Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Deck the halls.

I love to decorate.

The $1 section at Target is a place that I should avoid during all holidays. Individually- "Oh, its only a dollar." When you realize that there are 40 of those dollar specials in the cart already- "Ooops." Last year I adorned my whole apartment with little things from target. My favorite item being the sticky jelly-like window decorations. I stuck them to everything. The window on the front door. The mirror in the bathroom. Fabulous little things.

I even got my tree from Target. It was a great tree. But this year Brandon & Sus (my brother and his wife) introduced me to a far more interactive way to pick out a tree. We cut it down ourselves! (I am not sure where I would have been able to do that when I was living in the Los Angeles area?!? OK, I couldn't have. Unless I cut if out of someone's yard. And I bet I would have been thrown in jail for that.)

When we got to the farm and got out of the car, a man handed us a saw and pointed to the forest. Have at it! We trudged off through the snow in search of OUR tree.  

My job was to hold the little tree while my brother chopped it down. The gloves he brought came in quite handy. Those fresh trees threaten you with copious amounts of sap. Maybe they are crying because they are getting cut down. This tree didn't know how good it would look when I was done with it. :)
Conor seemed to be happy with our selection. But maybe happier to get back to the barn where the owners of the farm had set up heating lamps and all the popcorn you could eat. Then we strapped it to the roof of the car and took it home where I put my skills to use. 

I also love listening to Christmas songs. I have collected quite a library of songs over the years. (My playlist on i-tunes says I could listen to Christmas music for 10.6 hours. Overkill? I think not. No two songs are the same. And the variety allows for everyone to find something they enjoy. My favorite album right now is: Celtic Christmas. LOVE the bagpipes.) 

The endless stream of audio holiday cheer only served to invigorate my decorating juices. So I bundled up and headed outside in the snow to hang lights on the house. Using a ladder in the snow is not dangerous. That is what I told myself. I am not the kind of person who would sue the ladder manufacturer for not having the warning label big enough. If I fell it would be my own over-zealous holiday stupidity! Injury avoided. Joy spread!

We are ready for Santa!!!

Here comes Santa Claus....

I can't believe that Christmas is tomorrow!!!
My nephew is really excited about it!
(And so cute in his little hat!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Days.

All bundled up and ready to play!

I think the last time I went skiing was almost 10 years ago. Which was about the same time I began training with the national team and realized that if I focused my energy, dreams may be within reach. What used to be a staple on my winter activity list, got sidelined until further notice. Logging hours of training in the pool became my top priority and going to play in the snow happened less and less often.

I was not the only one who didn't want all that effort to go to waste. Without fail, just before winter break in college, came the suggestions from the coaches to "be safe" and "to get your rest" during the time off because the last thing they wanted was an unnecessary injury. Later when I was playing professionally in Italy, my team went on a trip to the Alps. I was forbidden, by the club I played for, to do anything other than make a snowman and drink hot beverages in the lodges. (But I was in the most beautiful mountains, with perfect snow for skiing!!! Alas, receiving my salary every month trumped my urge to fly down the slopes.) It is hard to be in a winter wonderland when you can't do anything in it. Especially when skiing was something that I did every year growing up.

For the last two weeks I have been spending time in Seattle with my brother and his family. I had no idea I would find myself in the ultimate winter wonderland....and I think (if the foot of snow outside does not disappear in 24 hours) my first white Christmas! :)

There still has been no skiing....but the abundance of powdery white has offered many other forms of entertainment. And I am certainly not afraid to frolic like we all did when we were 5!

We took a long trek through the neighborhood...threw a few snow balls at each other. Made our angels. Enjoyed the way the whole world lay quiet with the blanket of snow covering it. No better way to experience your first snow than from a baby bjorn. My nephew, Conor, was trying to figure out exactly what all this white stuff was. Big round eyes taking it all in.
When we got back to the house, my friend Monkey and I, shoveled the driveway to uncover the cars and then made a snowman! (No, we were not confused as to what holiday is coming up. But why let a festive decoration go to waste?)

That was two days kept snowing and now.....SO MUCH SNOW!!!!!!