Lord knows I love a sunny July in the PNW, and a richly colored October, but December is chock-full of its very own charms, rich with old (and a few new) traditions.
The month kicked off with a kid-free weekend for Nance, La Verne, and me as we trekked a whopping 15 miles south for a weekend at the Cedarbrook Lodge for our annual ladies getaway. We upped the ante this year and booked a reservation for two nights, skipping town on Friday evening and enjoying a leisurely dinner at the hotel bar before hitting the hot tub and queuing up Serendipity back at our room.
Our pilgrimage to the Auburn Supermall has become an integral part of ladies weekend, so after breakfast on Saturday we hit the outlets. Hard.
I always walk out the mall wondering if maybe I overdid it a bit – did I really need five new sweaters? That’s buyer’s remorse written all over my face, in case you can’t tell.
We landed back at the room late afternoon and wondered if maybe we should fully revel in our freedom with drinks and a fancy dinner out on the town. Nah. Instead, we spent an hour trying on our new clothes, oohing and ahhing over the deals we’d scored, and then venturing as far as the hotel bar for dinner (again), ending the day with ice cream in bed while SJP affirmed that Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed our little escapade, but was happy to be back with Juliette and Shane come Sunday morning. We had a cozy family day at home and then bundled up before heading over to Lake Washington to watch the Christmas Ship pull into the bay and serenade us with 20 minutes of carols. We huddled on a little stretch of beach with dozens of other families while the choir’s voice rang out across the water. This was the first year we’ve done this, but it’s been officially added to the list of Schnell family traditions.
Seattle got its first dusting of fresh snow last week – Juliette was asleep by the time it really started to accumulate, so I ducked outside and snapped a few quick pictures at 11 pm, just in case it all disappeared by morning. You never know here.
Sure enough, that lovely blanket of white had turned to gray slush by mid morning the next day, but we ventured into the mountains on Saturday to frolic in a foot of fresh powder.
Juliette had a blast! For about 30 minutes. I’m afraid that girl has inherited my intolerance for being cold.
Ah, well. It was good while it lasted.
My mama’s intuition told me to stick a lollipop in my pocket when we left the house. It turned out to be just the consolation I needed when Juliette got snow in her mittens.
We stopped at Dru Bru on the way home for beer and Italian sodas. CHEERS, kiddo!
Being a part of Juliette’s Latino-centric school has opened us up to a host of new rituals and traditions. On Tuesday we gathered with her classmates and teachers to celebrate Las Posadas, a Mexican festival commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph. There was music and dancing, bowls of pozole and cups of hot chocolate. Juliette was quite taken with the whole thing (one bite of a giant pink polvorone cookie, and she was ready to profess her love of all things Mexican!).
Up next: Fondue, Christmas lights, maybe a ride on the Christmas Carousel – we’ve got some more December’ing to do!