reunion

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!

Christmas at the Beach

Over the weekend our family had a nice little getaway. My family is pretty big (on my mom’s side) and we used to do a summer camp out party and then a Christmas party every year. This year my cousin Di organized and coordinated a fantastic new Christmas party!

She found a giant house on the beach in Rockaway, OR. It was a giant house, big enough for the majority of people to stay there. I think there was something like 4 or 5 bedrooms (several rooms had bunk beds) so tons of people could sleep there.

We decided to rent a house in Rockaway with my parents. Our house that we rented was on the north side of town, the other house was south but it was literally 7 minutes to drive to the party, so no big deal.

You can see pictures of the vacation house we rented on my Instagram. It was really cute! It was big with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, the garage was converted to another bedroom/playroom. There was a fenced yard for Bella (fabulous) with a fire pit and picnic bench. The decor was super cute and kind of modern/retro. Check out the photos I took.

Plus, there was a GIANT closet stuffed full of toys for kids of any ages! Logan had SO much fun playing with the toys. What a great surprise!

Our house was one block from the beach, too! We had easy access to the beach. The weather was perfect this week–sunny and not windy and fairly warm. It was in the 30’s in the mornings, though!

We all arrived at the house Friday afternoon and then went for a walk on the beach. It was gorgeous and we basically had the beach all to ourselves.

After Logan went to bed, my Dad and Michael went to pick up pizza and Caesar salad for dinner and the four of us had pizza (Michael and I had beer from Buoy) and we played card games. It was so much fun!

Saturday morning my parents played with Logan and Michael and I went for a run. It was a very cool, cold morning but the sun was out and we warmed up pretty quickly. The sun felt nice! We ran around the neighborhood and by the beach. I ended up running around 2.75 miles. Then while Michael was making his famous mac n’ cheese for the potluck, my dad and I went for a long walk on the beach while Logan napped.

Bella was LOVING the beach! I have some cute videos on my Instagram if you want to see.

After lunch on Saturday we packed up the stuff we needed for the party and went down to the party house.

Here is a video of the BIG house everyone else was staying in! It was huge and right on the beach! It had a hot tub and a fabulous view. Lots of room for a big group.

How nice is that deck?! What a cool place to stay in the summer time. The party was fun. My cousin brought her 14 month old twins so Logan had a BLAST playing with his little cousins! It was so cute!

Logan is all about giving high-5’s and fist bumps. πŸ˜€

Logan did so good. There were a LOT of people (30? ish?) and he was a bit shy and unsure at first but he warmed up and had so much fun. It was so cool to see him spending time with family we don’t get to see often.

How cute (and hilarious) is the below photo?! HAHA

There was a potluck dinner. After dinner my dad and I took Logan back to the house we rented because he was fading fast. My dad stayed with the baby and I went back to the party for the white elephant gift exchange.

This is the gift I brought for the gift exchange. πŸ˜€

Have to say, the sweater might be the best gift!

Then a bunch of us went down to the beach for a bonfire. Nothing better than that!

The next morning we had breakfast and packed and then went for one last walk on the empty beach.

I didn’t want to leave. I love the beach. We checked out of the house and headed home. Rockaway is about 2 hours from Portland. Logan slept for a good chunk of it, which was nice.

Home to unpack and I went swimming. It was a great weekend!