Monday, February 28, 2022

What I Ordered from Amazon in February 2022

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This was a heavier month for Amazon orders, partially because we celebrated Olivia’s birthday, partially because we celebrated Brian’s birthday, and mostly because I finally spent the rest of my Christmas Amazon gift card money. 

Homebody by Joanna Gaines

I’ve been refreshing the front sitting room in our house very slowly, and I bought this book to sit on top of the games cabinet because it went on major sale.  The book is so beautiful – it’s big and thick with beautiful pictures, and it looks perfect on top of the cabinet.  I already flipped through it a bit, and I can’t wait to take some time to look at it in detail.


It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Everyone has been raving about this book, and because our library system doesn’t currently have it, I decided to go ahead and purchase it.  I loved it so much that I read it in four days.  I couldn’t put it down.  And I’m so glad I ended up buying it because this is one that I’ll reread, and therefore, like to have in my own library.


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I loved everything about this book, and I purchased a copy to keep in my library.  If you want to see my detailed review, you can check that out here.  I couldn’t put this one down either.


Shoe Organizer

This shoe organizer was a purchase for the entryway by our garage.  We don’t have a mudroom, so I needed something to wrangle all of our shoes.  If you want to see my thoughts about it, check out this post. 


Acrylic Organizer

The shoe organizer had to go on the wall where we hang our face masks, so I had to figure out a different way to store those.  I bought this acrylic organizer to hold them all because it has one slot for each of the four of us.  It’s the absolute perfect size to hold them and it sits on top of the shoe organizer.  I’m hoping soon enough we won’t have to have a storage space for face masks at all!


Acrylic Organizers

This set of two was the second option to organize the face masks, but ultimately, I preferred the other organizer because it was all one piece, and it was also smaller.  These organizers are great, though!  They’re spacious and they’d be perfect for organizing underwear, socks, baby clothes, toiletries, and so many other things.


We Don’t Talk About Bruno Shirt

We’re heading to Disney World in just a few weeks and the kids needed some new shirts to wear.  They are both obsessed with Encanto, especially We Don’t Talk About Bruno, so I knew they needed some shirts!!  These were purchased from Amazon, but they’re from the Disney Store on Amazon so they’re licensed Disney products, and therefore, the quality is great!   


We Don’t Talk About Bruno Shirt

I bought this option for Olivia since she loves all things pink.  I thought the flowers were such a cute touch, too.  She’ll wear this with a tulle skirt, and she’ll be good to go!  Again, this is a licensed Disney product, so it’s very well-made.


This is the Way Mandalorian Shirt

I bought this shirt for Jacob for Hollywood Studios since it’s home to all of the Star Wars stuff.  We’re all going to wear Baby Yoda stuff there, and I loved this option for Jacob since it isn’t too baby-ish.  This is another licensed product.


Baby Yoda Dress

This Baby Yoda dress is the option for Olivia to wear in Hollywood Studios.  She’d rather wear a dress over a shirt and shorts any day, and I thought this was the cutest thing.  It’s not from the Disney Store on Amazon, but it is from the Star Wars store, so it’s also a licensed product.


24K Gold Eye Masks with Collagen

I’ve seen these 24K Gold eye masks floating around in blog land lately, so I thought I’d give them a try.  I’ve had big bags under my eyes since I was little, and it doesn’t matter how much sleep I get… they never go away because they’re hereditary.  Boooo.  I’ve seen many people say that they love these for bags, dark circles, wrinkles, and more, so I thought I’d give them a whirl, too.  I haven’t tried them yet, so I’ll have to report back when I do.


Clothes Pins

I use clothes pins to hang our Christmas cards each year, and we never have enough, which means that I end up using paperclips towards the end of the season.  I bought this pack of 50 so I’ll never have to worry about running out, and the extras are being stored in a glass jar in our laundry room, so it doubles as cute décor.


Veterinarian Barbie

Olivia’s birthday was last Friday, and we bought this veterinarian Barbie as one of her gifts.  She’s wanted to be a veterinarian since she was little and she loves animals, so I thought it was the perfect gift since she’s really into Barbies right now.


Donkey Kong Nintendo Switch Game

This was a birthday gift for B.  He and the kids love playing our Nintendo Switch, so I thought they’d like this version of Donkey Kong to add to the collection.  It has over 6,000 ratings and 4.8 stars, so I figured it must be good!  Spoiler alert – B and the kids all love it so the reviews were right!


Binax Now At-Home Covid Tests

We had to test a ton in February with both kids having Covid, so I bought these to replenish our stock.  We’ve always used this brand, so it’s the brand I always look for.  You can now get reimbursed for at-home Covid tests, too.


Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

I loved the first Colleen Hoover book so much that I immediately went to buy another one.  This one is on sale, and I’ve seen tons of people talk about how good it is, so I’ll probably be reading this one next.  I’ll keep you posted.


Candy Cane ChapStick

I bought this Candy Cane Chapstick to put in the kids’ stockings a few years ago and they both hated it (because of the tingle), so I tried it out so it wouldn’t go to waste.  I ended up loving it so much that I completely gave up my beloved Carmex (of 25+ years) because this is so much better.  It still has the tingle that Carmex has, but this one has the peppermint scent instead of that yucky Carmex scent.  I loooove peppermint.  I keep these stashed all over, and it was time for a refill.  Target doesn’t have them this time of year since they’re seasonal, but good ol’ Amazon always has them!  :o)


Happy Monday, y’all!

And if you want to see everything that I ordered in previous months, just check out the posts below!

*Linking up with The Other Side of the Road for Prime Purchases.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Five on Friday - Shoe Organizer, Book Reviews, and a New Book That I’m SO Excited About

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hey y’all, happy Friday!  It felt great to finally have a nice, normal week after two weeks of majorly adjusted schedules due to Covid, and we’re looking forward to so many fun things this weekend!  I think it's finally safe to say that our fam should be in the clear now, and Brian and I somehow managed to avoid it!!  I have no idea how, though, since both of our kids had it back-to-back... the germs were probably in our house for 14 days straight.  I sure am grateful, though!  Yay vaccines and boosters!  

Now for some favorites...

O N E – Shoe Organizer

We built our house back in 2009 before we had kids, but we built with the intention of living here for a very long time… maybe even forever.  After living here for over 12 years and bringing home two babies and a dog, I can honestly say that we did a fantastic job of planning ahead for all of the things we’d need for a family… except for one thing… 

A mudroom. 

I love this house just as much now as the day we moved in back in 2009, but I haaaate that we didn’t figure out a way to have a mudroom here.  It wasn’t a problem pre-kids or even when they were smaller, but the older they get, the more stuff they have, and there’s just no place to put all of it – the shoes, the jackets, the masks, the backpacks, the lunchboxes, the sports and dance bags, the sports equipment… whew. 

We do have a very small coat closet, but when I say small, I mean tiny, so there’s only enough space for Brian’s and my jackets, and that means there’s no room for anything else.

A few years ago, I managed to create a drop zone for the kids’ stuff in the tiny doorway area, and it’s worked beautifully ever since.  Until – Covid.  Once Covid started, we became more mindful about not bringing germs into the home, and one of the changes we made was that we all started taking our shoes off as soon as we got in the door. 

I know many people and other cultures have been doing that forever, but it was never something that our family did pre-Covid.  Now that we’re all taking shoes off, we always have a huge pile of shoes by the door because nobody wants to take them off and carry them upstairs right away.  I tried for months to keep the shoes in tidy piles right by the door, but since that space is so tiny, the piles were constantly getting kicked over, and we were always tripping over them. 

I finally decided to buy this shoe organizer for that space to solve the problem, but the problem with that is that the space is tiny, and it’s right next to the door, so I wasn’t sure how that would work with us coming in and out constantly.  I ended up finding this organizer, and I thought it would work well because there would be a shelf for Jacob’s shoes, a shelf for Olivia’s, and a shelf for Brian and me to share. 

I put it together last Friday and I loooove it.  It was fast and easy to put together, it’s sturdy, and it fits perfectly in that space… my only concern was that it might get in the way of us getting in and out the door.  Even though it fits perfectly in that space, it makes our entryway quite a bit more snug, so I’ve been worried about people bumping hips and scraping legs on it.  Therefore, we’ve been testing it out for a couple of weeks to make sure that it doesn’t disrupt our comings and goings before we decide if it’s a keeper.  I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes that it doesn’t because it’s soooo nice to have all of the shoes organized and out of the middle of the floor!  Once we make a decision to keep it or get rid of it, I’ll be sure to report back!


T W O – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I finished The Midnight Library a couple of weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it.  It was very different than anything I’ve ever read, so I think that added to the appeal, and it was just so unique that I found myself picking it up every single chance I had so I could find out what was going to happen next. 

Without spoiling anything, in a nutshell, the main character has the chance to undo regrets from the past and visit all of the other lives that she could have had if she had made different choices in life. 

Wow.  Can you even imagine??

I couldn’t put this book down.  I loved everything about it right down to the ending.  It made me think about all of the choices I’ve made during my own life, and how if I had changed even one little thing, everything could or would be totally different, not only for myself, but for others as well.  This book was thought-provoking, and it really made me ponder my past, my present, and my future, and ultimately, the importance of being grateful for all of the choices I have made that have brought me where I am today. 

