Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Our Week - The One with Halloween, All Saint’s Day, the Taylor Swift Eras Movie, a Georgia Football Game, and the Shakey Graves Concert

Last week was insaaaane.  So many activities, so much fun.  Settle in, friends.  This is going to be a long one.

Monday, October 30

Monday was bonkers.  I dropped the kids at school and then spent the whole day doing all the things – grocery shopping, doing laundry, organizing photos, catching up on my inbox, and working on blog posts. 

After school, the kids and I headed straight home, and while they worked on homework, I prepped everything for Halloween, Olivia and I got her costume ready for All Saint’s Day on November 1, and I did various other things around the house like folding laundry, watering our indoor plants, and getting dinner started. 

Jacob had all nine of the bridges for his science project built by Monday, so after B got off of work, he helped Jacob with the actual experiment.  Jacob had built three different types of bridges (and three of each type), and he had to see which one held the most weight.  They attached a bucket to a bungee cord and hung it from each bridge, and then slowly added golf balls until the bridges broke.  The last bridge (the one Jacob hypothesized would be the strongest) ended up being WAY stronger than anticipated, so they had to move from golf balls to water, and then eventually hand weights to get it to break.  Lol. 

They were running in and out of the house weighing water and hunting for other items to add weight, Olivia was singing at the top of her lungs to Taylor Swift, and I was running around the kitchen cooking dinner while also prepping for Halloween, making yet another grocery list, fielding text messages and emails, and tidying the house.  The whole evening was just chaos.  Haha. 

We finally sat down to dinner – bacon and corn pasta, steamed green beans, and Cheesecake Factory bread – and everyone was able to breathe a (temporary) sigh of relief, and then right after dinner, we were right back at it – cleaning up the kitchen, more Halloween prep, more bridge-testing, etc. 


The third bridge took so long to break that the boys ended up only having time to do the experiment for the first three (as opposed to all nine as originally planned), and while they finished that up, I went for a walk.  Monday night, my toe was hurting, my knee was hurting, and I was dizzy from this stupid, never-ending vertigo, so I stuck with walking, and then added a few little jogging spurts here and there when I could.

When I got home, the kids and I all got showered and ready for bed, and then we all collapsed on the couch to watch Toy Story of Terror and the rest of the episode of The Amazing Race that we’d started the previous week.

B and I watched some of Shark Tank after they got in the bed, and then we headed to bed, too. 

What. A. Day.

Tuesday, October 31

Tuesday was Halloween, of course, so the kids headed to school in costume.  The school hosts an all-school Trunk or Treat every Halloween, and it’s always the cutest thing.  The high schoolers all decorate their cars (or a table if they don’t drive), and they’re usually themed, and then they hand out candy to the rest of the school (babies – eighth grade). 

Our Home and School Advisory Board hosts the event, so as soon as I dropped the kids, I headed to the high school parking lot to hand out candy to all of the high schoolers while they got their cars/tables ready.  And look at this sunrise I got to enjoy!!

The high schoolers had gone all out this year – even more than last year – and there were some really cute themes – pirates and mermaids, Care Bears, The Wizard of Oz, retro, jailbirds, a super elaborate witch setup, Winnie the Pooh, and so on.  There was music blasting from every car and some of the groups were having dance-offs.  A couple of groups of high schoolers had even brought Blackstone grills and they were making bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, French toast, and other breakfast foods.  Lol.  It felt like a Halloween-themed college football tailgate.  Hahahaha.

The kids started walking around at 8:20, and they came out by grade.  I ran around replenishing candy at all of the cars/tables until Olivia came out, and then I walked around with her and her friends per her request.

Jacob shockingly wanted me to walk around with him, too.  His four besties were in different classes as him at the time they came out, so unfortunately, he wasn’t able to walk around with them.  Hopefully next year it’ll be better timed for him.  He was able to meet up with them at the end, though, and they traded candy.  I refrained from hanging out and taking pictures because you know how it goes in middle school.  Haha.  I try my best not to embarrass him (even though, honestly, I don’t think he’s embarrassed by that kind of stuff… yet).

