Holiday Foods

New Traditions

This year Michael and I made some new traditions for the holiday season. First, instead of getting each other a lot of gifts, we decided to just get a babysitter and go on a date night. That was a great idea because it was less stress and pressure (and money) to find the perfect gift. And honestly we don’t need much right now anyways.

Second, we invited my parents to our place for Christmas Eve dinner. In the past they drove down from Seattle to spend Christmas morning with us. We’d go to brunch at Gracie’s Restaurant. It was always wonderful and delicious. But last year we decided that we needed to simplify things for Christmas.

With Logan here now, it was a LONG day. Christmas morning with us, then brunch and gifts with my parents and then Christmas dinner and gifts at Michael’s family’s house. It was just too much go go go. And it kinda sucked that my parents were driving a long ways to visit and they only got a short, rushed amount of time.

This year we decided to split Christmas up. Christmas Eve my parents drove down from Seattle and we all hung out, then opened some presents and had Christmas Eve Dinner. Michael got me Christmas flowers! So sweet. πŸ™‚

Christmas Eve Eve Logan and I were both sick (bummer) with sinus infections and Logan had an ear infection. Antibiotics! Yay! πŸ™ Despite that, it was still a good holiday weekend. I skipped the gym on Christmas Eve and just rested and watched Christmas movies and cartoons with Logan. πŸ™‚

Anyways, Christmas Eve was really relaxed and it was nice to just hang out. Lunch:

Snacky plates. My parents picked up some vinegar and salt chicken wings (I’ve never had them before and they might be my new favorites!) to go with lunch snacks. The guys watched the football game and I prepped dinner while Logan napped and once he woke up, he played with his Grammy. πŸ™‚

Dinner was EXCELLENT! I am SO happy with how it turned out. I did a roast, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I used this recipe for the roast.

I marinated the roast for most of the day in the balsamic vinegar, then poured most of it out and put the “paste” (rosemary, thyme, fresh garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil) on the roast and popped it in the oven. I’m not used to making meals like this, so I was REALLY happy that it turned out so delicious and perfect.

 

We had a really nice dinner together. Logan refused to eat much of anything (what kid doesn’t like mashed potatoes?!?!). We had some pie and opened presents and played in the SNOW.

Christmas morning we woke up (we all slept in til 8!!! Even Logan!!! Christmas miracle!) and did Christmas brunch with my parents. Michael made omelettes for everyone with bacon and my parents brought mini cinnamon rolls. Yum!

Then we opened presents. I post some videos on Instagram. Logan LOVED opening presents this year!Β  πŸ™‚ Check out what my brother sent me:

LOVE IT. πŸ˜€

After presents my parents headed to the beach for a few days.Β It was definitely more low-key and less stressful and very nice this year.Β After Logan’s nap we drove to Beaverton to hang out with Michael’s family.

 

 

I like the new tradition!

Update

Where’ve I’ve been?Β Yep, I kind of dropped off the planet for a bit.

The good news: I lost 3 pounds! After our mini-vacation to the beach I came home and weighed in. I’ve been taking a break from the low carb diet since before Thanksgiving. Mostly because it stopped working, but also because it was just too much of a struggle for me. I realized that it’s just not the best diet plan for my lifestyle. It works for about 3 weeks, then the weight loss stops and I am justΒ miserable.Β So anyways, the diet is on hold. I’m eating whatever I want but staying in my calorie range. I have no idea how I lost 3 pounds, but it was a nice surprise on the scale!

The bad news: Michael got laid off. It sucks. It’s hard. It’s terrible timing. Michael is feeling very optimistic. I’m trying to be optimistic. We’ve been through this before. He’s already gotten a lot of leads and referrals to other jobs, so that’s good. But not exactly how we wanted to go into the holidays…

The upside to unemployment, Michael will be finish all the house remodel projects! I am looking forward to having that stuff finally done. (Over Thanksgiving break we painted the kitchen and dining room after living with primer white paint for years! It looks so great!)

I’m feeling pretty Grinch-like this season. Part of it is the job stuff. But the big part is that it’s been a really rough year for us (and a lot of people) and I miss my cat a lot. It’s hard not having him around but I get through it. This time of year? Not so much. Yggdrasil LOVED Christmas. He loved sitting underneath the tree, sleeping and purring and just enjoying the lights. He loved it when I would wrap Christmas presents (and he’d try to help LOL). He absolutely loved bows and ribbons (and our presents could never have bows or ribbons because he’d steal them!). So everything is kind of a reminder and it’s sad and my heart hurts

We did get a tree. I’m glad we did. It’s cheering me up a little bit. And Logan helped decorate! You can see a little video on instagram. πŸ™‚

We topped the tree with an angel that Logan made at daycare! πŸ™‚ So far he’s doing really well with not touching the tree. Most of the ornaments are felt just in case, though.

For Christmas Michael and I decided to go out on a date night instead of getting each other gifts. We didn’t really need anything anyways.

We went to West Linn and walked around the cute little area and then went to Allium for happy hour. We got drinks and shared an order of duck fat fries. πŸ™‚

Later we went to 1933, a pub with really good food and a huge tap list. We each got a Boneyard beer. Michael got the Prohibition Burger (he said it was outstanding) and I got the prosciutto flatbread.

It was really good! The flatbread was grilled with prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese and balsamic. Very delicious!

The bar was playing Christmas music, which was really nice. It was a quiet evening just the two of us. I guess a SantaCon pub crawl was making their way through the local bars and would be heading to 1933 but sadly, we missed it. We had to get home to relieve the babysitter.

It was a nice night, low-key but fun, and I think it will be a new tradition for our Christmas Date Night. πŸ™‚