Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Our Week - The One with Cleaning Out the House, Going Back to School, and the Aladdin Broadway Show

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Last week, the kids finally made it back to school after 18.5, ahem, 19.5 days off of school for Christmas break + one rogue extra day for severe weather, and it felt great to get back into a routine.  Here’s how our week shook out…

Monday, January 8

Monday was the last official day of Christmas break for the kids, so we were off yet again.  Brian had to work from home, so he was up and in his office by 7:45, so I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed at 7:45, too.  I knew I needed to get back in the swing of things since the next morning was a 6 AM wakeup call for the first time in 18 days.  We are not morning people, so that is early to us.  Haha.

Instead of lounging around in PJs like I would have loved to do, I jumped in the shower and got ready for the day, and then I headed downstairs with the kids after that to have breakfast.  We had leftover donuts from our favorite local place, so that was a nice treat to end the break.

After breakfast, the kids sat down to watch cartoons, and I headed out to Walmart and Publix to grab our groceries for the next couple of weeks.  It was FREEZING Monday, so I was excited to get back home and bundled up in my office for a bit with a cup of hot tea.

I caught up on some blog reading, and then the kids and I worked on our January cleanout.  Olivia and I had already done most of her room the week before, but there was still a big pile in the middle of the room that needed to be sorted and put away.  We finished her giant pile, and then we all moved on to the playroom.  Jacob was a HUGE help, going through all of his stuff on his own, and y’all, he got rid of so. much. stuff. 

While I was excited to have all of the extra space in there for their new things, it did make me a little sad because he is officially out of the toy phase.  These days, he still loves Lego, but other than that, he’s just not into toys anymore.  *Tear*

We took a break to eat lunch early in the afternoon, and I also got dinner in the slow cooker, and then we were right back at it, cleaning out and cleaning up.  We finished the playroom and then moved on to Jacob’s room afterward. 

Mid-afternoon, I got a text, phone call, and an email from the school saying that the entire school district was moving to virtual learning Tuesday because of the impending inclement weather.  Buh.  Tuesday was supposed to have been their first day back after 18.5 days of being at home, and… they had to stay at home yet another day. 

I had a MASSIVE to-do list planned for Tuesday since I was so behind on everything, so I took a few minutes to reschedule some things and shift some tasks around, and then we went back to cleaning Jacob’s room.  What can ya do?

Since the kids were going to be home Tuesday, we put Jacob’s room cleanout on hold, and I sat down to knock out a blog post for Tuesday while the kids played video games.  It was cold and dreary all day, so they never even set foot outside. 

For dinner, we had chicken tacos with all of the toppings + tortilla chips, and then after dinner, Brian stepped out to fill my car with gas while I finished cleaning the kitchen.  After that, I wrapped up my to-do list for the day, and then I got in a mixed cardio workout while the kids showered.

We ended the evening with an episode of The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge, and then the kids went to bed.  B and I had the National Championship game on, but I read my book instead.  There’s almost always an SEC team in the championship each year, so I’m usually fully invested, but this year, Bama choked in the playoffs, so I didn’t have as much interest in watching it.  Congratulations to all of you Michigan fans for your big win!!


Tuesday, January 9

Early Tuesday morning, the inclement weather rolled in, and we were all awakened by a massive clap of thunder that shook the whole house.  Olivia came running in our room and climbed into bed with us for the duration of the night, and it proceeded to POUR for the next few hours.  The last I heard, we had gotten three inches of rain, and it rained for hours after that, so I’m not sure what the total was, but it was a LOT.

It was also very windy, and although it was frustrating to not be able to go back to school as originally planned, I was soooo grateful that we didn’t have to get out in the mess.  The worst of the weather hit right when we would have been in the car on the way to school, so it was good that they had canceled.

B got up to work around 7:45 (he was able to work from home), and I got up right behind him at 8.  We all got breakfast, and then the kids started their virtual learning.  Thankfully, neither of them had any live classes… instead, their teachers had just popped some assignments into their Google classrooms.  Both of them were done in just a couple of hours, so it wasn’t too much work.

While they did that, I popped into my office for a bit to work, and then I got showered and ready for the day.  I had an appointment with my therapist that I didn’t want to miss, so I was grateful that Brian was able to stay home and work at the last minute, so I didn’t have to reschedule.  And thankfully, the worst of the storm was over by the time I had to leave, so I only had to contend with some rain.

After my appointment, I headed straight back home (still in the rain), and I made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch for all of us.  Well, the sandwiches for them, and the soup just for me.  Nobody else in my family will eat tomato soup and I think they’re all crazy.  ;o)

After lunch, Jacob played video games for a bit, and Olivia did a Taylor Swift craft from YouTube while I got my blog post done for the next day.  I had a million texts and emails to respond to as well because of so many things getting rescheduled, etc. from the weather.

