Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Our Week - The One with Poker Night and TONS of Productivity

Last week was slow, productive, and fun, and I’m honestly a bit sad that January is over.  After a crap 2023, January 2024 was a breath of fresh air! 

Monday, January 29

Monday morning, Brian went downstairs to let Maui out and get the kids started on breakfast as he always does, and he texted me this picture of Maui in her bed.  When he went in to wake her up, she tried to get up and her whole body sank down in her sweater, so she was laying there helplessly like this.  Brian sent me this picture and I couldn’t stop laughing.  Aaaand now I’m not going to let her wear that sweater anymore unless we’re there to watch over her because I don’t want to her to get stuck like that when we’re not home!  And yes, she still sleeps in her crate.  She loves it so much and wouldn't have it any other way.  We leave the door to the crate open for her and she sleeps in it in the guest bathroom.  We leave the door to the bathroom open, too, and we put a gate up at the door so she can't wander around the house at night.  I don't think she'd wander around anyway, though... she LOVES her snuggly crate.  (And the crate is way bigger than it looks in this picture, too, so don't come at me.  Lol.)

After that, it was school time for the kids, and then I headed home to tackle lots of laundry and lots of blog work. 

Monday is the one day of the week that we don’t have extracurricular activities, so we went straight home after school, and the kids got started on homework.  It was sunny and nearly 60 degrees on Monday, so after homework, the kids played outside forever, and I went for a run.  It was WINDY Monday, though, so I struggled all the way through my run, and I had a very slow pace compared to what I’ve been doing on my recent runs. 

When I got back home, the kids had pulled out one of our old kites and they were flying it in the back yard.  That’s how windy it was!  Haha.  The wind was so strong that their kite flew over in the neighbor’s back yard, so we knocked on their door to let them know we were going back to grab it, and I ended up chatting with them for a few minutes. 

Shortly after that, the kids came inside, and Olivia tried on her two dress options for the Daddy Daughter dance that had delivered.  While she loved both, there was no question whatsoever that she was going to wear the black one.  She LOVES how sparkly it is and, most of all, she loves that it looks like a “Reputation” dress.  Apparently, she is in her Reputation Era right now.  ;o)  The theme of the dance is “Denim and Diamonds” so it fits perfectly with the diamond part of the theme.  She looks like a human disco ball… like mother like daughter.  ;o)

After we tried on dresses, I got showered and in my PJs, and then I headed downstairs to get dinner on the table.  I’d poached chicken in the slow cooker all day, so we had chicken tacos for dinner with all the toppings. 

After dinner, we got the kitchen cleaned up, and then I watered the plants, cleaned out a few files in my file cabinet, and read for a bit while the kids started getting ready for bed.  When Olivia was done getting ready for bed, she turned the lights low in her room, she turned on her Alexa lullabies, and she set up a “meditation” area on her floor in her room.  She asked me to come meditate with her, so I went in there and sat across from her and we meditated together for a few minutes and then ended up talking for a long time while Jacob showered and got ready for bed.  I have no clue why she wanted to meditate randomly, but y’all know I love that!  Haha.

After everyone was ready for bed, we watched another episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and then after the kids went to bed, B and I started the new episode of The Bachelor.

Tuesday, January 30

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids off at school and then I headed back home to work.  Mid-morning, Justin Timberlake tickets went on sale, so I was ready to go by 9:50 AM.  As some of you know, getting concert tickets these days is an awful – and nearly impossible – experience, so I was prepared for failure.  Haha.

Brian tried on his end, and I tried on my end, and I ended up having a better spot in the queue than Brian did at 10 AM when they went on sale, so I was able to go in before him. I somehow miraculously snagged two floor seats before he was ever even in to select tickets.  I couldn’t believe my luck.

We both ended up staying in there looking for a full hour because even though it looked sold out by the time B got in, random seats would open up here and there every few minutes.  Brian ended up getting another pair of floor seats that were even better than mine, so now we’ll just sell the others.

Once I was done with that, I headed to my appointment with my therapist, and then on the way home, I swung by Staples to return all of the Amazon dresses that I had purchased for the ball that didn’t work.  I had to wait forever at Staples because someone in front of me was having a bunch of copies made… that’s the second time that’s happened.  I don’t know why Amazon has started using Staples more often than the actual UPS Store, but it’s annoying.  Staples opens later than UPS so I can’t ever go there after I drop the kids off at school like I can the UPS Store, and Staples' primary focus is copies and printouts and stuff, so the UPS returns people always have to wait.  I’m hoping this partnership is a short one like Amazon’s partnership with Kohl’s was because it’s just not convenient.  I have a feeling it’s Amazon’s way of trying to deter people from doing so many returns.

Anyway, after I was done there, I headed back home to eat a quick lunch, and then I got my Bible study done for the day before heading to the school to pick up the kids.  They had Catholic Schools Week last week, so they got to do fun activities every day, and both of them were raving about how much fun they’d had.

We headed straight home after school so the kids could knock out homework, and then Jacob and I dropped Olivia off at dance at 5.  We headed straight back home after that, and I got in a stair stepper workout.  My neck and shoulder blade had been hurting for a couple of days at that point from a pulled muscle, and my braces rubber bands are causing TONS of face, neck, and head tension again, so I felt like a trainwreck Tuesday night. 

My workout was a struggle, but I got it done, and then I pruned all of the plants before Jacob and I had to head back out to pick up Olivia.  Brian had a makeup tennis match Tuesday evening, so he couldn’t pick her up like he usually does, which means that I couldn’t cook. 

We got home around 7:30 after nearly being chased off the road by some crazy dude in a massive pickup truck.  Seriously, the pickup truck thing – probably one of the weirdest things that has happened to me on the road.  This guy came FLYING up on my bumper, so fast and close that I thought he was going to plow his truck right through my SUV.  Then he proceeded to swerve back and forth nonstop (right on my bumper) all the way down the road until I reached my turn. 

I turned, hoping he’d continue to go straight, but instead he turned right behind us, flooring the gas and nearly plowing through us again.  Right as I turned my blinker on to turn in my neighborhood, he started flashing his bright lights like a maniac, and then he laid on the horn as he went flying around us after I turned.  I have no clue what his problem was, but he was straight crazy. 

It definitely wasn’t anything I did on the road to make him mad.  I didn’t pull out in front of him or anything.  I used my blinkers when I turned.  I was going as fast as I could go considering the traffic was bumper to bumper all the way down the road.  And I double checked and triple checked to make sure my lights were on and that he wasn’t trying to get my attention to tell me to turn them on.  Apparently, he was just having a really bad day.  Either that, or he’s just a tool.  Haha.

Anywayyyy, once we were home safely (I was worried for a minute he might follow us all the way home), I popped a frozen pizza in the oven, and Olivia jumped in the shower while the pizza was baking.  Brian got home from tennis just in time to sit down and eat with us, and by the time dinner was done, it was so late that it was nearly time to get the kids in the bed. 

My upper body was still aching so I curled up on the couch after that and fell asleep while we finished watching The Bachelor from the night before.  Brian and I headed upstairs early, and then I finished my book before turning lights out and getting to sleep early.

Wednesday, January 31

Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling a little better.  My pulled muscle wasn’t hurting nearly as badly, so that was good.  The face and head and neck tension were still very much present, though, as the rubber bands are an every night thing now.  When I met with my therapist Tuesday, she could tell that I had started the rubber bands again because she said that my face has already changed a bit in the last couple of weeks.  I have actually noticed, too.  It’s just crazy how drastically these rubber bands change my face.

I got the kids to school Wednesday, and then it was home to work on the blog all day and get a few things done around the house.  I know a lot of people hate January (I used to be one of those people, too), but I sure do love it now.  I love the slowness after such a busy fall and Christmas season.  I love having ample time to get caught up on everything.  I love having time to clean out the whole house and tackle projects that I’ve been putting off for months due to lack of time.  I love having time to read.  I love the coziness of it getting dark early.  I honestly just love it.  I feel like I have more time in my day in January and it’s glorious.  I’m sad that it’s over. 

I also love having my cozy little buddy in my office with me all day… even if she did steal my heated blanket.  Also, she looks like an acrobat or a diver in this picture with her legs pulled up to her face like that.  Haha.

Wednesday afternoon, about 30 minutes before I was due to leave to get in the car line, Olivia called saying that her tummy hurt.  Sigh.  She’d had some minor issues Monday and Tuesday as well, but Wednesday, when she told her teacher, her teacher had sent her to the office because the stomach virus is going around their classroom. 

