Weekend Wrap Up – Graduation and Christmas Traditions!

What a weekend! Usually the weekend before Christmas is a busy one but this year seemed even crazier with graduation and renovations thrown in. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in!


I have a hard time sleeping in since I get up so early most days. I scheduled bootcamp for 8am (rather than 5:30). After class I showered and got ready for the day.

I ran several errands – Target, TJ Maxx, and Hallmark. Not so much to buy Christmas stuff, we needed things for our bathrooms and of course I needed a graduation card.

After lunch I took Nolan shopping. We were able to find a winter coat and shoes for him at Dillard’s before heading to Target for a few grocery items. Shopping with Nolan was fun but the boy has good taste. We found a great wool coat, shoes, a cardigan, and of course he wanted a cashmere scarf. The scarf was on sale for $87 in store (only $77 online), I talked him into leaving that behind in search of a less expensive option. Have I created a monster? Where did he get this taste in clothes and the finer things as he likes to say?

He grabbed another cardigan at Target (now on sale) we really like this brand. Guess what else we found? A scarf. Not cashmere but it’ll work just fine. BTW – all outerwear for the family is now 30% off at Target.

Friday night I picked up specialty cookies and a cake I ordered for Nolan’s graduation. I was thrilled with the cookies – the cake was a little different story however. Nolan and I were literally at her front door when her dog took a bite out of the cake! #2020

She didn’t want to give us the cake and offered to try and make another one. She had little kids and lots on her agenda so I asked her to simply cut off the bite and fix it – she did. I had paid her half up front for the cake and cookies, she offered to refund my money but I didn’t feel right about that. We agreed to just leave it at that.


Another morning of errands. Hobby Lobby has 50% off wall decor right now so my shopping for home accessories continued. Eventually we’ll find the right pieces!

At 11:30 we watched Nolan’s graduation- his department had their own ceremony which was nice. Each graduate was able to submit a slide including a picture as well as information about their future plans, favorite memory, and who they wanted to thank. At 1:30 the official graduation began, again they shared a slide for each student. Afterwards they sent a link of the graduates name being read and the slide on the screen.

For years we’ve had a family tradition of a Christmas brunch with my mother’s long time neighbor. He goes all out decorating for Christmas and it’s always such a treat being in his home. He started gifting our kids (when they were toddlers) Christmas ornaments. Over the years the kids have amassed quite the collection.

Last year we switched things up and had a dinner, we did the same thing again this year and it was lovely. The boys all love opening the ornaments and have fun comparing them. Some years he finds ornaments that remind us all of a particular time in their lives – like this year. He gave my son Collin a bulldozer ornament. As a toddler, Collin loved bulldozers and construction. He went through a period when he was 3 where he’d only wear shirts with bulldozers on them. If the bulldozer was on the back he’d wear it backwards. If I bought a shirt that had a front end loader on it, he’d tell me he couldn’t wear it because it wasn’t a dozer! So we all got a kick out of the ornament and remembered those happy times.

We also celebrated Nolan’s graduation and took some pictures. It’s nice to be with the people you love to enjoy a good meal in a beautiful setting, and open gifts that are given out of love. While not all of our family was able to make it we had a good time.


I actually slept in until 7:30! That’s amazing for me and feels so good. I did laundry, addressed Christmas cards, and started my grocery list.

At 4pm we headed over to my best friend Melodie’s house for another one of our Christmas traditions. Ginger bread house building. Again, this was started over 20 years ago. Melodie and I share a mindset of loving the gift of time. It’s always been more important to me to spend time rather than money. Over the years we’ve done it all – baked gingerbread and made royal icing to build our own and eventually started buying the prebuilt homes (so much better). We have dinner and then go look at lights.

This year we brought my niece, Gabriella to join the fun. I hope we can continue this tradition with her – it’s always nice to have little ones to do these things with. When my kids looks back over the years, it’s very doubtful they’ll remember specific gifts but they will remember the people we spent time with and things we did together. That’s what makes this time of year so special to me.

The Week Ahead

I’m certainly hoping that the plumber is well enough to install our tub today. The boys and I are hoping to bake some cookies this week. They’ve each picked a favorite and while normally I do the baking, they’ll do it this year as well. I have some errands to run – mostly for the house, Christmas shopping is done.

Any plans this week? Are you ready for Christmas? I hope so, I hope you can enjoy the season that we’re in without looking ahead to next year. For the last several years my family has been in a state of “things will be better next year” only to find they really weren’t. In 2018 when we knew it would be my dad’s last Christmas and every day was a struggle, we had hope that 2019 would be better. Then my niece died unexpectedly in November, 2019 and my brother got his second cancer diagnosis. Again, we said, 2020 will be better. Now here we are. I’ve always believed it and now I’ve lived it – don’t write off the here and now because there are good things to be found in this moment. My hope for you is that you are able to find the good!

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