Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Our Week - The One with Maui’s Diagnosis, Visitor Nights at Dance, and the Longest To-Do List

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Last week was packed with life tasks and to-dos, and it was exhausting mentally and physically.  I pretty much worked in some capacity from the second my feet hit the floor each day to the time I turned out the light each night.  ‘Tis the season!

Monday, November 6

Monday morning, I dropped the kids at school, dropped Maui at the vet for her annual checkup, and then I headed home to work on blog stuff all morning.  After a quick lunch with B (he works from home on Mondays and Fridays still), I headed back to my office for some more blog work, and then I headed out to run a few errands – gas, Publix, UPS, and back to the vet to pick up Maui.

The vet told us that everything looked great for Maui except for one thing – she has lost a half of a pound.  The vet said that obviously doesn’t seem like much, but considering she’s only four pounds to begin, half of a pound is a big deal.  She said that it could be an indication of kidney disease or various other things and she suggested doing some extra bloodwork to make sure everything is okay.

My poor girl was struggling when I picked her up – she’d had her vaccines, had her blood drawn, had to give a urine sample, and she’d had a tooth pulled (it was already super loose and barely hanging on), so I could tell she was in pain.  We pulled into the car line after her visit, and she slept the whole time that we waited for the kids to come out.

Once the kids were in the car, we headed home to hang out for the rest of the evening.  Jacob had to work on the tri-board portion of his science project, and I had to help Olivia study, and I was also corresponding with a few other parents about the class gift we’re giving to Jacob’s teacher who is out with stage four pancreatic cancer.

I made dinner shortly after that – sheet pan sausage, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and onions with gluten free cinnamon muffins – and then we all sat down to eat.

Olivia is full-on in Christmas mode, so she requested hot chocolate for an after-dinner treat and she decked it out with a candy cane and marshmallows.  Since she wanted a Santa mug, I took the time to go ahead and put away all of my fall and Halloween mugs and pull out all of my Christmas ones for my coffee/tea bar.  I put out so much stuff for Christmas each year that I have to just do a little each day until it’s all done.

Once the kitchen was clean, the kids helped me round up the last of the fall décor that was out, and rather than tossing it all in the boxes, I went through every single item and cleaned everything out.  I had several items I hadn’t used in years, so it was time for them to go.  I also got everything organized by season, so I now have all of the fall stuff in the same two boxes, and all of the Halloween stuff in its own box.  Prior to this, I’ve had it all mixed together, but that just doesn’t make sense since I put out fall first and then put out Halloween a month later, so I’m stoked about my freshly organized boxes!  I’ll be thanking myself next year when I pull it all out.

After that was done, the kids headed upstairs to shower and get ready for bed, and I got in a mixed cardio workout and put away some laundry.

We rounded out the evening with an episode of Lego Masters and a little bit of The Amazing Race, and then B and I watched Monday night football for a bit while I continued to work on various things that needed to be done from my spot on the couch.

We finally collapsed into bed around 10:30 and I was exhausted.

Tuesday, November 7

Tuesday, I had another list a mile long.  First up, I had a Home and School Advisory Board meeting at the kids’ school, and then straight after that, I headed to the cardiologist to get the results from my two tests.  When the PA walked in, I knew the tests had come back clean, because otherwise they would have sent in the doctor.

Sure enough, the PA told me that my echocardiogram came back looking good and so did the ultrasound of my carotid arteries.  She did say that there was one circumstance where trace amounts of blood were getting through a particular valve, but she said it’s fairly common, absolutely nothing to be worried about, and definitely not anything that would be causing vertigo, so she said there’s nothing more that they can do, and she said that she was going to release me and leave me in the good hands of my neurologist.  She said she thinks the neurologist is definitely the doctor I should be seeing for this vertigo.

After my appointment I ran aaaallll the errands – Staples to do an Amazon return, Barnes & Noble to check out magazine selections for the basket we put together for Jacob’s teacher who has cancer, Marshall’s to look at their selection of cozy blankets for Jacob’s teacher, Bath & Body Works to grab Christmas soaps (somebody must’ve overslept because they weren’t open even though they were supposed to be… gave myself a check on the to-do list anyway since I tried!), Target to grab some items for Jacob’s teacher’s gift basket, and Fresh Market to grab chicken on sale. 


