Monday, May 15, 2023

Where's Adrie? 😄

Hello out there! Is anyone still reading Enthusiastic Fantastic these days? 😄 I totally wouldn't blame you if you're not because I've taken such a ridiculously long break from blogging! While I'd like to feel shocked that I haven't blogged since 2021, I'm not. 😂 Taking an extended blogging break definitely didn't happen on purpose, life just kept me more busy than I ever planned on! So, here are some updates:

Way back on June 27th, 2021, I was called/sustained to be my ward's new Primary President! And now I've officially been in this calling for 22.5+ months! Oh my goodness, say what?! 😲 That was an event I definitely wasn't planning on, but it was in the back of my spiritual mind for a few years. Yes, I'll just admit that I totally saw this Primary President calling coming—just like I saw the Young Women President calling coming to me when I lived in Texas!

In Texas 2012, I received that almost-unbelievable spiritual prompting/knowing several minutes before the calling of Young Women President was extended to me in my bishop's office. This time around, I felt that I would eventually be my ward's Primary President, but I wasn't sure exactly when it would happen. I guess the Lord wanted me to have ample time—years, in fact—to prepare spiritually for when this calling actually came.

Thus, I've been very busy with everything the Primary President calling entails. It's been such a beautiful, marvelous experience 😇 and I wouldn't change it for the world(!)—but it definitely keeps me looking at my Google calendar! 😄 Thank goodness for electronic alerts to keep me on target because I would be lost without them!

Just before I was called to be my ward's Primary President, Greg and I decided to redo the entire outside of our house with new vinyl siding, and install new windows. It was an exhausting event that took up a lot of my time in terms of moving items around our house to make room for the workers (they needed access to the windows both inside and outside of the house), and meticulously cleaning up after the workers finished.

That said, it was a financial gift from Heaven that we were able to drastically improve our home—but it was definitely based on Greg's amazing work ethic. My incredible husband is an absolute work machine. He is unstoppable and I am beyond blessed to have him for my very own! 😍 Cheesy? Yes. I am still 100% smitten in love with my handsome, intelligent, funny, wonderful Gregor! 💖

Redoing our siding and windows completely wiped out our savings for quite a while—which was a bit of a scary situation to be in, but we're slowly rebuilding our reserves. 🙏🏻 Even though our remodel was extremely pricey—due to supply chain increases caused by the stupid COVID-19 pandemic (grrr 😠)—it was worth every penny! We have zero regrets about improving our happy home! Yay! 🥳

Thankfully, our 70s house is no longer The Disco Dandy! Hallelujah! 😂 I've now nicknamed our lovely little cottage Sunshine Blue! 💙 I truly love the way it looks, and our triple-pane windows are more wonderful than I ever could have imagined! Plus, it's really helped us save money on our heating and cooling expenses! I had no idea what a huge difference new windows and siding make 🤯—but I'm a believer now! 😁

In 2021–2022, I was also a busy mama who made darn sure my youngest child finished out his senior year of high school well. All of my children are very strong willed, and my baby is no exception! 😅

Before he graduated from high school, I spent so much time, energy, sleepless nights 🥱, prayers, fasting, and tears on my baby boy—you have no idea. *If any of you didn't already know, teenagers are a lot of work! 😅 Raising children is the absolute most rewarding endeavor ever 💛, but it is serious business that takes everything you have and more!

After endless conversations, and many disagreements and frustrations, we finally came to an agreement that my wonderful, brilliant, charismatic, sweet, entertaining son would graduate early from high school. He was insistent on this point and would not relent because he had more than enough credits to graduate with honors. You can't debate a 3.89 cumulative GPA!

To my son, school was pointless, and there was no convincing him otherwise. There wasn't anything more I could say or do to persuade my darling boy to finish out his senior year strong. (We all have free agency.) He was completely done with high school and there was no going back. Thus, on April 11th, 2022, we had him put on home release for the rest of his senior year.

Thankfully, my handsome son still walked with his class at graduation(!), which was very important to Greg and especially me. I wanted our family (and a few extended family members who were actually willing to join us) to celebrate all of his hard work for so many years! 🎓💚

When we talked with my youngest son's high school counselor, he validated that my son's high school experience was royally messed up (my words, not his) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the lockdowns and school closures really did a number on my baby boy's desire to have anything to do with school anymore. 😢 I'm very grateful for my son's counselor's kind, understanding heart! *And I will say boo forever to the stupid, unhelpful, unnecessary COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

One of the most unexpected events of the past three+ years happened on July 30th, 2022. My mom's new husband died without warning. 💔 There is so much I could write about all of it—it could be considered months of free therapy, but out of respect for my grieving mother, I will stay relatively silent for now.

Over the final 18 months of his life, I ended up occasionally texting with my mom's husband; I spoke on the phone with him exactly once for about 10 minutes; he was very kind to me. I never met my stepfather in real life. After he died, I finally ended up visiting my mom's new home and observing the bliss she moved to for her new husband. Seeing my mother's new life for the first time—that was ironically ending (there's no amusement in that, whatsoever)—was surreal beyond words.

