Monday, January 6, 2020

Our Week - The One with All the Christmas Dinners, Parties, and Programs and The Nutcracker

Happy New Year, everybody!  Due to a long illness (me) and my grandmother's death, I took an unexpected blogging break at the end of the year, so I have lots to catch up on, including several weeks of recaps.

The week before Christmas was crazy.  It was filled with loads and loads of good things and I feel like we packed the majority of our Christmas season right there in that week alone.  Unfortunately I was still fighting a cold that I'd had for a couple of weeks and then on top of that I also came down with some weird stomach bug that affected me for the entire week.  I was extremely nauseous and fatigued and any and all food repulsed me the entire week, but thankfully I wasn't so sick that I had to be in the bed the whole time.  There were a million things to do and places to be, so I tried not to let it slow me down too much.

Monday, December 16

Brian took the day off Monday so he and I could have a day date together... and by day date I mean finish up on all of our Christmas shopping!  I was still fighting my cold at that point, so I didn’t feel 100% but I didn’t let it get in the way of our day together.  We dropped the kids off at school and then headed straight to our favorite coffee shop downtown for breakfast.  They have the best scones so that and a peppermint mocha was what was for breakfast!

After breakfast we ran loads of errands – Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Pier One, Bath & Body Works, and Publix.  Running errands is not one of my favorite things to do, but running them with B sure does make it better!  And I do love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, too, even though it sometimes gets stressful.

We made a quick stop at home after that to drop all of our packages, and we also spent about 30 minutes laying out all of the gifts for the kids, deciding which gifts would be from whom, snapping pictures of everything so we remember what goes where, and getting everything ready for Christmas Eve.  B and I have done this most years since we’ve had kids and it makes Christmas Eve night SO MUCH EASIER.  I cannot stress this enough, y’all!

Once that was done, he and I left the house to grab pizza for lunch at Old Chicago.  We also had to pick up tables and chairs from my mother-in-law’s.  She let us borrow hers since we were hosting so many people for Christmas.

After we dropped the tables and chairs at home we had one last stop at At Home to return and couple of things, and by the time we were done there it was already time to pick up the kids!  Time flies when you’re having fun!  We ended up finishing up all of our Christmas shopping!   

Monday evening I had my annual girls Christmas exchange at Bonefish.  We’ve been doing this exchange for 12 or 13 years now, and in the past we’ve always exchanged scarves and ornaments.  This year we decided to change it up, and do a favorite things exchange and ornaments instead, and it was so much fun!

Unfortunately my nausea had started kicking in late that afternoon, so I didn’t feel great when we got there, but luckily once I started drinking I felt much better.  Haha.  We started the evening out with a round of Winter White Cosmos – ‘Tis the season! – and then we did our ornament exchange.  We do the exchange “Dirty Santa” style where you all choose numbers and then you can steal from other people and it’s always a lot of fun.

We had dinner after that and surprised Adrienne with a birthday cake since her birthday was later that week, and then we did our favorite things exchange.  I loved seeing all of the different things that the girls brought as their favorite things.  I think we may have to do it this way from now on!  It was a fantastic evening of celebrating with my girls and it filled my cup for sure! 

Tuesday, December 17

Tuesday I spent the day catching up on things and prepping for the upcoming days off, and that evening I had a Christmas dinner with some of my old coworkers.  We’ve been getting together every Christmas for 14 years, and even though we don’t all work at the same place anymore, we carried on our tradition for the 15th year.  We’re all spread out among lots of different jobs now, and I sure miss seeing them every day.

Wednesday, December 18

Wednesday was Olivia’s Christmas party at school.  I helped out with the ornament crafting and then stayed with her for the rest of the day and it was so much fun watching her interact with her friends and teachers. 

Wednesday evening was the Christmas program at the kids’ school.  It’s one of my favorite evenings of the entire year because I just love seeing those sweet little babies and hearing their sweet little voices.  Our school has gotten so big that they now only include Pre-K4 through second grade in the program so this was Jacob’s first year sitting in the pews with us.  He said that he enjoyed being able to watch it instead of being a part of it, even though he did miss being in it a little bit.

Olivia’s class did a fantastic job and I enjoyed every second of watching my girl sing her little heart out.  She’d been practicing all of her songs for weeks and we’d heard them a million times leading up to it, so it was the absolute best watching her perform.  She doesn’t hold back either… she was all into it singing as hard as she could and doing all of the hand motions.  She was also hamming it up for the camera... just look at that last picture of her.  Oh, I just love her.

After the program, we went to one of our favorite pubs down the street from our church and school for dinner and my parents joined us. 

Thursday, December 19

Brian was off from work again on Thursday so he and I had another day date.  We’d finished up all of our shopping Monday so we were actually able to do something date-ish instead of just running a bunch of errands.  We went to breakfast at our same breakfast spot yet again, ran a couple of last minute errands, and then saw the new Jumanji movie at the theater. 

Olivia had pajama day at school and her class had a visit from Santa!

Thursday evening I had been invited to another Christmas party with all of our Home and School Association ladies, but my nausea and exhaustion had gotten the best of me, so I decided to stay home and rest.

