Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Our Week - The One with Valentine’s Day and a Trip to Callaway Gardens

We had a short school and work week last week and a four-day weekend this past weekend.  Let’s get to the recap!

Monday, February 13

Monday morning, I dropped the kids at school, and I hit the ground running.  My to-do list was a mile long, so I had to get it started early!  First up, was a trip to Walmart for all of our grocery shopping, and then I swung by Publix to grab Valentine’s Day cupcakes for Olivia’s class party on Tuesday.  I actually had several other items to get there, but I didn’t want to leave all of my other groceries in the car, so I just grabbed the cupcakes and headed home.  I would’ve waited to grab them, but I was worried they might run out before I made it back there late in the afternoon. 

After that, I headed home, unloaded the groceries, and then headed to my office to work for a bit before I had to leave again to meet with my therapist.  After my appointment, I made a quick stop by the library to pick up a book, and then I grabbed some gas and headed back home.

The rest of the afternoon was spent checking things off of my long list, and then I picked up the kiddos from school.  Monday was gorgeous, so I rode with the sunroof open, and I soaked up every ounce of sunshine since we haven’t seen much of it these last couple of months.

After school, we dropped Olivia off at dance, and then Jacob and I headed to his piano lesson.  He is wrapping up his second piano book, and the song at the end is really challenging, so his teacher called me in there to observe for the last few minutes.  Jacob ended up doing a great job, and he’s just rolling right along!  I’m just so proud of him!

After piano lessons, Jacob and I headed next door to Publix to go pick up the items that I wasn’t able to get at Walmart earlier in the morning, and then we headed home so he could get started on homework while I got started on cooking.

We had Mongolian beef bowls with rice and carrots, and Cheesecake Factory bread (they sell it at Publix in the bakery) for dinner, and then afterward, B and I got the kitchen cleaned up while Olivia tackled some of her homework.  Once all homework was done, the kids headed upstairs to get ready for bed, and while they did that, I got in a short stair stepper workout. 

We all watched the 9th episode of National Treasure after that, and this episode was even more intense than the 8th episode… not at all appropriate for kids.  Sigh.  So, we are now holding off on watching the last episode of the season until B and I can preview it first.  We may just end up having to watch it ourselves and tell the kids what happened so they can have closure. 

We use Common Sense Media to get ratings and reviews for all of the TV shows/movies/video games we let the kids watch/play, and I feel like they typically do a great job of providing accurate information that helps us, as parents, make good decisions about what is suitable for our kids.  However, Common Sense Media ranked National Treasure as suitable for ages 10+ and I could not disagree more.  I personally think 13-14+ would be the suitable age. 

The National Treasure movies are totally appropriate for our kids in our opinion, and our kiddos loved them, but the show is much more violent and also a little risqué in parts.  I’m pretty disappointed in Disney over this one.  Let this be your warning, parents! 

After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched the new episode of A Million Little Things and I’m so happy that it’s back after such a long hiatus.  I’m so sad that this will be the last season, but I do feel like it’s kind of run its course, so I’m happy they’re going to end on a strong note. 

Tuesday, February 14

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids at school along with some cupcakes for Olivia’s class, and then I headed to Target to return a few things.  After that, I made a stop at Fresh Market to load up on that discounted chicken, and then I headed home to work for the rest of the day.  Got a sweet message in the early afternoon, too!  ;o)

After school, the kids and I headed home so they could do homework before Olivia had dance, and while they did that, I got out for a quick 2-mile run.  It’s so nice having older kiddos because I feel like I can actually get outside and run without worrying about them while I’m gone.  I always stay on our street and the street next to ours so I’m always close in case they need me, though.

After my run, it was time to get Olivia to dance, and after we dropped her off, Jacob and I ran my car through the car wash.  It was absolutely filthy. 

He and I headed home after that, and he Zoomed with one of his friends while I cooked dinner and set up our Valentine’s Day dinner.  We don’t do much for V-Day, but we do always eat together as a family, and I always use our festive heart plates and fancy glasses and stuff.  And, of course, we always give the kids a little something from us.  This year, it was a card, the Valentine’s Lego set for 2023, and some cotton candy from Target.  

