I considered this past weekend to be my holiday weekend since I'll be working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Come Friday I couldn't wait to spend some time at home with my parents, I needed some family holiday cheer. Julie texted me midday saying she was planning on joining in on the fun (rare occasion!) and I convinced her to pick me up at work. It was a slow ride out of the city, but we surprised my parents (my mom thought she was picking me up from the train and nobody knew Julie was coming).
I immediately changed into my pajamas because that and leggings are the only things I wear at home and mom poured the wine and cut the cheese (literal cheese). We snacked and caught up while dinner was cooking. We dined on meatloaf, potatoes, and vegetables. After dinner I snuck a few hershey kisses and curled up on the floor in front of the fire. When I was in high school I would always lie on the floor, fire or no fire, and Izzie (my parent's yellow lab) would curl up next to me to rest on my legs. It was so cozy that I fell asleep about five minutes into the Hallmark movie we started. Oops.
Saturday I woke up to the sound of an excited Lyla (Julie's chocolate lab). Her tail hits every door and wall in the morning as she vies for attention. I love waking up to it, especially after ten full hours of sleep! I looked outside and saw a fresh coating of snow!
Mom and I ate breakfast before heading to her gym for my favorite barre class. Whenever I go home I convince my mom to take me to this class. Talk about feeling the burn! And the instructor plays the best music, it's so motivating. Julie ran 14 miles while we were at the gym...I tried not to compare myself to her but some days it's harder than others (stay tuned for a twin post coming up!).
I immediately got to making pasta with my pasta maker that arrived that morning! I have been waiting to make pasta for my family ever since my class the week before, I was getting anxious my pasta maker wouldn't arrive. Luckily I remembered the recipe for the most part and got to work. Flour and eggs! Can't beat that for simplicity. It did take some time to make enough for the four of us (my family has hearty appetites and I love it). We cooked some vegetables and chicken sausage to mix with the pasta and there were options for a vodka sauce or red wine marinara sauce. I went with vodka and some fresh shaved parmesan/asiago. I went back for seconds simply because it was that good. And that's okay! Sometimes food is so good you just want a little bit more.
After pasta I was tired. Making pasta is tiring and I watched my dad take an hour long nap by the Christmas tree and I was jealous. I turned on a Hallmark movie and rested a bit before my mom called me to the kitchen (it's not that far) to help roll out/cut some sugar cookies. Another tradition of ours if making and decorating cut out sugar cookies. Usually Julie and I would each invite a friend to come over and it would last a few hours. I would always eat so many (I have a sweet, cavity-filled tooth). Today I ate a few (or three) before calling it quits and cuddling on the couch to watch the end of the movie. It was really cute, but only made me wish I had a special someone to go ice skating with or decorate cookies with. Not that my family isn't enough, I love spending time with my family, but I'm 26 and I think it's normal to feel that way around the holidays. When that movie ended we started another one to make up on lost time.
Around 4:30pm we got little Lyla and ourselves ready to go downtown (it's not much of a downtown) for dinner. There's a new restaurant right by the train tracks and I LOVED the atmosphere. The decor was perfect and the large communal table in the center was gorgeous. I still have dreams of opening a farm to table cafe/restaurant someday...dreams.
We ordered a bottle of chianti (my family is all about the wine) to share. The waiter poured the smallest glasses, I seriously worried that I have been pouring wine wrong all along. Julie and I shared some meatballs for an appetizer and my parents shared a caesar salad. Some days I just don't want vegetables, I want to enjoy foods that I don't have that often which include very large meatballs from an Italian restaurant. They were delicious and the garlic bread was superb. We also shared two thin crust pizzas. Yes I had pizza twice last weekend and once this weekend. It happens. And then I go months (okay maybe weeks) without having pizza. It's the ebb and flow of pizza. I had pasta for lunch and wasn't in the mood for more and I am always in the mood for pizza. Especially a white pizza with so much garlic and spinach. It blew my mind. Officially my favorite pizza at home. And that's saying a lot. And thin crust is my jam.
After dinner we saved Lyla from the car and went to the luminaries. Every year the town shuts down the main road with all the old houses and lights luminaries along the road. The town comes out to look at the lights and simply gather. In high school I remember going with my parents and Grama and I would see some of my friends from school who lived in the area. I honestly don't think I have gone since high school and it was so nice to just walk around with my parents. Whenever we go for walks or on workouts (mom and I to the gym or dad and I on a run) we always pair up. I love these moments because I can really talk to my mom or dad. Sometimes I want to talk about deeper things (the twenties are hard and finding yourself isn't easy), but have a hard time bringing these things up. Lucky for me my mom and dad are very involved in my life and ask questions which usually opens the conversation. I also like when we just walk and that's what dad and I did at the luminaries. We admired some of the older houses, commenting on our favorites. We also laughed when Lyla almost met two goats, wonder what she would have thought of them.
It was chilly so we weren't out for very long and headed back home. But not without driving through the neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights. We all had different tastes of which houses were classier than others. When we got home, Julie read my mind and goes "more wine?" before even taking her coat off (that means nothing, Julie never takes her coat off in my parents' house). We sipped wine and chatted in the kitchen while my dad watched the Bruins. Then he joined us a bit before we watched another Hallmark movie. This was another good one and I didn't fall asleep! Lyla and Izzie were the cutest and shared a bed!
I woke up with the usual feeling of dread that I get when my weekend comes to an end. However, this time I was grateful. Grateful for living closer to home so my whole tiny family can come together for a quick weekend. Grateful that I have such supportive parents who I can talk to about anything. Grateful for the dog in my life who bring a smile to my face. Grateful for a home. Julie and I went for a quick and cold run through the neighborhood before she drove me to the train station on her way home. I'll be back next weekend and even though I have to work I know it will be a nice holiday. That's because I have the best family and our time together is never anything short of perfect.