The unbelievably happy news is that in December 2022, my youngest child decided to enroll in one of our great local universities as a full-time student! 🎉 He finished his first semester with straight 'A's!!! He's even continuing in their 2023 summer semester with a full schedule! This happening is an absolute miracle compared to what my wonderful son said at the end of high school. Suffice it to say, my husband and I are beyond thrilled that our beloved youngest child sees what the real world really is, and has now done a complete 180 in terms of furthering his education! 😁👏🏻

I've also been a very busy piano teacher! I currently have 19 delightful piano students who keep me on my toes every week. I will possibly gain another three piano students in the near future, bringing up my total to 22. For quite a while over the past two+ years, I had 26 piano students! I absolutely love teaching piano to such wonderful children 💛, and I'm so grateful that their fabulous parents want me in their children's lives 🥰, but teaching piano is also tiring. Keeping up with laundry, cleaning, organizing, shopping, paying bills, cooking, etc., also takes up a lot of my time—but of course it's always worth it! That said, my bathrooms are atrocious and seriously need to be cleaned! 😂 Darn. Such is life.

One thing I will absolutely never give up is exercising six days every week. Yes, there are random days once in a great while when I have to skip working out one day, but for the most part, I hit my exercise-six-days-every-week goal and it feels super flippin' awesome! 🤩 I definitely stay healthier and my clothes fit nicely because I continually workout. 💃🏻 The fantastic benefits of physical exercise are truly endless!

Since March 2020, I spent a lot of my free time researching COVID-19, masks, and vaccines. I've wanted to do an epic All-Things COVID-19 blog post for years, but my research continued to be never-ending. Whenever I felt like I'd finally researched enough to write my post, I would inevitably stumble onto something new that I needed to research more!

Up until last week when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared officially over(!)/finished(!)/ended(!) 🎉🎆🎊, I'd been greatly concerned that if I write my true feelings here and share the many things/issues I've discovered/researched about COVID-19, masks, and vaccines, I would put my beloved blog in jeopardy. I never want to lose my favorite Enthusiastic Fantastic! I would literally cry if I ever lost my blog! 😭 I was also concerned that if people I personally know and care about were to read my epic CV19 blog post, I would be ostracized in some way or many ways.

At one point in 2022, after doing a lot of research on free speech and many different social media platforms, I had decided that I would only be able to write my CV19 thoughts and discoveries on Substack. I planned to create my epic CV19 post, publish it on Substack, and share the link to it here on my blog. It really bummed me out that I had to do that, but I felt it must be done that way—that I had no other option because Google was actively censoring websites and users that went against the global COVID-19 narrative. I was sooo not pleased! 😠 The fact that I felt I must be extremely careful with my words made me feel like we were (are we? 😬) in a version of George Orwell's "1984"! The situation was beyond frustrating to my soul—and actually frightening to some extent.

Speaking of social media, I'm ecstatic that Elon Musk bought Twitter!!! 🥳 Hip hip hooray for free speech winning! 🎉🤩 I've used Twitter a lot over the past two+ years to learn and study about things that I never would have found via regular search engines. Amazing Twitter users have been absolutely vital for my discovery and research! I'm 100% grateful that said amazing Twitter users were and are willing to put their reputations, careers, and livelihoods on the line to fearlessly make sure the whole truth is available for those who work to find it! 🌟

Yes, I was happy beyond description that I was able to freely share my thoughts/feelings/research on Twitter, without worry/fear that Twitter would ban me for "misinformation." I'm so sick of self-righteous people who think they have the only authority to judge and enforce what is true, vs. what is misinformation—without even being open to any new information at all! It's so beyond stupid! 😖😣

Basically, it's been an incredibly long time since I've felt that I have time to blog. I also didn't dare write what was in my heart for fear of censorship and losing said wonderful blog. 💔 I'm ecstatic that I finally feel like I not only have room in my life for blogging again, but I actually feel free and safe in writing all the things I've been researching/studying for the past three+ years! Yay! I've missed blogging so much, you have no idea!

There's absolutely no way I'll be able to write about all of the COVID-19 information I've researched over the past three years. But I will give my best efforts to document my family's and my personal experiences with all-things CV19! I'm excited, ready, and willing to do so! 🥳

As we all know, there are times and seasons for everything. My incredible husband and our three beautiful children are the number one most important everything in my life 💛—followed by my church, teaching piano, and exercising. *It's difficult to put exercising last in that lineup because working out is absolutely vital to me successfully fulfilling my life's mission. I would not be who I am if I didn't workout as much as I do!

In reflecting over the past three+ years, I have no doubt whatsoever that I've spent my time on the right things. I'm just very glad that blogging is getting some love, time, and attention again! Hip hip hooray for happy blogging days! 💛 Thanks for reading! I hope you have a very happy day! 😁