After that was done, Jacob and I got back in his room to finish cleaning it out.  He keeps his room super tidy and always puts stuff away neatly, but he had gotten some new stuff that he didn’t know what to do with, and he had it piled in front of his bookcase, so I helped him find places to put everything.  We also went through every single thing in his room, and he got rid of so much stuff.  I didn’t realize how many clothes he had outgrown until we went through everything.

I had to pause midway through our cleanout to get Olivia to dance at 5, and then when I got back home, we finished up in his room.  I also got a few things filed away in his keepsake bin that have been sitting on the floor in my office for weeks, so that was nice, too.  We now have a huge pile of stuff that’s going in the trash, recycling, and donation center, and as always, it feels good to purge at the start of a new year!

Once the room cleanout was done, Jacob and I headed downstairs, and he helped me make dinner.  I did one of my sheet pan sausage and veggie dinners, and he chopped almost every single thing and got it on the pan.  While he did that, I finished getting the clean dishes put away from earlier in the day, and then I helped him get the pan in the oven. 

Brian left to pick up Olivia, and while they were gone, Jacob read a book for a bit and watched a YouTube video, and I wrapped up a couple of tasks in my office. 

When Brian and Olivia got home, we had dinner, and then the kids played for a bit before we got them in the bed. 

Once they were in bed, B and I watched another episode of Fool Me Once (so good!) and then we headed to bed a little after 10 for the first time in nearly three weeks!  We’d gotten in the habit of staying up way later, so it was quite an adjustment getting back to the real world.


Wednesday, January 10

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids at school for their first day back in 19.5 whole days!  Olivia’s class was celebrating King’s Day, so I dropped some King Cakes off, and then I headed straight home to do #allthethings.

First up, was a few hours of blogging time.  As I’ve said a ton of times in recent months, I have truly been struggling in this department.  I have so much content I want to put out, but so little time, and while the content has been flowing, it has not been easy to get it published.  I’ve been hitting publish just mere hours before the posts are supposed to go live and I haaaate that.  I much prefer to blog about a week ahead for most posts.  Obviously, I can’t post early for things that happen live (like this post that you’re reading now), but other than that, most posts can be done in advance, or prepped at the very least. 

Anyway, after a lot of blogging, I made a ton of appointments – mammogram, OBGYN (I’ve been dragging my feet and I’m super late with this because my midwife retired last year – waaaahhhh), a hair appointment for me, a grooming appointment for Maui, a lunch date with an old coworker, etc.  I also paid a couple of bills, got caught up on all of my emails (both inboxes), and I did a whole lot of blog reading.  I have so many friends who I’ve met through blogging, and I love keeping up with all of their (your) lives, but I got severely behind during Christmas break, just like I did with everything else.  So, blog friends, if you haven’t heard from me lately, please know I’m getting there!  <3

I also finished booking our Disney trip (EEK!), so it feels good to have that out of the way.  We’ve known for months – years – that we were going to take this trip again during spring break in 2024, but we just haven’t had the time to hammer out details and send them to our travel agent until last week.  I’m happy to say that the whole trip is booked (aside from dining as they don’t allow booking for that this far in advance), and the deposit is paid, and I’ll be spending my 42nd birthday in Magic Kingdom this year if all goes as planned.  :o)

Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the kids from school, and I was finally able to say hiiii to all of y’all on Instagram with one of my car line chats.  I hadn’t done one in ages, and I missed y’all!  If you don’t already follow me over there, you can do so here.

After that, I read some of my book until the kids got out, and then we headed straight to dance for Olivia’s 3:45 class.  Both kids were raving about their days, saying that they’d had a great first day back, and both of them were so excited to be back with their friends, even though they’d both spent significant time with a few of them during the break.

After dance, Jacob and I headed home, and I spent the next hour cleaning out Olivia’s closet.  I’d forgotten to do it when we did the rest of her room, and I wanted to knock it out so I could cross her room off of the list. 

Wednesday early in the evening, Nick Saban announced he was retiring as the Bama head coach, so my phone and DMs were blowing up as we’re die-hard Georgia fans.  I’m hoping this means that the Kirby Smart/Georgia Bulldogs Era of college football era is about to begin since the Nick Saban/Alabama Era has officially come to a close.  I did find it really strange that he announced his retirement after the season was over… especially after a season where they did not win the National Championship.  Seems like he would have wanted to announce it in advance so the team/school could pay their respects before the season was over, but I digress…

After that, it was time to cook dinner, and I made fettucine alfredo with chicken, broccoli, and our favorite bread from Cheesecake Factory.

