Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Our Week - The One with Summer, Week 11 (Covid, Meet the Teacher, and a Wedding in Atlanta)

Last week was the kids’ last week of summer break and it was crazy and weird and stressful and exhausting, but it ended on a wonderful note, and I’m recapping it all on the blog today!

Monday, August 1

Monday morning, we were supposed to meet my aunt and my cousin’s kiddos to swim, but they ended up having to cancel, so the kiddos and I were on our own.  We ended up staying at the pool all morning, and as usual, I had to drag them outta there because they didn’t want to leave.

We swung by my Momma and Daddy’s house on the way home to say hello, and then we headed home to have lunch with Brian since he was working from home.  I polled all of you on Instagram Monday about sending me all of your best tips for keeping hydrangeas alive, and all of you basically said GOOD LUCK!  Hahahaha.  So, if you're reading this and you have any tips for me, please let me know!  My Mama Cass gave this one to me, and I want to be able to get it in the ground eventually and have it grow!

After lunch, Jacob finished his summer reading book – The Hunger Games – and then both kiddos spent some time drawing.  While they were busy doing that, I got myself showered and ready for the day, and then I settled in for a couple of hours of work and some laundry while the kids hung out in the play room and played video games.

We made breakfast for dinner – a household favorite – and then the four of us went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Clouds started to roll in while we were walking, and by the time we got back home, it was looking rough.  I wanted to squeeze in a run, so I stayed close to our house just in case, and I was able to get in a quick mile before finally heading in because of the lightning.  It was popping off all around, and it started to get too close for comfort. 


I got showered and ready for bed, and by the time I was done, it was POURING outside.  The kids requested a family video viewing Monday evening, so we all cozied up and watched old videos of the kids when they were babies.  As always, it resulted in tons of laughs.  The kids get a kick out of watching themselves when they were little.

After they went to bed, B and I caught an episode of The Vampire Diaries and part of the newest episode of Better Call Saul, and then we went to bed, too.


Tuesday, August 2

Tuesday morning, Brian woke up with a scratchy throat, so he immediately tested for Covid.  His test was negative, but he called into work and told them he was going to work from home just to be safe.

It was a good thing he did because within a couple of hours he spiked a fever of 102 and started getting achy.  After lunch, he headed straight for acute care, and sure enough, he was positive for Covid.  Sigh.  They called in a prescription for Paxlovid and told him he should start feeling better within 24 hours of starting it.

He and I have managed to avoid it for 2.5 years (even when the kids had it in February), so this was his first time getting it. 

Tuesday was dreary all day, so the kids and I stayed home.  Jacob worked on his book report, and Olivia and I made bracelets.  Once we found out B had Covid, I started the process of setting him up for quarantine, and we all started masking. 

The kids and I spent the whole afternoon upstairs as B was quarantining in his office (downstairs) and our front sitting room on the pull-out couch.  They played some video games while I worked, and Brian went back-and-forth from sleeping/resting to doing some work here and there. 

One of my best friends was scheduled to get married in Atlanta on Saturday, and Brian and I had been looking forward to a kid-free weekend getaway for so long, but with that one positive test, everything came crashing down.  I spent the evening texting friends – including the bride – to let them know that B and I wouldn’t be able to make it, and I was so incredibly sad to have to miss it!  My friend, Lauren (the bride), was also sad when I told her I couldn’t make it, and she told me to try to work some magic to make it there by myself as long as I stayed well.

I cooked dinner Tuesday evening and indulged in a glass of wine, and the kids and I ate together at the table while B ate in the front sitting room. 

After dinner, the kids and I got out for a walk around the neighborhood, and then I sent them upstairs to play and watch TV for a bit while I got in a couple more miles.  I ended up walking two more miles, and while I walked, I started brainstorming how to make it to the wedding. 

Ultimately, I knew we couldn’t ask the grandparents (or anyone else) to watch the kids for me Saturday night because we couldn’t risk them bringing germs to anyone, but I did realize that B would be close to the end of his five-day quarantine window by the time Saturday evening rolled around, and that maybe if he was feeling better, the kids could just stay home with him and fend for themselves… assuming I stayed well and tested negative and everything, of course.

