I'll admit it - I was the naysayer. It started raining before we left and I said they'll NEVER let us up the mountain. We're going to need chains. Thank goodness they didn't listen to me. I mean, it would have been smart to have chains, but the fact is, we arrived at the perfect time, spent a few hours in the most beautiful, magical snow and drove (slid) very carefully down to the city again. I could get used to living someplace like that. Where the air seems cleaner, world seems shiny and fresher and all the problems and challenges of real life are a thousand feet below... I don't know how a little Aussie who spent six years living in the desert of Arizona ended up being a snow bird at heart. But I LOVE it. Best day of vacation so far.
Most years on Christmas Eve, I'm as excited as a little kid. I cook a big dinner, we have friends over or just make it a dinner for two. This year, I am laying next to a cozy fire, feeling a little blue... There's no one reason, it's a combination of things. Like the annoyance of having a broken sump pump and therefore a flooded driveway. Like the exhaustion that can only be expected after a successful, two night run of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' - it was amazing. Like the 'headache' in my eye that I recently discovered is shingles. Like the many responsibilities of being a grown-up becauce let's be honest, Christmas really IS for the kids. Like the fact that I never got to decorate a mantel this year, because it seemed a little complicated for us to build a mantel... Whatever the reason I'm feeling a little blue, the truth is a cozy fire, Christmas music and a beautiful tree are the best kind of remedy... That, and a reminder that this night, we celebrate the miracle birth of our Savior. Which makes me believe that in the midst of our busy, mundane, overwhelming, ordinary lives, miracles can happen for us too! Merry Christmas!!!
There are few times in life when I feel like words escape me. But there are no words. Only tears for the parents of those sweet children, heartbreak and a sense of overwhelming sadness. When I look at their little faces, their happy, carefree smiles and think of their presents wrapped and waiting for them under Christmas trees...
We finally got one today. I took a terrible blurry picture (which blogger isn't letting me upload now! frustrating!!), and my eyes are itching (in serious denial about my Christmas tree allergy :P), but right now, with a fire burning, music playing and hot chocolate in hand, I am happy.
The next few weeks are going to be crazy. CRAZY! It seems like every time I look at my emails, I get a mini anxiety attack, between knowing how much has to be done for work, Christmas, and the Christmas musical I'm directing for church, those little 'Last Chance to by...' and 'Order Before it's Too late...' email headlines send me into a bit of a tailspin. I LOVE Christmas, but I can't help but think that this year, it's going to be a little crazier than usual. I have already accepted that I might not get to make tamales, bake and decorate cookies, or host a Christmas party. I just have to keep calm and carry on - and remember the REAL reason for all this hoopla!!
Moving to Tucson when I was fifteen, there were a LOT of things that were new to me. Sure, we speak the same language, which is a BIG common denominator, but things are still pretty different here. And in the Southwest, there are more unique experiences that were completely new to us. Take, for example, tamales. I love them. Like tasty little presents, wrapped in corn husks and served steaming hot on wintery nights. I make a little batch every year, for my hubby and I. Anyway, this weekend, we found ourselves in Indio, at the International Tamale festival. Apparently that's a thing!
There were tamales from everywhere (even Canada, I heard, although I didn't see those while wandering around), all different kinds and it was a fun atmosphere with live music on several different stages, carnival rides and arts and crafts booths. I can't say I'd drive out to Indio especially for it, but lots of people do, apparently thousands of people attend over the course of two days. I'm glad we were able to enjoy a day there!