Monday, January 25, 2021

The Week the Chiefs Won...Again (Weekly Recap)

What a week! I feel like I was pretty productive and had a lot of fun at the same time. Monday started off pretty strong sitting down and training my best friend to do some medical billing for my business. I've been really needing help for a long time and she agreed to do some part-time work for me. Not only is it a little bit of a relief to know someone else will be able to help me with my ever-increasing workload, but I had a lot of fun with her that afternoon. 

Tuesday and Wednesday I was really productive with work. Wednesday I watched the inauguration and was pretty sure Lady Gaga was dressed for the Hunger Games. I've also quite enjoyed seeing Bernie Sanders and his big gloves in all the memes. 

Seriously, though. That even looks like a Mockingjay!

Thursday night (date night), we had dinner at Cheddars and took a stroll through TJMaxx. When we came home, we played Exit the Game "Prison Break." It was about an hour-long exit game. Though it was a smaller-scale version, it was still pretty challenging and we successfully broke out!

Friday I worked a half-day and then we had my oldest brother's three kids over. We always love having them over and we enjoyed a few hours of play, fort-building, and mess-making. I'm learning that splitting my attention can be challenging with our growing number of nephews and nieces! D and I usually divide and conquer and we hope to wear them out equally as much as they wear us out!

Saturday we spent the day decluttering the kitchen. We got rid of quite a bit and cleaned out the cabinets so now everything is a little more orderly than it was before. I love when everything has its own space and, thankfully, we accomplished just that. Then I used the clean workspace to make a batch of granola bars from the HealthNut Nutrition Cookbook that I got for Christmas. It was the first time I'd ever made granola bars and they turned out to be pretty awesome! I melted some Lily's semi-sweet chocolate chips into them to add my own little spin on the recipe. They remind me of Kind bars.

Sunday we chilled out after church and then headed over to my Dad's house to watch the big game! And wouldn't you know it, the Kansas City Chiefs won the division championship AGAIN! Off we go to the Super Bowl and we are already thinking about our menu for Super Bowl Sunday. Thankfully, we have a couple of weeks to perfect it!

How was your week? Did you watch the football games this past Sunday? What are your favorite Super Bowl snacks?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Good Ol' Rocky Top (Weekly Recap)

This past week was the grand finale of our Christmas celebrations as we traveled from Missouri to Tennessee to celebrate Christmas with my husband's side of the family. No, don't check the calendar. We are, indeed, in the middle of January. However, Covid matters complicated things, so we celebrated a little later than most people. While the week of Christmas would've been ideal, we made the most of it and had a blast.

We left a little later in the morning than I wanted to on Monday. It's about a 13-15 hour drive (depending on how often we stop). I was pretty set on making good time, so we made it in 13 hours on the way there. We got there at about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday and survived on podcasts and eating meals in the car. Traveling during a pandemic is pretty interesting, but we made it work.

Gettin' ready for "takeoff"

Tuesday I slept in and then did a little work. When you work for yourself, sometimes taking days off isn't necessarily all that easy. So, I ended up doing half days the whole time we were there. We spent some time with our 3-year-old nephew and my husband's parents for the rest of the day and Wednesday. Our nephew, G, usually demands 100% of our attention and we're happy to give it to him. He was so excited to see us and always expects us to pretend play anything from reenacting Bible stories to being firefighters.

Thursday was our "Christmas" and we spent the day preparing for the evening. I wrapped the last couple gifts and we ordered Bonefish Grill via Door Dash. Their family bundles are so great and they fed the small group of us without a problem. While we were waiting for dinner to be delivered, my sister-in-law planned a pirate-themed treasure hunt for G and D (my husband). She bought G a little, very elaborate pirate costume and he immediately lit up with excitement. She didn't forget about Uncle D or Aunt Kari, though...we both had to join in with pirate hats and patches over our eyes. And, yes, I answered our Door Dash Delivery Driver in a pirate hat and gave him a hearty, "Argh!" to really embrace my character. We finished the night exchanging gifts and watching G light up at all his toys. It was a wonderful night and you couldn't have told me we were already well into January.

Channeling my inner pirate.

A wonderfully meaningful gift from my sister-in-law

Friday looked much like Tuesday and Wednesday except for I hit a couple local stores that we don't have in our town. I picked up a few items and then laid low for most of the day to prepare for the long trek home the next day. Saturday seemed to come in a flash and we got yet another late start. This time, the drive was closer to the 15-hour point and we arrived home at 1:30 a.m. (and that was even after gaining an hour changing time zones).

Sunday, we got up on time and had church. Afterward, I came home, ate lunch, and went unconscious for a bit. My body was exhausted, but my mind had other plans for the afternoon as I finally took down Christmas decorations after watching the Chiefs win and clinch our spot in the division championship. Could we win a second Super Bowl in a row? Only time will tell. I enter another week poised to work and possibly declutter the house! Oh, fun!

One of my 2020 additions to the tree, compliments of my sister-in-law on my side of the family. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Week They Stormed the Capitol (Weekly Recap)

So far, this is officially the longest, weirdest week of the year. Hopefully, this is where all the drama ends. Though, something tells me it may not. Unless you've been living in a cave somewhere, you'll already know that a group of people stormed the US Capitol this week while Congress was working on certifying the election results. While I have lots of opinions, this isn't where I'll be sharing them. Rather, I want to share this for historical reference along with how I felt and some other things that happened this week.

I started the week off poised to get some major work accomplished now that the holidays are over. It went fairly well and I honestly did better than I thought I would. Albeit, I didn't finish my quarterly taxes, so I'll have to work on it this coming week. 

Monday, D made dinner for the both of us; a Mediterranean inspired chicken. It was delicious and only further reminded me of how much more he should probably cook! Ha! Tuesday, though, I saw his delicious dish and raised him some slow-cooked barbacoa street tacos. So, we ate well the first couple of days of the week.

