This year we stayed in town, but we had so much fun just hanging out, being with so many of our friends. IronGreg's parents came from Wisconsin, so we went over to Greg and Laura's for dinner and game night:
IronTim and IronKaren (who is pregnant!!) and Laura's dad and sister (the one I run pretty much all my marathons with - gray sweatshirt) were there, too. Here's our group photo:
On Christmas Eve we went to the midnight service and Ally and Bobby got to read the scripture and prayer and light the advent candle. They did great, and the service was beautiful.
Then on Christmas day, Greg and Laura and Greg's parents came for dinner at our house. First we went for a group hike (Laura and I classic skied), and we followed a HUGE grey owl in the woods for a while - it was so cool. I don't know how he managed to fly from tree to tree with that gigantic wingspan. I kept wondering if he was eye-ing up Zurich to determine if he should eat her.
When we got back to the house, we found that Ally was painting pink and blue streaks into Pat's (Greg's mom) hair - it's called Girl Crush hair painting and the label says it washes out in one washing but she JUST got it for Christmas so I hope it really does wash out. ;-) She and Ally really bonded it was so sweet it almost made me a bit weepy. When she was done, she also gave Pat and Laura makeovers with eyeshadow and lipliner and the works. Let me just say Ally doesn't have the steadiest hand for lipliner, but it was so cute that Pat was such a good sport!
Bobby and Ally kept calling her Grandma Pat, so we just made her their honorary grandma since they don't ever see grandparents. (My parents are in NJ and my mom basically takes care of my dad who is in a wheelchair after a debilitating stroke 3 years ago; Bob's dad passed away, and we just never see his mom). They really adored Greg's parents.
For dinner I made (yes - you read that right - I actually cooked even though I think cooking is a big waste of time -- aside from Christmas, of course. If I've got three hours, I'd rather go for a bike ride than stand around a stove drinking and stirring)... but anyway, I made a lemony-buttery, lightly garlic-y chicken with capers over angel hair pasta. It was great! Pat brought an assortment of desserts and we all ate and drank, and ate and drank, and ate ad drank... I feel so FAT that even my socks are tight - but it was all good. ;-)
This is how much we ate - this huge pile of dishes is just what didn't fit into the dishwasher -- and that left side sink is ultra deep and it's completely overflowing.
Then we played balderdash... I love that game...
... and then everybody left. It was a perfect day. Last year we went to Hawaii, but I would have to say that this year's celebration was just as beautiful because we all loved being together so much. I am truly blessed with amazing friends.
So today I get back in the saddle with working out relatively regularly. Uffda - so much rich food! I called Nick and Steve and they came over for an emergency kitchen spin, and then Nick and I also ran afterwards. Tomorrow is the Gear West team spin at the shop, and Sunday morning is the group run, and Sunday afternoon, Steve and Helen are having a x/c skiing party. Much as I enjoyed eating everything in sight, it'll feel good to actually zip my jeans up all the way again... hopefully soon.
Hope you all had a great day, too. God bless us. Every one!