Monday, December 31, 2012

O'Connor Christmas Vacation, Part 2

Well, Joe and I are back in Kansas City. While I loved being in Minnesota, it is nice to be home. The snow seems to have followed us down here, however, since we are apparently in the middle of a "snow storm". At least a "snow storm" in Missouri terms. Up north, it doesn't matter how much snow is coming down, if it hits the ground and melts immediately, it is not a snow storm. Also, if it is above freezing in the winter, it is not cold. I got alot of crazy looks at the grocery store today when I walked in in basketball shorts. Sigh.

Now to the subject of this post, Christmas. There were many things about this Christmas that made it more special than any other year. For one, it is Joe and my first Christmas as a married couple. Not only that but it was my sister's babies' first Christmas.

My friend Kelsey also came up from Kansas City to spend Christmas with my family. Her parents were in Korea with her sister, so we adopted her for a couple of days. She seemed to handle my big family quite well.

Unfortunately, my sister and brother in law both got the flu on Christmas Eve day. Meaning they, and more importantly (sorry Hillary) the babies, couldn't come to our celebration. It's lucky they weren't sick for our small family Christmas, so that we at least got to celebrate with them beforehand. This year Hillary gave me an amazing Christmas present; a Minnesota themed quilt that she made herself!

All the fabric has something to do with Minnesota, and the fabric on the big patches has names of different Minnesota lakes on it.

This quilt must have taken forever, and I absolutely love it!

Our family has always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, and our celebration is full of traditions. Mostly Norweigan traditions. For one, we eat a Norweigan Christmas meal. Well, kinda. Our main course is Oyster Stew, which is traditional, and "lutefisk substitute".

What is lutefisk you ask? It is a Norweigan "delicacy" that dates back to the time of the Vikings. It is Cod soaked in lye, and is traditionally eaten around Christmas time. It's gross. Sorry. I'm pretty loyal to my Norwegian roots and I won't even eat it. Even Andrew Zimmern (a native Minnesotan) had a hard time eating it on the Minneapolis episode of Man vs. Food, and that guy host a show called "Bizarre Foods"!

As a result, we switched out the lutefisk for crab legs, which we call our "lutefisk substitute". Much better.

Crab legs and Oyster Stew
 Joe and dad cooked all the crab.

After dinner our family does a Christmas pagent. This has been going on in my family every year since before my dad was born, about 70 years! Everyone sings, the younger family members play the parts, and the newest baby usually plays baby Jesus. I played baby Jesus when I was a baby. No big deal :)

On Christmas day our family makes lefse, eats crab soup made out of the remaining crab from the night before, and then goes to a movie. This year we went to Les Miserables (a play our family is slightly obsessed with). Anne Hatheway was amazing in that movie.

The next night I was able to meet up with my law school friends for happy hour at our usual bar, Rock Bottom Brewery. It is rare for us all to get together considering we all currently live in different states, and we had so much fun catching up! My friend, Mandy, is also pregnant (no beer for her) and we enjoyed accosting her tummy to try and feel the little one kick. I'm not sure if she enjoyed it quite as much.

Afterwards, I met up with Joe at my cousins Anna and Craig's house for their Christmas party. On the way home, Joe, being the good husband that he is, took a detour into St. Paul so I could grab some pizza from one of my favorite Twin Cities pizza places, Pizza Luce. Sooooo good.

Thursday we headed back to Kansas City. Since then I have spent my time rehabing my waisteline, and relaxing before having to go back to work on Wednesday.

Tonight for New Years we are having dinner with some good friends. I plan on making my friend Emmy's famous dip. One day I'll share it with all of you (with Emmy's permission, of course).

Happy New Years!

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