Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Our Week - The One with More Christmas Celebrations, a Play Date, and New Year’s

Oh, what a wonderful Christmas Break we had!  We squeezed in so much time with family, we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s to the max, we played lots of games, worked on puzzles, hung out with friends, relaxed a TON, aaaand I got the whole house in order after the holidays… well, with the exception of the kids’ rooms and the playroom.  Those are going to take some time as they need to be cleaned out, so I decided that could just wait until January.

Anyway, in case you haven’t been reading blogs these last couple of weeks, you can catch our Christmas recap here, and now it’s time to recap the second half of our break!

Monday, December 27

Monday morning, Olivia woke us up early saying she had a tummy ache, and she spent about an hour that morning laying on the couch and watching cartoons.  After that, she was good to go!  While she and Jacob watched cartoons, I started working on taking down the Christmas decorations.  We put up so much stuff, and it takes days to get it up.  Therefore, it also takes days to get it down, so I do it in shifts. 

Monday, I got the bannisters on the stairs taken down and put away, and I got the trees in my office and our master bedroom undecorated and put away.  I also got started on the mountains of laundry that needed to be done.

The kids spent the rest of the morning playing with all of their new toys, and before lunch, I sat down with Olivia to teach her how to use her new weaving loom.  I had the same set when I was a kid, and it was one of my favorite things to do.  My mom had those potholders for years and years!

She got a little less than halfway done with her first project and then put it to the side to take a little break, and then I made lunch. 

We got the kids a basketball goal for Christmas, and after lunch, Brian and the kids played basketball forever.  I didn’t think they were ever coming in.  Haha.  That was definitely a great gift, and based on how much they’re loving it now, I think it’s going to get a lot of use!

While they were outside, I undecorated Jacob’s and Olivia’s trees in their bedrooms, but I left the trees up with the lights on as promised, because both kids wanted one more night with their trees.

After that décor was down, I decided that was enough for the day, so I got showered and then spent a short time in my office getting some things done while the kids played video games. 

I cooked dinner and we all ate together, and then after dinner, we played two games of Exploding Kittens, which we are all loving!  It’s so much fun for the whole family!

We still had more time to kill after that, so we pulled out our newest puzzle – a 1,000-piece Lego Mini Figure puzzle.  The kids are loving it and it’s keeping them more engaged than that last Christmas puzzle that we did.

Once the edges were completely done, we put the puzzle away, watched an episode of The Fresh Prince, Olivia finished her weaving loom, and then the kids went to bed.  After they were all tucked in, B and I watched that new Tom Hanks movie, Finch.  Y’all, it was so good, and I cried my eyeballs out.  Tom Hanks is definitely one of the best actors of all-time, ever.

Tuesday, December 28

Tuesday morning was another morning of sleeping in, and then after breakfast, B and the kids went to get fireworks for New Year’s Eve.  They had the whole place to themselves, and while they were gone, I had the whole house to myself, which meant… time to get down the rest of the Christmas decorations!  Well, with the exception of our main Christmas tree… we always take that down last.

I got the entire living room put away (except for the tree), and then I got the kids’ trees down, got the house dusted, and then I also tidied up a bit.  The house was still out of control from Christmas.

By the time B and the kids got home, it was time to eat lunch, and then after that, B and I got all of the Christmas decorations down outside.  Olivia had finished her weaving loom project by then, and she needed help tying it off, so I got that done for her.  That was always the hardest part when I was little, and I had to watch a YouTube video as a refresher.  Ha!

B and the kids went outside to play basketball afterward, and I had to go finish up my blog post for Wednesday.  Since flu hit our household the week before the kids got out for Christmas break, I was all kinds of behind on blog stuff, so I did end up doing a little bit of work during the break, but it was minimal.

I whipped the blog post up as quickly as I could, and then I headed downstairs to make a pineapple casserole to take to Christmas celebration #3 – Christmas at my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law’s house. 