I headed off to pick up Olivia, and by the time I got there, she was feeling just fine, but I went ahead and loaded her up anyway.  While I was there, I picked up all of the Daddy / Daughter dance supplies that had arrived, too. 

She and I ended up just getting in the car line a couple of minutes early, and we spent some time perusing Valentines for her to send out to the class on Valentine’s Day.  She, of course, wants Taylor Swift ones.  ;o)  After ordering those, Olivia finished the book she had started, and I started a new book that I’m really excited about. 

Since Olivia’s stomach had been iffy, we contacted her dance school to let them know that she wasn’t going to be there, and instead, we headed home.  The kids worked on homework and then played outside for a long time, and Olivia ended up being fine for the rest of the evening.

While they did that, I sat down with some hot tea and did my Bible study for the day, and I was delighted to see that the day’s reading was my favorite church hymn of all-time.  The words are just so beautiful, and between seeing that and reading my Bible Recap for the day, I got a bit emotional.  It was just one of those extra special days where God’s Word really resonated with me. 

After that was done, I went downstairs and I turned on my praise and worship playlist, and I cooked dinner – sheet pan sausage with loads of veggies and gluten free cinnamon muffins. 

When Brian got home from work, we all sat down and had dinner together, and then the kids played in the house for a bit before getting ready for bed.  Jacob has gotten way into origami again because of a recent project that they started at school, so he retreated to the kitchen table to work on that while Olivia drew yet another picture of Taylor Swift.  Haha.

While the kids showered and got ready for bed, I did a quick mixed cardio workout, and then I worked on updating my health and medical spreadsheet.  I’ve kept one for the kids since they were born (logging all illnesses, surgeries, well visits, vaccines, etc.) but I’ve never kept one for myself, so I started making one for myself a couple of months ago, and I’m trying to fill in as much as I can based on the paperwork that I have in my files.  I wish I’d started doing this earlier in life since there have been questions that have arisen about past illnesses in current months (hello, vertigo!), so I’m starting now.  That way, going forward, I’ll eventually build up a medical history in spreadsheet form. 

After the kids were ready for bed, we all headed downstairs to watch another episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and while they all watched, I read my new book.  I’m not interested in that show in the least, but my book is fantastic, so I didn’t want to put it down!

After that, the kids went off to bed, and Brian and I watched another episode of Safe before calling it a night.

Thursday, February 1

Thursday morning, Brian was up at 5:30 AM to log in to our Disney account to try to book all of our meals.  I had to get the kids to school, so I got ready as usual, but I popped in and out of there as much as I could to try to help.  Between Brian and our Disney travel agent, we were able to get every single restaurant booked that we wanted, and I’m soooo excited because I’ll be having my birthday dinner (on my actual birthday) in Magic Kingdom at Be Our Guest this year!  EEK!

The only issue we had booking was trying to get a reservation at Sci-Fi-Dine In Theatre in Hollywood Studios.  If you haven’t been, that place is SO COOL.  It’s set up to look like you’re sitting at a drive-in theatre at night in front of a big movie screen that shows old movies.  All of the tables are in old cars.  We were able to eat there on our first trip and it was the kids’ favorite place ever.  When we went back in 2022, we couldn’t for the life of us get a reservation there, and when Brian logged in Thursday, all of the reservations were completely booked for four people.  Argh.

Brian thought outside the box, though, and he looked at reservations for just two people, and he saw that there were plenty of times available for two people, so he just went ahead and booked one reservation for he and Jacob and one reservation for Olivia and me.  The reservation times are the same, and while we probably won’t be in the same “car,” we’re hoping they can somehow accommodate us and seat us next to each other or something.  It is Disney after all, so we’re hoping they’ll be able to work their magic when we get there.  ;o)

Anyway, I got the kids to school bright and early and then headed straight home for yet another day of blog productivity as well as a couple of other projects I’ve been working on – updating my album artwork in iTunes and updating my medical spreadsheet.  Both are so time consuming, but it’ll be worth it to have both done.

At 3, I grabbed the kids from school, and then we headed to music.  When we arrived, the kids were thrilled to see that Jack (the guy who used to answer the phones) was back temporarily to cover for someone.  They both always loved chatting with him every time that we went, and he recently started college, so he quit working at the music school, but he’s still covering the front desk on occasion. 

