He gets me every time.
But then the holidays hit and the blog took a (brief) break.
Be it a blessing, or a curse, my birthday falls the day after Christmas. My father's falls on the 28th. There is little break in the celebration gap that falls between the 25th and New Years Eve. The marathon eating ensued. And it all started on the 23rd.
I was under the impression that I would be consuming scorpion bowls on the 23rd with Allie and Casey. A nice double date before the holiday mayhem ensued. Much to my delight, those were not the plans. My crafty husband and my equally crafty tight circle of friends devised a surprise party in my honor. To say I was surprised would be to understate my bewilderment. I never saw it coming. I was flattered and touched. I even teared up. The real brains behind the operation were my Clean Plate Cook Book Club cohorts- Allie and Hannah.
And the spread was beautiful!
It was a wonderful start to the deluge of celebration that lasted the entire holiday week. Mark and I spend most of the holiday with his side of the family. First Grammy and Grampy's house, then off to Reggie and Cecile's. Every house was full of family and amazing food. It was such a joyful Christmas Eve!
That evening my sisters and our significant others met up at my folk's house for the first of our newest tradition. We spent the night there ... I woke up first and made some coffee and Mom followed closely after. Little by little the whole family made their way to the living room. Melody made brioche sweet rolls. Mom had her spin on meat pie waiting in the oven. A few short hours later we had to part ways, but we all agreed that our new tradition was solidified.
Monday was a lot of fun. We did a laundry run, played some of the new Legend of Zelda game, had a few friends over in the evening ... I threw together some pizzas to feed the large group and by 6:30 everyone was gone! A birthday well spent, if you ask me.
My Dad's birthday is the 28th- Melody and Matt hosted a birthday meal at their new house. I brought garlic mashed potatoes as my offering. Matt made a spiral ham and Mom brought a delicious, fresh cole slaw (no mayo in this one). Our family friends Sue and Pete came along, too. They brought a huge tray of mac 'n cheese. All of this and a delightful antipasto and shrimp cocktail to start? We rolled out the door to go home.
Before we knew it, New Years Eve arrived. Mark and I spent some time with our cousins Brian and Melissa and their son Evan- a NYE tradition for sure. Hannah and Josh hosted us for dinner that night- an amazing vegetable stew that used Coca Cola to temper the tomatoes in its base with a corn bread/Johnny cake along side. Prosecco and St. Germaine was the toast of choice.
Mark and I rung in the new year at home by ourselves. We were in bed shortly after, grateful for a beautiful 2011 and looking forward to the love and excitement of 2012.
And here we are ... the year is off to a great start. Great meals, walks in the woods, games in the evening. Our lives are full and blessed. January is a busy month for me. The first big event falls this coming Saturday- a 70th birthday party with 70 guests ... poetic, isn't it? Our dear friend Deb is the mastermind behind all of this and working with her to make this party amazing has been satisfying and exhilarating. Mark will be coming along to photograph the whole event. I can't wait to show all of you the photos!
And in other news, I just gave the green light to print our Forever Feasting T-shirts! Check them out:
The photo is small, but the impact is there, yeah? I'm so excited! It's all coming together ... slowly but surely!
I'll keep you updated. Thanks for waiting over a week for a new update. It's been fun, but balanced with a serious cold. No worries, health is on the way, as is a beautiful future!
I hope your new year is off to a magical start. I'd love to hear all about your favorite holiday meals- please share in the comments section!
Happy 2012, everyone!