Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Our Week - The One with Thanksgiving, Fantasy in Lights, and North Pole Breakfast

We had the absolute BEST Thanksgiving week and I’m recapping it all today!

Monday, November 22

B and I had gotten our Covid booster shots Sunday afternoon, so we spent all day Monday at home resting.  I woke up feeling normal other than a sore arm, so I threw on some leggings and a sweatshirt, and I headed to Publix at 8 AM so I could beat the crowd.  I had our regular grocery shopping to do plus all of our Thanksgiving shopping, so it took slightly longer than usual, but thankfully, I had the place mostly to myself as always.

When I got home, B was in his office working.  Monday was the only day he had to work last week, and thankfully, he’s still working from home, so he was able to be cozy and comfy while doing so since he’d gotten his booster, too.

After I got all of the groceries put away, we all had a quick breakfast, and then I headed to my office with a hot cup of tea in hand to catch up on some blog reading while the kids watched cartoons.  Around 10 AM, my body started aching a bit, and the aches were mostly in my back like the last time. 

I headed downstairs when the kids finished their cartoons, and I lay down on the couch to read for a few minutes while they finished the game of Monopoly that they’d been working on for a couple of days. 

When they grew tired of the game, we got out our new 1,000-piece Christmas puzzle and got to work.  We managed to get the whole edge put together before lunch, and we also sorted some of the other pieces as well. 

I made lunch after that, and then we spent some more time puzzling while B went back in his office to work.  At that point, my aches had peaked, and thankfully, no other symptoms had shown up.  B also had aches all day long, although, he seemed to feel a little worse than I did.  He didn’t feel bad, though, and he was able to work as scheduled.

After our second shots, I was EXHAUSTED all day plus I had the body aches as well as a headache.  After the third shot, all I had was the body aches, and they were pretty mild, so I’d say the third shot was easy peasy for me!  Brian had similar symptoms this time around, too – just body aches.

Monday afternoon, the kids played video games for a bit, and I spent some time in my office tying up loose ends for the next few days.  I wanted to spend minimal time in my office Thanksgiving week, so I could enjoy all of the time off with B and the kids! 

The kids spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside because the sun had finally come out (it had been rainy/dreary all day), and I got dinner ready.  We had several batches of leftovers in the freezer and we ate those last week, so I was able take the week off from cooking… aside from making dishes for Thanksgiving, of course.

After dinner, we made some popcorn and we all piled on the couch to watch Christmas Chronicals.  Brian put a fire in the fireplace because it was coooold, and it was just a cozy evening in. 

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched that new Netflix movie, LoveHard, and it was so cute!!  Definitely better than I thought it was going to be.  It had some laugh out loud moments and it was also very sweet.  Plus, they threw in a few references to a couple of my other favorite Christmas movies (not going to spoil anything, though!), so it was a win in my book! 

By the time we headed off to bed, my aches were nearly gone, so I was feeling somewhat back to normal.  I ended up getting a great night’s sleep and I woke up feeling totally normal on Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 23

Tuesday, we all slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, and then we all got ready to play golf.  It was freezing Tuesday morning, but by the time we got out there, it was in the forties and it was sunny, so it ended up being a very pleasant day. 

We got two golf carts, and Jacob jumped in with me while Olivia jumped in with Brian.  The course we play on caters to kids, so B would tee off on the adult spot and then we’d ride up to the tee for the kids so they could shoot.  Both kids did really well and they each ended up getting a par on one of the holes!!  I don’t play golf, so I just drove the cart while they played, and it was a fun outing for all of us.

It was lunchtime by the time we’d finished, so we went to one of our favorite local spots.  We still aren’t dining in anywhere very often (especially with the kids), so it was a nice little treat.  I tried something new-to-me on the menu – a burger with bacon, goat cheese, and pepper jelly – and it was soooo delicious. 

When we got home, the kids squeezed in a little bit of video game time while I got a few things done in my office, and then Jacob and I headed out for his appointment.  When that was over, we headed home, and I got a few things done around the house until it was time to get dinner ready.

After dinner, the kids got ready for bed, and then we watched Christmas Chronicals 2.  I haven’t been taking as much time to work out lately, so I did a stair stepper workout while we watched, and then I got in my PJs for the rest of the movie.  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched The Bachelorette, and then we went to bed, too.

Wednesday, November 24

Wednesday morning, we had breakfast and got ready, and then we headed over to my friend, Khristina’s, house for a playdate.  My friend, Jeannine, met us there with her two boys, and the kids spent the whole morning running around outside and playing.  We made hot chocolate for all of them mid-playdate, and they all decorated theirs with marshmallows and Christmas sprinkles. 

