So there was this whole "Holiday Season" thing, which made me realize a few things:
I am incredibly blessed, and to find myself going from Honolulu's 82 degree sandy beaches to the shores of Lake Tahoe all in a two week period? That is truly amazing. To the left is a photo of Mokolii in Kaneohe Bay. We went on a little driving tour to get Lucy to take a nap.
I love my family. I was able to see 4 out of 5 siblings, and their spouses and children. Plus all sorts of parents. We are really all over the place on many topics, but one thread that runs through each of us, no matter which side, is humor. We are a funny bunch. There isn't a stone face among us. I have laughed and smiled so much lately, and for that I am grateful.
Life really is more relaxing when there is a mai-tai in mommy's hand.. or daddy's or both.
Descartes and I really like each other. We enjoyed each other's company when we were alone and when we were with my family, and I cannot think of a single disagreement we had then entire holiday break. Now this afternoon was a whole 'nother story. just kiddin'.
I don't ever need to swim with dolphins ever again. They were cool and all, but after Lucy got bonked in the head (I cannot upload the video clip right now, but I will someday.) I decided that it is sort of like horse back riding for me. I could probably be convinced to do it again, but I will never seek the adventure out on my own (unless I am taking a pack mule into the Grand Canyon, and then, that's a pack mule). That's Lucy being cross-eyed pointing to where the dolphin bonked her, but really the dolphin bonked her on the left side of her head just below her temple. By the way that is a really *really* awful sound to hear.. you know the sound of a 500+ pound animal bashing its head into the skull of your youngest child.
Lucy loves all things dolly and girlie, but she will take. you. down. in a wrestling match. She is truly turning out to be the kind of little girl I hoped we'd help grow. As much as she makes me crazy, she is full of spunk and vigor and beauty and compassion. In Hawaii she kept up in the pool and on the beach with her cousins, all older. She glammed it up with sunglasses and sundresses, but had no trouble covering her entire body with sand, rolling about in its warmth. She was a joy to watch. She had a very hard time when all the slumber parties were over.
Jake still really loves off-roading. We went off-roading at Kualoa Ranch and were lucky enough to have an entire Pinzgauer to ourselves. Jake was so happy. Lucy loved it too. The best money we have ever spent in Hawaii. I love hearing Jake laugh. He's been laughing and smiling so much lately. He won "best grandkid" in Hawaii, due to his complete lack of crying or tantrums, unlike the other munchkins who each had to be reminded at least once that there is "no crying in Hawaii." He received a lot of praise from my parents and I could tell it made him happy. He was a great kid on the plane both there and back, and of course he loves our drive to Tahoe.
We need to buy a small camera. We borrowed one from Descartes' daddy, but it busted itself up half way through the Hawaii trip. I may never get the photos off that card.
I realize the more fun we have the less photos we take... or I take at least. I had my camera in my hand the entire time on the off-roading trip so it wouldn't fly away, that's why we have so many from that day, but I really had a great time for two weeks, and the thought of taking out and caring for a camera seemed too much a barrier. I was actually being with my family in the present.
We came back from Hawaii, unpacked our shorts and threw in sweaters and long johns and went to Tahoe the next day? the day after?
For New Year's Eve we somehow convinced Nonie and Bob Bob to watch all four of our children and Jaster, Demanda, Descartes and I went to downtown South Lake at State Line. I cannot remember the last time I laughed that much in a single night. We played Taboo! for a long time and I'm not sure why but it turned my husband into the most hysterically funny super competitive crazy person. I'm sure the cocktails helped. Next year we are going to send the grandparents to the hotel with the kids and stay at home with the hot tub, the kitchen and the Wii. It was a great way to begin a new year, laughing. And while I had a lovely NYE last year with Squid and Seymour, I must say it was great to wake up to room service and working plumbing.
(I spent New Year's day 2009 cleaning out the pipes in front of my house... so not awesome.)
We drove down to Cabella's in Reno one day with all of the family in our Adventure van... so cool to have the whole family in one car like that. I sat in "the mommy seat" which means I handed out crackers and juice to all 50 kids. Nonie sat in the last row. She gets carsick. We laughed a lot. Our children took over a 125000 square foot store with no problem. At one point I am fairly certain they gave my sister 100 tokens for the shooting arcade if she would get the three, three year olds out of the ice fishing tent displays.
The weather in Tahoe was beautiful. I love it when we are trying to get kid to take a nap and we can take a little jaunt up to Emerald Bay. That's Fanette Island in the photo. The only island in Lake Tahoe.. and I get to see it when we are just cruising around. jeesh. I am so lucky.
My many many thanks so Grandpa PJ and Grandma Corky for the lovely trip to Hawaii and to Jaster and Demanda for hosting us in Tahoe.