Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Our Week - The One with the Reindeer Run, a Girls Dinner, and the SEC Championship Game

We had a crazy, busy, wonderful week and today I’m recapping all of the fun details!

Monday, November 29

Monday morning was the kids’ first day back at school after Thanksgiving break, and then I hit the ground running.  I had so much catching up to do after taking the previous week off – house stuff, blog stuff, life stuff, and emails.  Throw into the mix Cyber Monday and it was just a crazy day.  I did manage to get several great deals on Christmas gifts and a couple of things we needed so that was awesome!

Olivia had dance right after school, and she was thrilled to be back after missing two weeks in a row – one because of the Covid exposure at the dance studio, and then the other for Thanksgiving break.  When we pulled up, we saw that our faaaavorite tree was at its peak for the colorful leaves, so I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures.  The pictures don’t do it justice either.  It is just spectacular in person.

After Jacob and I dropped Olivia, I took him home and then I headed out to run a few errands – Carter’s, Marshall’s, and Kohl’s.  By the time I got back to the dance school I had just a few minutes to browse a few more Cyber Monday deals and then she came running out!

When we got home, B and I made breakfast for dinner, and then at 7, I had to hop onto a Zoom meeting for Olivia’s upcoming First Reconciliation and First Communion in the spring.  That was the first time I’ve been on a Zoom call in months, and I have to say, I didn’t miss it.  It brought back too many “shelter in place” memories from last year.  Haha.

The meeting didn’t end until after 7:30, and then I finally had the time to do all of the lunchbox/water bottle/etc. preparation for the next day.  I also placed a couple more Cyber Monday orders before the sales ended. 

By the time all that was done, the kids were ready for bed, and it was time for us to tuck them in.  After they were in bed, I spent a few more minutes catching up on housework and then I had a few minutes of lounge time on the couch with B before heading off to bed.


Tuesday, November 30

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then I spent the rest of the day at home getting stuff done – more Christmas shopping, blogging, prepping for the school fundraiser, etc. 

After school, I got the kids home to grab snacks and start on homework, and then Olivia and I had to leave at 4 to get her to dance.  While she was in dance class, I ran to At Home to see if I could find some outdoor entryway trees that looked good and beat the sale price at Michael’s.  They had absolutely nothing which was disappointing since that place is so huge.  I did grab a couple of stocking stuffers while I was there, though, so it wasn’t a total bust.  Anyone else LOVE the checkout aisle at At Home?  They have so much great stuff!! 

When we got home, I whipped up some sausage, peppers, and onions tacos for dinner, and then we spent the rest of the evening prepping for the next day and relaxing.  We watched an episode of The Fresh Prince with the kids, and then B and I started watching The Bachelorette before heading to bed ourselves. 


Wednesday, December 1

Wednesday morning, I was up and out the door bright and early… or dark and early, I guess you could say, since it was still dark out when I left the house at 6:30.  Wednesday was the day of our school’s Reindeer Run fundraiser that I’d been working on for several weeks with some of the other ladies at the school, and we had some setting up to do!

B was able to drop the kids at school later, so I didn’t have to wake them up early and make them stand out in the cold with me, so that worked out perfectly.  When I arrived, the sun was just starting to rise over the football field, and it was just breathtaking.  One of the many perks of being up and out of the house early!

Since I had soooo many questions about this fundraiser in my DMs, I thought I’d give some details here in case any of you were wondering, too.  Our kids attend a private school which means that they don’t get any funding from the government.  This means that everything at the school is funded through tuition and the generosity of donors. 

Our school is in desperate need of a new playground (the one we currently have is so old that it was installed when I was a student at the high school – haha), so our administration came up with the idea of hosting a fun run for the lower school to raise money for the project. 

The kids in every lower school grade did a fun run around the football field, and the parents/grandparents/family friends/etc. were able to sponsor the kids by making a donation to the playground project in their name.  Our goal was to raise $100,000 – playground equipment is EXPENSIVE, y’all – and we ended up reaching our goal!