After dinner, Olivia finished up some homework, and then while the kids showered, I got in my first strength training workout of 2024.  One of my goals this year is to do more strength training, so I’m really going to try to get in at least 1-2 per week.  I’m a cardio girl – I’d rather do any kind of cardio all day long than do any strength training – so it’s going to be a challenge for me.

After my workout, we all watched an episode of The Big Nailed it Baking Challenge, and I got this new heatless overnight hair curler thingy in Olivia's hair to try.  (She ended up brushing through her hair the next morning instead of waiting for me to pick through the curls, so they ended up being frizzy and weird, so we'll have to try it again.)  Then the kids went to bed.  B and I resumed our watching of Fool Me Once, and then we headed to bed.

Thursday, January 11

Thursday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then headed straight home to work for the rest of the day.  On the agenda was more blogging, catching up on blog reading, editing and finalizing our One Second a Day video from 2023, and getting a jumpstart on birthday shopping for Brian and Olivia as both of them have birthdays coming up in February.

After lunch, I spent about an hour cleaning out my closet.  I was out of hangers, so I knew it was time for some stuff to go, and I ended up purging a TON and freeing up 42 shirt hangers + 4 pants hangers.  I wasn’t able to finish cleaning out before I had to grab the kids from school, so I resumed when we got home.

But first – music lessons!  The kids had their first piano and voice lesson of the new year right after school, and they both did well.  I sat in on Jacob’s lesson as I usually do, and his talent never ceases to amaze me.  It’s like he was born to play that piano.  He’s currently working on mastering Fur Elise by Beethoven, and I cannot even believe how well he plays that entire song from start to finish.  He has only been playing for a year and a half, and it amazes me how far he’s come in such a short amount of time.  It makes me wish we’d gotten him started playing at an earlier age.  He never expressed interest until 2022, though, so I guess it was all done in perfect timing.

When we got home, the kids worked on homework, and I got back to cleaning out my closet.  I completed the clothing and bags, but I didn’t have a chance to finish cleaning out the jewelry.  I actually ended up rearranging all of my earrings and they look so much better.  And I totally forgot to take a before picture.  Boooo.

When B got home from work, we made breakfast for dinner, and B and I had the last of the champagne from Christmas morning.  B bought a “champagne keeper” (a special plug that goes right into the bottle and seals it to keep it fresh), so we were able to save it so it didn’t go to waste.

After dinner, I cleaned out the entire refrigerator and freezer from top to bottom, taking the time to wipe down all of the shelves and drawers, and it’s sparkling clean now, and free of expired foods. 

Once that was done, I got in a 50-minute stair-stepper workout, and then we all watched another episode of The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge before the kids went to bed.  B and I watched an episode of Fool Me Once, and then we headed to bed, too.

Friday, January 12

Friday, we had some severe weather in the forecast.  All day Thursday, the school districts in surrounding areas either announced closings or virtual learning on Friday, but our district decided to remain open and in-person since the threat had gone down a bit compared to what they were forecasting initially. 

I got the kids off to school, dropped Maui at the groomer, and then I headed to the hospital for my annual mammogram.  Since there was a tumor found in my right breast last January, I have to go every six months, alternating between mammograms and ultrasounds.  I ended up getting there a few minutes before my actual appointment, and they took me straight back.  Everything was super-fast, and I ended up making it home just after my original appointment time.  I sure do appreciate places that get you in and out quickly!

The rest of the morning was spent working on blog stuff, and I also got Maui’s bedding washed and freshened up while she was at the groomer. I picked her up right after lunch, and then I headed back home to drop her and work for a few more minutes before it was time to pick up the kids from school.

Right as I got in the car line, it started pouring rain, and it poured all the way home, but thankfully, there was no severe weather at all, and we were able to get home and cozy up inside for the rest of the evening. 

The kids played video games for a bit while I caught up on some blog reading, and then Brian went out to grab Five Guys for dinner.  We ate that at home and then after the kids showered, we watched our One Second a Day video from 2023 that I’d finished putting together, followed by the movie Turning Red since we’d never seen it.

After the kids went to bed, Brian and I got back to Fool Me Once, and then we headed to bed, too.

Saturday, January 13

Saturday morning, we slept in, and I made homemade waffles per usual.  The kids watched some cartoons after breakfast, and I continued to catch up on blog reading while I drank my tea, and then Brian and I headed to our room to clean out some things.  While he worked on cleaning out his closet (the most thorough closet cleanout he’s ever done since I’ve known him, I think), I got 22 items photographed and listed on Poshmark along with a few other random toys/books on a local Facebook page.  It was a suuuuper productive morning.