After the kids were done walking around, I helped collect candy bowls, and then I flew out of there as fast as I could because there was soooo much on the agenda. 

I swung by Publix to grab the things I couldn’t get at Walmart + I had to grab a bunch of goodies to fill our Thanksgiving bags for our church’s outreach program.  After that, I got some gas, and then I headed home to put away the groceries, chug down a cup of hot cinnamon tea, and then turn around and leave again to get to my cardiologist appointment.

At this appointment, they did an ultrasound of my carotid arteries to make sure there aren’t any blockages causing slowed blood-flow to the brain and therefore causing my vertigo.  I get results today, so fingers crossed I get good news.  I’m confident that I will.

After my appointment I headed back home to prep the dip I made for Halloween, and then I choked down a quick lunch and worked on some blog work before heading back out to pick up the kids from school.

We went straight home after school and the kids were HYPED. UP.  Y’all.  Oh, my word, to say they were excited about Halloween was an understatement. 

I put them to work tidying the house and then I was a whirlwind – prepping for our spooky dinner, getting the house ready for guests, doing some last-minute decorating, tidying, etc.  The second B walked in the door from work I put him to work, too – cutting fruit, peeling oranges, etc.  I had a whole festive spread planned, and it’s a lot to put together in the short amount of time that we have between getting home from school and eating a super early dinner before trick-or-treating. 

We had my parents, my father-in-law, and our friends Khristina and Noah over for dinner.  Khristina brought along a festive pecan beer that was so delicious as well as the cutest mummy pretzel sticks, and then we all ate.  Y’all, I remembered to take pictures of the three festive dishes that I made, but I totally forgot to take a picture of the whole spread and I’m so sad because it was the cutest!

On the menu:

-       Mummy dogs (a staple)

-       Taco dip (with a fun spiderweb twist)

-       Tortilla chips

-       Cheetos

-       Pineapple, mandarin oranges, and marshmallows arranged in one big candy corn (I had wanted to do my candy corn skewers, but I ran out of time, and this was easier)

-       Grapes

-       Carrots

We always keep it pretty simple since we have to eat so early and then dip out to trick-or-treat. 

As we were finishing up eating, some other friends started to arrive – Olivia’s friends Savannah and Cami along with Cami’s parents, and Jacob’s friend Jack, and his mom and brother.  We had a big group Tuesday night, and most of it was last-minute, so it was a whirlwind leading up to finally getting out on the road to trick-or-treat.

A cold front had come in Halloween morning, so it was coooold Tuesday night, so we all bundled up (except for Olivia and Savannah – because looking cute is more important LOL), and headed out.  But first, pictures!  Our little Skating Barbie and The Rake (no clue what The Rake is from, but he just liked it because it was creepy.  LOL.)

The girls looked oh-so-sweet and the boys looked oh-so-creepy.

Can y’all even believe Jacob’s costume?!  Hahahaha.  Y’all.  My goodness.  He wanted to be the creepiest thing he could find, and I think he achieved this goal x 1,000.  Lol.

After pictures, we headed out.  Y’all, our neighborhood just shines on holidays – we have a very festive bunch of neighbors – so we have people drive in from all over to trick-or-treat here which means that the streets are just PACKED with people and it’s always one of my favorite evenings of the year.  We have several neighbors who hand out full-sized candy bars, Jell-o shots and beers for the adults, and we even have some people who grill out and pass out hot dogs.  Lol.  There are usually a couple of people who do haunted houses, but sadly, nobody did any of those this year.  The highlight of the night (for me, anyway), was the 12-foot Skellie that the neighbors dressed up as a ballerina because they didn’t want him to be too spooky for the littles.  Lol.

We ended up walking over two miles collecting candy, and the kids ran most of the way.  We were all cold and exhausted when we arrived back at home, but we were all as happy as can be.  Such a great evening. 

