Five Things Friday Vol. 37

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

I don’t think I have not mentioned it here yet, but I got my booster shot last week (woot!). I was so excited when I was able to make an appointment at my PCP. I am especially stoked now that yet another variant (Omicron) has made its appearance on the world stage. Sigh. Do you think we’ll outpace the virus at some point? This is getting old.

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I bought my first at-home Covid test yesterday. The fact that I’ve not had not one single Covid test since the pandemic started (I know!) should give you a pretty good idea about how much we’ve isolated ourselves the last 20+ months. But since I will be traveling next week for the first time in two years, I thought it might be wise to test before and after.

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I think I received my first ‘mystery’ Christmas present yesterday. It was sent by Amazon, so I opened it, but there was no note or other useful hint on who had sent it. I use the same tactics for the holidays (ordering some gifts online and having them shipped directly to the recipient), but my trick usually is to put a (FROM SAN) line somewhere in the address if there is no option to leave a gift note. If you ordered something for me, can you kindly let me know so that I can thank you properly?

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I am continuing to be a MudLOVE Wayfinder. I love supporting and promoting a small business with beautiful handmade items that support a greater cause, Water for Good. Every purchase provides one week of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic. If you’re still looking for some holiday gifts that make an impact, check them out!

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I’ll start decorating – and baking! – for the holiday season this weekend, hoping that it will get me into the holiday spirit. It’s not quite here yet. How do you feel about the holiday season this year?


  1. Overall I’m feeling good.

    This year feels different. Slower, in some ways. We’re in the middle of exterior renovations, and so somehow it just doesn’t feel like it can possibly be the Christmas season in the middle of all that…but it is! I also find there are a lot fewer events that made it feel busy – no pageants and programs, so the whole season that was usually very stressful and busy feels a lot more open. That’s mostly good, but I do think all those extras did make things feel more like Christmas.

    We’re doing festive things; most of the decorations are up except the main tree. I have a good set of gifts purchased and wrapped. I also am definitely saying “no” to a lot more this year – both directly (like turned down a holiday party invite) and indirectly (not doing some of the regular “extras” that made me feel frantic in previous years).

    1. Yes, I agree – this year feels slower. Although I don’t know how it’s already the 12th of December!

  2. Ugh, I’ve had so many Covid tests! Again, it just goes to show you the difference in our lifestyles- I’m out in the world every day. I definitely want to get an at-home test just to have on hand- there have been days where I’m not feeling well and I think “If this isn’t Covid, I absolutely need to go to work. If it is Covid, I absolutely can’t go to work.” It would be handy to have that test.
    Funny about that ‘mystery’ preset- have you figured it out yet? That’s happened to me a couple times. I love the idea of putting “from San” in the address somewhere- that’s brilliant.

    1. I feel very lucky that I was able to work from home and didn’t have to be “out in the world” during this pandemic, but I know that others (like you) didn’t have the luxury. I cannot imagine the turmoil of feeing sick not knowing if it’s Covid or not. I’ve been able to even get sick by being home most of the time.

  3. Omg I wish I read your hint about the “from so-and-so” before today!!! I just ordered someone a gift directly from a website and they didn’t have a “this is a gift option”… dang.

    1. The “from so-and-so” has been very helpful in lots of situations – remember it for next time ;)

  4. I am feeling pretty good right now after just climbing out of the bathtub. I lightly decorated this morning and my two candles on the advent arrangement are lit.

    I totally relate to the self testing. I did one in June on my birthday because I wanted to hug my mom and we weren’t vaccinated yet. Ad. then just a couple of weeks ago after I came back from my business trip. After the husband had a covid alert and before being my sister. So over all 4 tests and the last three in the span of 10 days because we wanted to be safe.

    How fun a secret Santa send you something. I am not sure if I am hoping you’ll figure it out or it it is more fun guessing. I since you whisk to know I hope you’ll figure it out.

    1. These self-tests are really good for some peace-of-mind.

  5. I’m okay on the holidays this year. The presents are all purchased and the ones that need to get mailed are being picked up tomorrow. The tree is up, along with the outside lights. I’ve ordered our holiday cards, but they haven’t arrived yet. Once those puppies are in the mail, I’m golden!

    Because our dog has health issues, we’re not traveling this year and I’m finding the idea of a nice quiet holiday amazing.

    1. I agree – I do quite enjoy the quiet holidays.

  6. I have had so many covid tests. Maybe 8? Hard to say. But that is life with kids in daycare. Having them home with us was just not an option, outside of the 7 weeks we had Paul home at the early part of the pandemic (which was horrible – working w/ a 2yo around was ROUGH). I had a false positive with an at-home test, so I do not trust them anymore. The stress of that experience was awful so we will just get PCR tests if we worry we might have covid. We’ve gotten good at booking those/knowing where to go for the fastest results!

    We got a lot of mystery baby gifts last year but were able to track down who sent things! I would hate to not know who to thank!

    1. I understand that some people have had much more exposure (through work or kids’ daycare/school) and I am glad there are self-tests available now for some peace of mind!

  7. I only got my first Covid test this year! And I’ve only had two total – once after a trip and once when I got a cold and needed to make sure it wasn’t Covid. I always prefer to go to CVS for a PCR test, since those give the most accurate results, but an at-home test is nice in a pinch!

    I am ALL IN for the holidays, as per usual, hehe. It’s just my favorite time of the year!

    1. I thought about going to a test station to get a PCR test, but it didn’t make sense before travel as I really hadn’t been anywhere to be even suspicious. If I had any symptoms though, I’d go in a heartbeat.

  8. I got plenty of Covid selftests, as you know, to be able to test myself every other day during travel. Just makes me fell somewhat in control. Can’t hurt!!!

    1. Can’t hurt – glad they’ve worked out for you during this trip! ;)

  9. This year…well, it feels a lot like last year, mostly because I had to cancel my travel plans. My other challenge is that it feels less festive. But that is just me – and where I am in my life right now. I am planning to relax a bit more than usual, though, and looking forward to that.
    Mystery gift… so intriguing! Did you ever figure it out???
    And, I’ve never had a COVID test. PCR or rapid. I’ve been quite lucky – working partially in person this fall, but no known exposures, and I have never been symptomatic. Plus, the people with whom I interact (well, other than those at the grocery and that kind of thing) are all fully vaccinated and boosted (and I was actually the last to get to both milestones!).

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