Thursday, January 2, 2014

To a New Year

“Whew!! I’m back!” Just imagine me riding in on a huge, horse-driven sleigh, catching air as I fly over a hill, blustery snow hitting me in the face… wearing a huge, red lumberjack-type sweater, overall snow pants, black boots, a massive knitted hat with pom-pom, and jolly Santa smile.

“Happy New Year!” I exclaim, as I hop down from my sweet ride.

I don’t even know where to begin. When I recall our vacation days, a flurry of images rush through my mind – sipping Baileys while visiting with my mom, yummy pizza dinners, my sister’s pregnant belly (she’s due in a few weeks!), and E’s happy and overwhelmed face as she opened (easily 50+) presents.

I haven’t really been buying her presents. We just don’t need them, so it was honestly really nice to replenish her supply with some toys and games that are more appropriate for her age (she’ll be 2 in less than 2 weeks!). She enjoyed every minute!

So, we stayed with Mark’s parents for Christmas Day then traveled to NY on the 26th. The snow tires weren’t great on my car, and we almost got stuck on the mountain heading into Middlebury, VT, caught in a snow squall. For about a half hour, we climbed, moving only a few inches every minute until we finally made it to the peak and headed down the other side.

Up ahead, cars swerved off the road, and a few times, we were at a standstill until we could get better traction and start moving again. Mark seemed stressed, but I offered words of encouragement. “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?” The road curved along a mountain stream, and the trees were weighed down by at least 6 inches of the fluffiest snow I’ve ever seen.

Due to the slow progress, drivers who passed us felt it rude not to wave, as our cars were moving side-by-side, tires spinning. “Remember when travel was this slow? People actually felt compelled to wave or address each other in some way.”

And I told him, “This is what family vacation is about – trekking across multiple states, through snow and sleet, icy and clear roads, to be with the ones you love!”

He relaxed a bit, and soon we were moving again. E traveled well, and soon we were home with my family for 4 days. It was just fun and relaxing. We headed back to VT on Sunday, the 29th. We had intended to settle in at home for our last few days of vacation, but Mark’s family invited us back to their house for New Year’s Eve, and we couldn’t resist some more family time.

We packed up our bags again for one last hurrah before the New Year. Good food, good family time.

So, what does this year hold for us? A lot of “ifs” at this point, and we’re content with that.

  • Most likely, there’ll be another get-together with the gaming friends.
  • Mark and I are also toying with the idea of renting an RV for a road trip.
    We’d like to do a “real” vacation/adventure this year as a family!
  • Also, more art stuff, more fun, more outdoor activities (come on, warm weather)!
  • Guaranteed lots of laughs and love from the Strange family!

In the meantime, I’ve started participating in #365grateful via Instagram – taking a photo of something I’m grateful for, for each day of the year. There will be lots of E pics as usual, but also some reflection about all of our little blessings.

I wish you all a wonderful, happy, and blessed New Year!

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