Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Our Week - The One with a Coffee Date and a Safari Zoo Trip

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This past week was busy, but we were able to squeeze in lots of fun this past weekend, and we finally got to spend some quality time with my brother and his family for the first time since the pandemic started!  Let’s get to the recap!

Monday, August 23

Monday morning, I got the kids off to school, did our bi-monthly grocery shopping, and then headed home to do laundry and work all day.  At 3, I grabbed the kids and got Olivia straight to dance, and B met us at the dance studio to pick up Jacob so he could get home, do his homework, and get to baseball.  Whew.  Mondays are busy! 

Olivia had her two-hour dance class on Monday, so I wandered around Hobby Lobby for a bit to check out the fall décor.  It is definitely my happy place this time of year.  I made it back to the dance studio in time to read a couple of chapters in my book, and then Olivia was done for the day.

She and I headed straight home after that, and she got showered and got her homework done while I started cooking dinner.  The boys got home just after seven, and we all sat down to eat dinner together and talk about how everyone’s day went. 

After dinner, the kids got ready for bed and then settled in to read for a bit, and B and I watched a couple of episodes of the new season of Modern Love.

Monday, the FDA gave full approval for the Pfizer vaccine – fantastic news!  We know several people who have been waiting for this so they can feel comfortable getting it, so I’m hoping that means a lot more people will go out and get it now.  The vaccination rate here in Georgia is abysmal and Covid is spreading like wildfire. 

Tuesday, August 24

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids at school and knocked out a couple of blog posts at home and the rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with my therapist, grabbing the kids from school, heading home for Olivia to change into her dance clothes, and then heading back out to the pediatrician’s office for Jacob’s annual well checkup.  Right now, only the patient and one parent are allowed in, so B met us there to grab Olivia and then he took her to dance. 

Jacob had a great checkup, and his pediatrician said his growth was great for this past year.  As we were walking out, I asked the doc about the Covid numbers there at the pediatrician’s office, and he said that things are just awful.  When we went back in May or June (I can’t remember which), they were only having to test around 20 kids per day and they hadn’t had a single positive case in over 30 days.  He said now, they’re testing around 120 kids per day (the max amount they can squeeze in) and they’re seeing at least 15-17 positive cases there per day... and that’s just there in their office.  He said things are just really, really awful here right now, y’all. 

It’s so bad, in fact, that several schools in our area have already shut down and gone to virtual again because their numbers are so high.  This Delta variant seems to be passing through the kids like crazy and it’s scary.  So far, our school seems to be doing well, and I’m praying it stays that way.

Afterward, we met back up with Brian and Olivia at home, and Brian left right away to go to tennis.  I’m so grateful that Brian’s job is so flexible that he can help transport the kids when their activities overlap.

Once we got settled in at home, the kids got their homework done while I heated up a frozen pizza, and then the three of us ate dinner together.  By the time we were finished, there was just enough time for us to clean up the kitchen, prep for the next day, and then get the kids showered and in the bed. 

After the kids were in bed, I called my parents to chat for a bit, and then when B got home from tennis, he and I watched another episode of Modern Love.  We also got a message from Jacob’s baseball coach late Tuesday night that a few of the kids on the team had either tested positive or were quarantining from exposure, so that wasn’t a message we’d wanted to receive. 

Jacob had practiced with some of the kids on Monday, but some of them weren’t there… hopefully the sick and exposed kids.  Brian had been at the entire practice, and he said that the kids stayed spread out over the whole field all evening, so Jacob hadn’t been near anyone and nobody had spent any time in the dugout either.  The odds of Jacob being exposed were probably nearly impossible, so we didn’t have to worry about quarantining him from school as our school considers exposure to be “being within three feet of an exposed person for 15 minutes or more.”  That did mean that we were done with baseball for the week, though.  

Wednesday, August 25

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids at school, came home for a bit, and then headed back to the school for a meeting.  We’re working on getting new playground equipment for the school, and I’m on the committee.  The meeting went well, and we made lots of progress on the project.

After our meeting, I headed to one of the home stores in town that I love to see if I could find some new kitchen rugs.  I’ve been trying so hard to find something that fits all of my needs, and unfortunately, they didn’t have what I was looking for either.  Boooo.

