Thursday, December 5, 2019

Our Week - The One with House Guests, Thanksgiving, and the North Pole Breakfast

It’s been crazy around here so I’m finally getting around to recapping our Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 25

You may remember in my recap from last week that on Sunday, Brian’s cousin and her husband and two kids had come into town for a visit.  They stayed at our house Sunday evening, so Monday morning we all slept in and then B and I made a big breakfast for everyone – eggs, grits, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, and coffee. 

After breakfast (or brunch, really), we all hung out in the back yard because the weather was so nice.  We had a Cornhole tournament and the kids played some other games, and it was a nice, relaxing afternoon.

After outdoor time, my father-in-law joined us and we all settled in the living room to watch Miracle on 34th Street.  I popped some popcorn and set out some leftover Halloween candy for everyone to enjoy.  We had soooo much candy leftover after Halloween since there were fewer trick-or-treaters this year due to the extreme cold, so it was nice to be able to get rid of some of it! 

After the movie was over, we all got ready and we headed out for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  Heather and Mark and the kids had never been to our town before, so we wanted to show them around a little bit.  Since it was such a beautiful day, we took them straight downtown – we walked on the river walk, and we showed them the white water course and the zip line.  Our river walk is very natural and beautiful so we used the opportunity to take some family pictures.  We will cherish these!

Daylight was fading by the time we finished taking pictures and we had a 5:30 reservation at my favorite restaurant in town, so we headed back to our cars to make the short drive over.  We were seated immediately at the restaurant and then we spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing over filet mignon and chicken parm.  Yes, please!

After a nice, long dinner and lots of conversation we all went back to our house, got into our PJ’s, and we watched The Princess Diaries.  I’d forgotten how much I loved that movie, and I was so happy that our kids loved it, too!  I’m telling y’all, we are tearing Disney+ UP!  Haha.

Tuesday, November 26

Tuesday morning Heather and Mark and the kids had to head out early to catch their flight, so we all grabbed quick breakfasts and they set out to get ready and pack their things.  Brian had to work Tuesday, so he said his goodbyes early, and then the kids and I said our goodbyes when they left at 9:30.  That was the first time that I’d ever met them and their whole family was truly lovely and so much fun, and I just hate that they live so far away.

The rest of Tuesday was spent getting the kids’ bedrooms back in order and tidying up, and the kids and I also spent a good chunk of time in the back yard playing Cornhole and football.  It was another lovely (but too warm!) day!

I made chicken tacos in the slow cooker for dinner and then B and the kids and I all snuggled up on the couch for yet another movie night because we were all off again on Wednesday.  This time we opted for Mighty Ducks!!!!  Mighty Ducks 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time, so we’re going to work our way through the trilogy with the kids.  They both loved it and I loved seeing it again through their eyes.  Next up, D2… the best of the trilogy!!    

Wednesday, November 27

Wednesday morning, B and the kids and I all got up and got ready, and we headed out for a 10:45 viewing of Frozen 2 at the movie theater.  We’d all been dying to see it for months and we were all super excited about it, so we opted for the Imax version so we could experience it the best way possible.  We lucked out because the theater was only about a quarter full, so we didn’t have to worry about too many kids being loud during the movie. 

All four of us LOVED IT and I legit loved it even more than the first one.  It’s that good.  This second one is way deeper than the first one and there are some good life lessons that are taught throughout the movie.  The song that Anna sings towards the end is a good one for everyone to hear as it offers some really good life advice, but bring some tissues because it will break your heart.  Yes, I cried.  Disney just continues to put out fantastic content and I am HERE FOR IT.  I just don’t know how they do this time and time again.  We’ve already downloaded the soundtrack so we can relive all of the moments again!  GO SEE IT. 

After the movie, the kids wanted to play on the playground near our main public library, so we headed toward that side of town and stopped at our favorite little local pub for a quick lunch first.

It was another beautiful day, although a little too warm for November in my opinion, so we let the kids play on the playground for a good hour.  Olivia made a new friend and they played and played together. 

