Weekend Things & Christmas 2019

Is it my completist nature that’s making me feel like the world will end if I don’t post Christmas week happenings before this last day of 2019 ends??  Whew, here we are!  Those four days off after Christmas were wonderful and relaxing but also left me feeling disoriented and constantly wondering what day it even was.  You too, right?

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What a weird one a Wednesday Christmas is!  Our company decided to work Christmas Eve, then take Christmas through the weekend off, but we still managed to get out of the office early.  I left around 1, went home and made stuffing and salad dressing, then a little bit later, Joey came home and made corn casserole and spatchcocked a turkey.  Christmas lunch prep: check!

We made a pit stop at my parents’, maybe did a family photo shoot, then left our pup and headed over to Joey’s aunt and uncles for a soup spread and gift exchange.  Also, the apple pie bars we made were a huge hit and I couldn’t have been happier about it!

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Christmas Day!  In lieu of cooking one giant turkey, we decided to cook two smaller ones this year and we even saw a recipe on The Kitchen that called for two, so we went with it.  We popped them in the oven, ate cinnamon rolls, whipped up a few other sides and it all went off without a hitch!  The turkeys were actually done way faster than we’d expected.  Joey’s grandpa told me we get better every year we cook Christmas lunch and that’s the only present I needed.  Still, we were spoiled by both families!  It was the happiest time opening presents at my parents’ and then I forced everyone to take a family photo, so I win the night ♥

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The day after Christmas felt like such a whirlwind so it’s fitting that this is the only photo I have.  We woke up later than usual and perhaps spent too long messing around with out new espresso machine, then bought tickets to an afternoon movie, THEN realized we both had errands to run before that movie, oops!  It was Wayne’s birthday, so he and my sister joined us for the movie.  Uncut Gems is also a whirlwind!  It’s intense and anxiety-inducing and I was floored by Adam Sandler!  The more I think about it, the more impressed I am.  Afterward, we headed to Teocalli in Lafayette for a happy hour birthday celebration and then I convinced everyone to come watch Joey bowl with me.  Can you believe none of them had ever seen him bowl before??

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Friday, Joey got up early and headed to the mountains to ski and I had INTROVERT TIME.  Much needed, to be honest!  I made espresso machine progress, read, took myself to the gym, made a new batch of granola and baked some slider buns (I like to have them ready to go in the freezer!) and when Joey was finally back home for the night, we had dinner and watched Two Popes… sort of.  I kept looking over to find Joey sleeping, so I eventually ordered us to bed.  Isn’t it nice when you have a bunch of days off to just us one to rest and get yourself back in order?  I think so!

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A Saturday snow day!  We made waffles, finished Two Popes (my take was that it was really interesting and I liked all those shots of the two popes in their stark-white or black outfits against whatever background they were in, but it wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever watched), cleaned up our Christmas mess of a house, watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (hey, it was funny!) and fretted over whether we should still go to Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo that night.  We decided to bundle up and go for it!  My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew all came to our house to exchange presents and eat pizza before heading out.  I missed them all so much!  Zoo Lights was cold but fun and I’m so glad we got to go ♥

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We started our last day off at Weathervane and I seriously left my purse there and didn’t realize it until we were nearly home.  Do you think I’ll stop doing that in 2020??  Joey headed out to watch football and I finished the salads he’d started for us, read and went to yoga.  Back at home, we made this salad, which is mostly a vehicle for smoky salmon, goat cheese and puff pastry croutons.  I love it!  We also watched American Factory but my favorite part was watching the Obamas talk to the creators of the documentary afterward.  I love them so much!

I hope this post sounded less rushed than it felt to write it!  Please have a safe and happy end to your 2019 and I’ll see you again in 2020!

A Very Merry Christmas 2018

What does it mean if you’re sitting in your office on the morning after Christmas, thinking back on all that happened and trying not to cry over all the gifts and delicious meals and gatherings and mostly, the people who put all those things together?

I was standing in the doorway between my hallway and kitchen on Tuesday night, looking at all the presents I’d been given, our little pup asleep in his bed, Joey cleaning the last of the dishes and felt this wave of happiness and gratitude wash over me.

