Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Our Week - The One with Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas, and today I’m recapping it all on the blog!

Monday, December 20

Monday morning, B had to work, and I headed out bright and early to do all of our grocery shopping before the crowds settled in.  It was definitely busier than usual for 9 in the morning, but it wasn’t too bad at all.  When I got home, I got everything unloaded and put away, and then I snuck a few minutes in my office with my cup of hot tea.

Mid-morning, the kids and I worked on some Christmas crafts.  Olivia had it in her head that she wanted to make Christmas stockings, so she and Jacob crafted their little hearts out using pipe cleaners, scrapbook paper, stickers, and other embellishments, and they turned out so good.  They did them all on their own with just a little bit of help from me with the hot glue gun.  Afterward, we did a little impromptu photo shoot.  ;o)

By the time they’d finished, it was time for lunch, so I got that ready, and then afterward, they cleaned up their mess from crafting.  It was cold and dreary all day, so the rest of the day was spent playing inside and getting a few things done around the house.

One of my old coworkers called me Monday afternoon for our monthly chat, and I ended up talking to him for 30 minutes getting caught up on everything with him and his family as well as all of the stuff going on at my old job.

By the time he and I got off the phone, it was time to cook dinner, and we all sat down to Cajun chicken pasta, broccoli, bread, and wine for B and me. 

After dinner, we watched a couple of episodes of Fresh Prince and then B and I watched some more Shark Tank and All American before heading to bed.

Tuesday, December 21

Tuesday was another work day for B, and yet again, I headed out bright and early to get some last-minute things we needed for the holidays.  My first stop was Target, and second was Fresh Market.

When I got home, I had just enough time to squeeze in a cup of cinnamon tea before the kids and I had to head out for our semi-annual teeth cleanings.  It was rainy and FREEZING all day (like I think the temp maxed out at 39 on Tuesday) so it was not a day that we wanted to be out running around.

After our appointments, we headed home to eat lunch and then hang out for the rest of the day.  I got some more stuff done for Christmas and then cooked dinner, and then we all watched The Santa Clause 2 before the kids went to bed.  Then once they were in the bed, we watched The Bachelorette finale.

Wednesday, December 22

Wednesday morning, we all slept in and had breakfast, and then we all got ready to go visit my Momma at her office because… it was her last day of work before her retirement!!  She has worked in our church office for 35 years (since I was four years old), and prior to that, her Momma worked there (my Mama Cass) for more than 20 years.  They even overlapped a few years, too. 

I grew up going to her office.  I did homework there, I typed stories and poems on their typewriters (before they had computers), I helped run all of the envelopes through the postage meter, and I “helped” wherever else I could when I was little.  It’s going to be weird knowing that she’s not there anymore, but we are so very excited for her and her next chapter of life!  I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time with her, too.

On the way home, we got some takeout for lunch since we’d all been eating soups and sandwiches for so long, and then the four of us sat down to play our very first ever family game of Scrabble.  B and I used to play all the time before the kids were born, but we hadn’t played in years, and we’d never played with the kids, so we thought it’d be fun. 

Brian and Jacob were on a team, and Olivia and I were on a team, and the boys ended up beating us 303 to 266.  The game took forever, and by the time we were done, the kids were ready for video games, but I made them take a few minutes to tidy the house first because it was a wreck.

They played video games for a little bit, we all ate breakfast for dinner, and then the kids played cards until it was time to head to our next festive event… the Christmas event at our local Botanical Gardens!  We had tickets for 7:30 along with my parents, and then we spent the next hour and a half walking the trails, enjoying the lights, and taking pictures.  They had special glasses that you could buy that changed the lights into shapes, and we opted for the Christmas star glasses. 

It was cold Wednesday night, which was perfect for this outing, and it was just the best time with my sweet little fam and my parents.  It was also a nice little outing for my parents to kick off my Momma’s retirement!

When we got home, the kids got ready for bed, and then after they were all snuggled up, B and I headed back downstairs, started a fire, and watched an episode of All American and some football before heading to bed ourselves.

Thursday, December 23

Thursday was Christmas baking day!!  We all slept in, and then I made homemade waffles per the kids’ request.  I joined them for a couple of cartoons on the couch while I enjoyed my cinnamon tea, and then it was time to get started baking.