By the time I got home, it was already lunchtime, so I scarfed down a quick bowl of leftovers from Monday night’s dinner, and I sat down to do some work for a bit before I had to go back out and grab the kids from school.

After school, we headed home so the kids could do homework, and then we headed to Olivia’s dance school for visitor night.  Brian met us there, and the three of us sat through her lyrical, musical theatre, and hip-hop classes.  They had been working on Halloween routines for lyrical and musical theatre, and their hip-hop dance was so cute, too. 

Brian and Jacob left a little early to go heat up a frozen pizza to have it ready when Olivia and I got home, and then we had a super late dinner.  On Tuesdays she doesn’t get out until 7:15, so we’re always struggling by the time we get home… especially with this time change since it’s dark long before she ever gets out of dance now.

After our dinner of frozen pizza and fruit, I got in a stair stepper workout while Olivia got showered, and then we got the kids in the bed.  Once they were in bed, B and I sat downstairs, flipping through our streaming services to find something to watch, but we never started anything, and then we headed to bed.

Tuesday, we also got the call from the vet that Maui’s bloodwork came back abnormal, and she has three different markers that indicate that she has Stage 1 (out of 4) kidney disease.  It was not the news we wanted to hear, but thankfully, they caught it early, and we are going to start treating it by modifying her food first.  Her vet said that there’s a really good food made especially for dogs with kidney disease, and she thinks that it should delay the disease from progressing for a while. 

Eventually, as it progresses, Maui will likely have to be put on medication, and eventually, it could result in kidney failure.  She said the prognosis is different for every dog, so we are just praying that we still have many good, healthy days YEARS! with her.  In the meantime, the doctor told us to watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea as those are signs it could be progressing quickly.  And we are also taking her for a follow-up appointment in a few weeks to do some additional testing to get a full confirmation.  Maui is approaching 14 years old, so I’m grateful that she’s made it this long, and I know our time with her is numbered, so I’m just going to soak up every single second with her until then.  Even when she annoys me by waiting until I get settled down on the couch to scratch on the door to be let out.  Haha.

This year hasn’t been my favorite for our family, and while it could be much worse, it was still a bummer to receive more bad news.

Wednesday, November 8

Wednesday was yet another day with a crazy long to-do list, so I dropped the kids at school and hit the ground running.  First up, I dropped some library books that needed to be returned, and then I headed home to #workworkworkworkwork and get organized.  I am currently planning for so many things – the class auction baskets for 4th and 7th grade at the kids’ school, the care package for Jacob’s teacher who has cancer, the Reindeer Run at the kids’ school, my trip to New York City, Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, and a million other things + we’re also hosting my mom’s side of the family for Thanksgiving at our house and I’m hosting Friendsgiving for my girlfriends at our house Thanksgiving week, too – so I needed to make all the lists.  The kids’ schoolwork has been a BEAST this school year, too, so it’s been a lot, but as soon as Jacob gets this science project off of his plate, things should slow down in that department. 

All of those things + a million other little things have been taking up a lot of space in my brain, and while I don’t like complaining much here in this space, these last few weeks have been a LOT.  Throw in the stress of worrying about some heartbreaking things going on behind the scenes with various family members and friends (we have received so. much. bad. news. recently about loved ones) and it has just been an overwhelming few weeks.  I try to be authentic in this space because life is not always sunshine and roses, and while a lot of my mental load is being held captive by fun stuff, it has also been held captive by lots of worry and sadness.  I know I need to give it all to God, and I’m trying really hard to do that.

After everything was wrapped up at home, I grabbed pictures for Jacob’s science project from Walgreens, and then I headed to school to grab the kids.  We headed straight to dance, and it was visitor night again, so Jacob and I sat in on Olivia’s tap, ballet, and jazz classes, and Brian joined us when he got off of work.

Right when we arrived, Jacob discovered that his tooth was super loose and he wanted it out immediately because it had turned a weird way (barf), so he tried to pull it himself, but he just couldn’t get a grip on it.  So, y’all, for the first time ever in my life, I pulled a tooth.  I’m feeling queasy even talking about it.  There’s not a ton that makes me squeamish (I can handle blood all day), but when it comes to broken bones or loose teeth, I can’t hang.  I was really proud of myself for doing it, though.  After I got over the feeling of wanting to barf.  Haha.  ;o)

Olivia’s classes went really well.  Their tap routine they’re currently working on is the most fast-paced routine she’s had to do yet, so she was slightly behind in some of the movements, but she did fantastic in ballet and jazz.  Her old teacher also sat in, and she reminded me that Olivia was accidentally put into the wrong class several years ago and therefore she missed a whole year of instruction that all of the other girls in her class did have, so she’s technically a year behind in instruction, and she’s also a year (or two) younger than all of the girls in the class.  Her old teacher said that the fact that she’s kept up with them these last few years is pretty amazing.

