Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year… Peace Out, 2020!!

On this New Year’s Eve, I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year!  

And may we all be blessed with an abundance of love, happiness, and GOOD HEALTH in 2021. 

Peace out, 2020!! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

An Ode to 2020


Oh dear, where to even begin. 

Well, I think it’s safe to say that 2020 looked absolutely NOTHING like what we were hoping for, but thankfully, we’re all still alive.  Sheesh.  I really have no words for 2020 except to say that I’m glad it’s over!!!! 

Shall we recap?  As always, I’m recapping the good and the bad, and I’m starting with the bad so we can end on a high note…

The Bad…

It was the year that it rained nonstop for, like, two months straight.  Literally.  I remember reading in February that we’d had over two feet of rain here in town just in the first couple of months.  It was seriously crazy.  While a lot of rain is not a terrible thing, looking back, I feel like it was a bad omen for things to come.  The silver lining – lots of rainbows and beautiful sunsets.

It was the year that my nearly ten-year old Honda CRV decided to crap out.  So. many. Car. Troubles.  And so much money wasted.  And NOBODY could figure out what was wrong with it… not even the Honda dealership.  I mean, if they can’t figure it out, then who can?!  We took it to so many places, y’all!  The engine light kept coming on and going off and the car would shudder constantly and shut itself off.  The air conditioner also quit working, and if you live in the south, you know just how awful that is during the summer.  Needless to say, I spent every second in the car riddled with anxiety, which isn’t good since I already have anxiety about being on the road.  The silver lining – a brand new SUV that I love more than any other vehicle I’ve ever had!

It was the year that I was super sick for probably the longest stretch of my life.  In mid-February, I came down with a horrendous cough – the worst I’ve ever had in my life – and it lasted for six whole weeks.  I had an entire week of completely sleepless nights and I injured my ribs because the coughing was so violent… I tried every cough medicine and home remedy under the sun, and nothing worked.  I also had a couple of days of severe fatigue, but other than that – nothing.  That cough was killer, though.  I SWEAR it was Covid, but it happened before Covid supposedly hit here.  And my two Covid antibody tests say otherwise as well.  The silver lining – if it was Covid, at least mine wasn’t dangerous/deadly and I don’t think anyone else in our house got it, although, Brian and Olivia were both sick shortly after I was.

It was the year that the entire world shut down… March 13, 2020… that date will be ingrained in my brain for the rest of my life.  I remember hearing rumors that morning that it was going to happen, and then it did.

It was the year that a global pandemic hit, and everything was canceled.

It was the year that school was canceled, and we had to do virtual learning for the first time in our lives. 

It was the year that our trip to Disney World for spring break was canceled and then rescheduled and then canceled again… seriously a heartbreaker, y’all.  We were only two weeks away from going when everything shut down.  I had already started packing.  :o( 

It was the year that my favorite field trip ever at our school (the strawberry patch in kindergarten) was canceled… minor in the scheme of things, but I hate that I’ll never get to do that with my girl. 

It was the year that Jacob’s first spring season of baseball ever was canceled.  He only got to play one game before they shut it down.

It was the year that kindergarten graduation was canceled.  I’m still so heartbroken about this… something else we’ll never be able to get back. 

It was the year that a tropical storm hit during our beach trip.  Fortunately, we ended up having several days of good weather afterward, though, but how 2020 was that?!

It was the year that a hurricane hit during our mountain trip… like what?!  What are the odds?  Lol.  Again, SO 2020.  We still had a great time, though.

It was the year that FOUR hurricanes hit here in our city.  Thankfully, there was no damage here and everyone is fine, but I just had to include this because we’ve never had that many hit our city in one season.  So fitting for 2020.

It was the year that our Lumineers concert was canceled.

It was the year that we had tickets to Hamilton, and it was canceled.

It was the year that our Dave Matthews Band concert was canceled.

It was the year that our Paul Thorn concert was canceled.

It was the year that we couldn’t leave the house, go anywhere, or do anything. 

It was the year that I chipped a tooth… not such a big deal in a normal year, but a HUGE deal when all of the dentist offices are closed. 

It was the year that my brother had to have emergency appendix surgery.

It was the year that Brian threw out his back… again… but so bad this time, that he had to see a neurologist who told him he had to have emergency back surgery the very next day.  The silver lining – his surgery was successful, and that doctor saved him from having a dead foot for the rest of his life!