At this point, I was STILL experiencing mild fatigue (which is so unlike me), so I took an at-home Covid test just to be 1000% sure that I didn’t have any germs lurking.  My fatigue started two days after Olivia started having her flu symptoms, so I had assumed I had a milder version of what she had, but my symptoms continued for way too long after that.  I had already been tested for Covid and flu at the doctor’s office and was negative for both, so this second negative test put my mind at ease. 

Every now and then I’ll have several weeks where I feel “off” and weird so this isn’t the first time this has happened – and I’ve had this happen before Covid ever existed, too – so I have a feeling it’s a hormones thing.  No way to know for sure, though, I suppose.  Especially since it happens so infrequently.

Anyhoo, back to baking – first up, we baked a Funfetti cake with peppermint frosting.  While the cake cooled, we had a quick lunch, and then we frosted and decorated the cake.  Both kids asked to do the frosting, which they’d never done before, so I let Olivia frost the bottom layer and then Jacob frosted the top.  I frosted the edges and then touched it up a bit, and then we crushed some candy canes to sprinkle on top.  The kids also added some holly and berry sprinkles for a pop of color.

And just for the record, I didn't take a picture of Olivia when she was frosting the bottom, and when I took a picture of Jacob frosting his part, Olivia was like, "I want a picture of me frosting the cake, too!"  So she pretended to frost the cake for a picture even though she had already finished.  Haha.

After the cake was done, Brian baked a big batch of his grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies – a total crowd pleaser in our family, and, by far, my favorite chocolate chip cookies of all time.  Seriously, there is nothing better!

Mid-afternoon, the kids played some Mario Kart while B and I got ready, and then we all piled in the car to head to our next festive adventure… Fantasy in Lights to visit with Santa!  We had planned to try to visit Santa the week prior to Christmas, but everyone had the flu, so we had no choice but to wait until the last minute… we really cut it close this year!

Fantasy in Lights is quite a haul from where we live, so we had to leave pretty early to arrive there in time.  We wanted to beat the crowd, so we arrived 15 minutes before Santa was scheduled to arrive.  When we first pulled up, the place was PACKED, and I thought for sure the line for Santa would be crazy, but it turned out that most people appeared to be eating at the food trucks, and there was hardly anyone in the big tent where Santa was.  We ended up having about eight or nine families ahead of us, but the line moved lightning fast, and we were in and out of the line in about 10 minutes once it started moving. 

The kids were able to remove their masks and take a safe picture with Santa since he was behind the glass, but they were able to talk to him and tell him what they wanted, too.

After the Santa Clause visit, we had some extra time, so we walked around parts of Fantasy in Lights that we hadn't walked when we went earlier in the season.  They added so much new stuff this year and it's just so much fun!  The kids were most excited about the "snow."

On the way back home, we stopped in a subdivision just outside Callaway Gardens (where Fantasy in Lights is) to see the house that has tons of lights that dance to music.  We’ve been visiting that house for the last couple of years, and it’s a must-do on our list every year. 

By the time we made it back to our city, it was dinnertime, so we picked up Texas Roadhouse takeout and ate it back at home for a very late dinner.  After dinner, the kids got showered and in the bed, and then B and I watched The Holiday.  One of my favorites of all-time!

Friday, December 24

Friday morning was Christmas Eve, so Brian headed out bright and early in search of donuts from our favorite local place.  He also swung by Starbucks to grab a Peppermint Mocha for me.  After breakfast, B made a fire, and we all piled on the couch to watch Olaf’s Frozen Adventure followed by The Santa Clause 3. 

During the movie, Olivia and I painted our nails. She wanted something super fancy for Christmas, so I made an attempt to do polka dots on her nails as she had requested.  They actually turned out really cute if I do say so myself.  ;o)

Christmas Eve is usually a flurry of activity and I usually have so much to do that I don’t have time to lounge around during the earlier part of the day, so it was nice to be able to watch movies in our PJs for once.

When the movie was over, the four of us took at-home Covid tests just to make sure we were good to go for our family gatherings, and we were all negative as expected since none of us had any symptoms anyway. 