We arrived back home mid-afternoon and we had both kids do some reading.  Both of them do AR testing all through the school year and they both have to meet certain quarterly goals, so we had to stay on top of it during Thanksgiving Break. 

After reading time, B and the kids played video games – they’re still making their way through Zelda – while I got some things done around the house.  We had a light dinner and then Olivia and I watched Olaf’s Frozen Adventure on D+ while B and Jacob played Angry Birds.

Thursday, November 28

Thursday was Thanksgiving, one of my favorite days of the whole year!  I made homemade waffles for breakfast while B went out to grab a newspaper.  That’s been our tradition for years and years and B and I still love looking at the Black Friday ads the old fashioned way. 

After breakfast we turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  B and I snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and some cinnamon tea and Maui and we watched the parade while perusing the ads.  The kids watched some of the parade here and there, but they were more interested in watching shows on Netflix upstairs instead.  That parade was always one of my favorite things to watch when I was growing up, but our kids just don’t get quite as excited about it as I do.  Haha.

I turned the parade on in our room around 10:30 so I could watch while we got ready, and then we had to hit the road at 11:30 to meet my father-in-law and sister-in-law and her fam at the country club for Thanksgiving lunch.

We were seated at a nice round table by the window so we had a gorgeous view of the river.  We all dined on ham, turkey, dressing, green beans, sweet potato soufflé, and so many other delicious things.  I may or may not have had three desserts.  #YOLO  Haha.  I knew we had to eat again with my family at 5:30 so I did keep the portions small so I could be hungry again for our second meal later.  I had to save room for my momma’s mac and cheese… it’s one of my favorite foods in the entire world!

After lunch, we stuck with our tradition of taking a walk on the river walk.  It was a beautiful, crisp, fall day, and the leaves were just barely past their peak, so it was quite a picturesque walk.  After our walk, we let the kids play on the playground by the river for a bit to extend the outdoor time.  It was just too pretty to be indoors... and what better place to be than outdoors in God’s beautiful creations on Thanksgiving Day?

We headed home after that for more Black Friday ad shopping while we finished the parade we had recorded.  I had to make my pineapple casserole dish for our family dinner, and then we headed to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving with my mom’s whole side of the family.

Her family is huge so there were probably about 35 of us there, and as usual it was super loud and a lot of fun.  I took not a single picture while we were over there, and I hate that, but it’s just a good sign that I was living in the moment instead of thinking of capturing it. 

We made it home sometime between 9 and 10 (I don’t even remember) and then B and I watched football and did some Black Friday shopping for the rest of the night after the kids went to bed.  We got some sweet deals at for the kids!

Friday, November 29

Friday morning was lazy.  The kids played with Duplos and watched a movie and I settled in at the kitchen table with my 2020 planner and a cup of coffee.  It takes me some time to get my planners prepped and ready for the new year, and I got the whole thing done that morning!  On another note, look at this Santa that Jacob made!  He’s been really into making his own creations lately and it just blows me away how creative he is!

Later in the morning, B and I got the whole outside front of the house decorated for Christmas.  I put up the garlands and trees around the doorway while he hung the icicle lights and strung lights in all of the bushes.  Olivia was thrilled that our blow-up Santa was back and she wanted nothing more than to give him a giant hug when he was fully inflated!

We got the décor up in record time and then we had a light lunch at home.  After lunch we all got ready and headed out to run some errands.  I generally try to avoid all stores on Black Friday, but I needed some red bows for my outdoor wreaths, so we headed to Hobby Lobby.  Since it was already 3 in the afternoon I didn’t think it would be that bad, but my oh my, was I wrong.  The place was a zoo and the check-out lines were a mess, so what would have normally been a five minute trip in and out turned into a 30 minute trip because we had to wait in line so long.

We headed to our usual Christmas tree place to get a tree next, but for some reason their trees this year were really odd looking.  They were all disproportionate and they were all way too fat for their height.  In addition to that, there was not one single tree under $100 so we headed straight across the street to Lowe’s.