It was the year that Olivia fractured her elbow.  The silver lining – it was so minor she only had to wear a splint and sling for a few days.  Whew.

It was the year that my cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and then lost him a few hours later.  There are no words for that one, and definitely no silver lining. 

It was the year that we watched family member after family member and friend after friend get taken down by Covid, some more seriously than others.  The silver lining – everybody we know except for one person recovered (although, a couple still have lingering issues). 

It was the year that Brian’s company announced a 10% pay cut for all employees to try to save jobs.  Again, minor in the scheme of things, but since only one of us has a full-time corporate job, it was scary.  The silver lining – we couldn’t go anywhere or do anything so we didn’t spend as much money this year.

It was the year that the job market tanked.

It was the year that the economy tanked. 

It was the year that blog pageviews and blog revenue tanked.

It was the year that our nation became more divided than ever over racism in our country, and I was devastated to find out that some of my own personal friends and family members do not believe it to be a “thing.”  The silver lining – many issues for people of color have been brought to the forefront of people’s minds, and hopefully, that means real change is happening.

It was the year that people showed their true colors on Facebook and Instagram, and it was the year that I had to cut some people out for my own sanity (thankfully, nobody super close to me).

It was the year that violence was prevalent, and riots broke out all over the United States.

It was the year that politics drove a wedge so deep in our nation that I’m not sure we’ll ever recover. 

It was the year that American democracy was tested to the max. 

It was the year that we mourned the loss of “normal” and had to adjust to the “new normal.” 

It was the year that church and dinners out and Sunday lunches and Sunday dinners and date nights and girls’ nights and bible studies and book clubs were canceled. 

It was the year that I chose the word CONNECT as my word of the year, and I felt more disconnected from everyone than I ever have in my entire life. 

Sigh.  So many heartbreaking things this year.  But with the bad, there’s always good, and those are the things that we tried to cling to with both hands this year…

The Good…

It was the year that we celebrated Brian’s 42nd birthday!

It was the year that we celebrated our sweet girl’s 6th birthday! 


Birthday Interview

Birthday Letter

It was the year that I celebrated five years of blogging!

It was the year that I celebrated my 38th birthday… in quarantine, unfortunately, but at least I had another birthday to celebrate!

38 Things for Age 38


It was the year that our last little baby finished Kindergarten!  There was no graduation, but we had our own little celebration for her.  HOW?!

It was the year that Olivia danced in her 2nd recital!  It was an odd one, but hey, at least they were able to do something!

It was the year that we were able to get away safely for a few days and head to our favorite place… 30A!  Things were, of course, different, but we were just grateful for the opportunity to go.  Lord knows, we all needed it after not leaving the house for three months prior to that.

Days 1, 2, & 3

Days 4 & 5

Days 6, 7, & 8

By the Numbers

It was the year that we celebrated Jacob’s 9th birthday.  HOW?!


Birthday Interview

Birthday Letter

It was my third summer home with the kids, and even though we couldn’t do much away from home, we managed to make the most of it!

 Week 1

Week 2

Week 3 - See Beach recaps above

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

It was the year that we traveled back to the mountains for fall break… safely, of course.

 Days 1 & 2

Days 3, 4, & 5

By the Numbers

It was the year that we watched Jacob thrive as the second baseman in his second full season of baseball.

It was the year that B and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.  Couldn’t do very much, but we were able to get out and run some errands alone together.

It was the year that we went on 0 day trips and weekend getaways, but at least we had a few staycation days, like our Disney Day!

It was the year that we went to 0 concerts, but we got to watch some pretty cool ones on TV since everyone had to get creative.

It was the year that we went to 0 Georgia games, but at least real, live football was able to be played this year!

It was the year that B and I managed to squeeze in 3 dates before everything shut down.  We always aim for 12 each year (one per month), so we obviously weren’t able to do that, but I’m soooo thankful for the ones we did do before the world closed.  We also got out to run some errands (safely) for our anniversary, so at this point, we'll count that as a date, too!

 Benefit Ball

Dinner Date

Couples Club

Anniversary Day Date

It was another year of wonderful holiday celebrations.  Different, nonetheless, but good.

 New Year’s

Valentine’s Day


Memorial Day

4th of July

Labor Day




It was the year that I read 22 books.

