Thursday, January 7, 2021

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 42 (Christmas Break and New Year’s)

Brian was off the entire week after Christmas, so we treated the week as one very long weekend, staying up late every night and sleeping in every morning.  The kids had tons and tons of time at home to play with all of their new toys and they loved every single second.

Monday, December 28 (Day 290 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, I spent the entire morning taking down the Christmas trees in the kids’ bedrooms, doing laundry, and cleaning the entire upstairs floor – sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing every surface.  I was done by lunchtime, and we had a light lunch at home.

After lunch, Brian and the kids played outside with their new golf chipping net and then we all got ready and headed out to get fireworks for New Year’s Eve.  The forecast showed storms for NYE at that point, but we figured we’d just get them anyway, and do them New Year’s Day if need be. 

Instead of heading to Alabama to go to a real fireworks outlet, we opted for a fireworks stand in the Walmart parking lot here in town.  We were worried about the fireworks outlets being too crowded, and many people down here in the south are being way too blasé about the whole pandemic, so we just didn’t think it’d be a good idea to risk it… especially since we’d have to drive so far to get them.

We picked out a few things, and then swung by Dairy Queen for Blizzards on the way home.  B and I hadn’t had the chance to get the peppermint hot chocolate Blizzards this year, and they were calling our names.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out, making dinner, and watching The Mandalorian with the kids… they were still behind!

Tuesday, December 29 (Day 291 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, we slept so late… almost until 9 which is just crazy!!  Since we got such a late start, that meant that I got a late start on everything I wanted to do, but I managed to get everything done anyway. 

Tuesday, my goal was to get all of the Christmas decorations put away downstairs (with the exception of the tree and mantle), get all of the outdoor decorations down and put away, do two loads of laundry, and scrub, dust, sweep, mop, and vacuum downstairs.  The entire morning was spent doing all those things, and I was done by the time B got back home with our Chick-Fil-A takeout for lunch.  I do need to thank him for taking down the majority of the outdoor décor… you the real MVP, B! 

After lunch, the four of us took a walk around the neighborhood so the kids could ride their scooters.  Santa brought Olivia her very own, so now they don’t have to share Jacob’s anymore, and it was so nice to have both of them scooting at the same time and not have to set a timer for them to take turns.  The weather was gorgeous – sunny and 63, so it was a pleasant walk.

The afternoon was spent doing some work in my office while B and the kids played video games.  I got B Super Smash Bros for Christmas and the kids are absolutely obsessed… so much, in fact, that they’ve completely stopped playing Minecraft and Zelda.  They laugh so hard the whole time they play Super Smash Bros and it is hysterical to listen to.

Tuesday evening after dinner, we watched Dolittle (it was good!) and during the movie, a frog came out of nowhere and jumped off of Brian's shoulder onto the floor... WHAT?!  Chaos ensued while B tried to catch him because Olivia and I are both scared of frogs (LOL), and that little thing was SO fast.  Brian finally caught him in the kitchen and we were all scratching our heads and wondering where the heck he had come from.

That night, B and I finished season one of The Wilds.  I loved it so much, y’all!!  If you’re looking for something to binge, you should definitely check that out.  Just be aware that there is a ton of bad language and it’s also a bit heavy in general.  I just read that it has been picked up for a second season, and I’m counting down the days until we can see what happens!

Wednesday, December 30 (Day 292 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning after breakfast, I got right to work taking down the Christmas tree and the mantle.  Between that and vacuuming and finishing up some laundry, that took all morning as well as a little more time after lunch.

Mid-afternoon, we all went outside so the kids could ride their scooters in the driveway.  Our driveway is on a hill and they love flying down the hill.  It makes me so nervous to watch, though, especially for Olivia as she was born clumsy.  Haha. 

Wednesday evening was spent hanging out at home, just like any other evening.  The kids did some Yoga to meet their activity goals on their watches, and then B and I started Bridgerton after they went to bed.  Have any of you watched it yet?  I’ve seen so many people rave about it, but the first few episodes were a little bit slow to me.

Thursday, December 31 (Day 293 of Quarantine)

Thursday was New Year’s Eve and it was a dreary day, raining off and on all day.  We obviously decided to stay home for New Year’s Eve, but we decided to make it extra special by dressing up, getting takeout from a nice restaurant, and letting the kids stay up until midnight for the first time ever.  We spent the morning decorating, and then Olivia and I painted our nails in silver sparkles in preparation for the evening ahead. 

I spent some time reading after lunch, and then mid-afternoon, Olivia and I went upstairs to get all dressed up.  She wanted a fancy hairdo, so she and I both used my hair waver, and I added some braids and a silver bow to hers upon her request. 

