Lead Up to Break

We had a solid run up to Christmas, with some lovely traditions. We added some new things. For the first time, we put some lights on our bushes outside. I took Porter and a friend to see Junie B Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, a play at the community center that Porter’s friend was performing in. She did a great job, but Porter felt a little bashful about giving her a flower at the end, but I explained that’s traditional when you know someone performing in a play.

Another new tradition was taking the kids to Meadowlark Gardens to see the big walk-thru display of lights. They were really neat, but the kids were more interested in wrestling with their friends. That’s fine, and I enjoyed the lights and conversation with my friends. We let them really wrestle it out, and then took them to Taco Bamba for dinner. It was a fun night, and felt pretty carefree. As I’m writing and looking back, Omicron is hanging over our heads with lots of stuff being cancelled, and I’m just so grateful we had the opportunity to do so much stuff to celebrate. The Santa Fire Truck made its rounds, and the kids still feel the magic. We watched Elf, Home Alone, and Noelle. I had checked When Santa Fell to Earth out of the library, but we didn’t have time to watch it. It’s still one of my favorites, but I also really like Noelle.

I had a wonderful week of activities, seeing A Strange Loop with Patrick at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. It was a delightfully weird, thought-provoking show, with uncomfortably catchy lyrics at times. Perfectly Woolly. Then, I saw Brandi Carlisle at Sixth & I with a friend. It was a small, acoustic show that was just magical. Some friends and I took in Once Upon A One More Time together. An amazing book club meeting capped a great year of reading, and picked out some fun looking reads for next year. Patrick gave my friend and I a pedicab tour for her birthday, which was a glorious, blue-sky, crisp day. It was a whirlwind of fun!

In all that time, I did not find time to bake cookies for the neighbor, but as my neighborhood bestie told me, “We all like new year’s cookies too,” and just like that, she gave me permission to take some pressure off, and something to look forward to when we get back from our trip. My semester ended the same time as the kids’ and it was an exhausting process to pack, finish grading, make sure Christmas was prepared to be taken on the road, etc.

But we made it! We drove to Kentucky the first night, arrived around 3:00 and spend a good afternon/evening with my parents. It’s not Christmas unless you watch The Princess Bride and eat Chex Mix. The next morning, I took off in the van with Seamus, Gilbert, and Porter. Patrick and Harlan stayed behind and flew to Denver the next day. With all the flights getting cancelled, it’s a relief that our plan worked out. I had an uneventful drive. Kansas was boring. We hit Costco in Denver before picking up Patrick and Harlan, and I’m glad we did, because we have a lot of food for the snowstorm.

Yes, it’s snowing! On Christmas Eve. We are going to have a beautiful, white Christmas. We have skied the past four days, with each day being a little better in terms of kids’ stamina, but the snow has been deteriorating. This big dump is just what we need! There’s already 4-5 inches on the ground here, and maybe more on the mountain. We’re skiing Steamboat; the Ikon pass we have gives us 5 days here. We are skipping today, because it’s not as fun to ski in snow out conditions, and the conditions should be excellent tomorrow.

Skiing truly is something we can all enjoy doing together. Gilbert has been on his snowboard and skis already. Porter is killing it with his turns. Harlan is very proud of his ability to turn, stop, go fast, and keep up with the others. Seamus has been the first one out the door and on the mountain daily. He scouts good terrain for us and meets us to show us what he found. On one of our hot cocoa breaks, two people got engaged, and Harlan has been talking about it a lot. He seems to detect any kind of energy disturbance and wants to unpack it. The deck we like best though, has queso and chips, and while they were out of hot cocoa yesterday, they snuck inside and brought us some out! It’s been nothing but fun on the mountain.

Santa is coming tomorrow, and Porter and Harlan are beside themselves. Gilbert and Seamus are a little more tempered, but still excited. We’ve been playing Jackbox party games at night, which has been a blast. Today, we plan to take it easy, get stickers for their helmets, go for a walk in the snow, and sit in the hot tub while it snows on us!


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