At that point, it was just a waiting game, so there was no need to stress about it as I wouldn’t be able to make decisions until Friday/Saturday anyway.  So, I finished my walk, showered, got the kiddos in bed, got B settled in for bed (AKA bringing all of his stuff down so he wouldn’t have to come in our bedroom), and then after sitting with Maui while she had her evening treat, I headed to bed alone and left the Covid patient downstairs.


Wednesday, August 3

Wednesday morning, we got up and made our way quietly downstairs since B was holed up in the front sitting room.  In addition to his fever, aches, and chills, he started having a terrible headache on Wednesday, so he hadn’t slept well at all anyway. 

I got breakfast ready for all of us and took Brian’s to him because he obviously wasn’t eating with us at the table.  After breakfast, the kids watched some cartoons upstairs (away from B) while I worked in my office (also upstairs), and then we spent the whole morning at our neighborhood playground.  I wanted nothing more than to get out of the house away from the germs. 

While the kids played, I walked in a big circle around the playground and I ended up getting in about three miles.  The playground area is hilly, and it was a bit muddy since it had rained the day before, and by the time we got home, I needed another shower. 

When we got home, I made lunch for everyone, and then Jacob worked on homework while Olivia made a couple of bracelets for her two besties.  I spent the afternoon doing laundry, sanitizing the house, canceling Brian’s and Jacob’s hair appointments, and getting Olivia all registered for dance.  This year, in addition to ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical, she has also decided to add musical theatre, so she’ll be taking FIVE classes and dancing in FIVE different skits in the recital.  Whew. 

By the afternoon, Brian was feeling a little bit better, so he ended up spending a few hours in his office working.  He had an important project this past weekend, so it was terrible timing for him to get sick, and he had no choice but to work.

By dinnertime, I was mentally and physically spent, so I heated up a pizza for dinner, and then the kids and I spent the rest of the evening outside to stay out of the house.  We played basketball, and Jacob showed us some of his sweet moves… he can now throw the ball over his head backwards and nail the goal almost every single time… from a long distance, too!

When we went inside, the kids got showered while I worked on never-ending laundry, and then I got them into bed and spent some time with Maui before calling it a night.  I also made myself a hot toddy because I swear, every single time somebody in the house gets sick, I start drinking my hot toddies and I’m the only one who doesn’t get sick.  They’re magical.  Hahahaha.

Thursday, August 4

Thursday morning, I had an 8 AM meeting at the kids’ school.  I was asked to be on the Home and School Association Advisory Board this year, and we had our first meeting on Thursday.  I was fully prepared to miss the meeting and get my notes from someone, but everyone agreed it was fine for me to come since the kids and I were still feeling fine.  We did wear masks just to be safe, though.  And unfortunately, the kids had to be dragged along with me since we didn’t want them to spread germs to any of the grandparents.  They were so well-behaved, as usual, though, and the meeting only lasted about 45 minutes, so it wasn’t too bad.  ;o)

On the way home, we dropped some library books in the book drop and dropped a couple of returns at the post office, and then we headed back home to check on our Covid patient.  Thursday, B woke up with a terrible sore throat – he said it was probably the worst one he’s ever had in his life – and he was in the bed most of the day again, with the exception of coming out here and there to do some work in his office.

The rest of the day was spent at home doing our usual things, and then later in the evening, I tried my friend, Emily’s, stuffed shells recipe for dinner.  It turned out soooo good, and it’s definitely a keeper that’ll be thrown into the regular rotation.

After dinner, the kids and I played basketball outside again, and then I helped Olivia tie up the potholder she’d made on her weaving loom.  I tackled some laundry after that, and the kids played quietly in the playroom.

By the time all of that was done, I was wiped, so I sat down in the chair in our bedroom and wasted 45 minutes mindlessly scrolling through social media because I had no energy for anything else.  I don’t ever just sit and scroll through social media while the kids are home/awake, but I was pooped.  It’s exhausting parenting and running a household alone! 

After that, it was bedtime for the kiddos and then I had another hot toddy while I spent some time with Maui.  Then it was off to bed for me, too!


