Friday, December 31, 2010

Back to back blizzards baby!

I'm spring cleaning this week... I've decided that since I'll be sandbagging all spring when all of this snow melts and we are battling a flood for the third year in a row, I may as well clean now.

We have a lull right now between two blizzards! Yesterday and through last night the wind whipped snow around, reducing visibility and making for slippery road conditions.  It caused a near 100 car pile up on one of the highways. People were stranded in their cars for up to 8 hours!

 I took this little video yesterday just as the wind started to come up. With the visibility reduced so much in town, I can only imagine what it was like out in open country. It takes a lot for our town to shut down, but all the highways closed, businesses closed, and people stayed home.





When we woke up, the wind went down, but  ummm, Houston, we have a problem... we can't get out our front door!  I opened my door to this.  Would you believe perched on top of the 5 foot drift was my newspaper?




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Rick just finished snowblowing most of the snow out of the driveway and sidewalks.  Its a balmy 1 degree outside, and round two of the blizzard is just gearing up.   We've heard we may get anywhere from 5 to 15 inches more inches of snow.

We've had big plans to "rock it" New Year's Eve with a big group of friends... "rock it" may have just been downgraded to "hanging at home with the kids in pj's..."

Hmmmm, suddenly that doesn't sound half bad...


Happy New Year's Eve!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Magical and Merry

I couldn't have conjured a better way to begin our Christmas Eve day than to be asked to sponsor baby Brynne for baptism.  As long as her mother Kristi, and I have been friends, (since 9th grade),  really, it felt more like being amongst family, than friends, and we were so honored to be chosen by her and her husband.

Baptism= my first gift of the day.

We had lunch with Kristi and her family afterwards and then went home to prepare for our own church service.  At some point during the church service I realized, we had no drama about going to church.  No epic protests, or battles of will.  Both boys, willingly attended, and participated.  I looked over to see not one, not just two, but all three of my boys singing all the Christmas Carols... gratifying to say the least. 

Christmas Eve church service = gift number two for me.

After church we picked up mom and headed home for presents.  
Colton's eyes were so big and wide with excitement.  Each photo I took of him looking at me, his eyes burned bright red and could not be fixed with my photo editor... but the outbursts of pure joy he couldn't contain will stay with me for a long time. 




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Both boys wanted pillow pets... I hesitated when I saw they were for ages 3 and up.  But they have been a favorite companion ever since opening them.  Part of me delights in seeing the boys still have room in their hearts for cute and cuddly. 
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My mom, who has not been feeling all that well, made a special effort to be with us.  But her efforts were rewarded with the gift of a huge portrait of her grandchildren made by Rick.  She hasn't stopped thanking us since then.  Thank you to my dh for granting his time and effort in making something so special for my mom.  He apologized for not getting me a gift, but between the beautiful card he gave me and seeing mom as happy as she was... how does that not count as a really big gift to me? 



We awoke to a foggy and grey looking Christmas morning.  But the spirit of Christmas transformed grey into magical the way the frost and fog transformed the landscape into breathtaking beauty.  We were on our way to the lake for the afternoon, and Rick handed me his camera to shoot.

None of these photos were shot in black and white, this is entirely what it looked like our entire drive to Park Rapids- picture postcard perfect!  Hello, gift number three.














  

The boys were once again excited to find more presents awaiting them.  Paper Jamz turned out to be the coolest gift ever.  Thanks Aunt Missy, you rock! Baseball caps with NHL logos were also a huge hit thanks to Uncle Matt and Aunt Julie!
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The boys quickly discovered Grandma and Grandpa had a manmade sledding hill via the side walk leading down to the house.  Lack of snow gear didn't deter all three boys from taking turns on the sled.  


Nolan's ride ended with a huge crash into the snowbanks at the end of his ride... how very Nolan-like it was. 


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Gunnar "snowboarded" down the hill.
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Colton squealed all the way down the hill but the huge grin on his face told me it was more fun than not.

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Its true, my (tongue in cheek) Christmas wish list didn't materialize, in the way one would think.  No, I'd say what I received was even better.  The mindful presence of my every day abundance and the bounty of my blessings.  And what did you receive for Christmas?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!



                 Wishing all of you peace, love, laughter and joy on this blessed Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Its finally the first day of Winter and I laugh just hearing the sound of that.  Technically, we've had winter for weeks now.  Do you suppose spring will come as early?  Like maybe in February?

I decided to try and love the snow the other day. Instead of the dread, loathing, general yucky feeling I have about it, I thought I might try to just notice how beautiful it can be. We were traveling for hockey. The sky was grey in the beginning, but as the miles passed, the sky opened up to bright blue. The more I watched for shots to take, the more I noticed how striking everything looked.

Just like I do on my camera, I just had to redial my internal lens, and I forget time and again, I have the ability to do so.


 
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Do you see... in the small opening in the brush is a horse?  I did NOT notice this when I took the photo.
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The trip was fast. Nolan scored a hat trick (3 goals.) Our team won its fifth straight game. And I found a way to like the snow, which is a good thing considering we got 8 more inches of it yesterday and its still lightly snowing today. Remind me please, in January, I once liked the snow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finding Christmas...

