Saturday, December 17, 2011

Paperwork: Expenses

Me: Well, that looks like it leaves us with "Other"

LK: What do they want there?

Me: Dunno. I guess other are our monthly financial commitments that aren't covered in the categories of utilities, groceries, fuel, child care, and tithing.

LK (Looking over his list of "others"): So then I have home insurance, pet expenses, HOA, coffee, medical...

Me: Did you just list coffee?

LK: You asked for monthly financial commitments not covered under the first few categories, and our budget has coffee as it's own category.

I love that I'm married to a man who fully understands the importance of good coffee.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Game On

For those of you keeping score-- we're back to a "Game On" stance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Heal Thy Self

I once sat with a friend as she, in complete frustration, was discussing her ministry. She told me how this was the ministry she felt God was leading her to do. She knew in her heart that this was where she needed to be. She told me she had prayed and how she had asked other to pray that God show her how to go. And yet... it seemed like every door closed in her face as she tried year after year to make her way down the road she thought she was suppose to be on.

Tired and confused she asked me- if this is where she's suppose to be, why isn't anything working.

I just sat there unable to say the thoughts that were really in my mind. Unable to look her in the face and tell her that maybe if you've prayed for guidance and asked others to pray for you so you can have wisdom in the decision as well and it's all that difficult, maybe you're not really suppose to be on this road. Maybe these road blocks are here for a reason.

I don't mean that it's time to give up at the first sign of rough roads ahead, or the first time there's a bump. But I wanted to tell her maybe the road blocks are there to answer her request for guidance.  To answer her question of how to go about it.  Maybe the road blocks are telling her where to go and she doesn't want to listen.

Maybe this time, I'm guilty of the same thing.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Piano Recital

This one is really for the grandparents and those who want to oooo and aaaaa over the boys playing their piano pieces.
Actually, for ISH only having started in September, I'm pretty impressed with his willingness to hop up there and play. Geo gave him some good coaching on how to not be nervous.
I was proud of how well both of them did. Good on ya boys.

Friday, December 2, 2011

This Time Last Year

This time last year I was way better at blogging then I am now. But then this last year wasn't exactly what I had expected it to be. ... But I guess to understand what I expected from 2011, you have to understand 2010.

The beginning of 2010 found me in a "me" period. While I was still working and growing my business, and while I was still a full time mom and wife and involved in church ministries, the beginning of 2010 came with lots of extra time. Maybe it was that I had reached that lovely age with my children where they could get Pop Tarts on Saturday and hang out with cartoons by themselves, that age where they could dress themselves and help out around the house -- leaving a little more time for me each day.

Or maybe it was like a mentor of mine once told me that these times are gifts from God- periods of peace that he gives us before "it" comes. And while we can't ever know what "it" will be- she once encouraged me to use these times and enjoy the gift.

And so I started to learn guitar. I began taking classes in aerial silks. I started cooking more and hosting more friends in our home. I spent two weeks traveling in South East Asia … It was an enjoyable time of peace.

But while talking with my dad one day he said the words that would forever change it all. He said he was glad I was having all this time on my hands and glad that I'm enjoying it. After all, he is a strong believer that God wants us to enjoy what he give us. But then he encouraged me to ask God if perhaps there is more he would also like me to be doing with this time.

And so I did.

And soon God began to stir within me the desire to have more children in my life. But strangely, he didn't simultaneously stir the desire for them to be biologically mine. This desire for children clearly came with a lack of wanting to carry or deliver anything.

In June we sat in church holding a friend's one year old little girl. And from out of nowhere, I commented to LK, "well, you know, we could always adopt." With this comment, this one little phrase, a deeper conversation began between LK and me. Would we not take a child if someone left it on our door? Yes! And in that we realized there hundreds children waiting to be taken- they just don't know where our door is.

Within a week we were on the phone with Christian Services. We decided that perhaps jumping head first into adoption might be a bit much, but fostering, and interim fostering- the people who care for babies that are in the phase of no longer being with their biological family but not yet with their forever family- that would be the best way to test the waters.

Then a foster family told us that their foster child would soon be available for adoption and that because the child was going to have to be placed with a sibling, they could not do it.  Yet again, another phrase that lead to 500 conversations.  Could our home be the place for them? 