All of the kids were given Reindeer Run t-shirts to run in, and after their fun run, they received snowflake medals and took pictures at the many Christmas-y photo spots.  Once the pictures were taken, they made their way over to the practice field to meet with Santa, get balloons from the balloon animal maker, and enjoy hot chocolate from our hot chocolate bar.

My friend since high school, Becky, and I were in charge of the hot chocolate bar and we went all out with hot chocolate, whip cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, and candy canes.  Unfortunately, her son got sick the day before, so she wasn’t able to be there for the race. 

Her sweet momma (my second momma!) came in her place to help me out, and the second pair of hands was definitely needed and appreciated.  I got the hot chocolate bar all set up and decorated right when I arrived, and then she and I went into the big kitchen at our church (it’s on the same campus as our school) to make the hot chocolate. 

I’d never made hot chocolate (or any other beverage) for 300+ people before, so I had no clue what I was doing.  Haha.  Thankfully, our church has a huge kitchen with a very large gas stove and two HUMONGOUS stock pots that we were able to use to heat the water.  Doing the math for the water to hot chocolate powder ratio was a little tricky, but we got it all sorted out just fine. 

Our church also has three large coffee urns and a big, sturdy rolling cart, so we were able to wheel the urns down to the football field.  It was FREEEEZING Wednesday morning, so I was worried the hot chocolate wouldn’t stay warm, but it did.  We ended up needing to refill the urns several times to serve everyone that came through, but we did it and it was a huge success!

We had several volunteers who had signed up to help out at the hot chocolate bar, so I was able to sneak away for a few minutes to watch Jacob’s race as well as Olivia’s.  They both had a blast, and I’m so very grateful that Jacob got to experience this.  The race was only for the lower school (babies – 5th grade) so he barely made the cutoff as he’ll be in sixth grade next year!  How is this child in 5th grade already?!

We split the races up by grade so it wouldn’t be too chaotic, so each of them had their own time slots, and then afterward, they came to see me back at the hot chocolate bar.  The whole entire event was very organized, and it ran so smoothly!  Everyone had so much fun, too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make this an annual thing!

The race wrapped up just before 11, so we cleaned up the hot chocolate tables and then headed back into the church to clean the kitchen.  We had a third set of hands from a sweet lady who volunteers a ton at our school, so cleanup went super fast, and I was back at home just in time to have lunch with B because…

Wednesday was our 14th wedding anniversary!  I cannot believe it’s been 14 years.  That makes me feel so incredibly old, y’all. 

After lunch, I headed to my office to do a bit of work, and before I knew it, it was time to pick up the kids from school.  Olivia had her semi-annual ENT appointment for her thyroid at 3:55 and Jacob wasn’t allowed to come due to their Covid protocol, so we had to try to get him all the way back home and then get all the way back to the doctor’s office in under an hour. 

Normally, that’s no problem, because the main highway in town runs right near our school and our house, so I jump on that daily.  On Wednesday, however, there was a bad wreck heading back towards our house, and traffic was at a complete standstill in all three lanes from the time I arrived at the kids’ school all the way until we were leaving. 

Taking the roads through the city almost doubles the time it takes us to get home, so I had to call B and get him to meet us at the doctor’s office to pick up Jacob because I knew we’d never make it all the way home and back.  That ended up giving us a few extra minutes, so we swung by the Chick-Fil-A drive through for peppermint milkshakes first.  ;o)

B was already waiting for us in the parking lot when we arrived at the doctor’s office, and then Olivia and I headed to her appointment.  In case you’re new around here, here’s a little back story.  In 2018, we noticed a very large lump protruding from Olivia’s throat.  The ENT doctor did an ultrasound to try to determine what it was, and it turned out to be a “nodule” on her thyroid.  He did a needle biopsy on it when she was four, and while she was asleep, he also drained it.

The needle biopsy results came back benign (praise the Lord!), but within two weeks, the nodule had grown right back.  Sigh.  The doctor said that because it grew back so quickly there is still a very small chance that it could be malignant (although he really doesn’t think it is based on its consistency), but he said that at her young age, it’s still too risky to operate to remove it, because most likely they will have to remove part of her thyroid when doing so. 

