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Newlywed Holiday Traditions

2 Jan

Now that the wedding is over, I’ve really been enjoying the “officialness” of being a family. It was (and is) really important to me, during this first year of marriage, to create some new traditions for our family, and carry on some old ones as well. And what better time to kick of some family traditions than over the holidays? I hope that, by documenting them here, we’ll be able to look back over the years and see how our traditions develop over our lifetime together. So here we go!

(All photos personal.)

Thanksgiving

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls are one of Troy’s favorite, but as the name of the recipe suggests, they take quite a while to make. So, since I’m off work early on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, this gives me plenty of time to prep the rolls and allow them to rise, just in time to bake on Thanksgiving morning.

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I use Alton Brown’s recipe, and when they are ready, we chow down while…

Watching the Parades. I love watching the Detroit and NYC parades on Thanksgiving morning, and now it’s part of our holiday tradition.

This last one is more of a broken tradition now that I’m married. I used to make Jello for Thanksgiving dinner, every single year trying to outdo the year prior. I’ve made so many Jello dishes in my years, I’ve pretty much run out of recipes worthy of such a feast. This year, I decided to forgo the tradition in favor of something a little more “grown up” — this year I made this cauliflower gratin, which was amazing.

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I’m hopeful one of my younger cousins will pick up the Jello slack and carry on the tradition!

Christmas

The first Christmas tradition is one that was started by my mom when I was a kid, and one that I wanted to start with my family: the gift of pajamas on Christmas Eve. Here I am modeling the PJ pants I gave to Troy.

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I love me some new jammies!

Something that I think nearly every couple, new or old, deals with during this time of the year is the holiday shuffle — doing their best to make time for each side of the family. Troy and I have been doing our shuffle for nearly as long as we’ve been together, and I think we pretty much have it down to a science: my dad’s side the weekend before Christmas, his dad’s side on Christmas eve, Christmas morning with his mom and siblings, and Christmas dinner with my mom’s side. Maybe we’ll travel less once there are some kiddos in the mix, but for now, this works out great for us.

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After the busyness of the holiday shuffle, there’s nothing like some serious relaxation on Christmas night, hence the tradition of blowing up the air mattress & watching Christmas movies. This year we got home fairly early so we had time to watch a few flicks — The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Holiday, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Leading up to Christmas, we also got in viewings of Love Actually and A Christmas Story (naturally).

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Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other very important member of our family: our pupster, Brady. We definitely don’t forget about him during the holidays. In addition to the new bed he got from Nana and Papa, we also celebrated Doggie Christmas — the time directly after the holiday when all of the holiday pet toys are 50-75% off! This is the only time of the year we (willingly) allow the pup to have plush toys that he demolishes within a few minutes. But hey, it’s Christmas.

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Finally, I was very excited to send out our first family holiday card this year. We used one of the photos from our honeymoon session and created a “cheers to the New Year” card. It was also pretty handy that we had collected everyone’s addresses for the wedding, so getting these babies in the mail was a snap compared to all the wedding-related mail we’ve sent in 2013.

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New Years Eve

Again, this is more of a broken tradition. Normally NYE is the time we celebrate the anniversary of when we first starting dating. This year, however, we have a new anniversary (September 28!), but midnight on January 1 will always have a special day in our hearts.

New Years Day

In addition to football and hockey, I’ve instituted yet another food-based tradition: biscuits and gravy on New Year’s Day. Like many, our diets start on January 2, so this is the last day we can really indulge in dishes like this — might as well start the year off right!

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Not very pretty, but man were they delicious!

And that does it for the Stieve family holiday traditions! We’re all looking forward to continuing these for many more Christmases to come.

Please feel free to share your holiday traditions, new and old, in the comments!

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

30-by-30: Get Married!

1 Jan

Oh, hey, guess what we did?! Yeah, we got married! Cool, right?

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Photo by studiOsnap

I’m so incredibly happy to be married to the man of my dreams and to be starting our life together as husband and wife. You can read all about our planning process and the wedding on our wedding blog (which can be found privately on our wedding website or publicly on Weddingbee).

As soon as we get the rest of our pictures back and I finish recapping for Weddingbee, I hope to get back into blogging more regularly here (which I hope to develop into our family blog). Until then, I have a few updates I’ve been itching to share (that aren’t wedding related), so look for those soon!

Cheers!

30-by-30: go to a Michigan football game outside of Michigan

25 Sep

Anyone who’s ever told you that holding a full-time job, taking 7 ½ graduate school credits, and planning a wedding, all at the same time, isn’t tough to do… They were lying. So please forgive me as this blog continues to get brushed to the side, only to be updated when something monumental occurs.

Maybe this isn’t monumental, but it is a good excuse to blog. I checked off one of my 30-by-30 items!

#3, go to a Michigan football game outside of Michigan

Over Labor Day weekend, Fiancé and I made the trek down to Texas to watch Michigan take on Alabama in the Cowboys Classic. For anyone who cares anything about Michigan football, you understand why I’m not going to say another word about this game.

Luckily, there were lots of other amazing things about this trip.

We stopped in a lot of cities, including overnights in Nashville, Memphis, and Indianapolis. We saw over 2,500 miles of the countryside. We even ran into some of our neighbors in Nashville… Neighbors that we had never met before, that happened to be making a similar road trip, that wound up in the same honky tonk as us, with whom we just happened to strike up conversation with, and figured out we live 3 blocks from each other. Random!

Nashville at night.

Speaking of Nashville, I want to live there. I got to wear cowboy boots for nearly 24 hours straight. And the country music was ridiculous. So many talented artists just working for tips. I’m doing everything in my power to get back to Nashville ASAP.

And did I mention the FOOD?!

Amazing. All of it. Yelp and I really did a good job of finding some shady yet amazing roadside eats.

Fiancé and I travel really well together. I think this is probably a really important element in a relationship between two people that love to travel. This time, I did most of the planning (where we were staying, where we were stopping, timeline, itinerary, etc), which meant Fiancé didn’t have many decisions to make, which was fine by him. We both didn’t mind going to bed late, getting up early, and hitting the road before the sun rose. I love road trips, and I hope that we can continue to take family trips like these with our children someday.

If you hadn’t guessed from the opening line of this post, another large milestone is on the horizon (#6, finish my master’s). I graduate in April, but I hope to post more between now and then. And if you can’t find me here, be sure to check on the wedding website, troyandmariaswedding.com for all the wedding-related details I won’t be sharing here.

Cheers!

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