Then Wednesday came and threw us all for a bit of a curve. While I was working, I decided to turn on live coverage of the election certifying process. I was interested especially with the buzz around how the Vice President would handle things. All seemed to be going pretty standard (people arguing, basically) and then in my passive listening I heard, "Everyone get under your seats." It was such a surreal moment going from listening to a pretty normal process to literally watching chaos ensue live on television.

I immediately felt a little concerned. What would this mean for our day-to-day life? Would we start seeing more of this activity and, if so, how dangerous could things get? I've kept a close eye on the news since this all went down. Since then the president has lost his Twitter privileges along with a lot of other people. I'm pretty conflicted about this too. I mean, I understand these companies can reject service to anyone they want at any time. However, I'm not exactly sure that it's ethical. If nothing else it's opening up my eyes more and more to the fact that our social media pages aren't ours and they can be stripped from us at any time. Kinda scary stuff.

After a day of chaos, my grandfather came over and we had some chili that night. Wednesday nights we've basically reserved for having Papa over and just hanging out. It feels good especially since Grandma passed away to have a day reserved for just us. We can sometimes talk about her or other life happenings and it's just a nice landing spot in the middle of the week. 

Thursdays are our date nights every week. This week we decided to stop at a local Neapolitan pizza place (Il Lazzerone). It's one of our favorites and I think this is the second week in a row we've had it. However, we are very choosy about when and where we do sit-down meals during Covid. We go when it's not standard dinner hour and we pick places that don't have a crowd. Both times we've been to Il Lazzerone, there may only be one other couple since it was later in the evening so it felt safe and we were able to enjoy a meal out.

We then came back home to play "Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game". It came with 3 cases along with a practice case. So we decided to pull out the practice case. It took us a span of two evenings to complete (mostly because I fizzled out), but it was really very fun. It includes an online database for matching DNA and fingerprints and stuff, so it feels pretty legit. We're looking forward to delving into the other 3 cases. We did end up figuring out who the murderer was and a loose interpretation of a motive. We called it a win, though.

Friday was spent hustling to get some more work done (and finishing the game from the previous night) and Saturday I spent cleaning the house. Once we got all that done, we ordered some Applebees via Door Dash and settled in. I've also now completed 9 days of my 30-day yoga challenge and Saturday (day 8) was my favorite yet. Whenever Adriene tells you to pull out a pillow and blanket, you know you're sleeping well that night!

We had church services yesterday and I then took a nap (again, longer than I intended). Now we ready ourselves for a jam-packed week. Stay tuned. Hopefully, next week's recap won't involve any national headlines.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Happy New Year! (Weekly Recap)

This week has actually been more relaxing than I initially expected. I started off the week getting back to my work routine. Thankfully, my week off the week before didn't set me back too much and I didn't have to dig out of a deep, dark hole of work. It actually gave me hope that I can have an actual vacation this year without worrying that the business is suffering.

Our NYE decorations...

The winter weather did finally set in this week, though. We had one day towards the beginning of the week of mostly ice. Power was out in many areas around town, but fortunately, we kept both our power and our internet. There were a lot of down tree limbs because of the heavy ice, but I've actually seen it much worse. This is another perk of having a home-based business because we didn't have to get out in any of it.

Most times on New Year's Eve, D and I stay home and celebrate with just the two of us. So this year, that was nothing new. We celebrated the 8-year anniversary of the day he proposed...right at midnight. We reminisced, made homemade sushi (which was actually quite messy this time), and played "Dead of Winter" for the first time. We actually beat the game with just the two of us. Though, D informed me we played the easiest level of the game. So, our next games may really be the test. At any rate, we had a good time ringing in the new year together

A cooperative, zombie apocolypse survival board game. 

The game all set up.

Our DIY sushi setup.

My sushi creations. Not really my best work.

My forever NYE midnight kiss!

On New Years Day, we got to finally celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. I spent most of the day preparing and then that evening we went to my Dad's for our planned Christmas celebration. I contributed a charcueterie plate which I've been studying to perfect one day. It looked pretty great, but I would really love to kick it up a notch the next time. This was also the day we happened to get a few inches of snow, but it wasn't enough to deter us from celebrating.

After dinner, we opened gifts (which always tends to be kinda chaotic but awesome all at once). I loved everything I got...and it's clear that my family knows how much I really love the "Friends" TV Series. I also got the Healthnut cookbook which I hope to employ in the new year.

This wasn't everything, but it was all my "Friends" themed gifts.

Saturday I tried to get things organized and back together after all the activity of the previous two days. Though, I was also feeling exhausted, so I can't say I got everything done that I originally intended. I did start a 30 Day Yoga Journey with Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. For 30 days, I will be doing yoga  every day. I used to do yoga very regularly and had built quite a bit of strength and flexibility. With the virus this year, I fell out of it for some reason. The first couple of days back have been challenging, but also felt good. It's clear that I'm starting from the beginning again, though. I'm certainly not as flexible and yesterday I was kinda sore. I'm looking forward to seeing my transformation at the end of the 30 days. If it's anything like the first time I did this, I'll be pleased with the outcome and how much strength and flexibility improves.

Yesterday we had church service and I took the longest afternoon nap that I've taken in such a long time. I definitely didn't plan to sleep as long as I did, but my body was definitely telling me I needed sleep. So I listened. I really just lounged the rest of the day to try to build up my strength and energy for the week ahead. The first few days of 2021 have been enjoyable, and I'm certainly praying this year is a recovery year after a very tumultuous 2020!

How would you rate the first few days of 2021? Your predictions for the New Year? Will we finally get rid of this virus or run out of TP again?