Thursday, January 9, 2020

Our Week - The One with Fantasy in Lights and New Year’s

The week after Christmas was, thankfully, a lot less eventful than Christmas week itself and the lack of pictures on my camera roll definitely backs up that statement.  Brian had some more time off, and he and the kids and I had lots of down time to relax, recharge, and get lost in life’s little moments.  You know those memes that start floating around on Facebook after Christmas about not knowing what day/time/year it is?  Yep, that was us all week long.  I can’t even tell you how many times I had to ask Brian what day of the week it was.  And it was awesome.  As a matter of fact, I had to keep notes in my phone so I could remember everything for this recap.  There’s no way I would have remembered what we did each day if I hadn’t. 

Monday, December 30

Brian did have to work Monday and the kids and I decided to lay low at home.  I was still in the midst of Christmas and house clean-up, so I spent a lot of time that day getting down the rest of the Christmas decorations (aside from our main tree and mantle) and I also finished the house cleaning chores.  Olivia had received a headband making kit for Christmas so she and I worked on that together, too.

One of our annual traditions is to make the drive to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA to visit their Christmas attraction, Fantasy in Lights.  We typically prefer to do this prior to Christmas, but due to extenuating circumstances this year (sickness, tons of rain, a shorter Christmas season due to Thanksgiving being so late, and a death in the family) we never made it.

After a long day at home, the kids were starting to get a little crazy from being cooped up, so B booked some last minute tickets for us to ride the jolly trolley Monday evening when he got home from work.  I cooked a quick dinner at home, we bundled up, and then we headed out. 

We couldn’t have asked for a better evening to go!  It was cold and the air was clear and crisp, and there were loads of people there despite the fact that it was five days after Christmas.  We were able to hop right on a full trolley, and we spent the next 30-45 minutes snuggling up, singing Christmas carols, and enjoying the lights. 

Once the ride was over, we decided to explore the tent that houses the Christmas crafts and goodies.  I couldn’t resist getting a salted caramel hot chocolate and the kids opted to make s’mores over the open fire beside the beach.  For just $5 we received enough graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars for the both of them, and we were given a couple of long metal marshmallow roasting sticks for the fire. 

The kids enjoyed roasting their marshmallows, that is until Olivia’s got too close and caught on fire.  Haha.  She was devastated that her marshmallow was “burned” even though we told her that’s what makes them so yummy!  She got over it pretty quickly and both of them ate every single last bite of their s’mores.  Must not have bothered her too much.

We all piled back in the car after the s’mores had been consumed and on the way home we made a short detour to stop in a subdivision just outside of Callaway Gardens because we’d heard that they had a really cool high-tech lights display.  The lights all danced to music and it was fantastic.  They played a plethora of Christmas songs plus a few bonus non-Christmas songs like “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Let it Go,” and “What Does the Fox Say?”  The kids cracked up at the last one.  It definitely didn’t disappoint and I think we’ll probably be making that detour after Fantasy in Lights every year from now on!   I saved a few of them in my Christmas ’19 highlight on Instagram if you’re interested in seeing them!

Tuesday, December 31

B was off Tuesday and we used the day to finish getting the Christmas decorations down.  There’s nothing like removing the lights from a dead, dry Christmas tree to put me in the worst mood ever.  Hahahaha.  Seriously, it’s my least favorite thing about the clean-up… it’s just awful!  If I didn’t love real Christmas trees so much I would definitely get a fake one just for that purpose!

We vacuumed the house about 84 times after that because there were pine needles everywhere, and shortly after lunch everything was officially undecorated, organized, put away, and the entire house was clean from top to bottom.  PRAISE!  I always love starting out the new year with a clean and tidy house with all of the Christmas decorations put away in their respective bins, so it felt good to have it done. 

B and I pretty much stopped going out for New Year’s Eve after we had kids, and we don’t really have any NYE traditions or standing plans so we’re just kind of go-with-the-flow.  Tuesday afternoon, on a whim, we decided it would be fun to throw together some appetizers and have some family over for drinks and fireworks. 