These conversations led us to put our house, the house we deeply loved (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) but that would not hold two more children, on the market and move in to a house that would better suit the growing family we felt we could soon have.

The entire process with these children was a difficult situation and our lack of having any say in anything that happened stirred up within me the need for control I thought I had conquered.  And one day in August as I was ranting to God asking why on earth would he put this desire in my heart only to have me not get to do ANY OF IT!  I felt him call me to a time with him.

I can't explain it in words that don't sound like some crazy out of body experience- but I know, in that moment, the God who Sees, was asking me to ask him- seek him.  And so on August 3 I committed to the Lord to have 40 days of prayer with him.  To wake up early and spend 30 minutes in the morning seeking him and asking for his direction.

There were several stops and starts.  Surely God would understand that I am tired, that I am traveling, that I was up late with a sick kids, etc. Surely he's okay with me sleeping in today.

November 1, 2010 the gloves came off and I decided for real this time- no excuses- I needed to carry out my commitment to the Lord.  And so for 40 days I got up early and spent time with the Lord.  Asking him to show me what he see for me this all of this.   I began with a study of Ecclesiastes then Proverbs, and ending my 40 days in Job, asking that I can know the Lord, and be known by him.

As I ended my 40 days we had moved into a new house, but still had the old one and the sale of it was quickly falling apart.  Four days after I ended it the contract fell apart.  And we were left with two house, 10 days before Christmas.  One staged with all of our furniture and the other with card tables and blow up mattresses.

Twelve days after I finished my 40 days, I received an email about a teenage girl who had no where to go and said the one thing she wanted in life was to have a family.

LK looked at me and said- we need to do this.

We were certified interim-foster-parents but no children had been in need yet.  And while our heart was still pulling towards the sibling pair, that situation wasn't moving at all.  And so we made the call- and learned that if she could come, it would at the end of January.

As we learned more, I began to pray.  I first began to pray that God help our house sell.  I told the Lord I can't have DHS come into a home with no furniture and try to convince them this is a suitable place for anyone to live.

Our house went back on the market right before Christmas, the time when no one looks at let alone buys a house.  Between Christmas and New Year we had one showing if not more almost every day and the Monday after New Years we had three offers on the table all eager to have our house.  In a down market, in the winter the Lord delivered full price, no closing costs and close at the end of the month.  He had kept his end of the bargain and now it was my turn to keep mine.  And so my prayers became:

"Lord! We may have a [teenager] come to live with us.  Be with her.  Thank you Father for all the situations in my life that you have given me up to know that have me fully capable to minister to someone like her.  Be with her and bless her."

"Lord, I see clearly how all that happened before can be of good use now.  In ALL THINGS.  Thank you for times of trial.  Thank you for redeeming me when I've fallen so I can show the same love and redemption to another."

Our furniture arrived January 26.  C moved in January 28.  And through God's power she was baptized on March 23.  Fully becoming a member of the family of God.
And I would love to stop here and tell you everything since then has been wonderful.  But that's not life.

Throughout the remainder of 2011 we pushed for the siblings only loose them over the summer... as if they were ever really ours.

And in September, C moved out- deciding she no longer wanted the life we were offering.

It felt confusing and sad.

But I believe God had us in the lives of the sibling set in a way that is hard to explain in a venue like this.  But trust me, things happened, God and moved.  And while we showed up thinking we knew how God was moving-- he ... well to quote a good friend of mine... he said "Gee.  Thanks for showing up.  Now, let me try to explain what I'm really trying to do here."

And I believe that God sees C.  That he has his spirit in her life now and if she was with us for no other reason than that, I am thankful for the role we could play.  And I know he is still interweaving her story in with others.  I know he is there for her, should she want to accept that.

The day C moved out we received a call about a two-year-old girl who needed a foster home.

C being with us allowed us to move quickly into full on DHS foster care and so, C moved out on Friday and A moved in on Saturday.

She stayed for four days when DHS called and said she was moving to a kinship home and oh by the way could be take a six-day-old.  S moved in as they were picking A up.