Everyone left shortly after getting back home, and Olivia and Savannah traded candy for a while until her dad picked her up.  After she left, our kiddos ate some more candy (eek!) and then they got showered and ready for bed.  We all settled in for our annual viewing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and then we sent the kiddos to bed. 


After they were in bed, B and I watched an episode of Shark Tank, and I enjoyed my favorite pastime of scrolling through social media and looking at everyone’s Halloween posts.  Probably my favorite night of social media all year!

Wednesday, November 1

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids at school, and then I headed back home for an hour to work until I had to be back at the school/church for All Saint’s Day Mass with Olivia.  The fourth graders dress up like the saints every year and present their saint at Mass every November 1, so it was Olivia’s turn to do that this year. 

She chose Saint Anne, who was Mary’s mother, and also Jesus’s grandmother.  She had to give a little speech during Mass, and she did such a great job!  Brian, my Momma, and Mama Cass came along and sat with me down front during Mass, and we were able to get some cute pictures of her. 

After Mass, I headed straight back home to work for the rest of the day, and then at 3, I grabbed the kids, got Olivia to dance, and then got Jacob home so he could finish his science experiment.  He has been working diligently for weeks to build his bridges, and the experiment had to be completely done so he could finish his log book and turn it in on Friday.

Brian came home from work a little early to assist him, and then he left to pick up Olivia from dance while I got dinner ready – sliders and leftover chips and dip and fruit from Halloween.  Cooking last week was light because #AintNobodyGotTimeFoThat  Haha.

After dinner, Brian and Jacob went back out on the back porch in the cold to wrap up the experiment.  They worked until 8 PM and finally got it done.  Praise!!

While they did that, Olivia and I studied for a couple of tests, and then she helped me take down the fall mantle and put up the Christmas mantle.  I put up so much stuff for Christmas that I can’t get it all up in one day, so I spread out each little thing over a week or two until it’s all up.

Once that was done, Olivia got in the shower, and I got in a quick stair stepper workout and arms workout.  After that, Olivia looked through my closet to help me find an outfit to wear to our Taylor Swift movie/concert Friday night, and y’all, she was so funny… she kept going up and down my row of shirts and I’d hear her say, “I think this one will probably work.”  Haha. 

By the time that was all done, it was time to get the kids in the bed.  After bedtime, Brian and I relaxed on the couch, and I did some research on restaurants in NYC, and my cousin Shelby and I texted back-and-forth all evening trying to book some reservations.  She was able to get us two (late) reservations at two of the popular Christmasy restaurants (not Rolf’s because they never answer the phone – LOL), and we’re so excited!!

Thursday, November 2

Thursday was another crazyyyy day.  I had a to-do list a mile long, so I dropped the kids, swung by Publix to grab a few things, and then headed home to work all day.  I had lots of blog work to do along with some laundry, plus several other random tasks that I’d been needing to finish. 

At 1, I had my appointment for my CT Angiogram, and thankfully, I was able to do the test at a third-party place rather than a hospital.  It’s soooo much faster that way.  The girl who had made my appointment had promised me I’d be done quickly enough to be in the car line on time to get the kids as they always stay on schedule there, so when 20 minutes went by in the waiting room and I still hadn’t been called back, I started to get worried.

Thankfully, the nurse came to grab me just when I was getting antsy, and she told me that the whole test from start to finish only takes 10 minutes so I’d be in and out quickly.  I had to lay down on the little bed that sends you in and out of the tube (kind of like an MRI), and while I was laying flat on my back, the nurse started the IV. 

I’ve had a lot of IVs in my day, but I have never had one so painful as the one I had that day.  I have no clue what she did when she put that thing in, but it hurt so bad.  Right after she inserted the IV, she walked away to grab something, and I immediately started feeling warmth spreading down my arm.  I was confused because she had told me that she wasn’t going to start the contrast until after she’d already gotten a few pictures before.  (If you’ve never had a CT scan with contrast before, the contrast that they put in your body makes your whole insides feel like they’re on fire.  It starts at the IV point, and you can literally feel it flow through your veins until it reaches all points of your body.  And it’s AMAZING how fast it makes it all the way to your brain and your toes.  It also makes you feel like you’re peeing on yourself, just FYI.  Lol.)