During their lessons, Jacob worked on refining Fur Elise, and Olivia worked on finding a song to potentially sing in the recital.  She’s leaning hard towards Champagne Problems by Taylor Swift and I’m dying thinking about a nine-year-old singing about champagne problems.  Hahahaha.  Appropriate?  Probably not.  But we love music in our house, and I’m going to let her sing whatever it is that speaks to her.  She will, of course, sing a clean version.  ;o)

After lessons were over, they chatted with Jack some more, and I had to tear them away to get them to go home.  Haha.

When we got home, I got the kitchen cleaned up while the kids did homework, and then they played outside for a long time.  They’ve been riding scooters a lot, and Jacob will toss the basketball around sometimes, too. 

When Brian got home from work, we made breakfast for dinner, and then I got in a stair stepper workout, chatted with a friend, and then and chatted with my mom on the phone for a bit.  While the kids finished up getting ready for bed, I finished up a couple of things in my office, and then we all headed downstairs to watch the season one finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  The kids LOVED it.

After they went to bed, Brian and I watched an episode of Safe and then we headed to bed.

Friday, February 2

Friday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then headed home to work all day yet again.  It was so nice not having too many appointments or meetings last week.  I rarely have a schedule as clear as I did last week, and I sure did get a lot accomplished!  My little cozy buddy loves those kinds of days, too, because she doesn’t have to be left alone.  ;o)

After school, I let the kids have some screentime, and I settled in for my Bible study and devotional time.  This new devotional that I’m using for 2024 is seriously the best I’ve ever read.

At 5, we all loaded up to head to our friends’ house – Khristina and Ian – for poker night!  They had made tacos for dinner along with aaaallll the fixins and it was so delicious.  After we ate, the kids ran around outside all evening and all of us adults played poker in their sunroom per usual. 

We had joked in the weeks leading up to it that we needed to bust out all of the Groundhog Day décor and recipes since poker night fell on Groundhog Day, and my friend Jeannine, ended up coming to their house with all of the supplies to make little groundhog desserts.  Haha.  Are they not the cutest?! 

We ended up wrapping things up around 9 and heading home, and then after the kids were in the bed, B and I watched two episodes of Safe before going to bed.

Saturday, February 3

Saturday morning, I made homemade waffles for breakfast, and then we had a nice, slow Saturday morning.  I caught up on some blog reading while I drank my hot tea, and then I did all of my Saturday chores along with a mixed cardio workout.  I also did my Bible study and my devotional time, and they both had a similar message.  I love it when that happens!

I also got all of the old wall décor cleaned out of the storage closet.  I’d been hanging on to many things thinking we’d eventually use them again, but it was time to let some of them go!

The kids watched some cartoons, played outside for a long time, did their laundry, and did their Saturday chores, and then we all had lunch outside because the weather was just perfect Saturday – 66 degrees and sunny as can be! 

After lunch, Brian took Jacob to get a haircut, and while they were gone, Olivia and I played a few rounds of Sussed?, and then when the boys were done, they swung back by the house to grab Olivia to go to a new-ish card-trading place about one minute from our house to check out their Pokemon selection.  One of our neighbors owns the place, and the kids had been begging to go for a while.

While they did that, I worked some more on cleaning out my file cabinet and updating my medical and health spreadsheet, and then I got ready for church.

We went to 5:30 Mass per usual, and then we headed to Mexican with our usual crowd – my parents, Mama Cass, and my aunt and uncle.  The server brought out our cheese dip, and I picked up the bowl to pour some in a separate little bowl for Olivia as I always do, and the outside of the bowl was particularly slippery this time, and literally half of the bowl dumped in my lap.  Lol.  She had just brought it out, so it was HOT, and I had bare legs.  Haha.  Thankfully, my dress caught most of it, but it was just a mess.  I rarely have accidents like that, so I was a little shocked.  Haha.  Thankfully, our server saw the whole thing happened and she was out there with a million napkins and a clean, wet rag within seconds.  I was able to get a lot of cleaned up, but this is what the aftermath looked like when I got home.  Lol.  I threw it in the wash, and it came out completely, so no harm, no foul.  Just a good laugh for everyone at the table.  And some (literally) hot legs for a few minutes.  Hahahaha.

After dinner, Brian and the kids wanted DQ so we swung through the drive-through there on the way home, and then we started a new show with the kids – Baking Impossible.  I love Nailed It and Is It Cake? but I wasn’t too impressed with Baking Impossible.  The kids loved it, though.

