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Thursday, December 31, 2020

We had ourselves a merry little Christmas.

 Happy New Year's Eve!  

We had a very nice Christmas.  It was very low key but lovely nonetheless. 

We went to the Christmas Eve Lovefeast and Candlelight Service at my mom's church (my church growing up). We were socially distanced and there weren't many people there so that was a little sad but I'm just thankful they had the service and we were able to go.

Afterwards as in previous years, we came back to my house for appetizers and merriment. We were up too late and had to drag the kids out of bed on Christmas morning so that we could get gifts unwrapped and make it to Mass on time.

After gifts and church we had Christmas lunch with my mom and brother and unwrapped more gifts.  We then went to Starbucks (a newer tradition) and had to wait in the drive thru line for 30 minutes and they were closing early so our tradition of going at night turned in to going in afternoon but we still did it!

Then we had a Zoom call with Dan's family and that was our calm but lovely Christmas.  

Here are a few pictures:

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Ice day with no remote learning means the kids are sleeping in and I'm writing a blog post.

The kids have an unexpected day off of school today.  Well, it wasn't entirely unexpected as they have been calling for ice/sleet/freezing rain (whatever it is) for today for at least a week.

Last night we got a text saying that school would be delayed two hours with the option to cancel if necessary.  And this morning at 7:00, we got the text saying no school and this would not be a remote learning day.

The kids were really hoping not to have to go to school today but I told them they should wish for this for another day.  School is out until the new year starting on Friday (with just a half day) so why would they want to waste a snow day now.  Especially since it is my understanding that future snow days (if there are any) will be remote learning days.  But you know how kids are.  They are instant gratification machines so they are happy campers.

Sarah was supposed to have her first swim meet tonight (and I was actually going to go as a timer) but that will be postponed because if there is no school, then there are no athletics (practice, workouts, or games).  She has another swim meet on Saturday.  It's an away meet so no parents from our school are allowed.  Sarah said she's fine with not having a meet tonight especially since their new swim suits haven't come in yet.  They are supposed to be here Friday but with all the shipping delays these days, I'm not holding my breath.

Peter has a paper due on Friday that he hasn't even started yet so that's how he will be spending his day off.  Sarah was telling him last night at dinner that he should really get started on it (Dan and I were as well) and a fight ensued.   They are so different personality wise and that causes a lot of  fights disagreements and as a mom, it really is maddening.  But, in  their defense, their way is right for each of them.  

Sarah writes excellent papers but she likes to  take her time, schedule when she's going to do it based on her other work and commitments, and not do it all at once.  Peter also writes excellent papers but he prefers to wait until the last possible minute and while he's writing, he prefers to be doing something else (or usually multiple other things) like watching a football game, texting friends about the game, and listening to music. Both of their methods seem to work for them but as a parent, it is frustrating when only one of them is using MY preferred method.  I'll let you guess which one is the one I prefer. :)

Speaking of Peter, so far he has heard back from 4 of the 7 colleges he's applied too and he's gotten into all four of them.  He's excited and so am I.  At least I know he'll be going somewhere in the fall.  (Hopefully he will actually be GOING. I really think if he has to do remote college from his bedroom he will lose his mind.)  

I am still waiting on quite a few Christmas gifts to arrive but I'm hoping they will all get here by Christmas Eve.   I feel so bad for all the delivery people.  This time of year is always so hectic in a normal year but with so many people ordering packages, it must be insane for them. And the treat basket that I left out isn't going over as well as I had hoped.  Only a couple of things have been taken and I'm wondering if they are afraid to take things because of germs, or if everyone is leaving snacks out for them and they are full, or perhaps they just don't like my snacks.  I get very excited after a delivery of a package when someone actually takes something. 

It looks like I will be wrapping a few gifts today, drinking more coffee, and watching the Bachelorette. Sounds like a perfecting ice/freezing rain/sleet day to me!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Checking things off my list!

So things are moving along nicely over here.  I think I've gotten most of my Christmas shopping done.  I still have a few little things to purchase but hopefully by this afternoon most of those will be checked off my list as well.

I also completed my Christmas cards yesterday and took them to the post office along with gifts for our out of town family members.  So, check and check!

I did most of my shopping online this year.  Not because of Covid but because that's how I do most of my shopping every year!  I did go to some stores because sometimes when you don't know what you want to get someone, you need to go into a store for inspiration.  But since I did so much of my shopping online,  I set up a little goody basket for all the delivery drivers.

I put it out on Monday and only two items have been taken.  I'm a little disappointed but I  know a lot of people do this so maybe they just aren't hungry or maybe it's covid and they don't want to take snacks from someone they dont know or maybe it's because these drivers are just too busy.  And it's not just one of the delivery services, it's all of them.  I've had all of them at my house this week multiple times and none of them seem interested.  I've even added in different snacks to see if that's the problem.  Oh well.  I'm going to leave it out until Christmas and keep trying different things to see what they like.  