Around lunchtime, the kids and I headed home to meet Brian to have a quick lunch, and then we set out to find our Christmas tree.  We decided to swing by Lowe’s first since they have the best prices, but their trees just weren’t great again this year, so we went across the street where a tree farm sets up every year, and we picked one out there.  They’re always way more expensive, but the trees are much healthier, and we know we’re supporting a small business when we do, so that makes it a little less painful to shell out that much money for something we’re going to toss over our fence in a month.  Haha.

The prices at this place have been rising exponentially the last few years, and this year was no exception, so next year, I’m tempted to buy an artificial tree for the first time ever in my life.  We have artificial trees in all of the bedrooms, but we’ve never ever had a fake tree as our main tree.  Between the prices being so outrageous and how much of a pain it is setting up, maintaining, and cleaning up after a real tree each year, the artificial tree is starting to sound mighty appealing… and maybe that would also help with my allergies?  I swear, they get worse when we bring that tree in the house every year.

We ended up finding the perfect tree in about 15 minutes, and while the guys loaded it up for us, we took the kids over to get some cotton candy.  They’ve eaten cotton candy plenty of times in their lives, but they’ve never had the opportunity to watch someone make it, and they were both amazed at the process.  The guy making it was so sweet and he made it a really fun experience for them, too. 

Krispy Kreme was on the way home, so we stopped in the drive-through to grab some donuts for Thanksgiving breakfast, and then we headed home.  B and I got the tree inside and in the stand, and then I took a break before putting the lights on it.  Doing the lights is always soooo frustrating, so I had to make sure I was in a good headspace before starting.  Hahahaha.

I ended up getting the lights on faster than usual, I think?  And then we stopped to have dinner… a frozen pizza, because nobody wants to cook the night before Thanksgiving.

The rest of the night was spent decorating the tree, and the kids helped a lot this year.  It’s always one of my favorite things each year, pulling out all of our ornaments from year’s past… the tiny handprints and ornaments with the kids’ pictures in them from when they were tiny are always my favorite ones!

By the time we finished decorating the tree, it was too late for a movie, so we opted for a couple of episodes of The Fresh Prince, and then the kids went to bed.  B and I stayed up to watch some shows, and then we went to bed, too.

Thursday, November 25

Thursday morning was Thanksgiving, but we had nowhere to be until 5 PM, so we had the whole morning and afternoon to relax.  We got up, ate our donuts, and lounged on the couch all morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Brian built a fire because it was so cold outside, and it was just a cozy morning in.

I had planned to give the kids some coloring pages to do while we were watching, but Brian surprised all of us (myself included) with the Home Alone Lego set!!!!  We are DIE HARD Home Alone fans in this house and Brian and I were going crazy over it when we saw it was coming out, but it ended up selling out immediately, so I thought we’d never even have a chance to get one. 

Well, SURPRISE!  B hopped on Lego.com the morning it came out, and he snagged one for us before it sold out.  It’s almost 4,000 pieces so it’s by far, the largest set Jacob has ever gotten, and he was so excited he couldn’t stand it!  He got started on it immediately, and he worked on it the whole entire morning until lunchtime, and then for a bit afterward.  Olivia helped a little bit, too, but she was content just watching Jacob.

We did a charcuterie board for lunch so everyone could just graze a bit… we had a huge dinner Thursday night, and everyone wanted to be good and hungry for that. 

After lunch, I got in a cardio workout, and then B and I worked on the puzzle for a bit, while we watched the dog show. 

I spent a few minutes getting some things done in my office after that, and the kids played video games for a short while, and then it was time to make my pineapple casserole and get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, my mom’s side of the family decided to go ahead and proceed with our usual gathering at my aunt and uncle’s house.  Nearly everyone is vaccinated now, and my aunt and uncle’s house is really big, so it holds our very large family with plenty of room for everyone to spread out, which is exactly what we needed.  I was so dang grateful to be able to do our normal thing again after last year’s super strange (and sad) Thanksgiving. 

Everyone brought their usual dishes, and I ate so. much. food.  Typically, on Thanksgiving, we do lunch with my FIL at the country club at noon, so by the time we get to my family’s get together, we’ve already eaten once.  This time, however, we hadn’t eaten much all day, so I was readyyyy.  Haha.

We mixed up some drinks and poured some wine, and it was just the loveliest night with almost my whole extended fam.  We had a few missing, but that’s usually the way it is anyway since we’re all spread out over the country.

My brother and sister-in-law and their kids were able to make it, too, so that was awesome.  Originally, they weren’t going to be in town until the day after Thanksgiving, so it was a nice treat that they were able to make it for Thanksgiving dinner. 

