Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Our Week - The One with a Shopping Day, Freezing Weather, and Poker Night

Last week was freezing cold, so we did a lot of hibernating at home.  We did get out a bit and we also had some people over, but it was mostly a week spent indoors!

Monday, January 15

Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so everyone was off.  After our trip to Atlanta the previous day, we were all looking forward to a lazy morning at home.  We ended up doing all of our Sunday things on Monday – cinnamon rolls for breakfast for all of us, and yoga, the sermon I watch every Sunday, and a weekly planning session for me.  I also got in my Bible study, devotional, and gratitude journaling for the day.


Once all that was done, we all got ready for the day, and then we got out of the house for the afternoon.  First up, was lunch at the new-ish fusion restaurant downtown.  We’d been there once before for pizza and loved it, and we’d been wanting to go back.  They have an entire wall of serve-yourself beer and wine taps there, and as tempting as it was, B and I just stuck with water.  The pizza was as delicious as we’d remembered, and I have a feeling that restaurant will be a staple going forward.  They also have various other cuisines like Mexican and Chinese that I’d love to try, but I don’t think I could ever go there and not get the pizza.  It is just that good.

After we were done with lunch, we headed to Target to let the kids spend their gift cards they’d received for Christmas.  Those things had been burning holes in their pockets for weeks, and they were thrilled that Monday was finally the day.  We spent nearly an hour in there browsing, and Jacob ended up with two new Pokemon packs, and Olivia chose a fun room décor craft kit that came with a light-up heart, a light-up hanging cloud craft, and a light-up bendable pipe that you can use to form a word.  She also grabbed a cute little Pokemon dress.

We got home around 2:30, and I immediately got to work because I didn’t have a blog post ready for Tuesday.  I ended up working for a couple of hours, and then I changed into some workout clothes and hit the pavement for a run because it was SO beautiful outside.  The high Monday was 61 and it was sunny (a rarity lately), but we had a major cold front coming in Monday night, so I wanted to get out there in the fresh air because I knew there would be no outdoor runs or walks for the rest of the week.

I got in 2.34 miles, and then I headed back inside to sort some laundry and water the plants before it was time to cook dinner.  We had Pizza Joes (that I had made weeks prior and frozen) along with steamed green beans, and it was a quick and easy dinner.

Afterward, we got all prepped and ready for school on Tuesday and then the kids and I got showered and ready for bed.  We ended the evening with an episode of The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge with the kids, and then an episode of The Stranger for B and me.


Tuesday, January 16

Tuesday morning, we woke up to rain and temps in the mid-thirties.  I dropped the kids at school and then hung around for an 8 AM Home and School Advisory Board meeting, and then I had to stop by Fresh Market to grab some chicken.  By the time I’d left my meeting, the temp had dropped even more, and we were hovering between 32 and 33 according to the temperature gauge in my car.  It was STILL raining, and I was shocked that it hadn’t turned over to snow, or at the very least, sleet.

It was FREEZING, though, and I was happy to be home, safe and warm.  I had a quick cup of tea and a vanilla scone from Trader Joe’s (OMG, so freaking good), and then my friend stopped by to grab some clothes, followed by my hair stylist to do my hair.  I’ve been going to the same guy for over a decade (he graduated school a couple of years ahead of me), and he’s always worked at his dad’s salon, but sadly, his dad passed away from cancer late last year, and after 20+ years, their salon closed.  It was a huge loss losing him – he was such a great guy, and a big part of our school family – and we were all so sad when he got sick. 

Jamey doesn’t do hair full-time anymore, and instead, only has a few clients that he sees (including me), and since his dad’s salon closed, he’s in-between salons now.  He offered to do a house-call, and I’m so spoiled now, I’ll never want to set foot in a salon again.  Haha.  He was able to cut and highlight my hair right in my kitchen and I didn’t even have to leave the house.  After he left, I just jumped in the shower and washed it out, and then I dried and styled it myself.  It’s probably the only time it’ll ever happen this way, but it was so convenient to be able to stay at home and have it done.

After my hair appointment, I did a couple of loads of laundry and worked for the rest of the day until it was time to pick up the kids.  After school, we headed home, and they got started on homework while I wrapped up a couple of things.

We got Olivia to dance at 5, and she found out the theme for her big recital in May.  They’re going to do Mary Poppins this year!  I’m not a big Mary Poppins fan (I know, I know) so our kids haven’t even seen the movie, original or new version.  I guess we’ll be planning a viewing of it soon!