I headed to Publix to grab some things because our fridge and cabinets were pretty much bare at that point, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon prepping for the evening.  I made my momma’s famous Taco Dip (I’ll put it on the blog soon!) and some pigs in a blanket from Little Smokies and crescent rolls, and B made some killer guac.  He doesn’t do much cooking, and he’d never made guac before, so he just googled some recipes, threw some stuff together, and BOOM!  It was BOMB. 

My father-in-law and his lady friend (she doesn’t live here so we only see her a couple of times per year) and my parents all came over around 6 and we whipped up some Winter White Cosmos and grazed on all of the appetizers. 

I know a lot of people wait until midnight to do fireworks on NYE, but we try to be courteous and do ours earlier since midnight is so late.  We fired ours up around 8 or so and the kids loved every second.  Olivia used to be terrified of them, but last year something changed, and she’s now a huge fan… while she’s not sleeping anyway. 

After the lights show everyone left and B and I got the kids in the bed, got in our PJ’s, and settled in to watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve as we always do.  Right at 11:55 our neighbors a couple of doors down started shooting massive fireworks that were SUPER LOUD and Olivia woke up in a panic.  I carried her downstairs with us and she sleepily rang in the new year with us at midnight.  Our neighbors continued to shoot fireworks until nearly 1 o’clock, so Olivia ended up coming to bed with us because she was too scared to be in her room alone.

Wednesday, January 1

Wednesday morning we started the year off right with cinnamon rolls at home for breakfast.  We are not the people who immediately start diets/healthy eating on January 1.  We treat the kids’ Christmas Break as vacay mode so our healthier eating didn’t pick back up until earlier this week when they went back to school. 

I spent some of the morning prepping my planner for the new year and the month ahead and then we took the kids out for lunch at Panera.  After Panera we made a quick stop at Target.  I wanted to pick up a new book that was cheaper in-store than on Amazon, and we also let the kids each pick out something small with some of the Christmas money they’d received.  I also scoured the clearance Christmas section and came away with several packs of the cutest Christmas gift labels for only $0.30 per pack!  That’s my kind of deal!

The weather was gorgeous on New Year’s Day, so we headed back to that new park that we had tried the previous week.  The kids love it so much and I have a feeling they’re going to request to go there every time we mention going to a playground.  We spent a good long time out there in the sunshine and then on the way home we made a couple more stops to look for Christmas lights.  The lights on our bar cart went out right before Christmas and I wanted to find some to replace those while they were on clearance.  Unfortunately I waited too long and nobody had white lights on white wires anymore, so I had to pay full price for some in Hobby Lobby’s wedding section.  Womp womp.

When we got home B and the kids played Zelda on our old Wii for a while and they finally beat the game!  They’ve played it almost every Sunday afternoon for nearly a year and they finally finished it! 

I cooked some veggies for dinner (had to get some greens in for money and luck in the new year!) and then we had a family movie night since Secret Life of Pets 2 is finally on Netflix.  After the movie the kids went to bed and B and I grabbed some drinks and snacks and settled in for the Sugar Bowl.  Our Georgia Bulldogs beat Baylor, proving yet again that the SEC is the best conference in college football.  ;o) 

Thursday, January 2

Brian had to work on Thursday and the day was rainy and cold, so the kids and I holed up at home yet again.  We watched Secret Life of Pets 2 again (why oh why do kids love to watch the same things over and over?!) and then when that was over Jacob and I spent the rest of the day in his room, getting it cleaned out and organized for the new year.  The struggle is always real after Christmas, trying to find a place to put all of their new things, so we always take some time in the new year to clean everything out and make room for all of it.  We got rid of two bags of stuff in his room alone (mostly clothes he’s outgrown) and it feels so good!

We all showered and then got right back in PJs and never left the house.  We made breakfast for dinner and then had another family movie night to watch Monsters Inc. because Olivia had never seen it.  She’s always said that it was “too scary” and she didn’t want to watch it, so for her to finally agree with watching it can only mean one thing… she’s growing up.  :o(

Friday, January 3

Brian had to work again Friday morning but he decided to take a half day on a whim so he could spend the afternoon with the kids on their last day off from school.  The day was rainy and cold again, so we decided to head out to a local arcade (similar to Dave and Busters) and let the kids play.  B had bought all of us a gift card full of points for Christmas, and we all played for a couple of hours. 

