Mother’s Day was different this year, obviously. No big family brunch at a restaurant with my mom and my sister or elaborate handmade projects brought home from school— just hanging out at home with Mike and the girls, like we’ve been doing every single day for the past two months.

I had very low expectations for Sunday. I was just hoping to relax and enjoy some downtime with the kids. The week before, my friend Seri (aka Little Miss Party) had surprised me by sending a Mother’s Day party in a box, which included pretty plates, napkins, cups, a love balloon, coloring sheets, and a box of Confetti Pancakes mix.

At the time, I said to my family, “See? Now you guys have it all worked for you! No excuses!!!”

The day before Mother’s Day, I had to remind Mike. REMEMBER. You have THE BOX. “Oh, right….thanks for the reminder.” Insert my eye roll here.

That morning, after Mike delivered me coffee in bed, he said to give them a moment to set up in the kitchen. Then Harlow came in wearing a pretty new summer dress and requested that I change out of my pajamas and into something special. I did as I was told.

When they were ready, I came downstairs and was greeted with— all the contents of the box! Yay! They did it! They even blew up the love balloon and hung it on the wall. Obviously, it wasn’t a surprise, but still extra sweet to see.

They even removed the plates from their faces so that I could take a proper photo.

Confetti pancakes were ON POINT. Harlow did an excellent job coloring in those Mother’s Day coloring sheets.

Mazzy took it upon herself to make a picture of me on Procreate. I WAS IMPRESSED!!!

Because it was Mother’s Day, they were instructed to humor me with all the family photos I wanted (within reason) and Mike ended up snapping this keeper under the balloon.

Global pandemic aside, Mother’s Day 2020 was off to a strong start!

After a morning with just us, we had plans to see Grammy and Sammy in the afternoon. They had just driven to the city to wave to my sister and her family from a car window and then drove all the way out on the island to see us. Grammy loves us all so much. We don’t deserve her.

It was more than two months since I had seen my mom’s face in person, and I have to admit, the sight of her made me choke up a bit. After waving at us through a masked face from the driveway, she ran around the back (her foot still in a boot from injuring it a few months ago) so that Mazzy and Harlow could introduce her to Frankie through the window. I love how Sammy took pictures like he was meeting our newborn.

It was cold and windy outside (in addition to the pandemic, the tristate area is currently in a polar vortex), but sunny enough so that we could tough it out and spend some time all together at a safe distance in the yard.

It was the first time I had the girls put masks on, and I think it brought home the danger for them. Harlow flipped out at first and said it would be weird. Mazzy kept giving me a puppy dog face and saying she really wanted to hug Grammy. Me too, Mazzy. Me too.

But ultimately, they were good sports and we all made it work. I told them that I wasn’t worried about us getting sick but that is was important to take precautions for Grammy and Sammy’s health, since they are older. My mom had come prepared with lawn game ideas, like one that involved using a large ladder with different scores for getting a ball through each rung. She came with her own set of mini footballs and we used wiffle balls so that we didn’t have to touch the same items or get close.

Whatever works! Giant ladders and masks? Yeah sure, why not.

My mom’s time limit was basically when she felt she needed to use the bathroom, because she couldn’t come in our house. That ended up being about two hours and then it was time for them to go home. They walked to the car and we went inside. But then, right when we thought we were going to gear the car drive off, there was a knock on the back porch window. She had come back to give us a kiss through the glass.

It was the sweetest moment because it actually felt closer than when we were all in masks and sunglasses sitting 6+ feet apart.

After my mom and Sammy left, we went over to a friend’s house, where we social distanced with them too. Mike picked up a pizza (my favorite)…

…and I got a very exciting surprise package delivered from Baked by Melissa.

Harlow and I always get Baked by Melissa cupcakes when we’re in the city, because we pass it on the walk from our apartment to my sister’s place. It’s the perfect mini treat and one of the many NYC things we’ve been missing while out at the house. I’m really hoping that all of the awesome places that make Manhattan feel like home will still be standing when we get back.

After dinner, we spent the rest of the day watching TV and playing with Frankie. If you remember, I’m a dog mom now too.

All in all, I had a really nice Mother’s Day. Or at least as nice a Mother’s Day as possible. Like a lot of things during this quarantine period, I’ve realized that even though we aren’t able to do things the way we normally would, we can still make “special occasions” feel pretty special. It’s a good lesson for when we get back to “normal life” (whatever that ends up being)— I want to be better at appreciating the little things. Of course, people have said that forever…but I have a new understanding of what that means.

Really, all I cared about was seeing my mom and talking to her in person, even if it was at a distance.

Here’s a photo of my mom and me on Mother’s Day two years ago.

I can’t wait for the day that I can give her a hug. That was a little thing I definitely took for granted in the past.