This holiday season felt too good to be true! ♥

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Saturday

I was about to reheat oatmeal (boring!) when Joey suggested, then made, whole grain gingerbread pancakes (not boring!).  I walked in the cold to get my nails done and we got our grocery shopping out of the way, including a trip to WF for our 22 pound turkey (!!!) but the main event was our annual holiday show with Lori.  We went to Rhein Haus first for dinner and feasted Bavarian-style on a giant pretzel and many sausages, then saw Cirque Éloize Hotel at The Buell.  I was blown away by the crazy talent of the performers and the quirkiness of the show, so the hour and a half it lasted seriously FLEW by.  What a wonderful night!

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Sunday

We packed up the turkey and a few other things and headed to my father-in-law’s, where we dry-brined the bird — she was so glittery looking and I maybe called her Lady Gobble Gobble and Joey didn’t think it was funny… — before heading up to Loveland to see my brother, sis-in-law, niece and nephew.  There were presents (Mom thought giving two kids kazoos was a good idea…), there was lunch, there were boys playing video games and football and girls drawings pictures and chatting away.  My niece braided my hair for me ♥  It was all so much fun and so so nice to see everyone for Christmas!

Back at home, I maybe made two pans of cinnamon rolls that took me until almost 11 PM and made me burn my arm on the oven rack but whatever because we also watched Love Actually and got to spend the night at home in our pajamas and that felt perfect.

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Christmas Eve!

I know I say it every year, but I really really love our Christmas Eve breakfast and a movie tradition ♥  We met up at Steuben’s for breakfast before seeing Mary Poppins Returns and look, I was fully prepared to find it just okay, but then I ended up LOVING it.  It’s technically a sequel but really, it’s a re-make because it’s a scene-for-scene copy of the original, just new takes of those scenes.  Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins flew down from the sky and I was just barely holding it together.  I think they’ve done such an amazing job capturing and re-creating what makes the original film so beloved.  Also, please don’t listen to any of the reviews, I thought the plot was fine and the music better than fine!

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Back at home, a round of presents for everyone!  We got Andi a bacon treat that he has shown zero interest in and a raccoon toy that he’s been starting to play with.  Lori got us both a bunch of wonderful things but I was really excited about this Harry Potter Sorting Hat mug that called me a Ravenclaw and though I won’t agree, I’ll take it as a compliment 🙂  We also prepped a few things for Christmas Day lunch before heading out to our Christmas Eve celebration.  Can I just take a moment to tell you Joey’s aunt Cathy had an accident at work, had surgery, is in a wheelchair and still had Christmas Eve at her house?  That is some dedication and serious family teamwork!  Soups were eaten, a new gift swap game — in which I was Rudolph and Joey was Bushy Evergreen the elf — was played and then we headed home to exchange our own gifts.

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I got Joey some snowboard/ski (he hasn’t decided which) gear that I’ve requested he also wear while shoveling snow this winter 😛  He spoiled me with too many things that I don’t deserve, including Heart coffee, a clutch that actually fits my phone and a diffuser that I’m already loving!  He’s too good to me ♥

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Christmas Part I

So this is the third year we’ve cooked the Christmas meal and it was our smoothest by far!  We pre-packed a bunch of stuff so we wouldn’t be rushing around Christmas morning (duh, why hadn’t we done that before??) plus we didn’t have to lug the turkey over to Steve’s since it was already over there brining.  What can I say except that being in the kitchen of my father-in-law’s beautiful home with Joey, a mug of coffee and a warm cinnamon roll, while White Christmas plays in the background is the best!  Joey was nervous about the bird burning since we usually cover it in foil but it turned out great and though we were worried the gravy was going to be a huge disaster, it also turned out fine.  I thought everything tasted great!

We all exchanged gifts afterward and every year, I’m impressed by all the lovely things everyone gets each other 🙂  We got to relax for a bit afterward and Joey even had time to try out the virtual reality game his cousin got for Christmas before we headed over to my parents’.

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Christmas Part II

Every year, I ask Santa to bring me a second stomach for Christmas and I guess he delivered this year because I was hungry for this prime rib meal!  We opened stockings and gifts when we got there and though I distinctly recall telling my mom NOT to buy ALL the jackets I sent her photos of, she didn’t listen.  I’ll forgive her because I love them (and her) ♥  My dad got me a super cushy yoga mat that I’m so excited to use and my sister and Wayne made our lives so much better by gifting me a mini food processor, because sometimes you need to blend a small amount of something 🙂

Lori joined us and I told Joey when we got home “I love that your mom comes over and eats with us, she’s such a good one.”  It’s true!  Forced Andi back into his elf costume one last time to take a family photo then went home and crashed into bed, feeling so lucky and loved.  I hope you all had a truly wonderful Christmas!