all together now!

Sorry (I'm not sorry) for the radio silence over here toward the end of December, but realistically, who could have possibly expected me to be legitimately putting anything out when I was so busy celebrating? The Five Schwegs reunited in absolutely epic holiday style this year! Jonathan has been home since December 11, which seems insanely early to me, and Em rolled back into town last from the 18th to the 30th thanks to her company's awesome holiday shutdown. We spent a crazy amount of time together and it was, in a word, wonderful. 

I picked Em up on the evening of the 18th and we met Jonny and our parents at a local establishment (HA) for overpriced wine and catching up before heading home to an early bedtime. Em and I had Christmas missions to complete on Saturday, which involved but were not limited to braving Macy's during their one-day holiday sale (WOOF), petting the cutest dog ever at a local art store, and smelling every candle in Anthropologie. Mom, Dad, and Jon were on their own holiday expeditions, so we decided to rendezvous in Northeast and try out Tattersall together! 

I've loved taking Em and Dad to breweries over the last year or so. My mom and Jonathan are NOT beer drinkers, however, which cramps my Northeast hipster cool-place style a bit since all my favorite places are beer-only craft breweries. Enter Tattersall, which is a distillery serving over-the-top fantastic craft cocktails in a gorgeous old steel mill turned bar. I missed the parking lot the first time, it was so tucked away, but it was well worth the potholes and Google Maps confusion! 

Look at those beauties! I started with a bourbon drink featuring local sage honey and lemon and vanilla bitters, while the rest of the fam chose cocktails ranging from a classic gin martini (Dad) to a habanero-infused gin rickey (Em) to a classic bootleg (Mom).

Round 2 was just as adventuresome...Em and I both picked the "18th and Central," which featured aquavit, a Swedish liquor we'd never tried. IT WAS SO GOOD. 

I'm pretty sure we had way too much fun. We also sampled the food truck offerings from Bark & Bite, a Southern soul-food concept that impressed all of us. 

We all went our separate ways after we finished our second drinks, and reconvened on Sunday for Jonathan's birthday celebration! My mom, the Hallmark goddess, went all out with his presents this year: 

Those are tiny stuffed Star Wars characters on his gifts. How incredibly appropriate! He opened presents, and we headed to the movies to see "Sisters." Cannot recommend it highly enough--it's exactly the right kind of stupid humor with a heart that I adore. If you have a sister, take her and go see this. If you have a family, period, especially one with a sense of humor, go see this. 

Having laughed til our sides hurt, we classed things up a bit and got all dressed up to head to St. Paul for dinner! The St. Paul Grill is a family favorite, especially Jonny's, and we've been there to celebrate more events than I could list. It was a perfect night to be out and about downtown...the Ordway is running "The Sound of Music," the Wells Fargo Family Skate is set up outside the Landmark Center, and Rice Park is draped in millions of lights. 

Not to mention, we had the best table in the place...the corner table with windows on two sides overlooking the park. The view, paired with the Grill's over-the-top beautiful Christmas decorations, made for a gorgeously festive atmosphere. Their best-in-the-state crab cakes didn't hurt either, though. 

We concluded JonathanFest 2015 with a peppermint Oreo Dairy Queen cake, because his taste is nothing if not seasonally appropriate, and an equally appropriate rendition of "Happy Birthday." You may not be able to hear it in the (ten second) video below over my idiotic laughter, but Jonathan's commentary was basically "Awwww yissss, keep it coming, that's right, worship me, happy birthday to ME, YEAH," while my dad kind of "bow-wow-wow"'d his way through it. No wonder I couldn't control myself. 

At least it's videographic proof that we are nothing if not riotously fun together! Hard to believe this was just the first weekend of Schwegmanigans...legitimately the loveliest way to kick off our holidays!