Thursday, December 3, 2020


That has made me laugh all week. 😂

Let's all pray real hard that we turn the corner toward normalcy in 2021.


Anyway, today I wanted to share just some of our Thanksgiving pics and other bits of life lately. Like many of you, we had a slightly edited version of our typical Thanksgiving tradition. My parents, brother and granddad usually drive in from Texarkana (about 2.5 hours away) for the day to celebrate with us, Craig's parents, Craig's brother and their 2 girls. (who all stay for several days). But this year it was just Craig's side of the family as mine side is a little more high risk with certain health conditions so boo. 2020 strikes again. But we made the best of it with our smaller celebration and most importantly, the boys got to see their cousins and they LOOOOVVVEEE their cousins!! Scarlet is the middle child between Matthew and Mason so it's a perfect little group. And this year, sweet Sailor is 6 and she feels like she's finally "a cousin" too. 😂

Scarlet and Sailors pup, Boudreaux also joined the party and when they arrived last Tuesday, Charlie was in heaven!! He is always so excited to see another dog in the house! Unfortunately for him, Boudreaux is 14 years old (Charlie is 3) and Charlie can be a LOT when he gets excited. He's like the annoying little brother who wants to play with the big kids all the time. 😂

Boudreaux was happy to just relax in front of a Christmas tree.

The kids were the exact opposite. The boys see Scarlet about once a year but they always pick up right where they left off with her. She is one of their gang and we just love her to death!

The weather was perfect all week so there was a lot of bike riding, skating, scooters and just running around outside, thank goodness.

And then on Wednesday, Mimi and Paw Paw showed up with Sadie! Charlie is obsessed with Sadie. He loves her so much and she can handle his energy in small doses but that dog is a major lap dog. She cries and whines if she's not sitting in her mama's lap and honestly, I was kind of jealous. Charlie is very much another child to me in so many ways. And he has taken on the personality of my children as well. Meaning he's not the dog that will come snuggle up next to me every chance he gets. He's way more interested in playing, roughhousing, and sleeping if the other two aren't an option. He loves for me to pet him and love on him but he's also got a super independent streak that I have as well as my kids where he's fine just chillin' by himself.  I kind of want a needy dog who needs to be with me at all times! I should probably try for a girl dog next time. ;) 

Look at Sadie literally smiling for this picture!! It makes me laugh!!

The night before Thanksgiving, Craig and his brother, Wade, took it upon themselves to grill some steaks and make dinner for us. They picked up some lettuce, steaks and mac n cheese from the deli section of Market Street and we had ourselves a little pre-thanksgiving feast.

Look at all that salad on my Mason's plate! Proud mom moment.

I learned years ago to cook as much as I could the day before so I wouldn't be scrambling all morning on Thanksgiving Day. (I did that for a few years until I realized through all that trial and error that I was basically doing it wrong.)

So Wednesday night, while the guys were grilling steaks, I was prepping the mac-n-cheese and all those other good sides so all I had to do was slip them in the oven the next day. I made several sides and a dessert and by the time I crawled into bed, my back was really really sore. I could tell that there was a muscle back there, dead center of my spine and 1" to the left, that was going to be a problem. I tossed and turned all night long and kept thinking "this is what the princess and the pea must have felt like." (Do y'all remember that fairy tale?). It felt like I was sleeping on a brick.

Anyway, I woke up Thursday morning with my giant to-do list to get everything ready for our party of 10 so that we could eat by 1pm. My back was still feeling SUPER tight and I could tell bad things were about to happen.

I took a shower hoping the hot water would help but as I was standing in front of the mirror afterward and brushing out my wet hair, I switched from the right side of my head over to the left and felt my back spasm. I literally yelped in pain. All I had on at this point was my short robe so I was telling myself..."Ok. Let's go to the closet and get yourself dressed...even just a little bit...before something bad happens and you're escorted out of the house half-naked on a stretcher in front of your husband's family and the rest of the culdesac." Yes, it was that bad.

And y'all. As I bent over (ever so carefully) to grab stuff from my back locked up so hard that I swear I couldn't even breathe. Thankfully I still had my robe on...but still hadn't managed to get anything else on under it. Ugh. I stopped everything I was doing and focused on making it toward my phone and to the bed. I texted Craig one word: "Help".

He came in and found me with my hair still wet from the shower, half brushed out, standing next to the bed in my robe and sobbing like a baby. I could not figure out how to lower myself to a sitting position onto the bed. Every breath hurt, every word I spoke hurt. It was ridiculous and frustrating and I absolutely did not have time for that! I was hosting Thanksgiving for 10 people!! 

