1. Boy, there is no messing around with winter here. We had a blizzard over the weekend; Saturday night about 7" of snow fell (less than predicted, actually) and the roads are pretty bad. It's not the SnowMyGod the Twin Cities are experiencing, though. Today it's not quite cold enough for schools to close, but the wind chill is still well below zero. I'm coming around to the idea of winter here, but this sort of weather takes the fun out of sledding, you know?
2. In any case, I'm glad our basement windows are installed and sealed up:
The work on these was completed a day before the first snowfall last weekend, just in time.
3. Anya turns 3 on Tuesday, so we celebrated over the weekend, taking advantage Stuart's time off work. We invited the neighbors over for popcorn and cupcakes. Last year she needed Daniel's help blowing out her candles, but not this time:
4. Point of interest: it's birthday season around here! Anya turns 3 on Tuesday, my birthday is a few days after Christmas, Daniel turns 5 at the beginning of February, and then Stuart's birthday is in mid-March. All this plus Christmas means we are inundated with lots of new stuff stuff stuff, which is understandable and to be expected - even when we try and keep the gift-giving fairly simple-, but it also makes me a little crazy. This year it's even more intense because the basement work means that we have to re-locate (find a place to store/get rid of) a lot of stuff before the next stage of work begins. I'm in the mood to clean and purge, but this does not sit well with Young Children who are Very Attached to Their Things. Even putting some toys away for a little while so they feel new again in a couple of months is not feasible, because I literally do not have a place to hide things away (see above re: basement work).
5. Remember how my brother Joe got engaged? Well, he and his fiancée decided to get hitched over Christmas rather than deal with the stress of planning a big wedding next summer. The ceremony will be in Rochester, MN, where her family is gathering for the holidays. (I suggested that they have an outdoor Sledding Wedding!...but for some reason they didn't take me seriously. Can you imagine?) In any case, it's all very exciting, and adds to the season's festivities.