And y’all, watching her do ballet will never not make me think of the movie Center Stage… it was one of my favorite movies in the 90’s and I still love it so much to this day.  I cannot WAIT to watch it with Olivia one day!!  She is going to be obsessed.  I just know it.

After dance, I took the kids home to work on homework while B ran to Chick-Fil-A to grab dinner, and then we all ate together when he got home.  After dinner, it was more homework and studying, and then the kids headed upstairs to get showered.

I used that time to get in a mixed cardio workout, and then we all watched The Amazing Race while I put away all the laundry, tidied the house, finished up a few other tasks, and worked on my to-do list for the next day.


B and I watched… something?  I don’t honestly even remember because my brain is fried.  And then we headed to bed.

Thursday, November 9

Thursday morning, Olivia was complaining of a stomachache.  She had been complaining on and off all week about it, and we couldn’t exactly pinpoint the problem.  She had several tests, so we all agreed that it was best that she try to go to school, so I dropped the kids and headed off to tackle more errands.  First up, was Target to grab some remaining items for Jacob’s teacher’s care package, and to try to find some boots for my trip to NYC, and while I was there, Olivia called me and asked me to pick her up.  Sigh.

I still had to run to Barnes & Noble to grab a couple of magazines for the care package, so I went ahead and did that, and then I headed straight to the school to get Olivia.

She lay on the couch most of the day and read, and her stomach hurt on and off all day long.  This happened to her earlier this year, too, and it went on for about a month.  She saw a doctor and nobody could figure it out, so I’m praying that this isn’t going to turn into another one of those situations. 

I tried to get some work done while she read, and then B and I had to make the call about what to do about the Georgia game on Saturday.  We had plans to go to the game since it was a Top 10 matchup, but the weather in Athens was looking A-W-F-U-L – 90% chance of rain all day and COLD – so we weren’t sure what to do. 

My aunt and uncle had plans to do a big tailgate, and we were all so excited about it, but with the weather, they were debating just hanging out at one of the bars instead.  All signs were pointing for us not to go – bad weather, possibly no tailgate, Olivia not feeling well – so we made the decision to cancel our hotel reservation and sell the tickets.  Sigh.

While I was super sad to have to miss, I was not excited about the thought of sitting in 48 degree rainy weather for four hours with the kids in tow.  Had it just been Brian and me, we might have still gone (we’ve done our fair share of watching games in the rain and cold), but I couldn’t imagine subjecting the kids to that, so we listened to the signs and canceled.

And I have to say, it was SO NICE to have the cozy day at home to catch up on life, decorate for Christmas, and watch the game all snug from home.

Olivia ended up feeling much better all afternoon, and she and I went to pick up Jacob from school, and then we headed to music lessons for both of them.  After lessons, we headed home where I worked on putting together the care package for Jacob’s teacher, I helped Jacob with his science project, I helped Olivia with her math homework, and I cooked dinner.  We had parmesan chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli along with Hawaiian rolls, and Brian and I snuck in a rare weeknight glass of wine as a little treat.

One very generous family at Jacob's school contributed $200 cash for his teacher's care package.  The kids had never seen a $100 bill in person, so Jacob wanted to hold them and take a picture with them.  Lol.

After dinner, I squeezed in a stair stepper workout while the kids got showered and ready for bed, and then we watched the end of an episode of Lego Masters and the beginning of an episode of The Amazing Race.  While we did that, I worked on getting some cards ready to send to various family and friends.  As I said before, we know several people who are going through some really tough things right now and I wanted to send some love through the mail.  I also made a bracelet to send to my cousin who is making her way through yet another round of chemotherapy.  It has been a really tough round and I know she could use some extra love right now.

After that was done, we got the kids in the bed, and Brian and I watched The Golden Bachelor, and then we headed to bed.  I finally started a new book, too.  I haven’t had the time to even think about reading lately, and I’ve missed it these last couple of weeks, so I read a few pages before I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.