Anyway, so when the nurse turned around to come back over to me her eyes got as big as saucers, and she started running towards me saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m SO SORRY.”  And then she called another nurse in, who also ran over.  It turns out that the warmth I was feeling was my blood running out of the IV and all over me and the table.  I didn’t know because I was laying flat on my back half stuck in a tube, but when I lifted my head up to look, it looked like a crime scene.  There was blood everywhere.  It had run all the way down my arm into my Apple watch band and bracelets all the way to my hand, and it had run down the side of my arm and onto the table below me, soaking my sweater.  Sigh.

The girl was so apologetic, and she and the other girl cleaned me up as quickly as they could, but she couldn’t get the blood out of my sweater.  We went forward with the test, and it literally took about three minutes – and yes, the contrast running through my veins was seriously one of the craziest feelings ever – I’ve had one in the past, but I had forgotten just how extreme it is.

After the test was done, I went into their bathroom there at the clinic, and I had to literally sit on the bathroom counter and hold the side of my sweater under the faucet to wash out all of the blood so it wouldn’t get all over my car.  I was soaked by the time I had to leave, but I didn’t have time to go home and change because I had to get in the car line to get the kids to music lessons on time.  I did swing by my parents’ house on the way to clean up a little more and I was able to get most of the blood out.

After school, I took the kids to music lessons in my wet, bloody sweater – LOL – but thankfully, by the time we arrived, it wasn’t quite as soaked, and the blood wasn’t as obvious either. 

After lessons, we went straight home because Jacob had to complete his entire log book for his science project to turn in Friday.  He worked on that foreverrrr and Olivia studied for her tests, and then she made Taylor Swift bracelets for the rest of the evening since we were going to the Taylor Swift Eras movie Friday with some friends. 

While the kids were busy doing that, I was a whirlwind trying to finish up the tasks on my to-do list, prepping for Friday, tidying the house, brainstorming for several upcoming school events, reloading the dishwasher, and getting dinner ready – eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, and toast – and I was stopping every two minutes to assist Jacob with his log book, tie off bracelets for Olivia, and respond to texts from my mom and aunt and cousin about our trip to New York City. 

Whew.  My brain felt like it was going to explode by the end of the night.  Haha.

We all sat down together to eat when Brian got home from work, and then after dinner, I set out to go for my last post-dinner run until probably March.  The time changed this past weekend as y’all know, and now it’s too dark. 

It was coooold for my run, but I bundled up and did it anyway, and I knocked out a couple of miles and enjoyed one last beautiful sunset in the process.

When I got home, Jacob was back to working on his log book, so Olivia and I both got showered, and then I double-checked all of Jacob’s work and helped him with a couple of issues before he finally jumped in the shower.  I also snapped a picture of Olivia and Sheepie in their matching Christmas PJs per her request.  ;o)

We had time to watch, like, 15 minutes of an episode of Lego Masters, and then we sent the kids to bed because everyone was just exhausted, mentally and physically. 

Once the kids were in bed, Brian and I watched The Golden Bachelor, and I finally put together my Instagram reel that I’d been wanting to tackle all day.

Friday, November 3

Friday, I dropped the kids at school and then I headed home to work on the blog, knock out some room parent responsibilities, place a couple of online orders for necessities, and work on some things for our New York trip.  I also had to pack for Athens since we were leaving early Saturday for the Georgia game.

I picked up the kids from school at 3, and then Olivia and I got ready for the Taylor Swift movie concert when we got home.  She wanted to get all dressed up and wear red lipstick, and she also came prepared with all of her friendship bracelets. 

We met some friends from school there at the theater at 4:30 and then we headed in for the 5 PM showing.  The movie is three hours long with trailers, so we didn’t want to be there too late since we had to be up early the next morning. 

