10 January 2010

Snow and Sand and Sun and Snow

Our Christmas vacation was nothing if not exciting. We arrived the night before the Big Snow started on the East Coast…perfect timing, since most flights were cancelled the next day, and the one we would have taken was diverted to Chicago. In a parallel world where we were responsible parents and didn’t pull our kid out of school a day early, we would have spent who-knows-how-long at O’Hare trying to get to DC. So yay us for being irresponsible!



A few days later, we drove out of snow-packed Northern Virginia four hours southeast to Virginia Beach to spend a week with my side of the family in a gorgeous beach house. It was fun to see all of the cousins together, especially since we hadn’t seen my brother’s family since before Annika was born. It was noisy chaos much of the time, what with six children and eight adults, plus various folks popping in and out to see us.

The beach was absolutely beautiful and freezing cold most of the week.

099 View from the front porch, about 7 am. What, you thought vacation was for sleeping in? You must not have little kids.


Notice my mom and the baby and I, all bundled up. It was about 30 degrees F and windy. 


And then there is Katrina. “No, Mom, I am NOT cold. I don’t WANT my jacket zipped.”


Christmas was, as one might expect, joyful and loud, but not as chaotic as one would think. The cousins took turns pretty amiably, considering their ages. Guess who’s kids were awake first?




No, wait, girls, the grown-ups need to get their coffee/tea first…

119 Yes, we’re SO excited to pose for another photo while the PRESENTS are RIGHT THERE! Come ON!


Joy. Very LOUD joy. I suspect my brother’s video of the kiddos opening presents is full of Katrina’s LOUD rejoicing and my voice telling her to keep it down. Hope he didn’t want to hear his OWN kids. Ah, well.

The most notable event of the week for us, though, was Annika deciding it was time to walk. Maybe the peer pressure from her nearly two-year-old cousin finally gave her the confidence she needed.

078 I cannot get over those wee ponytails. Cutest. Ever.


096And she’s off! 

The cousins had a blast together, with a minimum of fighting.


112The oldest and the youngest, early Christmas morning. Annika did not want any adult but me to pick her up, but 14-year-old C. was an instant hit. We tried to bring her home with us, but she has this irrational desire to stay with her own family. My sister and I will be lobbying her to come to the DC area for college. And take care of our kids. :)

087  The California girls’ first walk on the beach in 30 degrees and VERY windy. Even Katrina zipped up her coat that day.

093 Sisters. Aw.

Oh, and yes, all the cousins are girls. Wheeee!

The day after Christmas, we headed back to Northern Virginia for a week with hubby’s parents. A bit more low-key, but packed full of activity just the same.

148 Visiting college friends…the kids bonded over their brand new gaming system. And ice cream cones.

155 Playing piano and singing with Grandma

161 Look over there, Mama, while I climb the stairs! NO, wait, want to CLIMB! Dagnabbit, foiled again!

Then it was time to come back home, where we collapsed in a screaming puddle of jet lag for a few days. We got back last Sunday, and Katrina’s first day of school was Wednesday. Yeah, those mornings got a bit ugly. But snow started falling Friday night, so good fun was had by all yesterday.

168  170 189 180

And so the old year ended and another year begins.

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