Longer Weekend

In the last year it’s definitely been hard to get excited about weekends or long weekends. Pre-pandemic we’d impatiently countdown the holidays and weekends. Now? Every day is pretty much the same. Weekends are pretty much just like a Wednesday. The only difference is that on nice weekends (i.e. not pouring rain) we try and get outside for a hike as a family.

Saturday we went to Orenco Woods Nature Park. It’s out in Hillsboro, so quite a trek for us. But I’m glad we went.

There were lots of super cool things for kids! A sandbox, swings, climbing structure (Logan got to the top!), bridges, paths, lots of “art”.

It was chilly but not rainy. Logan got the wiggles out running around the paths. There were a bunch of them, little trails and some nature preserve areas (those areas were not for dogs).

The art was so cool! Logan had so much fun exploring. The climbing web was by far his favorite thing there. He didn’t want to leave the park. Often times when we go hiking he loses steam around the 1.5 mile mark and starts whining about going home. But this park was such a hit we practically had to drag him to the car. 😉

When we got home I baked a loaf of sourdough. I am so happy we have a new oven and I can get back to baking bread! My favorite recipe is great and the bread turns out fantastic.

Monday was a holiday, and one that is a little bittersweet with all of the awful racial things that have been happening in our country. And I took Tuesday off because it was my birthday. Another rather bittersweet day. Last year we were in Hawaii on an amazing trip for my birthday.

Monday I took Logan to Fanno Creek Trail in Tigard. It was super cool! We parked at the Garden Home Rec Center and picked up the trail there (behind the playground). I guess the whole thing is 4.5 miles long and it’s ADA accessible (paved) the whole way. A great trail for kids.

It was a really cool trail through neighborhoods. The trail was wide enough for people to be safe. There were bridges, we saw a bunny and a creek. I think the trail is pretty long but we did 1 mile or so and then turned around. Michael’s mom joined us (Michael was working). It was a nice outing!

And then we came home and I tried my hand at making ciabatta bread for the first time. It was a very slow, easy weekend, not much going on but it felt nice at the same time.

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 😀 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!