The rest of the day was spent at home having lunch and working, and then at 3 I went to pick up the kids.  Jacob had another doctor appointment at 3:45, so we headed straight there after school, and B met us there to pick up Olivia since she wasn’t allowed to go in with us again (Covid protocol). 

His appointment went great, although a little long, and he and I got home just in time for me to start cooking dinner.  We skipped baseball Wednesday night because of the Covid situation, and Brian was going to get out in the back yard with Jacob to hit some balls, but we had a huge storm blow in, and it ended up raining the whole evening.  Such a bummer. 

We ended the night with a workout for me, Lego Masters, bedtime for the kids, and then another episode of Modern Love for B and me.

Thursday, August 26

Thursday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then went for a run.  The rest of the morning and afternoon were spent working with my beloved Friends playing in the background, and then I grabbed the kids from school.

We had nowhere to be Thursday evening, so went straight home, finished homework, I cooked a yummy dinner, and then we spent the whole evening out in the back yard.  Jacob wanted to hit some balls and practice throwing since baseball had been canceled, and Olivia wanted to do the same.  She grew bored of playing catch pretty quickly, so we blew some bubbles and we played frisbee, too.  We were also treated to a gorgeous cloud formation while we were out there.

My friend Jeannine and her family challenged our family to a little Lego Masters competition, so our family picked the team who we think is going to win, and their family picked the team who they think will win, and then whoever loses has to give the other family a gift basket of fun stuff.  Our kiddos love that show so this was the perfect fun little challenge for them. 

We stayed outside until it was time for the kids to get ready for bed, and then after we got them to bed, B and I finished season two of Modern Love.  Both of us agreed that season two fell a little flat for both of us.  We both adored season one – it was so heartfelt and feel-good – but season two just wasn’t great. 

B had been a little hoarse for a few days at that point, but had zero other symptoms and he felt fine, but he took one of our at-home Covid tests Thursday night just to be safe, and he was negative.  The ragweed started blooming this week, so I’m sure it’s just allergies as my allergies have been wreaking havoc, too.  My eyes have felt like glue and I’ve been having dizzy spells since the ragweed pollen started.  Ugh, the ragweed is always the worst.

Friday, August 27

Friday morning, I dropped the kids and then met my friend Jeannine for coffee at one of our favorite local places.  We sat outside for a bit and then strolled around downtown while we chatted.  On the way back to our cars, we stopped by the new donut place that opened to grab donuts for our families for Saturday morning.  This donut shop was a staple here in town for most of my life, but it closed years ago, so I was thrilled to see that they had decided to reopen, this time at a different location.  Isn’t the facade the absolute cutest?!

During this whole pandemic, I haven’t been able to see my friends nearly as much as I used to, so spending quality time with Jeannine was the absolute best thing, and we’re hoping to start doing these coffee dates more often.  I know you’re probably reading, Jeannine, and I want you to know that I’m so grateful for you and our 25+ year friendship.  Our coffee date was food for my soul. <3

Jeannine is my personal librarian (she works at one of our local locations) and she was so sweet to bring the book I had placed on hold to me to save me the trip.  She also surprised me with a Friends cookbook that is the absolute cutest because she knew I’d love it.  And I do!!

She and I went our separate ways around 10, and I stopped by Walmart on the way home to grab a few things.  Last year, I changed the décor on our mantle, and I hung a big, bright floral painting in lots of pinks and greens, but it looks odd up there from September to December when the house is decorated for fall and Christmas.  I decided that I want to leave it up from January to August and then just hang something more neutral for the rest of the year.  It was really hard trying to make the house look fall-like last year with that big pink spring-y and summer-y looking painting up there.  Haha.

I ended up finding two mirrors at Walmart – their Better Homes and Gardens line has some great stuff – and I grabbed both of them to try.  Unfortunately, both of them ended up being too small for the mantle area, so I found a larger one at Target and I ordered it for drive-through pickup.

The rest of the day was spent at home doing some work, eating lunch with B, and then picking up the kiddos from school, and then we spent a nice, quiet evening at home Friday night.  B picked up takeout from our favorite local pub, we mixed up some Moscow Mules, and then we caught up on America’s Got Talent from earlier in the week.  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched the newest episode of Ted Lasso, and then we started The Morning Show.  We figured we might as well get as much money out of our Apple TV subscription as we can while we have it!

