Years from now, when I reflect back on the many Christmas-time trips taken to Sunriver (15 so far!), undoubtedly I'll consider 12-29-14 as one my favorite all-time days.
To be fair, a day is always made better when you are coming out of a time of pain or finding a resounding relief from some major stressor. That was certainly the case for me, waking up sore, but not in pain. And, oh, what a beautiful thing that is. But, even more beautiful (yes, even more than relief from a headache - because it is so rare and SO MAGICAL!) was waking up to see that much more snow had fallen overnight - much more than the "less than an inch" predicted. Michele and I were just all smiles and absolutely giddy in our early morning hot tub routine as we watched the sun rise and snow fall.
(This was the view when I woke around 6am....I was dancing all over the kitchen as I got my Russian Tea prepared to take out with me....)
Though the forecast continued to report another "less than an inch" expected (from two different sources) - there was a special weather advisory that we followed with interest and optimism. And, the best news for us, was, due to a cold front affecting almost the whole country, temperatures wouldn't rise above freezing before we were due to depart on New Years Day - thus securing the fact that any snow that fell would stick around.
And, indeed, it kept snowing. We had planned to leave for the bowling alley around 11, so Mikayla, Ellie, and I took some time prior to give Whitley a REAL taste of what fun this white stuff could be.
She was loving it - taking her time, not in any hurry as she explored every little groove of the snow.
Mikayla's so good at taking these selfies!
THIRTEEN today, can you believe it?
We got such a kick out of this little hat....
None of us can trace back as to where Whitley learned about snow angels - or how to make them. But, she was very good at it without any instruction given!
I sure LOVE this kid!!!!
When we returned, prior to leaving, we thought we'd take advantage of our "Winter Wonderland" and pose for some family pictures. The plan was to take a group one at the bridge over the river en route to bowling.
Whitley started everyone out on the right note...
I think this is my all-time favorite, best looking picture of these two. Kind of cool to consider they look even better now than they did 22 years ago!
I love Ellie's expression in this one too.
Is it too soon to put together next year's Christmas cards?
I love how pretty Whitley looks in this one, but she's really not that demure in real life!
As this was the view on the way to that bridge to take the group picture, we opted to take it after bowling. Truly, it was a snow globe experience.
However, post bowling, the wind had picked up, and the driving was even more treacherous (fortunately, all three of our guys are phenomenal snow drivers....) - so we chose to just stage and take our group shot right outside our house.
The snow was falling so hard and we were getting so wet and cold, we literally only took three shots. The first was good - this was the second, and the third focused on the snowflakes vs. our faces. But, hey, we all agreed it was good enough! And, because of the conditions, our smiles are all incredibly genuine!
The kids then decided to don their own snow clothes and take Whitley out again for some snow fun. Brayden was a good sport pulling her and Ellie over to the big kids rendezvous point in the cul-de-sac.
To start with, Traig took the bike out to meet up with them. As he left Michael asked which one of us would be willing to take him to the ER once he was done... ;)
That look of Mikayla says, "Can you believe this?" or "Could I ask for anything better on my 13th birthday?" The answer to both, "Nope, not really!". Altogether, we estimated that about ten inches fell by the time the storm pushed through - a far cry from the "less than an inch" predicted. Remind me of that, please, in the future, when I stress over the weather forecasts weeks ahead of our trip...sometimes God will choose to just pull His own miracles - and we are so thankful this was one of those years that truly happened.