Gratitude, Life

Appointment overload + a gratitude spotlight

As is often the case with me and my blog, I have two very random things on my mind this morning. (This is precisely why I don’t do “themed” posts or plan what I’ll write about in advance. These extremely insightful posts I write…. they just have to come to me, like a lightning bolt of inspiration… hahahaha. 😆😆)

#1 Appointment overload

Just would like to take a moment to gripe about all the freaking APPOINTMENTS and meetings it apparently requires to live my life. I honestly do not know how people with many children handle this, because just handling my own various appointments + those of my two children feels like a lot.

I often think about people with chronic illnesses that need to go to constant appointments, and how difficult and draining that must be- not to even mention the actual illness itself! But just managing and scheduling all the doctor visits….ugh.

In the past few weeks, we’ve had:

  • Asher- sports med appointment, had to pull him from school/ take off work, etc.
  • Ethan- ortho appointment. (These are going to become a constant now for the next couple years….Ethan has already had FOUR appts between end of August and now.)
  • evening meeting at school about the 8th grade Washington DC class trip
  • multiple evening meetings for the Meet Committee (my swim team volunteer job)
  • the boys got the updated covid boosters
  • 1.5 hour high school tour… had to take off the afternoon
  • parent- teacher conferences last night (all good reports, yay!)

Then in the next week, I have:

  • a dr. appt on Monday
  • an eye exam on Wednesday
  • my flu/covid booster at my work/ hospital drive thru vaccine clinic (scheduled it for right after the eye exam, trying to “batch”!). Also, I’m a huge fan of the drive thru option. Don’t need to get out of my car? Score.
  • piano tuner is coming Thursday at 11

All typical life activities, so there’s nothing to actually gripe about. I just tend to get crabby when there are too many extras that end up disrupting my “normal life” and make my days feel extra full and choppy. But, I guess in reality, this is my normal life.

#2 Gratitude Spotlight

A quick shout out of gratitude to my neighbor man down the street, who will never read this. Haha.

Back story-

This older man and his wife down the street used to always hang a bunch of “spooky guys”, as we would call them, in their tree in the front yard around Halloween. You know, those spooky faces with long capes, like a ghoul or ghost, etc.

When they were little, the boys always used to enjoy walking past and looking at them.

Well, one year, a few years ago now, when Asher was maybe 7 or 8, the man didn’t seem to put them up, and it was well into October already. This man walks his dog down our street every day, so Asher decided to write him a little note to ask, What the hey, neighbor???? Where are the decorations at?!

Just kidding- he actually wrote a very sweet, cute note. It said something like:

“Dear Mr. Neighbor,

Why did you not hang up your spooky guys this year? We always really like looking at those.”



Then he stuffed it in an envelope and waited until he saw him walking the dog the next day. He ran out and handed it to him (and then ran away, embarrassed). The man seemed a little taken by surprise- I mean, we know him, kind of, but not very well. Like we wave hello to him when we drive by, but that’s about it. So I think he was confused as to why he was receiving a letter from a little kid.

Anyway, he must have read the note and sure enough, by the end of the next day, his tree was once again full of the spooky guys. 😉 He mentioned to me later that he and his wife thought Asher’s note was SO CUTE and they were happy to know his decorations brought some joy to the neighbor kids.

Fast forward to this summer…. and they had to cut down their tree! Sadly, it was dying. So, no place for the spooky guys to hang anymore.

Last week I was outside watering my fall mums, and Mr. Neighbor walked up with his dog. He commented that he and his wife were planning a garage sale for the weekend, and he wanted the boys to run down and pick out five of the spooky guys to take home, for free!

These are the ones they picked. And, they are now hanging in OUR tree in our front yard! 🙂

Just a good reminder that what goes around, comes around. Asher’s little note of appreciation now got paid back in a way we were never expecting! I am sure Mr. Neighbor feels good to see his spooky guys still hanging in someone’s tree, and I feel grateful for his generous gift.

(I saw his wife the other day, and she said she has saved Asher’s note all these years because she thought it was so cute and sweet! 🙂 )

P.S. Lisa, you should tell your neighbors with the dress up geese how much your kids like them…. you never know, maybe they’ll gift them to you one day. 😉 )

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for a) the spooky guys! and b) the teachers at my boys’ school.

16 thoughts on “Appointment overload + a gratitude spotlight”

  1. I feel this!! The APPOINTMENTS! Also, it was shockingly hard for me to figure out how to schedule my kids flu shots this year, with different school schedules, and seemingly no pharmacies in our area doing shots for under-18s. No wonder so few people get them! The under-12 new covid boosters are going to be approved soon, so will have to go through that process ALL OVER AGAIN. If it’s this hard for ME to figure out, it does not shock me AT ALL that something like only 5% of kids are covid vaccinated!! Rant over 😛


    1. Oh gosh! Sorry that was so difficult!! My boys are 12+ so they were eligible sooner for the new booster. I just went onto the Walgreens website and scheduled on there. They had the option for flu + covid or just covid, etc. it was easy for us! I didn’t try to schedule at the doctor’s office though as Walgreens is way closer for us! When we went to Walgreens, I had originally scheduled an appt for myself too along with the boys, but I wasn’t feeling super awesome that day, so I didn’t want to pile the vaccines and potential side effects on top of feeling a little crummy already. The guy warned me when I cancelled that they were booked out for quite a few weeks and was I sure I wanted to cancel?? I did go ahead and cancel bc I can get the shots through work easily as well (appt for next week), but I can see how it would be a challenge for other people without appts yet, if really full right now!