They don’t want to operate until she’s older so the removal of part of her thyroid doesn’t interfere with her growth, so until then, we have to have the nodule monitored by the ENT twice a year.  So far, it has stayed stable all these years, but if it were to ever grow to be too large, it would have to be removed earlier.

So anyway, her checkup went well.  As always, she wanted to take funny Snapchat pictures while we waited.  Then the doctor came in and did the ultrasound to measure the nodule as he always does, and for the first time ever, the nodule had decreased in size a bit!  We are praying that somehow it will disappear on its own (although, that is highly unlikely), so it was good to see that it had shrunk the tiniest bit.  Since the nodule is still stable, we won’t go back to see the ENT again until next July.

On the way home, Olivia and I swung by our favorite pub near our church and school to pick up dinner, and then we took it home and ate with the boys.  After dinner, I got everything prepped for Thursday, and then B and I sat down to work on our Christmas puzzle some more.  This puzzle is soooo tough, y’all, and it is taking us forever to get it together.  The kids have abandoned this one altogether because they don’t have the patience for it.  Haha.

After the kids were ready for bed, we all sat down together to watch part of the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting, but we had to give it up early to send the kids to bed, because they don’t light the tree until 10.  So dumb!  NBC, forget your sponsors and just light the tree earlier so the kids can see it!  Haha.

After they went to bed, B and I exchanged gifts and then we watched some TV and went to bed.  I was exhausted from being up and out of the house so early and doing all the things all day.  It was a busy one!


Thursday, December 2

Thursday morning, I took the kiddos to school and then dropped a library book that was due back, and then I spent the rest of the day working my booty off.  I had gotten way ahead on the blog prior to Thanksgiving Break, but all that not working for a whole week took its toll, and by Thursday, I was barely squeaking out posts just hours before they were due to go live.  That’s never fun.

I grabbed the kids from school when they got out, and then we headed home.  I spent the next hour prepping for Friday, helping with homework, getting the dishwasher unloaded, etc. and I even got a couple of Christmas gifts wrapped.  By the time all of that was done, it was time for me to head out and meet two of my girlfriends from high school for dinner.

We were supposed to have had a group of seven Thursday night (all old elementary school/high school friends), but two girls came down with colds, one girl had a sick child, and one girl had something else come up, so it ended up being just three of us – my friend Jen who I’ve been friends with since 4th grade, my other friend Jenn who I’ve been friends with since freshman year of high school (and she taught Jacob in second grade), and me! 

We went to a new-ish local restaurant that I hadn’t yet been to, and it was delicious.  This place was more upscale, so all of the food was amazing, and the drinks were great, too.  They had $5 lemon drop martinis for Thirsty Thursday, so we all opted for a round of those to start, and then I ended up getting the chicken fried chicken with whipped mashed potatoes and asparagus.  I would’ve cleaned my plate if the chicken portion hadn’t been HUGE. 

We grabbed a second round of drinks after that, and we spent three hours talking and catching up.  I didn’t even think to take a single picture, video, boomerang cheers, or anything else like that, because I was so caught up in the moment, and that, my friends, is always the sign of an evening well spent.  I’m so grateful for reconnecting with those girls.

We finally spilt up and headed our separate ways around 8:15ish and when I got home, the kids were already ready for bed.  Thursday was Maui’s 12th birthday, and we couldn’t let the day go by without celebrating her, so as soon as I got home, we sang to her and gave her one of her favorite treats – CHEESE!  She didn’t know what was going on, but she didn’t care just so long as she got her cheese.  Haha.  Man, I love that tiny girl so much.

After the celebration, we got the kids in the bed, and within ten minutes, Jacob came downstairs saying he couldn’t sleep.  Earlier in the day, he had gotten caught up reading some books of scary stories (just the typical ones that every kid reads when they’re younger) and, apparently, he scared the pants out of himself, because he was scared to be in his bed alone.  Sigh.  Haha.

