The Neverending Vacation

Home. Such a sweet word, such a wonderful idea, such yearning in my heart… We were supposed to be there by now. Yet, here I sit, vacantly staring at the weather reports and traffic cameras for our route home, watching the snow pile and pile and pile up.

The sunny California days mock me, and I think about just piling everyone in the car and bazaiing up north anyway. I can see why the pioneers and the Donner Party got caught up in the dream of “getting there” and ended up eating each other in the insane mountain snow.

Not that I want to eat anyone. Which is why I still sit here, hitting f5 every few minutes while my eyes glaze over, reflecting the constant snow shown on the monitor.

Waiting for a break in the snow… Waiting. Waiting. Waiting…

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It’s looking like the state of Washington is pretty much closed down. As much as I love visiting my family, I’m starting to want my own bed and my own creature comforts. That, and I’m seeing online reports of snow collapsing roofs in various places…. I know our house is fine, but still, being away when 30 of 39 Washington counties have been declared in a state of emergency… I wish I could click my heels together three times and just be home.

Christmas was really nice. The kids were lavished in love and presents, Santa was good to us all, and right now, as I speak (type?) the boys are drawing pictures of their cousin with their new art sets. I know, I know. It’s after 10 and my boys are still up… meh, we’re on vacation. My cousins are all over visiting, and I haven’t seen some of them in five years. It’s kind of nice.

Mom’s Front Yard and Other Stuff

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I did it!

This is the only shot I could use that didn’t give away details, but I think you get the picture, right? My kids think this is the best thing ever, and evidently, so do the minivans of people that stop each night and get out to take pictures with their kids in the yard. This is only part of the yard.

Yesterday I had the most wonderful visit with Bek. I got to meet Ace, her baby, who might be the cutest little girl ever. We had dinner at Max’s, and then did a little window shopping at Stanford. If you ever have the chance to eat at Max’s, I highly recommend the Ruben or the Cobb Salad. Mmmmm. Seriously good stuff.

For anyone with a little extra goodwill, Mo needs a boost. She’s been trying to get out of town for two solid days. Due to snow, ice and flight cancelations, she’s been bumped several times, all with three kids and a husband deployed to Iraq. Last night she was on standby, (with three kids!) and running to grab the flight, to have only two seats available. Three kids, two seats? Yeah. They ended up going home and trying again this morning. Travel with kids is brutal enough, without the fun of standby and snow. So do a little moon-dance for her, will ya?

Holiday Crap, California Edition

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Midnight ramblings, borrowed laptop, legitimate wi-fi. Progress!

Yeah, I know. Phoning it in- and I hate seeing the quality of my posts and writing suffer- and yet, the alternative (not documenting my life or what’s going on) seems like an abdication. Born a blogger, eh? Don’t expect a Pulitzer this month…

Sorry no pictures yet- I HAVE taken them, but I can’t figure out how to get them from my camera into my mom’s computer. Ah, the perils of being tech-lame. Mo is rolling her eyes.

Grandma took the boys bowling today, and it would appear Rock-n-Bowl is the hot new thing. Grandma thinks Jeffrey might have a future in bowling, Beanie bounced his ball a couple of time and they all came home with little bowling Santa ornaments for the tree.

We had a chaotic but fun dinner at my adoptive Aunt’s house tonight. It was six boys seven and under, and Abby. She wore her new Christmas dress from Grandma and even had silver bows tied to her piggy tails, while she schooled those boys on how to stomp around and have a grand old time.

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My cousin Naun made the most awesome hot spinach salad, with prosciutto, Gorgonzola, onions and portobello boomers.  Make a dressing of hot balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil. Oh yeah… I pretty much skipped the lasagna and pigged out on salad and garlic pugliese. Oh, how I love California.

The kids had hot dogs and ketchup.

pedicure1Monday I get to hide from the kids and meet up with Bek, from Ignore the Crazy. I’ve known Bek for years, but we haven’t had the chance to hang out since I crashed my moms car two summers ago. We’re going out to dinner, sans kiddos, and getting mannis and pedis. Hate me if you must. I can take it.

I keep hearing rumors we have almost 30″ of snow at home. I wonder when we’ll be able to even get home, if this keeps up. I did get a call from my mother in law, who went to take our mail in, that someone had come over and shovelled our entire driveway, walk, and porch. I don’t even know who to thank. That seems to be a refrain in my life these days- kind people doing things, and not knowing for whom to be grateful.

I got to hang out with my brother at his work today. As I watched him tip back on his chair while we talked, I was overwhelmed by what a good man he has become. We named Beanie after him, and if my son grows up to be like uncle Eric, I’ll slap my hands together and call it a job well done.

I’m hoping I get to see my other brother too. His life path is a little more colorful right now, but I still miss seeing him. You out there, man? Call your sister!

My goal for tomorrow is to get the pictures into the computer. Somehow. I know it must be possible… right?

marenhenswns_468x333I miss Crazy Chicken Annie. One of the dangers of having a relative named Crazy Chicken Anything is that sometimes, things don’t go the way you want them to go. And sometimes, you  hope showing up on a doorstep with some gingerbread and a ball of organic yarn is enough of a peace offering. One can hope.

Cousin Heather just got back from a whirlwind trip, by herself, all over southeast Asia. Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos… she’s my hero.

As much as I love Fakey Fakerson waiting for me at home, I adore that one of my mom’s tress is the Real Deal. The smell… The smell? She is divine.

Merry Christmas, and Happy first night of Hanukkah, too, for anyone out there who celebrates that tradition. I have a menorah and a kosher pack of beeswax candles I’ve been storing. I want so badly to use them and do Hanukkah, but I feel like such a farce. It’s not my tradition to co-opt, just because I think it’s cool. And so they sit, in Phoebe the Buffet, and there they stay.

Is anyone else out there creeped out by the old Frosty the Snowman cartoon?

We Made It!

Oh, man, I really, really wish I could have live-blogged the trip down here!~ We’ve arrived, we’re at my parents, and all is well. We left home at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, because we heard a huge storm was blowing into the Pacific Northwest. Had we followed our original plan, we would probably still be driving. As it was, we only had icy roads, not falling snow.  Driving at night in falling snow is a level of hell.

The kids did great, and slept a good part of the way. It took 18 hours, and I drove the overnight leg. When we got to grandma and grandpa’s, we handed off the kids and collapsed. Being up for 24+ hours straight does not make for happy parents. So we’re here. It’s awesome- and, coolest thing ever (or at least of the week): My mom has given her permission to post pictures of her house! So check back in- I just have to find my camera now…

Namaste

The goodness just knows no bounds. Tonight on my porch: a wooden toboggan, a Christmas platter, a gift card to Target, a game for the kids, and a package via the mailman from my friend in Utah, Jen. I am humbled and amazed at the goodness of people; their giving  hearts, their charitable spirits and the kindness that flows so freely. I stand all amazed. Thank you…