It was the year that I worked out more than ever and got in great shape – thanks, Covid!

It was the year that I started running again.  Because Covid.

It was the year that I was afforded a unique peek into the lives of our kids’ school lives because of virtual learning.

It was the year that we were able to SLOW DOWN and appreciate the little moments.

It was the year I shared a few more recipes than ever with you here on the blog.

Valentine’s Day Charcuterie Board

Quick, Easy, and Nutritious Smoothie forPeople on the Go

Easy Taco Dip

Easy Mini Pizzas

Strawberry Basil Mule

Red, White, and Blue Charcuterie Board

Hot Pineapple Casserole

Christmas Charcuterie Board

Aunt Joy’s Cinnamon Muffins

New Year's Eve Dessert Board

It was the year that I shared some fun organizing tips and DIY projects with you.

 How to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets Into Zones to Maximize Functionality

20 Simple Changes I Made Around the House that Have Made Life Easier – Part 1

20 Simple Changes I Made Around the House that Have Made Life Easier – Part 2

Our Weekday Quarantine Schedule

 Easy DIY Giant Gold-Framed Bulletin Board for Under $30

Two Years with My Simplified Planner

The Easiest Way to Label, Wash, and Organize Face Masks + the Best Face Masks

And finally, I’ll leave you with my top five most viewed posts that were written in 2020.  And before I get to these, I would like to say this…

This was the first year that I didn’t have a new post go viral… thanks, Covid.  I had several posts that I published at the beginning of the year that started to take off on Pinterest, and after the March 13 shutdown, EVERYTHING plummeted.  Pageviews plummeted, ad revenue plummeted, and overall income plummeted. 

I ended up moving a lot of my scheduled content to 2021 as I had no motivation to blog, and I certainly had no time either since the kids were home with me most of the year.  I also just didn’t want to waste the content since hardly anyone was reading blogs.

I thought for sure my income would be cut in half this year (or worse), but I miraculously managed to recover most of it, making just under what I made last year.  My goal was, obviously, to increase my income from the previous year, but considering everything that happened this year, I’m calling a small loss a win in 2020.  It could have been so much worse.

Thank goodness for old posts that are still making the rounds on Pinterest and generating pageviews!  Anyway, here are my top five posts of 2020… and they’re pretty darn random since none of them went viral! 

F I V E – What I Ordered from Amazon in May 2020

My Amazon posts are always some of my most popular, but I didn’t anticipate that any of them would make it in my top five for the year, let alone THREE of them.

F O U R – How to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets Into Zones to Maximize Functionality

This post is at 4th place, and it was one of my favorite posts of the whole year.  I LOVE doing organizational posts, and this was probably my best one of 2020.  Apparently, y’all liked it, too.  ;o)  This one, I actually expected to be in the top five.

T H R E E – What I Ordered from Amazon in January 2020

This post came in third place for the year… another random one!

T W O – Easy DIY Giant Gold-Framed Bulletin Board for Under $30 + Bulletin Board Inspiration

This post came in as my second most-viewed post written in 2020, and it was another one of my favorites.  I’m so proud of this bulletin board and it’s just one of my most favorite things in my office!  This one makes total sense to be at #2 in my opinion.

O N E – What I Ordered from Amazon in February 2020

And finally, this post was my most popular post written in 2020!!  What a strange post to have been my most popular one, y’all.

And just for kicks, my Top 9 most liked Instagram posts of 2020... apparently y'all love my office as much as I do!!  Haha.


Oh 2020, you’ve been one of the most trying years of my life.  You’ll always be associated with Covid-19, social injustice, and the absolute WORST election year we’ve had in my whole lifetime. 

2021, I’m praying with all of my being that you are worlds better than 2020 was, and I have a few requests of you…

  1. Please be the year that Covid-19 dies a slow death and we are able to get back to normal.
  2. Please be the year that we all start to reconnect with all of our loved ones with whom we barely got to spend time with in 2020.
  3. And please, please be the year that the following words and phrases are retired forever:

-       Covid-19/Coronavirus/The Rona

-       Stay at home/safe at home/shelter in place

-       Home school/virtual learning/distance learning

-       Six feet apart

-       Quarantine

-       Face mask

-       Toilet paper shortage

-       Out of an abundance of caution

-       Unprecedented times

-       Hand sanitizer

-       New normal

-       Pivot



Peace out, 2020, and GOOD RIDDANCE!