We all got ready while the casserole was baking, and then we headed over to their house for dinner.  Both of my sisters-in-law and their families joined us over there, and we all split up in different rooms to eat, so we weren’t all squeezed in the dining room.  We’re all being really cautious again since the Omicron variant has exploded here in town. 

Our family of four ate outside and we had the most beautiful weather.  It was 72 degrees and partly cloudy, and we saw the most beautiful sunset while we were out there.  We really lucked out because it had been gloomy all day and was supposed to have rained a lot.

Once everyone was done eating, we headed inside to open presents, and the kids got lots more stuff to add to their new pile.

We finally headed home around 8:30, and then once the kids were in the bed, B and I started the show The Shrink Next Door.  I love Paul Rudd and I love Will Ferrell, and that show is really good, but my goodness, is it frustrating to watch!!!!

Wednesday, December 29

Wednesday was Brian’s one day to work for the week, but of course, he’s still working from home, so he didn’t have to actually go anywhere.  It poured all morning long, so it was the perfect morning to take down the Christmas tree.  It took me all morning, but I made some hot cinnamon tea to enjoy while I worked, and I shuffled my entire song library, too. 

I got the tree down by lunch, and then after lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon scrubbing and tidying the whole house (with the exception of the kids’ rooms and playroom, of course). 

Olivia got a Barbie Dream House for Christmas, and that thing is MASSIVE, so I spent the better part of the afternoon rearranging some things to get it in the playroom.  Thankfully, the kids were finally willing to let me get rid of their old tent (I discovered they were using it as a dumping ground… apparently, every time I asked them to tidy the playroom, they just shoved everything in there.  Grrrr.), and that freed up a HUGE space, so we were able to move the couch back in front of the TV (where it belongs) and slide the dream house in right next to it.  Perfection.  I do not miss the tent at all! 

By the time all that was done, it was time to make another pineapple casserole for our fourth and final round of Christmases… this time, with my father-in-law.  While that baked, I showered, and B cleaned off the porch. 

All day long, we had our eyes on the sky because it poured and poured and stormed a bit, too, and we were supposed to be having our celebration outside on our back porch.  Eek.

Fortunately, we lucked out, and the rain miraculously disappeared earlier than expected, and we had a very pleasant, albeit, WARM and HUMID evening. 

My father-in-law and his friend, Karen, brought over ham and turkey, rolls, and a few other sides and desserts, and my sisters-in-law each brought a dish, so we had another yummy meal. 

After dinner, we opened presents again, and then we all hung out on the back porch for a bit.  Everyone left just before 8, and then we all headed inside, and the kids played with their new toys until it was time for bed.  Jacob now has so many Lego sets that he’s literally out of surface space in his room, so we started brainstorming some ideas for a big Lego display. 

He and I have been discussing the possibility of getting him a couple of bookcases from Ikea (theirs are the BEST and can be customized exactly how you need them), so I’m hoping B and I can swing an Atlanta Ikea trip soon to grab them while the kids are at school.

After they went to bed, B and I watched two more episodes of The Shrink Next Door before we called it a night, too.

Thursday, December 30

Thursday morning, we slept in again, had some breakfast, and then we hopped in the car in our PJs to drive B’s SUV down the street to be dropped off for service.

When we got back home, we stayed in PJs all morning.  I helped Olivia with her new Bling craft kit, and I helped her get her Barbie Dream House all set up.  There is a spot for everything – clothes, handbags, shoes, etc., and she was thrilled to get everything organized and its spot.

We had friends coming over Thursday afternoon, so the kids and I tidied up the playroom as best we could (mostly by shoving everything to one side), but we wanted to have a clear space for their friends to play.  I knew there was no point in cleaning out and organizing just yet when friends were coming over.  Haha.

After that was done, Brian and Olivia played a round of Clue (her new favorite game), Jacob put together another Lego set, and I sat down with my planner to give it some much-needed TLC.  I had to make sure I hadn’t dropped the ball on anything since I hadn’t looked at it much the last couple of weeks.  Christmas break is truly a wonderful vacay, and it’s one of the rare times during the year when I don’t do much planning or make lists or stick to any kind of schedule or anything.