S lived with us two and a half days before moving on to her kinship home.  (And on my but that is a blog post in itself.  God was so visibly at work there and it was beautiful).

We had what ISH would call "our four-person family" from Saturday to Tuesday and then R (age 4) and J (13 months) moved in.

From there the months blur- by Friday my grandmother was dying and within 10 days of R and J coming, we had closed our home to DHS and R and J were being placed elsewhere so that I could be with my family following my grandmother's passing.

I know- it doesn't make sense and believe me it didn't really then either.  But it- them being with us- foster care- all of it.  It wasn't right.  In a way I couldn't put my finger on at the time, but it. just. wasn't. right.

Again I stood there confused.  What did God want from me?  I asked him what he wanted me to be doing with all of this time and I felt the call of more children.  I felt the call that my family wasn't yet "done."  And there was interim care... but that wasn't the answer.  And there were the siblings... but that wasn't the answer.  And there was C... but that wasn't the answer.  And there was DHS foster care... but that didn't seem like answer either.  And now 18 months removed from that prayer I was more upside down in what I was "suppose" to be doing than ever before.

I tried to make myself want to get pregnant.  That would be the easiest answer (well easy in one sense at least).  But, well to keep from getting to medical, let's just say that in 2009 certain steps were taken to make that not really something that could just "happen" like it had with the boys, and when I thought about having to undo that.  And when I thought about being pregnant and giving birth and the biological aspect of it all... I just really didn't want to be pregnant.

And so by the end of October I looked at my dad and said- I don't get it.  I prayed and I feel lost.  I feel like I am in a fog.

"Ah" he said.  "Maybe that's where God wanted you.  Maybe now he can lead."

And so one year later and several hundred blogs short of 2010, I can't really say where the next year is going.  In some ways I feel like I'm seeing some sort of a path through the fog.  In some ways it seems like the path of formal adoption is opening for us-- but so much of that remains out of our control.

And maybe being "out of my control" is just where God wants me to be.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


We had a lovely time at my parent's for Thanksgiving. It was quieter this year with only my parents, my family and Grannie- a whole lot calmer than the Thanksgiving of my youth with me and my cousins running through Grannie's house, eating all the good nuts out of the mixed nuts bowl. But it was good all the same.

One of the sweetest moments came when my dad and ISH put on a concert for us (at ISH's request). ISH has been in piano since September a he combined his two memorized songs to make one lovely piece. The first video is their first run at it. The second is when Dad figured out a better way to play his part.

What was your favorite part of the Thanksgiving break?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Season of Giving

ISH: Mommy, today in Bible class we talked about how there are some people in the world that don't have as much as we do and it's hard for them especially at Christmas. And so I was thinking, maybe I can go through my toys and get out the ones I don't play with much any more and we can give them to kids who don't have a lot of toys.

Me (feeling proud of the spiritual height he has reached at such a young age): Sure buddy. That would be a great thing to do.

ISH: Like maybe I can give them my broken slinky.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


We're somewhere outside of Dallas. Somewhere that 365 days ago I was researching beds so I could redo our master bedroom when I got back home. 

365 days.   It doesn't seem very long ago. And yet ...

365 days ago I never thought I would have that bed in a completely different house. 

365 days ago I never would have thought I would have a daughter (and a teenage one at that!). 

365 days ago some very important people in my life were completely unknown. 

The journey of how I got from there to here began as whispers three months before, but 372 days ago there was a vital turning point- propelling those whispers into a full speed freight train. And 365 days ago I had no idea how one little comment made one week later would completely change the face of my family. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Night of Twisters

I'm an Okie. Born. Raised.

I remember times when Mom would give us a bag and tell us to go upstairs and grab what we wanted to keep.  Times of sitting in my parent's closet, listening to the weather broadcasting from my brother's Transformer radio.

Every time we emerged from the closet- house in tact. With tornados far from us.

And while, when I was younger, there were close calls like the May 3rd tornado, I have never been scared of tornados.

But then I had kids and a house. And somehow my outlook changed.

So today when the sky turned green and began to churn like an upset stomach- I knew that doesn't mean anything good was yet to come.

