Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Our Week - The One with Brian’s and Olivia’s Birthdays

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We had the very best week celebrating Brian and Olivia for their birthdays, so settle in friends, this is going to be a long recap!

Monday, February 20

Monday, the kids were out of school and Brian had taken off from work, so we all slept in, and then had a leisurely breakfast.  Olivia had been having stomach pains and a rash on her face off and on all weekend, and she was also lethargic for most of the weekend, so I called her pediatrician’s office first thing Monday when they opened so I could make an appointment to get her in ASAP.

Thankfully, they were able to see us at 10:20 AM, so she and I got ready after breakfast and headed that way.  While we were waiting to check in, one of the other moms who was there with her kids kept looking at me, and on her way out, she said, “You are so pretty.  You look like Leanne Rimes to me!”  I was like, “Uhhhh… thank you?”  Haha.  Y’all, I have been told I look like various famous people in my adult life, but I have NEVER heard that one.  And I don’t see it at all.  Hahahaha.

Anyway, back to Olivia’s appointment – after explaining everything that was going on, they ran some tests, and they were able to rule out mono, strep throat, flu, Covid, and any organ issues like appendicitis, blocked bowels, etc.  Since all of that was ruled out, the PA suggested that it could be reflux, and she also agreed that it could possibly be a food allergy, even though she wasn’t convinced that’s what it is.  She did mention that it could also be one of those weird unexplainable viruses that kids get sometimes that just resolve on their own, too, but there’s really no way to know.

She said in the meantime, she wanted to put Olivia on a prescription strength reflux medication, and that if she’s not feeling better in a week or two to call them back so they can start the process of determining if it is a food allergy.  She said the medicine would help settle her stomach regardless of what was causing the issue, and it did, indeed, do just that.

After our appointment, Olivia and I swung by the library to pick up a book (but it was closed for the holiday, wahhhh), and then we stopped by Crumbl Cookies to pick up some birthday cookies for Brian since it was his birthday.  The birthday boy also wanted Chick-Fil-A for lunch, so we grabbed that for the four of us, too, and then we headed home.

After lunch, I spent some time tidying up the house, sorting laundry, getting a blog post finished for Tuesday, basically DOING ALL THE THINGS, and before I knew it, it was time to get Olivia to dance and Jacob to piano. 

Thankfully, Olivia felt well enough to get through dance, and Jacob ended up finishing his second piano book, so his teacher showed us the next one to order, and he’ll be starting on that one next week.  He’s just rolling right along!

After piano lessons, Jacob and I headed home and I worked some more on my blog post for Tuesday, and then I got dinner on the table in time for Brian and Olivia to make it home from dance.  After dinner (slow cooker shredded chicken tacos, chips and salsa, and fruit), we sang happy birthday to the birthday boy and enjoyed our Crumbl Cookies, and may I just say that the pink frosted sugar cookie was soooo delicious, y’all.  Oh man, was it good!

After B’s birthday singalong, the kids went upstairs to get showered and ready for bed, and I retreated to our bedroom to work out on the stair stepper.  After that, I still had to wrap up my blog post for Tuesday, and then we got the kiddos in the bed.  After they went to bed, B and I watched some of the new season of American Idol (the kids told us they didn’t want to watch this year so we’re watching without them) and then we went to bed, too.

Tuesday, February 21

Tuesday was the only day I had nowhere to be, so I headed straight home after dropping the kids at school, and I had a very long to-do list to tackle since I hadn’t gotten much done over the long, four-day weekend.

First up, was a lot of blog work, and I also sprinkled in a bunch of laundry.  I also had various other things that I worked on after I was done working on the blog.

Meanwhile, the kiddos were having the time of their lives at school because it was Fat Tuesday and they got to celebrate with an all-school parade complete with Mardi Gras beads, masks, and King cakes!

After school, the kids and I came home, and they got started on homework while I went for a run close to home.  The weather was just gorgeous on Tuesday, although, too humid for my taste, but I’ll take that over freezing cold and dreary any day. 

By the time I was finished with my run, it was time for Olivia to get ready for dance, and then after Jacob and I dropped her off, we headed to CVS to pick up Olivia’s prescription. 

