Here in central Texas, the Glanzer family is celebrating the momentary good news of Joe Biden’s presidential win, though just as I predicted, all hell appears to be breaking loose. I still fully expect Trump to somehow or another either find a way to remain in office or at the very least send us into some sort of Civil War on the way out. We’ll see what the rest of the fall has in store for us!

One thing the fall does have in store for us is lots of hot, hot weather. We had that one tiny little burst of fall with a couple of days in the low 40s, but it was expectedly short-lived and we’re now back to mid 80s and blasting sun every day. That was what drew us here back in 2011, of course, but boy I sure could go for some cooler weather.

The big news, if you can even call it that, is the new walkway we had installed on both sides of the driveway. I thought our yard was in dire need of some sprucing up and decided to put down some nice pavers so we’d stop smushing the lawn. Once I realized the amount of work that went into it, I called in the pros and shelled out the money to have the job done right. Afterwards, I hired our neighbor to pressure wash the entire driveway, sidewalk and curb (a tough job as we’re on a corner lot). The results were pretty good!

The new walkway was finished November 5.

Our days have been pretty humdrum and predictable, of late. Our parenting duties are split very distinctly—most every day I am on morning school duty, and Lauren is on dinner cooking duty. The kids are still hopping around on the trampoline a lot, but even more consumed by their shows. Edie is all about Cocomelon right now, while John has moved on from KidCity and is more taken by Extreme Toys TV and Ninja Kidz on YouTube. Both kids had great parent-teacher conference remarks, though John’s teachers noted he had been seeking extra attention by crying and tattling more and more often. Edie has been great aside from a weird spitting habit. Lauren and I, not John, have surprisingly been the bigger fans of the Nintendo Switch, both of us hopelessly addicted to Mario 35 which is 35 players head-to-head in a game of Super Mario Bros., blasting enemies onto each other’s screens. We have both gotten so good at it that anything other than first place is a disappointment. Lauren and I have also both been regular gym-goers throughout the pandemic, paying about 3-4 weekly visits to LifeTime Fitness. I am now in the habit of doing some exercise every day of the week for 30 minutes; if not the gym, then at least a jog through the park and back. John has outgrown his bike and training wheels, but hasn’t gotten a new one yet, so he’s been bikeless for months. Edie and neighbor friend Dani are just enamored with each other; any mention of the other’s name and they both cry to go running to one another.

Edie and Dani, best of Sinton Lane friends.

The holidays are right around the corner, and thanks to COVID, I don’t think you’ll find the Texas Glanzers making a third appearance back in rural South Dakota this year for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. The same likely goes for the Minnesota side of the family as well, sadly. As of now, we’re not doing anything or going anywhere for Thanksgiving in two weeks. The kids are off school for nine straight days, but we’ve at least gotten them into a school-sponsored babysitter two of the days. We will have to divide and conquer the rest of it. I wouldn’t mind so much except that this is a huge month at work as I am overseeing an ESP switch—meaning we’re transferring our company’s entire marketing email service from one provider to another. It may not sound like a lot of work to you, but it’s probably several hundred man hours of transferring data, rebuilding campaigns, warming up IPs, redesigning workflows, etc. If there was ever a month I can’t spare time away from work, this is it!

As for Christmas and New Years, the kids are off school for about 16 or 17 days straight. Hopefully that will be a little easier to manage with work things more settled on my end. We have discussed maybe hosting some visitors in the days leading up to Christmas, and maybe driving somewhere for a short getaway after Christmas. A vision that Lauren and I both thought sounded fun was a cozy mountain cottage somewhere snowy. We have no clue where, it was just some image that popped into our heads; also, it would be a long ass drive. Maybe not doable. A polar opposite idea could be New Orleans. But then we have to think about the pandemic once again. Would any trip be safe? I think it’s safe to say though that we don’t want to just sit around here for 2.5 weeks.

Can the pandemic end soon? Also, maybe those state outline tattoos WERE in fact in a weird spot. Sorta hitting me now.