Highlights and Happenings for December: One Sentence a Day

Oh December... what can I say about December? Our month was such a mixed bag of up and downs that I'm really still not sure how I felt about it!  For once I was looking so forward to a truly relaxed and laid back Christmas... but life had other plans. 

1. After working out at the gym with my mom and finishing up school with Evan I headed out to go shopping and finished up all my Christmas gift buying (I even made sure to check that I had enough for each person to fill their stockings).  We spent our night eating pizza & ice cream sundaes while watching Home Alone. 



2. I spent my morning working on the blog and on some cards then my husband and I headed out grocery shopping. We ended our night watching Like Father on Netflix; it was really cute! 




3. My husband, Evan, and I headed to the mall so my husband could get some new clothes for the cruise and we went to lunch at Olive Garden. I spent my afternoon wrapping gifts.


4. My mom and I worked out then Evan and I did some of his schoolwork before he went to spend the afternoon at his friends house (his friend was celebrating his 16th birthday).  Evan went driving for the second time that evening with his instructor. 


tuna on pumpernickel with salad

5. After a quick morning of schoolwork, I spent my afternoon running a few errands and wrapping gifts. 



6. After working out with my mom, I worked on school with Evan, and then went driving with him after lunch. It was only our second time on the road together but after a couple of driving lessons with his instructor I am already seeing lots of improvement (he still hates it though).




7. After some morning work with Evan we headed out to Alec's school for lunch and it was delicious; plus a fun lunch out with my mom, mother in law, and family friend is always a bonus.  I did some wrapping for the boys' (gifts they bought for others) and then sat in with Alec on a Zoom meeting with his personal rep. from Johnson and Wales to go over specifics of what next steps to take before dropping Evan off at driver's ed. 

beautiful sunrise on an icy lake-- it was chilly today!


the pizza Alec made for me at the school's restaurant 



8. I started my day at the gym, worked on school with Evan and then went to run a few short errands (gas, library. post office to mail out the last of the Christmas gifts) and spent my afternoon cleaning house and read books. 


His official acceptance letter (finally!) arrived from Johnson & Wales; we knew before Thanksgiving that he had been accepted

9. We started our day grocery shopping, in the late morning my husband and I headed to a graveside service,  then took the boys and my mother in law out to lunch at the Ninety- Nine.  4 of us ended our afternoon with a nice long walk in the woods.



my funeral outfit


an odd field of pumpkins off to the side of the woods

10. It was a cloudy, rainy day so I spent my time curled up on the couch reading a book, watching movies, and folding laundry.  Ian nearly finished 1/2 of my Christmas village diorama (he just wants to add snow to the trees and rocks once they dry).

11. Evan and I headed out to tour one of the Newport mansions-- it was a fun morning.

We toured Rosecliff



12. We had a shortened day of school because Evan had a dermatologist appointment in the morning and both of us had dentist appointments in the afternoon then I had to drop Evan off at driver's ed. after dinner. 


All finished and set up! I'm kind of amazed he built this from Styrofoam, newspaper and various other materials

13. A quick workout with my mom, some schoolwork with Evan, and then a mini driving lesson all before lunch. I spent my afternoon on the couch nursing my aching back (I pulled a muscle or something while sleeping).  


14. My day started so incredibly early when my husband woke up at 2 and by 3:15 was heading out the door to bring his mother to the ER (emergency room).  I fed her cat, worked on school with Evan, made my husband's lunch once he made it back to our house around 8 or 9 and then spent my day running around; packing up what my mother in law needed at the hospital, running to Alec's school to pick up the cookie/pie orders from a selling project and dropping some of them off.  I ended my night visiting my mother in law along with my husband. 

15. Fed the cat again, hit the gym with my mom, went on a hike with our hiking group and then spent a quiet afternoon at home blogging (my mother in law told us not to bother visiting her at the hospital again today). 






My husband was sent another cheesecake this Christmas


16. I spent my morning folding clothes, putting together our candy ball games for Christmas eve, and working on a few new blog posts. My husband and I went grocery shopping in the afternoon and then went to check on his mother who was released from the hospital (we checked on her again before bed). 

17. I spent my morning making a salad, prepping food for dinner, and then making a few cards for next month. 

18. We woke to no power and while it came on for a few hours mid-morning it then blinked off again and we used our generator for the rest of the day with the storm dumping more wind and rain on us. By days end all the road leading to ours had road closed signs on them due to downed wires, trees, or even flooding. Poor Alec had to call on his way home from school since he could not figure out how to get home (he finally had to drive around one of the road closed signs!).

