet have, my binder, my planner, and my school supplies.
This year, I’m decorating my binder with stickers!
My planner is blue and pink tie-dye. The image is cropped because my name is on it and I honestly can’t figure out how to blur it out. Does anyone have recommendations for websites where I can blur names?
The inside of my binder – I have stickers for inside the planner tucked into a pocket. You can see my tabs and pencil pouch as well.
This is what my desk currently looks like. 🙂
School-related update coming soon, probably at the end of next week.
When do you start school? How are you feeling about it? Let’s chat in the comments below!
Better late than never, right? I got to mid-June and realized that I still needed to do my post for May and basically decided to combine them. May was pretty slow and basically nothing happened anyway, so if I add in June there are more stories to tell. 🙂
So May was kinda cool, I celebrated my birthday and was able to have some friends over to hang out in the backyard with me. We played Heads Up! and ate cupcakes and it was overall very fun. I’ve gotten to see my friends a lot more and reconnect and do a ton of activities outside so that’s a big yay!
Recently my friends and I have been hammocking a ton with our lovely Eno hammocks. We bike on some of the trails in town and then go off the trail and into the woods and usually get eaten alive by mosquitoes, but it’s all in good fun. We just have to remember to take bug spray.
Quarantine is pretty much coming to a close in Alaska. Our state reopened so we can go to restaurants, shops, and pretty soon, church. My family in general still isn’t eating out (unless it’s something like pizza) or doing shared food which is slightly awkward at barbecues but oh well. Unfortunately, a lot of cities have had to mandate masks because literally NO ONE wears them so that’s blown up and sparked a ton of debates in my state. At least we can be safe inside now.
My family decided to have me and my brother stop going to youth group though, because a lot of people at my church are way too comfortable getting way too close to other people. That’s really sad to me because now I can’t hang out with my friends at my youth group or help out with the younger kids at our middle school youth group. But I’d rather be safe than sorry, you know?
Ski training continues! I’m hiking, downhill biking, doing core exercises, and rollerskiing to prep for swim and ski season. (That reminds me, today is interval day 😉 I think all of my training is really paying off and I feel a lot stronger . . . plus when I flex in the mirror I actually look kind of muscular . . . don’t tell anyone. 😂 I went rollerskiing with a few guy friends the other day and one of them got their pole stuck in a storm drain and it snapped in half . . . so stuff like that happens. Oops.
– Storytime 😬
My brother and dad and I are very into downhill mountain biking and we go all the time. For a while, we were going around five nights a week. About four weeks ago, my dad sent it a little too hard on a jump and the back of his bike hit him from behind and he went down really hard. I was right behind him, so I braked really hard, almost running into him, and helped him pull his bike off the trail. Later that night, at around midnight, I heard this huge crash from upstairs and I got out of bed. Turns out, my dad had a HUGE bruise on his lower stomach and the blood had drained out of his head and to his stomach, causing him to pass out. What worse is he pulled my mom’s dresser on top of himself as he fell, and it was on half of his body. My mom called 911 and eight paramedics showed up at our house with an ambulance and two fire trucks. It was extremely scary, but my dad didn’t need surgery or anything. And now he’s back to biking, although he has to go kind of slow and be careful.
So that was our excitement for June!
– The good stuff
I went camping with one of my friends and her family and my family the other week and it was super nice to not have to social distance with them as much . . . their family is super careful like ours so we’re more comfortable around each other 🙂
The weather has been amazing, it hit 75 on the Fourth of July!
Speaking of the Fourth, I had a massive food coma . . .
We did do takeout for something other than pizza for Father’s Day – we got Thai food, and it was DELICIOUS after four months of not eating it (although the time before that I got food poisoning, so it was a nice little break, lol)
We sold our old minivan and now my Subaru has an actual parking spot in the driveway 😂
I redid the photo light string in my room, the one you can check out in this post, with updated pictures of this last school year!
I GOT CHACOS FOR MY BIRTHDAY (those are shoes, by the way, lol)
– May / June favorites
What I’ve been listening to:
“Summer Feelings” by Lennon Stella ft. Charlie Puth
“Miracles” by Colton Dixon
“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink
“Savage Love” by Jason Derulo
all of Gabby Barrett’s album, “Goldmine”
Shows I’ve been binging:
Dead to Me
Books I’ve been reading:
the Scythe series by Neal Shustermann
re-reading the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber
Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson
not a ton of reading this month, unfortunately . . .
That’s about it for May and June! I hope everyone in the US had an amazing Fourth of July!
How’s everyone’s summer going? Are your quarantine restrictions lifting? How was your Fourth of July?
Well, we made it. April and quarantine month #2! I don’t know how it went for y’all, but this month was definitely a lot better than March, which was basically an emotional roller coaster. I’m going to model this month’s wrapper-y post somewhat like last month – quarantine edition!