I also snuck in a quick picture of the beautiful sunset that caught my eye...

When B and Olivia got home, we all ate together (vodka sausage pasta, broccoli, and garlic cheese bread), and then the kids worked on their Lego sets while we cleaned up the kitchen.  After that, I got showered and then the kiddos got showered and ready for bed, and by the time they were done, it was time to get them in the bed.  Tuesday is Olivia’s late dance night, so there’s rarely time to hang out much after the kids get ready for bed.

Once they were in bed, B tried to figure out what was wrong with our internet as it had been going down repeatedly all day (which is very unusual), and then it finally started working just in time for us to watch some of The Bachelor before calling it a night.

Wednesday, February 15

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kiddos at school, and then I went home to work for the rest of the day.  I knocked out lots of blog work, got caught up on my blog reading (hiiii, blog friends!), typed up a few more recipes for my recipe book that I had been saving on Instagram, and I started working on Olivia’s birthday chalkboard.  I’ve been doing birthday chalkboards for both of the kiddos since they were born, but we’re stopping them after age 10, so this was my second to last one ever to do.  *Tear*

By the time I was done with that, it was time to pick up the kids from school.  This year, I’ve started arriving about 30-35 minutes before they’re actually released, and I’ve been trying to use that time to read.  I’ve been reading Before I Do by Sophie Cousens and I am loving it so much!  I haven’t been able to put it down. 

Once they were in the car, I drove straight to the Dairy Queen that’s right down the street from their school to surprise them with Blizzards.  Olivia had an ENT appointment shortly after school, so I thought that was a good excuse to take them for a little treat.  Fun fact, our next-door neighbors on both sides own the Dairy Queen by the kids’ school, so we like to go visit and support their business since that one Dairy Queen supports three generations in each house. 

They built both of their homes at the same time, and they left one lot in between (I guess they wanted some distance between them??  LOL), and we ended up buying the lot in between their two lots.  We thought it was so hilarious when we found out that our next-door-neighbors on both sides were all from the same family.

Anyway, once the kiddos had their Blizzards in hand, we headed to the doctor’s office.  The wait was verrrry long at this appointment, so the kids and I all passed the time by reading.  I was so grateful I’d remembered to grab both of their AR books before leaving the house!  One of my old coworkers/friends also called while we were waiting, so chatting with him also helped pass the time.

Olivia’s appointment went well, although, the nodule on her thyroid has already come back in full-force.  For those of you who are new here, a brief story – when Olivia was four, we noticed a lump protruding from her neck, so we took her to an ENT doctor who determined that she had a nodule on her thyroid.  He performed a needle biopsy under anesthesia shortly after, and he also drained the nodule while he was in there, and thankfully the biopsy results came back benign. 

However, the nodule came back within two weeks, so the ENT doctor has been monitoring it ever since.  For four years, we’ve been seeing him quarterly or sometimes semi-annually to monitor its growth (via ultrasound), and last November it had reached a size that had made the doctor uncomfortable, so he performed another needle biopsy under anesthesia where he drained it yet again.  The biopsy results came back benign again (praise be to God!), but the nodule grew right back within two weeks yet again.  Sigh.

Therefore, we’re still visiting him year-round so he can monitor it until Olivia is old enough to have it surgically removed for good.  The doctor wants to wait as long as possible to remove it, because when removing it, he may end up having to remove part of her thyroid, and he’d rather wait until she’s reached puberty before messing with her thyroid.  He also told us yesterday that the vocal cord nerve runs right by the thyroid, and that there’s a risk of it getting damaged during the surgery, especially if he operates while she’s so small (because everything is tiny in little kids so it makes it harder to avoid). 