Once we were ready, the four of us went outside to snap a few New Year’s Eve pictures… we had to document our fancy outfits, of course!  ;o) 

That evening, B picked up filets with mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner from one of our favorite local restaurants that also happens to be right down the street from our house.  When he got home with the food, it was still piping hot, so I got everything plated quickly, and I whipped up some Winter White Cosmos to go along with it.  The kids feasted on the restaurant’s hand-breaded chicken fingers and homemade mac n cheese, and it was SUCH a lovely meal. 

Steak is my very favorite meal, and we hadn’t had one since February – pre-Covid for B’s birthday – before everything shut down, so it was the ultimate treat and a perfect way to end a less-than-stellar year.

After dinner, we stepped out into the back yard and did the fireworks that we’d bought earlier in the week, and our neighborhood was booming with them as it usually does.  We all came inside around 9ish, I made a heavenly dessert board for all of us to snack on the rest of the evening, and then we spent the rest of the night watching Dick Clark’s Rocking Eve with Ryan Seacrest and perusing all of the fun NYE Snapchat filters. 

We took a break in between to watch the last episode of The Mandalorian (the second time for B and me) and the kids loved it.  By the time we had finished that, it was nearing 11 PM, and the kids were losing steam.  They rallied and made it to midnight, though, and we all toasted with champagne and sparkling grape juice… it was probably my most favorite New Year’s Eve that we’ve had since the kids were born!

The kids ended up getting their second wind shortly after midnight, so we stepped out on our front porch to watch the fireworks in the culdesac on our street.  I thought they’d never be done, but thankfully, they finally wrapped up around 12:45 or so.  We got the kids in bed just before 1 AM – probably the latest they’ve ever stayed up in their little lives – and then B and I went to bed right after polishing off the rest of the bottle of champagne.  EEKS!  This picture below is our first family picture of 2021... taken at 12:44 AM, right before the kids climbed into bed.  Yikes!  Haha.

It was the perfect way to say PEACE OUT to 2020, and hello, to what I hope is going to be a better year.  I documented our New Year’s Eve adventures on Instagram, and if you missed any of it, you can check out my NYE 2020 highlight in my bio.  We had so much fun!

Friday, December 11 (Day 294 of Quarantine)

Friday was the laziest day I’ve had in months and it was exactly what we all needed after our partying Thursday night.  B and I slept in until 9 and then B headed out to grab donuts while I headed downstairs only to curl up on the couch in a blanket and read.  The kids ended up sleeping until 10 AM!!!!  10 AM, y’all!!  And then we all enjoyed the donuts for a verrrry late breakfast.

The rest of the day was literally spent sitting on the couch under a blanket, alternating between watching football and reading my book, and then I also played board games with the kiddos.  We watched Georgia play at noon in a super close and heart attack-inducing game, but we WON and it was a great way to start out the new year.

Friday afternoon, however, we received texts, calls, and emails from the school stating that we would not be going back to school in person after Christmas Break was over, and that we were to start virtual learning again on January 4.  They put the virtual mandate in place for two weeks to start, but of course, things are subject to change.  It was completely unexpected as it had never been mentioned prior to us leaving for Christmas Break, but I did have a feeling it was coming since our public school district had made the same announcement the day before that.

Covid cases are at the highest they’ve ever been in our city, and between that and the fact that loads of people traveled and saw family and friends over the break, the school decided it was best to keep everyone at home for virtual for a couple of weeks until cases start to decrease again.

To say I was heartbroken was an understatement… that was certainly some of the last news we wanted to hear on the first day of the new year, but I do know that they made the right decision by prioritizing safety first.  That doesn’t make it suck any less, though… especially since our family chose to put safety first during the holidays and we changed all of our traditional family gatherings so we could do our part to prevent community spread. 

I have to say, it’s been really hard (and quite maddening) seeing some people’s posts from the holidays on the internet… so many people carried on with their regular traditions of getting together indoors with loads of people and no masks and, because of that, Covid cases are raging, and our city’s three hospitals are at maximum capacity.  There isn’t a single regular or ICU bed open right now in our city and that is terrifying.

I tried not to let the news ruin my day, though, and instead, I pulled out my new 2021 planner and started canceling appointments and rearranging tasks to accommodate my new profession of virtual learning moderator yet again.  Sigh.  I had big plans for the blog in January – new content every single weekday this month – but, sadly, some of it will have to be pushed out as I won’t have much time (if any) to dedicate to the blog for the next two weeks, maybe even longer if the kids are unable to go back to school on the 19th as currently scheduled. 

I did finally get up and do something productive Friday evening… I cooked our traditional New Year’s Day dinner of ham (well, technically that was left over from Christmas), black eyed peas, mashed potatoes, and collard greens.  I’ve been eating that meal every New Year’s Day for my whole life… it’s a southern tradition.  Black eyed peas are said to bring good luck in the upcoming year, and greens (turnips or collards) are said to bring wealth and prosperity.  Lord knows, we could really use some good luck right about now!  Y’all all please eat your black eyed peas this year!  Lol.