We let him stay downstairs with us for a bit, but he still wasn’t thrilled with the idea of being in his room in the dark.  By that time, Olivia was already fast asleep in her bed, so I pulled out his sleeping bag and pillow and got him settled in on her floor for the night.  He was very grateful, and he went straight to sleep after that… I guess he just needed some company.

And let me say that we were very surprised that those scary stories scared him so bad.  He’s never been afraid of anything – the dark, being in his room alone, thunder, monsters, etc. – so this was very out of character for him.  When I tucked him in, I told him no more scary stories!!!!  Haha.


Friday, December 3

Friday morning, I got the kids to school and then spent the entire day working in my office and preparing for our trip to Atlanta Saturday.  The kids and I swung by the post office on the way home from school to load up on stamps, and then I got half of our Christmas cards stamped and ready to go when we got home.

B picked up Five Guys for dinner and we made Moscow Mules, and we spent the rest of the evening watching the rest of the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center plus a couple of episodes of The Fresh Prince.  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched some football and an episode of All American and then we went to bed.


Saturday, December 4

Saturday morning, we were up a bit earlier than usual to get out the door for the SEC Championship in Atlanta!!  We dropped Maui at my mother-in-law’s house for the night, and then we dropped the kids at my parents’ house for the night, and B and I headed to Atlanta. 

On the way up, we watched ESPN College GameDay in the car since they were at our game, and we stopped at Chick-Fil-A on the way to grab lunch to eat in the car.  We arrived in Atlanta around 1 and we drove straight to our hotel to park and leave our bags.  Our room wasn’t ready for an early check-in, so we left our bags with the hotel concierge, and then we started our walk to the stadium.

There was no alcohol in the stadium for this particular event, so we met up with my Aunt Joy, Uncle Greg, cousin Shelby, and my cousin Wil’s girlfriend, Cat at a bar at the World Congress Center that’s right next door to the stadium.  Wil works for the UGA football team, so he was working, and he wasn’t able to join us.  My uncle bought a round of beers for us when we arrived, and we spent the next hour hanging out with them.

We all walked to the stadium together and we were able to get a few great shots of us in front of Mercedez Benz Stadium before going our separate ways.  They get tickets to all of the games from my cousin since he works with the football team, so their seats were in a different section than ours.

B and I lucked out and somehow managed to snag seats away from everyone else so we didn’t have to worry as much about germs.  We were in the upper section in the front row, but we were in some weird little section of just six seats with no others around anywhere.  We had nobody in front of us and nobody behind us, and only two people to our left and two to our right.  And the people to our left were barely there the whole time.  It was like having our own little private seating section and it was SO NICE.

B and I have season tickets to all of the Georgia home games, so we go to a lot of games, but we hadn’t been to a game since 2019 because of Covid, so I was just thrilled to be there.  And those awesome seats were just the icing on the cake.

The game started out great for us and we were up 10-0 in the first quarter, but then things took a left turn in the second quarter when Bama started playing great.  If you’re not a Georgia fan, you probably don’t know much about the history (and you probably don’t care – LOL), but Georgia somehow always ends up choking against Bama. 

B and I had been to three games against Bama prior to this one, and we had lost all three (another one being the SEC Championship game in 2012).  Sigh.  We were really hoping this was going to be the year to beat them since we were undefeated all season, but unfortunately, we chose to have our one bad game this weekend, and Bama ended up beating us again 41-24.  Sigh.

B and I left with two minutes left in the fourth quarter since all of the Georgia fans were pouring out of there as expected.  We had to walk a mile back to our hotel and we wanted to walk back while everyone else was walking from the stadium just to stay safe. 

When we got back to the hotel, we Facetimed my parents and the kiddos, and they’d had the best day with Pop and Cokie.  My mom had sent me some sweet pictures of their adventures to cheer us up during that rough game.  Haha.

After our chat with the kids, B and I headed back out in search of some dinner.  By then, it was nearing 9 PM, so we thought for sure we’d be able to find a restaurant with some availability.  Nope.  Aaaaallll of the Georgia and Alabama fans were out in full force and we were turned away from several restaurants.  They were all so busy that they weren’t even taking any more patrons. 