Olivia officially hit the five week mark for having her ears pierced, so we gave her some new pearl earrings and let her change them for the first time.  I had ordered the pearls online and they ended up being way too big for her ears, but she loved them so we let her wear them anyway.  She was just so excited.  I wear a pair of pearl studs pretty much every single day of my life – I’m a good southern girl ;o) – and Olivia had kept saying she wanted pearls just like mommy.  <3

Friday, December 20

Friday was Jacob’s Christmas party at school.  I woke up feeling awful and thought I was going to have to get someone to go in my place, but I ended up rallying enough to make it through the party.  It was such a whirlwind of Minute to Win It games and pizza and snacks that I didn’t have time to take a single picture.  It was crazy.  And loud.  Haha.

Olivia's class had made special reindeer t-shirts and they got to wear them on their last day before break.  Her teacher snapped this picture of the class and they were all just too cute!

The kids both got out at noon that day and since I was already at the school helping out we snuck out before the car line started.  Brian was off of work again, so when we got home we had a quick lunch and then headed to Atlanta for the night for a very special treat.

My stupid nausea was raging on Friday (and no, I’m NOT pregnant… it was just some weird bug and is, thankfully, gone now) and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make the drive to Atlanta.  Fortunately I hung in there and the drive was pretty uneventful other than some nearly stand-still traffic in downtown Atlanta.  That’s pretty much every day in Atlanta, though. 

We checked into Hotel Indigo and we marveled at the uniqueness of our room.  If you're ever in Atlanta and need a place to stay (especially if you're seeing a show at The Fox) I highly recommend Hotel Indigo.  It is SO cute and newly remodeled, and we loved it.

I had a few minutes to lay down and rest while B and Jacob brought up our luggage.  We were on one of the higher floors and Olivia was so excited when she realized that she could see the boys all the way down on the ground outside... they looked like ants.  Haha.  Can you spot them way down there?

I started feeling a lot better just in time for dinner so that was a relief.  We walked four picturesque blocks to our restaurant and stopped to take pictures along the way.  

The restaurant where we ate for dinner was called Torched Hop Brewing Company and it was just the cutest place!  The atmosphere in there was so great and the food and beer were great, too.  I was so sad that I didn’t feel 100% because they had some really fantastic dishes that I would have wanted to try had I not been so nauseated.  Fortunately the waiter let me get a kids cheeseburger since my stomach wouldn’t have approved of much else. 

Since they brew their own beer we ordered a beer flight and I was actually able to enjoy a few sips here and there.  I kept my intake pretty low just to be on the safe side, but fortunately all of my food settled well in my stomach. 

After dinner we walked back to our hotel, got all dressed up, snapped a few family pictures in the hotel lobby, and then we walked across the street to The Fox Theatre to see The Nutcracker!  This was the first time that the kids had been to a ballet, and they were just so excited.  We let them pick out some candy (they both chose Mike & Ike’s – so random – LOL) and then we made our way to our seats.  B was able to snag front row center balcony seats and they could not have been more perfect!  The kids were riveted from start to finish and the ballet was just fantastic.  The sets were stunning and the music was beautiful and intermission was even entertaining since they had a person playing Christmas songs on a massive organ.  Since it started at 7:30 (just 30 minutes before the kids’ typical bedtime) Olivia was pretty tired by intermission at 8:30.  She hung in there to see the entire thing, though, and both she and Jacob loved it. 

Fortunately B had booked our hotel literally right across the street from The Fox, so the walk back was about 30 seconds long aside from the detour I made everyone take to get pictures by the Christmas lights.  Hehe.  After that, the kids were in their sleeping bags in a flash.

Big cities at Christmastime are my favorite and Atlanta did not disappoint.  All of the trees were completely wrapped in lights on our street and it was just gorgeous.  There was a street performer playing Christmas music on his sax on the street corner and it was just magical.  I’m so thankful I felt up to going because I’ll treasure those memories forever.  Aside from feeling bad, it was just perfect.

Saturday, December 21

Saturday morning we slept in and took our time getting out of the hotel.  As we were packing up and getting ready to leave, I noticed that Jacob had neatly folded all of his stuff and packed it in his suitcase and Olivia’s stuff was strewn all around the room (as it always is… she is the biggest slob, y’all).  I started telling her how she needed to try to take care of her things and clean up after herself and she said, “You guys don’t know ANYTHING about me!”  Lol.  Y’all.  I died laughing.  Girlfriend is basically 16 years old. 

After we checked out, we stopped by our favorite donut shop in Atlanta – Sublime Donuts.  I was able to eat a cinnamon roll, but the thought of coffee made my stomach turn, so I had water to stay hydrated.

It was a cold and rainy day but our drive home was easy.  My parents had kept Maui for us this time, so we headed straight to their house to pick her up.  When we arrived at home we unpacked and made a quick lunch and then we let the kids build their gingerbread houses.