We ended up having about 20 other people in there with us, most of whom were teenage girls, so everyone in the theater was on their feet for most of the show singing and dancing.  Olivia and Maren spent most of their time down on the floor right in front of the screen dancing their hearts out all night, and Kristen and I stayed at our seats dancing and singing our hearts out, too.  It was so much fun. 

After it was over, we all traded bracelets with the other girls in the theater, and then Kristen and I let them trade bracelets some more in the theater hallway before we went our separate ways.  We left the theater around 8:30, and on the way home we discovered that one of the local radio stations had started playing Christmas music, and Olivia declared Friday the best day ever… “even better than Disney World.”  Whaaaat!!

I loved spending time with her and seeing the pure excitement on her face all night.  This is what life is all about!

When we got home, she was chattering nonstop to the boys about everything.  They had gotten Chipotle takeout and watched the Spider Man movie with Tobey Maguire, so they’d had a fun evening, too.

They both got showered and in the bed shortly after we got home, and then B and I watched some of Shark Tank before heading to bed ourselves since we had an early morning ahead of us.

Saturday, November 4

Saturday morning, we were up early, and we left Jacob, Olivia, and Maui with my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law.  They spent the day going to the Botanical Gardens, putting together a 550-piece puzzle, playing outside, watching the Georgia game, and watching a movie… just living their best lives.

B and I headed straight to Athens after that, and we made great time.  Thankfully there wasn’t too much traffic.  We parked downtown right near the Georgia Theatre since we had a concert right after the game, and then we walked to my Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg’s tailgate.  It’s about a mile walk, so between that and walking to the stadium after that, and then walking from the stadium back downtown after the game later in the day, we got in a lot of steps!

Since the game was at 3:30, they did a slightly smaller tailgate – using an iPad to watch the other games instead of the TV – but we still had a yummy food spread and lots of good company.  B and I had brought along some of our Savage beers (a UGA themed beer brewed in Athens), and I have declared it our good luck beer for the season.  When one of the Georgia players intercepts a ball or forces a turnover for the other team during a game, they get to wear the “savage pads” so that’s where the beer gets its name.  It turned out that a turnover ended up saving our butts in that game, hence, my good luck beer declaration.  ;o)

We all walked to the stadium and got in there before the game.  It was 73 and sunny, which isn’t bad, but it felt really hot in the stadium for the first half of the game.  Missouri came to play, and they kept the score so close for most of the game, so it was nerve-wracking.  The officials also made several terrible calls (or lack of calls) during the game, so it was tough to watch, but Georgia ended up pulling off the win!

One of Brian’s friends from tennis and his wife came along with us, and we had a good time sitting with them during the game.  We’ve known them forever, but hadn’t seen them in forever (well, I hadn’t anyway), so it was nice to spend time with them. 

After the game, B and I headed to the car to put our jackets away, and then we went to the Georgia Theatre to see Shakey Graves in concert.  We’ve been listening to him for about ten years, and I’ve always liked his music, but after seeing him in concert, I am in LOVE.  He put on an incredible performance.  Brian and I have seen a ton of people live, and Brian declared it one of the best concerts he’s ever been to.  He is a natural born performer and his voice and instrument playing is flawless.  He’s just a whole vibe, y’all.  So, if you hadn’t heard of him prior to this, this is your sign to check him out!

It also didn’t hurt that he was playing at the Georgia Theatre which is probably my favorite venue to see live music.  It is just gorgeous in there and the acoustics are *chef’s kiss*.  It’s just iconic.  If you’re not familiar with it, the theatre is almost 100 years old, and many famous bands and artists played there before they made it big.  REM and the B-52’s are probably most well-known for “getting their starts” there, and there is just a really long list of other artists who also played there before they started selling out bigger venues – Zac Brown Band and John Mayer to name a couple more.  Fun fact, John Mayer filmed his music video for No Such Thing there at that theater. 