(End boring intro)
So obviously, our school closure that was supposed to end by May 1st changed to being the entire year. The tedious routine of going to school is never something I thought I would miss, but I do. For my friend’s birthday, a bunch of us went over to her front yard and stayed apart and talked for awhile. And today, I went over to another friend, A’s, house and (staying ten feet apart and wearing masks) we filmed a video for our youth group challenge. After we did the first take, my A’s little sister pointed behind us and yelled “moose!” And sure enough, there was a cow running up the lawn (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a female moose). We scattered quickly as A’s mom started yelling at the moose to not eat her tulips.
For April Fool’s Day, my friend D and I played a prank on our other friend, E. D spent hours recreating E’s Instagram account by using screenshots of all of his posts and using almost the exact same account name. I FaceTimed E and told him that there was someone on Instagram with the same account as him, and when he checked it out, he freaked out and starting asking who would be creepy enough to have the same account as him. When D and I told him it was us, he just called us idiots and we started laughing hysterically . . . it was the best. 🙂
Quarantine continues, guys! There’s honestly not a lot to say here . . . I’ve been doing puzzles, watching a lot of Outer Banks and Love is Blind, and working on my current writing project, which is my book So You Can Understand Me. I’ve been Zooming a ton with my friends and commiserating about not being able to hang out. And I’ve been streaming A LOT of online YouTube workouts. 😂
Thankfully, I’m almost done with school. I think technically my last day is in late May, but I’ll be done with almost all of my classes by this Friday (I already finished my two foreign language classes, though!) The only thing I’ll have going on is a online writing workshop I’m doing until late June, which is when I’ll be done with my history curriculum, too. (That’s a homeschool class though, so it’s okay – remember I’m part-time public schooled and part-time homeschooled.) Being this close to the end of the year is super exciting, and I’m not going to bore y’all by continuing to talk further, as I’m sure you guys are just as thrilled to be done as I am. Keep up with the Zooms, guys!
The summer training has begun . . . if you aren’t super familiar with how cross-country skiing summer training works, we use what are called rollerskis (picture below) to imitate snow skiing. Now that the snow is melted in town, I can ski on pavement! Last summer it got up to 100 degrees here, which made rollerskiing absolutely torturous. But hey, when you love skiing . . .
We use poles to make it as much like actual skiing as we can, and it’s super fun – and a ton of work. Seriously, after today’s ski, my abs are killing me. Rollerskis also don’t have brakes, which means if you start going down a steep hill . . . well, that’s the last we’ll be hearing from you. 😂 Just kidding, just kidding.
– The good things
There was a lot of good this month! First off . . .
I BOUGHT A CAR!
I am now the proud owner of a Subaru. I guess it works. I ski. I sort of already portray that image to the outside world.
When I told A I bought a car I made her guess what kind it was and her first guess was a Subaru. When I asked her if I seemed like the kind of person who would drive one of those, she instantly said yes. So yeah, I guess it works. 😂
Second, because prom is obviously cancelled, I decided not to waste a perfectly good dress and decided to dress up and do my hair and makeup anyway. Here’s the final result:
Hehe my dress is too long and it touches the dirt but it’s okay. 😉
Also . . . I cut a total of three inches off my hair since quarantine started, so it’s nice to have shorter hair again.
One last thing. It’s summer in Alaska, which means we get to have another Midnight Sun and be forced to use blackout shades in an effort to get decent sleep. It’s a lot of fun to be out at 11:30 at night and have it be warm and sunny!
Anyway, this month has overall felt more stable than last month. We have summer to look forward to. Everything will be okay. Continue to stay safe and far apart.
How was your April? How close to being done with school are you? Are you ready for summer? 😉
Maybe it’s not alas. To be honest, March has not been the greatest month of my life. Or anyone’s, for that matter.
Normally if I was to write a month recap it would include stuff from every aspect of my life, except those have all been put on an indefinite hold until the coronavirus is all over. So instead of categorizing my month into different parts, it’s going to kind of be a random jumble of what went on.
*disclaimer* this post is probably going to contain some mini – or not so mini – rants about COVID-19, so if you don’t want to see that, please move on to another post. (Not political rants, just personal opinion rants.) This post might also be a little long – I’m kind of writing it to help me process and look back on in the future.
Enjoy . . .
This is where it gets sad. I really can’t remember if I mentioned this on SS&SS yet, but we’ve been self-quarantining since March 1st because my grandma lives with us and she’s elderly, and my dad and brother both have bad asthma. So for our personal safety, my parents decided to pull us out of school the first week of March and not hang out with friends or go to church. I kept the real reason I wasn’t at school a secret from my friends that first week to avoid being called “crazy.” And then spring break happened the second week of March and I started to tell more of my friends because they started wondering why I couldn’t hang out with them over the break. Towards the end of break, the school district announced we wouldn’t be returning to school for another week – and the next day, they pushed that out until March 30th. Now, schools are closed until May 1 (which is about two weeks before summer break starts). In conclusion, I didn’t have to keep it a secret after that.
