Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Our Week - The One with Teacher Appreciation Week, Northern Lights, and Mother’s Day

Whew.  Last week was busy, y’all, and this week is going to be even busier.  I’m already tired thinking about it.  Just 8.5 more days to go and we are OUT for summer!  But who’s counting?! 

It’s me.  I am. 

Here’s how we spent last week…

Monday, May 6

Monday kicked off Teacher Appreciation Week, and our Home and School Advisory Board that I’m part of is responsible for organizing the week-long event.  One of my fellow Home and School Advisory Board members is fabulous, and she always plans out the whole week, and I volunteer to help her every year. 

The theme for this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week was “Teachers and Staff, We are There For You,” and we did a Friends (TV show) theme.  SO cute, right?

Monday morning was “Coffee and Friends Make the Perfect Blend,” and we had a traveling coffee truck in the school parking lot from 7 AM – 9 AM so the teachers could grab free coffees, teas, soft drinks, etc.  Since many teachers couldn’t get out to the truck, myself, along with a few other ladies walked the hallways taking orders and bringing the coffees back to their classrooms.  They were all so appreciative, and it was a huge hit.

We wrapped up at school a little after 9 AM, and then I headed straight to Walmart and Publix to get groceries.  I dropped those at home, put them away, got dinner in the slow cooker, had about 45 minutes to tackle some blog work, ate an early lunch, and then I had to be at the orthodontist for my eight-week checkup.

They changed out my wires and added some more chains, and they changed my rubber bands to close my bite horizontally.  So far, the focus has been closing the bite vertically, and I’ve worn rubber bands two different ways for that, but this new technique is going to bring my front teeth closer to my bottom teeth horizontally.  It’s going to be a totally different way of doing things, and it’s expected to change my jaw some more, so I’m hoping that I don’t start looking different yet again.  Haha.

After my appointment, I had just a few more minutes at home to do some more blog work, and then it was time to pick up the kids from school.

Neither of them had homework, so they headed outside to play while I finished up working for the day and doing my Bible study.  After that, we all had dinner together – ranch chicken pasta and steamed green beans – and then we all headed outside.

I did some pressure washing for a bit while B got the kids’ bike tires inflated, and then he took over for the pressure washing while I watched the kids ride around on our street.  They hadn’t ridden bikes in AGES, and both of their bikes are too small, but they picked it right back up.  I guess people use the phrase, “it’s like riding a bike” for a reason.  Because you truly never forget no matter how much time passes since the last time you rode.

Brian finished pressure washing the curb, which was the last of the driveway, porch, curb, and sidewalk, and I thought we were totally done, but then he reminded me that we still needed to do the inside of the garage.  Sigh.

The kids went inside to shower after their bike-riding, and I took off for a quick walk/jog.  Right now, we’re experiencing a massive influx of cicadas that only come out once every 13 years, and they’re everywhere.  It’s so gross.  When I was running, I got dive-bombed by two of them (they seriously just flew right into me), and then two of them that looked dead in the street (there are hundreds of them) flew up in my face when I ran by.  Soooo traumatizing.  Haha.  I’m so ready for them to go, y’all, but I think they’re supposed to stick around until mid-June.

Here in Georgia, we always have cicadas, but they’re pleasant sounding and they don’t fly all around like maniacs, but this breed that only comes out every 13 years is awful.  They’re loud and constant (they sound like car/house alarms going off) and they are flying around everywhere all crazily.  I keep hitting them with my car while driving around town and my windshield has been filthy.  And they are so gross looking with their red beady eyes.  Blech.

When I got home, I showered, and then we got the kids in the bed.  B and I watched the rest of American Idol, and then we headed to bed early.

Tuesday, May 7

Tuesday morning, I dropped the kids at school and then I headed straight to the conference room to load up all of the baked goods and sweet treats that our wonderful parents had dropped off Monday.  Two other girls and I carted all of the treats over to the high school teacher’s lounge and we spent the next hour unwrapping and arranging everything for their baked goods bar.  How cute did it turn out?!

Once that was done, I went straight to put gas in the car because I was literally at the point where my gas light was about to come on.  I neverrrr let my gas gauge get that low – usually once I dip below 100 miles, I head straight to a gas station, but I’ve just been too busy!

