Day 157 & Day 158 – Thanksgiving & Black Friday Weekend

**This has not been proofread. Reader beware.

Day 157 & Day 158.

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged, and in “Every Day with Chick-fil-A years,” it has. Last Wednesday was the last day. Now it’s Sunday.

Why? Let me count the reasons:

1) Thanksgiving – CFA is closed.

2) Black Friday – it’s our biggest day of the year; we were up at 5:30 a.m. and worked for nearly 18 hours straight. I did, however, find time to sneak in a #5 w/ Grilled Nuggets and a Peppermint Chocolate Chip when I wen out to pick up Asher at Grandma’s. (Side note – his first afternoon away from us was a success!) Day 157 in the books. Thanks fellas.

photo 33) Sunday – CFA is closed.

With that cacophonous cocktail of roadblocks, alas, here I sit – four days since my last blog.

For the record, time is of the essence even this evening, so just know I scored a 6-pk of cookies on Day 158, thanks to my new friend at the Chick-fil-A in Gulf View Square Mall:

photo 4Although since it was Asher’s first Thanksgiving with us in the States, I should at least post a few pics.

photo 1Thanksgiving day was very cold

everydaywithchickfilaWe ran the First Ford Family Turkey Trot – we were all bundled up; Asher won.

everydaywithchickfila1Braving the cold

everydaywithchickfila2Baby’s 1st Thanksgiving – at least in the U.S.A.

photo 4Asher loves his momma, his blankie, and Thanksgiving food.

Day 156 – Chick-Fil-A Is NOT Open on Thanksgiving

Day 156.

I know that all of you are wondering the same, very important thing – is Chick-fil-A open on Thanksgiving Day? They are not. So let’s just put that question to bed early and often.

Chick-fil-A is not open on Thanksgiving.

I’m okay with that. I mean, it will mean I only eat Chick-fil-A five out of seven days this week, but I’ll live. So long as everyone knows I’ve been at Chick-fil-A every day they’ve opened their doors since mid-May this past year…..that’s what counts.

Tonight’s run was done on the phone with Pops – the fam is together in St. Louis and I was scolding him for losing in fantasy football to an inferior opponent. Did you know the iPhone will take a picture even when you’re on the phone? Of course you did. Thanks to Colby, and Taylor and Ryan #2 for the service on my #5 Chicken Nuggets meal – Happy Thanksgiving boys!

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Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving you would expect an emotive, heart-felt haiku or a moving line of prose.  But I’ve been staring at a computer screen posting Black Friday deals (before Black Friday) all day and my eyes are crossed, much less my brain.  Instead, you’ll just get a couple pictures of the two things – well, people – I’m most thankful for.   Dates of pictures (11/27/13), for the record.

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No one’s going to take the Cheerios from you buddy

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It was finally cold enough to wear a beanie; yes, we know he doesn’t match

Day 155 – Short & Sweet (Literally – I Had the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake….Again)

Day 155.

Today it rained a lot. I worked a lot.  Then I drove to Chick-fil-A and got the Chicken Tortilla Soup. I had a great crew waiting on me this evening, and my Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake was delicious.

photoNow I’m posting a video of Asher, just because I can. Yes, I put zero thought into this blog. It’s Black Friday week, it’s only Tuesday, and I’m already feeling a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Day 152, Day 153, & Day 154 – Of Spoons & Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshakes

Day 152, Day 153, & Day 154.

Another tri-fecta for the peeps. Alas, I do not like smashing three posts into one, but we’re coming up on one month left in my quest to eat Every Day with Chick-fil-A, so a brotha’s gotta do what a brotha’s gotta do! (The last part of that sentence annoyed half of you reading this; heck, it annoyed me too, but it conveys the thought without much thought on my part, and that’s what poor writing is all about.)

It’s a good thing I take pictures so I can remember what happened the past three days (four when you factor Sunday).

Day 152 – Rachael was my server:

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I grabbed a 6-pk of cookies because I had eaten lasagna that night as part of our compare and contrast box lasagnas post, so I was really in the mood for something sweet.