By the time that was done, it was time for lunch, and then I headed up to get showered.  My friend, Jeannine, dropped her boys off shortly after lunch so she and her husband could go look at some houses for sale, and our kiddos were THRILLED to see them.

Shortly after they arrived, my friend Khristina arrived with her son, and he joined all the kids in the playroom.  While they played, we all hung out and chatted and watched football, and eventually, Jeannine and James joined us after their house-hunting.

They all left mid-afternoon, and no less than five minutes after they hit the road, a huge storm blew through, dropping quarter-sized hail all over.  It sounded crazy loud as it was hitting our house and I thought for sure we were going to have some damage, but thankfully, we didn’t. 

I was worried sick about all of our friends who had just left, but thankfully, they all made it home safely.  They did have to pull over for a bit and wait it out, though.

After the storm, I headed up to my office to squeeze in 30 minutes of work, because yet again, I didn’t yet have a blog post ready for the next day.  I was just flying by the seat of my pants all Christmas break.  Ha!

We had to go pick up Brian’s car from the service department after that, and then I made dinner… or rather I heated up some leftover spaghetti my mom had given us that we had frozen.  The BEST.

After dinner, we watched Encanto, and we all loved it, and then it was time for two more episodes of The Shrink Next Door once the kids were in bed.

Friday, December 31

Friday morning, we watched ESPN College GameDay and lounged on the couch pretty much all morning.  I finally cleaned out both of my inboxes and responded to loads of emails that had piled up, so at least I was somewhat productive in all of my laziness.  ;o)

After that was over, I played a game of Clue with the kids – my first time to ever play Clue – can y’all believe that?  And I whooped them both.  Haha.

While we did that, B ran to our Walmart Neighborhood Market to grab a few things for the evening, and then the kids and I decorated for New Year’s Eve.

When he got home, we had a quick lunch, and then I headed to my office to do a couple of things.  While I was posting something on Instagram, I saw the super sad news that Betty White had passed away and it was just such a bummer to see… not the way I wanted to end 2021.

The kids played more basketball in the afternoon because we finally had a day where it wasn’t pouring down rain… it was very dreary, though.  As a matter of fact, we hardly saw the sun the entire two weeks of Christmas break.  So crazy.

While they played, I got ready and then I headed downstairs to join B on the couch to watch the Alabama/Cincinnati playoff game.  While we watched, Olivia and I got our nails New Year’s Eve ready.  :o)

By the time my nails had dried, it was time to start prepping for our NYE get-together.  We had my parents and my father-in-law and his friend over.  My parents arrived at 6, and we ate aaaallll the appetizers and drank all the winter white cosmos.  My Momma had made pigs in a blanket with Little Smokies and crescent rolls, her famous taco dip, and a variety of cookies.  And I had made turkey and cheese biscuit sliders, and B had made his guac.  It was all so delicious!

By the time we finished stuffing our faces, it was time to watch the Georgia/Michigan playoff game.  We (Georgia) came out of the gate looking awesome, and by halftime, we were up 27-3.  My FIL and his friend arrived at halftime, and we got our very own halftime show started – fireworks in the back yard!  Our neighbors were all out doing them, too, so as usual, we had quite a show, although, it wasn’t as spectacular as in years past.

Once everything was blown up, we headed back inside to watch the second half of the game, and I got out the dessert board for everyone to snack on.  Georgia ended up winning 34-11 which means… WE’RE HEADING TO THE NATTY!!  Hopefully we’ll actually beat Bama this time?  Sigh.

After our win, my FIL and his friend left, but my parents decided to stick around until midnight.  We prepped all of the champagne as well as the kids’ sparkling grape juice, and then at midnight we had a champagne toast.  Just after our toast, my brother and sister-in-law called all of us and my littlest brother on Facetime, and we chatted with them for a bit. 

More neighbors started fireworks just after midnight, so we stepped out on the front porch to watch, and then my parents left around 12:30 AM.  Jacob wasn’t ready to go to bed, but Olivia was almost out on the couch, so I got her into bed, and we let Jacob ring in the new year one more time with the Central Time Zone before making him get into bed just after 1 AM.  B and I followed suit shortly after.