And now the biggest problem as far as my friends are concerned is seriously how much I miss them. I’ve gotten super close to a group of friends at school who ski with me, as well as some girls at my youth group and then some friends from AHG. I miss them all a ton – not a day goes by that I don’t wish I was with them at that very moment.
Quarantine has been . . . an interesting experience. I can’t say it’s been good, but it hasn’t been totally awful, either. The biggest issue for me is I can’t leave my house to ski (I’m a competitive cross-country skier, which y’all know already), and that makes me super depressed. My family has spent a lot of time watching movies, but I’ve also been hiding in my room, so that’s not super great. But now that it’s the end of the month, our city has basically shut down and people are expected to stay at home unless they go outside for recreation, and then they have to stay six feet apart from other people. So I’m not alone anymore – all of my friends are going through the same thing I am.
– Swimming / Skiing
At the end of last year’s ski season, I got very depressed because I wasn’t training with a club team after the school season was over, and because of that I didn’t motivate myself enough to go ski on a daily basis. I was really hoping to avoid that this year, and now I can’t. I was planning on starting club swimming at the beginning of March for a couple of months until the club skiing season started and then do both of those simultaneously all summer. And now I’m not doing either, so instead I’m doing online workouts by myself – and a few times a week, I FaceTime my friend M (who doesn’t live in Alaska) and we workout together. That’s been super fun.
– Master of FaceTime
So yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve become this month. I would love to figure out how much time I’ve spent on video chat with people this month, because I know the number would be pretty high. I’ve probably spent a good few days of my life on FaceTime with my friends since the beginning of the month.
– Rant rant rant
I’m sorry, but I have to just momentarily. The beginning of March was really hard for me – I was a little scared to share my family’s situation with my friends. My few friends who I did tell early on all had very different reactions (some good, some not so good). The people in my life who thought/still think people are overreacting to the coronavirus didn’t get why I was at quarantined at home, and that left me feeling a little helpless . . . it was my parents’ decision, not mine. Another thing is people being selfish, and I don’t mean hoarding toilet paper (although maybe I do mean that too). People being clueless about the situation the world is in and going out in public and potentially spreading COVID-19 may not put THEM at risk – but it puts OTHERS at risk. People like my grandmother, my dad, and my brother. It makes me angry, but there’s also literally nothing I can do about it. I don’t want to overshare here on the Internet because my blog is public, so I’ll stop now.
– The good things
Like I said, quarantine isn’t all bad. I’ve started checking up with friends who live out of state or who I don’t talk to that much to ask how they and their families are doing, and that’s a really good thing. My dad has gotten funnier since he started working from home, and we see him a lot more than we did previously (he spends a lot of time working away from home in a different city in Alaska). I’ve found more time to play with my dogs, as well as blog (as you guys know!) and read purely for fun. I downloaded Spotify premium to listen to the music I want when I want, and I get up early and go ice skating at the rink up the street from us before people start waking up and walking their dogs. My room has stayed very clean, and I broke my nail-biting-when-I’m-stressed habit. I’ve built stronger relationships with friends because we’re far apart and have to make ourselves think about purposely reaching out to talk. We have to think positively. And seeing all of the companies in the world come together to help our global community has been very inspiring. (Audible in streaming free audiobooks while school is out, guys!) If you need a smile, follow @upworthy on Instagram to see some seriously awe-inspiring videos and pictures.
I don’t talk about God much on my blog, or at least I haven’t in the past. If you don’t already know, I’m a Christian. I haven’t gone to church in about 6-7 ish weeks (to social distance before our quarantine), and going from church three times a week – for services, youth group, and volunteering with the middle school youth group – to not going at all has been extremely difficult for me. Our church is fairly large and I had a hard time connecting with the youth group and other students over the past couple of years, and I really began to feel like I fit in this year and make friends. So to have that taken away from me was one of the worst parts of this. BUT God has really shown Himself to me these last four weeks and I am proud to say I have read my Bible EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I am the kind of person who sucks at regularly reading their Bible, but I’ve spent hours reading it and doing Bible study plans online every night, and it has made a HUGE difference in how I’m dealing with our world’s current situation. I’m read the books of Romans and Hebrews and they were both very inspiring and mind-changing (especially Romans – read it, guys!) And fortunately, my youth group has moved to live, online hour-long broadcasts every week, and that has been fantastic. My church is also streaming services online every Sunday, so my family does church at home. (If you’re feeling stressed, go download the YouVersion Bible app and read the plans Anxious for Nothingor Not Afraid: How Christians Can Respond to Crises. The verses from those plans (especially Anxious for Nothing) are so relevant right now.
