...and all through the house, no more creatures were stirring, 'cause they left last night at 11:00 after having a great time of food and fellowship. I'm so grateful to God for the wonderful people He has placed in our lives.
Yesterday when I left off I was leaving to get pizzas. I picked them up quickly - it was Little Caesar's pizza, and we'd called ahead to let them know we needed 3 pepperoni and 2 cheese pizzas. My daughter had picked up her birthday cake, an exquisite creation by a lady at church whom we call the Real Cake Boss. It was a square cake made to look like a Christmas present, covered in white frosting with a snowflake design, and a green velvet ribbon made of fondant. The cake itself was red velvet with a cookie dough filling and covered in a chocolate ganache. It was truly a piece of art. Along with that there was the Christmas bark and reindeer chow (think Chex Mix but covered in powdered and peppermint sugar), a hot buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips, and a hot chocolate bar. It was 7:00, the guests were to arrive at 7:30, and we were ready for them.
My daughter was starting to get nervous when a few people called or texted saying they weren't going to be able to make it, or might not get here till late. Thankfully people started arriving at 7:40 and we had a steady flow of folks coming in till 9:00. Everyone went absolutely bonkers over her buffalo chicken dip! I kind of laughed at the fact that everyone was congregated around the crock pot sneaking more and more of it! Her friend bought a huge tray of sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes that were beautiful as well as delicious. Everyone loved the idea of the hot chocolate bar, even though we associate hot chocolate with cold weather, and our weather the last 3 days has been anything but cold. Our temps have gotten close to the 80 degree mark, and while the humidity has still been low, the sky has been cloudless and the sun makes the day feel nice and toasty. Still, it was so yummy, and who can resist hot chocolate at Christmastime? A few even went back for seconds! My daughter had planned on having food, cake, and board games, but everyone was chatting and laughing, and before we knew it folks were leaving because it was 11:00 at night. Many of her friends are couples with young children, and Mama and Daddy had to go home. Everyone had a really good time, and I'm so thankful that they showered my little girl with love and affection. God was glorified as we thanked Him for her life and her example in the lives of others.
So, on to today. I got up feeling more tired than usual. I figured it was because we went to bed so late, after having to clean up and put things away. My son R left for work, A went to get her hair cut, and I had a small breakfast. I needed to get ready for grocery shopping day, and I wasn't looking forward to it. It's 5 days till Christmas, and I knew Walmart would most likely be a mad house. I hate crowded stores, and I felt drained just thinking about it. A got back before I was ready and volunteered to go with me, which was good because I didn't feel like going alone. E stayed at home; he hates shopping anytime, even if it's for himself. We went to Walmart and yes, it was pretty packed. Since I had my list we went down the aisles getting everything we needed. We were almost done - I just needed to get my shampoo and some ice cream, which I always leave for last so it doesn't melt in the shopping cart. A told me she needed to use the rest room, so I went to get my shampoo. I was looking for a specific one, the Argan Oil and Shea Butter shampoo by OGX which doesn't contain sulfates. I like that fact, because sulfates tend to dull colored hair. This one is especially good for hair that gets straightened a lot because it's hydrating. Well, of course they only had the conditioner, which I didn't need :P. I settled instead for the Moroccan Argan Creme shampoo which is similar, and I was about to head on over to the ice cream, when my daughter called me on my cell phone. "Come over to aisle 20 quick, there's no one on line!" I was ready to run everyone over just to get there! One gentleman was ahead of me with 2 items, that was it. At Walmart during Christmas, that's unheard of! My daughter went to get the ice cream and we got out of there in no time. God certainly favored me because He knew I wanted to be there as much as I could ever want a toothache!
From there we headed to Costco to pick up a few things and to get gas. I was shocked to see gas prices have gone down to $2.39/gallon. I can't remember when it was that low! It was costing me an average of $55 to fill up my tank; today I paid less that $40. Praise The Lord!! Costco was also packed to the gills, but they always have plenty of workers helping folks so we didn't take very long. I still had to go to Publix for the turkey, but we decided to go home and eat first. I felt weak, and since all I'd eaten for breakfast were 2 slices of wheat toast with apple butter I thought for sure I was just hungry. We came home and I ate a couple of slices of cheese pizza from last night, but I still felt tired. My head was also hurting a bit. It was hurting at Walmart but I'd imagined it was from being in the packed store, except I was sneezing more than usual. I finally had to accept that I'm coming down with something. My throat is kind of scratchy, my sinuses are a bit inflamed, and of course my daughter is feeling the same way. Whether she picked it up at her tutoring job and brought it home, or someone from the party last night did, we can't say. All I know is, I've gotta bump up my vitamin C intake because no one wants to be sick Christmas week.
While I was getting my lunch, my daughter suggested we watch a Christmas movie. Her suggestion: Elf. Now I'll be the first to tell you, I don't care for Will Farrell as an actor. I find his roles to be either corny or downright stupid. But I have to admit, Elf really is a cute movie. Maybe because it's a Christmas flick, and that's my favorite movie genre. I was only too happy to accept her suggestion, and sit down for a while before continuing with my day.
There was one thing left to do before I left for Publix, and that was wash all the bedding. My daughter helped me get all the dirty bedding off and all the new bedding on all the beds, and I threw that in the wash before leaving. A wanted to go with me again, so we went and picked up a 13 pound turkey, some cake mixes and hummus that was on sale. My daughter went ahead and paid for it (yay!), so my total food bill for this week's shopping trips was $311.01. That doesn't include yesterday's pizzas, since that was a gift to my daughter. I try to stay around $300 for my food bill every 2 weeks, but since I went under budget during my last shopping trip I feel like I did pretty good. It also helps that my gas bill was lower than usual. All in all a good shopping trip.
Dinner tonight: yep, you got it, leftover pizza. I'm really not feeling my best, and I had no desire to be in the kitchen making anything. Thankfully my kids can eat pizza 24/7/365 and not get tired of it. I did my mani-pedi today, which I desperately needed. Keeping with the Christmas theme, I did my nails in a bright candy-apple red, except for my ring fingers which are gold with some shimmer. I feel like my nails look festive! It was also exfoliation day, and I was really excited to get my face super cleaned so I could use my new Bare Minerals products. I did use them yesterday; I'm not gonna lie, I couldn't wait. The eye reviver isn't an eye cream, it's an eye powder that gets patted under the eye to brighten. It can be used at any time of the day, but since it's a small tube I decided I'd only use it with my evening routine. The glow pads really do give my face a healthy glow. I used one before the extra firming neck cream, which I also used on my face. After using these products last night I wondered if my face would be greasy in the morning, since the extra firming neck cream is pretty thick. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that my skin looked firmer and the lines on my forehead seemed to have disappeared! That's why I was so excited to use these skin treatments again on my exfoliated skin. Oh! I have to mention that I got more samples of the Active Cell Renewal Night Serum. This stuff is fabulous! I put it on under my moisturizer at night and in the morning my face feels so soft. I'm glad they sent the samples, because the actual serum is $50 for 1 fl. oz. While I'm sure many could argue it's worth the price, I just can't be spending that kind of money right now.
My son got home from work at 6:30, changed out of his work clothes and headed out the door again. My daughter is at her 2nd job's Christmas party. My youngest son is in the shower getting ready for bed, and I think I'll be headed in that direction too. I took my vitamin C, and I think what my body needs now is rest. I'll be praying I don't get sick. I had bronchitis just last September, and I don't want that to happen again. The countdown continues! Good night.