Once that was done, I did a couple of loads of laundry, I got in a 60-minute cardio workout, and then we all had lunch.  After lunch, the kids did their laundry and tidied up, and I knocked out Monday’s blog post.  By the time all of that was done, it was time to get ready for church. 

We went to 5:30 Mass as we usually do, and then afterward, we went to our favorite local Mexican restaurant with my parents, Mama Cass, and my aunt and uncle.  We ended up finishing up earlier than usual there, so when we got home, we watched another episode of The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge with the kids, and then they got into bed.  B and I ended the night with another episode of Fool Me Once, and then we headed to bed a little earlier than usual for a Saturday night because we had to be up a little earlier than usual for a Sunday.

Sunday, January 14

Sunday morning, we got up, got ready, had a quick breakfast, and then we hit the road for Atlanta.  Brian had surprised us with tickets to see the Broadway show of Aladdin at The Fox Theatre, and our showtime was 1 PM. 

When we arrived in Atlanta, our first stop was at Trader Joe’s because we needed to grab a few essentials (wine, Chia seeds, and their famous “Chips in a Pickle” AKA pickle flavored chips that they ended up being out of because they’re seasonal – waaaahhhh – and a few other things) and then we grabbed lunch before the show. 

There was a cute little place right outside Piedmont Park called Park Tavern that turned out to be perfect.  They had the cutest indoor seating area as well as a covered outdoor seating area with a small ice-skating rink, and they had brunch on the menu since it was the weekend.  All four of us opted for brunch – chicken biscuits with cheese and jalapeno jelly for B and me and chicken and waffles for the kids – and we sat inside because it was coooold.  The whole wall and ceiling inside were covered in twinkle lights, so you know the ambiance made me a happy girl.  ;o)

After lunch, we headed to The Fox Theatre.  Our seats were on the mezzanine in the fourth row, and the show was spectacular!  All of the characters were well cast, their voices were amazing, and the set and costumes were all stunning.  We are still trying to figure out how they did the magic carpet ride scene… it was truly magical!

After the show, we loaded up and headed home, stopping once for a bathroom break, and we made it home just in time to get changed, grab Maui, tidy up the kitchen, and make it to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner.

Momma made her famous spaghetti (seriously the best of all-time), salad, bread, and a delicious Oreo dirt cake for dessert.  We were all stuffed per usual by the time we left, and we were all exhausted, too. 

When we got home, B put a fire in the fireplace, and then we all watched another episode of The Big Nailed it Baking Challenge, and I promptly fell asleep on the couch.  I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

After we got the kids in the bed, B and I watched the last episode of Fool Me Once, and y’all, it was SO good.  I had found out earlier in the day that Harlan Coben (the author of Fool Me Once, the book) has seven other shows on Netflix based on his books, so B and I watched the trailers for a couple of the others, and we settled on The Stranger.  It’s so exciting to know that we have seven more shows to look forward to (assuming they’re all as good as Fool Me Once was). 

And that was our week!  We were all off on Monday for MLK, Jr. Day, but I’ll save that day for next week’s recap since this one is already long enough!  ;o)

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. I started Fool Me Once but stopped during the first episode. I better get back to it since we seem to like the same shows! The kids here have had a ton of days off for snow and cold. Today we have a late opening while the public schools are all closed. I think I have a distant cousin who works at the Fox theater - looks like an amazing place for a play!

    1. Oh you definitely need to start it back up again. It was so good! That's so cool that you have a distant cousin who works there. Brian's dad actually volunteers to usher there sometimes! He doesn't get paid but he gets to see the shows for free!

  2. The Fox Theatre is BEAUTIFUL!!! Dustin and I saw Wicked there a couple of years ago and it was my first time visiting that theatre. I'd love to see Aladdin!

    1. Isn't it stunning?! I have always wanted to see Wicked!!

  3. The theater looks beautiful! I just finished Fool Me Once, it was so good! I'm on Night Agent now, but plan to start the other ones by Harlan Coben soon.

    1. I had no idea he had so many shows on Netflix and I'm trying to figure out how we haven't seen any of them over the years!

  4. Our theater here in St. Louis is called The Fox too. I haven't been in ages and used to love to go every year! You have had a lot of rain there!! We just had a virtual learning day today and I think the kids will be getting another one Friday. Ahhhh.


    1. Oh that's so funny! Oh dang, it's crazy how many days all of the kids have had at home since Christmas break!


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