Haneen’s Quarantined Haven: Things I’m Loving and Things I’m Missing While Home

This wasn’t initially going to be a blog post. I was restless last night and had the random thought of writing my feelings about this quarantine on a few pages of a thrifted book. I had this grand idea of “what if this book ends up in another thrift store 100 years from now?” Someone will open it to find my thoughts about this crazy time. Dramatic, I know, but it felt very John Cusack/Serendipity-esque, so I started writing down a list of things I love and things I miss right now, and figured I’d share it with you. Let’s start with what I miss, so I can get the privileged whining out of the way and end with what I’m loving;)

Things I miss…

1. Panera. More specifically, someone knowing my name, my order, and making it for me. I can still technically go through the drive thru, and I do from time to time, but I miss getting my latte without removing the sleeve or wiping it down with Lysol and taking the lid off out of worry. I’ve started making my coffee at home, but it just isn’t the same.

2. Routine.

3. School art coming home in backpacks.

4. Music in the car. MUSIC IN THE CAR.

5. Singing in the car. SINGING IN THE CAR. Yes, I’m repeating myself and shouting. I miss those things terribly.

6. Roaming store aisles for inspiration. Home Goods, anyone? Sigh. I miss just walking and daydreaming and coming up with ways to use certain things I’d see.

7. Space.

8. Quiet.

9. Cute outfits. Let’s face it. I’m not going anywhere, so 99% of my days are spent in pjs.

10. Visiting family. This probably should’ve been the first on the list. I miss our families so much! We’re huggers and kissers and gatherers. We find any excuse to see each other, and it’s just been way too long.

11. Immediate access to the laptop. I work from home and I’m used to having the laptop to myself all the time. Not so much these days. I get to share it with Roblox now. And YouTubers talking about Roblox. Send wine and earplugs.

12. Feeling pretty. I know, this sounds incredibly vain. But this goes with number 9. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m not really bothering to do my hair or makeup. Sometimes I do, but most days I don’t. And I just miss it.

13. Dinner dates with friends.

14. Hugging someone when you run into them unexpectedly in public.

15. Watching my kids play sports.

16. Texting my husband in the morning. Yes, I know- we spend all day and night with each other in quarantine. But with that means there’s no reason to send a good morning text, and I miss it. They always brought a smile to my face.

17. School drop off. I could cry saying this, and not because I want them back at school, but because I loved soaking in how cute Maleah and Zane are, walking in together. I’d just sit in my car and watch them walk in before I’d drive away.

18. Thrifting. Ahhh, the thrill of the hunt! MISS IT.

19. Community connection through Instagram stories. Boo hoo to this. I’m just not hopping on as much these days because every Tom, Dick, and Harry is home with me. See numbers 7 & 8. I’ve got no space and not a whole lotta quiet. I miss chatting on there. I miss the kind community and the chance to feel connected to other people through something as small as design.

20. The cleaning lady. This sounds incredibly privileged. Please don’t judge. She comes once a month and only does bathrooms. And I miss her. Lol.

21. Warm weather. WHAT IS HAPPENING, MICHIGAN? It’s still snowing in late April and I’m over it!

22. Events on the calendar. I miss having fun things to look forward to and dress up for!

Things I love…

1. Quarantine Memes. They’re giving me LIFE! I laugh so hard. Send me all the memes.

I mean, if this isn’t me, I don’t know what is. This had me laughing so hard!

2. Arranging and rearranging so things feel new. My husband has become so used to me moving furniture around or swapping art or mirrors in different rooms that he doesn’t even bat an eye. If you grab today’s local paper, you can see they featured my latest DIY

3. The trampoline! We caved and got one as soon as this all started. I wasn’t excited about an eye sore in our yard, but we wanted to get the kids excited about something ( especially our 8th grade gymnast whose season got cut short and 8th grade field trip to NYC was canceled), and it has been AWESOME! When the weather’s good that is. The kids are getting fresh air and exercise, so I’m happy.

4. Family Uno. It’s just become our go-to. It’s easy for Zane but not boring for the older ones. Love it.

5. Watching the kids grow closer. I love listening to them play/hang together. Everyone was always so busy with their own sports and activities; it’s just so nice to see them have time for one another. This especially makes me happy for our 10 year old. All she ever wants is to have her cool big sisters’ attention. It’s so sweet when she gets it!

How fun is this?! Friends fans, find this lego set HERE.

6. Everyone at the table for dinner. Best. Thing. Ever. I’m cooking more and they’re eating what I cook. It’s a Christmas miracle. Nothing on this list makes me happier than laughter at the dinner table.

7. Feeling like a team. I’m thankful for my husband. That’s all:)

8. Nerdy bird facts. Hear me out. Lol. Now that my husband is working from home, he’s in the office at the desk and it faces the window. He likes finding new birds and then we research as a family and it’s oddly kinda fun. And honestly, without this random new hobby, we wouldn’t have learned that there’s a very specific bird sound that reminds my oldest of our first house. We did some digging and found out it’s a mourning dove. I don’t know why I love knowing this. Quarantined Haneen likes bird facts, I guess!