We sent the kids to bed at 8:45 Friday evening because they’d gotten so little sleep the night before, and then B and I watched more football.

Saturday, January 2 (Day 295 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, I got in my first workout of the year – some indoor cardio – and then I spent the morning getting a few things done around the house.  Jacob put together his new K'nex roller coasters all morning, and wanted me to snap a picture to send to my parents.  This kid LOVES to build.

Saturday afternoon, we finally got together with Brian’s side of the family for a quick, masked, outdoor, Christmas celebration.  My MIL and step-FIL grabbed pizzas for each family, and we all ate at individual tables spread far apart on their deck.  It was nice, but SUPER WEIRD yet again.  Typically, my MIL and step-FIL make a huge spread of ham, dressing, pineapple casserole, corn casserole, and all of our other favorites, and we all cozy up in their living room by the Christmas tree to open gifts all afternoon, so this was yet another typical weird "avoid Covid" celebration. 

After that, my father-in-law came over to our house to celebrate Christmas on the back porch, spaced apart, with masks.  We had no food and didn’t have nearly as much time together as we normally do, but again, at least we were able to get together, say hello, and exchange gifts. 

That concluded our celebrations for Christmas 2020, and I pray that we never EVER have to celebrate Christmas that way again.  It is really, really sad celebrating Christmas outside in the cold, in the dark, with no yummy food, not much time, and with masks on… and it’s even sadder not being able to hug anyone.  Christmas is supposed to be cozy and warm indoors by the fire with all the yummy comfort foods, good conversation, and hugs galore.  It’s not supposed to be cold and rushed.  :o(   

B picked up Five Guys for dinner after our celebration ended, and then the four of us spent the rest of the evening hanging out.  The kids had gotten new Christmas gifts from their grandparents, and all they wanted to do was put together their new Legos and work on their new crafts. 

After they went to bed, B and I watched a combo of football, Supermarket Sweep that we hadn’t yet watched, and Bridgerton.  After episode four, it finally started to grow on me a little.  I feel like that’s where things finally started to pick up and get interesting.

Sunday, January 3 (Day 296 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning was the last day of Christmas Break, and we started the day off with virtual church and cinnamon rolls like every week of quarantine.  During church, I finished getting organized in my planner for the week ahead since we are once again having to pivot to virtual learning – sigh – and then afterward, I helped Olivia bake her new Shrinky Dinks twinkle light set in the oven after she colored them.  The final project turned out really neat, despite the fact that we had some issues getting the light strand together. 

We had a light lunch after that, and during lunch, Olivia kept complaining that her loose bottom tooth was hurting when she was chewing.  We looked at it, and sure enough, it was time for it to come out.  The only problem was… neither Brian nor myself have ever once pulled a loose tooth.  Lol.  We have always gotten my Mama Cass or Jacob’s old teacher to pull them as they are both the tooth-pulling experts, but given that we are in quarantine and the kids won’t be heading back to school any time soon, we knew it was up to us to get the job done. 

I immediately deferred to B – LOL – because loose teeth give me the heebie jeebies.  He was a little apprehensive at first, but he ended up getting the job done… without hurting Olivia in the process.  Woo hoooo!  Hahahaha. 

After the tooth-pulling success, the five of us (Maui included), headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.  Olivia managed to have, not one, but TWO spills on her scooter while we were out, and while she hopped right back on after the first one (bloody knee and all), she was DONE after the second one.  Bless her little heart. 

Naturally, the second time she fell, we were at the very furthest point away from our house, so she had a loooong walk back, but she was a trooper, and was back to her usual bubbly self after we cleaned her knee and fingers up when we got back home.

I spent the rest of the day in my office busting my butt to crank out as much blog content as possible, because honestly, I have no clue if I’ll have any time to work on it at all since the kids will be virtual again.  We got Jacob’s daily schedule Sunday afternoon, and his teacher is spreading things out throughout the whole day instead of keeping everything together in the morning, so that messes me up because I typically use the afternoon to work after they’ve finished their schooling. 

I made white chicken chili for dinner, and then the kids got showered and ready for bed to kind-of get back in the swing of things for school, but we didn’t take bedtime super seriously since nobody had to be up at 6 AM on Monday morning.  That’s the one bonus of virtual learning – a slightly later wake-up call – so we’re choosing to look on the bright side and say CHEERS TO THAT!!!! 

Happy Thursday, y’all!


  1. Wow, your kids stayed up till midnight! We did an 8 pm celebration, staying up till 9 was even late for Simon! Our school had planned to be virtual the week after break due to travel and such, but they are supposed to go back next week. Hope you get to go back in person soon too!

  2. Sounds like a great week! I can't believe they stayed up so late! I finished Bridgerton the other day and it did take a while. I couldn't get Kevin to watch it! We are back to virtual learning here as well and remote working. Our cases and hospitalizations are the highest ever. Good luck with the supervising of learning!


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