Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christmas Vacation in Review

I understand that Christmas past a month ago. But I just got some of my favorite pictures off my camera and I couldn’t resist sharing.

We spent Christmas Eve here, in LA with my brother Tim and his fiancé Heather.

Christmas Eve in LA with Tim, Heather and my daughter

We all got hats

Then on Christmas Day we flew out to the Midwest where my parents live. We saved almost 50 percent by flying on Christmas Day, and more importantly we missed the hundred year blizzard that ransacked Oklahoma Christmas Eve and shut the city down.

First day in Oklahoma we bought snow boots, found a "hill." Kip and co. built a snow ramp and made the best of it.

How is that shovel sled working for you, Kip?

Both my sisters arrived in Oklahoma with their own little families and we celebrated second Christms, complete with presents and the traditional reinacted Christmas story (which is always a delightfully bizare interpretation.) This year might have included angels with light sabers.

Three sisters celebrating Christmas in red -- not very coordinating reds, but reds.

Mom and her son-in-law to be. Welcome to the family, Marc.
And then we had enough of celebrating second Christmas inside. Mild winter weather and a foot of snow begged everyone outside. We built a distinguished snow man. The littlest ones made snow angels and then the snow war began. It was an all-out family snow feud with Kip fortifying his position behind the wooden fence and everyone else blasting him with snow bombs.

Look close. He is the guy in the green hat behind the fence.
There is his arm.
Taunting us.

"Mom, I'm a little nervous, standing here, posing for a picture."

"I should move. I know I should move."

Thanks, Dad.

Even the dog can't resist.

Massive snowball.

Newest brother in law with an evil grin.

My sister Kiesi's beautiful look-alike snow baby.

Kiesi and Serenity


Lots of fun

Then we journey north to Missouri to visit Kip's side of the family. We spent New Year's Eve with them.

Our son and his cousin playing on a frozen creek that is literally in Kip's parents' back yard.

Throwing rocks on a frozen river. Why do boys love to throw rocks in creeks? Is it universal?

Light sabers apparently work in freezing conditions.

Another sweet cousin
After a few days we drove back to Oklahoma and enjoyed a quiet weekend with my parents. It was one of the best family reunions we have had in years, and it left me wondering more than once why we all live so far away from each other.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Sail of the Year

On Saturday we took the sailboat out for the first time this year.

As our son announced, several times actually, "This is the best sailing trip of the year and the worst sailing trip of the year."

The waves and wind were gentle, so our son was able to relax and even enjoy a new set of binoculars. Kip was happy because there was enough wind to sail and not have to use the little outboard motor.

Several months ago we realized that these little sailing trips were more fun if we brought along a friend for our daughter. We asked two different families this time and got two girls, so the girls had their own little party on the bow.

Girl time

It was a nice smooth sailing start to the New Year.

Kip and our little guy.
Kip, our son and our friend Jon

Jon's sweet daughter

Kip and me

Beautiful sunsets never get old.

Easing into the New Year

It's a new year, half way through the first month, but still a new year.

We are easing into it here. We got back from the Christmas/New Year holiday trip to the Midwest, and then we all battled colds for a few days. And now we are getting back into life -- cleaning up the apartment, taking down the Christmas tree, reading all the Christmas letters from friends back East.

It has been a season of simplifying, cleaning up and organizing -- both stuff and priorities. Kip started organizing the kitchen last weekend, which was difficult at first to see him going through the part of our life that I usually manage. But once I realized the favor he was doing me, I embraced it. Now we are taking on everything, little bit by little bit.

With all this organizing and time managing, I thought I might take a blogging break. But I missed putting in little updates. So expect to see more here soon.