Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Our Week - The One with All the Christmas Prep

Last week was all about Christmas preparation.  We didn’t have a ton on the calendar (surprisingly), and it was a productive week all-around.

Monday, December 6

Monday morning, after I dropped the kids, I had to be at the doctor’s office for my annual breast ultrasound.  A mammogram is never enough for me since I have dense tissue, so I have to have both done every year.  The doc said everything looks perfect, and I was cleared for another year!  I know this is probably more info than y’all wanted to know, but it’s important to me to remind all of you to get yourselves checked!  We have a history of breast cancer in our family, so I have to be diligent, and that’s why I’ve started my annual checkups even though I’m not yet 40.

After my appointment, I went to Publix to get groceries, and then I spent the rest of the day working at home.  The weather was super dreary all day, and it started storming a big one just as I had to leave to pick up the kids from school, but thankfully, there weren’t any traffic issues, and I made it to the school on time.  One of our main highways is notorious for having major traffic issues when it rains.

The kids and I headed to Olivia’s dance studio, and once she was inside, I drove Jacob home.  Once he was dropped off, I headed back out into the rain to run a few errands, but I only ended up making it to Kohl’s before it was time to head back to the dance studio to pick up Olivia.  I ended up browsing for a long time, the line to check out was long and slow, and then I had to wait on something at the register that took even longer, so by the time I was done there, I had just enough time to get to the dance studio with about five minutes to spare.

The drive home was rough – by the time we left the dance studio, it was pitch black outside and it was pouring down rain.  It had also started getting foggy.  Add to that combo all of the crazy holiday traffic, and it was not good.  Not good at all.  It took us forever to get home, so by the time we walked in the door I was a bit frazzled. 

B and I made some breakfast for dinner, and then after dinner, the kids had a little bit of time to start a game of Yahtzee while B and I got the kitchen cleaned up and got all of the lunchboxes/snacks/thermoses prepped and ready for the next day.  Then it was time for showers and bed for the kids, and a little bit of TV time for B and me.

Monday, we also got the news that my step-father-in-law’s mother (who we’d just seen at Thanksgiving) had a heart attack and she didn’t make it.  She will be missed very much.  Please keep her family in your prayers. 

Tuesday, December 7

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then I headed straight to UPS to send a return back to Michael’s.  We ordered those two entryway trees while they were half off, but one arrived damaged, so they’re sending us a new one and we had to ship back the damaged one. 

I arrived at UPS about ten minutes before it opened, and at two minutes ‘til there was a rush for the door… there were so many people.  Fortunately, I ended up being third in line and it was a quick trip.  If I’d waited an extra minute, I would have been in a loooong line.  So many people were there with multiple packages, probably shipping Christmas gifts.  Not a good time to have to go to a shipping store!

When I got home, I worked for the rest of the day, trying to get ahead at blogging so I don’t have to do as much during Christmas break when the kids are home. 

Tuesday, it was announced that Jacob had gotten Student of the Month for fifth grade at his school again!!  He got it in fourth grade back in May, and he just received it again for his fifth grade class.  We are just so dang proud of him!!

Jacob also had his first school field trip since Covid started and they went to see The Wizard of Oz at one of our local theaters.  I love getting pictures of him and his class on their adventures!    

I grabbed the kids from school at 3, and then B took Olivia to dance while I took Jacob to his appointment, and then we all met back home for dinner.  B had a tennis match right after dinner, so the kiddos and I hung out all evening together.  They finished a game of Yahtzee they had started another day, and I got a few annoying little tasks out of the way that I’d been putting off. 

We all sat down together to watch our One Second a Day video for the year after they were ready for bed, and just as we were finishing up with that, B pulled up.  Just in time for bedtime!  He and I got the kids tucked in and then he and I watched some more of The Bachelorette.  That show has gone WAY downhill these past few seasons, y’all.  I just can’t take this level of manufactured drama.  I know there’s been plenty of it all these years, but lately, things have been more contrived than usual. 

Wednesday, December 8

Wednesday morning, the drive to school was stressful.  It was pitch black, super foggy, and it poured the entire way there.  Traffic on the highway crept along the entire way because nobody could see the road.  I ended up exiting early just to get off the highway, and I was glad I did because traffic ended up being stopped just before our exit due to a wreck, I’m sure.  Wrecks happen in the same small stretch of highway every single time it rains. 

On the way back home, I had to swing by Walmart to grab the rest of the supplies for Olivia’s Christmas party, and unfortunately, that same stretch of highway was also now stopped going in my direction because the left lane was completely washed out.  A couple of police cars had the flooded lane blocked for about a half a mile, so all of the traffic was confined to just two lanes, and it took forever to get to the Walmart that’s just five minutes from the school.

