While my weekend started off not so great, with Bella getting injured, some of the weekend was actually great! Saturday I got up early to go to this kettlebell gym I’ve been trying out (more on that later), then came home to make my potluck dish and we headed out for my family Christmas party. It was at my aunt’s house in Troutdale this year. It was also my grandmother’s 92nd birthday!
As usual there was a TON of food there. Someone had made my grandpa’s awesome garlic dip, I made a brussels sprout salad, and Michael made his famous mac n’ cheese. There were so many things to snack on it was hard not to just graze all afternoon long.
There was also plenty to drink too! Lots of wine to choose from. I stuck with water for most of the afternoon and then finally had some. My aunt also brought out a bottle of her AMAZING eggnog, affectionately named Gregnog after my cousin who had way too much of it a long long time ago. My aunt keeps her recipe secret and I would LOVE to have it! It’s the best eggnog I’ve ever had, and it is potent! One small glass is usually enough for most people.
Yum yum yum! Gregnog! Lots of family came from all over –a bunch from Washington, Texas, Oregon and Wyoming. It was so good to see family I hadn’t seen since this summer (and a few since last Christmas). There was also a lot of shenanigans and photo-bombing this year.
The group was a little smaller this year as many family members couldn’t make it. (One cousin is graduating from medical school next weekend, the other is in the Army and my brother and his wife are too far away to visit.) It would have been nice if we could all be together. After it got dark we had a visitor.
A friend of the family that has always played Santa paid us a visit and especially came for Grandma! She got an extra special present for her birthday:
I love that picture of grandma! Haha! And I also love that even though all the little kids are old enough now to know the truth, they all still play along. Everyone is a good sport. It’s kind of my favorite part of the Christmas party. The kids sang a Christmas song with Santa and then he was on his way. A little while later, mysteriously our friend Randy showed up just in time for dinner. 😉
Dinner was GOOD. It’s always good, but my uncle Pete is the master of the BBQ. He grilled and cooked a prime rib and a pork for three hours out in the frigid air and created an amazing dinner. I had the pork and it was perfect; couldn’t have been better. There was the mac n’ cheese, my salad, a caesar salad, crusty french bread and two different kinds of potato casseroles. My aunt also brought some of her homemade pickled beans which were so spicy and delicious. She said the secret to pickling beans is to add grape leaves in the jar because it makes them crunchy instead of mushy. Good tip.
My plate was packed with a little bit of everything:
Melt in your mouth soft meat and full of flavor. Of course there was also dessert–my aunt made cupcakes from scratch. The mini cupcakes were vanilla with marshmallow in the center–kind of like a twinkie. She also made some larger once with caramel in the center but I was way too full to even try it. There was a German Chocolate cake and some Christmas cookies, too. As you can imagine, temptation was all around.
After everyone ate and was in a proper food coma, we did the white elephant gift exchange. My uncle Mike is usually the one that coordinates it but he wasn’t here this year. My cousin Greg did the honors. I brought a super awesome gift–a handmade artsy flask with a cool looking octopus on it. It was very popular and stolen a few times. My cousin Anna got it (then it was stolen a few times and ended up going home with my uncle).
Pretty cool looking, huh? Well my cousin Adam outdid me. The gift Michael picked under the tree ended up being a flask as well. Check it out:
Yes that flask is three times the size of a normal flask AND it’s furry. The outside is made of some kind of animal skin!! It was a pretty funny moment. I was first to pick and got a zombie survival kit–complete with a guide, a Swiss Army knife, a lighter, a mini bottle of whiskey and a box of twinkies. But since I was first I got to pick something else at the very end. I went home with a gift pack of gourmet hot cocoa mix, cookies, a bottle of nice Oregon wine and a jar of Nutella. I’ll be honest, it was the Nutella that made me pick that gift. 🙂
After the gift exchange Michael and I left. We had to get home to let Bella out of her crate and give her the puppy medicine for the night. While we were gone our dog walker came over and let her out, played with her a bit and fed her dinner. It was nice because we were gone so long and I worried about her since she wasn’t feeling well. I’m really grateful that our dog walker lives so close and really loves Bella! I wish we could have stayed longer at the party but, you know how it is! Got to get the kids to bed! 😉
Love ALL of these pics. Always nice to see pics of happy times. Your grandmother does not look her age. And look at her showing some sexy leg in that skirt!
Yum Yucky recently posted..Comfort Food Decadence: Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with Sweet Cornbread
Haha! She is young at heart! Thanks Josie. 🙂
Mary Ellen Quigley
I love all the pics. The White Elephant gifts were funny. I love doing those. You never know what you’ll end up with. Your family looks like a lot of fun.
Thank you Mary Ellen. We do have a lot of fun. It’s a shame we don’t get to see each other more often than twice a year.
Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
That sounds and looks like SO much fun! Happy Birthday to your Grandma!
I like that the zombie survival kit had Twinkies. That’s classic!
Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Downtown Jingle 5K Recap
It was really funny and creative.
Looks like a great time!! Happy birthday to your gorgeous grandma!!!
All of the food looks delicious – I would need lots of will power or loose pants!!
That flask is awesome!!
Kim recently posted..Let’s Hope that Tuesday Is Better than Monday!!!
My pants were a little tight going in, and a lot tighter when I left!
Happy Birthday Grandma! Love how spry she is and love those carrot flowers!
Stacie recently posted..Comment on Turning 50 by William Dameron
The fruit and veggie flower bouquet was so impressive.
ok if i make it to 92 THAT WATERMELON is what I want at my soiree!
Miz recently posted..Hard boiled eggs in a coffee maker.
I do too! It was so cool in person.
Diane Fit to the Finish
Awesome pictures and I love how much fun you had!
Diane Fit to the Finish recently posted..Fashion Tips for Looking Your Best While Losing Weight