So it’ll be a waiting game for the next few years, but he’s hoping to be able to remove it for good when she’s 11 or 12.  Unfortunately, at yesterday’s appointment, it measured very large again.  It’s not quite as large as it was before he drained it back in November, but it’s definitely getting there.  It does tend to grow in-between visits because it always measures larger each time, so I’m not sure what will happen if it’s back to the same large size again when we go back to see him in August.  I guess we’ll see. 

By the time her appointment was over, it was way too late for me to cook what I’d originally planned, so we headed home, and I made some turkey and cheese biscuit sliders for dinner instead.  We paired those with some fruit, and it was a quick and easy dinner.

After dinner, the kiddos got showered and ready for bed, and I squeezed in a quick arms workout along with a bunch of squats.  We had just enough time to watch an episode of Nailed It before the kiddos went to bed, and I was excited to be back to watching that.  We watched it nonstop at the end of last year, and we made it all the way to the last six episodes, and the kids got burned out on it.  I’d been wanting to finish it, though, because it’s silly to get all the way toward the end and not finish it.  Haha.

After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched The Bachelor, and then we headed to bed, too.


Thursday, February 16

Thursday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then went home to work on the blog all morning again.  I finished a couple of posts, worked on a few more, and prepped a few more.  It was a very productive morning!

For lunch, I met my friend, Shelly, downtown at my favorite Greek restaurant and we were able to sit outside because the weather was so nice.  We chatted for about an hour and then I swung back by our house before it was time to get in the car line. 

After school, the kids and I ran home to grab snacks and then we headed to the kids’ music school for Olivia’s voice lesson.  Jacob and I both read while she had her lesson, and we also chatted with Jacob’s piano teacher for a bit in between his lessons.

Olivia had a fun day at school when the local sheriff's department came to visit the kids with their gaming truck.  She couldn't stop talking about it.  She had so much fun!

We headed home after that for a bit, and then when B got off of work, we met him at the Kia place to drop off my Telluride for a service appointment.  The only day that worked for us was Friday, but we were all off on Friday, so we just decided to drop it off Thursday evening, so we didn’t have to worry about getting up early to get it over there Friday morning.

After that, we all headed home and made breakfast for dinner (eggs, grits, sausage, bacon, and toast) and then after dinner the kids got ready for bed while I got in a half-hearted stair stepper workout.  I was exhausted Thursday evening, so I didn’t feel like working out at all, but I did it anyway!

Since the kids were out of school on Friday for a teacher workday, and because B took the day off also, Thursday night felt like a Friday night, so we watched a couple of episodes of Nailed It with the kids, and then we built a fort out of sheets and let them sleep in their sleeping bags together in Olivia’s bedroom.

After they went to bed, B and I watched the newest episode of A Million Little Things followed by some SNL, and then we went to bed, too.

Friday, February 17

Friday morning, we all slept in, and then I made homemade waffles for breakfast.  After breakfast, I curled up in the chair in our bedroom and I read my book.  I had every intention of finishing it, but then my alarm went off at 9:50 AM to remind me to get on TicketMaster to try to get Dave Matthews Band tickets again.

B and I had gotten some pretty good seats in the presale on Tuesday morning, but they weren’t quite as good as what we’d hoped for, so we both decided to look again on Friday morning in the general sale just to see what we were able to get.  Lo and behold, I was able to get in immediately, and literally on the first screen I was able to get what I thought was 12th row, that actually turned out to be 4th row!!!!

I was soooo excited, and I snatched them up as fast as I could.  DMB tickets are high-demand, especially if you’re able to get non-lawn seats, so we will be able to sell the first set of tickets we bought and not lose any money.

After we got tickets, I decided to start cleaning out Olivia’s bedroom.  I’d been dreading it because it’s always the worst room in the whole house, and sure enough, it was really, really bad.  She has had many clothing items go missing lately, and we discovered the reason on Friday – because they had all been stuffed into drawers that they’re not supposed to go in.  They were just all balled up and tangled together in there, and her entire dresser was just a mess.  Sigh. 