By the time I arrived I was already frazzled, and then I walked into Walmart to find that they’d rearranged the entire store, including the food.  I couldn’t find anything, so it took me triple the time to shop than it normally would have, so I ended up getting home a bit later than anticipated.  I was struggling.  Haha.

The rest of the day was spent working, and then at 1:15, I donated blood before grabbing the kids from school.  I started donating blood in summer 2020, and this was my fifth time since then.  I have the coveted O- blood type, and mine is compatible with all blood types, so I feel like it’s my obligation to donate as often as I can.  My blood has been used every single time I’ve donated, so I’ve saved anywhere from 5-15 lives!  So crazy that such a small act can make such a huge difference in someone else’s life.     

When the kids and I got home from school, they worked on homework while I got the kitchen cleaned up and got things ready for the next day.  After the kids were done with homework, they headed outside to play since the sun was finally shining.  While they were outside, I started photographing the house for my Christmas home tour blog post.  That always takes forevvvveeeerrrr, so by the time I was done with that, I had to get dinner in the oven.

After dinner, the kids showered and got ready for bed, and then we all piled on the couch to watch A Very Boy Band Holiday that we’d recorded from earlier in the week.  That show was so cheesy, but I loved every single second!  Members from Boyz II Men, NSYNC, New Edition, O-Town, and 98 Degrees sang some Christmas songs and it was just the best.  So much nostalgia.  If you’re a child of the 90’s then you should see if you can find it streaming somewhere.  ;o) 

After that was over, we watched an episode of The Fresh Prince, and then the kids went to bed.  B started Tiger King 2 after they went to bed, and I scrolled through my phone while we watched.  The first Tiger King was such a hot mess that I just have zero interest in watching any more of it.  Haha.

Thursday, December 9

Thursday morning, the kids and I swung by our church’s outreach center because we’d heard they were in need of plastic bags.  I just so happened to have a gazillion that I was getting ready to take for recycling, so it was nice to be able to take them there instead since they’ll be able to use them again.

I dropped the kids at school next, and then the rest of the day was spent working.  After I grabbed the kids from school, I took them both to Barnes and Noble to pick out a Secret Santa gift for Olivia’s class party.  Her teacher let the kids draw names and they had to buy a book for the person’s name who they drew.  We browsed a bit while we were there, and both kids found a book that they wanted to buy with their own money.

After we left the book store, we swung through the Wendy’s drive-through to use the kids’ free frosty coupons that Grandpa had given them, and then we headed home.

I spent the rest of the evening cooking, photographing the outside of the house at dusk for my Christmas home tour, and the kids did homework and played outside.  B and I both indulged in a glass of wine for the second night in a row so we could finish the bottle of wine we’d opened the night before, and then after dinner, he and I worked on our Christmas puzzle while the kids played and read their new books they’d gotten from Barnes and Noble.  That puzzle was so difficult, the kids completely gave up on it.  Haha.

After the kiddos went to bed, B watched another episode of the new Tiger King season, and I kept him company while getting a few things done on my phone – answering emails, prepping my to-do list for the next day, and scrolling through social media for a bit.

Friday, December 10

Friday morning, we drove to school in the rain yet again, and then I spent the rest of the day getting stuff done at home.  The kids get out for Christmas break at the end of this week, so I’ve been cramming in as many tasks as I can while they’re at school.  I got two full blog posts done and started two more, I organized my Christmas gifts spreadsheet, I got a few gifts wrapped, and I got lots of other stuff done.

I grabbed the kids from school at 3 and then we headed straight home to relax for the rest of the night.  B picked up takeout from one of our favorite local pizza places, we finished the 1,000-piece puzzle we’d been working on for a few weeks, and then we settled in to watch 8-Bit Christmas on HBOMax.  If you haven’t watched that yet, then you totally need to.  It was such a great movie! 

After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched You’ve Got Mail… remember that one with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan?  I used to work at the movie theater when I was 16-19 years old, and that movie came out at Christmas in 1998… my very first Christmas working there.  In case you’re not in the movie business, Christmas night is surprisingly one of the busiest nights of the whole entire year, and Christmas night 1998 was, indeed, the busiest night that I ever worked there.  We sold out every single movie that night, and two of those were You’ve Got Mail, along with Patch Adams and Stepmom – two other fantastic movies!

