The holidays often include so much fun and alcohol that the title may have been more literal than intended for previous years. This year, however, is a slightly different tale.
Recognizing the gloomy forecast early in the week, I opted to leave work early on Wednesday and meet the husband and dog-child so we could make the 4-hour commute “home.” Unlike me, we had a specific itinerary for the festivities including stops to make, what to pack for each day, where to stay each night, a number of presents for the dog to open each day, and the perfect metrics for making everything fit into the Pilot. The husband was in charge of “prepping” the dog for the trek home, not knowing what we were about to face- we wanted him good and tired. I had coordinated all the wrapping paper and gifts so that each design was meant for specific days. (I’ll say this is SO unlike me, I’m not quite sure what this pregnancy has done to my adventurous side!) By 1:30 we were locked, stocked and barreling on our way.
We rolled into our friend house on Wednesday night (of which we haven’t seen since Memorial Day weekend) just as the snow began to fall and the wind began to brew. We re-acquainted Diesel with the kids, and nestled in for the evening. Another family of friends topped by and the night went on like usual- telling stories, entertaining children, learning new Christmas songs (btw-thanks Whitie and Tim- we can’t stop singing “ding- fries are done!”), planning upcoming camping excursions and celebrating in general. As we approached the wee hours of the morning we decided it was time.
By morning we heard the snowplows scrape by, we knew we may have some adventures ahead of us as we angled north for the next leg of the trip. After the husband again “prepped” the dog and helped clear the driveway, we had a bit of time for playing in the snow with the kids (both big and small). Diesel had a few snowball fights and Tim established a sledding track right under the car! Before long, it was time to go and we packed up again…following the metrics of what needed to get packed where for the optimum capacity in the Pilot. (After moving 14 times I have perfected the skill of “space management”).
Again we were facing a forecast nearing 20″ of snow, with likely snow/sleet mix. We prepared for the worst and thankfully arrived to Brent’s parents before the heart of the storm hit. We arrived just in time to help with snow removal. We quickly nestled in. THis was my first time back since his parents officially retired and moved up north permanently. His mom was busting at the seams looking for storage, and entertained us with the things she would pull out of the darndest places. With retirement thought, brought a king-sized bed to the guest bedroom, a luxury Brent and I haven only experienced on our honeymoon! While we were hoping for a nap- arriving after noon on Christmas eve would allow no such thing. His parents were anxious to show us “the Big House,” the new place his parents would hopefully be occupying. We prettied ourselves up a bit, snuck in a peak at the new house and then met Brent’s godparents for a few beverages at the local hangout…Tom and Jerry’s are a delicacy up in those parts- unfortunately there is no good virgin recipe, so I abstained. Speaking of virgins, Christmas eve I experienced my first Catholic mass. As Brent claims I was a little flustered not knowing the routing- stand up sit down, kneel…not to mention all the hand gestures and different ways of saying things. As returned from church things were falling a bit more in-line with the weather forecast. HEAVY snow switching to down pour rain, then back to snow. THis would continue throughout Christmas day….the only good thing going was that the temperatures were staying above freezing making things more slushy and messy than icy. Plans would be revised come Christmas morning as Brent’s remaining siblings made the decision to stay home at the advise of the weather man. So the celebration scaled back….ie Brent’s mom only made a ham instead of a ham and turkey! By afternoon we had been cooped up, plump full of food and searching channels for something entertaining. The dogs throughly entertained us, playing as usual, tiring us out just looking at them! Before long we were gearing up for a trek to see Brent’s cousins…which brought more food, fun and conversation!
By Saturday it was time to make the long, undesirable trip home. This time the roads were less than ideal, the trip from Brent’s parents to home didn’t allow for as many stops, and all together this part seems dreadful. We were packed, cleaned, and filled with food by 9:30 AM and had 5 hours ahead of us. By 11 Am the roads were finally beginning to slush up. During our gas and stretch stops- Windshield washer fluid was the hot commodity of the day! By evening we met up with my family for a preliminary celebration, hearing all about what the nieces and grandparents witness over their Christmas. We made it home to prep a few things for our final CHRISTMAS celebration. (I say christmas because we still have 2 more New Year’s gathering this week.)
Seeing how this post is WAY too long already I’ll save the final celebration for a different post to allow for a few quotes and noteworthy events to report on! As you may have gathered, 2009 brought us a fabulous Christmas holiday to share great times with friends and family. Closing the books on the holidays always makes me a little down, as the magicalness of the holiday spirit fade. However this year, things will certainly change come February which might break up the winter months 🙂