Hello! And happy 2013!
I haven’t been seen around here in a very long time due to the insanity of work, but fortunately Christmas break brought an end to all that, and just in time — I think I would have gone crazy if forced to keep the kind of pace I was keeping for much longer. The weekend before Christmas I was finally able to stop working constantly and start doing the Christmasy things that I love. Like going to see the Messiah, and getting together with Ben’s siblings to make gingerbread houses dripping with candy.
Ben and I even carved out a few moments to spend just by ourselves in our own little place, opening presents.
We didn’t have a whole lot of time to ourselves, but we never do anyway, and besides, Christmas is for family. I am deeply grateful for the time we were able to spend with our families this year. After spending almost the entire weekend before Christmas with Ben’s family, we flew up to Minnesota on Christmas Eve to be with mine.
I love being in Minnesota for Christmas, and this year the thick coating of snow everywhere made it feel especially festive. We spent over a week there, just hanging out as a family. Including, of course, opening presents. With ten people in the family, there are lots!
The holiday felt especially slow-paced this year thanks to a very, very bad cold that made its nasty way around to almost every family member that week. Succumbing to the bug brought with it a deep sluggishness and desire to do nothing much more than laze in front of a fire and play board games.
As exhausted as I already was from an extremely hectic month, it wasn’t so bad being sick. Honestly, the slow pace was a relief. We played a TON of games like Scrabble and Ticket to Ride. Watched old movies. Built roaring fires in the fireplace almost every night.
But we didn’t just sit around ALL the time. There was an epic ski trip, which I opted out of due to my bad cold — instead spending time with my sisters checking out my twin’s new apartment and shopping it up at the Mall of America.
We also did a lot of skating — where these pictures were taken.
Perhaps I should have toned down a little of that hockey-novice enthusiasm. Minutes later I fell — hard — and sprained my wrist. Exciting stuff for me; I have never been very accident-prone and don’t often get injured. (Of course that is partly due to my nerdy nature and indoor, bookish lifestyle.) I’m now proudly rocking a brace on my left arm. Glad to report that the initial pain and weakness have greatly improved and I’m now just resting it and waiting for the swelling to go down and the tendons to fully heal.
One of the last things we did before Ben and I had to go home was to make gingerbread men, or as we call them in our tradition, ginger laddies. Grandma always used to make them for Christmas and she always called them ginger laddies for some reason, so now we do too!
Our ginger laddies are a little strange and twisted compared to Grandma’s, though. Grandma used chocolate chips, raisins, and redhots to give her ginger laddies faces, buttons, hands and feet. We make plenty of them like Grandma’s, but we also make demon ginger laddies. Mystical rainbow people. Ninjas. And the like. Whatever comes to mind, really.
Perhaps most epic of all was Caleb’s cannibal cyclops laddie. Which I ate yesterday on the plane coming home. Eating a one-eyed ginger laddie with sparkly sugar blood running down his chest was way more comforting than I ever thought it would be.
My family is so weird and unique, and I love them all so much. The first couple of days back after visiting them are always hard, but I’m doing OK. Thinking back on all the fun memories, missing them, and looking forward to the next time I get to see them.
I even miss your dumb photobombing, Dan.
These are all taken at our favorite coffee shop, Moxie Java … a must if you’re ever in Fargo-Moorhead!
That’s all of us! Thanks for making my Christmas awesome, kids.