There’s one quote that really resonated with me in the book, and it’ll probably stick with me for a long time…

“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”


I highly recommend this book – five stars for sure!  I’m so glad that I decided to purchase it for my own library, because I know I’ll be reading it again!


T H R E E – The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

I don’t buy many books, but when I do, it’s one by Nicholas Sparks or Emily Giffin!  Ever since I started utilizing the library a few years ago (don’t know what took me so long), I rarely buy books, but I do still buy them from my favorite authors.  Nicholas Sparks has always been a favorite even if some of his books are a bit predictable, but I have to say that he broke out of his mold a little bit with The Wish.

For starters, the book is partially set in New York City (at Christmastime!!) which I love, so the focus wasn’t completely on the Carolinas like they typically are in his other books.  This one was also a bit more unpredictable than some of his others, and I was truly surprised when I realized where the book was going at the end. 

This one made me cry probably more than any of his other books, and it was just a fantastic read.  Heartwarming.  Bittersweet.  Sad.  Poignant.  Mark my words, this is one that will eventually be turned into a movie!


F O U R – Emily Giffin’s New Book

And speaking of Emily Giffin… y’all!!!!  She has a new book coming out in May!!!!  She has only released 10 books since 2004, so she doesn’t tend to crank them out quickly like some other authors do.  Therefore, I feel like my anticipation for a new book from her is always so high!  I’ve never read a single book by her that I didn’t love, and I’ve actually read several of her books multiple times. 

Her newest book is called Meant to Be and it sounds so good!  Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie.

Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless—and after her mother marries an abusive man, she is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged.

When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse? In a beautifully written novel that captures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells the story of two people searching for belonging and identity, as well as the answer to the question: Are certain love stories meant to be?

The book is already available for pre-order on Amazon, and Amazon has a pre-order price guarantee, which means if you order it now, they’ll give you the lowest price between now and end-of-day on release day, which is May 31.  I’ll be ordering mine soon!  It’ll be the perfect book to take to the beach!


F I V E – Happy Birthday to Olivia!

And last but not least, my favorite girl is turning EIGHT today!!!!  I posted her birthday interview on Monday and her birthday letter on Wednesday and I can’t believe how much older she seems this year compared to last year on her seventh birthday.  She is a ray of sunshine, that girl, and we are so very excited to celebrate her all weekend! 


Friday Funnies

Exactly how I feel after having Covid in the house for two weeks and not getting it.  Hahahaha.  


On the Blog This Week

 This is Eight... Olivia's Birthday Interview

Our Week – The One with Valentine's Day, Quarantine, with Olivia, and Brian's Birthday

Happy 8th Birthday to Our Olivia Cate!


Happy Friday, y’all!

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Happy 8th Birthday to Our Olivia Cate!

To My Jolly Gal on Your Upcoming Birthday (it's Friday, 2/25!),

You have grown by leaps and bounds this year, and you have changed drastically this year thanks to the fact that you lost both top front teeth and grew your adult teeth all in one year.  Those new teeth have completely changed your look, and you look so grown-up!  I’m so grateful that you’re getting older and growing as you should be, but darn it, I miss those two front baby teeth of yours so much! 

This past year, you completed your first-grade year at school, and as in previous years, you completely rocked it.  You read over a million words and you were rewarded with a Millionaire Bash complete with a limousine ride and a banquet.  Your grades were stellar, and you’re still reading on a level that’s well above your age and grade. 

You transitioned to second grade seamlessly in the fall, and just like every other year, you are loving every second of it.  Every single thing about it.  The learning.  The writing.  The helping.  The socializing.  And you adore your teacher and your teaching assistant.  Adore them.  Every morning you jump out of bed eager to start the day, and your zest for learning amazes me. 

Your current AR level is higher than normal for your age group as it always has been, and just recently we received a letter from the Challenge (gifted) teacher at your school saying that you’ve met some qualifications for the gifted program at school and that they’d like to do further testing.  You are one smart cookie, lady!

You’ve kept your close friends close this year and you’ve also welcomed new friends with open arms, and I pray you continue to pour into those relationships so you can watch them grow as you do.  You’re such a thoughtful friend, always writing sweet little notes or drawing pretty pictures or making friendship bracelets for them, and I’m sure they appreciate your kindness very much.  And speaking of friends at school, yes, your boy crush is still going wrong after all these years and you don’t even care that he still thinks girls are yucky.  Haha.

Even though your reading level is above average for your age, you’re actually not a huge fan of reading.  But somehow, you still manage to devour your AR books in record time and you always test well on them, too.  You may not want to have your nose stuck in a book all the time, but that’s because… you’d rather be writing them!  Yep, that’s right, this year you have turned into a little writer!  You’ve written loads of short stories, essays, and even a couple of poems, and they are always the cutest things to read.  You also keep a diary, although, you only write in it sporadically, and you also started a joke journal.  Haha.  The absolute cutest!

