Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Our Week - The One with a Lunch Date, Good News, and Our Annual Benefit Ball

Last week was soooo much better than the previous two weeks and we had a blast last weekend at our annual ball that we attend.  Here’s the recap!

Monday, January 23

Monday, I dropped the kids off at school and then made a quick stop by the school office to drop off some receipts from the school dance on Friday.  Then, the rest of the morning was spent working on blog stuff.

For lunch, I met my old friend/coworker for lunch.  He was one of the very first people I met when I started my corporate job there at age 22, and we clicked immediately and have been close ever since.  We’ve been going to lunch every couple of months since I quit back in 2017, and it’s always nice to catch up with him. 

I was a bit of a basket case on Monday since I was awaiting biopsy results on Tuesday morning, so it was nice to get out and get my mind off of things.  We ate at our favorite local pizza place that we always go to, and it was nice to have the distraction and not be at home alone with my thoughts all day.

After lunch, I had about an hour before I had to be in the car line, so I had just enough time to go home and clean out the kids’ art table in the kitchen.  Olivia’s basket was a hot mess, and I got rid of soooo much stuff. 

In the car line, I video chatted with another one of my old friends/coworkers to pass the time, and then once the kiddos were picked up it was time to head to our Monday activities.  Jacob and I dropped Olivia off at her dance studio first, and then he and I headed to piano lessons for him.

The rest of the evening was spent cooking dinner (fettuccine alfredo, steamed broccoli, and garlic cheesy bread), getting in a stair stepper workout, chatting with a few friends, and watching The Bachelor with B.  We’re going to give it a go again this season because there’s a girl on there who is from our area so we have friends and family who know her.  As a matter of fact, Olivia’s first grade teacher was on the first episode because she’s friends with her!! It was so wild to see her on there!  Haha.

Tuesday, January 24

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids at school, headed to UPS to drop a gazillion Amazon returns (dresses I didn’t keep for our ball), and then I headed to the hospital to get my biopsy results.  B met me there, and we both wound up getting there early, so we just headed on inside because I couldn’t wait another second.  I was terrified.

At the front desk, the lady couldn’t find my appointment in the system, so she made a call and then escorted us straight to the back which made me even more nervous since that’s not typical protocol. 

The doctor came out to get us within two minutes, and then he took us back into a dark room full of computer screens with pictures of my tumor.  Instead of leading with, “It’s benign!” he proceeded to ask us to sit down, and then he pointed out the tumor on the screen and pointed to the tool he used to grab a piece of the tumor to show me that they did, indeed, get a good sample. 

At this point, I thought for sure I had cancer because why else would he be saying all of this and showing all of this to us? 

Well, the next words out of his mouth were, “It’s benign.” and I was in total shock because it was so unexpected.  If you read my post last Wednesday, then you know that by this point I had pretty much convinced myself I had cancer thanks to the lovely anxiety that has plagued me most of my life, so I had fully prepared myself in case it was. 

I was flooded with instant relief once the shock wore off, and then the doctor told us that there is no need to remove the tumor at this time, and I can go on with my normal life, other than increasing ultrasounds and mammograms to every six months instead of 12. 

We were in and out and on our way within, like, five minutes.  As a matter of fact, we ended up leaving the hospital before my official appointment time at 9 AM.  I immediately called my parents with the good news and then I texted each of the other people who I had shared the news with earlier in the week. 

After my Mom and Daddy told the extended family members who had been in the know, the text messages started rolling in, and it was just a joyful day, other than the physical symptoms from my anxiety have continued to plague me since this whole ordeal started.  It always takes my body and brain several days to “come down” after a scary ordeal like this, so the physical anxiety symptoms (neck tension, headaches, irritability, shortness of breath, etc.) usually take several days to weeks to subside. 

I had been doing so well for so long, and I didn’t realize just how bad off I had been for so long until all of those physical symptoms came creeping up again a couple of weeks ago.  How on earth did I live like that for so long?  Yikes.

Anyway, the rest of the day was spent working on some laundry and some blog stuff, but I had kept my to-do list light that day just in case I had gotten bad news.  I knew I didn’t need to feel burdened by a long list in addition to everything else going on.

After school, the kids and I headed home so they could get started on homework, and then Jacob and I dropped Olivia off at dance before coming home so I could cook dinner.  I was supposed to have had a hair appointment at 7 Tuesday evening, but my hair guy had to postpone until Wednesday, so we did breakfast for dinner – eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, and toast. 

