September 14, 2020

Life Lately | Outdoor and bookstore hangs

I'm still taking advantage of the summer weather (although it's starting to feel a bit more like fall these days!) to spend time outdoors with friends and family. I look at how we've approached hanging out and I feel really good about it. With my cousins, there's three of them (and my baby nephew) who I see every Sunday along with our parents who live together so in some ways I feel like I'm in quarantine with them. They're the only people I interact with in person regularly so it's pretty relaxed. We still only eat outside together but mask free (unless one of us wants to carry the baby, then masks are required). Then with my other cousins, depending on who it is and their activities lately, I tend to keep my mask on with them. With friends, it's the same thing. We still spend time outdoors and usually keep our masks on unless we're eating. It's definitely a juggling act but we're all respectful of what each other's comfort levels are. It's an unprecedented time so I certainly won't judge what someone needs to do to feel safe. 

On the other hand, I'll go on Instagram and it blows my mind to see some of the pictures on my feed. I see these huge group gatherings for bridals showers or birthdays, and they're all just hanging out mask free and coming together close for photos. And they don't seem worried at all! I try not to judge but I can't help it. Even when we do dinner in the backyard, it's never more than 7-8 people and when we take photos, we tend to stagger ourselves or put on our masks to do so. I guess for some they're just ready to move on from the pandemic but for me, it's still very much alive and ongoing. 

Anyway, I didn't meant to go on a whole rant about this but I saw a bridal shower photo yesterday that made me think of how the friends and family in my life have taken a "new normal" approach instead of "back to normal." 

Park meet-up with the cousins
Because the driveway of my dad's house can only fit 7-8 people comfortably to social distance, all the cousins and nephews haven't hung out together since March (we'd been doing smaller groups instead). So during Labor Day weekend, we met up at a nearby park to hang out. It was so nice! The park is huge with a playground plus lots of benches and tables. So we alternated between walking and talking or sitting down to chat. And it was baby Ian's first time at a big park like this! He's still too young to fully appreciate it but he kept looking around with wide eyes so we thought he could tell he was somewhere new. 

Breakfast and Barnes & Noble with Alexa
Alexa and I have been alternating visiting each other since June and it was her turn to come to NJ this past Saturday. We used DoorDash to order breakfast and eat outside on the lawn. Then afterwards, we went to Barnes & Noble together! I can't tell you how nice it felt to go book shopping with a friend. It was just so normal, except everyone was wearing masks. But we walked up and down every aisle picking out books and I got a couple things for my baby nephew too. We spent like two hours there, it was amazing! On the way out we picked up iced coffee from Starbucks (my first time having Starbucks since March!) and sat in my car for a little bit to enjoy them. Such a simple day but it seriously brought me so much joy. I won't ever take for granted these little moments because for a while I wasn't sure we'd be able to do something like this again this year. 

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What have you been up to lately?
Have you seen friends and family?

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