You still chatter nonstop, about anything and everything, and if you’re not chattering then you’re singing your lungs out.  You sing constantly, and your voice is beautiful.  You’ve requested to take voice lessons and we’re hoping to make that happen this summer.  Your song of choice right now – anything from Encanto.  You are obsessed with that movie, and I don’t think you’ve loved anything this much since Frozen 2.  We Don’t Talk About Bruno is your personal favorite, and you also love Surface Pressure and What Else Can I Do?

As for other extracurricular activities, you’re still loving dance, and this year in addition to ballet, tap, and jazz, you decided to add lyrical to your repertoire.  Lyrical has been your most favorite class of all, so I’m glad that we decided to add it.  This will be your fourth year dancing in a big recital and it cannot get here fast enough.  You recently informed me that you don’t even want to be in class… you just want to be on stage all the time! 

When you’re not dancing and singing and writing, you love coloring, crafting, painting, and playing board games.  You still love Legos, although, maybe a little less than last year, and this year you have found a new love for all things Barbie.  You asked for a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas, and ever since your wish was granted, you have played with Barbies so much.  You also still love playing Minecraft with Jacob on the Nintendo Switch.

This past year, you broke your first bone… your elbow.  And man, was it a rough one.  Unfortunately, you remember every little detail from that day, but as with anything else, you’ve taken it in stride.  You never dwell on it or worry about it, and you talk about it as if you were discussing the weather.  You were such a champ during your long recovery. 

“Pocket peanut and jelly” AKA Smuckers Uncrustables are still your favorite food ever, and you’d eat one for every single meal if I’d let you.  You do still love pancakes, Mexican cheese dip, and fruit snacks, too.  You’ve also started loving the s’mores Quaker Chewy granola bars recently and they’re currently your snack of choice.  You wash all of that down with water, and only water.  Yep, all these years later and you still only drink water.  Literally nothing else. 

You’re still a little tornado, always leaving stuffies and blankets and paper scraps and beads in your wake, and you couldn’t care less about a tidy space.  It drives me insane, but I’m trying so hard to just let you be the person you are.  I do feel like it’s our job as parents to teach you the importance of taking care of your things and being respectful of your space, too though, so it’s a very fine line that we walk every day trying to let you be your carefree self while also teaching you a little bit of discipline.

You still need to be around someone all day, every day and you hate being alone.  Even if you’re just reading or coloring quietly, you will park yourself somewhere near somebody… you just need that companionship even if you’re not directly interacting with someone. 

Your bond with Jacob has gotten even stronger this past year, and y’all just love each other so very much.  Yes, you bicker and occasionally get upset with each other, but my goodness, your relationship is the sweetest thing.  I would venture to say that y’all get along well about 90% of the time. 

There have been many instances this past year where y’all have been separated due to sports or sickness or something similar, and when you reunite y’all are always the most excited to see each other.  Last week was particularly tough for you because you had to stay home for three days with Covid while Jacob was at school and you missed him terribly.  I even overheard a conversation between the two of you last week, and both of you were talking about how it would have been so much better if you had both tested positive at the same time so you could have stayed home from school together.  Be still my momma heart.

You are the jolliest, most go-with-the-flow gal and I love that so much about you.  You are a one-person party all the time, and you radiate sunshine.  You are almost never sad or mad or glum, and your positivity and love for life is contagious. 

You are simply magic, and we love you so, dear girl.



Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Our Week - The One with Valentine’s Day, Quarantine with Olivia, and Brian’s Birthday

The last two weeks were long, y’all.  Long.  Haha.  After two weeks at home with Covid kids, we are soooo glad to be back to normal this week, and we’re really looking forward to getting back out and doing lots of normal things now that we’ve finally had Covid in our house.  Here’s how the week of quarantining with Olivia went…

Monday, February 14

Monday morning, I got Jacob to school and headed to Publix to do our grocery shopping.  When I got home, B had already made breakfast for Olivia and she was in the living room snuggled up in a blanket and watching her beloved Bluey.  After I got the groceries put away, I headed up to my office for a quick 20 minutes to get all of the pressing things done, and then the rest of the morning was spent hanging with my girl.

Whereas Jacob loves alone time and is very good at keeping himself entertained, my little girlfriend is a people person and she always wants someone nearby.  We played numerous rounds of Guess Who as well as several rounds of Pictureka, and eventually we made it to lunchtime. 