Friday, August 5

Friday morning, we had a leisurely morning at home, and then we headed to the school mid-morning for Meet the Teacher and Middle School Orientation.  Olivia is in Jacob’s old 3rd grade classroom with one of his old 3rd grade teachers, and we are ecstatic to have her this year!  She is incredibly organized and communicative, and y’all know how much I love and appreciate that!  I get to be her room mom again this year, too, so she and Olivia and I are all really excited about that.  :o)

Middle School Orientation started at 11:30, and we obviously had no clue what to expect since this is our first year.  Olivia had to be dragged along for the ride since she couldn’t stay with any of the grandparents, and we all masked just for consideration of others even though we were all feeling fine.  We haven’t been masking for several months, so it was a little weird to have to do it again, especially since nobody else was wearing them.

When we arrived in the auditorium for the program, Jacob saw one of his besties and he ran off without so much as a goodbye or a backward glance.  While most parents might be sad about that, I was actually SO happy, because he’s usually very tentative about new things… I was so SO happy so see him so comfortable in such an unfamiliar situation!

Olivia and I settled in for the parent portion of the program where we learned about what to expect from middle school, and the program lasted a little over an hour.  After our program was over, we walked over to the middle school hallway and found Jacob. 

He’d been hanging out with his best friends, eating pizza, and attending the kids’ portion of middle school orientation, and he’d already found his homeroom class, opened his box of school supplies, and started settling in.

Once he was done getting settled in his classroom, we found his locker and got it all set up, as well as his main binder.  At the end-of-school year auction, they always auction off fun items for the next school year, and Jacob’s friend, Jack, had won the “locker buddies” auction, and he chose Jacob to be his locker buddy for this school year.  Jacob’s locker is right under Jack’s, so they get to see each other in between every class which I know Jacob loves. 

Once Jacob’s locker was set up, we looked at his schedule and found each of his classrooms in order, so he’d be prepared for the first day of school.  He is just like me in that he loves to know what to expect in every situation, so we made sure he was fully prepared before we left the building.  Middle school is basically like high school at our school in that he changes classes every single period and he has a different teacher for every subject.  (Although, two of his teachers do overlap this year.)

He also has a different elective every quarter this school year, and he was so excited to find that he’d gotten Music Appreciation for Q1 and Q2, Intro to Theatre for Q3, and Intro to TV Broadcasting and Production for Q4.  Even though he has always loved to play sports, he would much rather do artsy things, and he wasn’t sad at all to not have PE. 

By the time we left the school it was laaaate and Olivia and I were starving, so we swung by the Chick-Fil-A drive-through to grab lunch to take home.  The kids spent the rest of the afternoon playing and I got some work done.  I also took a Covid test because I had to make the decision whether or not to try to attend the wedding.

My test was, of course, negative, so I spent the rest of the afternoon coming up with logistics for how to get there, how to care for the kids, etc.

I picked up Panera for dinner and we ate together, without B, of course.  His project was in full-force Friday, so he worked all night in his home office.  Thankfully, he was feeling a little bit better, although, his sore throat was still really bad on Friday.

After dinner, the kids watched some TV, and I got out for a 3-mile walk.  I was feeling stressed about trying to plan my Atlanta trip around Covid/Brian not being able to be hands-on with the kids/not having someone to drive me, so I wanted to clear my head.

By the time I got home, it was time to shower, wind down, get the kids in the bed, have my hot toddy, and hit the hay.


Saturday, August 6

Saturday morning, I made homemade waffles, took another Covid test to be EXTRA SAFE (it was negative again) and then I finalized plans for my trip.  God bless my friend, Jeannine, and her husband for totally taking care of me… Jeannine volunteered to ride up with me, so I didn’t have to drive alone, and her husband followed behind us. 

In case you’ve never been to Atlanta, they have one of the worst traffic situations in the United States.  Their population is five million, yet they have no good public transportation system in place, so most people drive themselves which means there are a gazillion vehicles on the road.  I-85 runs straight through it, and at its broadest point in the heart of downtown, there are, like 10-12 lanes running northbound and another 10-12 lanes running southbound.  The speed limit is 55 mph through there, but most people do like 70-80 mph so it. is. a. nightmare.

