slothmas, our very own merry lazy & selfish holiday.
we have had this tradition for years, but this year is the first year it has had a name. sloth- named so for the very little movement that happens throughout the holiday. mas- of the latin root meaning more.
and there you have it, slothmas...
it is a lazy holiday spanning two days where bathing is only for relaxation
...and the door only opens for pizza delivery and letting margo out
...and we read to excess and follow that with watching movies
...and pj's are the dress code
...and eat leftover christmas dinner, thai takeout and desserts
...and we play cards and games and build kinnex and cuddle with cocoa
...and we hold the laze-fest close to our hearts and hope it lasts forever
when my kids are grown with families of their own, i hope that we can keep slothmas for our own. inlaws can have christmas eve, my lovies can have christmas morning around their own tree. tony and i will gladly travel to them. but give us two days of slothmas between christmas and new years for our own celebrating. how perfect will it be to have my lovies all to ourselves for two days of ultimate family time?
the last time we saw pop, just a week or so ago, he had a look that i couldn't quite place.
the nurses said when we were there that he was the most responsive he had been in four days. gramma kept reaching across the space between their beds, even though it pained her hip so much to move like that. she stroked his hand with every weak cough he offered. she joked with the kids and smiled at us and ask about how our life is, showing strength that i wish i knew i possessed. and then he'd cough and she'd strain again to stroke his hand and talk to him. i keep picturing him with that expression. i think i know now that it was the look of waiting.
maybe he was waiting to give us all a chance to say goodbye.
maybe he was waiting to get us all through christmas.
maybe he was waiting to hear one more lou lou song.
i have only known papa russ during these sixteen twilight years, and during that time i have learned that he was a lot of wonderful things. he was a great story teller, a bit of a hoodlum, a numbers man, a man of principles, an idle to children including his great grandchildren (oh how lucky aidan is to be old enough to remember him at his best)...
but i know him best for his love of gramma. i have often said that it is from pop that tony learned how to love his wife. gramma was pop's world for 61 years and while i am sure it wasn't always perfect, it was always complete.
i think he was waiting to make sure she could go it alone, at least until they are together again.
did you know that it is possible to squeeze christmas into a teensy little package, bounce it along from server to server and stretch it so it can be enjoyed across 2000 miles? we spent christmas via skype with my sister, lane, kaid, david & pete. it was the first christmas that we didn't spend washing dishes together, but i am very thankful i got to see them. the kids went crazy-wild making faces and talking over one another and squealing and blocking each other. i loved seeing all six cousins playing, even if it was on a screen.
we love them and can not wait until we see each other again.
i completely stole this picture from their christmas card.
we had it all.
a baked potato feast with sweet hot mustard and cheese appetizers and cheesecake to round out dessert.
great friends who know each other so well.
a twinkly tree and a beautiful table that i didn't have to set (thank you nani).
an incredibly ackward moment that we will never speak of again.
injesting large quantities of wrapping paper by the squeakiest hooten-est nicoliciousness.
smiles and laughs...
after the three christmas whirlwind we were going to spend a little family time in downtown seattle living the big city life, but after seeing that pop was fairing so poorly we decided to double back and spend a little more time with gramma sue.
but first a families got to eat right? a quick walk down virginia to pikes place led us to our favorite french bakery. croissants, cocoa and lattes always make us feel uber sophisticated. that is until my 2% man made an appearance. i can't help myself. when i see an oregon ducks emblem, i have to say 'oregon ducks suck', even if it is to a cutie of all of about 9 in le panier, who thankfully was too focused on her chocolate croissant to hear. i need therapy to cage my 2% man, serious, serious therapy.
maybe it is the food? maybe feeding that 2% man has made him grow out of control? maybe i shouldn't have traveled on to eat the single best thing i have ever eaten in my entire life...a beef and onion piroshky. oh my mouth waters just typing it's name. the flaky bread encasing the sweet gravy dripping beef and caramelized onions. i must stop. the drool is out.of.control.
on to gratuitous pictures of my lovies. . . . . . .