Just before lunch, B had stepped out to grab some special cupcakes for Valentine’s Day and he made it home just in time to eat lunch with us.  Afterward, Olivia played video games for a little bit while I hustled to get as many things checked off of my to do list as I could in such a short amount of time.  Thankfully, I’d had a sneaking suspicion she’d end up with Covid at some point since Jacob had it in our house already, so I’d made it a point to complete all blog posts for the week just in case.  Smart girl.

Monday, all day, I still had a cough and a runny nose, but I didn’t feel bad otherwise, so I just kept on getting stuff done.  You may remember I’d started having the cough and runny nose on Sunday, but I had tested negative Sunday night.

At 3, I picked up Jacob from school, and then we headed home.  He was on a high from his Valentine’s Day party and Olivia picked up on his energy, so the two of them were bouncing off the walls all afternoon.  I finally got them wound down enough for Jacob to do his homework, and then we sent them outside for the rest of the afternoon until dinner was ready.  So grateful for more sunshine in the evenings these days!

My mom and dad came over before dinner to bring some Valentine’s Day treats to the kids, and we all stayed outside and kept our distance so they wouldn’t get the funk.  We ended up talking to them for a while, and then by the time they left, it was time for me to get going on dinner. 

I’d originally planned to make breakfast for dinner along with homemade waffles, but my momma had brought her giant griddle to me that she no longer wanted, so I decided to do pancakes with our breakfast instead of waffles.  You may remember that last year, I tried several times to make good pancakes at home, and I failed miserably every time because my griddle was tiny and terrible.

This new griddle worked like a charm and it was exactly what I needed to make the perfect pancakes.  I made my momma’s recipe that she’s been using my whole life, and they turned out just like hers.  FINALLY.  It even went so smoothly, that I was able to make some cute heart-shaped pancakes for us, too.  :o)

We all sat down to eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, and pancakes for dinner, and then afterward, we all let our food settle for a bit before bringing out the cupcakes that B had picked up earlier in the day.  The kids split a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake, and they couldn’t even finish them because they’re so darn big.  And rich, too. 

After they finished with their desserts, they headed upstairs to shower and get ready for bed, and then once they were in bed, B and I watched another episode of Station 11 while enjoying our cupcakes… strawberry for me, and chocolate chip cookie dough for him. 

I was still feeling just fine Monday night other than my cough and mild runny nose, but my cough was getting more persistent as the night went on, so I made a hot toddy before bed, and as usual, it worked like a charm.  No coughing the entire night, and I slept like a baby until…

Tuesday, February 15

Olivia woke us up around 1 AM to tell us that she had woken up and couldn’t go back to sleep because “her knees were aching” so we gave her some children’s nighttime medicine and then I patted her back for a while until she finally felt sleepy.  I’m assuming that her achy knees were just body aches from the Covid, but it was hard to know since she said that was the only thing that was aching?  I suppose it could have been growing pains, too.

After being up with her for a bit, I couldn’t fall back asleep for a good hour or more (which is rare for me), so I ended up getting up at 6 AM on the struggle bus.  I got Jacob off to school, and by the time I got back home, Olivia had just finished breakfast.  I let her watch a little bit of TV while I squeezed in a few minutes of work, and then she and I spent the rest of the morning working on her birthday interview, doing her birthday chalkboard, cleaning out the closet under the stairs, coloring, and painting. 

We had some leftovers from my momma for lunch, and then afterward, I headed back to my office to squeeze in another hour and a half of work before I had to leave to pick up Jacob from school.  Olivia played Minecraft while I worked… she and Jacob both love builder mode!  They never play the actual game… they always just build!

After Jacob and I got home from school, he worked on homework and then the two of them played while I got a few things done around the house.  I made pasta and veggies for dinner, and then I got in a stair stepper workout after we finished cleaning the kitchen. 

Since I was still coughing all day Tuesday (and still had a runny nose), I decided to test for Covid one more time.  We have lots of stuff coming up (B’s birthday, Olivia’s birthday, Grandparents Day at the kids’ school that I’m in charge of, etc.), so I wanted to stay on top of it so we know how to proceed for upcoming events.  My test was negative yet again, so I’m just chalking my cough/runny nose up to allergies.  My pollen app is saying that the pollen count is medium high here right now, so I’m guessing it really is that.  I can’t imagine two different Covid tests would tell me I’m negative (three if you want to include the one I took after we found out Jacob was positive, but that was before I started having symptoms).  I just find it highly coincidental that I started having respiratory symptoms after both kids got Covid.  I haven’t had respiratory issues like this since February/March 2020 (although these weren’t as bad as those… those were awful). 

The boys left for a 7:15 baseball practice, and while they were gone, Olivia and I tried on her old Disney shirts to see if any of them still fit for our upcoming trip (they didn’t), and then she we played a game of Headbandz as well as another game of Pictureka.  My girl loves some board games!