Better days are ahead, y'all... unless...

Please NO.  Hahahaha.

Happy Wednesday, y'all.

Don't forget to link up with us below!  And just so y'all know, this will be my last time co-hosting the Wednesday Chat, but the other ladies have something fun planned for next year, so be sure to check back on their blogs for details!  You can see their blogs below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, December 28, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 41 (A Socially Distant Christmas)

It’s been a lovely week of festive things, and while it wasn’t ideal, we’re so grateful for another Christmas together. 

Monday, December 21 (Day 283 of Quarantine)

Monday, Brian was off, so we all slept in and treated the day as any other weekend day.  We had a lazy start to our morning, watching cartoons and consulting with my planner, and then B picked up Panera for lunch and brought it back home.

After lunch, we all ventured out for a walk around the neighborhood, and of course, ended up at the playground as we always do these days.  Our neighborhood playground has been the real MVP of 2020… that and Netflix and curbside pickup, of course. 

B and his dad have a friendly betting game on bowl games each year, and he and his dad did their bowl picks over the phone while the kids played, and I did laps around the playground and listened to the new Taylor Swift album that dropped last week. 

The afternoon was spent working on a few projects and prepping some things for Christmas, and then we had leftovers from Sunday for dinner.  After dinner, I made hot chocolate with marshmallows and peppermints for the kids, and we all piled in the car with Christmas light scavenger hunt checklists and set out to look at Christmas lights. 

First up, was a neighborhood in a town nearby… it’s a bit of a drive, but the spectacular show that one of the houses puts on is well worth the drive.  They have their own radio frequency that plays music, and all of the lights on their house are set to dance to the music.  They played Let it Go again this year along with some other Christmas favorites, and this year they had also added Into the Unknown from Frozen 2 and The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman.  We sat there and watched for nearly an hour, and none of us wanted to leave!

On the way back home, we drove through the north half of our massive neighborhood to see even more lights, and then we headed home.  We had hoped to see the Star of Bethlehem (Jupiter and Saturn aligning) since it was the first time the two would be this close in proximity in 800 years.  However, we were about an hour too late, as they were only visible just after dusk.  Boooo.

We sent the kiddos to bed, and then B and I watched The Bachelorette before calling it a night ourselves.

Tuesday, December 22 (Day 284 of Quarantine)

Tuesday was Brian’s last day of work for the whole year, so he was up early to head down to his office, and I was up early to get to Publix before it got too crowded.  My goal is to not have to set foot in another store until after the new year (except maybe for milk or other things that have a short shelf life), so I was shopping for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day meals + all of our Christmas baking + everyday groceries for two whole weeks.  Whew.  Thankfully, I arrived before 9 and beat the crowds, and then the rest of the morning was spent organizing and putting everything away and cleaning out the fridge and pantry.

Just before lunch, I sat down with my planner, my holiday planning list, and my monthly goals sheet, and I planned out the rest of the year – what I had to bake and when, what I had to cook and when, what I need to pull out of the freezer and when, meal plans for each day, and other details for Christmas and New Year’s – and I was feeling GREAT afterward.  It’s amazing what a little bit of organization can do for a cluttered mind.

We had a light lunch, and then the kids and I went outside to play frisbee for a while afterward.  The kids spent the afternoon playing and I read for a while and then organized a couple of things in my office, and then we made breakfast for dinner.

After dinner, we went outside to see Saturn and Jupiter aligned.  The best night to see it was the night we had missed, but they were still very close in proximity when we saw them.  And in case you have no clue what I’m talking about, this planetary conjunction (or a similar one) is believed to be the Star of Bethlehem that so many saw all those years ago after the birth of Jesus.  I think it’s really neat that we got to experience something that nobody had seen in 800 years… it was another little gift from God in 2020, and hopefully a sign that things are going to start looking up soon. 

After doing a bit of star and planet gazing, we all piled in the car again for another evening of Christmas lights looking.  My favorite place of the whole night was our Kia dealership (where I purchased my Telluride) as they have the entire massive building covered in lights, complete with a big ol’ bow on top.  After that, we drove to our usual neighborhoods and also visited a couple of new ones, and it was another festive evening.

The kids got to bed shortly after we arrived back at home, and then B and I spent the rest of the evening reading (me) and then sipping on Winter White Cosmos and watching the finale of The Bachelorette… an extremely girly evening for Brian, indeed.  Lol.