  2. I feel you! In the last two weeks I took three kids to the doctor and dentist. Plus they are at three different schools so bringing them back to school and checking them all in added so much extra time ! I have added up appts that happen throughout the year (dentist 2x, doctor, hair appts, flu shots + covid shots/boosters, eye or ortho, etc.) for each family member and honestly each “avg” week more often than not includes one when you do the math. But I’m with you – I like to spread them out and am happy when there is a bit of space without them. One kid got an ortho referral and they called the day after dentist appt and asked if I wanted to bring him tomorrow and I said “No! I need an appt break! How about mid-Nov?”


    1. I can never decide if I want to spread them out, or just do like, 15 appointments in one week and get them all over with. ha! But in reality, it’s usually pretty hard to line everything up, anyway, with things like annual appointments, or every 6 month dental visits, and especially appts like ortho! I hear you on needing a break- I’ve definitely pushed things out too, just because I had other recent appts and wanted some space in between. I often wonder how the heck working parents with non-flexible 8-5 jobs make all these appointments work.


  3. Ugh yes. Allll the appointments are so draining. I have way less now that I’m not pregnant but during pregnancy it was ridiculous since I saw several specialists. And then add in kid Dr appts. Paul sees 2 specialists although we are done with 1 of them finally. Will sees the ENT. Phil does some of that appts so that helps but more often than not, I do them since I have a little more flexibility than he does.

    The story about your neighbor is sooo heartwarming!! So sweet of them to give some to you! I keep hoping to see the goose family outside to tell them how their geese costumes delight us. But you are right – we should just leave them a note!!


    1. Yes, the flexibility is key. I just said to Megan above, I always scratch my head wondering HOW people with non-flexible 8-5 jobs manage to fit in all the appointments! Not to mention things like repair visits to your home, etc. I feel like I would have to be taking off work constantly! At least my job is flexible, so I can just usually work a little late or start early, etc, unless I need to be out for a really big chunk of time, in which case I’d use PTO.


  4. I LITERALLY TEARED UP ABOUT THE SPOOKY GUYS. Awww. That is just so sweet. Seriously, crying a little over here.
    Appointments! My local pharmacy is offering walk-in flu shots so that’s what our family is going to do – everyone, just go do your own thing on your own time! Let’s hope this works!


    1. Yes, the walk-in option is soooo convenient!! I think many places even that advertise “appointments only” still will often take walk ins. I do think they try to avoid turning people who want the vaccine away! Last year I had gotten appts for the boys and me but not my husband, so he ended up just walking in one day and played dumb and they gave it to him! He ended up getting the shot before we did, lol!


  5. I have now told three people the story about the spooky guys! What a lovely note! What lovely neighbors! What a lovely interaction of lovely people! How sweet.

    I honestly don’t know how shift workers or people with 9 to 5 jobs do things like doctor and dentist appointments. I also took the dog for her grooming appointment (took all morning) and let someone in to look at our HVAC system during business hours. How do people schedule all this if their hours change every week or they can’t leave the office? It’s confusing to me how the economy works.


  6. As someone who works from home flexibly, I still feel like scheduling everything is an exhausting mess and have NO idea how people who work 9-5 fit in things like doctor appointments, trips to the bank, or just about any other life task. Lunch breaks? Vacation time? Ugh.

    That story about the neighbour is SO sweet and now that you have those spooky guys, the story continues to morph and becomes even more entwined with your own family history. Love, love, love this! And I also love how you compared it to the geese Lisa references; it boggles my mind how many outfits they have for those geese!

    Someone who lives close to us usually puts out an ENORMOUS blow-up teddy bear at Christmas. It is very cute and when our kids were little we used to walk by with the stroller so they could coo at it. Then last Christmas, it never made an appearance…until one of my friends (whose children also love this teddy bear), actually went to their house, knocked on their front door and asked if they would please put up the teddy bear again because her kids loved it so much. AND THEY DID!


  7. I said that I love that Asher wrote the letter, I always encourage the girls to advocate for what they believe and want, even if they don’t get it at the end.
    Amazing neighbor, so kind.


  8. Oh, I love that story about your neighbor and the spooky guys so much… how sweet that he gave them to your boys after they cut the tree down in front of his house.

    I tend to tell people (when I am on my “Halloween run” around the neighborhood) how much I appreciate the decorations and the effort that goes into them… I think people really appreciate it (as your neighbor clearly did!).


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