Well, shit. I feel like I've spent the last week starting and re-starting this post, in varying states of mental integrity. Once when my back was locked-up and I couldn't move for two days, once when I was frustrated-as-hell at Hazel's new nap routine, once when we finally got the Big Dump we normally see in November. And now. Tonight. Hopefully this is it and I can send this belated Christmas post to the sphere.
:: Alas! For two days it was light and fluffy, like walking through crystalized air. Now, it's warmed up and compacted a bit--sticky enough to make a snowgirl. This morning we went on a family nature walk on snowshoes--so rad! Slowly, we're finding our roots with children in tow--one of our New Year's resolutions.
:: A little catch-up. The Twelve Days of Christmas:
Christmas morning. My dad's photo perfectly captured Juniper's excitement when she realized Santa had been to our home, eaten cookies and gulped down milk.
Santa left two rollerbags, each with an animal inside (a coyote for Juniper, a buffalo for Hazel) and a real stethoscope. They are all set for some serious veterinary work and a trip to Cambodia.
^J bug listening to a real heartbeat.^
We had coffee and coffee cake, followed by individual stockings--many of which were loaded with handmade, fair-trade, international fare. (Santa is such a worldly, thoughtful guy.) Next up was savory tomato-goat cheese quiche, followed by a slow day opening gifts. Each is opened individually, allowing time to play with, admire, or try-on--interspersed with naps and play. We finished just before bedtime.
^One of my last-minute, late-night projects: a baby sling for Hazel.^
^Playing "Let's go to Cambodia!" with Grandma L and Grandpa. Pictured here, Grandma L is the tuk-tuk driver. There is no room on a tuk-tuk of course, so the girls had to ride under the driver's seat (I don't know what's up with the dog). Grandpa was the airplane pilot who flew them across the ocean.^
At Christmas dinner (cranberry elk meatballs, baked squash and salad) I inadvertently started what I hope will become a new tradition. Instead of saying grace as usual, and wanting to shift the focus, I asked everyone what gift they were most proud of giving. I gave my own example: I was most proud of giving my mother-in-law a mug. Because it was hand-made by an individual artisan, it was something I sought-out--a thoughful gift--and the style (it has a thumb rest) helps her hold the tea mug steady (she has shaky hands). My husband said he was most proud of the buffalo sausage he sent his grandparents because he hadn't given them a gift in years, and it's something local to us but not to them, plus it's edible (they really don't need things anymore). My dad was most proud of a soup thermos he'd given my brother because he thought it would be great to take to work, but mostly, because my brother's hard-as-hell to shop for. And my step-mom, well, she was most proud of these twin-sized beauties (plus matching doll quilts!):
Front and back of the girls' new quilts. As she says, she normally doesn't have the attention span for anything larger than a lap quilt, so she was most proud that she pushed through and finished. Soon we'll have twin beds but for now, they're folded in halves and thirds:
:: I felt bad because as Murphy's law dictates, the kids hadn't been sick since October, but the day my parents show up, blam. Juniper gets a fever. We laid low most of the time they were here, but for their last day, we packed up and headed out from breakfast to bedtime.
^Playing the elk bingo game on the sleigh.^
^Another of my dad's awesome photos.^
Thai for lunch followed by a trip to the Wildlife Art Museum.
Quick drive to look for big horn sheep (didn't see any):
^Looking back toward the elk refuge.^
Polished off with dinner downtown:
Best Christmas lights on the drive home:
:: Said goodbye to my dad and step-mom, spun on one heel, and headed to the grocery store to stock up for our final round of merry-making: A family-style New Year's party at our home...counting down when the New Year was probably reaching Iceland.
:: 2014. My back is loosening up, Hazel seems to be adjusting to her naps, winter is here, and I have been a fiend--fueling two new nighttime obsessions at once: knitting and the TV series, Homeland. We've just started season one and I am already two-thirds done with a vest for Hazel. Yo!