Christmas traditions

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!

Presents Presents Presents

We had a busy and productive weekend! Michael’s dad and stepmom came to visit from Texas. We all went out to dinner Friday night at Wayfinder.Β Since Michael’s dad works in the beer business, we try and find good breweries for him to check out when he visits. The beer at Wayfinder is really good.

The wait for a table wasn’t too bad for a Friday night, but the place was pretty packed. We checked out the brewery area, had beers, let Logan run around a bit and then got a table.

We shared an appetizer of the fried cauliflower with buffalo sauce and blue cheese. It was SO amazing! I seriously could have eaten that whole plate by myself. It was super spicy and so delicious. Big hit. We also got an appetizer of shaved Brussels Sprouts that were just ok.

For my entree I got a salad. I didn’t love my salad, but it was alright.

The next morning we all went to a new (to us) breakfast place in Oregon City, Yvonne’s. It was a really cute, small, place with good reviews. It was pretty busy when we got there but we got a table almost immediately, which is unheard of in Portland. πŸ˜›

Coffee, yes please!

I got the breakfast sandwich. It came on a homemade buttermilk biscuit and it was really yummy.

After breakfast we tried to go see Santa. It turned out to be a debacle, unfortunately. Last year we went to the 7 Dees Nursery for their “Reindeer Magic” event. I bought a “fast pass” last year and it was the best thing ever! For $5 we didn’t have to stand in a super long line to see Santa and got pictures. It was great. So this year we wanted to do it again. I marked my calendars and looked on Facebook for the announcement of the fast pass tickets (they sold out really fast last year). I got a ticket and we planned on going to meet Santa.

Well, we got there and it was a total shit-show. There wasn’t much parking in Lake Oswego (new location) so people were parking all over the place and then walking on a really busy street to get there (not safe) because there wasn’t a better way to do it.

We arrived 20 minutes after they opened and there was already a line about 2 hours long. We got to the entrance and apparently they were charging admission for each person (annoying, but whatever), so the four of us fork over more money to get in and I ask where the line is for the fast pass. Apparently they aren’t doing that this year! I was SO livid. Nowhere on the website did it say they got rid of the fast pass option. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have bought the ticket.

We stand in line, in the pouring rain (they didn’t set up tents for people standing in the rain outside!!!), pissed off. After about 10 minutes of the line not even moving a little bit, I go inside to get some kind of idea of how long the wait was and it was seriously going to be 2 hours–in the cold, rain. Logan was getting fussy and squirmy and didn’t want to be held. So we got our money back and left furious.

Other people in line were angry too. I talked to two friends who were there later and one said they waited 90 minutes to see Santa (her kids were older, so they couldn’t leave after she’d hyped up seeing Santa) and another friend said that they waited over an hour and decided to just leave. What a rip off! Lots of unhappy customers, lots of grumpy, wet kids. What a mess!

Do I need to even say how disappointed and angry I am? πŸ˜› Anyways, we made an appointment at the mall to see Santa in 2 weeks–no LINE! Screw that other place!

The day felt like an entire bust. We got back to the house and dried off. Michael’s dad and stepmom left for their weekend getaway to Bend, I went to the gym, Logan took a nap. I was really frustrated with how the day went and I was disappointed by such a bad experience at 7 Dees.

But, we managed to salvage the night. After dinner we put Logan to bed and Michael and I started a new tradition for Christmas. We drank eggnog, listened to Christmas records, ate donut holes, and wrapped presents together! It was so much fun and we got everything wrapped.

Sunday morning Logan slept in super late (I wish I had!) so I got up and got more stuff done. Sorting through things to donate to the Vietnam Veterans, and then I got all our Christmas cards done and ready to send out. It was a very productive weekend.

I ordered the cards from a Black Friday sale on Printerpix and they turned out really nice.

Anyways, that was our weekend. Hope you had a good one!