After dinner, I got in an arms workout, and then after B and I got the kiddos in the bed, we finished The Bachelor from Monday and then got in the bed early.  Anxiety wears me out, so I was exhausted last week.

Wednesday, January 25

Wednesday morning, we woke up to a huge storm, but thankfully, it wasn’t anything severe.  The drive to school wasn’t fun, though.  There’s nothing worse than having to drive down the highway in the dark in the pouring rain.  Yuck.

After I dropped the kids off, I had just enough time to head home and enjoy a cup of tea before heading to my hair appointment at 9 AM.

After my appointment, I headed home to grab a quick lunch and catch up on some blog reading and emails, and then I headed back out to see my therapist.  Ever since this whole cancer scare started, I’ve been seeing her weekly just to stay on track.  Hopefully soon I’ll go back to once a month for maintenance, but in the meantime, it’s nice to have her every week.  She has been a huge blessing to me, too.

After my appointment with her, I headed back home for the third time, and I worked on some blog stuff until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  When I got home, the garage door wouldn’t open… it just kept opening three inches and then closing over and over again, so I texted B and he said he’d try to see if he could fix it later when he got home.

The rest of the evening was spent cooking dinner (vodka sausage pasta, steamed broccoli, and garlic cheesy bread… so similar to Monday’s meal which was an accident!  Haha.), and the kids were finally able to play outside for a bit because the rain had moved out.

After dinner, I got in a workout and finished up the laundry while B worked on the garage, and unfortunately, it was broken and it wasn’t something that he could fix.  For anyone counting, we also just had to replace a broken kitchen sink faucet and a garbage disposal that also broke within the last week.  When it rains it pours, y’all.  Haha.

I also spent some time Wednesday evening responding to all of your sweet emails, DMs, and messages about my good news.  I'm so grateful for all of you and this community!

We ended up getting the kiddos in bed a little earlier than usual Wednesday evening, and then I fell asleep on the couch while B watched Shark Tank.  I’m telling y’all, anxiety just wears me out.  I went to bed early nearly every single night last week.  I suppose that’s better than the alternative of not being able to sleep at all.  That would be miserable.

Thursday, January 26

Thursday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then headed home to work all day.  I didn’t have any appointments or meetings or anywhere to be, and it was such a productive day.  After lunch, I finally started cleaning out the playroom.  It was a disaster area, and I’d been putting it off all month, so it felt good to get that started, too.

Olivia’s voice lesson was canceled Thursday afternoon, so after school, I grabbed the kiddos and we headed back home.  I finished cleaning out the playroom while they worked on homework, and then the rest of the evening was spent playing, cooking dinner (Taco Joes, chips, and fruit), and hanging out. 

I did a quick arms workout followed by an even quicker abs workout, and then B and I got the kiddos in the bed early again.  He and I then started an episode of Saturday Night Live, and then I finished my book and called it a night… early yet again. 

Friday, January 27

Friday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then headed home to work all morning.  I wanted to focus on blog work and try to get a little bit ahead again.  Since our garage door had broken earlier in the week, we had a technician come out Friday morning to fix it, and thankfully, he was able to get it going again.

Before heading out to pick up the kids, I spent some time cleaning out our bathroom cabinets, and I was able to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  I threw out all of the expired medicine and made a list of all of the things we needed to replenish so I could pick it up Monday morning when I went shopping.

After school, Olivia had her makeup voice lesson from Thursday, so we got her to her class, and Jacob and I chatted with his piano teacher and one of the other music teachers while she did her lesson.  I had cleaned out all of the kids’ Halloween and Christmas candy, and we brought a big bag of it to Mr. Joseph (Jacob’s music teacher) since he has a treasure box for all of his piano and guitar kiddos.  Let me tell you, it was nice to get it all out of the house and know that it was going to a good home (other than my kids’ bellies – ha) where it wouldn’t go to waste.

After music lessons, we had to swing by Publix next door to grab some milk, and I let the kiddos pick out some ice cream to have at home, too.  They’ve both been so into ice cream lately, and it’s pretty much all they ever want for dessert… all the more reason to get rid of that candy laying around at home.  Haha.

By the time we got home, B was getting off of work, and the four of us drove to our favorite local pub near our church to have dinner.  They have a game room there, and the kids had been begging to go for weeks, so we finally had the chance to go.

