Dec 192016
 

Saturday I made it to the gym!!! After being snowed/iced in for two days I braved the drive and made it. My little car would not have made it out of our street –which was a sheet of ice–but the Subaru did great and once I got on the main streets it was clear.

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It felt SO good to get to the gym! I hadn’t been since Monday. I was also slightly sore still from Thursday’s at home workout. Squats and kettlebells ALWAYS get me.

At the gym I did some light body weight/ab stuff, went through a circuit of the weight machines and then did 27 minutes on the elliptical. It felt awesome!

Then home to clean up and get ready to go on a date. Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to spend some time with the little dude so we could go out to lunch and possibly get a Christmas tree.

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The roads were decent but sidewalks were super icy still. We ended up going to Lardo on SE Hawthorne for lunch. It’s been years since I’ve been there. The place was packed when we arrived. We ordered and then sat outside in the covered and heated patio area.

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We both got the Block 15 Sticky Hands IPA. For lunch Michael got the Grilled Mortadella:

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I got the Lardo Egg Sandwich, smoked pork belly with a runny egg and cheese. It came with a hash brown patty on the side.

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Michael got an order of their “dirty fries” –fries with cheese, pork pieces and pickled peppers on top. I nibbled on some. I didn’t love the fries. I did enjoy the pickled peppers, though!

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We talked about getting a Christmas tree. We both had concerns, obviously. Logan is almost 9 months old (on the 22nd!!) and he is an ACTIVE little boy already. He’s been crawling for two months, standing for a month and he’s already “cruising” (walking while he holds on to things like the coffee table). He also goes right for all the things he shouldn’t have and big, sparkling, blinky Christmas tree would be a bad idea.

We talked about getting a small tree and putting it on a table, that didn’t really seem feasible, because we a) don’t have a table that would work and b) he could probably pull that down too. I floated the idea of getting a tiny living tree (something I’ve always wanted to do) and putting it on this one tall side table we have in the living room. So we went to Lowe’s to check it out and found the small living trees.

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For about the same price as a large Christmas tree we got the living tree. It’s small and the needles are super spikey! That’s the only downside. But I like that we can plant it in the yard somewhere after Christmas and it doesn’t feel like such a waste.

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It’s okay, it does the trick. Next year we’ll go all out and it will be great! And Logan will be old enough to “get it”.

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Saturday night we were supposed to go to the Milwaukie Solstice Festival and then some friends were coming over for dinner but our friends were sick, I was still under the weather and we just didn’t feel like going back out. So Michael made dinner for us instead and we just chilled.

He made French Onion Soup!

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Here’s the recipe:

French Onion Soup

From: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/french_onion_soup

Ingredients

  • 6 large red or yellow onions (about 3 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced root to stem (see How to Slice an Onion), about 10 cups of sliced onions total
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
  • 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh thyme (can also use a few sprigs of fresh thyme) OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 8 inch-thick slices of French bread or baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Caramelize the onions: In a 5 to 6 quart thick-bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.
  2. Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes.
  4. Then sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization) and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.
  6. Deglaze the pot with vermouth: Add the vermouth to the pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.
  7. Add stock and seasonings: Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper. Discard the bay leaves. Add brandy if using.
  9. Toast French bread slices: While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  10. Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil (you'll end up using about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil for this).
  11. Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  12. Turn the toasts over and sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese and Parmesan. Return to oven when it's close to serving time and bake until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  13. Serve: To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast onto the top of each bowl of soup.
  14. Alternatively, you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51311

Dinner was great!

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We missed the Winter Solstice but we did manage to go to Peacock Lane this year!

I told Logan we were going to see sparkly Christmas lights. He giggled:

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We met up with a friend of mine who has a baby about 2.5 months younger than Logan. Peacock Lane was PACKED! You could barely walk there were so many people. But the babies loved the lights!

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I’m really looking forward to Christmas this weekend!

Dec 132016
 

This weekend was a whirlwind of traveling, family and emotions. Friday we drove up to Seattle for the weekend. Originally it was just for my grandma’s 95th birthday party. But with my other grandma’s recent passing away we were also there for her memorial.

It snowed a little bit in Portland and Seattle on Thursday and Friday but thankfully the freeways were clear enough to drive up there. There was still quite a bit of snow at my parent’s house, though! We stopped for lunch in Longview, WA (got Mexican food and they surprised us with some ice cream at the end!) and then drove the rest of the way to Seattle without having to stop. Logan did great in the car!

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Friday night Michael went out with a friend who lives in Seattle and I hung out with my parents. My brother Andy flew in from Philly for the weekend so it was great to see him, too!

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Saturday was pretty low-key. I had intended on going to the gym in the morning but I was still coughing pretty badly from my month-long bronchitis so I decided to skip it and just rest for a few more days.

Around lunch time my aunt showed up to put together Grammy’s flowers for her party. My aunt Sheila used to own a floral business and she does an amazing job with flowers! She got 95 roses for my grandma’s 95th birthday. 🙂

My mom and brother worked on making the snacks for the party and Michael and I drove to Dick’s to pick up burgers for everyone for lunch. 😀

Finally it was time for the party! One of my aunts put together a bunch of old pictures to put on display. I love seeing old photos of my grandma:
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She was so stylish! She looked like a movie star in her old photos. The cake turned out nice:

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There were red roses everywhere for the party. So pretty!

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The theme was a tea party! Everyone was supposed to wear a hat. My cousin Anna brought some extra ones, and she has some pretty awesome fancy hats, for everyone.

Hahaha!
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Look at my Grammy sneaking a little bit of frosting off her cake:

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I love how this photo turned out:

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Me and my brother:

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My aunt made a little speech and then we sang happy birthday and she blew out her candles. She seemed SO happy!

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It was such a good party! Everything turned out so nice. There was a bunch of her favorite foods and little finger sandwiches–sparkling cider, tea, coffee. A ton of family came and a bunch of my grandma’s friends and her old neighbors came by. It was so sweet how many people came to wish her happy birthday.

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My little dude was a rockstar, too. He got passed around and wasn’t freaked out by so many people. And we got some good photos with his great-grammy.

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After the party we hung out at my parent’s house with pizza, some beer and sports on TV.

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Sunday morning was the memorial for my Grandma Mary. It turned out to be a really, really nice service. My dad’s friend was the officiant and I got to see everyone on my dad’s side of the family. Most of them I haven’t seen since my wedding.

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The service was so beautiful. A bunch of got up to talk and share stories and memories of her. I’m really glad I had typed up what I wanted to say so I could just read it because I don’t think I could have gotten through it otherwise.

After the service there was a little reception with lunch. We got to talk and catch up and spend some quality time with family. My aunt Chris had this book made of old photos and I loved looking through it–funny how much my brother looks like my dad!

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We had hoped to hang around a little bit longer and spend more time with everyone but unfortunately Logan was coming down with something and had his first fever on Sunday. It got pretty high and we wanted to get home to get to the doctor before they closed. So we said our goodbyes and hit the road.

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We picked up Bella at her foster mom’s house (she was so happy to have a little weekend party of her own!) and then I took Logan to the doctor and got him some medicine. He’s doing better now but it was kind of scary when his fever got so high.

It was a wonderful weekend. Ups and downs, happiness and sadness. It was so amazing seeing both sides of the family and spending so much time with them, but also bittersweet because part of it was for saying goodbye to my Grandma Mary.