After that, I went home for the rest of the day to work.  I put a good dent in blog work, which was nice, but I’m still nowhere near where I need to be considering the school year is almost over. 

At 3, I grabbed the kids from school, and then we headed home.  Neither kid had homework, so they both had snacks and hung around and decompressed after the school day while I did my Bible study. 

We headed back out to get Olivia to dance, and then Jacob and I went straight back home.  I had to finish up a couple of things and then I did a stair stepper workout, but it was half-hearted that day because after only one night of wearing my new rubber bands the new way, my entire body hurt from the top of my head to the middle of my back… and my neck tension was back in full force.  Dang these stupid rubber bands!!!!

Once my workout was done, I headed downstairs to make Pizza Joes for dinner, and I indulged in a rare weeknight glass of wine.  I had already taken my vertigo medicine, I’d taken my magnesium (which can help relax muscles), and I’d taken Ibuprofen, and none of them had put a dent in the excruciating tension I was having, so I thought I’d try wine. 

That did help a little, but overall, I still felt pretty awful.  So, after we were done with dinner, I put my PJs on and I read for a bit while I waited for the kids to finish getting ready for bed. 

B and I got them in the bed, and then he was kind enough to rub my shoulders and massage my scalp (why oh why do the rubber bands make my scalp hurt so bad?!), and then we went to bed early. 

Wednesday, May 8

I woke up feeling pretty terrible Wednesday morning again, but I didn’t have the luxury of taking it easy because there was just too much to do.  My to-do list was a mile long on Wednesday, and really, there should have been more on there, but I knew I couldn’t possibly tackle more than what was already on there.

I dropped the kids at school and then headed straight to the school conference room for another day of Teacher Appreciation work.  On Wednesday, our TAW chair had passed out the cutest door hangers with drink and snack options to all of our faculty and staff, and we had them select the items that they wanted and put the hangers on their doors. 

Shelley and Brittany and I went around and collected all of the door hangers first, and then we spent the next few hours making up bags of all of the teachers’ requests and delivering them to their classrooms.  We also had a ton of help from our school resource officer because he’s awesome and he’s always happy to step in and help with things as long as he can still patrol the halls and campus.

I got to deliver snacks to Jacob’s hallway and Olivia’s hallway, and Olivia was thrilled to see me.  She got up and ran over to give me the biggest hug and kiss and about melted my heart.  I love to be able to see my babies when I’m on campus.  It’s always such a treat!  I didn’t see Jacob anywhere because they were changing classes when I was in his hallway, and it was pure chaos.  Haha. 

Brittany had picked up coffees for Shelley and me to get us through the morning, and the caffeine was so very welcome… I think it actually helped with my tension quite a bit.  I rarely have caffeine but now I’m wondering if I need to start having a cup of coffee every morning until my head/neck/mouth/jaw adjusts to the new rubber bands.

We wrapped up there around 10:30 AM, I grabbed all of the stuff for the 7th/8th grade dance that had delivered to the school, and then I headed to the nearest Chick-Fil-A to pick up gift cards for all of the kids’ school and music teachers.  They had had so many people come get gift cards for Teacher Appreciation Week that they were completely out of them aside from Christmas cards (craziness!), so I had to go to another Chick-Fil-A location.  Thankfully, they were fully stocked, so I was able to get what I needed and then headed home.

By the time I got home, it was time for me to eat lunch, and then I worked for the rest of the day until it was time to pick up the kids… which wasn’t much time at all.

After school, we swung through the car wash to wash off all of the nasty cicada splats, we headed straight to dance where I attempted to pick up Olivia’s show tights (which still hadn’t delivered), and then Jacob and I headed to the golf course to meet Brian.  But first, a cute picture at the dance studio!

I left the two of them there and then headed home to get some more work done, do my Bible study, organize teacher gifts, and start making dinner.

We had breakfast for dinner when B and the kids got home, and then I got in a strength workout.  After my workout, I finished up putting together the teacher gifts we needed for Thursday, and then we got the kids in the bed. 


B watched some of the UGA womens’ softball game, and then we headed to bed early.

Thursday, May 9

Thursday, when I got out of bed, I had a vertigo spell.  It only lasted about two seconds, thank goodness, but I’m absolutely convinced that it’s the braces rubber bands now since it happened just a few short days after I started these new rubber bands and started having all of that facial/neck tension again.