Wednesday, December 23 (Day 285 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning was another lazy one, and the kids and I spent the morning making our very first roll-out dough for sugar cookies.  I’ve made many a homemade cookie in my day, but never anything with roll-out dough.  The recipe we made required the dough to be refrigerated for two hours before rolling out, so I stuck it in there, got everything cleaned up, and then decided to head out for a run. 

I wasn’t feeling it at all and I basically had to peel myself out of the chair to get into my athletic clothes, but I ended up having my best run since I started running again earlier this year!!  I typically have to take a couple of very short 10-20 second walking breaks after the first mile, but that day I ran two full miles without stopping to walk!  I ended up running just over three miles in 37 minutes which is a big improvement from my runs earlier this year.  I’m sure I could improve my overall time much faster if I ran more, but I only run a couple of times a month… I mean, I’m not trying to train for a marathon or anything.  There’s no way my SI joints would allow that.  Haha.

For lunch, we ate some of the delicious oranges that my mother-in-law had delivered to our house, and then we pulled the dough out of the fridge and got to work on our cookies.  Y’all.  Roll out dough is a SUCH a pain.  How on earth do you people make these every single year?!  Haha.  We followed all directions EXACTLY, used floured non-stick parchment paper underneath the dough, with floured plastic wrap on top just like everything on the internet said to do, and that dang dough stuck to literally everything.  There was a time where I thought I was just going to have to give up and bake balled up cookie dough instead. 

We ended up flouring the stew out of everything – like, SO. MUCH. FLOUR. – and we finally got the cookie cutters to work without tearing the dough.  Once we found our groove, it was (kind of) smooth sailing, but my goodness, it took forever. 

The cookies ended up turning out beautifully, and oh so yummy, and the kids had a blast decorating them, so I guess all’s well that ends well.  Not sure I’ll ever be doing that again, though.  Haha.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out at home – where else? – taking some ugly Christmas sweater pictures, and then we popped a freezer pizza in the oven for dinner and cracked open some cold beers.  ‘Tis the season, right?  We ended the evening with The Santa Clause 3, and then B and I watched The Holiday… another one of my all-time favorites.  They just don’t make movies like that anymore.

Thursday, December 24 (Day 286 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning, we woke up to the yuckiest, rainiest, dreariest day and the temp plummeted throughout the day.  Every single year of my life, I’ve spent Christmas Eve with my family at my parents’ house, and this year, we had already decided it wouldn’t be a good idea since my mom and littlest brother are still working outside the home.  We still wanted to get together, though, so we decided to do something similar to Thanksgiving, and all meet outside on our back porch.  Well, the forecast was just awful for the whole day, so we were on pins and needles all day trying to figure out if we were going to be able to make it work.

We spent most of the day making dessert and prepping the porch, and I squeezed in some reading time.  Knowing Christmas Eve was going to be totally different had me feeling pretty blue all day and watching Christmas Eve mass virtually at 2 PM didn’t help.  I was so grateful to be able to watch from home, but so, so sad to not be able to be there in person for the first time ever.  I miss it so much.  It usually kicks off my very favorite few hours of the entire year. 

My momma, daddy, littlest brother, and uncle were all scheduled to come over around 5, and at 4:30 it was still drizzling – and FREEZING – so it was really hard to get excited.  Somehow, though, the rain magically cleared up just a few minutes before they arrived, and we were treated to the prettiest sunset.  The temp, however, was already down to 37 degrees by that point, so we all had to bundle up to hang out on the porch.

Instead of doing our traditional Christmas dinner of ham, dressing and all the fixings, my momma made White Chicken Chili which was perfect for the cold night, and I whipped up some winter white cosmos and pulled out some wine to keep us all warm.  We all ate dinner out on the porch in the freezing cold and wind, and after we were done, we decided to go inside to open presents because it was just too damp and cold to do it outside.

Everyone kept their masks on the whole time we were inside, and we all hung out in different areas so nobody got too close, and it worked out nicely.  My mom had brought the kids’ gifts from Mama Cass (my grandmother) and we were able to Facetime her while they opened them.  The fact that she was all alone on Christmas Eve just broke my heart, though, y’all.