We have a small-ish family get-together on Christmas Eve at my parents’ house and a large get-together at my aunt and uncle’s on Christmas night, so our entire family decided it would be a good idea to self-test to make sure that everyone is negative before mixing up inside together.  I still can’t believe that after weeks and weeks of barely any positive cases in our city, Omicron arrived just in time to try to ruin Christmas again.  Sigh.  Thankfully, we were all negative as we suspected.

After Covid testing was done, B headed out to run an errand, and I got started on lunch.  Then after lunch, we all got ready for the day.  The kids spent a few minutes playing Mario Kart, and then it was time to head out for Christmas Eve at my parents’ house. 

Christmas Eve at my parents’ house is my most favorite thing on earth, and last year that got ruined, so I was beyond excited and oh-so-grateful to be able to do it this year.  In the weeks leading up to it, I thought for sure something was going to come along and ruin it for us again, but thankfully, it didn’t.

We headed over to their house just before 4 PM to watch Christmas Eve Mass virtually.  We had all originally planned to go back to church in person for Christmas this year, but with Omicron flying all around town, we decided not to because we didn’t want to risk getting sick and then missing Christmas celebrations with Brian’s family.

After Mass was over, I had my Daddy take a picture of our family of four, and then my Momma and I got started on dinner.  In year’s past, we’ve always done a traditional Christmas dinner – ham, dressing, mac n cheese, sweet potato souffle, etc., but last year we decided to start doing something easy so everyone would have less stress. 

We opted for White Chicken Chili (one of my very favorite things that my Momma makes), and we picked up some chips, salsa, and cheese dip from our favorite Mexican restaurant.  My mom had already prepped everything and cooked the chicken, so all we had to do was throw it all together.  While the soup was simmering, we mixed up some Winter White Cosmos as a little pre-game treat, and the kids played and watched Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (again – haha) while we waited for everything to be ready.

In addition to my Momma and Daddy and the four of us, my littlest brother, my Mama Cass, my uncle, and my father-in-law all came over.  We opened a bottle of wine with dinner and we all stuffed ourselves silly.  It was so. so. yummy.  And so freaking good to be doing a normal Christmas Eve again (aside from missing Mass in-person, of course).

After dinner, we all sat around forever, and then out came the desserts – the peppermint Funfetti cake and homemade chocolate chip cookies that we’d made the day before.

By the time dessert was eaten, the kids were itching to open presents, so we all gathered in the living room, turned on Home Alone (our Christmas Eve tradition), and we got to work. 

Once the gifts were all open, it was time to clean up and head out.  We had been tracking Santa all night, and he was getting so close that on the way home, I saw that he was on his way to our city!!  We got home around 10:30 and then the kids set out some cookies and milk, wrote Santa yet another letter, and then they were both out like lights once we tucked them into bed.

After they went to bed, Santa’s elves got to work, and then they got into bed just before 1 AM.

Saturday, December 25

Christmas morning, I woke up and looked at the clock and it was 8:40!!!!  WHAT?!  I could not believe that the kids weren’t up, and I couldn’t believe we had slept that late.  I jumped out of bed and peeked out of our door to see if the kids were, in fact, still asleep, but I found them awake and waiting patiently in Jacob’s room.

Apparently, we have trained them well.  Lol. 

On normal weekends, they know not to wake us up unless they truly need us (we are not morning people), so they always hang out in one of their rooms or the playroom or they go downstairs until we’re up.  Apparently, they forgot that it’s okay to wake us up on Christmas morning.  Lol.

Once we were up, I went downstairs to turn all of the lights on and take pictures of all of their goodies while they waited upstairs.  Once everything was ready to go, they came flying down the stairs.  The funniest part was that Olivia got a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas, and it was literally front and center in the room, but she and Jacob both ran right by it and didn’t even notice it.  Haha.  A few minutes later, they both realized it was there, and Olivia freaked out.

The next hour was spent opening gifts and stockings, and then I got up to make some bacon and cut some fruit to go along with the donuts B had picked up the day before.  B and I made some mimosas, and breakfast was just so yummy.  And stress free.  YES.

After breakfast, B and I opened our gifts to each other, and then I spent a few minutes cleaning up all of the trash around the room while the kids got to playing with some of their new stuff.

