while i was at a conference in san diego, zach and zelda met up with friends for an adventure at the zoo. head over to missie and asher’s site to check out her fun photos of the adventure.
this year we combined what the adults wanted to do with some fun for zelda. we had a very nice dinner with another couple and their daughter, with a brief run outside to see fireworks just before dessert.
then we went from fancy dress to stocking hats and rain boots and enjoyed a second dessert of roasted marshmallows around a bon fire at friends’ house. zelda got a chance to run around and play with the kids after being so well behaved at dinner. we did it all this year, including climbing onto the roof to try to get a better peek at some rouge fireworks going off in the neighborhood.
it was two kinds of awesome fun with friends
in the last five days or so the temperature has finally dropped to normal and perhaps even a little below. good news is that it provides clear cold days and nights. the latter is great for watching the aurora borealis. this is the second time we’ve been out this winter. we probably saw the most movement we’ve ever seen, but the lights were faint. the long exposure of the pictures certainly bring it to the forefront. the bonus for this aurora hunting trip was that zelda fell asleep on the drive out, so we’re considering it a date night.
on saturday we had friends over to do some ice skating on the lake near our house. the kids, most of who are new to ice skating, made it about 20 minutes. it’s nice to only be a couple of blocks from the house where hot cocoa and muffins were awaiting our return.
we kicked off the weekend on friday night with a community solstice celebration. zelda got to open on package early in light of the night’s activity, ice skating! we had a great time listening to music and skating (me shuffling in boots sans skates) around the speed skating rink. then with a cup of cocoa in hand we headed over for a horse drawn sleigh ride. it was a lot of fun.
over the weekend we then had the fortune to host two wonderful groups of friends. first, it was zelda’s turn to have friends over for a winter/holiday themed crafternoon. her and her friends made ice cream cone trees. these are the perfect craft for 3 years olds, easier than gingerbread houses and not as easily consumable as cookies, but still all the ingredients are edible and fun for those who need at least a nibble. the kids were all great and most of the frosting was used for decoration, but the marshmallows seemed to end up more in bellies than on trees.
after zelda’s party ended, we shifted to the adults. zach and i had our sixth or seventh annual holiday cocktail party. this year we were ambitious and served 20 friends dinner paired with various cocktails, which we called flights of fancy. we asked our guests to dress to impress and they did! the menu is below. it was a lot of fun to plan and prepare and i think we did it well. nothing was too rushed or last minute and there very little stress. it was a great crowd of friends, really our family in alaska, and we really enjoy making this our gift to them during the holiday season.
it was a big weekend, but tons of fun. i love having the house full of decorations, good friends and merriment, whether that’s youngsters running a little wild playing or boisterous conversation and laughter from adults. it’s what makes the holiday season for us. our plans for the next days are quieter with some skiing and more ice skating to be had, some gifts and probably some cuddly family movie dates on the couch. we hope your holidays are joy filled with all of the people and things you love about this season.
after the princess party, we opened our awesome rental home (it has a tree growing through it!) to everyone and anyone. it was quite the facebook experiment. we put out an invite on facebook and waited to see who would show in person. to say it was amazing is an understatement. we saw folks we hadn’t seen in years, including a friend who drove over from chicago to see me for the first time in probably 13 or so years. what was most satisfying about the whole get together (of about 60 friends and family) is that everyone is doing well. it’s hard to tell via facebook if people are really well or just posting only the good stuff, but in person everyone was giving off a great vibe that they seemed happy and well. que was again manning the camera doing a great job. we didn’t get a shot of the crowd, but it was crazy. what he captured instead are great moments. all of our friends and cousin’s kids playing together. nia and the princesses having a ball. bradie mugging for the camera. these are super special.this get together really reinforces to us that our family and friends are really one big happy family that we cherish. we love you all and we loved seeing everyone. hopefully another handful of years won’t have to pass before we can do it again.