aidan forgot his beloved bunny so i got to act the part. he slept tangled around me with my face as a pillow.
enough feeding. enough sight seeing. enough picture taking. back up the hill to grandmothers house we go!
again, the look on her face, this time with surprise, was totally worth the change in plans.
on an aside, tony insisted i take this picture. we didn't dine here, just walked on by. i have had their pizza and it is a fine pizza, but not enough to log its sign on our little journal here. but ehh, tony liked the sign...
that would be christmas one, christmas two and christmas three---bada bing, bada boom---all in one day.
at the bright and shiny hour of 5 am we headed off to arlington to christmas with pop and gram.
we were met by a little blizzard from prosser to the pass but that was all but forgotten when we laid eyes on gramma sue. i love that woman, but again, that is a story for another time. pop, well, he is there in body but unresponsive all the same. we recounted the happiest memories while trying to prepare for the inevitable. after a good visit we were off to christmas two...
the bacharts of the west. (i get a wee bit self conscious of my picture-takin' so there are a skittish few pictures here. who wants to be the freak stuffing a camera in every one's faces? well except for my kids & tony's because they have to love me through that). there is something so relaxing about the bachart house. we drank toasty coffee and ate a metric bum-ton of snacks while nana becky got all of the fixins for nadia to draw some birds and grandpa john set aidan us with the wii. i would like to think it is because john knows of my love of pictures that he gifted us a few of the bachart kinsmen but maybe it was to scare the bajeezeus out of us.
actually, i love this photo and i love their striking features. (i swear i have seen those eyebrows before). this photo will have it's own place on the bachart bookshelf of family photos for surzees.
off to the friend family christmas we go for christmas number three. that is not to read friends & family christmas. the family name is friend. this is where we are greeted by giant hugs from uncle steve, aunt peg, jake, lynn, amy, mike, andrew, mason, brody, max, lilly, don and letha. and it is where we stuff ourselves silly with the sweetest prime rib and mashed potatoes. i am sure there was other food, i know there was because my kids left with frosting on their faces, but it was all about the prime rib and mashed potatoes for me. i am sure it is sacrilege to some to use your prime rib as a shovel for your potatoes but i simply couldn't help myself. after gorging, the kids prepared for santa. the big guy always pays a visit to the friends. who wouldn't with that kind of hospitality? this year when he said ho ho ho, my nani's face fell. she said i know who that is. shoot! the kids were spoiled rotten again, aidan is in book-heaven, and the traditional dice-game was a hoot. it was a late night, but worth it to spend time with out loved ones.
all that in one day! i can't wait to share about day two!
just five working days...
just fourteen little boxes on the advent calendar...
just a few more presents to buy and lots and lots to wrap...
just a few treats to make...
just a few projects to complete...
and then home sweet home for 16 whole days with my lovies!
their bellies were full of goodness from the prefunk the mattson family and bachart family enjoyed at the johnson's house...
their look was just so...
twenty one girls and boys let their voices soar, their smiles shine, and their moves...well their moves were goofy as all get out but adorable none the less.
my nadia whispered she had the stage fright on the ride over. i told her to just look for me and pretend she was singing just like she has every day of her life. as they started their first song you could see her searching. when she found us you could see her relax. she locked eyes on me (and my lens) and her gappy tooth smile melted my heart. i kept clicking off pictures of the three besties to keep the tears at bay. when we asked her what the best part was, the girl who always knows what she values said simply, "the refreshments".
and her daddy says she's darling. she doesn't fall far from the gorgous daddy tree now does she?
my sweet boy who wants to understand poverty so he can help all of the kids who don't have enough.
...and buy them each a mansion with money tucked inside for taxes and stuff.
my thoughtful son who is going to dedicate a room for each of his friends, even the ones from way back in kindergarten, in his 'bridge across the ocean, five star wonder hotel zoo'. (if you don't know what i am talking about, just ask him sometime. he will tell you all about the intricacies of this amazing place he plans to build someday and he will probably even offer you a job.)
and how is he going to raise his bazzillions for all of this philanthropy?
...by extorting his mom at 10 cents per graded paper.