I ended up working in there for a couple of hours with Olivia’s assistance, and it was just not what I needed to do that day because I was already grumpy, so I decided to stop and find something fun for all of us to do.  B suggested miniature golf, so we had a quick lunch at home and got ready and headed to the indoor complex for some miniature golf.  Apparently, they hadn’t gotten the memo that all of the kids in the city were off on Friday, so they were closed.  BOOOO.

It was cold and windy Friday, so we didn’t want to do anything outdoors, so we racked our brains to decide what to do, and we ended up at the indoor arcade that the kids love so much.  We’d contemplated doing a trampoline park or something similar, but we’re doing that Friday for Olivia’s birthday, so we wanted to find something different. 

The kiddos played for an hour or so at the arcade, racked up a ton of tickets, and both of them left with some pretty good prizes. 

By the time we left the arcade, I had a massive headache, so we ran to Kia to grab my vehicle, and then we headed home so I could nurse my headache. 

Thankfully, some meds took the edge off, and I was able to get back in Olivia’s room and clean for a bit longer before it was time to figure out what to do for dinner.  B suggested going downtown to our favorite brew pub for dinner, and we did just that.  We have been going there as long as we’ve known each other, and it was actually the first restaurant we ever took Jacob to (when he was just two weeks old), so it’s one of our tried-and-true places.

Olivia’s class at school has a class pet (a stuffed cow named “Magic”), and it was her turn with Magic this past week, so we took Magic along to the arcade and to dinner, so she’d have some fun things to write in their class journal about her time with Magic.  Look how cute these two are, y’all.  I just love them so much.

After a round of beers and some fried cheese and pizza, (and burgers for J and chicken fingers for O), we headed back home to get in PJs and watch a couple more episodes of Nailed It.

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched a couple of episodes of Only Murders in the Building, and then we went to bed early-ish for a Friday because he had to be at work at 2 AM. 

He works a corporate job and works traditional corporate hours, but every few months, when one of their projects comes to its culmination, they have to have someone there around the clock to monitor things, and he got stuck with the night shift Friday night. 


Saturday, February 18

The good thing about his night shift meant that he was done just in time to bring us donuts for breakfast on Saturday morning, though!  :o)  After breakfast, he wrapped up a few things for work in his office at home, and then he went to bed for the rest of the morning/early afternoon.

We’d originally hoped to take the kids to the zoo on Saturday, but since B’s hours had ended up being weird, we decided to delay the zoo until Sunday which meant we ended up having a free day on Saturday.

While B was sleeping, I got in a workout and the kiddos played outside for a while.  Then the three of us ate lunch and then finished up cleaning out Olivia’s bedroom (aside from the closet).  B woke up right as we were finishing up, and the kids played video games for a bit while I did a few things in my office.

Late in the afternoon, we all got ready for church, and then we did our usual 5:30 Mass.  My parents were out of town, so they didn’t join us, but my Mama Cass and Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg were all there, and Joy and Greg ended up going out to eat with us afterward.  We snapped this picture to send to my parents to let them know that the backup grandparents had stepped in and were taking good care of their grandbabies while they were gone.  ;o)

After dinner, we headed home and got the kiddos in the bed, and then B and I watched a couple more episodes of Only Murders in the Building before calling it a night.


Sunday, February 19

Sunday morning, we had leftover donuts for breakfast, and then we ended up deciding to skip the zoo.  Olivia has been having some health issues for a couple of weeks that we are suspecting may be some sort of food allergy, and things seemed to be worse on Saturday and Sunday, so we didn’t want to take her on a super long road trip. 

Instead, we opted to go to Callaway Gardens.  It’s still a bit of a drive, but it’s not nearly as far as either zoo we were considering, so we felt comfortable enough doing that.  I did squeeze in a yoga workout first, though, to keep up with my goal.

First up, was lunch at their country store, and it was soooo yummy.  B and I both had the grilled bacon and pimiento cheese sandwich, and oh my, was it delicious.  He opted for fried green tomatoes as a side, and I had the fresh fruit, and all of it was so good.