So as I went through the house taking pictures for photographic proof should we need to file insurance claims, LK packed the car with our dog, the kids, the hard drive and my dad's guitar.  And then we all went to safety.  But in the end, we piled it all back in the car and went back to our home. With tornados far from us.

And here I sit, in my undamaged house, viewing pictures of all that others lost.  Hearing the story of people who's bathtub safety plan didn't work. Hearing stories of the missing child in Four Corners.  Seeing houses leveled.  And I think how blessed I have been that in 30 years of living in Oklahoma,  I have never had to experience what people are experiencing tonight.

Tonight I am thankful for the shelter Oklahoma Christian provided for us- such a calming thought to know we had somewhere safe to go.  Tonight I am thankful for the excellent forewarning we had.  And I am thankful that everyone I know is safe.

My heart and my prayers are with those who cannot say the same.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On the Off Chance They Are Right

LK and I are spending time in B'ville at the Price Tower and surrounding area.  I'm such a fan of architecture and this has been one of those places I've always wanted to experience.  Given I grew up only a few hours from here it's hard to see why it's taken me this long to come.

(And if you're a Frank Llyod Wright hater, keep it to yourself. I know the design flaws of the lit-from-within-fireplace that has no way to change the light bulb, but that doesn't discount the harmony of his designs)

So here we are, kid-less and enjoying a vacation in our own state.  And if the world does in fact end today, I can't think of a better person to be with.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 Years Ago Today

10 years ago today.... It was raining cats and dog just like now... But 10 years ago today you had less hair.... and I had more.

10 years ago today we had a blind-fold lunch so we could enjoy the company of our out-of-town guests while still upholding the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding.

10 years ago today we were having ourselves a great time at the reception party ...

walking in to Son of a Preacher Man, of course!

10 years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life: to marry a man who is now ...

 just as much fun as he was then.

 Happy anniversary.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Today is C's 100th day with us! What blessing to have her with us... though after today ... she might be having second thoughts.

But then... what else is there to do on a sunny Saturday in May but have a food fight.  Yes, you heard right.  Food. Fight (and yes, I questioned my sanity going into this whole thing).

But it all came together as a result of the seed the Diary of a Whimpy Kid books planted in Geo's mind.  And so I went with it.

A full on ...

Baked beans and chocolate sauce ...

Whipped cream and mustard....

Flour and tomato sauce ...

Mashed potatoes, strawberry syrup, and cereal FOOD FIGHT!

And in the end, we had a group of very messy people...

And one excited boy, ready to mark "Have a food fight" off his list of things to do before he's old.

Click here to check out all 151 photos (we put the camera on a timer and went to town)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I was cleaning out the garage yesterday - moving things from place to place trying to clean up the aftermath of our half-year-back move.  While I'm working ISH looks at me from his spot on the floor where he had spent the last half-hour coloring.  "Wow Mommy.  You've moved a lot of stuff.  That's some hard work .... (wait for it)... for a woman."


So I'm not sure who of you out there taught him this or thinks it's funny. ... But I have my guesses .... and you're all in trouble!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Random Thought Thursday: Earth Day

What time is it: 625P

Where am I: OK Gold Gymnatics. Squeezing 30 minutes of watching Geo in before running to pick up C ... I am officially a "stay-in-the-car-mom". What would that be? SITCM?

Last ate: Home-made chicken and rice soup. I'd planned on chicken salad but the cold front required an audible.

Listening to: the hum of parents comparing children and lives as they, like me, "watch" their children

Thoughts: Tomorrow is Earth Day. I can perfectly remember Earth Day of my 5th grade year. I am standing by the water fountain ... The night before I hadn't put away my shoes and thus couldn't find them in time for school ... Mom was not happy... Sent me to school wearing the first pair of shoes she could find.... So, I'm wearing one size too big, bright blue rain boots ... Paired nicely with dark leggings and an oversized, long sleeved white shirt ... It has a duck or some strange cartoon creature on the front ... Standing their wishing I could spend the day in the bathroom (yes, even I can actually be embarrassed by "fashion"). ... But you know ... I don't remember losing my shoes again after that.

