I took a little hiatus from blogging the last few days, reading and writing, because I was enjoying a weekend that was somewhat reminiscent of the Brady Bunch.
On Thursday, after Ryan got home from work, we made our way to New Jersey to visit my mom, her boyfriend, and his four children.
Ryan, Linds and I were packed tightly with games, food and other random entertainment, ready and excited for a post-Thanksgiving break.
We had met two of Jim’s kids, his younger son and daughter, and spent a lot of time with them in the past, but his oldest are very close to Ryan and my age and live in California and South Carolina, meaning there haven’t been many opportunities for ALL of us to get together. So in addition to our clan of my mom, Linds, Ryan and I, Jim had his four children and two of their significant others; 11 people in total, celebrating the holiday, and it was a blast!
We arrived a bit late Thursday, but still enjoyed some time around the fire getting to know one another. Friday, however, we did a Weaber family favorite; bowling.
After a nice walk around the neighborhood, breakfast and a little primping, we piled into two cars and headed to the lanes. I have not bowled in a tremendously long time so my skills were a bit off, but we laughed, joked and had a fantastic time watching the ultra-serious bowler extraordinaire next to us.
Perhaps I should have emulated the stretching routine and star-look-alike follow-through this guy performed after every throw because he was quite the professional.
Super serious bowler, white shirt…can’t you tell!
Alex trying to see if it worked…
A few hours and some friendly competition later, we went home and took advantage of the abnormally beautiful black Friday and took another stroll. It felt so good to get some fresh air, in great company, on a day that felt more like early fall than a month before the winter.
For dinner we went to a restaurant Jim took us to before; a family favorite and I completely understand why.
It is a tiny mom and pop Italian eatery with no more than 25 tables, waiters that treat you like royalty, and food that is out of this world.
I have to take a second to discuss the eating aspect of this restaurant, just because in my severe restriction days you could not pay me to eat at an Italian establishment.
And if by some miracle, or horrific fortune that it was the only choice (um, like when we were actually in Italy) I would compensate with a gazillion miles on the treadmill and a whole ton of negative-self talk.
So the last time we ate at Guerriero’s I ordered a salad, no cheese, and just vinegar on the side (so that meant, lettuce, tomato and vinegar…exciting) and a plain piece of fish with some steamed vegetables.
I barely touched the protein because as Ryan said, it was pretty darn boring, and the I went home starving and grumpy.
This time I am sad to say I had a similar plan. Instead of the fish I was going to go with a bean soup with escarole and chicken broth, but then when I saw a balsamic chicken entrée, featuring sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mushrooms, my mouth started to water.
How good does that sound?!
I am sorry I didn’t take a picture because it really was fantastic, but afterwards my head was going insane. I felt bloated and embarrassed for eating an entrée (even though everyone else had entrée’s as well) and I just wanted to go away and hide.
Thank gosh for Super Ryan because when we got home we pulled out good old Apples to Apples for some more family fun, and I somewhat (NOT FULLY, BUT SOMEWHAT) snapped out of it.
Have you ever played a game like that with a bunch of twenty-some years olds and then an eight and ten-year old? It makes for some interesting answers I will tell you, but we had a ton of fun and made some good memories.
Saturday we had a leisurely morning; a walk, breakfast, a little football in the yard, and then ventured into town to visit Santa on the Green, do a little Hanukkah shopping (Jim and his family celebrate both holidays) and just enjoy another fantastic November day.
Mid-afternoon we were ready to have some lazy time watching Penn State and later Clemson, and while the boys enjoyed their pig-skin, Jim’s daughter and I made a very special trip to Trader Joes. She had only been there once, so she volunteered to come with me to pick out all the supplies for our dinner; a Mexican Extravaganza!
We made tacos, nachos, salads, soft-shell fajitas, peppers, and had a bar of toppings that rivaled Chipotle.
It was so nice to have a more quiet evening at home, in sweats, at a table where we could all talk, and enjoy one another, rather than in a loud, Saturday-night-filled eatery.
After some desert (which I will totally show you in WIAW!) and another vivacious round of Apples to Apples, I was totally ready for bed.
As much as I wanted to stay up and take in every moment of our last evening with my new family, I really was exhausted.
There were many difficult moments of the past few days, regarding food, exercise, and more personal issues I have yet to work out, but it did prove that family is very very important, and a part of my life I am really starting to appreciate.
I don’t have a normal family dynamic. My biological father is one story and my adopted is another. My mom is my best friend. My sister and I live together, and I am grateful every single day for the new familial members that continue to be added to the tree.
I loved the show the Brady Bunch and think its pretty darn cool that we emulated that model this weekend. I cant wait to see what Christmasakuh is like