After lunch, we headed to the Discovery Center at Callaway to check out their Birds of Prey show.  The kids had both been on field trips, but I had never seen the show, and we all enjoyed it so much.  We were able to see an owl, a buzzard, and a hawk, and they were all so well-trained.

We knew they’d be flying over because there were lots of rules given prior to the show (no standing up, no putting your hands or arms out, no holding your phones up or out, if you’re afraid of birds please exit before the show starts, etc.), but I had no clue that they’d be flying right over our heads the way that they did!  Throughout the entire 30-minute show, all of the birds were whizzing back and forth over our heads, and when I say right over our heads, I mean mere inches above our heads.  Haha.  You could feel the breeze from their wings.  It was really neat, and all four of us really enjoyed it.  We’re already planning our next visit. 

After watching the Birds of Prey show, we headed to the Butterfly Center where we’ve all been numerous times.  They have a large butterfly habitat in a big glass dome, and it’s kept at tropical temps year-round.  There are flowers and other gorgeous plants everywhere in there, along with water features and turtles, and of course, loads and loads of butterflies.  The kids wanted so badly for a butterfly to land on them, but the butterflies were all attracted to Brian’s bright red Georgia shirt.  They have impeccable taste.  ;o)

After the Butterfly Center, we headed to the miniature golf course.  We had the whole thing to ourselves despite the fact that it was a gorgeous day.  We were on limited time since B had to get home for a tennis match, so he and I sat out and let the kids play, and they both did really well.

Olivia had her class pet, Magic, with us yet again, so Magic got to do lots of fun, fun things on Sunday. 

When we got home, B headed off to his tennis match, and Jacob and Olivia played video games while I worked on some blog stuff in my office.  When B got home, I cooked dinner since my parents had just gotten back in town and they weren’t cooking.  We had meatballs, mashed potatoes, and roasted carrots, and B and I both had a glass of wine. 

After dinner, we watched the final episode of Nailed It (until the new season comes out!), and then B and I watched The Last of Us and one episode of Only Murders in the Building before calling it a night.

Monday was a holiday, so we were all off again, but I’ll save that day for next week’s recap since this post is already crazy long!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. I am so sorry to hear that Olivia's thyroid is still causing problems. I will keep you in my prayers for sure. The rest of your week sounds like lots of fun though! That gaming truck is so cool!

  2. So sorry to hear her nodule grew back again! My step father just had 1/2 of his thyroid removed but the growth itself had damaged his vocal chords (his growth had gotten so large it was putting pressure on his artery and making him at increased risk for stroke-- his doctors really dropped the ball once Covid hit and he had been in limbo for nearly a year and half waiting until he finally decided to switch doctors). My best friend in high school had to have hers removed and I know her doctor's really struggled with regulating hormones and all that especially through her two pregnancies so I'm really hoping they can just keep draining Olivia's and put off surgery for as long as possible!! Otherwise it sounds like a really great week.

    1. Oh my, that is just so scary. Yes, we will definitely keep a close eye on it, and I'm glad you told me all of this because it'll definitely make me want to push for waiting as long as possible to have it removed.

  3. Such a full week! I think A million little things has run it's course as well - excited to see where they end it! I have been watching so many new shows - but I think Love Island UK is my favorite! The daily to do lists are the best - they keep me on track too!

  4. Such a fun and busy week! I think I told you this before but Ben proposed to me at Callaway Gardens!

  5. So sorry to hear about Olivia's nodule growing again. That is so funny about the Dairy Queen family on both sides of you. And so disappointing to hear about the series on Disney. It seems like they just expect kids to be more and more "grown up" with each passing year. Let them be little!

  6. What a week full of productive days and lots of good activity! I'm so sorry to hear of Olivia's nodule coming back again. Ugh! I'm so happy you said something about the National Treasure show...we loooove the movies so much, but man, the ratings lately are off. Like, my kids still don't say, the d word or the s word (dumb and stupid) due to Jane still being so little. How funny about the Dairy Queen people! LOL! They were smart to put some distance between them. Soooo funny!!!!


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