Saturday, August 28

Saturday morning, we were up and at ‘em to eat breakfast (donuts I’d bought on Friday) and get ready to head to the zoo.  While we ate breakfast, we watched ESPN College GameDay because it was baaaack!!!!  College football is back, baby!! 

We were out the door in time to arrive at the zoo just after it opened, and we met my brother and sister-in-law + my niece and nephew there!!  We hadn’t been able to spend any significant time with them since the pandemic started (aside from keeping my nephew one night) so we were all excited about getting together with them – FINALLYYYY.  Thank goodness for vaccines!!!! 

We started the day with the walk-through portion of the zoo.  They had tigers and bears and monkeys and alpacas and all kinds of other cool animals.  The kids loved it, and Olivia squealed screamed with delight so much that I thought she was going to upset the animals.  Lol. 

Just as we were finishing up with our walk-through, we got the message that our van was ready for the drive-through portion.  This particular place offers “safari rides” very similar to Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safari ride in Animal Kingdom.  However, this one is more interactive in that you can feed the animals and they come right up to your vehicle.  You can drive your own vehicle through, ride on the guided tour bus, or rent a van, and we decided to rent a van for all of us so we could ride through together.

There’s no way ever that I’d take my own vehicle through there because the animals literally climb up the side of your car, and if you don’t have bars on your windows, they will stick their whole faces in there with you.  Plus, the rams literally head butt all of the vehicles, so unless you want a bunch of dents and scratches on your car, do not drive through in your own vehicle.  Haha.

The van we had was completely open-air – no windows to roll up – because all of the windows have bars on them.  We bought a bag of food for each of the kids and then my brother drove us through.  We got to see lots of different kinds of elk and buffalo and deer, plus giraffes, camels, ostriches, peacocks, pigs, rams, cows, ponies, zebras, and so many other animals.  The kids got to feed one of the giraffes and it “sneezed” on our van and got all of the kids wet.  So gross.  Lol. 

There were strict rules about which animals you could feed from your hand and which ones not to feed – camels, zebras, and ostriches will bite, so they were absolutely off limits.  Fortunately, we made it through without any mishaps!

Sitting in that steaming hot van with no air conditioning and no breeze for an hour and a half eventually took its toll on me, though.  Confined spaces and knowing that I can’t get out of a situation if I need to triggers my anxiety, and heat makes it a thousand times worse, so I ended up being anxious for the second half of the drive.  We had a couple of vehicles in front of us that were taking FOREVER to go through, but thankfully, we were able to pass them and that helped ease my anxiety.

The kids had an absolute BLAST, though, and that’s all that matters.  They all loved it so so much and I’m grateful we were able to go.  I hadn’t been to that zoo since I was a kid and it’s always fun to take my kiddos to some of the same places I went as a kid.

The second we made it back to the parking lot, my anxiety completely disappeared, and I was able to enjoy the last bit of our trip.  We headed back to the walk-through portion of the zoo so the kids could see the reptiles, and then we made it to the gift shop to let each of them pick out a souvenir… stuffed animals for one and all!

By then, it was time to head back home, and thank goodness, as it poured down rain the entire drive.  We swung by Target to pick up my mirror, and then we swung through the Chick-Fil-A drive through to pick up a verrrry late lunch.  We ate lunch at home, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent catching up on the rest of ESPN College GameDay that we’d recorded while I decorated for fall. 

It stormed all afternoon, so it was just the coziest day – Cinnamon and Clove oil in the diffuser, College GameDay followed by college football on the TV, and decorating for fall… aaaahhhh.  Just so, so good, y’all. 

B hung the new mirror, and it ended up being perfect, although, still slightly too small, but I decided to keep it and I’m going to work to fill in all of the negative space around it to make it look good.  I think I can, I think I can.  ;o)

B and I cracked open some beers in the late afternoon, and then we ended up ordering pizza from our favorite local place through Waitr so B didn’t have to go out in all of the rain.  After dinner, the kiddos got ready for bed, and then we watched a couple of episodes of The Mysterious Benedict Society followed by bedtime for the kids.  B and I watched two more episodes of The Morning Show and then we called it a night, too.