The rest of the evening was the usual – I cooked dinner (one pan baked chicken, red potatoes, and broccoli), we all ate together, B and I cleaned the kitchen while the kids finished up with dinner and homework, and then I took a quick shower before the kiddos had to get showered and ready for bed. 

Olivia had a good first day back at school and she’d told us that her stomach hadn’t hurt as much on Tuesday, so that was good, but we went ahead and started her on the reflux medication just to see if it would help.  She was also exhausted Tuesday evening, and she asked to be put to bed right at 8 even though she typically stays up later than that.  Sigh.  I hate it when my babies don’t feel well.

Jacob stayed up a little longer working on some origami that he’d started earlier in the evening, and then after we got him in the bed, B and I watched the rest of American Idol and then headed up for bed.  I started a new book Tuesday evening (One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid) and then we went to bed a little earlier, too.

Wednesday, February 22

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kiddos at school and then headed home to squeeze in an hour of blog work before I had to be back at the church/school to go to Ash Wednesday Mass with Olivia.  My Momma joined us, too, and then we spent some time chatting with friends afterward.

After Mass, I headed home to work until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  We had no extracurricular activities, so after school, the kids got their homework done and then they played outside for a long time because it was so nice outside.  While they played, I got all of Olivia’s birthday gifts wrapped, and I got everything prepped and ready for Thursday.

When B got home from work, the four of us met my father-in-law at Brian’s and Olivia’s restaurant of choice to celebrate their birthdays with him.  Between all of the things we have going on for the next few weeks and all of my nephews’ upcoming baseball games that my FIL attends, it was hard to find a night to get together with him.  Wednesday was the only day that worked, and that wasn’t ideal since it was Ash Wednesday and also a school night, but we made it work.

After dinner, we went back to my FIL’s for presents and cake, and then we headed home so the kids could get ready for bed.  While they showered, I got in an arms workout and did a bunch of squats, and then we got the kids in the bed.  B and I watched a little bit of The Bachelor, and then we went to bed, too.

Thursday, February 23

Thursday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then headed to Publix to take the picture that we wanted on Olivia’s birthday cake for our family celebration.  Unfortunately, the girl in the bakery told me that they couldn’t accommodate it, and she told me that we needed to go to a different Publix location. 

After that, I headed to Target to grab some heart rings for Olivia’s birthday party.  She was very specific about what she wanted for dessert at her party – glazed donuts with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles from our favorite local donut shop + “heart rings” to go on top of each donut.  Lol.  That girl!!!!

Target, unfortunately, didn’t have heart rings, but they did have packages of assorted rings that included hearts and rainbows, so I grabbed those.  They also had light-up rings which I thought were even better, so I grabbed those, too, and I just let her decide which ones she wanted to use, and then we can return the others.  She ended up choosing the light-up rings and they were just so much fun!

I had an 8:30 allergist appointment, so I headed there next, and I was in and out in 20 minutes.  I was excited to have some extra time to read because I couldn’t put my book down, but the appointment ended up being the fastest appointment ever and I had zero time to read.  Boooo.  Haha.

The rest of the day was spent working on the blog and deep cleaning parts of the house, and then I picked up the kids from school at 3.  I did get some good reading time in the car line, so I was excited about that.  ;o)

After school, we swung by the house to grab snacks and then we headed to Olivia’s voice lesson.  Some friends from the school were there at the same time, so I was able to chat with them during Olivia’s lesson, and then we all headed home when it was done.

I got dinner going when we got home, and the kiddos worked on homework.  Jacob and I also sat down and chose his electives for next school year.  I can’t believe we’re already talking about seventh grade electives.  Waaaahhhh.

When B got home, we all ate dinner together – parmesan chicken, roasted cinnamon sweet potatoes, green beans, and Cheesecake Factory bread.  We love that Cheesecake Factory bread!  Can you tell?  Haha.

After dinner, the kids played outside on their scooters until dark, and I headed out for a walk/jog around the neighborhood.  I managed to get in three miles before it got dark!  It was 80 degrees and super humid again, so unseasonably warm even for us in February, so I was drenched with sweat by the time I got home.  I’ve lived in the south my whole life, and the humidity still gets me all the time.

