Job

Playing Hooky & Celebrating

On Friday I took a vacation day at work and we played hooky! It was a planned hooky…It was our friend Shawna’s 40th Birthday and she planned a day of wine tasting to celebrate with friends and family. Her parents were visiting from California.

So I took Logan to daycare, went to the gym, and then Michael and I drove out to the Gorge to meet up with everyone!

The first stop was at AniChe Cellars in Underwood, WA, just across the bridge from Hood River. Ironically, it was about a mile away from the little house we rented last 4th of July and we had no idea there was a cute winery nearby!

I really liked this winery. Shawna was a member so we all got complimentary tastings. Yay! And we got a tasting plate that paired with each wine tasting. It was different kinds of dried fruits, cheese and chocolate.

My cousin Anna, her husband, her sister Carrie and their parents came, too, plus some friends.

I ended up buying a bottle of the “Lizzy” (Southern Rhône styled blend of 62% Marsanne and 38% Roussanne). From their website: This dry wine elicits a more complex palate of chamomile, dried herbs, honeysuckle, beeswax and green tea. Enjoy with fresh fig, salty proscuitto, and baked chicken with Provencal herbs.

I liked how crisp and slightly sweet it was.

I also bought a bottle of “Be Holden” (a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, from the Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Hills).  Bold quince and blackberry followed by rich vanilla, tobacco and spice. YUM!

I loved that they named all their wines references literary greats. After the tasting we ended up buying a bottle of red and white to share with everyone outside. It was a drizzly, cold day in the Gorge but the firepit area was covered and the firepit was warm. So we all hung out and snacked on the pimento cheese, crackers and the sheeps cheese Michael and I brought.

Then it was time to hit the next place. Michael and I made a pit stop at a random taco truck. He got a small burrito and I got a street taco. It was really good! We will definitely stop there again in the future.

The next stop was Syncline. We used to be members there but suspended it last fall. I hope to start up again in the future. It’s a great place for the summer. It definitely looked different in the winter! No hammocks, corn hole, bistro tables…but there was a great fire pit!

It was raining a bit. But somehow it wasn’t miserable. It was just fun hanging out by the fire, doing our tastings, chatting, celebrating Shawna.

There weren’t a lot of people there, either, so it was quiet and peaceful.

Shawna brought a bunch of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit and Anna brought an amazing pasta salad. I did half a tasting but we were short on time and had to leave to get back to Portland in time to pick up the munchkin from daycare. Hugs and well wishes and then we went home. The rest of the group was going to head to another place and then out to dinner.

It was an excellent day. PLUS, Michael and I were kinda celebrating, too, because….HE GOT A JOB!!! As you can guess, we are SUPER excited and relieved. I might tell you guys in the future where, because it’s pretty awesome. 😉

It’s a contract-to-hire type of thing. So hopefully like at his last place, it was a 30 Day contract and then they hired him permanently. We’re crossing our fingers for this time.

We picked Logan up from daycare and the other big news: we converted his crib to a “big boy” bed by taking one side off. He’s been successfully climbing out his crib for a few weeks now. It was definitely time!

So that was our exciting weekend! How was yours?

Update

Where’ve I’ve been? 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 just miserable. 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. 🙂

We topped the tree with an angel that Logan made at daycare! 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