It was such a fun evening, and the Georgia win was the icing on the cake!  I’m excited (and also a little wary… because who isn’t?) to see what 2022 is going to bring!

Saturday, January 1

Saturday morning, we all slept in… I didn’t get out of bed until 9:15, and when I got up, Jacob was the only one up.  He’d been up since 8.  That kid is forever an early riser… apparently, even when he’s up until 1 AM.  I headed downstairs to work on dishes since we’d left some dirty ones in the kitchen, and I finally had to go wake Olivia just before 10.  I thought about letting her sleep, but we knew that wouldn’t be good for bedtime Saturday night, so I figured it wouldn’t be wise to let her sleep forever.

After breakfast, B and I sat down to watch ESPN College GameDay again, since it was on for the second day in a row, and then around 11:15, I finally got my lazy booty off the couch and got in my first workout of 2022 (and my first workout all week – ha!). 

After my workout, I got some laundry started, and then it was time to make lunch.  We had leftovers from our NYE celebration to keep it simple, and then after lunch, we all headed outside to play basketball.  B taught the kids how to play “HORSE,” so we played two rounds of that together.  Olivia and I were the first two out both times.  Haha.

B and the kids stayed outside for a round of “PIG” (a shorter game of HORSE in case you were wondering – LOL) and I headed inside to get ready for the day.  After that, I spent two full hours in my office working and working because I was soooo behind on blog stuff, and it felt good to get some stuff done.

The kids got showered and played video games when they came in, and then we all headed to my parents’ house for our traditional New Year’s Day dinner at 5.  My Momma cooked the very best meal – pork chops, rice, black eyed peas, turnip greens, and blueberry muffins – our traditional New Year’s Day meal for good luck in the new year!

After dinner, we hung around for a bit, and my brother stopped by, and then we headed home a little after seven because the kids were exhausted from being up so late the night before.  When we got home, we let the kids watch one episode of Fresh Prince, and then they got in the bed before 8:30. 

After they went to bed, B and I finished The Shrink Next Door, and it was really good.  It’s a mini-series, so it’s not a long commitment, and I definitely recommend it. 

Sunday, January 2

Sunday morning, we watched church virtually and tried the Pillsbury hot cocoa rolls (cinnamon rolls but hot cocoa flavored) and then I pulled out my planner to plan the week ahead since school started the next day.

Jacob had some reading to do for school and he also had to study for a social studies test makeup (he’d missed it when he had the flu), and Olivia read for a bit, too.  My MIL and step-FIL bought her the entire My Weird School set for Christmas, and she picked up book #1 to start.

Once all of the school stuff was out of the way, Olivia and I worked on her new puff paint sticker craft, and she loved it.  I took down the New Year's Eve decor, we had lunch, did some housekeeping for the week ahead, and then B and the kids played basketball while I got in a workout. 

It was gloomy all day again, and more rain moved in just as they were finishing up, so the rest of the day was spent inside – B watched football, I worked in my office, and the kids played video games.

We had hardly any food in the house since the following day was grocery shopping day, so we grabbed takeout from Chipotle for dinner, and then we worked on our puzzle, played Exploding Kittens, and got to bed early to start the new week on the right foot.  And that was the end of our Christmas break!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!  


  1. Happy New Year! I don't envy you having to take down all those decorations. I used to love the potholder maker too!

  2. I have a bunch of those potholders; they're the best! I tend to pile all the Christmas decorations into the dining room; on and around the table for a day or two until I'm sure I've gathered it all and then pack it away in the totes in one fell swoop. I LOVE The Weird School series; AJ and his gang are so funny.

    1. That is SUCH a good idea about piling it all up and then packing it away at the same time. I always end up missing something and then I have to dig out the boxes to put them up. Haha. I've never read any of the My Weird School books but Jacob loves them, too. I think he read most of them when he was Olivia's age!


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