We were allowed to watch movies for free while we worked there, but I never got around to seeing You’ve Got Mail from start to finish, so all I’d seen of it were little snippets here and there from when I’d go sit in there on my 20 minute breaks.  Anyway, I LOVED it even though it’s clearly very dated now, and it made me wish, yet again, that they still made movies like that.  The late 90’s and early 2000’s were, by far, the best years for movies!  We didn’t quite get through the whole thing because I was exhausted, so we saved the last 30 minutes for Saturday.

Saturday, December 11

Saturday morning, I made homemade waffles for breakfast, and then B took the kids to get their second Covid vaccine.  I had lots to do around the house, so I stayed home this time.  Everything went smoothly – no tears from Olivia (she hates shots) – and they were back home in less than 45 minutes. 

While they were gone, I got my workout started.  I was in desperate need of working out after squeezing in only two smaller workouts earlier in the week.  It felt good to sweat!

After that, I worked on laundry, tidying up, and resetting the house after the week.  When the kids got home, they watched some cartoons, played outside, and did their laundry, and then late in the morning, we assembled their gingerbread houses.  They both picked out the row houses from Target this year, and there were lots of pieces that had to be put together, so both of them did need a bit of assistance from B and me. 

The houses have to dry before you can decorate them, so we had lunch while we waited for them to set.  I made grilled cheese sandwiches per Jacob’s request, and then after lunch, the kids sat down and decorated their houses.  This year, neither of them needed any help with the decorating portion (aside from Olivia asking for a bit of help with one of the sides of her roof), and they both turned out great.

After the gingerbread houses were done, the kids headed upstairs to play video games, and I showered and then settled in to do a little bit of work.  I got SO MUCH DONE and I felt so accomplished in the two hours that I was in my office.

B went out and picked up Texas Roadhouse for dinner, and then after dinner, we watched Home Alone.  Never ever EVER gets old, y’all.  I’d like to know how many times I’ve seen that movie in my life… it has to be hundreds.  Haha.  No really.  The funny part is that I’m not exaggerating. 

After the kids went to bed, B and I finished You’ve Got Mail and then we watched a Supermarket Sweep that we hadn’t yet seen.

Sunday, December 12

Sunday morning, we did our usual cinnamon rolls and virtual Mass, and right around 9 AM, Olivia started running a low-grade fever.  It was exactly at the 24-hour mark after her vaccine, so we assumed it was a side effect from that.  She also told us she was a little tired and achy, so I gave her some Ibuprofen and then she was fine for the rest of the day, bouncing off the walls like always, and wrestling with Jacob.  And Jacob had no symptoms other than a sore arm.

After church, I got in a workout and then we had a light lunch at home.  B and the kids played a few games and we had a quiet day inside.  We hadn’t planned for much since we knew there was a possibility that the kids wouldn’t feel great after their vaccines. 

In the afternoon, the kids played video games and I got some stuff done for Christmas, and then we headed to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner.  We had debated whether or not to go since Olivia was still running a low-grade fever, but since her symptoms were well in line with all of the side effects of the vaccine, and since they’d come at the exact right time, my parents and all of us figured it was fine to go over there.

We spent the evening at their house and my momma cooked a delicious dinner as always.  We headed home a little after 8 to get the kids in the bed, and then in the middle of the night that’s when things went downhill.  Sigh.  Spoiler alert – the vaccine was not the cause of Olivia’s symptoms.   

I’ll be back next week with another weekly recap to continue where we’re leaving off!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. So happy the kids are going to be fully vaxxed by the new year - that is fantastic for you guys!! Glad you had a great week! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  2. Knowing the kids will be fully VAX is such a blessing! I saw your Instagram stories and I sure hope that the fam is recovering from the nasty flu. Try and have a good day sweetheart! It looks like a great week you shared

  3. That's a lot of rain! I loved You've Got Mail. There's a stupid joke that Jewish people go to movies on Christmas - well, the one time I went, the place was packed and it was way more than Jewish people there! I saw on your instagram about the flu, that's too bad it wasn't a vaccine reaction! Ugh!

  4. Any reminder to get your mammogram is never TMI. We need to encourage it! I need to give blood! I haven’t in a while and I have O as well. I just saw an article about 8 bit Christmas and I was going to suggest that for our next thunk you watch! I’m so sorry they have the flu! Hope everyone is feeling better!

  5. Our schools don't get out until a 1/2 day on the 23rd so we have plenty of time to get things done this coming week. My husband, myself, my sister, and her husband used to go to the movies together on Christmas day all the time up until we had kids. It was our favorite tradition.

    1. Oh wow, yes they get out late, but that's awesome for you since you have more time to tie up all the loose ends before Christmas! That's so funny that y'all used to go to the movies on Christmas. Apparently that is a popular thing to do! It was always the busiest day of the year when I worked there in the late 90's and early 2000's!


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