Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The return of sunshine

I hate east coast winters.  Why?  Not the snow.  I love the snow.  I love large quantities of snow.  I don't even mind driving in the snow.  I hate east coast winters because the sun rarely shines.  And it makes me all sad inside.  This constant grey and dreary just doesn't fly for me.  So, days that the sun shines I am ultimately happy and cheery.  Downright bubbly even.  And that rare sun?  Its popped out the last two days!

Yesterday I just beebopped around my yard snapping pictures of the icicles and sunshine (only after creating some make-shift booties for Kenai to torment him bahaha).  I wanted to get out and take Kenai to the Bickle's tower overlook but unplowed Forest Service roads thwarted me.  So we came home and I had him pull 40lbs of coal on a sled for a quarter mile.  He was cranky at first but really took off with it.  Now, I only wish he'd be as energetic pulling me.

He walked around high-stepping with them on.  Hilarious.
His real booties come in a couple days.
Icicles along the back of our house

That beautiful sun shinin' over my head.
The view from our living room.

Pulling that 40lb bag of coal up the hill
This morning I woke up and fought with Fed Ex some more.  My dad's Christmas gift was slated to arrive December 12th.  Pff, as if.  Fed Ex, you SUCK.  Royally.  Crock of bull, all of it, everything, everyone.  The good new is that after a dozen calls to customer service, talking to a million different accents, and quoting my tracking number a million different times...the package is here.  I will avoid Fed Ex at all costs from now on.  Idiots.  UPS all the way.
After my brawl with Fed Ex I ran a couple errands and then went out to a local state park to exercise the pup.  The Cheat River runs along the edge of the park and is a big attraction for tourons in the warmer months.  I was the ONLY person there today.  Hiked a couple miles.  Kenai loved having so far to run.

And of course the first thing Kenai does?  Freak me out
by running right out onto the icy river.  Thanks, dude, thanks.
Look, I'm standing on the ice!
Aaaannnddd it didn't hold when I decided to jump/stomp.

Downstream from the swimming hole.
A current ripping through above the swimming hole.
Looking out into one of the BIG fields, pavilion for parties
in the distance.  This place is so, so green in the warmer months
and its great for ultimate frisbee, football, or what have you.  We
all had our graduation parties here after high school.
It was this deep!

Being manly, you know, and tough.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The "in my pants" rule and Christmas

So we left all this snow in West Virginia and traveled south...

The roads were less than desirable until we got out of WV, but they were clear by Roanoke and we had smooth sailings from there.  Lots of family time has commenced since arrival.  Eleven of us.  Three grandparents, four parents, four cousins, and three dogs (and a partridge in a pear tree).  So many people in one house for this holiday made it all the more special, though overwhelming at times.  Decorations are my favorite part about Christmas (second to the music!).

Christmas Eve started slowly for the cousins.  We stayed out till 4:30a the night before drinking and being merry.  So for us, the day began with burgers and brauts, Wii gaming, and lots of visiting with family.

Christmas Eve traditions consist of church service followed by, you'd never guess, DRINKING GAMES.  Yeah, my family is weird like that.  So my aunt and uncle and mom and I (dad headed for bed) along with my brother, cousins, and two of their friends gathered around the kitchen table for a rousing game of Circle of Death.  The most entertaining part of the game were definitely the rules that were created.  The first was an easy one so my mom, aunt, and uncle could get the hang of things: Only drink with your right hand.  The second made things a lot more interesting: You must end all sentences with "in my pants".  Promptly after the creation of this rule my mother says, "Are you going to play - in my pants?"  Hilarity ensued.

Christmas morning started late, but we ended up having a great day.  And, the most surprising thing of all, SNOW!  The area's first white Christmas in half a century. (The below pictures do no justice, they were taken around ten when it started sticking, now there is about 6 inches and it looks more like the picture at the beginning of this post minus the icicles!).  Expected to have up to 10 inches by morning!  Which is awesome, but also tough because we are slated to drive back in the morning...  It started around 4 am this morning and has been going ever since.  Real heavy snowman-making snow.  We went on a hike in it and Kenai disappeared for a half hour.  Despite everyone yelling and whistling he wouldn't come.  I was a WRECK after 15 to 20 minutes when I thought he wouldn't be coming back.  But, he did.  Thank goodness!

Kenai about to open his present
After he'd ripped the paper off, a DUCK!

Will perusing the scrapbook of all the productions he's been a part of.
If you look closely you can see him with Michelle Obama on this page!
Ben painted a tiger for Nana and Papa
And a hummingbird for his grandma
Other than my pup coming back and not being lost, my favorite gift was definitely my iTouch.  I've never had an iPod, I'm thrilled to finally have all my music all the time.  And the facetime feature is great!  We finished the day the proper way by stuffing ourselves with a phenomenally large dinner of awesomeness and lay around the house reading and watching movies.

 So from our family to yours, Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!