Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Family Whirlwind (or Blizzard?) in Northern Indiana

On Saturday night I went with my mom and step-dad to see Guster at the Bluebird. It was a great concert!

We left on Sunday morning along with my brother and his girlfriend (all crammed in one car) for North Manchester, Indiana, where my step-dad's family lives. We go there to celebrate Christmas every year.

We picked up some provisions at Bloomingfoods. I got the brussels sprouts and magic tofu - a delicious creation (that some have compared favorably to chicken nuggets, surprisingly) with garlic and onion powder, pepper, and nutritional yeast.

I snagged a bite of my mom's breakfast sandwich, which had a slice of vegan cheese, a vegan sausage, and a polenta circle in an English muffin. It's really good! I love the addition of polenta to a breakfast sandwich, and it kind of looks like eggs without trying to impersonate them.

First, we opened presents. I didn't request many presents so I got a couple little things, plus money. I really need money. =) Here I am with my In Style special edition. Why do I always have to make stupid faces?!

My step-grandma wanted to make us something vegan for dinner so she made this vegan chili. Isn't she nice?! She found a recipe and was so careful to follow it. She even called my mom saying she couldn't find "crumbles" and didn't know what they were but her son (my step-uncle) said she could crumble up veggie burgers and is that true? The end result was delicious, as you can see here:

One addition I loved was mushrooms. I'll be sure to put some in next time I make chili. This chili tasted really meaty. I totally trust her that she wouldn't sneak some meat in but if it was made by someone I trusted less, I might have been suspicious!

My mom and step-dad got a HUGE present. And by huge, I mean a BIG DEAL.

That's right, my mom is now the proud owner of a Vitamix. She spent the whole car ride home the next day reading the booklet and she can't stop talking about potential recipes. So I'm sure I'll get to share some cool Vitamix creations with you before this visit is over.

We spent Sunday night in a hotel - my mom and step-dad in one bed, and me, my brother (who is 6'4'', by the way), his girlfriend, and Buster, my brother's new puppy, in the other queen-size bed. Good thing we all have nothing against cuddling.

We stayed for breakfast and dancing the next morning:

That's my brother's (gorgeous) girlfriend, Buster, my step-cousin, and my mom.

Christmas #1, done. Two more to go - we'll have Christmas here with my mom and step-dad and then we'll go and celebrate with my dad and step-mom in Kansas. Except there won't be many presents because my mom and step-dad are selling their house and just bought another one so we're all pretty poor this year!

What holidays do you celebrate? We celebrate Christmas, but really only as a holiday of presents and hanging out with family. We aren't religious, but Christmas is fun!

Do you have multiple holiday celebrations to attend every year? We always go to North Manchester, and usually my celebrations with my mom and dad are separate.

Do you have a convoluted family, full of step- and half-relatives, like I do? I have a step-dad, a step-mom, plenty of step-relatives, and of course, my baby half-brother. But I think family is what you make it. I don't think you have to love or spend time with people who aren't good to you and instead we can all choose to love who we want and spend time with the people who treat us well.


  1. I totally get the multiple family celebrations! Parents divorced and then on top of it add my hubs' family. We celebrate Christmas despite being sorta kinda part jewish :-) And I have weird convoluted relations too- my aunt is one year older than me :-?

    I totally love the visual of all of you cuddled into a queen sized bed!

    Keep having a great vacay! Happy holidays!

  2. Oh yeah, I guess it gets even more complicated once you add in spouses' families! I think it's totally cool to celebrate X-Mas, no matter how Jewish you may be. My best friend is Muslim and he still celebrates Christmas! Christmas is fun!!

    My mom said she wanted to take a picture of us all in the bed but she didn't actually go through with it. We were quite cozy.

    I hope you're having a great holiday, too!