I’ll end here with this. One thing has stuck with me over the last couple weeks – Philippians 4: 6-7, NLT. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” The verse was talked about on one of our youth group broadcasts, and I’ve seen it repeatedly in my current Bible study plan and on social media. It’s really inspired me, and I hope it inspires you, too.
Anyway, this post has kind of turned into a diary entry and I didn’t really mean for it to, so please accept my sincerest apologies. Kudos to you if you stuck with me all the way through. I love you guys.
Stay safe and at home. Wash your hands. And, most importantly, be kind. Everyone is going through the same things you are.
How was your guys’ month? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Finally! The post I have been waiting to do since I started my doll blog – which I didn’t do on that site for obvious reasons. Mini room tours only, please.
Now that our schools have shut down for the time being (#quarantinelife), I have wayyyy too much time on my hands. I’ve also managed to keep my room clean for nearly a month now, and I figured it was time to actually take these pictures and let you guys have a sneak peek at where I spend almost all my time. (Seriously. My room is like my own personal sanctuary.)
We’ll start off when I first walk into my room, and this is the view we see. I have my desk, made out of filing cabinets and a very thin door laid on top. And my lovely spinny chair! That thing is fun.
On my desk is my laptop, which I’m typing this on. Next to it is my favorite lamp ever, you just tap anywhere on it to turn it on and off. And then is my makeup mirror; the box behind it houses my makeup collection. Also on my desk is my basket of shoolwork and a few other school-related things, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Above my desk, and unfortunately you can’t see the lettering in the picture, is a light-up letter box that currently says “PASS THE CHOCOLATE.” Mood of the week.
We’ll step away from the desk for a minute and turn left, over to my bookshelf! I take very much pride in the fact that it is color-coded. That took ages to do.
Here’s the full thing.
Next up is my bed. I picked out the bedspread myself. I have five pillows on it when it’s made, but I only sleep with one of them. ☺️
This is so out of order . . . these two things are above my desk. My Nikon (I took these pictures on my brother’s camera because I have to order a new battery charger for this one) sits above my desk on the little white ledge, and next to it is a day-by-day calendar of pictures from Paris.
I pride myself on the amount of things in my room that light up – my purple star, two strands of white and purple Christmas lights, my light-up photo string, and a letter that is the first initial of my name (which haha, you don’t get to know).
To the right of my window is what I call my “Paris Corner.” In case you didn’t know, I am slightly Paris-obsessed and this corner is basically dedicated to that. The postcards are all from France, and the earring tree I think my mom bought me at Michael’s. The metal Paris skyline I purchased at the Louvre museum. And then below all this are candles and trinkets and a little yarn tree I made. ☺️
This is a view of part of my light-up photo string that runs alongside an entire wall in my room, above my closet and door.
My bookshelf and bed . . .
. . . and the view you get if you were standing by the Paris Corner. (You can see the light-up sign better here.)
And now we’re back to the bookshelf again so y’all can see these cool origami foxes my brother made me for Christmas, which I absolutely adore. The little white one is made from a church bulletin and the even tinier blue one in the middle is made out of actual origami paper.
More foxes, and my blue/purple shelf.
On the top shelf are the white books, and some trinkets – a clay bunny, a tiny China doll, a little purple heart rock, a snow globe I bought in Las Vegas, and my first corsage from a father-daughter dance I went to in fifth grade.
I’m way too lazy to rearrange these pictures. 😂 Here’s my bed again.
And now we’ve returned to my desk, apparently . . . here are some school supplies – my spray-painited mason jar full of pencils and the supplies box behind it.
The view out my window – not very pretty this time of year unfortunately.
I guess the point of this picture is to show you what my floor looks like. Our basement (we live in a split-level, like many Alaskans) has flooded multiple times, and my parents got tired of replacing the flooring and decided to rip it out entirely and just refinish the concrete floor. It’s stained and waxed, and is actually really pretty, if not cold. And I just swept, so I’m not sure what the dusty look is about. 😂
On the wall above my desk is my calender – completely empty at the moment! #thatquarantinevibe
In case you noticed, the trim is not finished in my room, which is why the white strip between the ledge and the blue wall is visible. Anyway, this is the spot above my bed and it hosts my Bible, my devotional journal, some lotions and Carmex, my ereader, and the book I’m reading.
Peep my feet . . . 😂 (I should paint my nails lol.)
Weird place to end, but here’s another view of the purple star and a replica of a Parisian newspaper from a longggg time ago (haha I don’t know the actual date).
Anyway, that’s my room!
So, what do you guys think? And how are you dealing with COVID-19? Let me know (I’m so bored, I would love to hear from y’all). 😂