I dropped the kids at school and then headed home for about an hour and a half before I had to be back at the school.  For Teacher Appreciation Week on Thursday, we did a taco/nacho bar for all of the faculty and staff, so I had to be there at 10 AM to help set up.

We had the food catered from a local Mexican restaurant owned by a family who has kids at our school, and they had done a fabulous job getting everything organized for us.  Shelley picked everything up and we met her there to get it all set up at 10 AM.  We had taco shell bowls, hard shells, soft shell tortillas, chips for nachos, cheese quesadillas, ground beef, fajita chicken, rice, beans, guac, pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, three different kinds of salsa, limes, you name it.  The only thing missing was the margaritas.  ;o)

We also had a massive cooler filled with drinks, and various types of mints and gum for the teachers to have after their meals. 

Once everything was set up, we spent the rest of the day replenishing things as needed.  All of the teachers were so appreciative, and we were happy to be there for them.  They do so much for our kiddos! 

It stormed crazily all day, and we were under a tornado watch for the majority of the day, so I was happy to be in one place and not out and about in it.  We wrapped up cleanup for the luncheon around 1:30 and I had just enough time to get my Amazon return over to Staples before I had to be in the car line, and since there was a break in the rain, I decided to go for it. 

Right as I got on the highway, it started POURING again, and it poured the entire time I was on the way there, on the way back to the school, and as I was sitting in the car line.  It was still pouring when the kids came out, and it poured all the way to music lessons.  I hate driving in the rain, so it was rough and it didn’t help at all with my tension.

The kids both did their lessons, and then we headed home.  I did my Bible study and then headed downstairs to heat up leftover Ranch Chicken Pasta from Monday for dinner.  I steamed some broccoli and warmed some garlic cheese bread to go with it, and we all sat down together to eat dinner when Brian got home from work.

After dinner, the sun had come out, so the kids got out and rode their bikes up and down our street while B and I walked Maui.

I got in a run after that, and then I headed home to shower and get in my PJs. 

We hung out with the kids for a bit afterward, and then we got them in the bed.  Once they were in bed, B watched some UGA baseball, and then we went to bed.

Friday, May 10

Thursday night into Friday morning, we had storms all throughout the night, so I didn’t get much sleep with all of the noise.  It was still storming when I woke at 6 AM to get ready, and it poured all the way to school and back home.

I had the longest to-do list on Friday to make up for being gone so much earlier in the week, so as soon as I got home, I dove right in.  I stopped mid-morning to run a bunch of errands and go to an appointment, and then I headed back home to eat a quick lunch with B and then work some more before heading to pick up the kids from school.

For Teacher Appreciation on Friday, we gave gifts to all of the faculty and staff – the cutest socks with the school logo on them! – so we didn’t have to be there as we’d set everything out in the teacher’s lounge Thursday afternoon.

Friday was the first evening that we had no place to be in weeks, so when we got home, I did my Bible study, I wrapped up aaaallll the things on the to-do list, and I put on my pajamas at, like, 5:30.  Haha. 

Brian picked up Five Guys takeout for dinner, and then after the kids were showered and ready for bed, we had a family movie night.  We hadn’t done one of those in ages.  I honestly can’t even remember the last time we watched a movie.  It’s been months.

Our movie of choice for Friday was Wish, as we hadn’t seen it, and I thought it was just okay.  It was definitely worth watching, but it wasn’t Disney’s best work.  I guess that explains why all of the Wish stuff was on clearance at the Disney Store in Disney Springs.  Hahahaha.

After that, the kids headed to bed, and B and I started a TV miniseries on Netflix called Unbelievable.  It’s pretty disturbing so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get through the whole thing, but I’m willing to give it a couple more episodes before I throw in the towel. 

Towards the end of our TV watching, I got a text message from my dad at, like, 10:30, which was alarming since he never texts me that late, and it was him telling us to go outside because The Northern Lights were visible in our area!! 

Brian and I walked out front first since we were told to look Northeast, but our front yard faces the majority of the neighborhood along with the streetlights, so we couldn’t see anything.  We headed back inside to watch more TV.  I realized then that our family group chat had been going for a while on Messenger, so I caught up on that, and then realized that the lights were hard to see with the naked eye, but that you could see them through your phone camera, so B and I went back outside, this time in our back yard since it’s darker back there.