She sits with lit Christmas candles flickering in the dark quiet of the night.  "Christmas Cookie," "Home for the Holidays," and "Spice Cake" commingle into a dizzying smell of jingle, and cheer, and good will.

Twinkling blue chases blue over and around the branches of the Christmas tree, illuminating decorations from decades gone by.  The table is stacked with Christmas cards, some arriving and more departing, hopefully soon.

Gifts are strewn about under the tree, while still more hide in the dresser drawers of the kid's bedrooms.  Shhh... don't tell... she smiles quietly to herself as the children ransack her closet in earnest search of the gift stash... only to come up empty handed time and again.  Their dresser drawers, most assuredly, will be the last place they'll think to look.

Her Christmas wish list, for the first time in years, is reminiscent of her childhood wish lists.  It's long and lengthy, filled with things only money can buy:


  • A new vacuum cleaner, (she secretly hopes will not actually be given to her for Christmas) 
  • A new camera, one not so heavy she won't take it with, but not so compact everyone laughs when they realize its where her blog photos come from... 
  • A sofa, just because its time,
  • And why not a trip to someplace warm?  A girl can dream big. 


Because, even a house overladen with Christmas accoutrements and a ridiculous Christmas wish list simply cannnot make up for what she would give anything for... to have her Dad here for one more Christmas.

So she'll fake it as best as she can.  She'll bake away her sorrow, decorate her sadness, and knead her tears into the dough.

Somewhere between the glint of light shimmering off the freshly fallen snow, and the strains of Candle-lit Silent Night, she'll find it.  She will likely have to ransack the rooms of her heart for the tapestry of Christmas memories with her Dad, woven over time for just such an occasion, but its here she'll find her Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the preview clip to the Grommesh Family show to air next!

At the end of Sunday night's Extreme Makeover Home Edition tv show, they previewed our upcoming show!  They announced January 2nd as the air date for the Grommesh Family episode taped in our community!  Finally our show!

Anddddd... my friends and I are in the clip!



Brian and Jessica


If you pay real careful attention, about the 9 second mark of the video... I am walking down the driveway behind Garrett and his wheelchair.  I am standing next to Brian with white sleeves under his blue t shirt and his wife Jessica. If you look closely, and don't blink, you may see a glimpse of me.  I sort of step out from behind his shoulder.  This clip is a very condensed one, so its just a few frames a second and goes by fast.




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There is my 2 seconds of fame!  14 minutes and 58 seconds left.  We'll see if it amounts to more than that during the show.  I guess no one ever said you get all of your 15 minutes of fame at once. *wink*

Monday, December 13, 2010

gearing up



This weekend we were treated to some great hockey by both of the teams our boys play on.  Nolan's team played an undefeated team on Saturday.  Nolan scored the game winning goal, his first goal as a Squirt A, as we beat Brainerd 3-2. Sunday they played a Detroit Lakes team that is perhaps more of a B squad, as we beat them 11-2.  Nolan had one goal and one assist in that game as well.  Its good to see him skate with some confidence and fit in with his team.

Colton's team was short on players, so got to skate double shifts.  I lost track of his goals as he had many scoring chances in his cross ice mini-game. 


Even though these pics are from last week, anytime you get to play goalie for your team is pretty special. For one thing you get to bring home the stinky, um, awesome, goalie gear for a week of practice before your game. If you are extra lucky, one of your coaches was actually a top-rated goalie back in the day and has lots of pointers for you.




                                                       Colton getting geared up by his Coach/dad.


Ready for action


Last minute advice from dad...



Waiting to take the ice... yes there are always this many people at the rink.



The point where my camera batteries die.  Colton getting advice from a "real" goalie.  


Colton is a very "cerebral" player.  He is skilled in his moves, but he is not very aggressive when he skates.  Playing goalie, is actually a pretty good fit for his demeanor.  The bigger question will be whether or not mom and dad can handle the pressure if he decides to pursue playing in goal.  YIKES!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

hushed...

"The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty.   It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn." 
-   Patricia Hampl 

 
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Squirt A hockey home opener vs. Fargo Flyers

The Moorhead Squirt A team made their debut last night against rivals from across the river, Fargo Flyers.  The Flyers came into the game 9-0, and have been skating together as a team for some time.  Conversely, our team, has only practiced 3 times together.  We had no idea what to prepare ourselves for and watched in nervous anticipation. One of our coached predicted we would lose, 8-2, if we were lucky.


Nolan warming up.

 
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The goalie is tucked into the net with the team surrounding him... they are pumping each other up.

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Nolan making a move for the puck.

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Nolan taking a practice shot warming up our goalie
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Goal Moorhead, #19.  Tie game 3-3.
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Heading into the last few minutes of the game... time out on the bench...
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We lost.  4-3.  But I've never seen so many smiles after a game that ended in a loss.  We didn't get blown out.  They boys played with heart.  They passed the puck to each other.  They were physical and didn't back down.  Watch out Flyers, we'll meet again later this year and we're coming for you!


We played our second Squirt A game Sunday afternoon.  Again, we played a team that had been playing already for awhile.  Our boys ramped up their effort, and won decisively, 8-1.  It should be a fun season!

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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