After dinner, we swung through the DQ drive-thru to get Blizzards for B and the kids, too, since the last time we’d try to go they were closed.

When we got home, the kids showered and got ready for bed, and then we all sat down to watch National Treasure (again) since Olivia didn’t remember much of it.  I fell promptly asleep on the couch, and they woke me up when it was time to get the kids in the bed.  Haha.

After that, B and I watched a couple of episodes of Only Murders in the Building, and then we went to bed, too.

Saturday, January 28

Saturday morning, B had a tennis match bright and early so he headed out while I made homemade waffles for breakfast.  After breakfast, I started some laundry, did some tidying, and then got in a good cardio workout. 

By the time B got home, it was time for lunch, so we ate a light lunch at home, and then the kids played outside for a nice long time since it was sunny and not-so-cold. 

We had our annual ball to benefit the kids' school on Saturday evening, so I tried on dresses all afternoon trying to decide which one to wear.  One dress had been lost in the mail, but it finally delivered Saturday, and I’m soooo glad it did because it ended up being the winner!! 

I was torn between this one and the other black dress that I had polled y’all about on Instagram earlier in the week, but when I put on this one, Olivia literally squealed because she loved it so much, so I knew it had to be the one.  And I loved that it was even sparklier than the other one... like a walking disco ball!  When I first pulled it out of the bag, I noticed that the sequins had a turquoise and purple shimmer to them, and I thought for sure I was going to hate it, but y’all, I LOVED THIS DRESS and I got so many compliments on it.  Not too shabby for $39.99!!

Once we were ready, B and I dropped the kids at my parents’ house for the night, and then he and I swung back by our house to grab a couple more things before heading to the ball.  The ball is usually at various event centers around town, but this year, it was at a brand new Catholic church a couple of towns over from us, so it was a bit of a drive.  I was worried that the event wouldn’t be quite as nice since it was going to be at a church, but y’all, this church and event center is beautiful.  And it’s in the middle of nowhere so it was in a beautiful outdoor setting, too.

We kicked off the evening with a cocktail hour complete with a band, and we were able to mingle with everyone and chat and take pictures.  One of the students from the school came out and sat down at the grand piano and he played Clair de Lune (one of my all-time favorite classical pieces) so that was a treat, too.  I couldn’t believe how talented he was and he’s just right around Jacob’s age.

Dinner started a little bit after 7, and we were treated to a delicious meal by one of the most prominent chefs in our city.  He served a salad for the first course, followed by beef, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans for the main course, and then a chocolate dessert that tasted very brownie-like for dessert.

We sat with a couple of my friends from the Home and School Advisory Board and another couple who is new to our school this year, and they have two kids who are the same ages as our kiddos, and dinner was really nice.

After dinner, we had a guest speaker, and then some awards were handed out before it was finally time for dancing.  In the past, we’ve always had a really great band who plays all of the favorite dance-anthems, so the dance floor is always packed for the rest of the night.  This year, they had a different band, and unfortunately, they didn’t play a lot of the good dancing songs, but we made do and had fun anyway.  I really wanted to hear Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, but sadly, somebody requested it and they didn’t know it.  Such a bummerrrr.  Haha.

We ended up shutting the place down at 11, and then we all headed back in town.  Since B and I didn’t have the kiddos Saturday night, we ended up creating our own little after-party with another couple at a local bar that’s right down the street from our house.  It’s a hole-in-the-wall tiny place, and we expected it to be a casual place with people our age or older, so we were shocked when we walked in to a PACKED HOUSE full of people in their early 20’s.  Seriously, you couldn’t move in there and we were definitely some of the oldest people in there… and, by far, the most overdressed.  Haha. 

Thankfully, we were able to make our way to the bar and grab some drinks pretty quickly, and then we made our way to the patio outside.  It was freezing, but we were able to get a table and actually hear each other talk out there, so we made it work.  #Old  Hahahaha.

B and I finally got home a little before 2 AM, and then we had to hang out with Maui for a few minutes before finally crashing for the night. 


Sunday, January 29

Sunday morning, I was hoping to sleep in a bit since we didn’t have the kids, but my body woke me up for good at 8:30 which isn’t much later than my usual weekend time.  B and I had breakfast and I started hydrating after aaaallll the drinks Saturday night. 

