Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not walking in a winter wonderland...

We woke up to another 6-8" that fell late last night...effectively snowing us into the house. It is absolutely beautiful today...bright white and quiet all around.

Yesterday was the annual Christmas dinner that I've held since 1999, with the exception of last year with the wedding. It's where my fam exchanges gifts with my aunt, uncle and cousin...this year adding Ben as well. With the craziness of balancing everyone's families at the holidays, it's the best way to have a time without rushing to and from work on Christmas eve, trying to divide time between families, and figuring in Christmas Mass. It's always the Saturday before Christmas.

It was so good to see the four of them -- the snow was falling when they arrived and we had a cozy dinner inside. I had started dinner that morning in anticipation of high winds and the power going out, so everything was ready to go by about 9 am. It was perfect...Jonathan and I watched a movie and relaxed on the couch all afternoon.

Jonathan and I nixed the turkey in the Big Easy when we realized the snow would have been falling into the fryer...but served baked honey parmesan chicken, sweet potatoes, apple stuffing, a new variation of gorgonzola and pecan toasties, and apple dumplings. The sinfully good ones that make you want to go confession afterwards.

Jonathan surprised ten-year-old Brandon with tickets for today's Seahawks game against the Jets. We'd planned it out ahead of time with Tim and Sue, and they kept telling him that they hadn't been able to find tickets anywhere. He was asking each day if there were any updates, wanting more than anything to see Brett Favre. We slid them into a red envelope in the tree, and after all the presents were opened, asked him to try to find one last thing in the tree.

He jumped off the couch screaming, and couldn't sit down. Tim and Brandon are planning on taking the early Sounder to the game this morning, to take in Fan Appreciation Day and the last game that Holmgren coaches.

He is such an awesome god-son. And we loved seeing the look on his face when he realized what was in the envelope. It was perfect.

Dinner was interrupted by a few dumb-dumb idiots (as Mr. Dudas at Bellarmine used to say) who were tree hunting in the dark (long after the tree fields had closed) and got stuck right below our house in the foot deep snow drifts. No one had driven down in the fields in several days due to the snow, but we got to watch both trucks try to tow each other out and almost hit each other. We toasted them with spiked cranberry cider.

The snow picked up late into the night last night, and when we woke up, we saw this:

The only thing that has me worried is the fact that the top layer of snow is iced-over, where you have to break through it to walk. Maggie got literally and figuratively frozen when she leapt off the deck into the snow, only to not find it powdery and fluffy, but icy and cracking.

Needless to say, both dogs are completely content to watch the snow from the deck. Or from inside, with a bone their mouths.


KCina said...

Great pictures and what an AWESOME surprise for little Brandon!!!

Stay warm & dry!
~ Kathy

Anonymous said...

Jonathan and Shelley, When I spoke to Brandon from the game he said the seats are "awesome"! It is 5:44p and they are on the train homeward bound. I said a prayer on my knees for them for a safe ride home. We love you and what a great memory Brandon will have from this game.
The food, conversation, and the entertainment the goofballs provided getting stuck in the snow was priceless.

Aunt Sue

Anonymous said...

I was just in Columbus, GA and the engineers and cooking-gurus at Char-Broil are working on that whole 'lid' thing. Would love to hear more about what you enjoy cooking in The Big Easy! I write the newsletter and web log called Sizzle on the Grill at It's sponsored by Char-Broil.

I'm evidently a fellow Northwesterner, and the snow in Ballard today is crusty on top with a touch more expected today. Dang - I work from home!

Happy Holiday Grilling! - CB

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