Last weekend, I made this chocolate log roll or Buche de Noel for Sunday dessert.  It's a favorite of Dan's.  It always looks so pretty and festive!

You can't go wrong with all that filling and frosting!

While I'm ahead on all my gift purchasing, I'm behind on all my  gift wrapping.  But, I did manage to wrap all the out of town gifts before I mailed them but I have so much more left to do.

While I was wrapping the gifts, I was enjoying a cup of coffee with peppermint flavored creamer and some peppermint and white chocolate covered pretzels and was watching the Bachelorette.  If you don't enjoy something, you should definitely pair it with things you do enjoy to make it better!

On Tuesday, I took Peter's truck to get it inspected and it did not pass because one of his front tires was worn down too far on the inside.  We knew Peter needed an alignment, and that was one of the things I had on my to-do list over Christmas break but a failed inspection changed my plans.  I immediately went to the tire shop to get two new front tires and then headed to an alignment place who squeezed me in and got the alignment completed and then headed back to get the inspection and oil change. 

Whew! I was not planning on doing all that but I was glad to get that done.  I do not like dealing with car issues. I also do like the thought that my kid is driving around on a tire that will not pass inspection!

On a positive note, Sarah not only made the swim team but she is co-captain!  I'm so proud of her.  She has four home meets and several away meets. There will be no spectators at the home meets and I imagine the same for the away meets.  However, they need parent volunteers to time at the home meets so I've signed up to time at the first one. I'm sure there will be a lot of people signing up to time but they are trying to make sure at least one parent can time at one swim meet.  It's so very sad that we can't be there to cheer her on at all of her meets but I'm just thankful she's able to have a season. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Covid, Christmas Tree, Cat

The Sunday that Dan and I got back from our trip to Georgia for the wedding, Peter said he didn't feel well.  He said he was congested and had a cough and he was sneezing a lot too.

I chalked it up to seasonal allergies and/or the new cat (who has very long hair). He had no fever and no other symptoms so I was fairly certain it was not covid.

I kept him home from school on Monday and took him to the doctor because even though he had no fever, I couldn't stand the thought of him coughing all day at school and everyone giving him the evil eye.

The doctor agreed that it was not covid and most likely the beginnings of a sinus infection brought on by allergies.  So Peter headed back to school as soon as we left the doctor and life was good.

Until Tuesday.

Sarah got sent home Tuesday morning because someone that she sits near in one of her classes tested positive for covid.  She was excluded from school in person until 14 days had passed and had to do remote school.

The school recommended getting testing on day 5 or 6 so I scrambled around and got her an appointment for a rapid test on Saturday (this was November 21st not this past Saturday).

We drove to the testing center with our email in hand confirming our appointment.  There were three containers set up on the side of the building.  And when I say container, they looked like small container truck beds used for shipping.  Here is an image to help since I don't think I'm doing a good job explaining it:

Anyway, they had three of these lined up end to end and there were doors in each one on the side. Someone popped out of the first "room" and we had to hold up the email with the confirmation code printed on it in large letters and Sarah also had to hold up her driver's license.  Once we were checked in, we rolled forward to the next "room" and someone else popped out of it.

This person pushed a cart into our car.  The edge of the cart was wrapped in a pool noodle to keep it from scratching the car. He demonstrated how Sarah was to unwrap the swab, get the sample from both nostrils, and rewrap the swab. Once she did this, we had to put the sample back into the cart and push it back to this guy.

He then took the sample from the cart and took it the next "room" and deposited it there and we were on our merry way. And I am assuming that someone was in that third "room" furiously testing samples because in 45 minutes we had an email stating that Sarah was negative.

We were expecting that result because other than some sniffles (due to our lovely long-haired cat) she was absolutely fine.

She went back to school today and was very happy to be going back. She has missed a week of swim practice and has try outs tomorrow and she's nervous about that.  Apparently there are a lot of year round freshman swimmers and only a certain number of spots on the team and thanks to covid Sarah wasn't able to swim this summer or fall so she is going to be out of shape.  Hopefully muscle memory will kick in!

We got our tree on Friday after Thanksgiving like we normally do.

 And then we decorated it:


And Sarah made hot chocolate:

 I'm sure you could all see this coming, butwe had to give our sweet cat away because of the kid's allergies.  Peter was sneezing non-stop around the cat and had to take Benadryl to get things under control and Sarah's nose was running constantly.  We were hoping they would be able to adjust to him but it wasn't happening.

My mom agreed to take him and now she has the lap dog she's always wanted!  :)

Here's some pictures she's texted me:

And the nice thing about him being at my mom's is that he's just right next door!

I guess with that, you are all up to date and I really need to get some Christmas shopping done. Happy December 1st!