I snuggled with Maui on the couch for a bit after breakfast, and then I got in a quick yoga workout before showering and getting ready so we could pick up the kiddos.  They’d had a super fun evening with Pop and Cokie complete with 5:30 Mass, dinner at Chick-Fil-A, ice cream sundaes, and a movie night to watch Yes Day.

By the time we left my parents’ house, it was lunchtime, so we grabbed Zaxby’s on the way home, and then we spent the rest of the day hanging out.  The kids played outside for a while again before the rain rolled in, and I did some more laundry and prepped for the week ahead.

By mid-afternoon, it was super dreary outside, so the kiddos played video games, and I did some stuff in my office before it was time to go to Sunday dinner at my parents’ house. 

My Momma made my favorite meal that she cooks – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and biscuits – to celebrate my good news from earlier in the week, and she treated us to a Hershey Pie for dessert… another one of my faves.  It was all soooo yummy and we were all stuffed by the time we headed home.

And that was our week!

And now for a few current things…


Currently Reading


In December, I started reading People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, but I only got about a quarter of the way into it because we were just too busy for me to have time to read.  I finally got back into it this month, and once I did, I couldn’t put it down!  I absolutely loved this book, y’all!  The two main characters were well-developed, and I just loved their quirky personalities and their whole dynamic together.  I loved this book so much that I’ll definitely read this one again!


Currently Watching


With B:  We finished season five of The Handmaid’s Tale.  We started and finished Harry and Meghan, we started Kaleidoscope and neither of us were impressed so we stopped after one episode, and we started watching Vampire Diaries after a months-long hiatus.  We also started season one of Only Murders in the Building and we both like that so I’m sure we’ll stick with it.  We’re also still watching Shark Tank and Saturday Night Live on network television, oh, and we started the new season of The Bachelor.  Oh, and The Last of Us on HBO Max!  We can’t forget that!


With the Kids:  We finished the Lego Masters holiday special and the Beauty and the Beast 30th Anniversary special on ABC, and we watched the National Championship game with them, but other than that – absolutely nothing.  They’ve just been wanting to play in the evening instead of watching TV and I’m not going to say no to that!  The less screen time, the better!


Alone:  Now that the holidays are over, I’ve switched back from my holiday romcoms to my everyday romcoms – The Wedding Planner, Notting Hill, My Best Friend’s Wedding, etc.  Although, honestly I haven’t been watching much lately… I’ve been listening to music instead.


Currently Listening To

90’s, 90’s, 90’s music – all of it, especially R&B like Boyz II Men and K-Ci and JoJo.  Taylor Swift – all of it, especially her new album and her Reputation album.  Some Dave Matthews Band… mostly Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Luther College.  It’s one of my favorite albums of all-time.  I’m also obsessed with the song Golden Hour by Jvke.  And, of course, I always listen to Z100 in the morning since I love Elvis Duran so much.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Monday, January 30, 2023

House Cleanout - End of January Update

Every year in January, I start the process of cleaning out our entire house from top to bottom with the hope of having the whole house done by the end of March or so.  Since I’ve been doing this every year since 2018, the process has gotten easier and easier and taken less and less time each year, and each year, we get rid of less and less since we’ve gotten better at keeping the clutter at bay.

I haven’t been as great at documenting the process on Instagram this year as I had wanted to, so I thought I’d do a full blog update instead.

Each year, at the end of December, I print my list of things to clean out (you can see this post here for all of the details) and then January 1, I get started cleaning things out and crossing off the list.  In addition to cleaning out the house, I also try to use January to tackle minor house projects like refreshing areas and replacing broken/damaged things, etc., so I’ve been doing a bit of that, too. 

This is what I’ve done so far in January…

Front Room


-       Cleaned out the games cabinet

-       Cleaned out the side table

-       Hung up the new wall art that I got for Christmas


Said Goodbye To:

-       1 game

-       3 puzzles

-       5 decks of cards

Stuff we got rid of from the games cabinet

Living Room


-       Cleaned out the entertainment center

-       Cleaned out the DVD chest

-       Cleaned out the coffee table

-       Cleaned out the side tables

-       Moved the diffuser from my office in there since I got a new one for my office


Said Goodbye To:

-       Nothing.  Haha.  We keep minimal stuff in our living room so there was nothing to get rid of, but I still go through each area every year to see if there’s anything that needs to go.




-       Cleaned out all cabinets and drawers

-       Cleaned out the pantry

-       Cleaned out the refrigerator/freezer

-       Cleaned out the bar cart

-       Cleaned out the buffet table AKA the kids’ art table

-       Replaced the soap dish in our kitchen.  The one we had was rusting, so there was no saving it.