As usual, Jacob reached for the Legos first, and Olivia reached for her Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron (the thing she wanted more than anything else, and naturally, the thing that was nearly impossible to find).  We all watched her do that and it was really neat.  She also received several craft kits, so I helped her work on some of those.  And, of course, she spent lots of time with her new Dream House.  She was also very excited about her matching PJs with Sheepie.  

We had a late, light lunch, and then afterward, I took about 30 minutes to lay on the couch.  I usually take a Christmas afternoon nap, but I didn’t quite have time for that since I was helping Olivia so much. 

While all of that was going on, B spent forever outside trying to put together the basketball goal that we’d gotten.  FYI, those things are a paaaain.

Around 4, it was time for me to bake my pineapple casserole and get showered and ready, and then at 5, we headed to my aunt and uncle’s house for our Christmas celebration with my extended family.

We had the traditional food spread there – ham, sweet potato souffle, mac and cheese, garlic green beans, mashed potatoes, pineapple casserole, dressing, cinnamon muffins, etc. and it was delicious. 

A couple of my cousins who don’t live here were finally able to make it home for the first time since Covid started.  We usually see them every Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they hadn’t come since 2019, so it was really good to see them.

We got home a little after 8, got the kids in the bed, and then B and I watched that new-ish movie on Netflix – Red Notice.  It was really good!

Sunday, December 26

Sunday, we never left the house.  I finally got in a workout for the first time in two weeks (although, I still wasn’t feeling 100% normal), we played with the kids’ new toys, B finished putting together the basketball goal, we got the house tidied up (which took forever), I did about 4 or 5 loads of laundry, I started some deep house cleaning, and I finished a blog post. 

We got Five Guys takeout for dinner because – why not?  We’d already had so much junk food at that point, might as well do it again, right?!  EEK.

Then the kids got showered, we played a game of Exploding Kittens that the kids got for Christmas (we all love it!), we watched an episode of Fresh Prince, and then B and I watched Don’t Look Up on Netflix.  It was such a fantastic movie!

One week of Christmas break down, and one more to go!  And more Christmas celebrations to come this week with B’s fam!

And now for a few current things…


Currently Reading


In December, I started reading In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren, and I’ll have it finished in the next couple of days.  I’m loving it!  It is so well-written and funny, and I have enjoyed it thoroughly so far.


Currently Watching


With B:  This month, B and I have been watching Supermarket Sweep, Shark Tank, The Bachelorette, and Saturday Night Live.  I think those are the only shows that weren’t on winter break this month.  We have also watched a lot of movies – Love Actually, Christmas Vacation, The Holiday, Die Hard, Red Notice, Don’t Look Up, and Finch.  We’ve also been watching college football bowl games here and there, too.


With the Kids:  We’re still watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and we watched loads more Christmas movies.  This month we watched Home Alone (again), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3, and Miracle on 34th Street


Alone:  Mostly just Serendipity on repeat while I work!  I haven’t been spending as much time in my office this month anyway.


Currently Listening To


Aaaaallll the Christmas music.


And now that Christmas is over, I’ve started shuffling my entire music library just for fun.  I have thousands of songs, and I often forget about some albums that I love, so it’s good to shuffle all of it every once in a while and remind myself of all of the good stuff that’s in there!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. We watched Red Notice recently and really liked it too. What a lovely christmas week! Glad you got to see your family and eat so well!

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Have you ever tried the Harry and Sons Hot Cinnamon Tea? That stuff is SO delicious.

    1. It is my absolute FAVORITE!!!! I drink two cups every single day year-round! I've completely given up coffee because of it, with the exception of a Starbucks treat every now and then. I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas, and I hope you have a Happy New Year, too!!!!

  3. What a wonderful Christmas. I'm glad you were able to see your family! Congratulations to your mom on her retirement. It is so rare for someone to work at one place for so many years these days!

  4. I'm glad you had a great Christmas and Covid didn't ruin it for you! Everyone looks happy and excited, which I love to see.

  5. It does sound like you had a wonderful Christmas week!!

  6. Sounds like the most wonderful Christmas week! Congrats to your momma on her retirement!!


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