Hi everyone! I hope you had a nice holiday for those who celebrate it. Ours was fun and also a little chaotic and exhausting (hello, 5 small children).
We were up in Pittsburgh area (specifically Sewickley – it’s about 20 minutes outside of the city) with Matt’s family – his parents, his younger brother Drew and his wife Morgana, and his older brother Chris, his wife Jess, and their 3 boys (ages 9, 7, and 3).
Riese and Wes both adore their cousins and had the best time playing and running wild with them! It was cute to see Wes with all the bigger kids – he wants to be a big kid and keep up with them SO badly!
I have a billion photos so I’m going to break this post up – stay tuned for part 2 on Tuesday!
2022 Pittsburgh Christmas Recap (Part 1)
Hello to the Frozen Tundra
Matt and I decided last minute to leave for Pittsburgh a day earlier than planned due to the impending snowstorm and glacial weather that was headed our way.
It meant driving to Pittsburgh during evening rush hour with torrential rain the entire time (and of course we made it 20 minutes in said traffic and rain, only to realize we had forgotten Wes’s shoes and coat and had to go back home to get them – ARGH), but it ended up being the right call to leave early and not stress about driving in snow and ice.
We arrived late on Thursday evening (December 22) with the rain and moderate temps, and by the time we woke up in the morning, the world was covered in snow and it was positively frigid outside.
The kids were thrilled by the snow – we all bundled up and got out there!
Wes was not a huge fan of the Very Cold Wet Stuff, but he did enjoy some sled rides. 🙂
The snow stopped early and by afternoon it was outrageously cold (“feels like -28 F – yes, that’s negative 28, not a typo – I have never felt weather that cold before in my life) but the roads were fine, so we decided to head into the city to go to the Science Center.
Riese and the older boys really enjoyed it, and in the meantime Wes decided that this toilet display was the most interesting thing in the whole place so I spent most of our visit standing there while he climbed up onto the toilet seat and back down – rinse and repeat. Ha.
Dinner that night back at the house was a homemade taco bar. I always love a good taco bar. I went back for one more after this pic. Plus some more Prosecco for good measure!
Speaking of Mexican food, Wes is in a “take everything out of all the cabinets, especially if it’s breakable/dangerous” phase (shockingly he only broke one glass while we were there); but his number 1 favorite item of the week was this plastic Margarita mix bottle, which he discovered in a cabinet early in the week and then proceeded to carry literally everywhere with him during the whole trip. Lol. Kids this age are so random.
On Christmas Eve day, it was still outrageously cold outside so some indoor crafts were in order. Thankfully my sister-in-law had brought some fun make your own ornament craft kits for the kids (and the adults, I made one too) to do!
I also made it out to a hot yoga class at Salt Power Yoga in town which felt really nice in the crazy cold. I ended up going a few more times while we were there – it helped to center and calm me amidst all the loud kid chaos at the house!
For Christmas eve lunch I made some simple tuna sandwiches (here’s my go-to recipe: tuna salad with avocado) for myself, Matt, and the kids, plus some salad for the adults:
And Christmas Eve dinner was my mother-in-law’s famous lasagna! I believe it’s an old family recipe. It’s sooo good.
The kids were SO excited about Santa coming. They worked together to write him a note. 🙂
Christmas morning the kids were AMPED! It was fun to get to see it all through their eyes, even if it did start a little earlier than the adults would have liked… 😉
Present opening break for some food – a yummy sausage, potato, and egg casserole, almond croissants, and berries.
In the early afternoon when Wes was down for his nap and the other kids were happily watching some TV, Matt and I decided to brave the crazy cold temps for a Christmas Day run date.
It was so cold I actually ran in my super warm everyday jacket and fleece tights – the only things that got really chilly were my face and my butt!
I think it was “feels like -1 F” when we ran, balmy compared to the day before but still crazy cold. We made it 2 hilly miles and that felt like a big win!
Fresh air is always a good idea.
Leftover lasagna + salad for a late lunch:
That afternoon preparations for a big Christmas dinner were underway at the house! My father-in-law always makes us amazing feasts for holidays, and this year was no exception.
The star was a sous vide beef tenderloin:
And here is the entire menu (yes, my Fall Sangria made the cut! Matt made it for us and took some liberties with the recipe, ahem, but it still came out pretty good if not as good as the original in my opinion…):
In addition to our whole crew, some family friends came over who are good friends of ours, so that was fun. And the kids were pumped because then there were 2 more kids in the mix for them to play with!
Dinner was delicious and festive fun was had by all. The table was beautiful, too, thanks to my mother-in-law who has a really good eye for flower arranging and table decorating.
(All the kids except Wes were out in the kitchen area at a “kid’s table” – a good call for everyone involved!)
First up: a pear and pomegranate salad with walnuts (hot tip: the leftover pears and pomegranate arils were delicious on toast with nut butter!).
The main event:
The dessert bar was epic – my favorite was the homemade apple pie. Super yummy and not too sweet.
A big thank you to Matt’s parents for all the work they both did to make such a special meal for all of us. <3
Stay tuned for part 2 of our holiday adventures, coming at you on Tuesday! And in the meantime, I hope you have a great weekend.