We decided to walk to one of our favorite places in ATL – Tin Lizzy’s – but they were so packed that the wait was going to be at least 1.5 hours.  Since we couldn’t get in there, B just placed a takeout order through Tin Lizzy’s website, and it said our food would be ready in just 15-ish minutes.  And that, my friends, is how you beat the system!  Haha.

We waited out in the courtyard just outside of Tin Lizzy’s and we snapped some pictures of the Christmas lights while we waited.  When the time came to pick up our food from inside, there was a bit of a mix-up, and we ended up waiting a bit longer than we should have.  Tin Lizzy’s finally got it figured out and B and I walked back to the hotel, food in tow. 

Our original plan was to order some margs from the bar in our hotel and eat outside in the courtyard at our hotel (they had lots of tables and firepits and a TV with football on), but the bar was PACKED and there were no available tables in the courtyard.  Instead, we took the food up to our room, and cracked open some beers from our trusty rusty cooler, and then we ate in our room while watching football. 

By the time we were done eating, it was nearly 11, so we got in our PJs and watched the rest of the game, and then called it a night.  We were both exhausted from the long day.


Sunday, December 5

Sunday morning, we slept in, got ready, and checked out of our hotel, and then we headed straight to Sublime Donuts, one of our favorite donut places in ATL.  We got a few donuts to go, and then hit the highway to head home.

When we got back in town, the first order of business was picking up the kids from my parents’ house, and then we headed home to unpack, do laundry, tidy the house, prep for Monday, and aaaallll the other things. 

At noon, we turned on the college football playoff committee selection while we ate lunch, and we were excited to see that Georgia made it to the playoffs even after our loss to Bama.  We knew that would likely be the case, so we were relieved to see we hadn’t gotten the shaft, because that does tend to happen for some reason.  Now we just have to get through Michigan and then we can still play for the National title!  Bama, hopefully we will see you again and beat you when it matters the most!  Haha.  But ugggghhhh.  Why is it always Bama?  I’m so tired of y’all!  Haha.

I spent some time in my office catching up on blog stuff and life stuff after everything was unpacked and settled in, and then we headed to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner.  My Mama Cass and my littlest brother couldn’t make it, so it was just the four of us + my parents.  My Momma and Daddy had gotten their Christmas decorations up, so we had an extra cozy evening, and it went by too fast as it always does.

When we got back home, Jacob had to do a little bit of studying, and then the kids hit the hay.  B and I stayed up to watch A Million Little Things and Supermarket Sweep, but I couldn’t hang for all of it, so we headed up to bed at 10.  It was an exhausting, wonderful week (aside from our loss) and I’m looking forward to a much less busy week this week so we can soak up some of the season and family time at home!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!



  1. Our school had a fun run a few years back and it was fun, but I guess they decided not to continue it! Yours looks so fun and festive. Glad Olivia had some good news at her appointment. And your Atlanta weekend sounded fun even though your team did not pull off the win.

  2. Oh that game.... Since we were in Orlando, we watched the game at the NBC Sports bar with LOTS of GA fans!

  3. Your fundraiser sounds like a lot of fun and I am so glad it was so successful!! Also great news with Olivia and her nodule. I will definitely pray that it keeps on shrinking. My best friend in high school had to have her thyroid removed and it is not always easy to keep everything regulated without it.

    1. Yes, you are so right. We're praying that eventually the nodule shrinks on its own so we don't have to operate, but that's not likely. We definitely want them to remove as little of her actual thyroid as possible. I'm so worried about keeping everything regulated.

  4. I was so sad y'all lost! I am glad you get the chance for a rematch! Sending prayers for that nodule to shrink to nothing!

  5. I laughed out loud when you said that your school needed new playground equipment because what was there had been installed when you were in HS. I am 45 years old and I played on the playground equipment that is still used at our elementary school!! It was probably installed in the early 70's. That Bama Georgia game was a good one!

    1. Ahhhh, that's so funny! And I thought our equipment was old! Haha.

  6. The fun run is such a cute idea! I love all the stuff your school does - so neat!


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