I’m not a fan of getting trees at Lowe’s, so I was pretty bummed.  Their selection was the opposite of the other place, and instead of being too fat, theirs were really skinny and not very full.  Their prices were way more reasonable, though, so we ended up getting one from there even though I didn’t love it.

We got the tree home and in the stand and then B turned on football while I worked on my least favorite Christmas task – putting the lights on the tree.  I absolutely dread that task every year.  I may or may not have grabbed a beer to make it a little easier to get through.  Haha.

The lights took forever as they always do, and by the time I was finished, it was time for dinner.  I pulled some leftover homemade White Chicken Chili out of the freezer and it hit the spot since it was so different than all of the other foods we’d eaten all day on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

After dinner, the kids helped me decorate the tree which is always so much fun, but also a bit stressful.  Lol.  We have so many delicate ornaments from over the years, so it’s always nerve-racking to let them handle them.  By the time we were finished with the tree, it looked beautiful.  Definitely not as tall or full as the ones we usually get, but it is still beautiful.  Sorry for all of the whining I did, Brian!  Haha.

Had to go outside and see all of the house lights, too!

By the time we were done decorating, it was late so B and I put the kids to bed, and then he and I watched Instant Family by the Christmas tree light.  I’d heard really good things about it, and it was cute, but I don’t think I loved it as much as everyone else did.  When it first came out I remember everyone just raving about it so maybe my expectations were too high.  I do love Mark Wahlberg, though. 

Saturday, November 30

Saturday morning, our elf, Cheek, came back and he brought lots of treats for the kids!  They were so excited to see him, but I think they were even more excited for donuts and candy canes and Christmas Dots for breakfast.  Haha.  Olivia has been begging for hot chocolate for a couple of weeks now, so Cheek brought some of that, too, along with new ornaments for each of the kids... a Lego Man for Jacob and a Hatchimal for Olivia.

We all headed over to my mother-in-law’s and step-father-in-law’s at 1 for Thanksgiving lunch.  They cooked a massive spread as they always do and every single bit of it was delicious.  We stuffed our faces one more time, and then we all sat around chatting for a long time.

It was another beautiful day, so after we cleaned up, we spent a couple of hours outside watching the kids play, and then B and the kids and I all headed home a little after four.  We had missed the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game while we were at lunch, so we blew through that and then caught up on the Auburn vs. Alabama game, which was crazy!!

B and I barely ate anything for dinner since we were so full, and I just gave the kids some canned Spaghettios since they were actually hungry.  Then the rest of the evening was spent watching football and being lazy.

Sunday, December 1

Sunday we were up bright and early for 8 AM mass and then we made a quick stop by Walmart on the way home for some more Christmas lights.  We wanted to beat the crowds, and we most definitely did by going at 9:15 in the morning on a Sunday!  It was nice!

B and I gave the kids their fun Advent calendars when we got home and they both went crazy over them!  Jacob loved his Star Wars Lego one and Olivia is completely obsessed with her Hatchimals one.  They are both so nice and I’m really pleased with how they turned out. 

We had Your Pie for lunch, and then we headed to get some new dress shoes for each of the kids.  They are both growing like weeds these days and we can’t keep them in shoes… especially Olivia!

When we got home, B and I opened gifts from each other because Sunday was our twelve year anniversary!  The kids read our cards to each other and helped us open our gifts and it was just so much fun to do it with them this year.  Usually B and I give our gifts to one another after the kids have gone to bed, so it was fun to include them this year. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading, blogging, and playing video games, and then we headed to my parents house for Sunday dinner.  We hadn’t been over there in forever due to lots of different circumstances, so it was nice to be back in the Sunday groove.  Momma made a delicious dinner of pork chops, rice, peas, broccoli, biscuits, and leftover mac and cheese from Thanksgiving… my favorite!  We had some wine, and some Christmas tunes on the speakers and it was a cozy evening together.  I just love this time of year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Fall Bucket List 2019 - What We Accomplished

The Christmas season has officially begun so today I’m recapping our fall bucket list to make room for the Christmas bucket list!