While Olivia was at dance, I got the kitchen tidied, got dinner started, and I tackled a few random other things that needed to be done.  When Brian and Olivia got home, we sat down to parmesan chicken, mashed potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, and Cheesecake Factory bread.

After dinner, we got the kitchen cleaned up, and Olivia studied for her 13 Colonies test.  While she did that and showered, I got in a mixed cardio workout and listened to my Bible Recap videos.  I started The Bible Recap book last year and didn’t realize there was a video series to go along with it, so now I’m trying to get caught up on that, so I can start watching the videos daily with my Bible reading and Bible study.  I’m currently on Day 67 in the book as I type this, and I’m only on Day 45 of the videos.  It’ll be nice to have them synced up eventually!

After my workout, we got the kids in the bed, and then B and I watched part of a UGA basketball game before heading to bed.  I also did some dress shopping for our upcoming ball and some Valentine’s Day browsing while we watched.

Wednesday, January 17

Wednesday morning, we woke up to a temperature of 15 degrees and a wind chill of 9.  Yeesh.  It was so cold that the kids’ school had sent a notification on Tuesday saying that the kids could wear sweatpants, sweatshirts, hats, boots, and whatever other cold weather gear that they wanted to wear on Wednesday instead of their uniforms. 

Thankfully, I had zero places to be Wednesday, so I was able to go straight home, get back in my warm, fuzzy PJ pants, and wrap up in my blanket at my desk with my hot tea for the whole day. 

I knocked out so much blog work, got a few loads of laundry done, finally got completely caught up on blog reading, got caught up on some emails, started planning the Daddy/Daughter dance at the kids’ school, did some Valentine’s Day shopping, updated some album artwork in iTunes, got some things organized in my phone, and I completed a few small tasks that I’d been putting off forever.  It was SUCH a productive day.

I picked the kids up from school at 3, and then we headed straight to dance to drop Olivia.  After that, Jacob and I headed home for a couple of hours.  He worked on homework while I finished up a couple of things and did my Bible study for the day, and then he and I headed back out to pick up Olivia from dance because Brian was having dinner out with a couple of friends.  The sunset on the way home was spectacular and we were all gawking at it all the way home.  I obviously wasn't able to take pictures of it since I was driving, but I stole my Momma's picture from Facebook to share it here.  I mean, just stunning.

When we got home, I made turkey and cheese sliders on Hawaiian rolls, and Olivia requested mac-n-cheese, too, so we had that along with some steamed green beans and fruit. 

After dinner, I helped Olivia study for her social studies test, and then while the kids got showered and ready for bed, I did a strength training workout and put away some of the laundry.

Once they were ready for bed, I braided Olivia’s hair into seven braids so she could wake up with wavy hair, and then the three of us piled on my bed and played a few rounds of a new game that Jacob got for Christmas.  It’s a card game called Sussed, and it’s so much fun.  Olivia declared it her favorite game ever (tied with Apples to Apples), and Jacob loves it, too.  It’s easy to play, you can play with 2-8 players, and it’s a great way to get to know each other and get conversation started.  All three of us enjoyed it so much.

By the time we finished playing, it was time to get the kids in the bed, and then once they were in bed, I curled up on the couch with Maui and read until Brian got home.  He and I chatted for a bit when he got home, and then we headed to bed.

Thursday, January 18

Thursday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then I headed home to work on blog stuff all morning.  I was able to get a few days ahead and I was able to get one almost totally done for November.  Yes, that’s right… NOVEMBER.  Haha.  I am determined to get way ahead this year.  The post is a recipe, so it was one that could be done crazy far in advance, and I’m hoping to do several more really far in advance this year, so I don’t have to focus quite as much on blogging during the holidays this year.  Last year was rough.  I was constantly trying to get out of the hole I was in, but no matter how hard I worked, the hole just kept getting deeper and deeper.  I can’t live like that, y’all.  Haha.

Late in the morning, I had an orthodontist appointment, and whew, was it the worst one yet!  Most of my appointments go well and I’m a little sore for 24 hours or so, but y’all – yeesh – this one was painful.  For the last year since I’ve been wearing these, I’ve always had a standard wire, but on Thursday, they removed the regular wire and put in “chains.” 

When the girl started to install the chain she said, “Now this is going to feel like I’m pulling out your teeth when I do this, but I promise I’m not.”  And boyyyy was she right.  I was very grateful for the warning, because without it, I would have definitely thought my teeth were going to come out.  Haha.  The appointment was quick as usual, but they did tell me to be sure to take some pain reliever because they said I was going to be very sore for a couple of days. 

