Different Kind of Merry

How is everyone holding up for the holidays? Has it been rough? Easy? No different than usual holidays?

Our Christmas was ok. Very very low key compared to last year. Last year we hosted a big Christmas in our new house. My parents came down from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days. We hosted Christmas dinner with Michael’s family, too, and I think there were maybe 15 of us? It was crazy and loud and wonderful.

This year? Chill. Lazy.

Christmas Eve some friends dropped off homemade eggnog (it was nuclear LOL) and Michael and I watched Happiest Season after kiddo went to sleep. Then we put all the presents out. πŸ™‚

Christmas morning we got up at 6am (of course!) and opened presents!

Logan was ECSTATIC! He got a bunch of Star Wars, Dinosaur and Baby Yoda themed gifts. We got him a bunch of books, activity books, a spelling puzzle (that he loves).

My parents got him some games, Star Wars sheets. Santa got him a big race track for his cars (which he asked for when he wrote to Santa). My gifts had a theme: self-care. πŸ™‚ Lots of bath stuff, which is amazing. <3

After lunch and a nap for Logan, we went to Michael’s mom’s house to just exchange gifts. Wish we could have stayed and hung out.

By the time we got home and opened the second round of presents, Michael and I did not feel up to doing a big Christmas dinner thing like we’d planned so we decided to do it the next night and instead had grilled cheese sandwiches. πŸ˜€ Delicious!

So Saturday night we made the dinner we planned to do for Christmas:

Lamb Chops with Garlic and Herbs

Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Breadcrumbs

And I made couscous. Everything was delicious, although the couscous was a little bland–even using spices! Next time I will cook it in chicken broth instead of water. And maybe add some nuts and raisins to the couscous, too.

The lamb, however, turned out great. It was the first time we’ve done lamb. I usually just order it if we go to Middle Eastern restaurants. It was melt-in-your mouth tender and I loved the flavor.

The greens beans turned out great, too. I cooked them in the cast iron skillet we used to cook the lamb so it had the extra juices and seasoning in addition to the salt, pepper and butter I used to cook the beans. I loved the pickled shallots on top but Michael thought they were a little strong. I don’t think the green bean recipe needed the breadcrumbs on top at all, so I’d skip that next time.

Saturday I spent the day on and off packing up and organizing Christmas decorations. I usually leave everything up until New Year’s Eve and then take everything down then but I was just kind of over it all. I hope next year we can all be with our families again and have a big celebration!

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!