Monday, December 30, 2019

I have missed you all!  This is the longest break I have taken from blogging since starting my blog in April of 2018.  I posted a family recipe on Monday, my menu on Tuesday , and our Christmas card on Wednesday of last week.  The blog world was pretty quiet and I took the time to unplug, but now I am back!  I have so much to tell you but at the same time I don’t want to bore you – ha!  Let’s see if I can give you the Cliff’s Notes version.  That reference probably really shows my age!  

We ended semester one on Friday, December 20 at 2:20.  This was exciting, but also bittersweet because my twin boys are seniors.  I knew this year would fly by and the first semester certainly did. 

Our staff had a happy hour at Drake’s and I attended that for an hour or so while my boys got their break started at home playing video games/listening to music/playing music!   

That week, our painting had started and it was finished on Friday!  What a Christmas present!  This is the mudroom where we will enter the house from the back and which leads to the kitchen.  I chose Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.  I love how the floor tile, the dog wash subway tile and dark grout, and the color turned out.  Now we wait on plumbing fixtures, moving the washer and dryer up from the basement, and picking out furniture (free standing wardrobe) and/or shelving units to store backpacks, coats, shoes, dog stuff, etc.  


And, our new master bedroom is Sherwin Williams Egret White.  I love the fresh light paint with the dark floors.  Now, we wait for the closet fixtures to be installed. 

So, for Christmas preparations… December 13 I had zero gifts.  By December 23, I had everything in hand from either Amazon, local stores, or local big box stores.  Also, during that time period I came up with our card, printed it, and mailed it out.  I work well under pressure.  

Saturday, December 21 was a day of chores and just starting to get things ready and I have no photos.  

Sunday, December 22, was more of the same and a trip downtown for hub and I.  We purchased our last gift at Duluth Trading.  

The big city – only a 10 minute drive from our house.  


Duluth Trading

I talked my husband into Zombie Taco at the new Moxy Hotel.  You check in at the bar for your room and there is a taco window open almost 24/7. 

Look at this cute interior fireplace

The tacos and chips and dips were excellent but my margarita was so bad they didn’t charge me.  It was very hipster and I would go back but they must train their people to make a margarita if they have a taco window! 

The next day, I finished this book and do recommend it.  It started to drag for me in the middle but then it picked up. 

On Christmas Eve day, my husband was excited to eat lunch at a deli that he can’t go to very often.  He has never had this many days off at Christmas.  He was off for more than a week.  He helped me shop, went hiking with a friend, and worked on our construction project along with making more trips to Home Depot than I can count.  Well, the deli was closed so I suggested Holy Grale which is a restaurant in a former church with German food.  One son was with us and we all really liked it. 


brussel sprouts

beer cheese and pretzel and fries and pork schnitzel sandwiches

I drank lots of coffee and sometimes with bourbon cream in the afternoon.

Christmas Eve candlelight service with just the four of us

Chinese restaurant after at son’s request

We had a very simple but nice Christmas morning.  The boys big thing was their Apple Airpods that they didn’t ask for but were thrilled to receive. 

I added some whipped cream to my Christmas coffee.

Traditional new family game

New tradition of a puzzle – We went here together in 2016

Then, around 3, Tom’s family came over.  His sister, her husband, my two nieces and a niece’s boyfriend, and Tom’s parents were all here.  The weather was so unseasonably warm that we were able to be out on the patio for part of the day.  I had Chex Mix, queso, charcuterie and then after presents we had ham and swiss sliders, green beans with ketchup, onion, bacon, and brown sugar, and potato casserole and sweets for dessert.  It was a really nice day. 

Thursday it was time to go to my side of the family at my mom’s house an hour away. 

Cookies that my mom bought – so cute. 


My mom had calendars made for us and bought us windchimes to remember my Dad because he loved them. 

One of the highlights of the day was when my two sisters and I sat on the front porch where my Dad always sat.  We had about an hour with just the three of us.  Ernie was lying at our feet and this is the only picture I have to remember that time together.  We shared stories and it was really therapeutic.  I won’t lie – this Christmas had its hard moments as it’s been just over a year (December 18, 2018 was when my Dad passed away after a quick 7 week illness) but we were still able to laugh and find joy.

My mom had pillows made of my Dad’s shirts for each of the grandchildren. 

It was a fun day. 

It was crazy that we were able to uncover our patio furniture.  I enjoyed some candles, beverages, and some books. 

Friday night hub and I went to hear some live music for a couple of hours. 


Saturday hub worked on our fence while Ernie and I watched.  

Yesterday, the rain came, but I still enjoyed some coffee on the covered patio.  We also went to the movies as a family.  

It’s a nice feeling to still have a week remaining after Christmas.  I didn’t stress myself out too much this year even though I could have.  So far, I am grateful for the simple pleasures I have been enjoying – time with family, time to read, candles burning, sitting outside, enjoying time to go to places we don’t always have time for – that sort of thing.  My boys have enjoyed each others’ company and that warms my heart.  

I hope to take down Christmas decor, spend time with some friends, do some decluttering and organizing, read a couple more books, watch some more t.v. and movies, among other things.  

How was your holiday?  I hope it was everything you wanted and more.  

Thanks for sticking with me for this long post!  


24 thoughts on “Hello Monday!

  1. Good continuation! (translation of a Swedish expression that we use between Christmas and New Year). Thanks for sharing everything about your week, it looks fantastic! So fun with the renovation! And you got the boys air pods! They must have been thrilled!
    We spent Christmas Eve (that’s when we celebrate) in the city, just the four of us and MIL, and two days later we went to the cabin. Next year we’ll probably spend Christmas there, it’s very cozy out there in the woods!
    I have a day of teachers conference next Thursday, and school starts on the 13- what about you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a funny translation! Thank you! They love the air pods! They have never had wireless before. The cabin would be so cozy for Christmas!
      Teachers go back Jan. 6 and students Jan. 7. You have a long break! Enjoy!


    1. Thank you! I had some help and guidance from my bff. I kept second guessing myself but I love how they turned out. We were looking for warmer greys because of the warmer tones in much of our house. I say it’s worth the money to pay for painting – unless you enjoy it. Hub and I don’t and we are not good painters!


    1. I hate to work that quickly but I was not organized this year! Thank you! It’s very exciting! We still have a lot to do but the progress is encouraging. Hope you are recovering well!


      1. It’s normally mixed with the ricotta. Sorry to bother you but I’m making my Kroger list! Your recipe seems easier to just layer each ingredient.


  2. Looks like a great break, so far! Can’t wait to see you later this week. The paint colors are gorgeous, and I am so glad that you had some happy moments this season, despite the grief that you still feel. See you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are fitting in lots of fun and I love the new look of your remodeling. You find the best restaurants, and I need to work on taking more “everyday” photos like you do. Sorry it was a tough Christmas. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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