After my appointment, I swung by Staples to do some Amazon returns, and then I headed home to eat lunch.  Eating lunch was painful, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but as the day went on, the pain got worse and worse.  My mouth ended up being even more sore after this than it was when I got the braces on.

The rest of the day was spent working on various other tasks, and then I picked the kids up from school and got them to music lessons. 

When we got home, I cleaned out my dresser and a little bit more of our storage closet while they got their homework done, and then I helped Olivia study for a test. 

We had breakfast for dinner, which was good, because by the time dinner rolled around, I was in so much pain I could barely talk, let alone chew.  It took me forever to eat because I had to chew so slowly and carefully.  I finally broke down and took some Ibuprofen with dinner, but it really didn’t end up helping much with the pain.

After dinner, I got in a stair stepper workout, and then we watched the finale of The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge. 

After the kids went to bed, B and I started another episode of The Stranger, and then we headed to bed.  My orthodontist put me back on my triangle rubber bands again, and those are the ones that drastically changed my face in the beginning, possibly causing my vertigo (I think?), so I’m praying I don’t have any issues with them.  I had forgotten how awful they make me feel… when I’m wearing them, it feels like my entire face and head and neck are at maximum tension.  Thankfully, I only have to wear them at night, but I’m praying that they don’t cause any more issues.  The purpose of the triangle rubber bands is to close my bite (my bite/jaw was seriously jacked-up before this whole process started), and we still have a good long way to go, so I’m sure I’ll be doing the rubber bands for a while.

Friday, January 19

Friday, I dropped the kids at school and then swung by the vet to grab Maui’s medicine before heading to Walmart to pick up ingredients for dinner Friday night.  We hosted our friends for our monthly poker night, and it was so much fun.

I spent the rest of the morning getting the chicken prepped in the slow cooker and working on blog stuff – I completed a couple of blog posts for this week, and I also completed that one for November.  It feels so good type that out!  I also got a ton of album artwork updated in iTunes.  I have so many that are blank because of the old Limewire/Napster days – LOL – and this year I made it my goal to get them all corrected because it drives me nuts when there’s a blank box for the album cover.

At noon, I met one of my old coworkers for lunch at Chicken Salad Chick.  We hadn’t been to lunch in several months, so it was good to see him.  I was on the struggle bus with my mouth hurting terribly still, but thankfully, chicken salad is nice and soft, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been while I was eating. 

After that, I headed home to wrap up a couple of things, and then it was time to pick up the kids from school.  When we got home, I did my Bible study for the day, and then I started the process of cleaning out my office for my annual cleanout, removing many books that I know I’ll never read again.  I got about halfway through my bookshelves before it was time to close up shop and head downstairs to prep for poker night.

I made a dump and bake chicken alfredo, threw together a Caesar salad, and baked some garlic cheese bread for dinner.  I had also picked up brookies (brownie/cookies) from the Walmart bakery that turned out to be delicious.  I am not a huge fan of shopping at Walmart, but their prices are lower than most places, and their bakery is amaaaazing.

My friends, Jeannine and Khristina, both arrived with their families a little after 6, and we all sat down to eat.  After dinner was done, we pulled out the playing cards and we played poker for hours while the kids played upstairs – mostly having Pokemon battles and trading cards.  They popped in occasionally to grab a brookie or a Hershey Kiss or a rice crispy treat, but other than that we barely saw them all night.

It was SUCH a fun night with our friends, and we enjoyed our time with them immensely.  I love this group so much.


The group didn’t leave until almost ten, so we got the kiddos in the bed, and then B and I watched an episode of The Stranger before heading to bed a little later than usual for a Friday.

Saturday, January 20

Saturday morning, we slept in and made homemade waffles.  I tried a new gluten free flour, and I liked the waffles (although, they were a little dry), but Olivia was peeved that they didn’t taste the same.  Haha.  She looooves my homemade waffles, so I guess I shouldn’t mess with the recipe anymore.

After breakfast, I grabbed a cup of hot tea and sat at my computer for a few minutes, and then it was time to get busy – laundry, a mixed cardio workout, and some more cleaning out.

Saturday, I got my nightstand cleaned out and deep-cleaned (I wiped down the insides of the drawers and dusted every single thing on the top + I cleaned the mirror above it really well).  I threw out lots of old prescriptions and moved a couple of things to new places. 

While I did that, Brian finished cleaning out his closet, and goodness gracious, did he get rid of so.much.stuff.  I’ll have a tally in my next cleanout update, but man, his closet is looking great!