Friday, November 10

Friday was another day with a lot on the to-do list.  After I dropped the kids at school, I headed straight to Publix to grab gift cards for Jacob’s teacher’s care package.  The parents were so incredibly generous, and we were able to gift her with a beautiful basket full of things that will provide comfort during her treatment + a Visa gift card, and Amazon gift card, and some cash that she can use however she needs during her travels to Houston and back.

I got those added to the basket, and then I headed back to the school to drop it off at the front office since his teacher was making one last stop at the school to drop some things off before she heads to MD Anderson this week. 

After that, I headed to Target to return a ton of pairs of boots.  I had bought several pairs to try out at home since I need something comfy for New York City, and I returned all of the pairs that didn’t work. 

Next up, was the post office to drop off all of the packages and cards for everyone who has been on my mind, and then after the post office, I headed home to send a thank-you email to all of the seventh-grade parents for their generosity, and to show them all of the amazing things that their contributions were able to purchase for Jacob’s teacher.  Then I spent the rest of the day working on blog stuff.

After school, the kids and I headed home, and it was nice because we had nowhere to be.  The weather was cold and drizzly, so it was the perfect evening to stay in.  Brian and Jacob did go for haircuts after B got off of work, and Olivia and I got into our PJs while they were gone, and we pulled out all of the Christmas trees for the bedrooms and my office and got them set up and fluffed. 

We had started Maui on her new food for her kidneys the previous day, and we were worried about her taking to it as she's been eating the same exact food her entire life.  Brian had read that if you mix the new food in with the old, dogs are more inclined to try the new food, so he had done that the day before, and Maui ended up loving the new food so much that she proceeded to pick out every single piece of her old food and she placed it on the floor next to her bowl as if to say, "I'm not eating this anymore!"  So thankfully, she likes her new food even better than the old food!  And now we just have to pray that it does its job on her kidneys.


By the time the boys got home with food, my upper body was feeling achy, and I was feeling exhausted, and I was worried I was coming down with something, but I felt great the rest of the weekend, so I think it was just exhaustion from the physical and mental load I’d been carrying all week.  It all caught up with me and hit me like a ton of bricks Friday night. 

The boys brought home dinner from our favorite barbecue place, and then after dinner, we pulled our new artificial Christmas tree out of the box and got it set up.  Y’all, this tree from Home Depot is THE ABSOLUTE BEST, but… the LED lights are soooo cold and sterile.  Seriously, the tree itself is incredible.  It literally took us less than five minutes to set it up – there is zero fluffing required because all of the branches are hinged and therefore they fall out to perfection as you sit it in the base.  It has over 6,000 branch tips which is the most I’ve seen on a 7.5-foot tree online, so it’s thick and full, and the branch tips are those fancy ones that look real.  I was head. over. heels…  until I turned on the lights.  Sigh.

We ended up not decorating it since I wasn’t sure what to do, but we left the lights on for the rest of the night so I could sit with it and try to make my peace with the cold fluorescent-looking lighting.  We watched the end of an episode of The Amazing Race with the kids and an episode of Lego Masters, and I passed out on the couch and slept the entire time.  Whoops. 

After we got the kids in the bed, B and I started the show Suits, and neither of us were impressed by the first episode.  Not sure if we’ll stick with it or not.  I’ve heard great things about it, but it doesn’t seem like my kind of show.  We’ll see!

Saturday, November 11

Saturday morning, we all slept in, and we woke up to the dreariest, coziest day.  Brian picked up donuts from the new donut place in town, and then we watched ESPN College GameDay all snuggled up on the couch.  I had planned to work out mid-morning, but when I got up, my body still felt pretty exhausted, so I opted to skip the workout and start working on Christmas decorating instead. 


We pulled out all of the boxes, and I started cleaning out everything and rearranging some things before I put everything out.  We currently have three giant tubs of decorations plus a few small ones, and I don’t like the big tubs because they’re too big for me to move by myself, so at the end of this season, I’m getting rid of those and organizing everything into the smaller tubs since I can manage those by myself. 

