Winter at the lake.

This past weekend my family took a little trip to Grand Lake, CO. I found the deal on one of those daily deal sites and in my head Grand Lake was a suburb (or something like that) outside of Winter Park. It was a great deal and I figured we could kill two birds with one stone – family vacay and skiing/boarding.

Well, turns out, I was wrong. Grand Lake is about 45 minutes away, and not so much in the mountains as in the foothills. Christian claims I “misrepresented the trip”, I claim that I’m an idiot and generally have no idea what I’m doing. You say to-may-toes, I say to-ma-toes. We reached the “lake house” which sounds way fancier that what it really was. Honestly, I don’t know how to describe it… looked like a woodsy motel from the outside, but felt like a cabin on the inside. Make of that what you will. It had a fireplace which was the only real pre-requisite that I had. Oh, Christian had a good time. See that smile? That equals happy and fun.

Christian and Megan - Winter 2013

Now, this was the first vacation I’d been on with my sister in over 3.5 years. The last one was this trip to San Fran in which we made fun of my mom and I called her “scrump” for several days. She later pointed out to me that the definition of scrump on urban dictionary is not a flattering one, I say – again – I have no idea what I’m doing (or saying for that matter). We spent the evenings trying to figure out where those “weird” smells were coming from. She brought her two dogs, she’s pregnant, I have stomach issues and both our husbands/our mom tend to be more discreet on the subject… all this to say it was often hard to tell. Here’s the ladies.

Stout/Smaha Ladies!

Turns out, though, that it was Winter Carnival in Grand Lake. This is like a toned down, lamer, snowmobile filled version of the Corn Carnival in Gladbrook, IA from my youth. Only with a lot more people dressed in creepy costumes and snow sculptures. See said sculptures below.

The Cheshire Cat.

We also went “shooting” — if you can claim standing on the side of a road, shooting at a hill and pretending to be doing nothing of the sort when cars drive by is “shooting”. Also it was a small gun. Please tell me, of the two pretty ladies below, who is the most threatening. In my mind, it’s a toss-up. Between my mom with her little purse and my pregnant sister wearing a cow hat, they are both equally frightening in their own right.

My Mom - with a gun! Honey Boo Boo in 15 years.

Is it just me or could my sister be the future of Honey Boo Boo? I also shot the gun, but only once because it hurt my hand. In other new, I’m a wuss. Overall the weekend was a good one. Lots of laughs, discussions on babies (re: baby fever) and time with my family. I sure do love them. Each and every one. Also, it was cold and there were fireworks.

Grand Lake Fireworks

And all shall give thanks.

Saying Happy Thanksgiving always felt a little awkward to me. Like, maybe it should be “Merry Thanksgiving” or something with a little more grandeur to bid such happy greetings. But no. Slap a Happy on it and you’ve got yourself an American holiday. A joyous, food centered holiday.

I find myself feeling thankful so very often these days — is that something that normally happens as your get older? You recognize all the things around you that you have to be thankful for? Because, man, are there ever more things each day. This year I’m thankful for a handsome and ever perfect for me, husband. For a Mom and dad that love and support me. For a sister and brother-in-law that I count among my best friends. For a whole string of “I married into this family” but they make me feel like I really belong every time I see them. For friends that live nearby, not so nearby and really far away – and how the distance between us never matters. For a community at church that makes this season of life even that much better. For my health and the health of those around me. For a job, not just any job, but a job I like that doesn’t involve a 3 hour commute.

And also for so, so, so many little things:

Chocolate. Big bear hugs. Peanut butter and jelly muffins. Q-tips. Chapstick. Long Chats. Noodles. Wine. Cinnamon Spice Tea. Showers. Cozy comforters. Getting mail. Great weather. And on and on. Life.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry, er, Joyful, er, Grand, er Happy Thanksgiving filled with mashed potatoes and pie!

Our New Arrival.

Nope, it’s not a baby. Nope, it’s not a puppy. Nope, it’s not a loaf of sourdough bread from San Fransisco (though I certainly wouldn’t turn the FedEx guy away if he was carrying that box). It’s our new camera. Christian and I splurged on something special this Christmas (with help from a wonderful Best Buy Gift Card from my old boss at HuebnerPetersen). We’re so excited to welcome our new Canon Rebel T3i to the family. There was some initial discussion over whether this camera or Charles is the most expensive family member, but Charles certainly won out with his manic health emergencies and pure bad luck. Needless to say I’m super excited, even if I’m still figuring out how you actually take pictures. Thank you Pioneer Woman, for putting some of that crap in layman’s terms.

I aim to be the next Ansel Adams — or just, you know, document my culinary creations, travel adventures and Charles sleeping. Life is all about having big aspirations.

Thankful.

Seeing as it’s Thanksgiving, I find it more than appropriate to express my gratitude for so many things in life. My friends and family… honestly I couldn’t live without them or their inappropriate senses of humor. You know who you are. These “saying thanks” things can get a little overwhelming if you think about it. We’re so blessed and there are so many things you should mention. Sort of like an Oscar speech, if you forget one person… they’ll never let you live it down. So… here are a few things I’m thankful for:

1. My mom always losing her keys, her credit card, her mind… and allowing me to mock her.

2. My sisters varying degrees of laughter. You never know what you’re going to get.

3. My Dad’s random and off the wall comments sometimes referring to turkey s**t.

4. All of my friends, their floor dancing, chats over wine, unwavering support, and all the hysterics that go with it.

5. Charles. I’m just thankful for my dog. He’s a jerk and he can be a pain in the butt, but I heart him and his trash eating ways.

6. Chapstick… you never once have let me down.

7. My iPhone. I am truly naked without it, as in can’t function.

8. Spandex, and it’s insertion into many styles of pants. Thanksgiving pants can now be fashionable.

9. My electric bug killing raquet.

10. Everything that I’ve forgotten and will remember tomorrow. Yeah, I’m thankful for that too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you ate yourself into a coma and took a nap. Then watched some football… essentially living the American dream.