But right now? Right this very minute? I am in a house in Tahoe. It has great insulation, a fireplace, a great washing machine that makes me remember how much I really do like scented laundry soap, and a dishwasher (gasp!!!). It also has slow internet. We'll see how this goes - theoretically I have all night. Still, none of the pictures are condensed or anything - they're all just lined up and in here. Makes for a long post.
The holidays are officially here! The cascade of events started this week and I'm feeling like a kid about to run across the threshold of Disneyworld! The house is not yet bedecked but in my mind the plans are coming together - where the tree will go, the ornament I will order for her second Christmas, white twinkle lights on anything that stands still, and the annual haul-the-tree-up-our-hill from Cole Hardware. A container of cranberries is in the fridge waiting to become a sauce (wait, I did this tonight. And they were good. I love getting organic produce delivered). I've been drinking lots of my favorite tea to stay warm (Xiao's blend). I am wearing my nubbiest sweaters as the winds have been so blustery outside. Presents are starting to collect in containers under the bed. Today, we drove to the mountains to have snow. Here's what we're looking at for the next 8 weeks:
- Tim turned thirty-something on Tuesday. I planned to wear a very sexy dress for the occasion. However, the nanny's husband was admitted to the hospital. So instead, I pulled a hat trick: I call Zazie and the owner herself brought over a full meal, beautifully plated, and a bottle of champagne on-the-house. I puled out a table cloth and some candles and it was completely perfect.
- Thanksgiving at Brandy's Place (an expanded explanation in a hot minute)
- Christmas tree time!
- Handel's Messiah!
- Grandma Judy visits
- New Year/ 4th anniversary
- Visit to FL
We're in Tahoe. It just randomly came up in conversation a couple of weeks ago- turns out one of the vets I work with owns a house up here and they rent it out. We got it for a song this weekend. I'm a little sad that we didn't do it up in the traditional manner of an enormous crowd of people cooking and laughing and eating together. Lately, our little family has been really feeling the strain of our demanding lives. Everyone we know is ridiculously busy so I'm not dropping a bomb of incredible news here.We just chose to deal with it by getting away for a few days - just the three of us.
We meant to head out this morning around 7:30. Tim was kind enough to let me sleep a bit, which is about the most decadent thing available to me these days, so we didn't leave until 10:00. Whatevs....a few slow spots came of it but it was a good drive overall. Our little traveler was content between naps.
I think I might have been more restless than her. I was kind of bored so I was looking at my camera - I'm still trying to learn this thing in little moments between whatever is happening. Anyway, a few pics came of it. Now, I'm no natural beauty. Neither am I a vain girl - I can easily go all day without brushing my hair and putting on makeup is something that happens on a special occasion. Nevertheless, some things don't change. I think I'll keep these pictures around because someday Ada won't be able to remember what my eyes looked like. She will barely be able to recall the shape of my lips or the curve of my weird big feet. So, this is me now - wrinkles, deep pores, and all.
|I looked pissed off here, right? I'm not. I was thinking, "It looks like a bug eye in there. Wonder how that works?"|
Then we came over Donner pass and I wasn't bored anymore. With all the physics, geology, and ecology in the world, I swear that a scene like this one will leave me feeling the grandness of something bigger and more cosmic than all of us.
We pulled up to the place and the neighbors were just finishing up clearing the drive for us. It took them 4 hours and was quite a project. We thanked them profusely and proceeded with trying to pull the American Classic into the snowy, icy drive. Hey, she's a Florida girl.She's still parked at the end of the drive and we just hope she doesn't slide into the middle of the street in the middle of the night tonight.
Tim unloaded the car while I put the heat on. Then I bundled Ada up for her first experience with snow. We had practiced with the hat and boots at home. Normally, she won't leave a hat on her head to save her life...unless she's distracted. There was plenty of distraction here.
We came inside and put her in her Thanksgiving outfit. We warmed up by making dinner. She was very helpful. What is happening in that little mind of hers? She hid every lid she could find under the kitchen rug! We had baked chicken, roasted green beans, cranberry sauce, and Stove Top stuffing. It was modest and we were happy.
It's Thanksgiving. This gratitude kick has been going on for me all the year long. Sustained thankfulness like that could lose it's punch and become less meaningful. I looked around here this afternoon - we're in a rented house, all alone, and we were relaxed and content. We read books and danced. It was beautiful. I looked at the hooks on the wall and felt a little teary-eyed to see a big man-jacket, my powder-blue winter coat, and a tiny little pink puffy jacket hanging together. I turned around and beyond the Cheerio's littering the floor there were 3 pairs of boots lined up on the floor with the tiny pink ones on the right. Just above them was a cubby with some little mittens that we can't figure out how to get her thumbs in to. It seems ridiculous to me that 17 months later and I still have these moments when it hits me: I have a daughter and I love her with the biggest love I have ever known. Yeah, I'm grateful. Still hasn't worn off.
Of course, tomorrow there will be a snowman, snow angels, a look at the lake, maybe some cross-country skiing, and a load of time for just us. I am absolutely in this moment. I am loving it.