traditions

Four Christmases

Christmas Eve was pretty low-key. I went to the gym. And then my friend Star and her boyfriend Larry came over for the afternoon to celebrate a mini-Christmas with us. It’s been way too long since we saw each other!:(

Christmas Eve Logan went to bed early and Michael made Christmas enchiladas and we watched Elf!

Christmas morning we woke early (thanks baby!) and we had our first Christmas with Logan. It was so amazing to watch him experience his first Christmas. The chaos, the wrapping paper, the presents…it was a lot of new stuff for him! And Logan gave us a present!!

Logan made it at daycare and they wrapped it and gave it to us on Friday when we picked up the little guy. It KILLED ME to wait two days to open it. Seriously, it was like I was a little kid and I was dying to open my present! 😉

Bella’s present:

Fat Kitty’s Christmas present was the paper bags, wrapping paper and bows. 😉

About mid-morning my parent arrived from Seattle and the five of us went to Gracie’s for brunch, as we usually do! Logan did so great at his first brunch. He was a little wiggly and didn’t want to sit still but we took turns holding him while we ate our yummy breakfast and thankfully he didn’t get fussy!

Last year I was pregnant (awwww) and my number one pregnancy craving was orange juice. I remembered that their freshly squeezed OJ was out of this world so I ordered it again this year. It did not disappoint. For breakfast I got the smoked salmon hash with poached eggs on top. It was just ok. I remember the food being better last time.

After brunch we took the obligatory Christmas tree photos in their lobby:

After brunch we went back to the house and opened presents. My brother and I got our parents an ipad mini for Christmas (their first foray into smart phones) and Michael and I helped them set it up and I gave them a tutorial. Then we skyped with my brother and his wife (as part tutorial on how to use it, and also to talk to them on the holiday, of course!).

Around three my parents said their goodbyes and we packed up the car to go to Michael’s mom’s house for Christmas dinner!

Michael’s mom made a wedge salad. It was so delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever had one before. She also made a pot roast, baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. Dinner was delicious.

Then round four opening presents. Logan was both starting to get the hang of ripping open the paper and also getting overwhelmed and tired. But he had a blast checking out his presents.

The motorcycle was a huge hit!

It was definitely a memorable weekend. I can’t wait until next year when Logan is older! The magic of Christmas was so fun to experience through him.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Snow Baby

Well Michael and I managed to continue our New Year’s Day tradition! Snowshoeing at Trillium Lake!

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In case you weren’t aware, it had been raining for the last 30 days straight here in Portland. In early December there was actually epic flooding as well. Bad news. Good news? Our mountain finally got SNOW!!! The weather has been pretty good this past week–very little rain but cold, cold, cold. Ice on the car in the mornings, wind chill that will make your eyes water and your joints ache. But still, there was snow on Mt. Hood! Last winter was pathetic (there was no snow in Bend!).

I wasn’t quite sure how it would go this year. I didn’t *think* snowshoeing would be hard pregnant — I mean, it’s really just walking — but I really no idea.

A friend of Michael’s got snowshoes for Christmas and asked if he could join us. We said sure but warned him we didn’t know how much I would be able to do. I knew it would not be like last year where we accidentally ended up doing nearly 5 miles (the entire Trillium Lake loop) which was too much for our bodies to handle, too much for the first time out snowshoeing for the season and WAY too much for Bella’s first time.

We actually ended up leaving Bella home this year. The weather was supposed to peak at around 15 degrees at Government Camp when we planned on being there and that was just too cold for Bella. I think we made the right call, even though we both felt sad that we couldn’t take her out to play in the snow (which she loves). I felt guilty when we got home, too, because she missed out. But it was the right decision–even with her fleece lined jacket it would have been too cold for her on the mountain since she doesn’t have fur or long hair.

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We planned on being up on the mountain by 10 because it’s usually pretty crowded and I’d heard earlier in the week from some people that the lot was full by 10am. We got a little bit of a later start than planned but were at Trillium Lake around 10:30. We got a parking spot (barely) and the lot was even more full when we were done!

I discovered that none of my snow gear fit. I had a feeling it would be tight, but didn’t think it would be unusable. That was disappointing. And since it was going to be such a cold day on the mountain I was a little worried about not being warm enough. I wore my long underwear (those fit for the most part), some sweat pants and a sweater, then wore a pair of Michael’s waterproof cycling pants over that instead of my snow pants. The gators I wore on my legs protected me enough from the snow and I was warm enough but it sure wasn’t good “snow” gear and definitely not breathable materials.

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We set out on the path down the steep hill and then took a right to get the best view of Mt. Hood.

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Gorgeous day!

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Baby bump on the mountain!

Snowshoeing seemed ok. I wasn’t really having any issues. I was definitely slower this year than in years past but I was trucking along. We went by the mountain and came to a fork in the road. The left goes around the lake and that’s usually the route we go. The other fork goes to another sno-park (I think maybe Mazamas?). We took that one instead.

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It was pretty flat in this part. There was a cute little cabin buried in the snow deep in the woods. It had huge icicles on the roof and snowdrifts were doing a good job hiding it.

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We hiked by a creek that I’d never seen before (or maybe just didn’t notice). Around this time my left ankle was starting to bug me a little bit–the achilles tendon. I wasn’t sure why and it wasn’t constant. Later when we were done I realized my hiking boot had come untied underneath all my layers and my gators so that was probably the reason why. It was slightly painful and very annoying.

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We’d been hiking for about an hour and decided to turn around. I was still feeling pretty good but wanted to turn around and be closer to the starting point just in case. If we got back to the base of the giant hill and I felt ok I said we could do the other part of the loop that goes towards the lake but I wanted to wait and see.

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We turned around and hiked back. I got to practice using my new camera on this adventure, which was nice. It takes great photos.

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Someone made a snow Alien:

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We got back to the viewpoint and took a few more pictures and then continued on. I realized I was pretty much done and Michael was, too. His hips were starting to bug him and so were mine.

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The last leg of the journey is the worst. It’s that never-ending climb up the hill to the parking lot. It’s so long and just when you turn a corner and think you’re at the top, you’re not. It’s very deceptive and harder than it looks and it gets me EVERY YEAR. This year was no different. Half-way up the hill I was over it. I was so slow. Just plugged along, taking baby steps because I was tired and starting to get sore. But finally made it to the top and then had to traverse the icy parking lot and the traffic of people trying to fight for spots to park.

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We ended up hiking 3 miles in 2 hours and I burned 793 calories.

It was a good trek out, I’m glad we did it and I’m glad I was ABLE to do it…but I’m pretty sure that was my one and only snowshoeing trek this year. Not having good snow clothes that fit are deterring me from wanting to try again. But I will say, physically, I was okay snowshoeing at almost 30 weeks pregnant. Other than carrying around an extra 20 pounds and being a little slower, it wasn’t that much different!

We were back in the car and heading down the mountain by 1pm, which meant we missed all the afternoon/evening traffic of skiers heading back to town. The pizza place we liked to go to was closed so we ended up getting sandwiches at Subway. I was famished and baby was kicking me for some food. Happy to oblige. Got home and immediately took a long, hot bath with Epsom salts. I knew I was going to be sore the next day!

6pm came around and I felt so depleted and exhausted I actually laid down and fell asleep for a nap. I’m not a napper. Like ever. But I guess the day caught up to me. Dinner was Papa Murphy’s pizza because the burger-fries-milkshake I was craving from a place near the house was closed.   🙁 Oh well. Food was food. I definitely didn’t eat enough calories for the day and I think that’s part of the reason I was so tired. That and trudging through the snow!