By the time we’d finished the second game, it was time for her to get ready for bed, and I had her all tucked in by 8:15 so she could get a good long night of rest.  I caught up on social media and watched some of the Olympics coverage until the boys got home at 9, and then after Jacob got showered and in bed, B and I had just enough time to share a cupcake and then head up to bed ourselves.  Those late baseball practices are always rough, and the older he gets, the more of them he has!

Wednesday, February 16

Wednesday morning, I dropped Jacob at school and then I headed home to find Olivia just turning on Netflix to watch Bluey.  I left her to it to get a couple of quick things done in my office, and then I headed back downstairs to play with her for the rest of the morning. 

She wanted to color first, so I printed a couple of coloring sheets per her request, and then I pulled out my coloring book and colored pencils and I joined her.  While we colored, we listened to the Classical Disney songs Pandora station, and that lasted about an hour before she was ready to do something else.

We decided Wednesday morning was a good time to take her birthday chalkboard pictures, so she picked out her outfit and I did her hair, and then we did our little photo shoot outside.  After that, she tidied up the table while I took down the Valentine’s Day decorations and then we played her Princess Cupcakes game followed by a game of Trivial Pursuit.  Lol.  Random, I know, but she wanted to even though most of the questions are ones that she can’t answer.  She did get two right, though – how many people are in the group Salt N Peppa (somehow, she knew it was three!!  Haha.  I thought she’d guess two), and what three flavors are in Neapolitan ice cream. 

Brian picked up Chipotle for lunch per Olivia’s request.  Olivia had gotten wind that we’d had Chipotle without her while Jacob was home with Covid, so she wanted her turn.  Haha.  After lunch, I retreated to my office for an hour and a half to work and Olivia did some more Minecraft building. 

I picked Jacob up from school and he and I swung by my parents’ house to pick up some leftovers followed by the gas station.  When we got home, he tackled his homework and read for a bit, and then he and Brian headed to early baseball practice.  While the boys were gone, Olivia and I got outside for a nice long walk around the neighborhood.  She hadn’t gotten out of the house in nearly 48 hours, so I wanted her to get some fresh air. 

The weather was absolute perfection Wednesday – sunny and 70 degrees with hardly any humidity – so our walk was just what we both needed to feel refreshed and energized.  As we walked, we talked about her returning to school on Thursday, and y’all, she was just so pumped.  She hates missing school. 

When she and I got back home, she showered, and I started my new book because it had finally arrived!  I ordered It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover because our local library system doesn’t have it, and it was supposed to have delivered last Sunday, but it ended up getting lost and delivered late.  I was so excited I couldn’t wait to get started on it.

After Olivia was so fresh and so clean clean, I started cooking dinner and she read for a long time.  The boys got home around 7:30 and we had a very late dinner, and then after dinner, Jacob got showered, and we got both kids in the bed.

After they went to bed, B and I watched episode four of Station 11, and y’all, that show gets weirder and weirder with each new episode.  We’re both enjoying it, but let’s just say that it is nothing like I imagined it would be.  During the show, I made another hot toddy… my cough always gets worse at night, and I didn’t want to risk losing sleep over it.  So far, fingers crossed, my cough hasn’t caused me to lose any sleep yet.  That’s rare for me… I always dread getting sick because I usually have several nights in a row where all I do is cough.  All. night. long.  It’s awful for me, and I’m sure it’s just as awful for B who has to listen to it.

Thursday, February 17

Thursday morning, Olivia was able to go back to school, and let me tell you, she JUMPED out of bed when I went in there to wake her.  She was stoked.  In addition to that, Jacob had finished his five-day mask requirement to end his 10-day full “quarantine” (or whatever you want to call it) after his Covid, so we decided to let him go to school mask-free on Thursday for the first time since August 2020!!!!  We figured that since he just had it, since he’s fully vaccinated, since cases are trending waaaay down here now, and since most of his other classmates have stopped wearing theirs (many of them have had it) that we’d let him have a mask break for a while. 

In addition to that, the CDC has started hinting at better days ahead recently and many states and large corporations have started relaxing their mask mandates in the last few days.  I’m praying that’s an excellent sign that maybe things are heading in the right direction forever and that maybe Wednesday was the last time he’ll ever have to wear a mask to school… forever??  Could it actually be?!  Praying that this stupid thing is finally fizzling out once and for all. 

After I got the kids off to school, I spent the entire morning catching up on all of the work that I’d gotten behind on.  I had a to do list a mile long (there were even more items than the ones I posted in my Instagram stories), so I set out to check as many things off as I could before picking the kids up from school.  I started on scholarship paperwork for school, I worked on finalizing our Disney plans, I worked on our packing list for our trip, and I continued working through to see what all needs to be purchased for our trip. 

We have soooo much going on for the next three months and my head has just been swimming trying to keep track of the planning for all of it, so I tried to get as much of it down on paper as I could – scholarship applications, yearbook ads, little league spring raffle, researching and booking summer camps, voice lessons, and piano lessons for summer, Brian’s birthday, First Reconciliation, Grandparents Day, Olivia’s birthday, Blueman Group, spring auction school fundraiser baskets, my birthday, Disney trip, the G-Day game, Easter, Field Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, the spring social at school, Olivia’s dance recital weekend, a Dave Matthews Band concert, and First Communion + all of our usual things like dance classes, a crap ton of baseball practices and games, girls dinners, a movie night with my Momma, hopefully a dinner with my old coworkers, and a couple of lunches with old coworkers, as well as the usual appointments and meetings I always have…


Then the weekend after that, we leave for the beach. 

Y’ALL!  I think I’m going to be extra thankful for that beach trip this year!  This time of year is B-O-N-K-E-R-S, but I’m the most grateful that we are finally able to do all of these things again and I’m looking forward to savoring every single thing!

I’m so glad we got our Covid out of the way before all of this started.  Haha.  Well, hopefully, anyway. 

Brian didn't even want a dog, and now look at him.  Hahahaha.  When he comes to my office during the day he always has to give her some snuggles.

When I picked the kids up from school, Olivia was just over the moon about her day.  She’d gotten to pass out and receive her valentines, she worked hard all day to make up some of the work that she’d missed, and she’d finally gotten to meet the new student whom her teacher had selected Olivia to mentor.  She said that they get along great and she had the most fun helping her during class and playing with her on the playground. 

Baseball was canceled Thursday evening (which was nice because it was a late practice), so we had the evening at home.  The kids played outside for a long time because it was 73 degrees, and I read for a bit and then cooked dinner.  After dinner, the kids got ready for bed, and then we watched some Olympics coverage while the kids sorted their valentines. 

After they went to bed, B and I watched episode five of Station 11, and then we called it a night.

Friday, February 18

Friday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then swung by Publix on the way home to grab some ingredients for Brian’s birthday dessert on Sunday.  I’d been holding off planning a birthday dessert because we were originally supposed to be celebrating at his mom’s house, but they decided to postpone since Olivia will still be in her 10-day Covid window.  I have to say, as sad as I am that we have to cancel Sunday lunch again, I was very relieved, because I just didn’t feel comfortable going over there since both kids have had Covid in the last two weeks and Olivia was still within the 10-day window.

When I got home, I spent the morning working, but I had to cut my workday short to go pick up the kids at noon.  For some reason this year, instead of giving the kids the entire day off for President’s Day, we just had a noon dismissal day on Friday for a teacher workday.  So strange.

On the way home from school, we picked up Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and after lunch, the kids played video games for a bit.  They were wired when they finished playing video games, so I sent them outside where they played for a couple of hours until dinnertime.  It was another gorgeous day, although a little on the cold side.  

Also, I had to mention this because it has been cracking me up – the kids have started "pranking" us when they're outside by sneaking over to the front door, ringing the doorbell, and then running away.  What they don't realize is that we have a Ring Doorbell Camera, so it gets them on camera every single time, and this picture of Olivia made me laugh so hard last Sunday.  It's so funny to me that they started doing this because they don't even know that it's something that kids used to do when I was little!

B headed out to pick up Five Guys for dinner, and I read for a bit while he was gone.  I couldn’t put it down all week!

After dinner, the kids got ready for bed, and we watched an episode of Mighty Ducks Game Changers, and then we started the new season of The Amazing Race with them.  Brian and I used to watch that show all the time, but hadn’t watched in a few years, and we thought it would be the perfect family show for the four of us to watch.  Both kids seemed to like it a lot, so hopefully, this will be a new thing for us.

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched episodes 6 and 7 of Station 11 and then we headed to bed.  Only three episodes left and they sure to have a lot of loose ends to tie up!

Saturday, February 19

Saturday morning, I made homemade waffles for breakfast, and then the boys headed to baseball practice.  Olivia was on Day 8 of Covid, and even though she’d been able to go back to school on Thursday, I didn’t feel right about taking her out in public anywhere, so we stayed home for our one last slow weekend before all of the craziness that spring is going to bring for us.

While the boys were gone, I read for a little bit, and then Olivia and I did a craft that she’d seen on Gabby’s Dollhouse.  She made a little bunny out of an Easter egg and placed it in a little basket made of pipe cleaners.  It was a simple craft, and all she needed help with was the hot glue gun, and it turned out so darn cute.

After our craft, she finished up catching up on all of the schoolwork she’d missed earlier in the week while I started some laundry and then got in a cardio workout.  She helped me change the sheets on her bed, and while the comforter was off the bed, she decided to set up a little shop.  At her shop she mailed letters, sold stuffies, and she had a little library where you could check out books.  It was the cutest.  :o)

By the time all that was done, the boys were home and they had brought home a free lunch from one of our local food trucks.  The food truck had been catering an event in the park where Jacob plays baseball, and they had food leftover, so they were just giving it away.  B and I had chipped pork sandwiches and Brunswick Stew and the kids had massive sausage dogs and chips, and it was really delicious.

After lunch, the kids tidied the house and did their laundry, and then they played for a bit before switching to video games later in the afternoon.  I spent the afternoon trying on old Disney shirts to make sure everything still looked good for our trip, and then I got a few things done for our trip.

By the weekend, I was still coughing and my nose was still running, but both had improved significantly.  Since I’d tested negative three times in the last 14 days, I just chalked it up to allergies and that was that.

B had to work Saturday evening, so we had a very early dinner – he picked up Mexican from our favorite place – and then he got to work (from home).  The kids headed outside after dinner and they played outside until dark.  Jacob’s baseball coach told all of the kids that he wanted them to catch 1,000 pop flies this week, so Jacob got to work, and he did 150 Saturday evening. 

While the kids played, I got some old baby stuff photographed and listed online to sell.  It’s been sitting in a closet for seven years, so it was long overdue.  Haha. 

The kids came inside at dark and played a couple of board games, and then they watched Encanto yet again, because that’s their movie – and music – of choice these days.  While they watched, I worked on a couple of projects and then I finished my book.  It was so, so good, y’all.

The kids got in the bed a little after 9, and then I snuggled with Maui on the couch until B finally wrapped up work a little after 10.  We had just enough time to squeeze in another episode of Station 11, and then we ended up watching half of the next episode because one just wasn’t enough.  Ha!


Sunday, February 20

Sunday was Brian’s birthday, and the kids greeted him with homemade cards when he came downstairs.  After that, it was our usual cinnamon rolls and virtual church (hopefully for the last time ever unless it’s by choice!) and then B opened his gifts.  We gave him the Donkey Kong video game for the Switch, so he and the kids headed straight to the playroom to take it for a test drive. 

While they did that, I made some homemade banana pudding for B’s birthday dessert (his request) and then I photographed more baby clothes to sell on Facebook and Etsy.  We all had a light lunch shortly after that, and then we all headed outside.  It was a beautiful, clear, sunny, semi-warm day, so we all got another little taste of spring.  B and the kids played basketball forever and then I eventually headed in to get ready for the day.

The rest of the afternoon was school prep and a tiny bit of blog work for me, and then I went out and picked up pizza from a local place that we love, but rarely have.  We don’t usually do takeout on Sundays, but B requested it for his birthday… pizza is his favorite. 

After dinner, we sang Happy Birthday to the birthday boy and he blew out the candles in his banana pudding (haha).  Then all of us piled on the couch to watch some more of The Amazing Race.

And that was the last of our lazy days for a while, and I have to say, I’m actually looking forward to the busyness this year!

And now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


This month, I intended to just read one book, but I ended up choosing two excellent books, and I couldn’t put either of them down.  Therefore, I read two books!  The first was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, and the second was It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover.  Both were excellent, though very different.  It Ends with Us was my first Colleen Hoover book, and from what I’ve heard, all of hers are excellent, so I’m looking forward to reading many more this summer.


Currently Watching


With B:  This month, B and I have been watching This is Us, Supermarket Sweep, Shark Tank, The Bachelor, and Saturday Night Live on network television.  Then for streaming, we finished Ozark, we started and finished season two of Raising Dion, and we started and finished Station 11.


With the Kids:  We’re still working our way through The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Mighty Ducks Game Changers, and we finished Secret Benedict Society and Secrets of Sulphur Springs at the end of January.  We also watched a ton of Ice Age Movies and a lot of Olympics coverage with them as well, and we started the new season of The Amazing Race.  This is their first time watching that show and so far, they like it!


Alone:  Still watching The Big Wedding on repeat while I work, and I also added The Wedding Planner back to the rotation.  I could watch The Wedding Planner a million times and it would never be too much.


Currently Listening To


We’re still jamming to the 90’s pop station on Amazon frequently, and I’ve also started throwing the 90’s R&B station on Amazon in the mix.  It is so dang good.  We also tried to listen to the Disney Classical Music station on Pandora per several recommendations, but it always kicks us out after a few songs… I guess you can’t listen to that entire play list if you don’t pay??  And then, of course, Encanto, Encanto, Encanto when I’m with the kiddos!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!