I used to drive to Atlanta all the time when I was younger, but in recent years, I’ve developed major driving anxiety, and that anxiety happens all the time, even at home when I’m not on busy streets.  So, driving through Atlanta traffic is just pretty much out of the question for me now.

Anyhoo, I was so very grateful to Jeannine and her husband for being the best humans ever to help me get up there, because otherwise I probably would have chickened out and not gone at all.  But I would have been devastated to miss it, too.

Once plans were in place, I got showered and packed, and then I spent the rest of the morning setting out everything the kids would need for the rest of the day for dinner and breakfast the next morning.  I didn’t want Brian to have to handle any of their plates/silverware/food/etc. since he had the crud, and there are several things the kids can’t reach in the cabinets. 

Jeannine and her fam came over at 1-ish, and I kissed the kiddos and headed out.  Jeannine and one of her boys rode with me, and then her hubs and her other kiddo rode behind us.  The drive up was smooth for the first half, but the second half was a little stressful as it poured crazily for about 30 minutes and then we hit the Atlanta traffic scariness.  I was also a ding-dong and put the wrong address in the GPS for the hotel, so it took us to some random apartment complex.  Lol.  Thankfully, the actual location was less than 10 minutes away, but I couldn’t believe I did that.  Again, in case you’ve never been to Atlanta, like, every single street has the word “Peachtree” in it, so it’s verrrry easy to mix up addresses, especially when the streets have the same street numbers, too.  Lol.

Anyhoo, we made it to the hotel – Embassy Suites – and we all got checked in and then self-parked, which is also always an adventure in Atlanta.  If you know, you know!  Haha.

Once we were all checked in, we got our luggage to our rooms on the third floor, and we scoped out the hotel.  Isn’t it STUNNING?!  Just look at that atrium!  Although, I have to say, a major damper was put on our stay because we found out shortly after we arrived that somebody had committed suicide by jumping from one of the top floors down to the ground floor of the atrium just the night before we arrived.  So tragic and so very sad.   

I took some pictures of my room, and got settled in after that.  That first picture is the view from my living room.

Once we were all settled in, Jeannine and I took her boys to walk the streets to find the wedding venue.  It was supposedly in walking distance, but we wanted to make sure 100% that it was walkable and safe since we’d be walking back in the dark late at night… in heels!  Ha!

We were grateful that we walked down there first, too, because we couldn’t find the place!  It turns out that the wedding venue was on the 26th floor of one of the high rises that is home to lots of different businesses, and it wasn’t clearly labeled, so it took us a bit to figure out how to get there.  Our GPS kept telling us we were there, and we were looking all around like WHERE ARE YOU?!  Turns out, it was up in the sky.  Haha.

Our short walk there was eventful, to say the least, too.  Within a span of 15 minutes, we saw (literally) 200-ish motorcycles race by (and then back by a few minutes later), several police officers race by with their sirens blaring, a firetruck race by with its siren blaring, and then the scariest part – what we thought to be gunshots – coming from a car right as it was driving by us.  Jeannine and I for real thought we were about to die.  We still have no clue what it was, but all we can think of is that the car backfired a bunch of times as it drove by?  Do cars still backfire??  And can they backfire like 10 times in a row??  I have so many questions.  Lol.

Anyhoo, we made it back to the hotel a little shook, and it was time to get ready for the wedding!  After about 45 minutes of primping and freshening up, we headed to the hotel bar to meet our other friends, Shelly and April, and their husbands. 

The wedding was an adults-only occasion, so Jeannine’s husband stayed at the hotel with their boys all night which meant Jeannine could be my date for the night since Brian couldn’t make it.

We all made the short walk to the venue, took the elevator to the 26th floor, and stepped into the club for a “sip and sit” before the ceremony.  The building that the Buckhead Club is in is round, so all of the walls were rounded with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows that offered sweeping views of the city below.

We made our way inside and grabbed drinks first… it was an open bar all night so the sky was the limit!  A couple of my friends grabbed tall glasses of champagne from the trays that were making their way around the room, and the rest of us opted to grab cocktails from the bar… a vodka cranberry for me.  I’ve been to a lot of weddings in my day, but I’ve never been to one where there was alcohol offered prior to the ceremony!  I don’t think any of the guests were complaining, though!  Haha.

