Sunday, December 23, 2007


Our family is never short on adventures. We headed out for Christmas a day earlier than planned in order to get a jump on a storm that was headed in the direction we needed to travel. You would think, living in Wyoming, THAT's where we'd experience the tricky weather. But no. Things were going along just fine...there was some light snow, but that was nice. It made it feel festive. We left one town in southern Colorado and were busy counting down the hours we still had left to drive, when suddenly, we couldn't see the road. It wasn't like there were massive amounts of snow, but what was there was blowing and drifting. The wind was doing funny things with the snow, making it dance around in swirly patterns, which would have been beautiful had we not been on four wheels on a slick surface. With two of us alert, we could see reflectors every 20 yards or so, and by watching those, we managed to stay on the road. At 5-10 mph, with approx. 40 miles of road stretching ahead of us before the next town, it was a slow go. I was about as tense as I've ever been, and I can't imagine how Chris felt, being that he was doing the driving. We've been in some nasty situations before, but this took the cake. There were times when we could see nothing but a white cloud of snow engulfing us, and at those times, it was hard to know if we were going left, or right, or nowhere. The blowing snow like that causes an illusion of distance and direction. After 2-3 hours of that, we finally pulled into an old closed down truck stop outside of a tiny little town. It looked like a ghost town. There were others with the same idea as us, so we weren't completely alone out there. We spent a few hours in the trusty Jeep waiting for the sun to come up, and trying to grab a little bit of sleep. For the kids, it wasn't such a problem, but it's a little more difficult for these older bodies. We're still working the kinks out. I wish I had pictures, but I'll give you this visual image...WHITE. And if you can imagine a wind that kept the vehicle rocking all through the wee're there. By morning, the conditions weren't a whole lot better, but there was light, which made it a little bit better. We are glad to be here, safe and sound, and ready to enjoy the holidays. I have a list of things I'm thankful for today:

- Kids who are always ready to "go with the flow"
- A husband who keeps us safe
- A little dog with a great big bladder
- A full tank of gas (thanks dad, for constantly drilling that into my head)
- Bottled water
- A vehicle with good traction control
- Having the common sense to stop driving
- Snow plows

Friday, December 21, 2007


When it snows, Skittles, more commonly known as "Snow Dog", goes a little nuts. It's as if he's gotten a dose of dognip or something...he just runs around like he's out of his mind. He runs through the house like a maniac, flipping his ball into the air, pushing it down the stairs, chasing after it, running into get the picture. This otherwise fairly mellow dog is suddenly exuberant...all because of a little snow. That's sort of how it makes me feel.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Is this odd?

This morning's discovery has prompted me to add a new song to my playlist. If it weren't for kids, there wouldn't be marshmallows in my egg box. There are many things that wouldn't happen...many experiences we would never have...if it weren't for kids. Some of those things are very perplexing. I have wracked my brain, and I can come up with no reason why someone would put marshmallows in the egg box in the fridge. But hey...I'm sure there's a logical explanation. Chris and I pondered this early this morning. Possibly someone wanted hard marshmallows??? I noticed the other day, that someone had left the twisty off of the marshmallow bag, so it's possible someone thought the marshmallows would become edible again if put in with the eggs????? I'm sure I can never imagine the logic behind this. And this, by the way, does not even come close to topping the list of strange mysteries that occur in our house. It only makes the "Top Strange Things At 6:00 This Morning" list. As I said to Chris this morning, just think what we'd be missing....if it weren't for kids.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Traditions

I'm the first grandchild. When I was 2, on Christmas Eve, my grandparents started something that continues even now that the grandkids have kids of their own. It was a small gathering that first year. I suppose it was my two grandparents, my two parents, me, my aunt and uncle, and another uncle. And Santa. Yes...Santa came that Christmas Eve, and he's come every Christmas Eve since. Through the years, the numbers grew. There were my brothers, and cousins. Then years later, I brought a spouse into the family, and the other grandkids started adding theirs too. A few years later, I added the first great-grandkids, and my cousins and brother followed suit, and some of them are still adding. By now, it's a large and loud gathering. My grandparents sit back and enjoy the numbers and the noise. I think Christmas Eve is probably the one day of the year they look forward to the most. They love to watch us play games, and even though they're in their mid-80's, they still love to play themselves. Whatever brings us all together, they love to see it and be a part of it. I love when my grandpa ("Poppy") brings out the Domino's and gathers up enough players to play Mexican Train. But the highlight of every Christmas Eve is Santa. I really don't remember that Christmas when I was 2, but I remember many Christmases since, when my aunt would take us to the bay window, and we would watch. She was so animated...she made it real for us. I swear, if we looked long and hard, we saw Santa's sleigh lights in the sky every time. And then there was the anticipation...once we saw his lights, we knew he would soon be knocking on the door. So we'd wait, and without fail, he would knock on that door. In awe, we'd open it, and let him in. He would greet everyone with a "Ho, Ho, Ho", and then take a seat. He would put down his big red bag of gifts, and slowly, he'd reach in and pull out one at a time, and call each and every one of us, the infants to the aged, to sit on his lap and collect our gift. It really never mattered that he sometimes looked like a neighbor...or his shoes seemed familiar...or that he had regular clothes peeking out from under his suit. It didn't matter that, for some reason, the grandparents kept a Santa suit in their basement. None of those things took away from the magic. I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve again this year. I will wait for Santa, as I have for many years, and I will sit on his lap when he calls my name. And, and always, I will still feel the magic.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tree Hunt 2007

Today was one of my very favorite days of the year. The day we bundle up in the warmest things we can find, head up the mountain with our tree tag, and go in search of the perfect (or maybe not so perfect) Christmas tree!!!

The weather couldn't have been better, as far as tree hunting goes. The temperature wasn't unbearably cold, yet the snow was falling down. The forest always seems so peaceful and quiet, and gives you the feeling that you're the only people around for miles, even when that's not the case. If you stand still and really pay attention, you can even smell the sweet smells of the aspen and the pines.

There were snowballs....

snow dogs...

snow angels, and catching snowflakes on the tongue...

and even a not-quite hidden smile from a teenager.

Finally, after much searching, we found the tree.

It may seem a little thin to you...maybe it is. But it's fresh, it smells nice, and most importantly, it's OUR we searched for, found, cut, and drug through the knee-deep forest snow. So thin's a GREAT tree!! And it was a GREAT day!!!