I was incredibly grateful to be able to see everyone and spend time with them, but it just didn’t remotely feel like Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve is supposed to be cozy and slow, not freezing and rushed.  We did the best we could, though, and I’m just praying so hard that for Christmas 2021 we will be able to be back to our usual traditions of Christmas Eve mass in the actual church building and dinner inside my parents’ house with no masks!!!!  2020 has about wrecked me, y’all.

After everyone left, the kids left out some food for the reindeer that my mom had given them, we snapped a quick family picture, and then they said goodbye to Cheek, our elf, and picked out their very best sugar cookies for Santa along with some milk.  We got them off to bed, and then I prepped the overnight breakfast casserole and stuck it in the fridge, while B and I watched Home Alone. 

During the movie, B saw on the radar that SNOW was coming through our area (on Christmas Eve!!!!), so we kept popping outside to see.  We were able to see some flurries, but they were teeny tiny… definitely not big enough to wake the kids, which I was prepared to do if it started coming down harder.

At the end of the movie, Santa Clause had to come, so B and I were off to bed.  We made it in the bed just after midnight, so it wasn’t too terribly late this year!

Friday, December 25 (Day 287 of Quarantine)

Before the kids had gone to bed on Christmas Eve, we told them not to come in our room to wake us up until at least 7 AM (we are not morning people in this household, y’all – LOL), and I’ll be danged if they didn’t both come FLYING into our bedroom right at 7 on the dot.  Hahahaha. 

B and I got up (begrugingly), got downstairs to turn on all of the Christmas lights and start a fire, and then we unleashed the kids.  They were both ecstatic to see what Santa brought, and they both went from item to item to take everything in.  Once they had soaked up the Santa goodness for a bit, we let them open their gifts from us.  One of the main gifts we gave them were Garmin Fitness trackers (watches), and the looks on their faces when they opened them were just priceless, y’all.  Priceless.  They’ve both been asking for Apple Watches (in their dreams – LOL) for months, so they were more than thrilled to have the Garmin watches.

After all of the kids’ gifts were open, I got up and started preparing brunch.  We kept it simple this year with a sausage, egg, and cheese casserole, cinnamon rolls, and fresh fruit… and B and I decided to do mimosas this year, too, just to make it a little more special.

After brunch was eaten and cleaned up, B and I opened our gifts from each other, and he really outdid himself this year… he got me so many fun and cozy things, including the champagne glasses that I’ve been wanting from Crate and Barrel forever.  They are just stunning in person and I can’t wait to use them to ring in 2021 and say goodbye to this perfectly insane year.

Once the gifts were open, the kids settled in to play with some of their new toys, and I snuggled up on the couch with Maui for my Christmas nap.  I never ever take naps, but I almost always treat myself to one on Christmas Day.  We also don't worry about the Christmas mess on Christmas Day either... that always waits until a day or two later.  :o)

After naptime was over, it was time to get ready to go visit my Mama Cass.  Our whole family (like 30+ of us) always gets together on Christmas night at either my aunt and uncle’s house or my house to eat dinner and hang all night, but obviously that wasn’t happening this year.  Instead, all of us who live here in town (there are many who live elsewhere – Denver, LA, Austin, Atlanta, etc.) went over to Mama Cass’s house to sit out in the yard again. 

Naturally, the day that we needed to do this, the HIGH for the day was 37 degrees.  Lol.  Y’all.  Christmas Day is almost always in the 50’s or 60’s – sometimes even warmer than that – so it was incredibly 2020 for it to be so cold.  Thankfully, it was sunny, so we at least had that going for us.

We all bundled up and visited there for about an hour, and my mom and all of her brothers and sisters (who were present) gave my Mama Cass her gift.  My mom and uncle had written a song to sing to her about the pandemic because it goes with her gift – her own Amazon Prime membership and a few other things – and the song was quite hilarious. 

At 3:30ish, everyone was tired of the cold (except for the kids who had been running around like crazy people to get in their steps for their new watches – LOL), so we blew air kisses and parted ways, and our family of four headed back home.  I started Christmas dinner when we got back home, and we sat down to eat around 6.  I’ve never had to make an entire Christmas dinner before since we’re usually with extended family, so we had bought a Honey Baked ham to make my life easier (plus it’s our favorite thing so it’s always a special treat).  In addition to the ham, I made homemade macaroni and cheese, pineapple casserole, green beans, and rosemary cheese croissants, and B and I drank some of our good wine from the winery that we love so much in north Georgia. 

