Hellllloooooooo 2016!  We ended 2015 with a bang, with snow and champagne and fireworks.

Since Juliette’s daycare was open on New Years Eve but Shane and I both had the day off, we dropped the kiddo at school and reveled in our freedom by heading to the mountains with Jason and Nance for a day of cross-country skiing.

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It was cold out there, but clear and absolutely gorgeous.

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And once I found my stride and really got going, the numbness in my fingers and toes waned.  I can see why Shane has fallen in love with this sport – it’s hard work, but also invigorating and kind of soothing.

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We made it as far as this serene lookout over Keechelus Lake…

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Which seemed like a perfect place to pause and toast with a little tipple from Shane’s flask.

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Once we’d caught our breath, we headed back toward the car, making good time on the return leg – I was kind of getting the hang of this skiing thing!

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Made it!

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We warmed ourselves with lunch at Kukai ramen in Bellevue on the way home and then squeezed in a quick couch doze before heading out to pick up Juliette and then hit the beach.  Brian and Nicole were bonfire-ing over at Alki and that seemed like a perfect place to watch the sun go down on 2015.

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The Rust clan came over for dinner and we partied hard until about 8:00.  That champagne I mentioned earlier?  We cracked open the bottle at 7:30.  And those fireworks?  I vaguely remember hearing them around midnight, as I rolled over in bed and sleepily muttered “it’s tooooo loud!”  We’re wild, I know.

Speaking of wild, though, there are hundreds of crazies that jump into the freezing cold Puget Sound from Alki beach every New Years morning!  Shane, Jules, and I decided to head over there Friday morning to watch the show.

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And to cheer on Jason and his sister.  I suspect these two might have a slight adrenaline addiction.

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Gosh, they’re fun, though!

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Brian and Nicole were also there, but we’d missed seeing them take the group plunge.  I joked that I really wanted a group pic, which apparently was all the incentive they needed to jump right back in!

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Nuts, I tell you.

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We went back to Jason and Nancy’s with the Polar Bears for hot coffee and treats – we’ve been brunching at their house on New Years day for a few years running now.  But this was the first time baby E joined the mix!  Juliette was very excited by the prospect of holding a real, live baby doll.

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We passed the rest of the day at home, mellowing out after a couple of busy days.  Shane and I spent the evening talking about the year to come, planning vacations and making goals, building anticipation and excitement about what 2016 may hold.

Like…more snow days!  We loaded the sled and our snow gear into the car yesterday morning and set out for Hyak.  It was another gorgeous day in the mountains, but also super-duper cold.  Jules tolerated the biting wind for about five minutes…

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And then didn’t want to do anything but nuzzle into Daddy’s chest.

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We tried to shake it off, but this picture says it all…

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Shane and I each had a couple of fun runs on the sled, and Jules was a good sport, but it wasn’t long before we packed it up and called it a day.  We’ll give the snow another go on a 30-degree-plus kind of day.

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This kid was done.

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But man, she sure perked up once we were all tucked into the car with hot cider and snacks!  A blanket, a banana, and a warm drink, and she was exclaiming, “that was fun, mama!”

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Cheers to 2016.  It’s going to be good.

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