When I got home, the kiddos got showered while I made the call to the party venue to give the final count for Olivia’s party, and then I took a quick shower after the kids were done.  We watched an episode of Floor is Lava (there’s a new season on Netflix, y’all!), and then the kids went to bed.  B and I finished The Bachelor for the week, and then we headed up to bed so I could read some more.

Friday, February 24

Friday morning, I dropped the kids and then hit the ground running.  First up, I headed to a different Publix location to get Olivia’s birthday cake order finished, and I was told at that location that they couldn’t accommodate my request either.  They told me that it was actually a different location that had the good decorators, and to go there.  Well, I didn’t want to go to a third location, so I thought I’d call first this time to ensure that it was the correct location.  I was told over the phone that they could accommodate my request… all I had to do was bring in a picture of the design for the cake.  Easy peasy.

I swung by and grabbed the donuts for Olivia’s birthday party with friends on the way to to Publix (glazed with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles per her request), and then I headed to my third Publix location in the span of 24 hours.  I handed over the very basic picture of a ballerina and asked the lady in the bakery if someone could put that on a cookie cake, and she told me that they don’t have cake decorators at their location either.  What in the world?!  The girl on the phone had just told me that they did.  Sigh. 

I absolutely ADORE Publix, y’all – they are the Chick-Fil-A of grocery stores (IYKYK) – but apparently the people in their bakeries need to get their stories straight so they don’t send anyone else on a wild goose chase like they did me. 

Since they couldn’t do anything for me, I went back to my original Publix location (the one I always use right by my house, and my fourth time visiting a Publix in 24 hours for anyone who is counting – LOL) to order a basic cookie cake with pink and blue balloons on it as that was Olivia’s backup request.  They just so happened to have one that was already made that was exactly what Olivia wanted, and it even had rainbow star sprinkles on it, too.  I had the lady in the bakery write “Happy Birthday, Olivia” on it, and then I was on my way.

I made a quick stop for gas, and then I headed home to do all the things.  I spent very little time working on the blog Friday because I had to tie up a bunch of loose ends for Olivia’s birthday party and then I also wanted to get the floors deep-cleaned before the kids came home from school.

Third grade put on their annual Wax Museum Friday afternoon, so Brian and I headed that way right after lunch.  All of the kids in third grade had to dress up like someone from history.  They wrote speeches and made tri-boards in class, and then they set everything up in the hall in our church, and all of the parents and visitors were able to walk around and press their “buttons” (a red solo cup) to activate their speech.

Olivia’s historical figure was Betsy Ross, so she’d dressed up in a colonial dress (red, white, and blue, of course) and she had a little American flag to hold as her prop.  She nailed her speech over and over again as each of the parents visited her table, and it was just the cutest afternoon.  My parents came to see her, too, and then after we’d checked out all of the kiddos’ speeches, we chatted with some of the other parents and faculty until it was time to go.

Since Olivia’s birthday party was shortly after school, her bestie rode with us, and the three of us waited in the car line for Jacob to get out of school.  I swung them through the DQ drive-through to get Blizzard snacks afterward, and then we headed straight to the trampoline park where Olivia’s birthday party was going to be at 4 PM. 

They all got changed while I got us checked in for the party, and then the next two hours were spent there.  We don’t typically do big birthday parties like these, but all Olivia wanted in the whole world was to invite her class to jump at this particular trampoline park in town, so we told her we’d do this one big party, and then next year we’ll go back to smaller ones. 

There are two third-grade classes at Olivia’s school, and she has friends in both, so we ended up inviting both third-grade classes.  We thought that about half would come, but nearly every single one of them RSVPed yes and we ended up having 27 kids there, y’all.  TWENTY-SEVEN.  OMG.  Haha.