But anyway, the theater just has such a rich history and it’s so cool to be able to watch live music there.  It only holds about 1,000 people, and they have renovated a bit since it caught on fire back in 2009, so there are three levels of balconies up above in the back… you can’t see any of that from my pictures and videos, though.  Apparently, they have a rooftop bar, too.  I definitely don’t take it for granted that we have this special gem close enough to enjoy.

The floor of the theater is general admission, standing room only, so B and I were exhausted by the time we left – waking up early, tailgating, drinking all day, walking all over Athens, and standing all night at the game and the concert definitely took its toll.  We both collapsed in the car and drove straight to our Airbnb after the concert was over.

It's really hard to find hotels or any other places to stay in Athens (and surrounding cities) on game days (everything books months in advance), so we ended up staying at an Airbnb that was in somebody’s basement.  Lol.  It definitely sounds creepy, but it was legit, and it turned out to be perfectly fine and safe.  The basement opens to the side of the house since it’s on a hill, and the family has small kids, so we felt safe.  And we never even saw any of them the whole time we were there.

We arrived just before midnight, and it was weird because we felt like we had to be quiet as mice since there was a whole family sleeping right above us.  The place was cute enough – it had a little living area with a giant TV, a kitchen area, a bedroom, and a bathroom –but there were definitely some things that hadn’t been updated, like the lighting and the doors and the electrical wiring… there wasn’t a single outlet in the bathroom?? which made it challenging to curl my hair the next morning.

Right as we were getting ready for bed, I heard a tiny baby start wailing and it screamed for a good 3-5 minutes before I finally heard footsteps, and shortly after that, the baby quieted.  I looked at Brian and was like, “Oh no, what have we gotten ourselves into?!” 

But thankfully, we had brought along a little fan, so we kept that on all night, and we never heard another peep.  The bed suuuucked, though.  It felt like sleeping on a blanket on a hard floor, so neither of us slept well at all.  It was definitely better than driving all the way home at midnight, though.


Sunday, November 5

Sunday morning, B and I set the alarm for the new 7 AM (the old 8 since the time had changed), so that way we could sleep in a bit, but not waste that extra hour), and we were packed up and leaving the Airbnb by 8.  We stopped at Starbucks for sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches, and we also split a slice of pumpkin bread, and then we hit the road, me with my Peppermint Mocha in hand.  Yes ma’am.

All the way home, I texted with my Aunt Joy about plans for the following weekend, plans for the National Championship Game (we booked our hotel and flights back in February just in case because you pretty much have to!), plans for holiday hosting (since she and I typically offer our homes for my Momma’s side of the family), and plans for our New York City trip.  I also got caught up on social media stuff and cleaned out some of my camera roll, and before I knew it, we were home.  We made excellent time since there wasn’t much traffic early on a Sunday morning.

We grabbed the kids and then made it home just in time to get everything unpacked and have lunch.  The kids spent the day tidying, playing outside (because it was gorgeous out), prepping for Monday, doing laundry, and playing video games, and I spent the day unpacking, doing laundry, prepping my planner for the week ahead, working on blog stuff, editing pictures, and getting ready for Monday. 

While I worked, I watched Serendipity, and y’all, it just makes me so happy.  Gosh, I just love that movie so dang much.  I only watch it at Christmas time, so you can bet it’ll be on repeat in my office along with The Holiday for the next two months.

We headed to my parents’ house for dinner, and Momma had made pepper steak, black rice (I’ve never heard of it but it was so good!), carrots, green beans, and Hawaiian rolls with homemade dupe Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter.  We finished up with a double chocolate cake, and it was just the best home-cooked meal after eating a bunch of tailgate food and other various junk foods all weekend.  My body was screaming for some vegetables!  Haha.

The rest of the evening was spent all cozy hanging out around their dining room table and chatting, and as always, it was the perfect way to end the weekend.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. Busy and fun week! Halloween especially seems like so much fun in your neighborhood.

  2. That does sound like such a busy week! Your neighborhood for Halloween reminds me of the one my sister lived in when she lived up here; we used to drive to her house and trick or treat with them.


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