On Christmas Eve eve, we had a little celebratory dinner of our own at home. Note to parents: if a celebratory dinner is what you're after, don't sit down hungry at the table with a bowl of smallish Dungeness crabs and two hungry young children. Let's just say the champagne had done its work by the time I actually got anything to eat.
It wasn't until the day of Christmas Eve that we found out if our plans would be thwarted by the weather. Though other flights were delayed and canceled, Shaun's sister and her family made it in to PDX. And the road to Shaun's parents house, which had been closed off and on for a few days preceding, was open. Behold Highway 26:
The packed snow above was fine. I had a few white-knuckle moments on areas of the road that had some ruts and more of a mix of things on the ground, but we all made it safe and sound.
I think you'll agree when you see our destination, that a more Christmas-y place could not be found in all the land:
Did I mention there was a LOT OF SNOW?
The power was out at our House o' Christmas, and that made things a little more adventurous (and a lot more work for my father-in-law) than they would have been otherwise. The rumble of a generator is not my favorite winter noise, but it sure beats the alternative. Shaun's mom managed to work around the inconvenience of only getting to use one major energy-gobbler at a time (water heater, oven, cooktop) and prepared us many delicious and festive meals. Adding to the element of adventure was the periodic dumping of snow off the roof. It would come down at odd moments with a big crashing noise and shake the house. Made me a little jumpy.
Shaun's folks were planning to host a big family get-together on Saturday, but that was relocated to his aunt and uncle's house in Salem because the power still wasn't back on. Much of Shaun's extended family was there, and that was fun as always. Shaun's cousins and their spouses are all fun to be with, and the kids all love running wild together.
I got to hold the happiest little baby Nora.
As our kids change and grow, they create fun new Christmas memories. It will be a long time before I forget the sight of my almost three year-old nephew sitting on his dad's lap, perusing the ceiling fan section of the Lamps Plus catalog he received in his stocking. And Nels's joy at opening the Wall-E and Eve figures I got for him and Willem was something. Later in the day he told me that his "dream really came true," and that it made him feel like he had to hug me.
Yesterday Shaun's family came out our way. We had a nice visit and a salmon dinner. The boys ran their laps through the kitchen/living/dining room, and we had the obligatory family photo: