Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Our Week - The One with Summer, Week 1 (Voting, Olivia’s First Communion, and a Play Date)

Last week was bittersweet.  Sweet because it was our first official week of summer, and sweet because Olivia made her First Communion, but there was also a black cloud hanging over our country because of the tragic events that unfolded in Uvalde, Texas.  I spent much of the week praying for the families and loving on my own babies… I can’t even begin to imagine the nightmare that the parents and loved ones of the victims have lived through this past week. 

It’s hard in these situations to know what to do to make an actual difference, and although thoughts and prayers are very lovely and important, sometimes they simply aren’t enough to bring about the change that is needed to break the cycle.

If you’re feeling helpless and you’re wanting to help, Sharon McMahon, one of my all-time favorite follows on Instagram, provided some excellent information on how to take action by calling your state senators.  She provided a list of contact names and phone numbers for all of the states, along with a fully-written template on what to say when you call, and she also explains in her stories why doing this is so helpful even if it feels like your one or two phone calls aren’t really going to make a difference.

I took the time to call my state senators last week, and it was quick and easy.  I urge you to do the same if you are feeling as helpless as I am.  You can find information for how to do this in Sharon’s Instagram highlights.

Now for the recap…

Monday, May 23

Monday was the very first day of summer break.  After summer break 2020 where we couldn’t do anything because of Covid and then summer break 2021 where we couldn’t do anything because of Olivia’s broken elbow, I have some pretty high hopes for 2022.  Honestly, though, my hopes don’t even have to be that high for this summer to beat the previous two.  As long as we can continue to do things somewhat normally and everyone stays well, I’ll be a happy camper!  :o)

After three weeks of sheer insanity that was the last three weeks of school, baseball, and dance, all I wanted to do last week was NOTHING.  Haha.  We ended up waking up to hard rain and dreary skies Monday morning, which usually isn’t appreciated so much during the summer, but I actually wasn’t too sad about it because all I wanted to do was be lazy.

Brian worked from home Monday morning, so we all slept in a bit longer than we would have if we’d had to get the kids to school, and then we had a slow breakfast.  Much as I didn’t want to leave the house, we had no groceries, so I made a quick trip to Publix right after breakfast to grab everything we needed for the next couple of weeks and then I got it all unloaded and put away when I got home.

Once that was done, Olivia and I finally had the time to make her First Communion banner.  It had been sitting in our house for weeks, but thankfully, she didn’t need it until her actual First Communion which was last weekend, so we were able to wait until summer break to get it done.

After that was done, Olivia wanted nothing more in the world than to make some slime, so she and I brought out her kit that she had gotten for Christmas, and we made a batch of glow-in-the-dark mermaid slime.

After our slime-making, the kids finally got out of their PJs and played outside for a long time while I got a couple of things done around the house and got lunch made.  In the interest of mixing up the kids’ lunches this summer and trying to come up with some new ideas, I’m going to try to share their lunches each day to hold ourselves accountable… and I figured that also might help some of you in case you’re looking for ideas… especially if you have picky eaters like we do.  And if you want to see these in real time, feel free to follow me on Instagram… I hope to post their lunches in my stories most days.

After lunch, it was tidy-up time for the kids, and then they played video games for a bit while I worked.  During the school year, they only get video games on Saturdays and Sundays, but during the summer, we let them play for an hour or two pretty much every afternoon when we’re home.

After I wrapped up work for the day, I headed downstairs to make dinner, and then we all ate together.  Then after dinner, all four of us took Maui for a walk around the neighborhood.  The rain had stopped, and it was nice and cool out… a much-needed break after a couple of weeks of very hot, dry temperatures. 

When the kids got home, they got showers, and while they did that, I walked two more miles.  I love when the weather is actually nice during the late spring and summer months, and I like to take full advantage and do my workouts outside… most of the time during the late spring and summer it’s just too hot and humid to be outside at all!

After the kids had showered, we all sat down together and watched more of American Idol.  We still didn’t get caught up, but we were able to make it all the way to through the episode just before the finale!

After that, the kiddos got into bed, and B and I sat down to watch Ozark.  I just haven’t been that into Ozark since season one, and I was feeling energetic for some odd reason (maybe because we finally had a nice, slow day?!) so I got up and cleaned out the pantry at 9:30 at night while B watched.  Lol. 

Tuesday, May 24

Tuesday morning, B headed off to work at his actual office, and I got up just after 7 and got showered and ready for the day.  The kids were already up, too, so once I was ready, they helped me make homemade waffles for breakfast, and then they watched TV for a few minutes while I did some blog reading and drank my hot tea. 

After that, they got dressed and ready, and we headed out the door to meet Brian at our voting precinct to vote in the primaries.  Neither of our kiddos has ever come with us to vote, so it was a great experience for both of them.  We were able to show them the process and explain the importance of letting our voices be heard.  They were rewarded with their very own voting stickers on the way out.

B headed back to work after that, and the kids and I swung through the Starbucks drive-through for cake pops, and then we headed to the paint store to pick up a gallon of paint for our next project… restoring my Mama Cass’s old childhood desk so Olivia can use it in her bedroom. 

We made a quick stop at the library on the way home to grab some books for the kids for their summer reading.  They each have to read one book this summer, and they both chose long ones, so we wanted to get started early on.  While we were there, we hung out with my friend, Jeannine, for a bit, and she told us about all of the upcoming events at the library this summer.  They have a bunch of fun things planned, so I’m sure we’ll be there a lot!

By the time we got home, it was past time for lunch, so I reheated some leftovers and added a couple of sides for the kids, and the three of us sat down together.

After lunch, we worked on sanding and cleaning Olivia’s new (old) desk, and then it was video game time for the kids and work time for me.  Tuesday was another dreary day and it drizzled on and off all morning and early afternoon, but it had finally cleared up after video games, so the kids played outside for the rest of the afternoon while I cooked dinner.

Brian had tennis Tuesday evening, so he headed off to that just before the kids and I sat down to eat, and then after dinner, the kids and I went out back and threw the football for a long time.  Midway through, the wind started picking up and it grew dark (and it felt amazing outside – so cool!), and eventually, the rain pushed us inside.  The kids decided they weren’t ready to go inside, though, so they ended up playing in the rain for a bit instead.  There was no lightning, so why not?  This is them doing sad faces because they sad that people who stand out in the rain are sad.  Lol.

B had to wrap up tennis early due to the rain, so when he got home, we all went inside and watched some more of American Idol.  Olivia asked me to paint her fingernails and toenails, so we did that while we watched, and then I also squeezed in a quick stair stepper workout, too.

After we got the kiddos in the bed, I popped on to social media as I usually do, and I saw all of the horrific news about the school shooting in Texas, and my heart just sank.  I just don’t understand how this continues to happen in this country time and time again.  I was so grateful that our kids were already out for summer break, because I don’t know how I could have possibly sent them to school the next day after that.

Once the kids were in bed, B and I watched This is Us… the very last episode.  Between that and the real-life events that had occurred earlier in the day, I was a basket-case, and I cried the entire way through.

Wednesday, May 25

Wednesday morning, we woke up to dark cloudy skies yet again.  The kids and I made breakfast, they watched their morning cartoons while I enjoyed my hot tea, and then we turned on some happy music (AKA Dave Matthews Band) and started painting Olivia’s desk. 

I got the first coat on there, cleaned out the paint brush, and then the kids and I all took Maui for a walk around the neighborhood while it wasn’t raining.  We ended up getting rained on about halfway through, but it was light and brief, and we ended up clocking a bit over a mile before heading home for lunch.

After lunch, the kids and I lounged around in the front room and did many, many rounds of “Would You Rather.”  Jacob had picked up a This or That book from the library and we all took turns answering the questions and giving our reasons why.  Most of the time we all chose the same thing, but there were a few things we differed on, and I loved hearing the kids’ answers.

Once that was done, a HUGE storm was about to roll in, so the kids retreated to the playroom to play Super Smash Bros and I retreated to my office to do some blog work and watch a happy movie.  I also took a few minutes to contact my state senators that day after what had happened in Texas. 

Wednesday evening, I thumbed through my new cocktails book to find something yummy to mix up with dinner, and I found the perfect one – The Mint Mule.  We currently have an abundance of mint in the back yard, so I was excited to finally have a good drink recipe to mix with it.  They turned out really well, and I’m hoping to share it on the blog soon!

We had our Mint Mules with pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and fruit, and then after dinner, we all relaxed for a bit.  By the time the kids needed to get showered, the rain had stopped, so I headed out for a quick two miles while they did that. 

I’m happy to report that we finally finished American Idol Wednesday evening, so we’re finally caught up on that, and now we can finish off a few of the other shows that we’ve started and not finished with the kids. 

After the kids went to bed, B watched another episode of Ozark, and I scrolled through social media for a bit while he did that. 

Thursday, May 26

Thursday morning, we woke up to dreary skies yet again.  Sigh.  The kids watched some cartoons after breakfast while I did a few things in my office, and then they got dressed and ready for the day so we could run a few errands.

First on the list was Target so we could grab everything needed for our upcoming beach trip, and then while we were in the area, I surprised the kids with a stop at Crumbl, the new cookie place that just opened in our area.  We brought home a half dozen to try, and the specialty cookies were all delicious, but the chocolate chip ones weren’t impressive at all.  Brian’s grandmother’s recipe is so good that it has completely spoiled me.

After Crumbl, we swung by the groomer to pick up Maui.  B had dropped her off on his way to work Thursday morning, and she was ready just in time for us to grab her on the way home from our errands. 

We made it home just in time because the bottom fell out as we walked in the door, and it rained aaaallll afternoon yet again.  I made some lunch for us, and then the kids tidied up the house a bit before settling in for video games. 

When B got off of work, he had to drop his vehicle at the service department, so the kids and I got out again late afternoon to go pick him up.  Then, it was back home to cook dinner.  The rain had finally cleared by then, so the kids were able to get outside and play some basketball while I cooked.

After dinner, we went for a long walk around our neighborhood, and then, the kids rode their scooters around in the cul-de-sac for a while, too.  After lots of days with not much outdoor time, they had lots of energy to burn, and I was glad they were able to spend the entire evening outside.

We all came in just before dark, and we watched an episode of Walk the Prank with the kiddos as well as an episode of The Book of Boba Fett.  B and I then put the kiddos to bed and watched an episode of Ozark while we enjoyed our cookies from Crumbl.

Friday, May 27

Friday morning, I headed to the salon bright and early at 8 AM.  The guy who has been doing my hair for the last ten years just got a full-time job doing something in another field, but he’s going to continue doing my hair, so it’ll have to get done during weird hours.  Haha.

Thankfully, Brian is still working from home on Fridays, so I was able to leave the kids with him.  I was home by 9:45, and then the kids and I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon outside because we finally had some sunshine!

B inflated the pool for Olivia, and the kids set up various field day types of games and obstacles.  We had a quick lunch at home and then went back out… I played wiffle ball with Jacob and then B came out and kicked the soccer ball around with the kids for a bit, and then we all went in.  After several hours in the sun, we were all ready for some indoor time. 

B finished up with work early since it was a long weekend, and then we had to pick up his car from the service department.  Then, the kids played video games for a bit, and I caught up on some blog stuff.  Going from having 6+ hours per day to dedicate to the blog down to less than 2 hours per day is trying, but I’m making it work because I’d much rather spend time with B and the kids while they’re home.

For dinner, we went out for pizza and beers, and then we headed home to watch another episode of Walk the Prank and Book of Boba Fett before sending the kiddos to bed.  Then B and I finished season two of The Flight Attendant and the final episode of Ozark. 