Day 153 – This was done in the early a.m., making it my second Chick-fil-A trip within a 12-hour span.  I had my 7 a.m. Saturday morning workout with friends (think Crossfit or P90X stuff in modified fashion), and CFA is right on the way home. I popped in and chatted it up with Colby, grabbed my #7 Multi-grain Bagel Sandwich with hash browns and bottled water, and hit the road. The only bummer is I didn’t have my phone because I actually went inside and left it in the car, so I settled for a drive-by on my out:

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Day 154 – A lot easier to remember today’s trip, as I just got back. It had been a while since I ate, so I splurged in my #5 12-pc Chicken Nuggets meal by going with a limited time Peppermint Chocolate Chip shake, and it was worth every calorie. Don’t worry, I went with a small:

photo 2I asked for the shake to be a little thicker, and words of the Lord proved true again – “Ask and ye shall receive.” This shake was divine. I really savored every minute of it, and used every last bit of self-control I had to save a few slurps for my wife. Thanks to Jessica for the service and Ryan #2 for getting the order spot-on over the intercom:

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Now I thought I’d give a little Asher montage from this morning’s play session on the lanai.  Please note these pics were taken over a 20 minute span from the same vantage point, but Asher is playing at different spots each time. However, there is another constant in each photo that is noted with the red arrow.  The kid just won’t give up his applesauce spoon. Enjoy.

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Now don’t let him fool you on this next one. Seems the “Word of the Day” on Sesame Street that we’ve watched and heard like 900 times – “incognito” – has taken root.

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20 minutes later, the spoon is still intact. Hey, what can I say? The kid loves spoons.

See you on Day 155 tomorrow!

Day 151 – Asher’s First Trip to the Zoo

Day 151.

After Liza, Asher and I rolled through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru today and picked up a #3 Spicy Chicken Sandwich combo with a large Coke and fries, and had a good laugh with Colby and Sandy (and the gal in the middle whose name slips my mind), my wife turned to me, looked at me somewhat sheepishly, and said, “You’re going to really miss this when it’s over, aren’t you?”

photo 1You know what? I am. I’m not going to miss blogging about it every day. Not that I don’t like blogging and writing – I actually love it – but when you have to do it every day, well, I’m sure you can imagine how monotonous that can get.   And it’s not about the food – I actually haven’t got sick of the food. But let’s think about the time commitment – 20 minutes driving there, 20 minutes back, then at least another 20-25 minutes to write the post….at the end of the day….when you’re tired…..and all you want to do is go to bed, so it’s like amplified by a factor of incalculable.

But, I really do love seeing the people there. I certainly have come to call many of them “friends,” and for that, the experience has been a winner-winner-chicken-dinner.  Yes, pun totally intended.

So where was the family headed today at 2:30 in the afternoon as we downed our CFA? To the ZOO!  Yup, this was Asher’s first time to the zoo, and while we were disappointed there were no lions, he did get to see giraffes, elephants (including a baby one), rhinos, tigers, a swimming bear, monkeys, orangutangs, and lots of “tweet tweets.”  Not only that, but we got to see a leopard in the Asian exhibit jump about 20 feet to pounce on a wild squirrel that had made its way unsuspectingly into the display area. At the time of this writing, that squirrel’s existence is very much in question. It’s hard to tell from this pic below, but if you look closely, you can see the squirrel hanging out of each side of that leopard’s mouth. Man, the circle of life right in front of us. Liza got a little squeamish so she had to step away and head on over to the rhinos.  Asher was probably trying to eat a leaf so I’m sure he didn’t pick up on it.  But I did, and it was awesome.

everydaywithchickfilaHere’s the rest of our trip. Asher was about as interested in the animals as he was the wooden posts that caged them in (seriously dude, do you have to try and eat each post? I’m pretty sure they all taste the same).

photo 2(Safari Africa was our first destination – obviously)

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(Hanging out with the giraffes and elephants)

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(Runaway baby near the rhinos exhibit)

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(I’ll put Asher’s ability to point out an airplane against any other 13 month old)

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(The orangutangs and monkeys were pretty sweet – not that Asher noticed)

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(First shoulder ride – he didn’t like it or anything)

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(A Day of Firsts – First Family Zoo Photo)
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(Haha – great one to end on, my little African ranger)

Day 150 – A Chick-fil-A “Secret”

Day 150.

