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We'll Be Home for Christmas...Finally

This year we were excited to go home after staying here alone last year. And unlike other years where we spent more time driving than spending time with people we had a whole week to enjoy.

We still decked out the house in Christmas cheer thanks to a plethora of new decorations from Brooke's parents.

I had planned to leave Sunday morning, but Scott insisted he pick me up from work Saturday and leave then. I figured if we needed to we could stay with my sister who lives halfway. Once we started out I said we should just drive all the way.

To avoid fast food we try to always stop at Foster Cheese Haus along I-94 just past Eau Claire. They were busy with lots of local snowmobilers.

Since we had Peanut in the car I suggested we get something to go. I got a grilled cheese that was too cheesy even for me.

I got a really cheesy meatball bomber. The Cheese Haus is co-owned by the proprietor of Castle Rock Organic Farm. We love their milk, so it's a no brainer to stop here.

They have tons of other Wisconsin-made cheeses besides Castle Rock.

They also have build-your-own six packs, which I stocked with two MKE and Capital brews.

The next morning Jaspurr was happy to have a friend around again.

We needed to run a few errands. With Peanut being naked we had to get him a new tag. Especially since he's in a different house and if he gets out he could get lost. We had hoped to find a new bandana for him, but didn't like any that they had.

My dad was having computer trouble at his store so we stopped there so Scott could take a look.

It was taking awhile so my dad and I went across the street to pick up some groceries.

It was seriously screwed up, a kernel error of some sort, and I couldn't fix it that day.

Scott had leftover chili for lunch when we got back. My dad had shrimp.

The first thing my dad said when we arrived last night was, "Did you bring any of those Oreo balls?" We had just made some last week, but I said I'd make more.

My dad kept coming in while I was making them asking if they were ready yet.

These ones were much better than the ones we made last week. I think the rolling pin gave it a nice texture rather than being completely ground to smithereens. 

After trying to make plans all day with Amanda we found some time to squeeze in to see each other. We met her at Panera for an hour. Jeff didn't come because he was too busy playing with his new snowmobile (I'm so jealous). I'm glad I got to see her though, since we didn't get to last time we were in town.

We then had to get back to make dinner. My mom texted Scott, not me to say she was hungry. We made fajitas and guacamole.

Brooke even helped me by making the guac.

Hi Jaspurr.

I'm jealous that he's so photogenic. Peanut is just too black.

My brother had called late last night on his drive home to say he hit a deer. This car used to be mine. When I had it I rear ended someone and slipped on ice hitting the median. I can't believe this car is still alive after being beat up so much. My dad has been to the junk yard many times.

Deer fur was strewn throughout the engine.

We tied a Christmas ribbon on Peanut so he looked less ugly. He didn't want his picture taken.

But he looked so cute!

Then I made a chocolate cake, in a Budnt pan of course, for the Christmas Eve get together.

This guy really doesn't like having his picture taken.

Then we waited for church.

Blake worked on cinnamon rolls. I ate an apple.

And decorated the cake.

For some reason the rolls didn't rise as much as I thought and we probably should have doubled the recipe.

Last year we ate this much on our own.

After church we headed over to my aunts house for the Romenesko party. With all my cousins having kids it's hard to keep track of how many people actually show up to this.

We mostly hang out with Stacey and Toeknee and Brooke's siblings, so the rest of the cousins are kind of a blur.

As always its potluck style complete with the Happy Birthday Jesus cake.

Momma Gail always jibberjabbers with all of the cousins and cousin-in-laws. Toeknee was a good sport. 

I ate a lot of fluff.

I think I took too much.

We found my siblings in the basement with one of our cousin's kids.

He kept us entertained and laughing.

"Act natural"

Brittany doesn't seem to like that I'm staring at her husbands stomach.

I thought you were staring at her's.

Santa came down and surprised us. Scott was convinced it was one of my uncles. None of us knew who it was. Santa perhaps?