Happy Earth Day

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Thought Thursday: Gifts

What time is it: 1007A

Where am I: standing at the kitchen counter, trying to fit a blog post in at least once this week

Last ate: Hmm... I think I ate breakfast. That or the Altoid is holding me over well. So let's go with breakfast

Listening to: the electricians in the dining room-- new dining room light goes up today!

Thoughts: ISH is a very thoughtful child. Should he choose to marry, he will certainly be a good catch one day.

 Why is this? He knows the way to a woman's heart is thoughtful gifts. He's forever brining me treasures from the outside to brighten my day.

"I brought you this leaf because it has some black on and and I know black is your favorite color."

So sweet.

However.... last night's gift left on my bedside table might need a Mulligan.

Thanks for the effort though little one.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Promises Promises

Tonight at a group activity, the kids were suppose to write down things they are good at doing.  ISH proudly showed me his badge:

making promises

"That's great Buddy," I said. "Are you also good at keeping the ones you make?"

"Oh Mommy," ISH replied with a bit of a five-year-old twinkly eye roll.  "I'm not so good at that."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If Life is a Highway

What time is it: 618P though my eyes tell me they think it should be later

Where am I: Oklahoma Christian University library while C has tutoring; realizing I have likely spent more time here in the past month than all four years of school combined... though... in reality I was hardly on campus those four years which is a prerequisite to being in the library

Listening to: a girl desperately trying to explain to dad how to send a file to her school email since mom is not home to do it.  It's like that scene out of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Thoughts:  I've been spending a lot (A LOT) of time in the car lately and have two very odd thoughts to come of all this driving.

1- I honestly don't know what the speed limit is most of the time.  I don't know if space out between the stop light and the sign or if I'm checking the mirrors to change lanes or messing with kids or whatever (and no- I'm not texting, that's been saved for the long waits at the the stoplight) but whatever the time warp situation may occur, most of the way into the stretch of asphalt and I realize I have no clue what speed I should be going.  None.  And I have begun to think that they should put a courtesy "Hey Moron" speed limit sign somewhere in the middle of the mile for people like me. So as it stands I aim for 40.  Most of the time in Edmond that's either 5 over (and I pray for grace from the police) or 5 under (and I pray for understanding from the drivers around me).

2- When people are walking on the sidewalk near the road and I'm driving in the right-hand lane, I have this fear that they will trip and fall on to the road and I will have to suddenly swerve to miss them.  Which is why texting is relegated to stoplights.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random Thought Thursday: Thankful

What time is it: 115P

Where am I: the lobby of a local business

Listening to: a person applying for a job speaking with someone about positions open. Getting the ins and outs of the business.

Thoughts: I'm waiting in the lobby while one of the kids has an appointment. Over the last month the main thing I've learned is to grab time as it comes. I'm still working (and working full time) but instead of sitting in my office to work, many times these days it's done from the front seat of the car as I wait in carpool lines or, like today, in random places when I'm able to pick up a wifi signal. Today, I'm thankful for unprotected wifi.

I woke up this morning thinking the day would be a series of one appointment to another. But my 10 o'clock (that was 30 minutes away and schedule exactly 30 minutes after ISH went to school) had to reschedule. Today I'm thankful for unexpected time.

I left piles of dishes used in preparation for dinner in the sink as I ran from home to this appointment. Today I'm thankful for LK who helps around the house making so much of my life possible.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


ISH (while holding up a cup to his ear): Listen! I hear the ocean. .... (pause while concentrates on the sound in the cup) ... must be a red flag day.
Me: Why's that bud?
ISH: I can't hear anyone playing in there.

ISH (while staring in awe at the genius of Phineas and Ferb): How do they get all that done in 104 days?  
Geo: They must be fast builders.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Pardon my last few weeks of silence.  I have, in some ways, felt as though I've been standing on quick sand lately.  Moments of ever shifting, readjusting, trying to keep from sinking deep.  But the transitions are worth it for moments like the one I overheard yesterday as I was out with C and ISH.

ISH (to the kid playing with toys next to him): See that girl over there .... she's my sister.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What time is it: 1039P

Where am I: my bed. I love that my bed is actually in New House! Though it was a weird feeling to be closer to the ceiling than my month and a half on the air mattress provided.

Last ate: LK's and mine nightly hot drink, but if you don't count apple cider as "eaten" then dinner I guess.

