While Ryan and the kids were gone, we had some lovely foggy days. It was very atmospheric to walk to get my Thai food in the fog. Have I mentioned how much I love living in a walkable city/neighborhood? We can walk to the doctor, dentist, restaurants, bakeries/cafes, hardware store, library, parks, movie theatre, etc. And of course can walk to the lightrail which takes us even more places. The walkability of our life is a consistent source of joy.
The weekend after they got back, Ryan and I braved the mall because I needed wrapping paper so I could send my niece and nephew their belated birthday gifts as well as Christmas gifts. We managed to score a surface parking spot really close to the stores we needed to go to - even in non-holiday times I don't expect to find one of those - a true Christmas miracle haha! I wished the non-holiday paper options were more varied, but we had a lot of fun picking out what we got, including a couple fancy papers.
Aren't those beautiful? Perhaps another sign of adulthood when you're very excited about fancy wrapping paper. We also did a little shopping for G's Christmas - they love hoodies but don't usually want brand or place names on them, so I was a little worried it would be hard to find. But the first store we tried had several completely plain hoodies in a variety of solid colors! It'll be so exciting for them to be able to rotate their hoodies through the wash more frequently.
Christmas Eve was spent largely in the kitchen. Ryan was inspired by Ted Lasso and wanted to try a mulled wine and finger foods on Christmas day, so we found a recipe for Smoking Bishop and had to get that started. It included roasting oranges and grapefruit that we then poked cloves into before soaking those in wine overnight - the next day we juiced the fruit into the wine and then added ruby port before heating. Then I prepped the filling for stuffed acorn squash and roasted the squash, made a coffee cake since M doesn't like our usual blueberry breakfast bake dish, Ryan made toffee, and by the time all that was done it was about time to start prepping the rest of our dinner. Ryan made a delicious Kung Pao Chicken courtesy of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's wok recipe book and sides were the family favorite Korean lettuce salad, and that stuffed acorn squash I'd prepped earlier in the day (used Canadian bacon instead of sausage in the squash).
|The oranges were as big as grapefruit! But they roasted up nicely and my not thinking to rotate them while roasting didn't seem to negatively impact the end result
And I was right - they didn't wake up until 10, which meant we weren't ready to start our Christmas morning until 11am - a record late start for our family but I was shocked it wasn't later. Our Christmas was quiet. Because we ate breakfast so late I was glad we'd decided on finger foods for dinner. We got our wine heated up and made up some platters with our finger foods that we ate while I tried out the Oregon Trail game Ryan got me.
Ryan was disturbed by me and G being excited about a book I got (An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good) since it's about an old lady who has no qualms about a little murder. He read it before I got to it and I caught a picture of him looking quite distressed while reading (ignore my finger that got in the way).