Saturday, May 28

Saturday morning, we made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and I snuggled up with Maui, my hot tea, and my book to read for a bit before getting the day started.  B got the front and back yard mowed because we’d been gone so much lately that it had been neglected.  While he did that, I got in a cardio workout and did some laundry and my normal Saturday chores.

After lunch, we all went out and played basketball for a bit, and then I headed inside to prep everything for Olivia’s First Communion and get some house plants trimmed.

By the time I’d finished trimming some of the plants, it was time to get showered and ready for church, and then I helped Olivia get into her First Communion dress and curl her hair.  We had to be at the church at 4:30 for pictures, so we were out the door a little earlier than usual.

When we arrived, my friend, Jeannine, and her family were already there.  Their oldest son is Olivia’s age, so he was also making his First Communion.  We picked the same Mass so they could be together.  They’re only two months apart, and they’ve known each other since birth, so it was the sweetest thing that they were able to experience this together.

First up, we claimed our seats, and then we headed to the back to take professional pictures.  After that, we snuck in a few family pictures, and then it was time to get settled in the church for Mass.

We lucked out and had Father Manny, who is my very favorite priest/friar we’ve ever had, and I was just so grateful that he was the one to give Olivia her very first Communion.  He gave a fantastic homily during Mass, too.  I’m going to miss him so very much when he and our other friars leave at the end of June.  I’m so sad our time with them is coming to a close.

After Mass, the professional photographer took a few group pictures followed by family pictures with Father Manny, and then we headed to dinner.  We let Olivia choose where she wanted to go since it was her special day, and she chose the pub right down the street from our church that we frequent on Saturday evenings.  And I'll be sure to share the professional pictures as soon as we get them back from the photographer!  My Momma took some of these!

Updated to add the professional pictures:

My Momma and Daddy had ridden in their sports car, and Olivia had been begging to ride in it, so Momma rode with Brian and Jacob and me to the restaurant so Olivia could ride shotgun in Pop’s sportscar on her special night.  (And for those of you worried about safety issues, yes, our kids always ride in the back seat in their boosters, but we made an exception since the drive there is super short and they didn’t have to get on the highway or anything.  Plus, this car is only a two-seater and there is no backseat.)  She loved every single second of it, and I had to snap a picture of them in front of us because look at her little party girl hands up in the air!!  Haha.

My parents and my father-in-law joined us for dinner at the restaurant, and we lingered for a while chatting until it was almost dark.  By the time we got home, it was time for the kids to get ready for bed, and then once they were tucked in, B and I started season two of The Wilds that just dropped a few weeks ago!

Sunday, May 29

Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast, and then I had another lazy morning reading my book with Maui in my lap.  Mid-morning, we all got showered and ready, and then we headed over to Jeannine’s house to hang out.  She and her husband just bought a new house, so we got to see their new place and hang out with some friends.

One of my old friends from grade school and high school was in town with her family, and they were there, too.  I hadn’t seen her in years and years, and I’d never met her family, so it was nice to hang out and get to know them.

Mid-afternoon, we all headed out, and then the kids and I stopped by Chipotle to pick up a very late lunch and take it home to B.  The rest of the day was a lazy one at home, and then we met my Mama Cass and Uncle Billy at my Momma and Daddy’s house for Sunday dinner. 

Momma made BBQ chicken, her famous mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and rolls, and, of course, we opened a bottle of wine to accompany the delicious meal.  Sunday dinner and time with family is always the perfect way to end the week and start the new week on the right foot!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!  



  1. We've had quite the rainy weather here too. I don't know if you say congrats on a first communion, but if so, congrats! I haven't called my senators yet because I'm anxious, but Simon wants to do it. I wonder if that's a good idea or not! I need to follow Sharon, but I do follow emilyinyourphone and she gave a lot of the same info.

  2. I was over the rain last week!! Congrats to Olivia! that is so exciting. Ben's mom was raised Catholic but then converted to Baptist when she married Ben's dad.


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