19.  Another day of no power, road closures everywhere,  and still checking in on my mother in law who isn't showing any signs of improvement since coming home from the hospital.  Evan and I did manage a hike but stuck to high ground since everything is so wet and flooded. 



Drying clothes like a pioneer!




20. We started the day without power and spent the day doing some laundry (and drying it by the fire again), cleaning, and running errands. Power back on at 3!! Alec immediately set to work baking up some things on his list. My mother in law finally went back to the ER and they admitted her for the next few days while they test and treat some more. 


I walked into the kitchen to find nearly every available surface filled!

21. I hit the ground running; doing ALL the laundry at both my house and my mother in law's house. Evan and I also cleaned out her fridge/freezer and went to buy a few staples to replenish it after she was without power for so many days. Alec was invited to a pizza party at school for the kids who scored in the top 10 on their SAT's in the senior class (I was pretty surprised because he took the SAT as a Junior and never bothered retaking them this year!).  We ended our night visiting my mother in law in the hospital while Evan finished up his last driver's ed class.


I think "Tillie" is lonely (her real name is Matilda after waltzing Matilda since she only has 3 legs)

22. Last workout at Curves (our branch is closing), fed the cat, did some more laundry, and mostly enjoyed a quiet day at home where I even managed to take a nap! My husband and two older sons just had 1/2 days of work and school so Alec began working on some homemade croissants for Christmas as soon as he got home and my husband and Ian headed off to a company Christmas party.  

23. We had a Christmas party/brunch at my father in law & stepmother in law's (probably not a real thing but it gets confusing talking about 2 mother in laws!) then went to visit my mother in law in the hospital who still isn't doing well.  




24. Christmas Eve day I got out of bed in time to get Alec off to work then fed my mother in law's cat and began making cookies to bring to my mom's house that night. We went to visit my mother in law and then headed to my mother's house around dinner time. We had a great time playing all sorts of games. 

Butter cookies and gingersnaps with powered sugar sprinkles






25. The boys asked to open gifts around 7:30 then Alec made us some croissants while I whipped up some scrambled eggs and bacon. We visited my mother in law at the hospital around noon and then went over to my brother in law's house for dinner. We ended our night playing all sorts of fun games: Tellestrations, Blank Slate game, and Pitch. 








26. A busy day of errands, cleaning up Christmas decor and gifts, and prepping food like crazy.  I don't think I even sat down until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. 

The only photo I took all day; sunset


27. Today was another busy day of errands; I got my haircut, picked up cat food and cat litter (for my mother in law), picked up even more groceries and party supplies from Bj's, got some cat medicine and then went to visit my mother in law at the hospital after dinner she's looking and feeling so much better now that they've drained lots of fluid from her abdomen. 




28. I spent the morning alone; Ian and my husband were at work, Alec went to meet his friend for breakfast and Evan went out driving with his instructor. I spent most of my day watchin TV and reading while I also did clean the bathroom and do a lot of vacuuming. 



29.  I spent most of my day working on the blog and pulling together insurance paperwork for my mother in law. We ended our night visiting her in the hospital. 



30. I spent my morning baking up some cookies and making a lemon tiramisu for my mother's birthday party. In the evening Alec, Evan, and I got tickets to zoo lights & met up with my mom, step-father, sister & nephews (who just arrived from North Carolina late last night).

31. The whole reason my sister and nephews made the trip was so we could throw a birthday party for my mom so I spent the day getting ready for the party (my husband went to visit his mom in the hospital to get the latest); decorating, prepping food, etc. and around 5 the whole family showed up to celebrate my mom. 





Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, 








Comments

  1. Your month did have some ups and downs- your ups were great! Congrats to Alec. I hope your mother in law´s health improves. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Love seeing the mild December weather in your photos- that must've made for some great hikes!

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  3. The Christmas nails are super cute! Love the candy cane design especially! As always - cute outfits and yummy food pictures!!

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  4. December, a rollercoaster of emotions! Gym, shopping, and a cozy night with pizza and Home Alone sounds perfect. By the way, check out my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0h64fPOK94. Feel free to comment, and if you subscribe, it's greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  5. I always love to see the holiday lights photos!

    Your outfits are all so cute, and nails are on point! Also, that mansion looks gorgeous!!

