Sunday, January 21, 2018

A winter storm and "Wit and Whimsy"

 Brenda and I scurried up the canyon as soon as this last storm hit. The snow was all still in the trees, outlining the black branches in white. Spectacular lacemaking.
 It is so strange to see trees and bushes that are so dark, and then to see the golden grasses still poking through the white. 

Aspen was the lucky dog (literally) that got to go hiking with us. I love taking Brenda's dogs. They make the hike ten times more fun because they are so happy! She was just ecstatic running up and down the trail and crossing up the hill and down the slope --she hikes 4 or 5 times as long as we do.

 Her fuzzy coat collects the snow like a bumblebee collects pollen. By ten minutes in she had her tummy and back of her legs coated with little snowballs. I wanted to take a  closeup picture, but thought it would be a little weird.

 There was some artist in the 80's (or 90's?) that did these pictures of the forest all snowy. When you looked close and searched you could see the figures of Indians on their horses flying through the trees. I kept thinking of those paintings. Bev Doolittle. That was the artist.

 Later on, while making dinner, I glanced up through the windows, and my backyard was blue blue blue! So gorgeous. Soon it was night.
I talked my kids into heading to the Springville art museum with me earlier in the week. Most of the museum was closed off because they were setting up the high school artist exhibit, but upstairs they are running "Wit and Whimsy: off the deep end". This show was right up our alley. The artists created lighthearted art, but showcase some deeper ideas through it. I loved this artist the best: Sophie Soprano. Her art was just warm and comforting to me. 

 Cassandra Barney

 Marcee Blackerbee --these were collections of found objects, and some were almost disturbing. All pieces were fascinating.

 Andrew Ballstaedt --all of his were monsters, but had some serious messages too. This one was my favorite: "I'm afraid but my mom is praying for me".

 Steve and Tonya Vistaunet. This couple created adult coloring books too, but I was taken with the cartoony pieces where he explores what is happening inside his head. 

We didn't have enough time there --we never do, but in some ways winter is nice in that it gives you a little more motivation to explore inside activities. We get to the museum more often in the winter I think. It reminds me of shopping ---but better. You get to look at all of these beautiful things and imagine and experience them, spend time with them. All for free! I am always uplifted and in a better mood after going to the museum.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Christmas season

Not everything is perfect in our lives, but the Christmas season was close to perfect for me. THe best part of course was having family around. That is always my favorite part, and if I could I would live in a family party 24/7.
But there were some other cool things we did. Jeff and I took a weekend and went up to the Zermatt resort during their Swiss Christmas festival. All of the hotel is decorated like a Swiss chalet and it was so cute. 

Luckily our friends Brenda and Monte were able to get the same weekend away, and we had dinner together, checked out some of the little Christmas boutique, and took a hike together the next day. This hike was straight up the mountain and I was close to puking by the time we made it to this log. But it was beautiful. We had been suffering under an inversion in the valley for days and it was all sunny up here in Midway.

The Millennial Choir concert was a high point of the season, 
As was helping the United Way with their sub for santa deliveries. This was so much cooler than I thought it would be. We were able to pick out a few families to deliver to that only spoke Spanish, and I don't know why, but we just feel the warmth of the people of that culture more easily. 

 The couple of days before Christmas weekend we headed to St. George for a Bray family Christmas. This was nice and low key, and it was so nice to connect with mom and dad Bray and Ernest and Paola.

 We took the next day and did a trail run in Snow canyon. 
 We didn't stress about the kids but just let them go at their own pace. I think we all had a good time. This canyon!!! What a treasure. I love it there. So many trails, so many striking cliffs. It is just heaven.

 Christmas eve was at Meesha's house. 

 Claim Jumper salad bar and baked potato bar.

 Christmas morning was weird without Tia. Still fun to see the kids surprised.

 There was a lovely snow storm Christmas eve, so we woke to a white Christmas. Jeff and I snuck away for a hike up the top of Whiting. THey didn't close the gate yet so we felt a little like criminals getting to go up there, but it was so beautiful. Nice deep fresh snow.

 This was the best part of the day though!! I was worried I would be too sad to talk to her, but I did fine, and was able to ask all of my worry questions, and get a feel for how she is doing. She seems so healthy emotionally. What a relief. She seems better able to roll with the punches. Missionary work isn't always easy -- I would say mostly not easy, but she is seeing things positively.
 I only broke down when it was time to go.

 We had a big fondue party here Christmas evening. We did a cheese fondue and a broth one. I feel like the broth one didn't get or stay hot enough, and maybe that was because my fuels weren't full, so they didn't heat as hot? I don't know. Anyway we didn't try to cook raw meat in the broth, just heated up shrimp and chicken pieces, and veggies. The fondue thing is kind of a fun idea because people stand around cooking their stuff and chat. 
 We did some mini crockpots for the kids to use to be a little safer, and my Dad and Gavin kind of posted themselves as safety guys there. Very nice of them.
 My mom still wasn't walking too well after her knee surgery (after two foot surgeries, after two hip surgeries...) so I brought her a plate over here. 

 For dessert we did a chocolate fondue and a caramel one. Yum. Maybe we should have JUST done these.

 We had the piano recitals as part of Christmas. Kai had his song down perfect, absolutely perfect, but got a little nervous performing. Ari seemed to fly through hers. Seth was nervous too.

We just got Christmas cleaned up, and Kira and her family arrived for the REAL partying.

 Nate and Nora came up too, and Deja and Henrietta. This was a real party week. First thing i=on the agenda was sledding. My Whiting horse trail is always packed with snow far after it has melted in other places, so I talked everyone into coming here. 

 Everyone sledded! Adults and kids. 

 I only really ate it once really bad when I crashed ear first into a bush.

 Temple square was that night's activity. I am so glad I got there this year! Some years it is too much trouble to make the drive. Trust Kira to get us all up there. 

Meesha did come, she was just delayed a little bit.

 We are missing a whole day of activities in pictures here. Everyone went to the Provo rec center during the day, and then that night all of the adults went out to eat at India Palace. I think everyone enjoyed it. I can't believe we didn't take one picture. This was Saturday. We all went hiking up by Meesha's house. She lives on the edge of a bunch of trails. We are kind of Jonesing to move up there with her.

 We headed back to Meesha's house for Lydia's and Scott's and Erin's birthday party/games party.
 We also watched movies a bit.

This is a game believe it or not.
There is a video of these guys singing jingle bells, drool and all, but I'll spare you.

 New Year's eve we came back here for dinner and fun. The kids are all playing "Curses".

But these were the star of the evening. Our little houses turned out a little rough. I was hurrying, and Kira tried to help me, but we both burned ourselves with the sugar so many times, often we decided "this house is good enough! It will look better with the candy!"
and we had a lot of candy!

Kai's masterpiece.

 Sister village. We took it seriously.

Oh my goodness I love them all so much. I wish Christmas was every day.