Friday, November 20, 2020

A little birthday party for Peter.

Before we left for the wedding, we wished Peter a happy birthday because he was EIGHTEEN!

We checked with him before we agreed to go to the wedding and he confirmed that he didn't mind if we were gone or not.  He had plans with friends and was happy celebrating with the family on Sunday evening when we got home.

We celebrated him at my mom's house with appetizers and birthday cake and presents.


Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Peter!

Wedding Weekend

Last Friday morning, as soon as the kids headed to school, Dan and I hopped in the car and headed south to Columbus, Georgia!  The son of one of Dan's best army buddies was getting married.  And this son just so happens to be named after Dan!  (The groom is named Patrick which is Dan's middle name.)

It was a sunny and warm day and we made good time.  We arrived in about 7 1/2 hours but that included a leisurely lunch stop and a stop for gas and the bathroom.  (Travel time with no stops is 6 1/2 hours.)

We were really surprised at how cute downtown Columbus is.  Since Columbus, GA is home to Ft. Benning, we were expecting your typical run down little army town.  And while the area near Ft. Benning did live up to that expectation, the rest of Columbus was as cute as a button!

Within just a couple of minutes walk from our hotel were a bunch of restaurants and bars and the downtown is also the home to Columbus State University.

We had dinner at The Cannon. And then headed to The Loft for a drink.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at the restaurant in the Marriott and then headed to check out the Riverwalk. The Chattahoochee Riverwalk is a 15 mile linear park that runs from the city marina all the way to the Infantry Museum.  

Patrick (the groom) was a whitewater rafting guide for a few years at The Rush South Whitewater Express. This park on the Chattahoochee is the longest urban whitewater rafting spot in the world.  They also have a zip line course that spans the river.  If you do the course you will go from Columbus, Ga into Phoenix City, AL and back again. 

Patrick  had arranged for out-of-town family members to do the zip line course.  We opted out of the zip lining but did head over there to catch up with Doug (Dan's friend and father of the groom) and Tammy (mother of the groom) and watch some of the family zip across the river.

Afterwards Dan and I walked more of the Riverwalk and headed across a pedestrian bridge to Alabama. (This was my first time in Alabama!)


After our walk we drove to Ft. Benning.  Dan was stationed there at the very beginning of his time in the Army and completed his infantry training and Ranger school there.  Unfortunately, they weren't letting anyone on the base without a special pass due to COVID.  Dan also really wanted to tour the National Infantry Museum  which, sadly, was also closed due to COVID.

We then headed to lunch at the Dinglewood Pharmacy. It's a full service pharmacy and soda shop that's been in business since 1918 and they are the home of the Scrambled Hotdog.  We read about it in a guidebook and decided we needed to find out what it was.

The pharmacy was closed on Saturday afternoon but the place was packed with people eating lunch.  We ordered a scrambled dog and were not disappointed.

The scrambled dog is served in a banana split dish.  They take a hot dog bun and open it up and lay it in the dish. Then they chop up a couple of hot dogs and sprinkle them over the bun.  Then they ladle on a bunch of their special chili and top it with pickles and oyster crackers.  We got ours "all the way" which meant they added cheese and onions.  It was a delicious mess of food!  We couldn't go to Columbus with out trying this local specialty and I'm glad we did.

After lunch we took another walk through the quaint downtown, found a rooftop bar and enjoyed a drink outside in the beautiful weather.

Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the 6:00 pm wedding. The invitation said the wedding was formal so women should be in an evening gown, cocktail dress, or formal pantsuit and men should be in a tux or a solid dark colored suit.

I'm wearing a sleeveless pantsuit with a sheer wrap (to cover the old lady arms) and Dan is wearing a black suit.  I thought we looked pretty good!  My pantsuit felt dressy enough for the occasion (especially with the wrap) and there is a small chance that since it's a pantsuit instead of an evening gown that I might, at some point, be able to wear it again. It also had slits up the side of each leg and when I crossed my legs, I looked like I came to party!  (Which may or may not be a good thing!)  :) It also had pockets which I loved.

The wedding and the reception were across the street in the convention center. The wedding space was lovely with all the chairs spaced apart to allow for social distancing. There were a lot of twinkle lights and it felt very romantic.  They had an artist doing a live painting of the ceremony as it was happening and then she finished it during the reception.  I thought that was a really cool touch.

The wedding ceremony was sweet and simple and before I knew it, we were in another part of the convention center having drinks and appetizers and then dinner.  It was all very lovely and I'm so glad we were able to attend.

Here's a picture of the happy couple.  Aren't they so cute?


I regret not getting a picture of Dan and Doug but they were busy talking and catching up and sadly I didn't even think about it until the next morning.

We had a great weekend away celebrating a new marriage and an old friendship and I'm so glad we were able to make the trip.