Listening to: The Colbert Report

Thoughts: I have tons to finish between now and this time tomorrow. I must go to bed. So unfortunately there's not time or energy to go into the thoughts I have rattling around in my head. Thoughts about the absurdity of OK weather (it was 8 last week and 80 today). Thoughts this blog post put in my mind about the beauty of floating.  Thoughts on Geo's questions about death and "the box" (I didn't tell him mommy has no plans for the box- this body's going to science baby!). Thoughts on me trying to get back into a regular routine following the move here, C's move in, and the two weeks of snow.  Reflections on ISH's thoughts from today on super heros v Star Wars and his plan on how to passively fight "bad guys." Thoughts on how the last week has gone as we've enacted mandatory 5:30 news watching.

So instead, I'll leave you with this thought- I am very certain that at least once today each one of my children tried to talk while I was in the bathroom.  I guess the secret of that being mom's only alone time was a lie.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

RTT: Mercy

At least I think it's Thursday.  It's been almost 2 weeks that kids have more or less been out of school and church has been canceled due to Snowklahoma that I can't really remember what day it is now.

What time is it: 851A

Where am I: in the lovely light-filled dining room that is now complete with FURNITURE!

Listening to: Johnny Test on the TV in the living room and Isa's toenails tapping on the window sill as she nervously surveys the comings and goings of squirrels.

Thoughts: We're settling in here with our new family dynamics, though we thought that two weeks in we'd have more school under our belt (than ZERO days) and a bit more of a routine together. However, C reminded me the other day that everything happens for a reason. And I think she's right because some good learning moments for all have come from hours upon hours of forced togetherness.

I'm immensely grateful to all of you who have texted, emailed, and called to give words of encouragement.  I cannot express how much that has meant to me.

We watched the Blind Side last night, C, LK and myself. It was everything I could do to not boo hoo my way through that one. Especially now.

I drove past a church on Tuesday whose sign read:
Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy
And I smiled.  But it wasn't so much because I think that through my actions here I will be racking up some extra karma for the times when I'm unbearable.  And while I believe in some very real ways we will be shown mercy through some of what we're doing here, I think the main point of this is that because I have been shown mercy, I can't not be merciful.

C asked me once why we're doing this.  Why her, why now.

"Because I have God that has redeemed me, picked me up, and given me second chances," I said.

In other words, because I've been shown mercy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Me and Jamie Lee

What is is with me that has me on the coldest day of the year

shearing my hair

Maybe I'll die it gray and pretend I'm Jamie Lee

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Crafting My Way Through Cabin Fever

With massive amounts of snow on the ground

and temperatures too cold to enjoy outside,

we spent hour upon hour of family time together last week.  While trapped inside, I decided to shear trim the dog, which in hind-sight was possibly not the best thing to do with it being so cold outside

And while there were times of game playing, times tv/netflix watching ... or at least until the cable went out from the snow... which lead to times of boys running wild through the house like wolf-raised-heathens, and times of blissful naps, there was also times of me keeping myself from this

by unpacking boxes, setting up more of New House, and crafting!  Below are some of the projects that I started this week which still remain in various stages of unfinished.  Hopefully it won't require another week-long blizzard to finish these.

In one of the boxes I found the map I used to get around Memphis when we first moved there (pre-GPS days) and I immediately knew where it needed to go- decoupaged inside the windows from our Memphis house

And I prepared the house address to put with the map (I need two more Es so this project remains open)

Then I set to work with left over pieces of tile from Old House, shadow boxes, packing foam, and hot glue.

This one didn't turn out quite like I had in mind in that when it's hanging I can still seem some of the foam but late last night I think I came up with a solution... which I haven't yet implemented.

And then there is the bucket.  I read about someone doing this and 1) I need a trash can for my office and 2) I have lots of 5 gallon buckets lying around from painting New House, so I got out paint and scrap fabric and set to work

Early this morning (since church has been postponed until 1:30pm) I decoupaged the fabric to the bucket.

Once it's all dry I'll paint a little more on it and then it will be all set to go when the office turns from this
into an actual space for productive work.

Were you trapped inside this week?  How'd you pass the time?