Everyone chatted and mingled for a bit, and then a few minutes before 6:45, we were all ushered into another room for the ceremony.  That room was also full of wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows, so there was a stunning backdrop for the bride and groom, and I can’t wait to see the professional pictures from it!  Can you tell we were SO excited for Lauren to be getting married?!  Haha.

They didn’t have a wedding party, so everyone was able to focus on the bride and groom, and the ceremony was short – around 15 minutes, maybe? – but it was sweet and funny.  A couple of the groom’s friends even cracked jokes a couple of times.

Once the ceremony was over, we were all ushered back into the first room again for a traditional cocktail hour while the bride and groom took pictures.  My girlfriends and I hit up the bar again, this time for a glass of wine, and then we all chatted and took pictures and enjoyed some hors d’oeuvres as they came around on the trays.  They had a shrimp cocktail that my friends loved, and by the end of the cocktail hour, we had like 10 empty shot glasses leftover from the shrimp.  Haha.  My favorite was the honey & cinnamon fried goat cheese and the chicken cordon bleu.  I could eat my weight in goat cheese, y’all! 

Around 8, the bride and groom entered the room, so we were able to hug Lauren’s neck for the first time all night, and then, shortly after that, we grabbed a third round of drinks (another glass of wine to accompany dinner) and were all ushered into the reception room… an even larger room with the most windows and the best view yet!

My group of friends was seated at Table 9, and we were all so excited to see that our table was right by the dance floor… that’s where we’d be spending the whole night anyway.  ;o)

Once everyone was seated, Lauren and Zack made their way into the room, heading straight to the dance floor for their first dance.  The father/daughter dance was next followed by the mother/son dance, and then it was time to EEEEAAAAT!!!! 

They had so many delicious selections including Caprese salad, lemon risotto, au gratin potatoes, broccolini (that was to die for), roasted carrots, chicken marsala, salmon, and balsamic grilled skirt steak.  Everything was outstanding, and as much as I wanted to go back for seconds, I knew I was about to get my dance on, so I didn’t want to be too full.  Lol.

By the time dinner was wrapping up, the DJ was slowly changing the music over to the good stuff – AKA the good dancing tunes – and my friends and I ended up getting the dancing started as we were the youngest people in the whole room.  Lol.

We proceeded to dance for the next 2.5 hours straight, and the DJ played all of our faves from our bar and club days, circa 2003-2009.  When Soulja Boy came on, we all lost our minds.  Lol.  

Brian and I got married in 2007 when that song was at the height of its popularity and we (along with a lot of our wedding party and some of my family members) all learned the Soulja Boy dance to do it at our reception, so it was like the theme song from our wedding.  Haha.  Even my Big Daddy (grandfather) loved that song… he even requested it a year later at he and my Mama Cass’s 60th wedding anniversary party so he could watch my cousins and brothers and me dance to it.  Haha.

Anyway, we had the best night dancing and singing at the top of our lungs, and eventually we were joined by others on the dance floor.  I didn’t leave the dance floor a single time other than to grab a beer and grab my friend’s husband to pull him out there with us.  I totally forgot to eat wedding cake, y’all!  Haha.  These very blurry pictures about sum up the whole night!  

Around 11:15, things started to wind down, and we all gathered in a circle around the bride and groom to say goodbye and wave them off for the pictures.  They came back in after it was over, and we hugged Lauren and said our goodbyes.  They had an after party at the St. Regis bar, but it was two miles down the road and none of us could drive since we’d been drinking.  An uber to get there was going to be $70 so that was completely out of the question, and we are all old now, so we opted to go back to the hotel and go to bed.  Haha.

Jeannine, April, and I walked back to the hotel, escorted by April’s husband, Blake, and we were grateful it was a short walk because our feet were killing us, and it was also raining.  We all said our goodbyes inside the hotel, and then I headed to my room to hit the hay.

I thought I was going to be exhausted and fall asleep quickly, but I ended up tossing and turning for hours before finally falling asleep, and then I struggled to stay asleep after that.  Guess I should have just gone to the after-party!  Haha.