-       Replaced the oven mitts.  Ours were 15 years old (wedding gifts, I believe) so the silicone had worn off of the tips and I was always burning myself.

-       Replaced the kitchen faucet.  Ours was 13 years old and it had been leaking for years and years so this was huge.  It’s so nice to not have to slam it down three times to get it to shut off.  Haha.

-       Replaced the garbage disposal.  Ours exploded last week so we had no choice.  Haha.


Said Goodbye To:

-       Skillet that we never use

-       2 old lunch containers that were missing lids

-       2 old oven mitts

-       2 dish towels

-       15 glasses/mugs/thermoses

-       Various kitchen tools

-       Lots of old food boxes

-       All expired food (which wasn’t much as I try my best not to waste)

-       A bag of candy that was excess that the kiddos didn’t need.  We gave it to Jacob’s piano teacher so he can put it in his treasure box.  ;o)

-       A ton of trash found in the cabinet where the kids keep their candy buckets

-       A GIANT pile of old papers and trash that were in Olivia’s art basket


Stuff we got rid of from the pantry

Stuff we got rid of from the kids' cabinet

Stuff we got rid of from the kitchen cabinets

Stuff we got rid of from Olivia's art basket

Olivia's art basket all cleaned out and organized

Downstairs Bathroom


-       Replaced the hand towels.  Our kiddos completely ruin hand towels and ours were disgusting.  They looked disgusting even when they were fresh out of the washing machine.  Therefore, we have to replace them every couple of years and that’s why I buy cheap ones.  #ThisIsWhyWeCantHaveNiceThings


Said Goodbye To:

-       3 old hand towels


Master Bedroom


-       Cleaned out my dresser

-       Cleaned out the reading nook

-       Cleaned out my nightstand


Said Goodbye To:

-       9 pairs of socks

-       Several pairs of undies (not pictured – haha)

-       1 pair of gloves

-       4 books

-       11 old prescription bottles

-       Some trash

Stuff we got rid of from my dresser and nightstand


Master Bathroom


-       Cleaned out my master closet

-       Freed up 22 shirt hangers and 4 pants hangers (which is good because I was completely out of shirt hangers!)


Said Goodbye To:

-       18 shirts

-       4 dresses

-       6 pairs of pants

-       2 pairs of shorts

-       2 PJ sets

-       8 pairs of shoes/boots

-       2 bags

Freed up tons of hangers

Stuff I got rid of from my closet


My Office


-       Cleaned out the desk

-       Cleaned out the storage cubes to the left of my desk

-       Cleaned out the reading nook

-       Cleaned off the bookcases

-       Cleaned out the closet

-       Cleaned out the craft table

-       Added a new plastic bin for papers and finally caught up on filing

-       Refreshed my desk area with some colorful books

-       Organized all of my books that still need to be read

-       Added a new diffuser that sprays mist out into the room instead of straight up in the air (my old one was spraying the mist directly up into my lamp.  Haha.)

-       Grouped some like items together on my bookshelves to improve functionality


Said Goodbye To:

-       4 books

-       A big pile of old papers and receipts

-       1 candle

-       Some other random trash

Stuff I got rid of from my office

New pretty book stack on my desk




-       Cleaned out all bins

-       Cleaned out all shelves

-       Got everything organized and back in its place (we’ll see how long that lasts)


Said Goodbye To:

-       Olivia’s old Beauty and the Beast tea cart

-       A pile of toys

-       Half a bag of trash

-       A big pile of old boxes/papers for recycling

Playroom before

Playroom after

Stuff that we got rid of from the playroom - recycle pile, bag of trash, donations



-       Cleaned out my vehicle

-       B cleaned out his vehicle

-       Got all the kids toys out of my car and back in the house where they belong


Said Goodbye To:

-       A ton of trash

-       A ton of papers to recycle



-       Sold the kids’ old highchair.  It was pretty large, so it freed up a significant amount of space in our storage closet and I am super excited to have the extra space.

-       Sold 2 of the kids’ old booster seats to free up space in our vehicles since the kids no longer need them.


And that’s it for January, y’all!  I’m hoping to wrap up by the end of February or early March, so hopefully by the time my next update rolls around, I’ll be done with the whole house!

Happy Monday, y’all!