Today I had lunch with a friend at Chick-fil-A and ordered a #11 – Chick-fil-A Chicken Tortilla Soup and a large Coke. I had the pleasure of providing lunch for my buddy with one of my FREE lunch combo gift certificates I received from the VIP Luncheon (he enjoyed a #1 with no pickles – I like his style).   Thanks to my gals at Chick-fil-A for taking the order:

photoTwo things I learned today:

1) Open your lid for your Chick-fil-A server when he asks you if you want a refill. You would think I would do that on instinct by now, having been there 150 days in a row, but I’ve only actually sat in a Chick-fil-A for no more than 10 of those days. Cut me some slack okay?

2) There are 13 restaurants in the Atlanta area – old Dwarf House restaurants – that serve (wait for it)…….cows. That’s right. Those lovable cows you see in every commercial – their brothers and sisters might end up in your belly one day!

So now you know the inside scoop. And since it’s late, this blog post is done.

Day 148 & Day 149 – Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshakes Are Here & Asher’s 3-month “Gotcha” Day Anniversary

Day 148 & Day 149.

One word: Peppermint-Chocolate-Chip-Milkshake.

everydaywithchickfilaYou see what I did there?  Hyphenation, baby. It’s a great literary tool, but like your favorite joke or pair of boxers, you can only bring it out so much. It’s a special gem in the writer’s repertoire and must be treated as such.

In the last two days, I’ve had two of these bad boys, and I don’t regret it. At least not yet. I’m not the biggest peppermint fan by itself, but you pair it with some chocolate and I’m like a hobo on a hotdog (read that somewhere recently and I’ve been dying to try it!). Did it work? Um, yeah, you don’t have to answer that.

I was at the mall Chick-fil-A in Port Richey for day 148 because I had to be out that way to pick up some stuff at Office Depot, so many thanks to my server Becky for the shake and some Chicken Tortilla Soup.

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Day 149 actually serves as a special one, because it marks the 3 month anniversary of Asher’s U.S.A. “gotcha” day, which is adoption-speak for, “The day we brought him home.”  It’s true that Liza had him for 19 days in Ethiopia, but he stepped on Florida soil on August 19th, 2013. Well, he was carried on US soil on the 19th of August.

I had a bunch of emotional and sentimental things I wanted to capture in this blog post because Asher has made soooooo (six o’s means I’m really serious) much progress since that first week. However, my wife did a better job that I could’ve ever hoped for in her Facebook status earlier, so I thought I’d just let her do the talking.

everydaywithchickfila1Makes me a little teary, for sure.  To think that he will most likely remember none of this is, well, depressing. But I’m trying to cherish every second – that’s what the rest of you keep telling me to do, and you’re absolutely right.

We did make a family trip to Chick-fil-A today in celebration of Asher’s 3-months in the States, and a #5 Chicken Nuggets meal with a Peppermint Shake was just what the doctor ordered. Thanks to Jessica and the other gals for the prompt (and correct service) tonight:

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My only complaint with both the Peppermint and the Mocha Cookies & Cream shakes are that they’re generally too unthick. Yes, I just made that word up George Bush. But it’s the best way to describe it. If you’re going to error on a shake, you want to error on the thick side, not the unthick side. Sooooo, Chick-fil-A execs – these specialty milkshakes are divine, but I think your customer base would like to see them have the same thickness as the regular menu shakes. At least this customer.

Liza took this pic of Asher today on a walk, so I’m posting it here to have a record of what he looks like at 3 months. Plus, with that smile, it’s just too good not to:

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Day 147 – Saved by My Wife

Day 147.

Today was almost my first missed Every Day with Chick-fil-A.  Thankfully I have a kind wife who stopped on her way home after hanging with the ladies to pick me up some cookies.  Just what the doctor ordered:

photoNo picture of the server, so that’s a bummer, but beggars can’t be choosers, am I right?

So why was I not able to get out today? Well bug-a-boo (aka Asher) didn’t exactly cooperate from a napping schedule, and ended up not going down until like 2:30.  By the time he woke up, it was too late for me to get out and back before Liza needed the car. Plus, I had some very important applesauce to feed the boy.  Thanks for documenting it, Mama.