Jacob had picked out the same one from last year – Super Mario Brothers – and Olivia picked out Frozen this year.  Both of them worked hard for over an hour making their creations and by the time they were done the entire table was covered in frosting and sprinkles, but it was so much fun.  And I should note that both kids did most of the work themselves this year.  They didn’t need nearly as much help as they usually do.

I was feeling exhausted by the time we were done, so I lay down on the couch to take a nap while B and the kids went upstairs to play video games.  I ended up not sleeping much but just resting made me feel worlds better so we decided to go to church.

We kept it casual in jeans and Christmas graphic tees and then afterward we went to our usual Mexican restaurant for dinner with my parents, brother, aunt, and two uncles.  I felt so good that I was able to drink a margarita and eat a decent amount and everything tasted good!

I was feeling so good after dinner that I even participated in dessert at DQ, and I was so glad that I did because I tried the new Peppermint Cocoa Blizzard and OMG it’s my favorite blizzard ever.  I’m marking my calendar now to go ahead and look for it next year. 

When we got home, B and I put the kids to bed and watched The Family Stone while eating our Blizzards by the fire.  I’d forgotten how much I love that movie.  Diane Keaton can do no wrong ever in my book.  If she’s in it, I’ll like it.

Sunday, December 22

Sunday was another cold and rainy and dark day and we had literally zero plans.  I snuggled up on the couch and watched Noelle (again) with the kids that morning, we did tons and tons of laundry, we finished all of the Christmas wrapping, and we got caught up on several other things that had gone by the wayside in all of my sickness/exhaustion during the week.  I do NOT recommend being sick the week before Christmas.  It really sucks and it really puts you behind.  But – it did force me to slow down, too, so I guess that’s a good thing.

We stayed in PJs all day and listened to Christmas music all day and the kids made paper snowflakes for a good chunk of the day.  Late in the afternoon we all showered and got ready and then we met my parents, brother, and uncle at our favorite barbecue place for dinner and then after dinner we drove around and looked at Christmas lights in the rain.  Not ideal, but unfortunately we can’t control the weather, right?

That evening we went out to dinner with my parents and my Daddy let me know that my Nana wasn’t doing very well - a doctor had called to say he thought her days were numbered.  After dinner we drove around to look at Christmas lights and I made plans to have someone watch the kids so I could go visit her first thing in the morning.  It was definitely a sad ending to a happy week. 

I’ll be back to recap Christmas week on Wednesday, but stay tuned for Amazon Prime purchases for December tomorrow!

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  1. That stinks you felt so bad that week! At least it subsided enough at times to let you enjoy some of the fun things planned! The reindeer shirts for Olivia's class were too cute. What a fun idea. And I love that you and B got two day dates!

  2. What a fun full week and I'm sorry that you weren't feeling well, but I hope you're on the mend now!! Love how much fun you guys got up to! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. So many great moments captured here!

  4. I hope you’re feeling much better my friend and I am so so sorry about your grandmother‘s passing! Here’s hoping 2020 is peaceful and fun you have many more smiles

  5. You sure were busy. I'm sorry you were feeling sick the whole week, that must have been awful. I love that hotel room and the donut shop looks so cute!

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It's so hard when we aren't feeling well. I'm glad you were still able to make it to Atlanta! We got sick over the break as well but it was more so nasty head colds and really bad congestion. The kids looked so adorable in their outfits for the Christmas program. What a fun night with you and your girls to celebrate!

  7. PJ's all day and Christmas music/movies are the best! But so sorry to hear you felt so sick - stomach bugs are the WORST and I'm anxiously awaiting the long anticipated norovirus vaccine to be available! Please and thank you! So glad you're feeling better, and were able to get to the Nutcracker <3

    Green Fashionista

  8. Haha as I was reading I was like is she pregnant?!! LOL! Sorry you were so sick! we have been hit with the stomach bug for the past week, it's made its away to 3/5 of us and I'm praying it skips me!! Looks like the last weeks of December were good to you, lots of fun!!

  9. Bummer that you were feeling so bad! But glad you were able to participate in all the fun!

  10. Looks like a lot of fun was had. Sorry that you didn't feel well. Hope you are better.

  11. Its all just magical!!!! I love it. I miss seeing the Nutcracker.
    There is nothing cuter than kids Holiday programs. All the personalities. Its funny to see how your child is in the midst of a big crowd.
    Glad your nausea has eased up on you- that's miserable.

  12. I am so sorry you were sick all before Christmas! Nausea is the worst. So sorry about your grandma too. Hard to lose someone we love during the holidays. The nutcracker and trip to Atlanta sound so fun!

  13. So sorry you felt icky for such a long time. I am thankful that it didn't seem to slow you down much though. That would have been so awful to miss so much fun stuff in one week.

    1. I agree! I think that made it a little more bearable knowing that I didn't have to miss out on everything!

  14. What a great post! I'm sorry you were feeling so grim but you certainly battled through it, got things done, and enjoyed some fun outings. You have a beautiful family. Happy New Year!

  15. Oh, I'm so sorry you weren't feeling 100% for all these fun festivities. You were certainly a trooper to keep all those plans. I'll definitely check out Hotel Indigo next time we're in Atlanta!


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