Sunday, January 18, 2015

Accepting winter.

 I've decided that the key to surviving winter in a cold, dark winter place like Utah, is to find a way to play in the winter. The snow. I'm no skier, --never wanted to spend the money to learn, but last year? year before? Sometime, I started snowshoeing, snow hiking, and snow running in earnest around the canyons and mountains near our house. 
 There's beauty in the snow and darkness that I've gotten more and more emotionally attached to. 
 The blues.
 The crusty frost.

 Jeff and I and some friends went up to Sundance the other night to go owling. The only owls we ran into were in the yurt shown by volunteers, but the snowshoe hike in the dark was spectacular. The moon lit up groves of aspen all on one side, making their trunks glow white. The stars were very clear.

 I tried to take pictures...yeah. My phone isn't the best for that.

 A few days later, we had rain followed by snow. All of the tree branches get coated in powdered sugar when this happens. It's my favorite.


However, this weekend's trip to St. George and the sun didn't hurt my feelings at all.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Finally. Family.

 I may have named other things, but really, truly, honestly, the best part of Christmas is hanging out with family. It took a long time for them to come, and they didn't make it until Christmas was actually over, AND we were missing some key players (the worst --but what can you do? --besides miss them a ton), but we had a nice big crazy crowd for New Years and the week before.

 I was still a little sick (yeah -- I passed THAT gift on) so I snowshoed a little instead of sledding.

 Poor Jeff gets cold earlier than anyone else (no bodyfat), so here he's pathetically trying to get us back to the car.

The sledding at Diamond Fork was gorgeous. I highly recommend it.

 We hit up Thanksgiving Point --mostly so Meesha and I could look at the stuff in the stores. 

 ..and thaw out in the atrium.

 But we did take the kids to Farm Country where they MILKED THIS COW. Can you believe it? That was a pretty neat experience. The teenage boys were too embarrassed to try. I wonder why?

 But most of the week was spent in a loud, happy tangle of cousins, aunts, and uncles.

 Sigh. It was wonderful.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Like Christmas morning

 Is there anything better than Christmas morning when you have kids? My kids are older, but it's still my favorite. We don't do a very big Christmas, a few books and small things as presents usually, but it's still so fun to see their excitement. This is calm before the great unwrapping. 
 We read the scripture story of Christ's birth,
and wrapping paper up the entry from the hallway into the front room to keep the peeking minimal.  
 This year especially, everyone seemed like they were in such a good mood. Sometimes the delay makes them cranky, which makes ME cranky, and Jeff feel besieged, but this year was really good. 
 They all made presents for each other, or secretly bought them when riding along on errands with me. That was really fun to see --the consideration for each other.
 Kai tricked Ari with this one, and wrapped it in a huge (undecorated) box. 

I almost always stress out the night before, thinking it isn't enough. My mom and Dad did the same thing they tell me, but I never remember being disappointed on Christmas morning. It's magic. Other parents may not be as lucky, but my kids always seem happy and grateful. If they are disappointed they hide it well. Kai had finished putting together that Lego set by that same afternoon by the way.