We watched Home Alone 2 while I cooked and we ate, and then after dinner was cleaned up, we watched Home Alone 3 for the first time ever.  I’ve always avoided it since it has none of the original cast, and it was pretty much as dumb as I thought it would be.  Lol.  The kids seemed to like it, though, so that’s all that matters.

Olivia and her favorite stuffed animal, Sheepie, wore their new matching nightgowns and she was so excited she wanted to pose for a picture.  :o)

After the movie, the kids went to bed, and B and I caught up on Saturday Night Live and then watched another episode of The Wilds.  Definitely a different Christmas Day than usual, but also very enjoyable.

Saturday, December 26 (Day 288 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning started like all Saturday mornings, and I made homemade waffles.  The rest of the morning was spent cleaning up some of the horrendous Christmas mess, starting laundry, and working out, and by the time I was done with my work out, it was time for lunch.

After lunch, I helped Olivia make her clay jewelry while B helped Jacob put together some kind of STEM car that my brother and sister-in-law gave him.  The jewelry kit was a little intimidating at first as you actually mold and form and bake your own clay beads, but Olivia and I got the hang of it quickly, and the first necklace and bracelet set that we made actually turned out really great. 

I spent some time in my office Saturday afternoon and then Saturday evening B picked up takeout from our favorite little pub down the street from our church.  Jacob had gotten the entire set of Night at the Museum on Blu-ray, so we watched the third one after dinner since that was the only one we hadn’t seen.

After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched A Million Little Things that we’d missed from the previous week followed by another episode of The Wilds.  It is really good, y’all.

Sunday, December 27 (Day 289 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning, we watched church, and then I decided it was high time to get my butt in gear to get the house cleaned up.  I like to have all of the Christmas decorations down and put away before New Year’s Eve, and I also like to have the entire house clean, tidy, and have all of the laundry done by New Year’s Eve, too, so we can start the new year with the cleanest slate possible. 

Sunday, I took down the tree in our bedroom along with the tree in my office (sad face), and I got all of those items put away.  I also washed all of the sheets and we finished tidying most everything up from Christmas Day.  There was still a toy explosion in much of the house, and it was driving me up the wall, so it was time to get it all put away.

Sunday afternoon, we played in the back yard with the kids.  Brian and Jacob played frisbee (Jacob is obsessed all of a sudden for some reason) and Olivia and I ran around chasing each other and playing “tickle monster” upon her request.  Jacob also played with his new Nerf gun some, and he and B also played with their new chipping net I got B for Christmas. 

After that, I spent some time in my office wrapping up a few things for the week ahead, and then we got takeout from one of our local pizza places that we hadn’t had in a while.  after dinner, we watched the new movie Soul on Disney+ (SO GOOD) and then B and I watched some more of The Wilds.

And as if this post wasn’t long enough already, here are a few current things…

Currently Reading


This month, I decided to focus on one book… Christmas Shopaholic.  I bought it last year, barely picked it up during the Christmas season because we were just too busy, and then when I tried to read it in January I just wasn’t in the mood as Christmas had already passed.  I love the whole Shopaholic series and this one didn’t disappoint!  I’m not quite finished with it, but I anticipate I’ll be done with it by the end of the month.


Currently Watching


We wrapped up The Bachelorette this month, and we worked our way through the network shows that hadn’t gone on winter hiatus – Shark Tank, Supermarket Sweep, A Million Little Things, and Saturday Night Live.   


We finished The Undoing (SO good), and Magic for Humans, and we also finished Emily in Paris, season one.  We also finished The Mandalorian as well as the entire miniseries The Flight Attendant.  We just started the new show The Wilds on Amazon Prime and I am LOVING it.


And of course, Christmas stuff has been on repeat over here – Disney Holiday Singalong, the Christmas Tree Lighting in Rockefeller Center, Christmas Chronicals 1 & 2, Jingle Jangle, The Santa Clause movies, Home Alone 1, 2, and 3, The Holiday, and so many more.


Oh, and also?  College football, of course!  Bowl games are underway!


Currently Listening To


Christmas music all month long.  I’m so sad it’s over, but I’m SO grateful for the new year on the horizon!  I stopped listening to Christmas music the day after Christmas, and I’ve been listening to Taylor’s new album on repeat ever since!

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