Once I figured out how to get the stuff from the bigger tubs into the smaller tubs, I started decorating and I managed to get most of the living room and kitchen done.  By then, Jacob had also started working on the tri-board for his science project, so I was stopping every few minutes to give him advice on arranging and cutting and placement.  Olivia worked on making some Christmas ornaments while Jacob did that, and then we all ate lunch standing up since every single surface in the house was covered in either Christmas décor, science fair project, or crafts.  It was chaotic.  Haha. 

After a late lunch, I got back to decorating, the kids tidied up and went outside to get some fresh air and exercise, and Brian worked on getting a couple of things done around the house.  Late in the afternoon, I finally felt good enough to get in a mixed cardio workout, but I did a shortened version since I’d been feeling so tired.  After that, it was shower time, and then I got right back in my PJs because we weren’t leaving the house.

We’d wanted to go to 5:30 Mass before the Georgia game, but Mass was canceled due to a big event they were having there, so we stayed home all evening.  I did some work in my office while the kids played video games, and then B went out to pick up pizza for dinner.

After dinner, we watched Georgia whoop Ole Miss, but for the first part of the game, it was back-and-forth with the touchdowns, so I was a nervous wreck.  When I get nervous during a game, I get up and do stuff – clean the house, tidy, cook, or whatever – while listening to the game and peeking here and there, so I finished decorating for Christmas during the first quarter.  Once we had a comfortable lead, I finally sat down and watched the rest of the game.  Turned out I didn’t need to be nervous at all because our team played incredibly, and we ended up beating them by a large margin. 

Late in the game, we got the kids into bed, and then after the game was over, B and I watched the rest of another game and then headed to bed, too.


Sunday, November 12

Sunday morning, we slept in again, and then we had leftover donuts for breakfast.  After breakfast, I did my planning for the week ahead, and then I watched my Sunday morning sermon and did yoga.  Jacob worked on his tri-board some more, and then we all got showered and ready for the day.

My MIL and step-FIL didn’t cook lunch Sunday, so we headed out to eat lunch and run some errands.  First up, was Panera for some sandwiches and soup since it was another cold, dreary day, and then we headed to Michael’s, Target, and At Home to look at artificial trees.  I’d done tons of research Friday and Saturday evening after not being pleased with the lights on the tree we bought, and the only tree I could find that I really loved and that had incandescent lights (not LED) was from Balsam Hill, and it was, like, $800 on sale, so I knew that wasn’t an option.  So, we decided to try to scout out some trees in person.  Spoiler alert – none of them were up to my standards.  Haha.  They were either too sparse, they didn’t have the realistic branches, or they had the LED lights.  Boooo.

At the At Home Store, they had THE BIGGEST yard blowup we’d ever seen – it was 20-feet tall – so, naturally, we had to take a picture by it.  Haha.

After At Home, we headed to the strip mall to find new shoes for the kids with no luck (there was not a single shoe in stock in either of their sizes), and then we headed to Bath & Body Works to grab some Christmas soaps since it was right next door.

Finally, we made a trip to the gas station to fill up and redeem some lottery tickets, and I popped into the liquor store next door to grab some beer while B pumped gas.  They didn’t have the beer we wanted, so we ended up stopping at another liquor store on the way home, but they didn’t have our beer either. 

All the errands. 

Some successful, some not.

When we got home, I headed to my office to work on blog stuff, back up pictures, and work on my meal plan/grocery list for the week ahead while I watched Serendipity, and the kids settled in for some video games.  It was so yucky outside all weekend that we barely got any outdoor time, but it was kind of nice to just stay cozy indoors all weekend.

After that, I got everything prepped for Monday, and then we headed to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner where we discussed plans for our upcoming trip to New York City.  We’re trying to get a loose itinerary all set so we have an idea of what we want to do every day.

Momma cooked a delicious dinner along with a maple glazed spice cake that was soooo good, and then we headed home.  B and I finished the first episode of Suits (it was so long!) and then we headed to bed.

And that was our very busy, errand-filled, task-heavy week!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. I'm sorry to hear about Maui but I hope she'll be ok for a long time!

  2. So sorry to hear about Maui but I hope the food works and gives her a few more great years. I think Suits definitely got better as the season progressed... I don't remember really liking it at first but I definitely got into it more even if I did seem to hate and love the characters in equal measure based on the individual episodes.

    1. Thank you, I hope the food works, too. And that's good to know about Suits. We haven't watched any more since the first episode, so I'm not sure if we'll revisit it or not yet.


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