Sure enough, I opened my phone camera, and there they were!!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I snapped a few pictures and was in complete awe that we were able to see them all the way here in Georgia.  Seeing the Northern Lights has been on my bucket list for my whole life, so that was a massive check and I didn’t even have to travel to see them!  I would definitely love to go somewhere up north and see them better with the naked eye, though.  And I would also love to be able to see some green… we didn’t see any of the green here.  Only pink.

Once we viewed them through our cameras, we shut the phones off and let our eyes adjust to the darkness, and then we could see the lights with the naked eye.  They were very faint, but they were definitely visible.  It was so wild!

This is what the part of the sky with the Northern Lights looked like...

And this is what the part of the sky without the lights looked like...

So wild how pronounced the lights were! 

Once we were done with that, we headed inside to bed because it was already after 11.  I think most people said they were visible in our area starting around 10-ish, and I’m not sure what time they ended, but we were out there around 10:45-11:00 PM.

Saturday, May 11

Saturday morning, Brian got up and brought home donuts for Mother’s Day weekend, so I didn’t have to make waffles.  We were all up a little earlier than usual, so we ate breakfast a little earlier than usual, which meant that we had a little bit of extra time in our morning. 

Brian headed outside immediately after breakfast to mow, to trim the big tree right by our garage since it had been brushing up against my car every time I go in and out, and to pressure wash the garage.  He got all of that done before lunch!

Meanwhile, I enjoyed my tea in my office for a few minutes, and then I got in an hour-long mixed cardio workout.  I then started some laundry, tidied the house, did a few house chores like cleaning toilets and sinks, and I made the bed and did a few other daily chores.  I also made dessert for Sunday dinner… a chocolate éclair cake, which is one of my favorite desserts of all-time!

The kids watched cartoons for a bit, and then they did their laundry, cleaned their bathroom, and tidied their rooms… well, Olivia tidied her room… Jacob’s is always tidy.  Haha.

After a light lunch at home, I decided to lay out in the sun for a bit.  It was gorgeous Saturday with pure sunshine and a high in the upper-70’s so it wasn’t hot at all.  I ended up finishing my book that I’d started earlier in the week, and it was nice to relax for a bit.

After about an hour outside, the kids and I all headed inside, and they got showered and did some screen time while I worked in my office, did my Bible study, and did a couple more loads of laundry – towels and blankets. 

By the time all of that was done, it was time to get ready for church.  During church I had a couple of bad dizzy spells and I felt like I was rocking on a boat again the whole time.  The dizzy spells weren’t quite vertigo, but they were close.  Since I just started the new rubber bands that are causing all of the new face and neck tension I’m convinced that the rubber bands causing the face and neck tension are the cause of the vertigo.  I still have at least nine months to go before I can get them off, so I’m just praying that I can get through it all with no major vertigo again.  I’m SO over all of it, but what else can I do but power through?

After church, a kind lady walked up to Olivia and gave her a pretty pink carnation to give to me for Mother’s Day (so thoughtful!), and then we headed to the local pizza place near church with our usual crew of 10.  Then, of course, B and the kids wanted Dairy Queen Blizzards.

When we got home, we played a few rounds of What Do You Meme? (Olivia had just bought it with her money) with the kids to pass the time until we could try to see the Northern Lights again, but when we went out just a little before 10 we didn’t see anything.  My brother then texted us and told us that the index was too low in our area Saturday night and that we wouldn’t be able to see them anyway.  The kids were pretty bummed since they weren’t able to see them Friday  night… I guess we should have gotten them out of bed for it!


We got the kids in the bed after that, and then B and I watched some more of Unbelievable before heading to bed.


Sunday, May 12

Sunday morning, I slept in and then woke up to Brian and the kids sitting downstairs waiting for me.  The kids had made cards for me and hidden them around the house, so I had to find them.  Jacob had made a really neat card that had a 3D balloon pop out when I opened it, and Olivia had made some Mother’s Day What Do You Meme themed cards that she wanted me to place with the memes from the game.  So clever, these two kids!! 


