reunion

On The Lake

I had the pleasure of a girl’s weekend with my bestie, Rachel! Last year we rented an Airbnb on the water in Shelton (very remote, very peaceful). This year we rented a place on Lake Steilacoom in Lakewood, Washington. It’s between Olympia and Tacoma. I’ve honestly never been–I’ve just seen signs off the freeway. πŸ˜‰

The place we rented was the basement apartment of a house right on the lake.

I arrived a little before Rachel on Friday afternoon and after unpacking, I sat outside in the sun and read my book next to the lake. It was peaceful and quiet and beautiful.

When Rachel arrived we got some food at the nearby Trader Joe’s and then cooked dinner while catching up. We made goat cheese ravioli topped with Autumn Pumpkin Alfredo sauce–sounds a bit weird but it was tasty! Not too overpowering in either direction.

We drank wine, we talked late into the night, we ate the homemade popcorn the owners gave us and then went in the hot tub. It was a really nice, relaxing evening!

Saturday we both slept in (amazing!) had breakfast and lots of coffee:

And then I went for a run. The place we rented was right on the water and the neighborhood was very nice, but the streets were narrow and windy and not safe to run on. I asked the owner if there was any where I could go and she recommended Fort Steilacoom Park.

Apparently it’s a nice place for all kinds of activities and when I showed up there were tons of people doing stuff. There was some kind of event going on, then there was a soccer tournament and there was a huge dog park area, which looked cool.

There were a bunch of trails. I ran on the gravel/dirt trails a bit until I found the paved path:

It was a beautiful fall day, slightly crisp but not too cold. The sun was out, the leaves were turning. The paved path went around the lake and it was flat and clean and very nice. There were lots of other walkers, runners and bikers. It kind of reminded me of Greenlake in Seattle.

 

It was a nice run. I felt pretty good. I wasn’t in a rush, either, just enjoyed the scenery. Rachel was going to the store to get a few things and she said no rush, so I looked around a bit and found a cool old ruin:

I did a little more running and then headed back to the car. I did just under 3 miles and felt great!

I stretched and then drove back to the house (about a mile or so away), showered and then we kicked back with Pandora tunes and played board games a bit. Then Trader Joe’s honey goat cheese on crackers and some soup for lunch. We played a few rounds of Ticket to Ride.

Then chick flicks on Netflix! We decided to order takeout for dinner and picked up Italian food at Casa Mia. It was pretty close to where we were staying, so that was nice. Rachel got the mushroom risotto and I got spaghetti noodles with pesto and Caesar Salad. The portions were pretty big so we had lots of leftovers. It was a weekend full of carbs!

Then more hot tub time:

And bed. Sunday I hit the gym and then drove home to Portland. It was a fantastic weekend! I really needed the girl time and time to catch up with Rachel (and time to relax and do NOTHING) but I was feeling a little homesick. I missed my boys! I got home just in time for Logan to wake up from his nap!

It felt good to be home. πŸ™‚

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!