Holiday rehearsal

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With the baby due right around Christmas, we decided to go down to Oregon for family Christmas weekend. On Thursday, I took the train down so I could spend an extra day with my family. The train took forever, but did have some lovely views:

IMG_3822I spent Friday working remotely and then running some last minute shopping errands with my mom. It wasn’t the most exciting day, but it was fun. Saturday morning, T woke up very early and drove himself and the dogs down to Portland. We had a few hours of opening gifts with my family before going to my dad’s family gathering.

I believe I’ve written about these gatherings before, but these gatherings follow the same agenda every time. First, we eat. Then there’s a gift exchange with presents people have made or bought for $5.00 or less. The exchange is one of those affairs where people can steal gifts back and forth and can go on for a REALLY long time. It’s fascinating to see which (unwrapped) gifts become hot items and this year a humble contender was a big surprise:

IMG_3830(No, it wasn’t actually pasta sauce.) It was the one I was given initially and I amused myself by seeing if I could keep it. T actually managed to get it, so we got pretty close. 🙂 My cousin’s little girl was a hoot. She didn’t like her present getting stolen initially, but eventually got into the spirit and would ask the person choosing to steal her present. She was also usefully suggestible, so when T looked like he was going to end up with the present I’d brought, we used her to get it back into circulation.

The can turned out to contain dehydrated apples from my aunt Susan (seen here posing with the cute ornaments my cousin Derek made):

IMG_3849My cousin’s old vizsla was also a highlight:

IMG_3848Then there was a break for dessert. And my least favorite part of the festivities, my uncle’s reading of the childrens book:

IMG_3850I like my uncle very much, but man do I hate this tradition. He always picks the books and they are always these insanely long and terrible books. The two actual children in the room were so bored they would get up and wander around the room. You’d think that would tell him something, but it doesn’t seem to. Ugh. I passed the time by sending sarcastic texts to M.

Afterward, we excused ourselves to go have dinner with Joe and Susan. We ended up trying a new place in town, a very odd restaurant called Broken Bread. It had the weirdest menu and not just because it was on a clipboard.

IMG_3852There was a total hodgepodge of items on the menu. For example: one of your choices of sides for muffaletta sandwich was strawberry yogurt. And then the waiter was an added level of oddness. Susan and I couldn’t stop giggling. It was awesome.

The next day we had Christmas at Susan’s house. Lydia’s dog Molly put on her festive tie-dye sweater before going back to terrorizing Wally (not joking, he was afraid of her):

IMG_3851There was also a lot of pittaha on the menu:

IMG_3859Which means lots of butter:

IMG_3858And just in case that wasn’t enough, there were about five different kinds of dessert:

IMG_3863

IMG_3865So we’d be nice and sugared up for our big drive home. In addition to the five pounds we gained from the days festivities, we scored some awesome gifts and had a lot of fun hanging out with everyone. We did have to drive through some horrible weather to get home, but it was worth it.

 

 

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