Brian gave me the cutest mug ever… he had one made with the pictures of Sully and me on it from Disney World!  I love that picture SO much, and I am obsessed with this mug!!  He also gave me a gift card for a massage – PRAISE! – and I’m even more excited about that!  Hopefully that will help with some of my tension since it has fired back up again.

After gifts, we had leftover donuts for breakfast, and then we settled in to our normal Sunday morning routine.  The kids turned on a show and I watched my Sunday morning sermon while I enjoyed my hot tea, and then I planned the (extremely busy) week ahead and did my yoga workout.

When all that was done, it was time to get showered and ready, and then we headed to my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day.  My step-FIL had grilled chicken and his is my favorite, and we had lots of other delicious sides – baked potatoes, mac n cheese, pineapple casserole, corn casserole, steamed broccoli, and peas from their garden. 

We all sat around the table chatting forever after lunch, and then we headed out to the garden where the kids were able to pick and eat blueberries straight from the bushes.  They were so delicious.  There’s nothing like being able to eat them straight from the garden!

We headed home around 4, and I had about an hour to work in my office before I had to get started on dinner.

We hosted my family Sunday evening to give my Momma a break from cooking.  I made ziti, threw together a Caesar salad, and warmed some garlic cheesy bread for dinner.  And then we had the chocolate éclair cake I’d made Saturday morning for dessert.

We chatted around the table after dinner for a bit, and then we spent some time outside since the weather was so lovely.

They left just before 9, we got the kids in the bed, B watched some of the Braves game, and then we headed to bed.

It was a beautiful Mother’s Day indeed, and I’m so grateful for Brian for giving me our precious two babies + one in heaven, I’m grateful for our two earthly babies and the wonderful humans they are becoming, I’m grateful for the heavenly baby who’s waiting to welcome me into God’s kingdom when my day comes, and I’m grateful for my Momma, my Mama Cass, my mother-in-law, and all of the other wonderful mother figures I’ve had during my lifetime.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. We have one full month left of school (well, for Alec anyway; the other two boys are already finished) and oh boy am I ever counting the days! The northern lights were visible here too but only at like 2 or 3 am so I missed them; I was bummed but was so grateful to finally get a few nights in a row where I slept through the night. From what I can tell from other's pictures we had a few different colors. I love your Sully mug!

    1. Wow a whole month left?! I can't imagine having to go for much longer, but I guess y'all probably started later than we did. We go back really early. That's too bad that you missed the Northern Lights in your area, but I'm glad you go some sleep!

  2. I didn't get to see the Northern Lights so I'm jealous! They were probably visible on Friday night but we missed it. We had those cicadas my senior year of high school - they were everywhere. I remember ducking when they'd fly into my car when I was driving! Happy belated Mother's Day!

    1. I still can't believe they were visible this far south! And yes, the cicadas are out of control! Haha. Every time I see one coming towards the windshield my instinct is to duck, too!

  3. Happy Tuesday, friend! I am like you and rarely let my gas tank get that low (my husband will run it on almost E though, opposites attract as they say, haha!). I am so sorry you had those awful dizzy spells, I feel for you having to continue dealing with this! Praying it gets so much better for you! We missed the Northern Lights here in southern Ohio, we didn't realize they were happening until the next morning, but I loved seeing all the pictures of those and yours are really pretty! So happy you had a wonderful Mother's Day!!

    Oh, and all of the treats at school look so so good!

    Hope you're having a great start to your week! :)

    Make Life Marvelous

    1. Happy Tuesday to you! Yes, I think my husband lets his gas tank get much lower than mine, too. I start freaking out when it gets under 100 miles. Haha. I'm sorry you missed the Northern Lights. I wouldn't have known to go outside and look either if it wasn't for my brother. He works for NASA and he started texting us at 10:30 to tell us to go look!

  4. My kids got out 2 weeks early due to construction on their school, so we are on our first week of summer vacation! Oh, the cicadas are indeed SO gross. Nathan and I like to walk and it is hard to avoid stepping on them, they are just everywhere. I didn't have to do rubber bands with my Invisalign, but I remember then when I had regular braces in 5th grade and they are indeed awful!


    1. Aren't the cicadas just awful?! They're everywhere here, too... it's nuts! And YES, the rubber bands are awful. Happy summer break to y'all! I'm READY!


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