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Monday, November 28, 2022

Such a lovely week!

Last week was a really good one!  Sarah's professors cancelled Tuesday classes so she came home late Monday afternoon.  It was so good to have my baby home. Peter had classes on Tuesday and had social events to attend Tuesday evening so he came home on Wednesday morning.  It was so good to have my baby home.

I had a hair appointment on Wednesday morning, and the kids both had appointments on Wednesday afternoon.  Dan went into the office on Monday and Tuesday but worked from home on Wednesday. It was so nice to have a house full of noise and activity again even if it was just for a week! We even had a chance to sit around the fire pit together on Wednesday evening.  There's nothing better than a fire, some good songs, and my family all together.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving day.  The Wallers joined us again and we feasted on  jalapeno dip, turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, hash brown casserole, broccoli casserole, slaw, deviled eggs, homemade cranberry sauce, carrot cake, cream horns, chess pie, and eclairs.  It was all so delicious but having everyone home (even all of Jennifer's kids were able to come home!) and together on Thanksgiving was the best part.


On Friday morning, we headed to the mountains to get our Christmas tree.  We tried a new place and were very happy with it.  They had a great selection in the size we wanted. We picked it out, flagged down a guy with a chain saw, he cut it, took it down the mountain for us, bailed it, and we strapped it to the top of the car and off we went!  No fuss, no muss!  Just the way I like it.

Sarah had plans with her boyfriend Friday night and Peter was watching the NC State football game so we decorated the tree Saturday. Dan had put the lights on Friday night (that's his job) and then I started working on it Saturday morning while the kids were still in bed.  Sarah got up and added her favorite ornaments and then much later in the day (after more football watching) Peter added his.  I like it when we all decorate the tree together but as the family ages, the traditions shift and change and you have to be prepared to shift and change with them.

On Saturday evening, we all went to Mass together and came home and had dinner.  Then Sarah left to hang out with the Basement.  Dan, Peter, and I watched more football and then we watched School of Rock. 

On Sunday, we had lunch at mom's and then headed to Old Salem with my brother to get some family pictures for the Christmas card.  It was windy and Peter's allergies were acting up and he was sneezing like crazy but I think we got some good shots. We had fun anyway!

And then the kids left and it was just me and Dan and the cats.  I told Dan I had finally adjusted to it being just the two of us and then the kids come home for a week and now I'm missing them all over again.  But don't despair! In just a few weeks, they will be home for several weeks and the cycling of adjusting to them being gone, and enjoying them being home, and missing them when they are gone, will happen all over again.  But, I guess that's life. I'm just going to keep going with the flow!

Monday, November 14, 2022

I'm still here!

Yes, I'm still alive! It's been a MONTH since my last post but I've been busy!

I worked as an election official again and that has kept me occupied.  If you will recall, I worked the polls in 2020, again during the primaries this past spring, and since I still haven't landed a job, I worked the midterms.  

The gig lasted from October 20th to November 8th.  The days were long.  The polls opened at 8:00 and closed at 7:30 and since we have to open and close, that's a 12 hour day.  And for the most part, we all worked the full day.  But I did take two days off so don't feel too bad for me.  :)  

Our polling site voted 5600 people in that two and a half week period and another 750 on election day.  (This wasn't nearly as many as 2020 but it kept us on our toes and we had less workers than we did in 2020 so we were all tired at the end of each day.)

On one of my days off, Dan and I headed to Charlotte for Parent's Weekend.  We met up with Sarah and two of her new friends and one of their fathers for some tailgating before the football game! 

After the football game, we took a nice long walk around campus.  I know it's been 30 years since I graduated from UNC Charlotte but I still can not get over how much it has changed! 

After walking around campus, we headed downtown for Mass at St. Peter's and then dinner at Haberdish.  What a great restaurant this was!  We split this appetizer:

It was the PB&J Bacon plate which consisted of thick cut bacon, maple peanut butter, pepper jelly, and cabbage jalapeno slaw in a banana vinaigrette.  I know it sounds odd but we all thoroughly enjoyed it!

Everything we got was delicious and we would definitely go back! (Dan said it's the best fried chicken he's ever had at a restaurant - and he gets friend chicken A LOT!)

Dan is trying to use up extra vacation days so he took last Monday off and we headed back to Asheville. (Yes, we just went there with the kids in September but Asheville is a really cute town and it is a lovely drive so we headed back.)

We tried to visit the Basilica of St. Lawrence but we just missed the tour hours.  Guess that means we need to head back to Asheville again! 

After lunch and a walk through town, we headed over to Mt. Mitchell.  Mt. Mitchell is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi River.  We took the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoyed the views. The leaves had already peaked but enjoyed the scenery regardless.  

Look!  On our way up to Mt. Mitchell, we spotted these three bears on the side of the road.  They were literally feet from us. Everyone was slowing down to make sure no one hit them!  And on our way back down the mountain, we spotted another bear!  

This past Thursday, Sarah headed to Raleigh with three of her new friends.  It was one of the girl's birthday and her father's company has box seats at the Carolina Hurricanes games and all the girls got to go! Sarah was so exited.  The Hurricanes won and the box they sat in was really cool.


One of the girls lives in Raleigh so they all went back to her house to spend the  night.  The next day they hung out with her family and then Friday night, Sarah took her new friends to meet Joe, her boyfriend, who goes to NC State.  She had a great weekend and I'm so happy she is enjoying life right now!

Peter had a great weekend too. On Friday night he and one of his roommates cooked dinner - pork chops with rice and beans. The gravy is a mixture of Italian dressing and soy sauce. He said it was delicious! I love it when he texts me pictures of things he's cooked.

On Saturday, he went to the NC State football game.  It's the last home game of the season. Sadly they lost, but he still had a great time.  He and his friends had really good seats.  They made the Jumbotron multiple times and he got to see Tuffy (the mascot dog up close).  


This is Tuffy with his trainer:

And then Sunday was Peter's 20th birthday!   He was texting me Saturday night after the game that he only had an hour and half left of being a teenager. And that's when it hit me that not only am I old, but he's also old - an actual full grown adult.  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that still. 

But he'll always be my baby!  :)

Dan left for Ireland on Saturday afternoon but on Sunday I headed to Raleigh with my mom and my brother to celebrate Peter's birthday.  We had lunch at an Italian restaurant downtown called Gravy.  It was really good! We started with the Risotto Balls appetizer:

And I had a salmon salad with candied hazelnuts. It was so good!

After lunch we went back to his apartment to unwrap gifts.

One of the things I got Peter was an ugly Christmas sweater.  He was super excited and tried it on immediately!

Mom took Peter a bunch of cupcakes that he shared with all of his roommates and then the pledges came over and made dinner.  They had kebabs, cheesy potatoes, jalapeno poppers and brownies.  I think Peter had a pretty nice birthday!

And that's pretty much what we've been up to the last month.