Monday, January 01, 2007

Julia and Genevieve's Blustery Day

Can we re-do New Year's? Because we spent OUR New Year's Eve stuck in a blizzard at the Super 8 hotel just off I-94 in Rogers. I'll let you imagine the toddler-and-baby-bedtime mayhem that accompanied THAT little unexpected adventure.

We had left my parents' place just after noon yesterday, hoping to have missed the worst of the bad roads and ice from a mild storm the day before. Turns out, we drove right into a blizzard, and ended up creeping along at 10 miles an hour in near white-out conditions, observing more and more cars in the ditch, before exiting at Rogers and deciding to wait out the storm overnight there. In the hotel lobby, I commented to Julia, "Well, honey, we are having a blizzard adventure. When Genevieve is older, you can tell her, 'Genevieve, your first Christmas we got stuck in a snowstorm on the way back from Nonna and Boppa's house and had to spend New Year's Eve in a hotel!'" Julia listened to me, leaned over Genevieve's carseat, and said, "Genevievey, it is Genevieve and the Blustery Day, and Julia and the Blustery Day!" (Julia discovered the joys of the "Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day" video at her grandparents' house, and it made a big impression.) I told her that indeed, it was truly Julia and Genevieve's Blustery Day, and everyone else's in southern Minnesota too. Part of living in Minnesota is knowing--and accepting--that such a thing can happen at any time. You can end up spending New Year's Eve in a Super 8 in Rogers because you got caught in a blizzard on the way home from Christmas up north. Here's a picture of Christopher bathing the girls in the dingy Super 8 bathroom last night:

Adventure Bath.JPG

So yeah: we're back from our big holiday trip to my family's in Fargo-Moorhead. We had an amazing time. Fargo-Moorhead is totally underrated. We love it there. We'd move back in a flash, were there any work for Christopher there. It's such an easy, friendly place to live. Plus, you know, the plains carry their own kind of beauty. When you've grown up under a sky that big, it holds its charm after all these years, no matter where else you've ended up in the meantime.

We were in Moorhead from the 23rd until today: for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, our nephew's 2nd birthday dinner, and my parents' 40th anniversary party on the 30th, thrown by my sisters and me as an open house at our family's church. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many family members, friends, and neighbors for so many days, many of whom had not yet met Genevieve. We got to see my dear great-aunt, matriarch of my maternal extended family, who brings such love and warmth with her wherever she goes. We hung out with my aunts and uncles on my dad's side, who came to town for the party, including my uncle who lives most of the year in Alaska. We took the girls out to lunch one day with one of my oldest friends, someone I've known since we were both 19 and full of angst and unfocused ambition. Now here he is a big-deal editor at the newspaper, and here I am with my two girls, and there is something so touching and humbling about having a friend who has known you that long, about having outgrown your awkward phases together and now being able to sit together and have lunch and catch up and know that you still think the other is one of the best people you know.

What else? I ran my old running route a few times, and thought to myself, It's quite a blessing to be able and willing to run the very same route you did as a teenager, 15+ years later. I remembered, on Christmas Day, that exactly one year prior, we found out we were pregnant with Genevieve, though we didn't know then that it was her. I remembered, on the 28th, that it was our one-year anniversary of moving to our new town, and gave thanks that it is no longer that day of that year, a difficult, stressful, no-fun Christmas, but that instead it's a year later and life in Northfield is good and happy and full of children. I ran into my old high school lit teacher--my all-time favorite teacher, a kind and talented soul--at a pizza place in town, and recognized him immediately even though I had not laid eyes on him for 17 years. We went to church on Christmas Eve with the girls dressed in adorable coordinating pink and ivory Winnie-the-Pooh dresses.

Tassava Christmas - 5

We had a family portrait taken for my mom and dad's anniversary present the night before the party, with seven adults and seven children, the full family--and it turned out absolutely perfect, everyone smiling, no one with a runny nose or post-tantrum tears. And then, the day before we left, we had the big party itself, and it was so exciting that it accomplished the previously unheard of: it caused Julia to FALL ASLEEP IN THE CAR on the way home from the festivities, on a 20-minute drive between the church and the house. Here's proof:

Party Poopeder.JPG

Whew. It was an eventful ten days, and we're ALL exhausted. The girls are off their sleep schedules, and this week will no doubt be one of transition and complaint as we attempt to get everyone back on track with naps, bedtime, nursing, self-soothing, and not being held by one loving relative or another every waking moment of the day. After that, we start potty training for one baby and more rigid sleep rules for the other. Might as well start the new year off with a hearty challenge or two, right?!

Here are a few more photos from our holiday week. Enjoy! Oh, and really: Happy New Year, whatever the weather where you are.

Tassava Christmas - 3

Julia Opening Presents - 2

Elf

Snow Fun - 4

1 comment:

Donna said...

What a story! Glad you guys survived it all safely. Sounds like a wonderful vacation. Great pics, too! Looking forward to what 2007 will bring!