Sunday, August 7

Sunday morning, I ended up waking up before my 7:15 AM alarm, so I went ahead and dragged myself out of bed so I could get showered and packed up to leave.  I had to drive home all by myself since Jeannine and her family were staying in Atlanta (EEEEK!), and I wanted to leave early so I could beat the worst of the traffic.

I made it home safely, but not without some major anxiety when I was going through the heart of downtown on that 12-lane highway.  I wanted to kiss the ground when I got home.  I HATE driving, y’all.  And driving for hours by myself on a scary highway in terrible traffic is just the worst for me.  BUT I DID IT.  Whew.

When I arrived home, my babies ran outside to greet me, and they covered me with hugs and kisses.  Ugh, I missed them so much.  I rarely spend nights away from them, and when I do, Brian is almost always with me, so it was odd being away from all three of them. 

When I walked in the door, reality set in, because the kitchen was a wreck, the living room was a wreck, the playroom was a wreck, and I had a million things to do, but I wasn’t even sad or overwhelmed… I was just grateful to be back home taking care of my people.  And I expected it to be a wreck because I had told Brian not to worry about cleaning or tidying because I didn’t want him to touch anything.  Lol.

Before I could tackle the house, I ran to Publix to grab a few essentials that we needed desperately, because I wanted to get in and get out before it got busy.

The rest of the day was spent unpacking, getting the house back in order, doing laundry, meal planning for the next two weeks, making a grocery list, finishing up a blog post, and prepping for Monday because… it was the kids’ first day back at school!!  I also gave the kids some souvenirs that I'd brought home from the wedding.  ;o)

Fortunately, the stuffed shells I’d made earlier in the week made enough to feed us twice, so I reheated the leftovers, and we had that for dinner on Sunday.  It was so nice to not have to cook since I had so much else to do.

By Sunday afternoon, Brian had reached the end of his five-day quarantine, so he tested again, and he was NEGATIVE!  Woo hoooo!  We’ve heard about rebound Covid, though, so we’re still being cautious for a few more days, but that was a major relief to know that he was on the upswing.

I had wanted to get the kids out of the house Sunday evening for a walk, but it stormed all evening, so we had a cozy evening inside.  After the kids showered, we discussed some of their goals for the new school year, and we also talked about their strengths and all of the wonderful things that they bring to the table… I wanted to send them to their first day of school with a positive mindset.  :o)

Jacob has a tendency to have anxiety before the first day of school and he ends up not being able to fall asleep, so I was fully prepared for him to come back out of his room after I got them in the bed.  I was worried he might be particularly anxious this year since he was starting middle school, but he ended up doing great and falling right to sleep!  I was so relieved and happy for him!

And since Brian tested negative, he and I felt like we could FINALLY sit in the same room together and watch a show for the first time since Monday night.  We both wore masks and sat on separate couches, but it was good to at least be in the same room again.  We finished the episode of Better Call Saul that we’d started Monday, and then we called it a night!  And then he slept downstairs again just to be safe because I didn’t want to be breathing his unmasked air all night.  Lol.   

Like I said, the week was crazy and weird and a little stressful here and there, but it was also a blast and everything turned out exactly like it should have.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. It does sound like a stressful week! Sorry about the covid. I didn't quarantine when I had it and basically let Dave catch it from me and get it over with but with the wedding it made sense for you to avoid it! Glad you got to go!

  2. I am so impressed with how your school handles middle school-- our local schools don't have any sort of meet the teacher night or anything so it seems like all the kids have major anxiety that first day trying to find their classroom and see their teacher/ classmates. It sounds like you had fun at the wedding-- I don't like driving in cities or traffic either so I feel for you but yay you for doing it anyway! Glad Brian is feeling better.

    1. Yes, we are so grateful that they have middle school orientation. It definitely helped ease the stress of starting in a new situation. And thank you! It was a bummer that B couldn't go, but I was very grateful that I could! Even though the drive was scary. Haha.

  3. Poor B! But glad he is feeling better! Glad you were able to enjoy the wedding!!

  4. Your dress for the wedding was stunning, great print! So sorry about B.


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