We managed to slowly get me into bed and the only position that felt ok was laying on my right side. So he grabbed a heating pad and tucked it behind my back with some pillows smashed up against it to hold it in place while I cried and cried from frustration and pain. I am not a big crier. I tear up very easily but I don't flat out sob often at all. And I was a MESS. I just kept thinking that everyone was depending on mom wasn't there to pick up my slack which under normal circumstances she would have been and I would have felt a million times better about being out of commission. (Not that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law couldn't have handled it! They totally could have. But y'all know how it is with moms. It's just such a comfort to have them there when you need them.)

So anyway, as all of this is going on, guess who calls?! MY MOM!! I decline her first call because I couldn't even speak at the moment. Then I took some deep breaths, tried to calm myself down and called her back and she was super chipper and chirpy--until she heard my quiet, raspy whisper because it hurt to talk. I filled her in and then she felt bad that she wasn't there too. Have I said how much this year sucks? I HATE 2020.

Anyway, after we got some meds in my system (over the counter...I'm allergic to all the good stuff 😜), and the heating pad started to relax those muscles a bit, I was able to pull myself up without excruciating pain and with Herculean effort, managed to finish drying my hair, put on makeup and get myself dressed. 

I sent this to my worried parents to show them that I was alive and coping and was going to power through.

And even though lunch was an hour later than we had planned, it was delicious and went off without another hitch. I made the mac-n-cheese (with some alterations to this recipe), the corn casserole, loaded mashed potatoes, dressing, rolls, and my favorite chocolate chip gooey cake.

So thankful my brother-in-law was in charge of the meat this year. I'm not a meat eater at Thanksgiving. I've never understood how anyone thinks turkey is so tastes like chicken. No? 😂 Give me allllll the sides. I'll politely take a tiny portion of turkey or ham or whatever but seriously....if it wasn't there, I wouldn't miss it in the slightest.

Anyway, this year, Wade brought a turducken. Yes, you read that right. It is a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. 🤷‍♀️

Everyone else liked it. I thought it was fine. But just tasted like chicken. 😂 I just don't get it. Clearly.

Mason loaded up on mac-n-cheese immediately until I made him give a scoop of that back. (I made two casserole dishes worth of it so we had plenty but still...he wasn't going to eat all that.)

We were able to spread out a lot more this year than in years past. The kids always help Mimi decorate the table for lunch. They collected acorns and pinecones for some festive touches this year.

It ended up being a great day and my back was semi-fine for most of it. We ended up watching Home Alone and Home Alone 2 later that night which reminded me of this post that I did several years ago about all the random things you may not know about Home Alone, some behind the scenes stuff and questions you may have also had. (Like Sargeant Balzack...did a 12yo boy name that character?? 🤔)

As we watched, I snapped some pictures of Charlie, completely passed out on Sadies' butt. And Sadie nestled up against Mimi because where else would she be?! (Sadie is also a rescue!)

I that not the cutest?

Obviously, this was not my favorite Thanksgiving ever since I was dealing with back issues and my parents weren't there, but it was a really good one despite that! The boys are always so happy to see their cousins and that makes us happy. But now we are ready for a (hopefully) uneventful Christmas and a happy New Year.

And speaking of Christmas, I got to do some reminiscing this week about that little Christmas Vacation we took to East Texas last year at this time. Remember that?! We went to the Villages Resort in Flint, TX during their JollyDays event and had the absolute best time with my parents.

The villas were all big and spacious with fully equipped kitchens, they had something to do at every turn (think putt-putt, horseback riding, giant checkers, smores by the fire with live music, lunch at the marina, the best pizza at night...and ooh yeah--an indoor waterpark!) 

It was such a perfect trip and I got to relive it this week because those sweet people over at Holiday Inn Club Vacations asked me to be a guest blogger for them today!! So be sure and go HERE for my post! I'm sharing some highlights of our trip plus some tips and tricks on how to keep things festive even when you're traveling!

If you're anywhere near East Texas and want to get away safely with your family for a few days to make some memories, you MUST check out the Villages Resort in Flint. Their JollyDays event is going on now again and it's just some relaxing, festive, family fun that you won't want to miss. And if you aren't near East Texas, be sure to look into one near you! They have so many all over the nation. You might be surprised what is near you!

Find out more HERE.

That's it for today, y'all but I'll you back here tomorrow! 



  1. Oh Amanda! I'm so sorry that happened! But so so glad you were still able to enjoy the day! I kind of think you need another dog?

    1. I think so too, Erika!!!! xx

    2. Laughing that you of all people think she needs a second dog. Hahahaha. WHEN IS YOUR DOG ARRIVING?!? Pandemic puppy, Erika. Everyone is doing it. :)

    3. 😂😂😂 Not just yet that’s for sure. Maybe someday.

  2. I had back spasms in March and screamed every time one hit for about 36 hours... it was the WORST! So sorry you had to deal with that and a house full of company.


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