The kids had one hour of jump/playtime, and then we headed up to the party room for pizza, birthday donuts, and present-opening.  Everything went smoothly and Olivia had a blast, and the look on her face as everyone was singing to her was completely priceless.  I’m so very grateful for this girl and all of our school friends and family who made her feel so loved and special on her day.  <3

After the last kiddo was picked up, Brian headed to pick up pizza for the two of us, and Jacob and Olivia and I headed home.  The kids sifted through Olivia’s gifts while B and I ate dinner, and B and I cracked open some well-deserved Back-to-Back National Championship beers! 

After dinner, the kiddos got showered and ready for bed, and then once that was done we had a short family video viewing night per Olivia’s request.  The kids LOVE watching old videos of themselves when they were babies, so we try to have a family video viewing night once every few months.  We all enjoy it!

After the kids went to bed, B and I rewatched the last episode of Outer Banks season 2 in preparation for season 3 that just dropped, and then we started the first episode of season 3 before calling it a night.

Saturday, February 25

Saturday was Olivia’s actual birthday, so we all had leftover birthday party donuts for breakfast, and then she opened her gifts from us.  We got her “stylish clothes” AKA cold-shoulder tops per her request and a bunch of Taylor Swift CDs so she can start listening to music in her room.  When she opened the CDs, she wasn’t really sure what to think, but after we explained what they were, she was thrilled, and she has been listening to them literally nonstop since then.  Lol.  Her face when she pulled out the CDs is so funny.

After that, we went through all of her gifts from the party and we got a lot of it put away.  She spent the rest of the morning playing with her new stuff while I got in a cardio workout and started laundry.

After lunch, I helped her put together one of her new crafts – a terrarium with real seeds/plants – and then she and Jacob played video games.  It was dreary and drizzly all morning and early afternoon, so there was no outdoor time.  The sun did finally start to come out just in time for us to leave the house for church, though!

We all headed to 5:30 Mass Saturday evening, and my cousin, Shelby, happened to be in town so she surprised Olivia at church.  Olivia sat with her during Mass, and we sat behind them with my parents.  Olivia was so thrilled to have her beloved Shelby there for her birthday.

After Mass, we all headed to Olivia’s birthday restaurant choice – our favorite pub down the street from church – with my parents, Mama Cass, Aunt Joy, Uncle Greg, and Shelby for dinner.  It was packed when we arrived so we had to wait for a little bit, but the wait wasn’t too bad, and soon enough, we were all seated with beers in hand.  :o)

The kids love that place because there’s a game room, so they had brought along their dollars and change to play the games while the adults chatted and waited for the food. 

After dinner, we headed home and then the kids got right in the bed since it was so late.  B and I watched the rest of episode 1 + episode 2 of Outer Banks, and then we headed off to bed.


Sunday, February 26

Sunday morning, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then I finished reading my book.  I couldn’t put it down because I just had to know how it was going to end, and the ending didn’t disappoint.  I loved every single thing about that book.  And boy, was it tough to end it just right, but Taylor Jenkins Reid could not have done a better job!!!!

Once that was done, I headed to my office to plan the month of March + the week ahead, and then I got in a yoga workout.  After my workout, I headed to Olivia’s room to finally clean out her closet, and she tried on all of her new clothes and helped me go through her old stuff, too.  We got rid of everything that didn’t fit, and I made a list in my phone of all of the things she needs for spring and summer.  She is growing like a weed, y’all!

Cleaning out her closet and jewelry box wrapped up her room cleanout project, and I’m soooo happy and relieved to have it checked off of the list for February.  It is always the hardest room in the whole house. 

Once that was done, we ate a light lunch at home, and then afterward, the four of us went for a walk around the neighborhood.  We stopped by the playground so the kids could play, and B and I walked around the perimeter to keep getting in some exercise.  By the end, we’d completed almost three leisurely miles, and then we headed home.  The weather on Sunday was wonderful – warm, partly cloudy, and breezy.

When we got home, I showered and got ready for the day and then I retreated to my office to get some blog work done for a couple of hours since I’d neglected it for a lot of the week.  Brian and the kids played video games while I worked, and then we all headed to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner and to celebrate Brian’s and Olivia’s birthdays with them.