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Kid is pretty cute when he’s eating applesauce, I’m not gonna lie.

Day 145 & Day 146 – Cookies & Soup & A Photo Show & Tell

Day 145 & Day 146.

Since I don’t have anything earth-shattering to convey in these last two days, I thought I’d post a picture of what it is we do for a living. We help people save money on their grocery bills.

I went shopping on Day 146 right before I headed out to get my Chicken Tortilla Soup for the second time in three days, and loved seeing my good Chick-fil-A buddies Ryan #1 and Jessica, with a sneaky Austin in the back. Truly I love these guys!

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But back to what we do. We blog about saving money. Then each Friday we take a trip to our local Publix, shop, save money, then come home and take a picture of what we bought and how we did it. You never think this is what your college degree will do for you.

At any rate, here’s today’s trip. We paid $34 for everything below, and saved $150; that comes out to about 81% savings.  Granted, it’s not the 100% savings I get at Chick-fil-A with my VIP Black Card, but it’s pretty good.

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The Asher photo bomb is a free bonus for your viewing pleasure. He had just finished up lunch and was really taking in the moment.

So that’s what we do in a nutshell. It’s amazing that you can make a full-time living off of it, but then again, not really. People love getting deals, and people need to eat. Bringing the desire to save and the desire to eat is a fairly natural fit.

Backtracking to day 145, it was just a 6-pk of Cookies kind of day, and they are, for the record, now completely annihilated less than 24 hours later. Before you start judging me, see if your family can let those cookies sit around the house for more than 24 hours.  A free Chick-fil-A meal on me says you can’t do it.

Thanks to my server “John” for her service, and for the back of the head shot of my cashier who shall remain nameless (Hint: it rhymes with Jolly).

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I got nothing else for you. It’s the end of the week and I’m gassed. A month and a half to go before my Every Day with Chick-fil-A ends. I’m ambivalently happy and sad to see that day come.

Day 144 – Asher at the Doc, A Chilly Florida Night, & Some Warm Chicken Tortilla Soup!

Day 144.

Wednesdays are always a long day because I have a weekly project that requires me to get up about 5:00/5:30 a.m.  By the end of the day, quite frankly, I don’t like to ignore the bed’s beckoning whispers.

Thankfully we were pretty organized today, and I’m also thankful because we have a new gal doing great work on the website for us, and a mother (in-law, for me) who helps us out tremendously at night with Asher and the house.

Hence, I’m able to get this up at a reasonable hour. Today was all about Asher, as we had our second doctor’s appointment with him. We’re not sure if it’s because of a new environment making him nervous or if he’s just acting in character, but this kid is crazy squirmy at the doctor’s office! So of course when I was taking a pic to document the moment, he was literally climbing the walls:

everydaywithchickfilaThis kiddo, I tell ya. Doesn’t sit still for a minute. It’s pretty exhausting actually when you’re trying to hear important things about his health while hanging onto him for his dear little life.  How was the update? Well, he needs to eat more. Apparently he’s still pretty tiny compared to his peers. In all fairness though, shouldn’t we have an Ethiopian chart out?  #ithoughtso

We popped into Chick-fil-A on the way home and I’m happy to say that I had my first Chick-fil-A Chicken Tortilla Soup of the year.  The large portion (which of course I ordered) comes in at only 550 calories for a whopping and filling treat.  It’s hearty, flavorful, and has just the right amount of kick.  Much like the Asian Salad, you will not be disappointed.  Get it now while you can!

Since it’s difficult to eat on the road, I waited til home, heated it up over the stove, and threw on some cheddar cheese because really, who doesn’t love more cheese?

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On a chilly evening like tonight (yes, it’s in the 50’s), this hit the spot. Thanks to the crew at CFA for their service. Jessica and Sandy are in the foreground, Seritta (sp?) is the blur, and I forget the dude in the back, but he’s cool.

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Finally, I took Asher on a cold walk right before din-din and just thought the facial expressions from #1 to #2 were funny, thus, blog-worthy:

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#2

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Hahaha – love this kid!

If you’re wondering who dressed him, btw, it was all me. Mismatched? Yes.  Warm? Absolutely.