Sunday, August 29

Sunday morning was leftover donuts and virtual Mass, and my mother-in-law stopped by to drop something off, too.  I spent an hour planning the week ahead + the new month ahead, and then I got in a workout and did aaaallll the things to prep for everyone coming over to our house for Sunday dinner.  B mowed while I cleaned off the back porch, cleaned up the kitchen, scrubbed the toilets, tidied up, prepped for dinner, and prepped for the week ahead. 

We had a quick lunch at home and then got ready for the day, and then I was finally able to squeeze in a couple of hours of work.  It poured off and on all afternoon as the outer bands of Hurricane Ida started moving in, and I watched the coverage of the hurricane while I worked.  God bless everyone affected by that monster storm, especially those in New Orleans.  I think it’s absolutely insane that this massive hurricane hit on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. 

Everyone came to our house for Sunday dinner – my momma and daddy, my brothers, my SIL, my niece and nephew, and my Mama Cass.  Because the kids have been back at school (and they can’t be vaccinated yet), we didn’t want to put my Mama Cass (or anyone else) at risk, so we ate dinner outside on the back porch.  Thankfully, the rain from Hurricane Ida held off most of the evening, so we didn’t have to worry about getting chased inside.

I made chicken and ranch pasta, roasted broccoli, carrots, and green beans, and rolls, and my momma made a Caesar salad and a delicious sour cream pound cake for dessert.  The kiddos had tons of good playtime together in the back yard while all of the adults had time to hang out and catch up, and it was really special because it was the first time my whole family has been together since before the pandemic.  My brother and sister-in-law who live out of town didn’t come for any of the holidays last year because of Covid, and the couple of times that they did visit in between, our family was out of town on vacation, so we missed them.  So anyway, Sunday evening was really great, much needed, and the perfect way to end the weekend.

And now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


In August, I read Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren for my fiction book and I thought it was really cute.  It was a typical romcom, so a little bit predictable, but I still enjoyed it.  It’s definitely worth the read if you want something light and fluffy… and that is what I prefer right now during these tough times.


For my non-fiction book, I’m finishing up You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and I’m loving it so much!  I love Jen Sincero’s honest, often very blunt, style of writing, and I love how she writes like she’s sitting across from you and talking to you directly.  The language is very casual, so the book is easy to read, but at the same time, I feel like she’s a brilliant writer.  I also think a lot of the advice given is priceless.  I took away so many fantastic nuggets.  I know I’m a little late to the game with this one, but if you haven’t read it yet either, I definitely recommend it.  It was inspiring.


Currently Watching


This month, B and I finished All American, The Bachelorette, and Atypical, we started and caught up with Ted Lasso, and we started and already finished the new season of Modern Love.  B and I weren’t too impressed with the second season of Modern Love, though, which is a huge bummer since we both loved the first season so much.  We also just started The Morning Show and we are both enjoying it so far.  I mean, can you go wrong with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell?  And, of course, we’re still watching Walk the Prank, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, Lego Masters, Mysterious Benedict Society, and America’s Got Talent with the kids.


I’m also still working my way through Friends – AGAIN – and loving every single second of it.  Season 5 is pure gold, y’all.  GOLD.  And season 6 comes in a close second.  My gosh, I love that show.


Currently Listening To


Now that I’m in a fall mood, I’ve been shuffling all of my favorite standards music – Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, Ella Fitzgerald, Steve Tyrell, etc. plus my cocktail jazz albums.  I also love the Steve Tyrell Pandora station.  All of this music will play until I make the switch to Christmas music on November 1.  Yes, I said Christmas music on November 1.  Hahahaha.


In other listening news, I have also been listening to a couple of different podcasts – The Simplified podcast by Emily Ley, and The Bestie Breakdown with Shay and Erika.  I love both of those!  And as always, I listen to The Elvis Duran Morning Show every weekday morning from 6 – 10 AM.  I’ve been listening to them for 11 years now and I love them so much!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!



  1. Your nephew and niece are like a mini version of Jacob and Olivia! So cute. I love seeing animals up close. I remember Zachary being terrified of a safari ride through like that!

  2. What a great week... shopping, coffee with a friend, the zoo, and Sunday family dinner!! So much happiness! Did you pick anything up at Hobby Lobby?? I still need to get there to see what they have for this fall season.


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