Now that work has (finally!) slowed down for the holidays, I've had more time for mid-day walks and evening baking sessions. It's continued to be cold and overcast, but sadly there's been no more snow around home since the dusting I missed last week. It's been years since we last had a good snow around here, and now that I'm working from home, I wouldn't mind a few snowy days one bit! Luckily, we had plans to spend a lovely weekend in snowy Bellingham visiting friends who recently moved north. I'd thought it had been cold at home, but when we got into town Friday evening we discovered we were terribly under-dressed for the 18° temperatures! We didn't have to suffer too long, since there wasn't much walking to do, but the cold was certainly a shock! Saturday morning, we had a delicious brunch followed by a peaceful walk around Lake Whatcom. After a few hours relaxing at our friends hours, we spent the evening bar hopping in the city. Andy and I have become major homebodies since the summer, and it was a nice change of pace to get out so much.Read More
This year, for the first time, instead of buying a Christmas tree in a lot or at a U-Cut farm, Andy and I joined his dad, stepmom, sister, and niece in venturing out into the snowy woods to find cut a tree ourselves with a Forest Service permit. Andy's dad has done this for many years, and I've always enjoyed the spindly character of the trees he finds. They aren't quite Charlie Brown trees, but trees found in the forest have so much more personality than the uniform, bushy ones bought in a store.Read More
It feels like I was just writing my fall list yesterday, and now we're already well in to winter! I've always had a time with winter. I love the snow, but it's usually hours away in the mountains, and from the dreary grey views outside my window at home, I find it far too easy to stay warm at inside on my couch, doing nothing. Then, once spring comes around, I regret being so inactive for so many months. Here's a list of things I hope will keep me out of my post-Christmas, pre-spring gloom!
Get off the couch for at least one hike or snowshoe each month. I did terribly on this over the fall - no hiking in either November or December!
Also, go for more walks. It's hard since I get home after dark, but the days are growing longer again so soon I won't have that as an excuse!
Host a soup swap.
Get a good start on my goal to read 42 books in 2016 by reading at least 3 books a month.
Buy a new houseplant to bring some green indoors.
Plan a trip. I love planning travel, whether it's a big trip or a small one. Maybe this will finally be the year I convince Andy to go here?
Knit a new hat for Andy. The one I made him last year is looking pretty ragged!
Light candles, string up christmas lights, anything to bring a little more light into the long dark days to come!
This week brought frost and the tiniest bit of snow to Puget Sound. I love the textures and patterns of frost, almost more than I love snow. Thanks to a Christmas present from Andy, I can now keep my feet warm in style by wearing wool socks with birkenstocks, the epitome Pacific Northwest fashion. We spent most of the week on Whidbey Island, and instead of our usual beach walks, this time we went for several "frost walks" where we poked about in the woods taking photos of the frost until we were thoroughly frozen. Then it was back to the cabin to warm up by the wood burning stove! Whidbey is the most wonderful place to ring in the New Year. I vastly prefer the calm, peaceful beauty to the crowds and noise typical to a New Years celebration.
I hope you all had a warm and wonderful Christmas this year! Mine was probably the best on record. I was too busy having fun - and still working on getting over my awful cold - to take take photos of everything. We shuttled around to several different family events, all memorable and fun-filled. At my parents, we had a Christmas Eve brunch, where we stuffed ourselves with pulla and french toast. Then we opened gifts, and I got to surprise everyone with the cardigan I've been secretly knitting for my niece. It's too big now, but I'm sure she'll look adorable in it by next fall. After gifts, we played a round of Adventure Time Fluxx, and admired the new skills my tiny niece is developing - standing and crawling backwards!
At my mother-in-law's, we made a delicious meal of finger foods. I brought these ginger garlic meatballs and my absolute favorite chocolate cake to contribute. I gave another hand-knit gift, this time the monster leggings I knit for my two year old niece. Before heading home, we had a lazy time watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and playing with gifts in our new Christmas pyjamas.
Christmas morning, we headed to Wenatchee for a snowy weekend at my father-in-law's. After such a warm winter last year, it was heaven to get to play in the snow, then come inside to warm up hot tea by the fire. Between sled runs on the excellent sled run we packed down, we watched more Christmas movies, brewed beer, and played several games. After such a wonderful time spent with all our family, going back to our regular routine will be rough!