July 16, 2020

Quarantine Recap…


Its been a minute.


2020 is a whirlwind – you don’t need me to tell you that. But everyone’s whirlwind has looked different so I’m going to catch you up on mine. Settle in for a quarantine recap.




I left school on Friday, March 13th and never went back.

Our den became the bandroom/Dell sales center as the roommate and I worked from home, while Jason was ~*~essential~*~ and had to keep going in. I was teaching online, but I would be lying if I said it took up all of my time. Excited for all the personal time, I dove into a lot of things in the first few months of quarantine.


-I started a reddit photo course that pushed me to just take a lot of pictures and consider techniques differently.
-I moved my training from the gym to my house, but still with my supa awesome trainer. (Side note: weight training is amazing, fun, and a total game changer.)

-I started walking every morning and then I got bored walking and started running! (WHAT?! Who is she?)

-I signed up for a training program with Brodhi – I’m working to become “Sexier Than a Squirrel.”  However, sexier than a firetruck is still an issue.
-I listened to so many podcasts and motivational women that are doing the damn thing -whatever their thing may be!

-Jason and I went and took pictures in a deserted, dark downtown Nashville. As the sun came up we took couple pictures on the Pedestrian Bridge using a tripod and remote trigger. Full disclosure – I was SOOOO NERVOUS to do this. Normal people seeing me take prolonged staged pictures in public freaks me out. I’m a big WORK IN PROGRESS here ya’ll.

-We moved into a new house at the end of May. Moving is always a very exciting & stressful project, but Brodhi has a fenced in backyard again and he (and us humans) are thriving here!!



Staying at home is weird and hard for me as a wildly social and energetic person.  So it wasn’t all sunshine. I cried, kind of a lot and generally over stupid things. I treated Jason and Kyle like they didn’t deserve many times. And I was irrational about a lot of things. But there was so much good that came out of those months of being home too. Its been a nice forced slow down.





June was heavy ya’ll.

May 25th George Floyd was killed by a police officer in the streets and the whole world saw it. That day further changed the battle that 2020 is.


May 30th I went to my first protest ever. And then another. And then another. I am heartbroken by stories I’ve heard of the racial issues that still plague our nation.



Black Lives Matter



The following week we lost two of Jason’s family members suddenly. And then Jason’s childhood dog. We moved our Colorado/Utah trip for our own mental and emotional sanity.


Another June stumbling block was canceling a backpacking trip I had been planning with one of my five sisters. We were headed to the Ozark Highlands Trail in Aransas, but she had a COVID scare immediately before we were supposed to leave. We knew spending 4 nights in a tent together wasn’t worth it. I was majorly sad – she lives in Texas and we hardly get to see each other.


The one bright spot in June was the birth of my third nephew, Oliver Dean! I was super excited about his arrival and offered to take newborn and family pictures for my sister. I had so much fun with baby boy, proud big brothers and rest of the family that day!


Unfortunately, 2020 showed up to do its thing and I was bitten pretty badly by their previously unaggressive pup – probably trying to protect his new little man.  We pushed our trip out West back again to keep the desert effects out of my stitches.






July though.

July has looked up…

personally mostly, however COVID-ly it only seems to get worse.


July we FINALLY made it West! It was literally a dream trip. It’ll get its own blog post because I still have lots of editing to do, plus I want to give you so many details! In Colorado we stayed with college friends, we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park, and hiked the hardest trail of my life in the San Juans with my cousin and his girlfriend. In Utah, we figured out – big surprise here – the desert is absolutely nothing like Tennessee!!!!! Jason and I had neither really been to the desert before and it was definitely a new experience. We felt like total noobs outside for the first time in a hot minute.


We were sleep deprived, camped on public lands, got to take a ton of pictures, and I bought a big floppy hat. It was oh so grand!




We returned from that trip elated and ready to get back to a little bit of “normal life” after the crazy month of June. July has been nice. I’ve gotten back to some of my original goals from the beginning of quarantine. A little of my schedule has returned. Spent some lovely time in kayaks and just enjoying the sunshine.


School is heading back though, and I’ll be teaching in person. I’m nervous, but that’s not until August so I’m trying to remain in July and enjoy it as long as possible…….




Thanks for reading this realllllllllllll long post

-Emily the Swafford


3 thoughts on “Quarantine Recap…

  1. Loved the blog! Great photos and I’m so proud of you for living your life on your own terms, and protesting for what’s right. I read the blog out loud to Sam while on a road trip to TN (where we can’t wait to see you guys!). Eagerly awaiting your next blog.

  2. You are incredible in everything you do! Elegantly spoken about how a lot of us have been feeling over these last 6 months (that’s a long time). I cannot wait to see where your art takes you!

  3. I’m so glad I found the link to this page on instagram! I loved reading the tales of your adventures this year, and it’s good to know how you and Jason have been. We miss you here in East Tennessee, but I’m glad to see that you are truly living a full and rich life. You seem so happy, and that makes me happy!

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