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  6. I love that fog over the lake picture!! We had 2 funerals in December... Dad in the hospital for a few days, mom in law took a fall... not the most pleasant December. It is hard to plan some things for this coming year: I know we are going to plan vacations for summer and Thanksgiving but apart from that, taking it slow and seeing how everyone is doing. Love all of your outfits! Lots of cute tops.
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. That does make it hard; we have two family members that we've been told are in the end stages of life and so we feel rather caught in the middle of not making plans either. Thankfully my mother in law seems to be making a full recovery.

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  7. What a busy month! My kids joke that we get powers outs near Holidays, (mostly Thanksgiving and near Christmas. It makes life crazy!

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    1. We seem to lose power a lot and always at the most inconvenient times! LOL.

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  8. What a busy month you had with lots of ups and downs. I hope your mother in law is doing OK now. What a worry and happy birthday to your mom. It looks like a great celebration.

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    1. Thank you; she seems to be doing much better.

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  9. Congrats. on your son's acceptance letter.
    Great collection of pictures.
    Happy New Year, Joanne.

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    1. Thank you! He was thrilled (even if we did know a full month prior).

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  10. Where do you get your daily sentences? Are they from your blog posts or from a diary or other source? It's such a great idea.

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    1. I start a post on the first of the month and try to add my sentence each day as the month goes on.

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  11. Sounds like you've had a busy month, with it's highs and lows. I hope your mother in law is starting to improve. Well done to your son on his acceptance. Happy New Year to you and your family #weekendcoffeeshare
    https://bestbookishblog.com

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    1. Thank you! My MIL is doing much better now.

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  12. It sounds like you had a fulfilling December, Joanne. I hope your MIL and her cat are doing ok. Our cat would be lost without my SIL staying with her while we are in Scottsdale. Congratulations to your son. I hope you have a wonderful 2024.

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    1. Her cat did surprisingly well with her gone but since she only lives 2 houses away we made sure to pop in several times a day to love on him and pet him, and make sure he wasn't feeling lonely.

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  13. That was a change of plan with the loss of electricity and your MIL. Whew. But man, I just love how you decorate your nails.

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  14. Wow! I didn't realize you'd had such bad storms. Is this a normal thing, and that's why you have a generator? I miss having a clothesline in my basement (not that I have a basement now). The diorama is amazing. Did Ian make this completely from scratch? I'm glad your mother-in-law is doing better, too!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. OH yes, we lose power all the time. Ian made the diorama completely from scratch using Styrofoam, newspaper, tape, and some specialty products to give it that plaster look (heck, it was probably plaster!).

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  15. Looks like that you had an amazing December.

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  16. Lots of good events & family gatherings to end the year on. I enjoyed looking at your pictures, getting some food & outfit ideas.

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  17. I've never done this and i loved reading it! You had quite the December but I'm glad you had creative time and oh my, wonderful food and family fun!

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  18. Lovelys and joyfull photographs of all this month. Are really great. Have a nice starting New Year 2024!!!!

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  19. The power outage and your mother-in-law's illness sure made the month a roller coaster! Wishing you a happy new year!

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  20. Thank you for your weekend coffee share. What an eventful December you had, with both happy events (your mother’s birthday, Christmas) and worry (your MIL in ER). I hope your MIL is feeling better. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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    1. She does seem to be feeling much better now. Thank you.

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  21. What a busy month! I hope your mother in law is doing better. Happy New year!

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    1. Aw, thank you! She's feeling better and better every day.

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  22. The diorama is so cool! I love your festive nails. I hope your mother-in-law is doing better!

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    1. Thanks! I was impressed with his diorama too. My MIL is doing much better.

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  23. A great end to 2023 for you all!

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  24. Lots of ups and downs in December for sure. I pray January is much better for all of you!

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  25. Super cute outfits and nails. I LOVE that village set up. So cool. I need to show my daughter. She sets up our village. oh no...no power is no fun! You had a crazy month for sure. Hoping your MIL is on the mend soon

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    1. Thanks! He's working on the 2nd half today.. now I just have to figure out how to store it for winter. My MIL is feeling much better, thank you.

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  26. Congratulations to Alec on his official acceptance to Johnson and Wales. Also, curious, why does Evan not like driving? I notice the younger generation aren't interested in driving nowadays. I've had similar conversations with other parents.

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    1. I'm not sure; both my younger two had no desire to learn to drive and many of their friends don't either. I know they partly feel like it's unsafe with so many more accidents on the road and distracted drivers but also they just don't have a whole lot of places to go... so they don't see the value in learning to do that.

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  27. I love all your festive nails and I'm so sorry your MIL's health threw such a wrench in your plans. It's stressful to be worrying about a loved one's health while it feels like everyone around you is celebrating and in such a different space.

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