I guess it wasn't Mr. Mike or Momma Gail for that matter.

Of course we drank Spotted Cow all night. Well, most of us.

Blake read us a Christmas story about how he hit Rudolph with his car and then it was time to head home.

Mr. Mike is the best at ignoring my giant camera.

Chelsea, not so much.

We all met back up at my parents house to open presents Christmas morning.

It's a tradition we missed the past two years.

We got Blake a sweater to add to his collection.

It wasn't thrifted like the rest of his sweaters, but he didn't complain.

Blake and my dad were the most spoiled this year.

We got Brittany the baby pajamas. 

I got this awesome game called Rocksmith. It's basically Guitar Hero, except you connect a real guitar and it progressively gets harder as you improve.  

I've had a guitar since I was a senior in high school. I took lessons briefly, but then went off to school. Now I'm going to learn.

Brittany got lots of cute baby things.

The in-laws got me a really nice sander. I've needed this for a while.

My family got the best present of all. Right guys?

Or is it a present for us?

Blake came up with this idea that he was going to heat his apartment with an electric fireplace. Somehow my parents gave into this idea.

Then we had our annual breakfast cinnamon rolls.

After breakfast we packed up and drove down to Scott's homeland.

I decided to get off the highway near the vast "Northside" of Milwaukee and took Fon Du Lac Road into the city. I'm more interested in that side of town since we've live in a similar part of Minneapolis. 

Segregation is far worse in Milwaukee. We rarely ventured northwest of Downtown as a kid. There's kind of a stick to Lake mentality for white Milwaukeeans, though that's changed with the improving southwest hispanic neighborhoods.

We were hungry so we ate some cheese log and summer sausage.

Brooke was super excited for supper.

The traditional Polish and Hungarian-Slovak sausage with a potato of some sort, apple sauce and rye bread Christmas dinner. My dad threw in frozen corn for kicks.

His mom suprised us with lots of Fiestaware. I think our collection is now complete.

We got them a healthy flexitarian cookbook: Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbok.

And we suprised her.

With Scott's siblings unable to be here for Christmas we Skyped with Katie and Dennis.

His mom had bought two cakes from Brooklyn's Junior's Cheesecake for dessert.

Yum, yum.

We went up to Eastside for brunch.

The next morning I suggested we have breakfast at The Pancake House. Scott and I ate here when we first started dating. Tyler and Emma go to the one in Chicago a lot, which has made me want to go again.

It's funny because we've never been to the Twin Cities locations.

For the 3rd time in our entire time together we ordered the same thing: apple pancake.

His mom had gotten us the same color for our Fiestaware that we had gotten from my mom. Like the rest of the world we headed to the mall to exchange it. Since we couldn't decide on the color we ended up getting two more sets. Meaning we have every color you can get.
Since Kopp's was across the street we had to stop to get custard.

I'm not sure how many ways I can photograph this place.

When we got home we discovered that Twin Peaks, the show we were currently getting on dvd, was streaming on Netflix. Bad idea. We watched a few episodes before meeting our friend Jacob for dinner.

For some reason I didn't bring a camera, but we spent much of the night with my college roomie and a few of his friends at Honey Pie. Milwaukee really knows how to do comfort food and it's always fun to hang with Jacob. Can't wait to see him again.

The next day we ate our leftover pancakes and became highly addicted to Twin Peakswatching a million episodes.

I felt bad because I usually hang with my dad, but we were lost in TV land.

Apparently Scott's parents had two Christmas dinners planned for our stay.

We went home with a lot of ham.

The next day (after a few more episodes of our new favorite show) we drove back home.

We stopped at Los Ocampo on the way in. We didn't realize they had a sit down restaurant.

When we made it home we unloaded all our new dishware to be washed. So many colors.



I thought for sure you'd post a pic of the Romenesko crowd.
Blurry pics of the whole gang, unfortunately.
Katrina said…
You two are very subtle! Christmas dinner(s) looked good and fun!

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