We ended up staying until almost 9, so by the time we got home, it was time for the kids to get in the bed.  B and I stayed up a little longer to watch some shows, but I ended up falling asleep on the couch… too much food and too much wine!

Friday, November 26

Friday morning, we had breakfast and then I spent a few minutes snuggled on the couch Black Friday shopping.  I got up and went for a run around 10:30 and it was COLD and WINDY.  Somehow, I managed to have one of my best paces since I started running last year, though!

After my run, it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving #2, and my father-in-law, and both sisters-in-law and their families all came over at noon.  This year, we opted for takeout from one of our favorite restaurants, and we all ate on the back porch.  The weather was perfection – cool and sunny – and it was such a nice day.  Many rounds of Cornhole were played and lots of football was watched, too!

Everyone left mid-afternoon, and then it was time for us to get ready to leave for Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens!  When my brother and sister-in-law found out they’d be in town for Thanksgiving, we all ordered tickets.  The day after Thanksgiving is one of their busiest days of the whole year, so we knew we needed to get the tickets early.

Our tickets were for the trolley in the 6 PM hour, so we headed there shortly after everyone left.  It’s quite a haul from where we live, but it’s always, always worth it!  My brother and SIL followed us there, and my parents picked up my littlest brother from work and they all met us there. 

It was soooo cold Friday night, so it was the absolute perfect weather for something Christmasy.  We all got bundled up and we bundled up all of the babies, and we were able to board one of the first trolleys which meant that we were able to avoid the crowds!  Woo hoooo! 

We let all of the kids sit in one row by themselves, and then my brothers and sister-in-law sat in front of them while B, my parents, and me sat behind them.  I handed out candy canes to all of them, and my mom passed out blankets, and then we were on our merry way! 

The ride through lasts about an hour, and all four kids were enthralled the whole time.  It was just so much fun, and it was the perfect way to officially kick off the Christmas season.  It was also wonderful to have some normalcy again after last year’s weirdness.  Last year, we were able to go to Fantasy in Lights, but we only went as a family of four and we had to drive through in our own vehicle because of Covid.  It’s just not the same not riding the trolley, and it’s especially not the same when you can’t share it with everyone else.  I spent the whole ride feeling so very grateful.

My sister-in-law snapped a few pictures of the kids during the ride and their little faces are just the sweetest!!  And also, I swear I wasn’t on my phone the whole time like it appears in these pictures.  Haha.

When the ride was over, we walked through some of the festivities back at the main pavilion, and we had someone snap our picture in one of the big ornaments.  Just as the person snapped our picture, one of the employees of Callaway Gardens who was dressed up as an elf on stilts, photobombed us.  Can you spot her?

Once that was done, we all headed back home, swinging by Texas Roadhouse to pick up takeout for a verrrrrrrry late dinner, and we all ate at our house.  By the time dinner was over, it was late, so my parents, brothers, SIL, niece, and nephew headed out. 

While everyone was over there, Maui started having a really bad limp on her right front leg, and she had me so very worried.  We couldn’t figure out exactly what had happened to cause it, but thankfully, shortly after everyone left, she was walking normally again.  It was the strangest thing, but I was so thankful it was short-lived.  She was pitiful.

After everyone left, the kids went straight to bed, and then B and I watched TV for a very short time, and then went to bed ourselves.   

Saturday, November 27

Saturday morning, our Elf, Cheek, showed up again, and he brought along a fancy breakfast with him!  Olivia had been counting down the days until he came, and she was THRILLED to see that he was back. 

The kids had mini powdered and glazed donuts, peppermints, Christmas cookies, Christmas Dots, and hot chocolate for breakfast.  Yes, it’s crazy, and, yes, it’s a ton of sugar, but we only do it once a year.  We all know that elves like sugar because of Buddy the elf from the movie, so we have to keep it authentic, right?  ;o)  Plus our kids are both really good about stopping eating when they’re full, so they really don’t eat that much of it anyway. 

In addition to the sugary breakfast, Cheek also brought the kids new Christmas ornaments and small Lego Nutcrackers to put together.  After breakfast, they immediately settled in to build their nutcrackers, and B and I got the kitchen cleaned up and sat down on the couch to watch ESPN College GameDay. 

At 10 AM, I finally got off the couch to work out, and I also threw a load of laundry in the washing machine.  Once that was dry, the kids got it all sorted, folded, and put away, and they spent the rest of the morning working on the Home Alone Lego set. 