9. The Office Ladies Podcast. If you’re a huge Office fan like myself, I highly recommend!

10. Kentucky Mules. I’ve made one almost nightly. Bourbon and ginger beer with a cherry.

11. The colorful hearts we made for our front window. Just a way to bring cheer to others, and thank anyone delivering anything to our home! Gibson, our dog, has destroyed the green section since that’s where his paws reach as he jumps up to bark at people, but it’s fine. Everything’s fine.

12. The time to organize, and the feeling of accomplishment. I’m a 3w2, guys. I thrive on achievement and recognition. I don’t need help. Just tell me how awesome I am when I finish something. (By the way, stay tuned- awesome master closet transformation coming at you in the next month!)

13. Jeopardy and documentaries with my husband.

14. Snuggling with no socks.

15. Scrubbing the kitchen sink clean with Comet.

16. Sucking up dust bunnies with the vacuum.

17. My ten year old’s manners.

18. Singing a verse to a song and hearing my husband finish it from across the house.

19. Late night mood board making.

20. Time for slow baths for Zane.

21. Zane’s shaggy hair. He desperately needs a cut and I don’t mind it at all. It’s hilarious.

22. Listening to the kids’ zoom calls with teachers. Zane played the piano for his class the other day! It was so cute!

He’s raising his hand for Show and Tell during a zoom call with his class! The cutest! Note the pajamas on the bottom half. LOL! Ps. Check out the new rug!
A zoom call with the piano teacher:)

23. Talks with Autumn. You heard that right, folks. The one I’ve always butted heads with is actually asking to talk. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell ya- when you have actual conversations with your teenager. I laid in her bed the other night and I laughed so hard about something that I literally had tears down my face. Just awesome.

Here we are, quickly visiting my parents through a door:(

24. My 13 year old’s singing. When she belts out and thinks no one can hear her, it’s magical. While we’re at it, I love her ridiculously organized self. I let her sleep in yesterday and she was upset with me, since it made her feel “off task.” Whose kid is this?

25. Puzzles

26. Asking Zane if he feels “safe and cozy” in bed.

27. Facebook memories. I mean, honestly, it’s the main reason I’m even on Facebook. I just love it when old memories pop up! Sadly, I haven’t printed photos is years, so Facebook is like a scrapbook of memories for me. Another reason I miss texting my husband. I always liked checking what FB memories would pop up in the morning, and then I’d screenshot them and text them to my husband so we can ooo and awww at the “remember whens.”

We dressed up for dinner for shits and giggles. Pardon the quality- it was a rushed self timer!

28. No rushing. If there’s no where to go, there’s nothing to be late to! Which means no yelling at people to “hurry up!” It’s joyous, I say.

29. Sleeping in. I am NOT one of those grown ups whose body naturally wakes up crazy early. If I can sleep in, I sleep in. Embarrassingly late, actually. I’m like a teenager. On one hand, I know I’m sleeping the day away which isn’t great. But on another hand, I’m sleeping a very boring day away, and I’m ok with that. Listen, I’m not someone who typically gets “bored.” I’m always finding things to do and ways to have fun. But this quarantine is a whole new level of crazy, and I’m coping the best I can.

Ok, friends! Join me, will you? Tell me things you’re loving and things you’re missing in the comments below! I was going to try and make my lists even ( like 20 things I’m loving and 20 things I’m missing) but it turns out I’m loving more than I’m missing and I’m ok with that!

I hope you’re all safe and healthy at home! Hang in there, friends! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!



This Article Has 20 Comments
  1. Rema says:

    I love this Haneen!!! I also miss peace and quite … but most of all my parents 😔
    Keep texting your husband even if he is in the next room 😉☺️

  2. Linda says:

    I honestly have accomplished very little. I think I really needed a break from work, school, life. Even though I have only worn tshirts, and pajama bottoms, I ordered 2 dresses and a pretty butterfly brooch from Etsy. So I’m loving no schedule, no alarm, no waking up kids for school, and taking a break from work and getting to be creative. And getting my 15 year old to practice driving without much traffic. Thank goodness! Only thing I am missing is thrifting and antiquing and running in a store to see something before I buy it online.

  3. Shelly says:

    Made me smile HUUUUUUGGGGGEEEE!!!! This pause has created space for sooooo many lovely moments …. conversations … memories 💜💜💜to last a lifetime . One day Sitting around the table with your GRAND BABIES these moments will RE- surface … both laughter and tears.. NO matter anything .. life is beautiFULL! Thank you for sharing your thoughts HANEEN… they WERE DELIGHTFUL💜 SHELLY

    • Haneen says:

      Shelly! Thank you so much for visiting!! Hope you’re doing well! I appreciate your presence and your sweet comment!

  4. Laura says:

    I love this post! I have found myself loving way more than I’m missing too. The thing I miss the most is dinner and drinks out. It’s even more painful now that the weather is nice. For me, not much can beat sitting outside and having dinner and a cocktail whether it’s with my husband or a group of friends. I just love it! I also miss quiet time. I’ve loved having my kids home but I miss peace and quiet. My final thought is, now I need to try a Kentucky mule!

