A Winter Wonderland

The last week and a half takes up so much more time in my head than eleven. It feels like it spanned several weeks. Last Monday (which now seems like a month ago) I was supposed to fly home to Texas to visit family and friends, before attending a wedding over the weekend. As much as I was looking forward to my little trip, the weather seemed to another idea in mind. When I arrived at the airport in the early hours, I was told that due to the weather, there was little chance that my connecting flight in Charlotte would make it out. In which case I would be stuck there for two days. No thank you. I would much rather stay home and play in the oncoming snow! With little other choice, I rescheduled my flight for early Wednesday morning. What a bummer! I had planned to make a quick trip to Austin to visit friends and my pups, which would now have to wait for another time. (Sorry guys! Wish I could have seen you all!)

On the way home from the airport, we decided to stop and buy some snow boots and a couple of cheap plastic sleds (which turned out to be an absolute brilliant idea). Happily we did, because just as we were heading home, the first faint snow flurries began to fall, and they didn't stop until late in the evening. We spent most of the day watching the snow pile up outside the windows, and even went for a little walk to test our new boots and take a few pictures (of course). I think we were the only crazies out trudging through the snow for fun! After dark, the roads were pretty empty, so we took the opportunity to take the sleds out for a spin down our street. Over and over we flung ourselves wildly over the smooth white path, laughing and carrying on like children, and causing such a ruckus that the neighbors started coming out to see what the commotion was all about. We played until we were absolutely worn out, then went in for some warmth and a good night's rest.

The next morning was sunny and bright, and all around the fresh blanket of snow glistened in the sun, begging to frolicked in, and the people of Richmond heeded the call. We drove over to Forest Hill Park for a little snow day fun, and found half of the city amassed atop the hill. Everywhere you looked, children and adults alike were sledding, tubing, tumbling, skiing, snowboarding, and sliding down the modest slopes. A good time was had by all, and it was quite a sight to see! Again, we played until we were tired, and had to return home.

I guess we didn't quite get our fill at the park, and later turned our back yard into a sledding area, where we used an inflatable tube to glide from one end of the yard to the other. So much fun (and we didn't have to worry about plowing over any small children)! Amidst our play time, we heard music in the street, and ran out to find a small Mardi Gras parade of about two dozen people, dressed in festive garb and dancing down our street! It was a troupe from the Dogtown Dance Theater celebrating Fat Tuesday. We followed them around the neighborhood, collecting beads and snapping photos, before turning back home to have our own celebration. We cooked up a big batch of Jambalaya, made a fire in the fire pit out back, and happily ate our dinner in the snow around the warm glow of the flames. Truly a Fat Tuesday to remember!

When I did make it home, I had brief, but wonderful visit. I was able to visit my parents, grandparents, and have a quick (and much needed) girls night with my dear friend. I wish I had more time to spend with everyone, and I wish I was able to see so many that I wasn't able to. These are the downsides of living so far away. I met Keith at the airport on Saturday, and we headed out to Katy for two days of wedding festivities. Again, it was a such a great time catching up and sharing such a beautiful experience with everyone, but we wish we had more time. You know, you miss your friends and family so much when you're away, but when you are reunited, it reminds you even more how special those relationships are. The hugs are a litter tighter and longer, the smiles are bigger and brighter, laughs are a little louder, and the goodbyes are always a little harder. To all of those people, we love and miss you dearly, and look forward to the next time we are together.