Our family Christmas stockings are tucked away until next year...
Some post-holiday blues started to set in after New Year's Eve and in an attempt to battle them I went for a run with Skagit on the trails. It felt so great to sweat, to have the time and capacity for thought, to take a deep breath, to reflect. For half the run the trail was untouched since the last snow, and I felt like I was right where I need to be. On the trail with my dog on the first day of the New Year.
Skagit and I had such a wonderful time we came back a couple days later with Astrid on my back....It was a near death experience. You know that feeling when you slip on ice... Your stomach lands somewhere in your throat, you're instantly weightless, you have a flash-sweat and then by some miracle you get your footing again. The stakes were a lot higher with 25-30 pounds of love (you-know-who) on my back. I shudder to think what we would have looked like in a pile up had I not lucked out. I slipped three different times on our hike.
leaving the main trailhead at Blue Mountain
We went out while it was snowing one morning. It was one of those muted mornings. Not even a crow cawing overhead. You could almost hear the snowflakes land. Astrid was quite talkative though...talking up a storm....a completely untranslatable constant conversation with Skag and me on the hike. I understood a few words, of course, "Dadgy" (Skaggy), "Mama", "Du doo" (good girl), and a few others.
I am feeling an urge to do something big this year...only I'm not sure what. Something I have to train for. An adventure race? A multi-day mountain bike trip? A mountain marathon? hmmmm I'm going to have to think on that one some more.
We spent our Christmas with Jeff's folks this year. Our time was spent delivering freshly baked cookies to Grandma and Grandpa's neighbors:
Opening presents (Astrid's first doll):
Spending some extra time where I'm most comfortable....behind the camera lens:
But the absolute highlight of our Christmas, hands down, was seeing our nieces and nephews. It was so fun to watch Astrid interact with her cousins (four of which she had never met before). Kylie, Jake, Evan, Kaitlin & Connor. Quite an amazing bunch. Astrid especially had fun stealing Evan's and Connor's hats and wearing them around. She would put her hands on her hips and in her back pockets and tried to be such a big girl:
(notice the Astrid-sized Minnie Mouse & Mickey Mouse? Our friends Tami and Kenny completely spoiled Astrid! The mice even got their own chair at a Chinese Restaurant on the night we stayed with them just before Christmas! So ridiculous and fun!)
I can't wait until the next time we get to spend some time with them.