After they went to bed, B and I watched the last two episodes of Safe, and then we headed to bed.  That show was SO GOOD, y’all. 


Sunday, February 4

Sunday morning was our standard stuff – cinnamon rolls for breakfast, planning the week ahead, Sunday sermon, and yoga for me, and lots of cartoons for the kids because the weather was awwwwful on Sunday.  It rained nonstop all.day.long and it was freezing and windy.  There was zero outdoor time to be had, so it made me even more grateful for the beautiful day we’d had on Saturday.

Sunday afternoon, we went to my MIL and step-FIL’s for Sunday lunch, and they had made a bunch of our faves – meatballs, mac-n-cheese, broccoli, carrots, black eyed peas, and garlic cheese biscuits.  We all sat around the table chatting for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go.

On the way home, we swung by my friend, Jeannine’s, house to grab something they they’d gotten for us, and then we headed home to cozy up for the afternoon.  All four of us retreated to different rooms – B in the playroom to watch a show that only he watches, me to my office to work on blog stuff, Jacob to the kitchen to play Tear-Down on Brian’s laptop, and Olivia to her room to play games on her computer.  It was dark and dreary and rainy and cold outside, but it was nice and cozy inside.  I love a good, cozy, lazy Sunday.

Sunday evening, we headed to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner and more comfort food – baked ziti, salad, and garlic cheesy bread – and we spent the evening watching the red carpet show for the Grammy Awards.  When we got home, B and I got the kids in the bed, and then we stayed up way too late watching the Grammys in its entirety because it was just so good.  I hadn’t intended to watch the whole thing from start to finish, and I certainly didn’t plan on staying up until 11:30 doing it, but y’all, I haven’t enjoyed an awards show that much in years.

My favorite highlights – Taylor announcing her new album (EEK!) after winning her 13th Grammy, Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs singing Fast Car together, Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now (all the tears), and, of course, Queen Taylor breaking the record for winning Album of the Year more than any artist in history.

It was a great night for music and a great end to our week!

Happy Tuesday, y’all! 


  1. I didn't plan to watch all of the Grammys either but was watching for Billy Joel and ended up watching most of it! I was texting Gabbie during it and of course she was thrilled about the new album announcement! The Groundhog snacks are so cute!

    1. I thought of you when I saw that he was going to be on there. His new song is beautiful but so very sad. And yes, I bet she was!! Swifties REJOICE!!

  2. That is so weird about Amazon returns at Staples. We still have UPS, Kohls, and Whole Foods options all available here in the Houston area. I prefer UPS, and I have one location I like best!

    1. Oh wow, I had no idea they used Kohl's at all anymore. They must set up these returns things regionally or something. But yes, Staples is the WORST. And most of my returns have to go there now. Thankfully, I don't ever have a lot to return. Only when I buy 10 dresses to try for a ball. ;o)

  3. Your tiny little pup is SO darn cute! I always do my Amazon returns at the UPS store, because it is just so quick to get in and out of there and I'm not tempted to shop! Ohh, Daddy Daughter dance, how fun and love those dress options. The h.s. my kiddos are at is having a Backwards dance, where the girl asks the boy... ANNND... Autumn asked a boy, so that has been exciting (and NEW!) and I ordered his boutonniere yesterday. THey're' going just as friends, tho, or so she claims. Ha!


    1. I wish I had that option, but Amazon is now charging us to do ours at The UPS Store for most items. Is that not just crazy?! Awwww, I love that so much! I can't wait to see pictures from their dance! I hope they had a blast!

  4. I actually miss boxing up and mailing my amazon returns myself since my husband has UPS pick up at work and all I had to do was tape the box shut and hand it to him. We don't have any of their return stores within 30 minutes of us... not that that stops me from making returns! BUT I do find I am ordering less over all because of that.

    Funny enough I think I am the only one watching the Percy Jackson series-- Alec started it with a few of his friends but hasn't watched it since. I read ALL the Percy Jackson books with the boys quite a few times through along with pretty much all of Rick Riordan's books and I loved that he was involved in the making of the show since the other movies they made from this series were awful.

    1. Oh man, 30 minutes?! That is crazy! I bet you do miss boxing them yourself then! I actually miss that, too! It was so much easier just using the bag that the stuff came in to return the items and just stick it in my mailbox!

      I tried to get Jacob to read the books, but he's not interested. Maybe he will be now that he's watching the show?


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