We all had lunch together after that, and then the kids did their laundry.  They had also set up a little store that Brian and I could purchase from.  Olivia gave me a tattoo for $1 and Brian bought something from their store, too.  Haha.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning out my office some more.  I got my entire bookshelf cleaned out, and while I was cleaning, I ended up rearranging some things on my shelves.  I love how they turned out… it’s so much cleaner looking now.  Prior to this I had too many picture frames in some spots, and no breathing room for books whatsoever, so it’s nice to have the extra space and not have everything so packed!

After that was done, I sat down with another cup of hot tea and caught up on my blog reading from Friday, and then it was time to get ready for church!  While I got ready, Maui found a spot in the sunshine to rest.  <3

After church, we went to one of our favorite local pizza places near church with my parents, Mama Cass, and my aunt and uncle, and the food was delicious as always.  When we got home, B put a fire in the fireplace because it was crazy cold Saturday – we never left the 30’s which is highly unusual here – and then we started Percy Jackson & the Olympians on Disney+.

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched another episode of The Stranger, and then we called it a night.


Sunday, January 21

Sunday morning, we got up a bit earlier than usual because we had to be at my MIL and step-FIL’s for lunch earlier than usual.  We did our usual Sunday morning things – cinnamon rolls for breakfast, sermon, yoga, planning the week ahead, and I also got my Bible study done for the day.

By the time all of that was done, it was time to head to my MIL and step-FIL’s for lunch.  They’d made a big spread of yummy stuff, including some white chocolate peppermint cookies for dessert that were delicious.  We sat around and chatted for a bit after lunch, but we didn’t stay as long as usual because my brother-in-law had to get my nephew to baseball practice.

We ended up getting home earlier than usual for a Sunday lunch day, so we had several hours before we had to be at my parents’ house.  I would have loved to go to the river walk or take a walk through the woods or something – anything outside – but y’all, it was just so freaking cold last week and we’re not used to that here.  The last thing I wanted to do was be outside in that, so instead, we all hung out at home. 

Brian worked some more on organizing his closet, and he finally hung up the tie organizer that I gave him, like, 15 years ago.  Literally.  Haha.

I did a little bit of work in my office, but I mostly worked on cleaning everything out.  I got the side table, the storage unit next to my desk, and my desk all cleaned out, and I also got it all wiped down thoroughly.  While I did that, I watched Friends.

Jacob spent his time playing video games and sorting through Pokemon cards, and Olivia spent her time crafting.  My little girlfriend crafts nonstop these days.  She has gotten really into designing clothes, specifically Taylor Swift’s Eras tour outfits for her Barbie dolls and Lego Minifigs, so she has been using felt that I have in my craft drawer to do this.  I just love her creative heart!

Once all that was done, I wrapped up a few things for the day like watering all of the indoor plants, making our meal plan and grocery list for the next two weeks, and prepping everything for Monday.

We ended the evening at my parents’ house, celebrating my uncle’s birthday.  He always requests my mom’s vegetable lasagna (which is always a favorite), along with salad and bread, and a caramel spice cake for dessert.  OMG, that caramel spice cake is incredible. 

We watched the KC Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills game after dinner, and Olivia and I were excited to be able to see little glimpses of Taylor Swift.  We were also L-O-V-I-N-G that Travis Kelce put up heart hands after he scored a touchdown.  I am obsessed with them.  Haha.  Also, even though there's ample seating in my parents' house, my uncle plopped down on the couch between my Momma and me, and my dad thought it was so funny how squished in we were that he took a picture.  Also?  Please note how bundled up I am... I have not been warm in, like, a week.  Haha.

When we got home, we got the kids in bed, and then B and I finished watching the game.  I’m, of course, pulling for KC to win the whole thing, along with all of the Swifties, since our Falcons never make it to the Super Bowl.  Ha!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. Go Chiefs! I think the Ravens are a better team but who knows, Taylor may help!

    1. She just might! Haha. I told B The Chiefs will win because everything she touches turns to gold. Haha.

  2. I'm SO over this unusually cold weather. I know it's winter, but I've always joked that I didn't move to Florida to be cold - ha! Yay for a Mary Poppins theme and that pizza looks amazing <3

    1. I know, right?! It's been ridiculous here in Georgia!! I'm so glad it's finally warmed up a bit these last couple of days!

  3. It sounds like you got so far ahead with blog stuff. I need to do that too! How fun to have your hair done at home. When I was in England, I had someone who came to my house. So ideal!

    1. It really is ideal!! I wish it could be like that forever, but it won't be!

  4. Even with us being used to this cold weather, I never once left the house last week! Gosh I love having teens that drive. :) Olivia is quite the designer.

    1. That is SO nice! Definitely a benefit of having older kids!!


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