We made a stop at Chick-Fil-A for Peppermint Milkshakes afterward, and then we made another stop at Michael’s to get a new frame for a poster Jacob wanted to hang in his room. 

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy.  I did some work in my office and B and the kids played some more video games.  The kids also took some time to arrange all of Olivia’s stuffed animals on the stairs.  One of Olivia’s best friends at school just moved away to Florida and her mom had posted a picture of her on Facebook doing the same thing in their new house, so our kids decided they wanted to do the same thing so we could send a picture to them.  Haha. 

We ended the evening with dinner at Five Guys and a few Disney shorts, and then the kids went to bed and B and I watched a few episodes of Gossip Girl.  We’re in season five now and I’m still over here trying to figure out why I didn’t watch that when it was on TV.  It is SO good. 

Saturday, January 4

Saturday was another lazy day at home.  We all played Olivia’s new Frozen 2 game, I got some tidying done in my office and finally got all of my Christmas gifts put away, we got Jacob’s new poster hung, Brian got my new Echo Dot set up!!, we did some laundry, and we got some other loose ends tied up around the house.  I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and then after lunch the kids went out in the back yard to fly a kite they had received from my aunt a couple of years ago.  It’s been sitting in our closet forever so it was kind of random that they wanted to pull that out considering they have a ton of new toys that they just got for Christmas!

We went to 5:30 mass and then ended the evening at our favorite Mexican restaurant with my mom’s whole family.  I love when my grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins all get together for dinner on Saturday nights.  We’ve been doing that frequently since I was teeny tiny and I love that we still do it after all these years. 

After dinner I bet you can probably guess where our family of four went… Dairy Queen!  Haha.  Our kids are such creatures of habit that they’ve just been conditioned to ask for it every Saturday evening after church and Mex.  We swung through the drive-through and the kids ate theirs in the car, and B and I saved ours for after the kids went to bed… while we watched more Gossip Girl, of course!  ;o)

Sunday, January 5

Sunday was our last day of Christmas Break.  We had lunch at my mother-in-law and step father-in-law’s house and then the kids played outside for a long time because it was another beautiful day.  When we got home, B and the kids started a new game, Super Mario Galaxy, since they’d beaten Zelda, and I spent the afternoon prepping for the week ahead and getting things ready for back-to-school. 

My mom had decided to take a break from cooking Sunday dinner after all of the craziness of the holidays, so we stayed home and heated up a Digiorno.  We did some reading to make up for all of the lost time during the break, and then we got the kids off to bed early so they could get back on track for the week.

And the end of this post means that I’m finally caught up on the recaps!  Woo hoo!  Stay tuned tomorrow for my 2019 recap!!

Later, y’all!


  1. This past week seems exactly what was needed for you all after the Christmas season! I love a good taco dip - definitely looking forward to that recipe! Poor Olivia with those fireworks. Surprisingly, I don't remember hearing any this year. I love that the kids did the stuffed animals on the stairs. I feel like that is something my brother and I would have done when we were little. :)

  2. Wow that was a busy week! I love that your whole family lives close enough to do church and dinner in Saturday’s, so cool. Also the stuffed animals on the stairs? Too dang cute. Happy New Year!!

  3. We have a lights show near our house where the lights are in time to music. We always go to watch it! That's annoying about the neighbors and the fireworks!

  4. I just love your outfit pics with your mini me next to you - those pics are going to be precious when she's grown up & you can look back & see them.
    What a random bunch of songs for the light show :) LOL Keep you on your toes.
    I'm loving ANY day in winter that we can get by with no coats.

  5. That looks like fun Christmas attraction!! S’mores? I’m in! Although, I only like the toasted marshmallow, nothing else! Glad y’all had a great week!

  6. We don't start our healthy eating on New Years day either as we treat that like one final holiday. In fact with January birthdays to celebrate I still feel like we haven't gotten the whole healthy eating thing down yet but I have added in more exercise at least. I both loved and hated that we were home so much and lazing around so much that I too had no idea what day it was for that whole time period.

    1. Yes, I'm glad we're not the only ones! And girl, I had no clue what day it was either! Those are the best kinds of weeks!


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