Olivia had requested spaghetti and blueberry muffins for dinner (what a combo – LOL), so that’s exactly what we had!  We all sat around and ate dinner and chatted, we enjoyed birthday cookie cake for dessert, Brian and Olivia opened their birthday gifts, and then we showed the whole family the finished product of our One Second a Day video from 2022.

When we got home, we got the kiddos in bed, and then B and I ended the weekend with the newest episode of The Last of Us.

With regard to Olivia’s stomach/rash issue that she was having last week/earlier this week, the reflux medication seems to have helped (mostly) settle her stomach this week, and she hasn’t had anymore rashes or lethargy, so I’m hoping that means that it was some kind of weird virus that has passed.  We’re going to continue giving her the medicine for another week and then see how she does when we take her off of it, and I’m praying that she doesn’t fall back into that tummyache/rash/lethargy pattern again.  Thank you for all of your prayers!  We are so relieved that she’s doing better!

And now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


Patting myself on the back, because this month I read three books, y’all!  This time of year, I typically read about one per month, but this month I selected some fantastic book choices and I just couldn’t tear myself away from them.  First up, was It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover.  I thought it was a solid follow-up to her first book, It Ends With Us, and it was an easy read.  It enjoyed it even if it was a little predictable. 


Second, was Before I Do by Sophie Cousens.  I enjoyed this book tremendously.  I thought the characters were charming and loveable, the story was well-written, and I enjoyed the end.  I highly recommend this one! 


Finally, I FLEW through One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid and it’s one that I’ll remember forever.  It is definitely one of my top reads of all-time.  I loved every single thing about it.  The protagonist finds herself in an absolutely impossible position, and I genuinely could not for the life of me figure out how Jenkins would possibly be able to wrap up the story in a satisfying way, but my goodness, she did it!  Buy this one.  Read it.  Love it.  And then read it again.  I’ll be buying a copy of this one for my library. 


Currently Watching


With B:  We watched a couple more episodes of Vampire Diaries and then abandoned it again for season 2 of Only Murders in the Building, The Last of Us, A Million Little Things, Saturday Night Live, Shark Tank, and Outer Banks season 3.  We also started watching the new season of The Bachelor, and also American Idol, this time without the kids because they're not interested this year.


With the Kids:  We started and nearly finished National Treasure (the show on Disney+) but we halted our watching because the show got way too over the top for younger kids.  B and I will likely watch the last episode without the kids to see if it’s more appropriate, and if it’s not, we’ll just fill them in on what happens.  We finally finished and caught up on Nailed It, and we also started the new season of Floor is Lava.


Alone:  I’m still listening to music mostly, but every now and then, I do turn on How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days as my happy background noise.


Currently Listening To

I’m still mostly listening to Hip Hop and R&B these days (mostly from the 90’s), but I’ve also been listening to some new songs that I recently downloaded.  Right now, I can’t get enough of Work Out by J. Cole, Sure Thing by Miguel, Under the Influence by Chris Brown, 100 Rounds by Tayler Holder, and Golden Hour by Jvke.  I also finally downloaded the Chris Stapleton album that was released in 2020 (not sure why B or I ever downloaded it when it came out since we always get his albums as they come out), but I’ve been listening to that some, too.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. Love all the birthday goodies and boo on Publix for being annoying! I also read One True Loves - people love TJR's books but that one I read awhile ago and probably liked it best of the ones of hers I've read!

  2. Y'all know how to celebrate birthdays, especially with all those delicious cookie cakes and Crumbl!! Yum! Happy birthday to them both! One True Loves is a good book, I read it awhile ago!


  3. What a fun week filled with all sorts of birthday celebrations! So glad the reflux medicine seems to be working and I hope she has no issues when she is taken off it. That is definitely my favorite TJR book and ranks pretty high in my overall favorites as well.

    1. Thank you! And yes, it's definitely my favorite TJR book so far, too!

  4. Oh my gosh - how funny about the CDs! My how time has changed! I just grew a new gray hair typing that. ;) LOL! Also, I love her birthday food choice! Happy Belated Birthday, Olivia! It's so fun to watch her grow!

  5. I love this! And checked-off to-do lists are just the best!

    Krissi of the marquise diamond


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