  5. mickey says:

    What a great post, Haneen. I miss so many of the same things especially the visits and the hugs and the fun, but all my grown kids and their kids are safe too, so we’re very fortunate. The irony is that my husband and I are of the “parent” cohort that the “kids” cohort worries about. Yet I see us as seasoned & calm – unruffled – from a generation who lived and grew up in the age of pretty much no technology other than a single phone and a single tv per household. in fact, i remember when only one house in the whole neighborhood even had a tv! we all got to go to the McGee’s house every day at 5:30 to watch Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob in glorious black and white.
    I am grateful for IG because it brings in the outside world – so many funny people who share jokes and so many thinkers who suggest books or whose comments send me down new rabbit holes on google, and the artists with their amazing range of perceiving and expressing the the world around them – and of course all the cute pets who have not a care in the world but just want to give their sweet selves 100%. All of this beats the nightly news, which i can’t even listen to. i have to leave the room.
    I enjoy having back the hours and hours i spent every week commuting. i have not dkne all i could have with my freed up time but have accomplished a few things that have languished for years! (probably spend too much time scrolling around on my phone).
    in lieu of real-life family hugs, I am grateful to have IG as a virtual little community and i enjoy seeing familiar names liking the szme things i like. I follow a number of accounts, but look forward the most to the stories that just chat about life – the ups and downs, the challenges, wins and fails, lessons learned.
    I hope you keep posting and blogging with your heartfelt honesty.
    I could go on and on because you are so easy to talk to but i am probably rambling so will hush now.
    PS how did the weekly mood board go? i woulx still love yo do it but all non-essential shopping is on hold for the moment. Still, it’s a great idea! 🥰

    • Haneen says:

      I love this message! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I love your perspective and appreciate your thoughts:) Hope you’re hanging in there! I haven’t started the weekly mood board- thank you for reminding me of that!

  6. Juli Simpson says:

    Thank you for taking the time to make me smile. I am missing visits from my adult children. They are afraid to stop in and pass along germs! I am missing the hunt for the right thing for this or that place in our home. Right now I am anxious to find the right mirror for our powder room that we did wallpaper during this interlude. I feel I can’t even finish any other decorating in there until I have all the parts. Loving things like my husband reading to me every day and one evening we made a list of all that we are thankful for, it is a long list. Most of all I am missing my church and my church family. We are usually there several times a week either teaching, attending a meeting, or going to Mass. Huge hole there for us. It is warmer today. The sun is out. I will be able to take some projects outside to sand and prep for painting. My husband smoked 3 pork butts yesterday and we plan to deliver smoked pork to several unsuspecting friends today. That is something I would not have done before C19. I think this isolation has made me a better person. I have learned to reach out to those who need contact. They have improved my attitude. Let’s all not forget the good we gained during this time.

    • Haneen says:

      Thank you so much, Juli! I love your perspective and I totally understand everything you’re missing! Definitely lots of good gained! Hang in there:)

  7. Pamela says:

    Great post. I also loved your living room refresh, the console make over with the mirrors above, so dramatic now. And congrats on making the newspaper! You have a beautiful home. I especially love that you have the discipline to stick to a tight color palette, am crazy for all your green. I don’t have that discipline. Things you miss #9,12& 20! Me too! Especially my cleaning help. however something I love is that my husband still thinks I’m pretty even when I don’t feel pretty…even after 46 yrs. together. I, too, have uncharacteristically found solace and creativity cooking…our adult son lost his job & stays with us during the week so I’m cooking for a family again. i enjoy figuring out ways to use what we have or needs using up. Another thing I love is realizing how wasteful I’d become over the years and how I’d come to believe those ways were necessary. I’m not going back to that after this is over. I miss visiting my mom, she’s in a nursing home so no visitors and she has the virus.

    • Haneen says:

      Pamela! I loved this message! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and reading:) I love your thoughts. My husband feels the same as yours- I just miss feeling pretty for myself! Lol! Sending hugs to you and a special one for your mom in a nursing home. I’m so sorry she can’t have visitors!

  8. Sandie says:

    I’d say your positives out weigh your negatives immensely! Especially, the connections you are making with your family…the oldest teenager. You and her will remember this forever! Believe me. She will always have this memory with her mother.

  9. Lynn says:

    I loved your list. I feel like I learned alot about you and your family, before and after the COVID-19 restrictions. Your kids are beautiful. I also love Zane’s hair.

  10. Marianna says:

    I love that fact that no one else is driving not only my schedule but the family schedule. I love that we have a new routine. We do sleep in later eat later stay up later but it works for us! We are eating better quality meals for sure. Absolutely love the freedom and the quality time together. I can’t wait to go out to dinner with our friends! I miss my basketball team (I’m a varsity girl’s coach). I can’t wait to get in the gym and start working hard this summer with my girls. They always keep life interesting!

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