As will come to no surprise to those in the Seattle area, we did indeed have a white Christmas this year. There was about 14" of snow on the ground Christmas morning, and we got another 3-4" throughout the morning and early afternoon. We've never seen this much snow since we moved here in 2001, and according to an acquaintance it's the most snow they've seen since a storm when they moved here in 1993. This picture is the view out of the living room window, taken Christmas morning - you can see the snow falling, the new accumulation on the shoveled half of the driveway, and the massive pile of snow on the corner of the roof.
Our Christmas at home was truly lovely, with my mother and sister arriving in town just before lunch on Monday with no further delays. We spent Monday evening settling in, and then Tuesday morning we did a portrait session with Ann Chase for up-to-date pictures for Mom. That night we went to the Melting Pot in downtown Seattle, despite the heinous ice on the roads there, although in hindsight it might've been smarter to not go at all, but we did travel safely (if slowly) and really enjoyed our dinner. That evening I also met a friend of Ben and Deb's to pick up Ari, who we have through this evening's flyball practice while they are on vacation together in Europe. Wednesday and Thursday were spent at home doing family/holiday things, including Chris making lasagna on Christmas Eve and Mom making a lovely beef roast for Christmas Day.
And of course, what is Christmas without a tree full of presents? I admit I may have gone a bit overboard, but I love buying presents for those I love and it was a special treat to have my family here in person, so it was worth it. The tree was lovely, the gifts were all beautifully wrapped (even the awesome "patchwork" one Chris did for me), and we had a relaxing morning going through our stockings and opening the presents from each other and from family far away. Highlights included new computer parts and a new motorcycle windshield for me, a silver shaving set for Chris, designer perfume for Jade, and a custom-embroidered Timbuk2 tote bag for Mom. I was also the recipient of a pair of silver earrings that Jade designed and made in one of her classes this semester, and I like them very much. They are a little pointy, however, so I will need to wear them mostly when my hair is up, but that is a small price to pay for a unique piece of jewelry!
On Friday we went to see the Tacoma Museum of Glass, which was very interesting but a lot smaller than I thought it would be. There is a "hot-work" shop that is open for the visitors to observe, complete with someone answering questions and explaining what the artists are doing. That was the best part, in my opinion, as I haven't seen glass worked in person so that was fascinating. The exhibits were pretty good, with one by a single artist, one massive Chihuly installation, one collection of vessels by one artist, and an "intro" exhibit that explained the differences in glass art. I really liked the "intro" exhibit, as it was very good at highlighting different techniquest - such as a "heavy" cast glass cinderblock next to a "light" spun glass moth - and even had tactile sections for feeling the glass types. It's too bad the museum isn't larger, I would have liked to see more than the space could support.
Yesterday we picked out photos from our session earlier in the week, and then ran a few errands before returning home. We have also introduced Mom and Jade to Rock Band, with Mom playing bass and Jade trying out both guitar and vocals during the week. This morning we went up to Salish Lodge for brunch, which was delightful as always, and tonight we will be attending flyball practice to finish up our day. Tomorrow is when Mom and Jade fly home, sadly, but we have had a wonderful week together and I am glad to have enjoyed a lovely Christmas with family here in my home.