because what they're experiencing could be characterized as too much of a good thing. Dang.
We've been blessed, thus far, with just the right amount of snow and it does, indeed, make Christmas time more magical. Many of the lights are under a layer of snow and they glow and sparkle in a peaceful, muted way. Over the ground is a mantel of white. A heaven of diamonds shines down through the night. Our hearts are thrillin in spite of the chill in the weather. (Our temps are still hovering around zero.)
At Thanksgiving time, Jill, Jeff, Mel, Amy, and I decided that we would draw names and just shop (with a limited budget) for just our one person--Jeff and Mel, of course, reserving the right to buy additionally for each other. We agreed that stress-free family time would be much more important and appreciated than gifts. We were right! It was awesome. We had a lovely extended family dinner at Mark and Renee's on Christmas Eve. Then Jeff, Mel, and Brock came over and spent the night. We each went out and got fun things to put in each others' stockings and that was fun, too. Everybody received a handful of lovely, thoughtful gifts and then we spent the whole day in each others' company: eating, watching movies (What About Bob?), eating, playing games (Frog Juice), napping, eating, playing games (Loaded Questions), watching movies (Love, Actually), and eating. It's possible there was too much eating but otherwise it was pretty perfect.
We missed all of you though and hope that you had a good holiday, too. We suspect that it is possible that you all ate too much as well. I don't know about those fatty kids of mine but this momma is heading back to the track at the Dome tomorrow morning.
Tuesday, Jeff and I are going shopping in my friend Smitty's garage for some cross country ski gear. Then we'll finish up what we need at the used sporting goods store. We hope to actually be on a trail, trying it out by Wednesday. Smitty was AK cross country skiing champ about a million years ago so he knows stuff and is going to be kind enough to teach us the fundamentals. Jeff and I figure that once we get going, we'll do round two and get these girls set up. Smitty's a good sport but I don't think he knows what he'd be getting himself into to try to instruct all of us at once. I believe the Dowling girls may be more concerned about their outfits (yeah, I said it) and it's just going to be a good trick for Jill to carve out some time from her two (yes, I said two) jobs. But if we can get the hang of it, it will be very good for all of us. I've been on skis just once in my life and that was in 1979. I don't recall a great deal of upright time during that experience. I'm sure it'll be way better now that I'm older and fatter.