O N E – Decorate the House for Fall & Include Halloween Elements

CHECK!  The kids have been begging for Halloween decorations rather than just fall, so this year I incorporated bats and ghosts into the décor and I think it’s safe to say that everyone loved it.  The fall home tour is here in case you missed it.

T W O – Enjoy My Beloved PSL While Browsing the Fall Section at Hobby Lobby

CHECK!  I did this the very first week of September and it was such a nice little morning!

T H R E E – Hot Air Balloon Festival

CHECK!  We finally made it and we all enjoyed it so much!  Recap here.

F O U R – Attend the Georgia vs. Notre Dame Football Game in Athens

CHECK!  It was one of my favorite games to date!  We had so much fun and our Dawgs won!  Recap here.

F I V E – Mountain Getaway in a New Area

CHECK!  We stayed in the Blueridge, GA area this year instead of our usual Haysville, NC area and we loved exploring new things!  Recaps are below.

S I X – Attend Homecoming Festivities at My Alma Mater and the Kids’ School

CHECK!  We attended the alumni social and the homecoming football game and it was fun as always.  Recap here.

S E V E N – See Ray Lamontagne in Concert

CHECK!  B and I made it to Atlanta to see him and he was great!  Recap here.

E I G H T – Attend the Georgia vs. Florida Football Game in Jacksonville, FL

NOPE.  We had tickets, but we just had so much going on that we didn’t want to make the trek to Florida to see them as it would have taken up the whole weekend.  Plus B had to leave the next day for a work trip, so the timing just wasn’t good.  We did make it to the Georgia vs. Missouri game as a family of four, though!  Recap here.

N I N E – See Alejandro Aranda in Concert

CHECK!  It wasn’t quite what we expected, but we did enjoy parts of it.  Recap here.

T E N – See Wicked Broadway Play

NOPE.  Again, we had tickets to this but we just had so much going on that week that we decided to sell them.  Sigh.  It was a hard decision to make because I’ve wanted to see it for, probably, 15 years, but in the end I was thankful we didn’t go.  It was just too much for our already overstuffed plates.  Next time it comes to Atlanta I’m hoping the timing will be better.

E L E V E N – Rock Ranch

NOPE.  Again, no time.

T W E L V E – Family Photo & Video Viewing Night

NOPE.  I honestly forgot about this.  I do check my bucket list periodically to make sure we’re doing everything we want to do, but this one just never registered.  We probably would have had time to do this one, too.

T H I R T E E N – Watch All of Our Fall & Halloween Favorites

CHECK!  We watched our faves – Hocus Pocus, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and Toy Story of Terror.  There may have been more but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

F O U R T E E N – Visit a Pumpkin Patch/Cotton Field

CHECK!  I had originally put this on the bucket list with the intention of going as a family, but we ran out of time.  However, Olivia and I did make it to a pumpkin patch/cotton field on a school field trip so we’re checking this one off the list!  Recap here.

F I F T E E N – Carve Pumpkins

CHECK!  Recap here.

S I X T E E N – Spooky Halloween Dinner/Trick-or-Treating/Movie

CHECK!  Y’all, it was my favorite Halloween ever!  Our festive dinner and the cold weather and the Pandora Halloween station just made Halloween for me this year.  Recap here.

S E V E N T E E N – Play on the Playground in Our Neighborhood

NOPE.  Y’all, we still didn’t do this.  It’s right down the street.  What’s wrong with us?!  Haha.

E I G H T E E N – Fall Family Photos

CHECK!  I’ll be sharing them here on the blog soon!  You may have seen this little sneak peek in my Thanksgiving post.  ;o)

N I N E T E E N – Make a Homemade Apple Pie

NOPE.  #AintNobodyGotTimeFoDat

T W E N T Y – Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

CHECK!  It’s one we never miss!  Thanksgiving was wonderful this year, too.  I’ll be recapping it tomorrow.

It was a full season for sure!!  Stay tuned for the Christmas bucket list coming soon!

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