We started watching the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game at noon, but at one, we had to be at my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law’s for Thanksgiving lunch.  They had made a HUGE spread of all of our favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and we ate waaaay too much.  Man, it was delicious.  Give me aaaallll the beige foods.  Hahahaha.

My step-sister-in-law and her husband plus their two kids were finally able to travel here for the first time since Covid, so they were in attendance, too, and we were finally able to meet their newest little one who is already a year old. 

Again, the weather was perfection – sunny and chilly – and we all spent a couple of hours outside after we finished eating.  The kids played and played and played… they are always so excited when all of their cousins are in town, even if they are all way older than them. 

Brian and I stalked the football scores throughout the day, and we were thrilled to see that we had shut out Tech and Ohio State had lost.  They were ranked just behind us, so that is definitely better for us in the long run. 

We finally headed home just before five, and B and I sat down to watch the remainder of the Iron Bowl which was also another INSANE game.  Bama, who’s usually one of the strongest teams, was down the entire game to Auburn, who has a terrible record this year.  They ended up going into four overtimes, and Bama managed to squeak out the win. 

I always pull for anyone over Auburn (they’re a big rival), but I didn’t want Bama to win either because I’m tired of them winning so much.  Haha.  So, I guess you could say I was indifferent.  It’s too bad both of them just couldn’t lose.  Hahahaha.  Sorry to all of you Bama and AU fans!  Y’all know it’s all in good fun!! 

I made some dinner for the kids while we were watching the game, and B and I had beers for dinner.  Haha.  We’d eaten such a big lunch, and we’d eaten so much later than we normally do that he and I just skipped dinner altogether.  I ended up grabbing a small snack later in the evening, but other than that, I couldn’t eat another bite.

After that crazy game was over, we all snuggled up to watch Elf, and then it was time for the kiddos to go to bed.  We watch Elf every single year and it just never gets old!  Buddy is my favorite.  ;o)

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched the rest of the LSU vs. Texas A&M game (another upset) and then we watched the tail end of the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State game, which was ANOTHER upset.  What a crazy day for football!

Sunday, November 28

Sunday morning, the kids got up early and finished the Home Alone Lego set!  They were so excited to show us all of the things it does when we came downstairs!

I had just enough time that morning to do my quiet time (meditation, devotional, affirmations) + unload the dishwasher, and then I had to get showered and ready to head back to my mother-in-law’s and step-father-in-law’s at 10 AM.

On Sunday morning, they did a birthday brunch for my nephew who just turned 16, and we had lots of yummy stuff – pancakes, bacon, hashbrown casserole, muffins, omelets, scones, and fresh fruit. 

After brunch, the kids spent some time outside with their cousins and their dog, then we did birthday dessert and gifts for Carson, and then all of the cousins settled in the living room to play a big game of Clue.

We left a little after noon and headed home to spend the rest of the day getting stuff done.  I had laundry to do, plus I wanted to get the outside of the house decorated for Christmas.  I got the garland up around the door and B did the icicle lights, wreaths, and the blowup Santa, and the kids spent the whole time playing in the leaves.

Some light rain rolled in before B could finish the lights in the bushes, so we all went inside to cozy up for the rest of the afternoon.  The kids settled in to play video games for a while and I got everything prepped and ready for Monday and got caught up on some things in my office.

I took pretty much the whole week off from working, so things had started piling up by Sunday, and I had to get some of it off my plate.

We ended up having a small, quick dinner, and then the rest of the evening was spent hanging with the kids.  B and the kids played some more of their game of Risk that they’ve been playing all break, and I made a lot of progress on the Christmas puzzle.  And that was the end of our Thanksgiving break!

And now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


In November, I started reading The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews, and I’ll have it finished in the next couple of days.  I’m about halfway through and it’s just alright.  Nothing exciting so far, but I’m hoping it picks up a bit soon.


Currently Watching


With B:  This month, B and I finished The Morning Show.  We’re also still watching all of our network shows – Ordinary Joe, A Million Little Things, Supermarket Sweep, Shark Tank, The Bachelorette, and Saturday Night Live.  We also watched that movie LoveHard and, of course, we watched Georgia whoop up on every single team we played.  ;o)


With the Kids:  We’re still watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and we’ve started watching aaaallll the Christmas movies.  This month we watched Home Sweet Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Elf, Christmas Chronicals 1 and 2, and Noelle. 


Alone:  I’ve put Friends on pause for now while I watch all of the Christmas movies on repeat – Serendipity and The Holiday are the two I’ve been rotating lately! 


Currently Listening To


Aaaaallll the Christmas music.


All Too Well (Taylor’s version). 


Ed Sheeran’s new album.


Elvis Duran every morning.


And The Bestie Breakdown podcast.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!