Friday, December 30, 2005

A Very Rippy Christmas Continued....


My first blog posting!!! Here is my family on Christmas morning in front of our house, just like the picture below! Nanny wanted proof of the winter wonderland she came to visit us in at 83 years old. This was just the beginning of a wonderful Christmas.


Here's a happy Peter after opening his parents gift (it's a massive camera bag that holds ALL of his lenses and camera and his computer!) He's a little embarassed of the bottom of the bag, it actually looks like his bottom! Pete gave me a great Christmas gift, a new digital camera so that I can have my own and do this kinda stuff, he's already taught me so much! What a great husband.

A little peek inside the magic!

After Pete opened his parents present he opened my parent's which was this navy terry-clothed robe monogrammed of course, notice the "ear muffs" and his awesome gloves from Sherry. Isn't he a stud!

Wrenn arrived Christmas afternoon at four o'clock, I couldn't wait to see her! She left Michael her husband at 7:00 that morning and traveled all day to come see me, she's the best. Here Mom has captured our reunion... precious!
Pete objected to me posting this picture but I had to show all my girl friends my very first display of using my china! Here is our buffet before dinner was served Christmas night. As you can see in the back I have really loved getting everyone's Christmas cards. We had two of our close friends, Tyler and Leslianne Newberry, over that night since they couldn't be with their families. Leslianne is 4 months preggy (as she calls it) and it absolutley adorable! We love them lots!
Earlier on Christmas Eve, Mom, Nanny and myself got creative and made this gingerbread house while Pete and Dad were out skiing. We thought it turned out pretty good considering the lack of resources!
On Monday night we took Nanny up to Keystone, where Pete works, and rode on two gondolas over two huge mountains to get to a fondue restaurante on top of one of the mountains, we had a blast! Here's Wrenn, Nanny and Dad in the gondola. You and kinda see the mountains in the background!

Wrenn was very excited!
The next night we went on a fantastic sleigh ride! The company is called Two Below Zero and is owned by a family that has a son going to the school I teach in. It was so much fun for all of us. We ate in a heated tent and had live music. On the ride home our mules almost ran off into the woods, it scared me to death! An adventure for sure.

On Thursday we were snowed on from morning til evening. We decided it would be a perfect day to try cross-country skiing. Here's me and Wrenn before the fun!Here's the clan hitting the trails!

My good friend Jillian came too and helped show us the ropes! We have so much fun together, I'm so thankful for her!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Very Rippy Christmas


Here Allen is on Christmas morning in his pajamas installing our new bird feeder. Thanks Nanny!

The snow is piling up around the house. It snowed all day today and it took me an hour longer to get home from work because i missed my exit. I couldn't see it in the blowing snow and then when i got into our neighborhood the volvo couldn't make it up any of the hills to our house except one.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Night Before Christmas



2 1/2 hours until Christmas!

Empty Handful Album Released


Robbie Higgenbottom from Duke just released his first album called Empty Handful. I helped him with the artwork. You can listen to thier album and find a link to the band website here.

Christmas Car Crash


This is where I work, Keystone Mountain Operations. Most call it the "MOB" which often times is the most descriptive three-letter title one could hope to ascribe such a place. I am in charge of payroll for 175 lift operators, snowmakers and cat drivers. I enjoy work and the people that i work with and most days are pretty busy and predictable. Yesterday however was not. With a massive influx of Holiday visitors I met one in particular named Ray who scared the garbage out of me. On the way home, I got about 100 yards from the parking lot and Ray, who I would later find out did not have "car assurance" pulled out onto the snow packed River Run Road in full four wheel drive force without paying any attention to me, who was bouncing along the road at a good clip 10 feet behind him. Not having time to use my brakes which work awfully... awful on the snow and ice, i just reacted, slamming the wheel to the right to avoid hitting Ray's non insured pearly white explorer. When my car stopped it was wedged at a 45 degree angle in 5 feet of snow which made my door rather difficult to open. After 10 minutes on this busy Keystone road we had accrued 5 people to help push, 2 scoop shovels, 2 four wheel drive trucks a large chain and a rope to pull my car out. We got the car out in a matter of minutes with little help from the pushers or shovels. Trucks and chains work far faster. Anyway I am fine along with my Car and Ray still has no insurance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Illumination




Today my ride home took 45 minutes longer due to this delightful distraction. There is something special about sunsets out here. They arrive after weeklong bouts of snow and flower into full bloom at 5pm on the dot. Its amazing that such brilliant colors give way to utter grey, almost as if the clouds get tired like a firefly only able to light up in short bursts. But you can't trap sunsets with you hands. Brilliance is something that is so elusive. It is beautiful and fleeting at the same time like a champion on the podium that knows the mediocrity of tomorrow will only widen the gap between the heights he has achieved and the vast plains of expectation ahead. Human life is more or less an ebb and flow of brilliance. We are bright and lit up at times and at times grey, illuminated by nothing, left smelling like low tide. I would like to think that I know when these periods of illumination occur but i have a feeling that I know these are happening little more than a cloud knows that it is lit up at dusk. Are clouds proud when made beautiful by the sun? Does it burn them to turn such fiery shades of red and orange? Does it hurt them to be so beautiful? Perhaps their grey cloak is simply more comfortable and easier to float around in.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

24 Below


This past week i decided to leave my car outside on thursday. Bad decision. When I walked outside in the morning to go to work, the car was litterally frozen. It took me 15 minutes to get it started at which point i put it in reverse and applied the brakes which did not work. Apparently the lines were frozen as well along with the lcd on my radio which was moving in slow motion. i followed Katie out to main street and rolled down my window two inches (that was all it would go) and confirmed the temperature reading in my car with katie who was in her car next to me going to work as well. "Does yours read -24 degrees? Its not even windy out?" "Yup" The next day my fan on my heater broke. perfect timing.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christmas Tree Hunt


In Griswald Family fashion we decided to buy a ten dollar permit and cut our christmas tree down this year. Katie found a plumply pear shaped fir tree that would have filled up our whole family room and been about as tall as me but we decided to climb up the hill a little further and cut down this one.


The tree ended up being a little taller than we had anticipated. We needed to decorate the top half from the stairs. Its 14 feet tall.


Here are our new friends Andy & Jillian and Tyler & Leslianne. Don't worry I have lost several chins since this picture was taken.



Here is Tyler holding one of the massive icicles from our house. No it is not a gun.