Friday, January 08, 2016

E.C. in Cincinatti

I told Jason this evening that I am currently suffering from Extreme Contentedness (E.C.).  Instead of crashing from post-holiday burn-out, I feel utterly happy right now.  Cold weather and all, I'm grateful to be right where I am with the people I love.  The only downside is that I feel a complete lack of desire to accomplish anything useful.  Even though my "to do" list is as long as ever, I've been frittering away my days by frolicking with the lion cubs at the zoo (seriously--we played chase) and the wild turkeys at Fontanelle Forest.  Instead of cleaning house while Annika naps, I've snuggled under a blanket with a good book by the light of our still fully-decorated Christmas tree.  Who cares if the tree's drying out and dropping needles?  I'm just not ready to say good-bye to the happy feelings of Christmas.

And so, as a pretense for having accomplished something today, let me post some warm, fuzzy pictures from a prior, equally wonderful holiday--Thanksgiving.  Once I fix myself a steaming mug of hot chocolate, that is.

Ahhh.  Justin and Brianna, how can I ever thank you enough for introducing me to the joys of Hazelnut creamer?  Back to the point, here are some pics from the delightful Wheeler Wobble we enjoyed along the Cincinnati riverfront.  This scenic route, replete with multiple bridge crossings, was quite possibly my favorite Wheeler Wobble to date. 
We began with a fun warm-up winding our way through the labyrinth. 
(This photo and several others are courtesy of Kate Taylor's awesome I-Phone.)
 Before long, it was time to take off.  Annika was so excited to run with the big kids, at least for a little while.

Brooklyn found the perfect place for a quick rest.

 Of course, swings are always better when shared between friends.

I don't have many photos of the other runners--the three brothers took off and left the rest of us in the dust.  Meanwhile, Talia, Christy and I made a happy trio of gals. After the race, everyone gathered again to enjoy the amazing Smale Riverfront Park.    Here are Lance, Kate, Talia, and Annika trying out the slide.

Talia's always been a climber.

Of course, Annika enjoys following in her sister's footsteps.

According to Kate, she tried to climb right through the holes of this bridge!  (Or maybe she slipped.  No matter.  Didn't phase her in the least.)

Next up, it was time for some life-size chess.

Grandpa Charles is contemplating his next move.

Maybe Aunt Christy can offer some advice.

On second thought, Ruby looks wise enough to have all the answers.

Watching Ruby lounge in her yellow BOB stroller made me think of when we first bought ours.  Brooklyn was only a few weeks old.  How quickly she's grown!

Of course, our family as a whole has grown too.  Believe it or not, we can outfit our own pyramid!  (By the way, does anybody else recognize the "swim soup" hiding beneath Annika's running shirt?)

Ta da!  Christmas photo accomplished.  (Even if I am slightly out of uniform  It's a long story with a happy ending.)

 Oops!  Watch that cleavage.  (If only...)

So the flying pig may have been my favorite discovery of the morning.

Who wouldn't want to take a ride?  Cincinnati, you definitely know how to do parks right.

While that certainly would have been plenty of fun for any day, the party continued in the afternoon when we all crashed the hotel hot tub for some swimming.  Guess Annie found a use for that swim soup after all!

Hey ho, what a party!

Uncle Lance brings the party with him, whether hanging out at home (he's doubling as the hanger...)

...or treating the munchkins to an ice cream surprise from United Dairy Farmers.

Back at Justin and Brianna's (our amazing hosts), it was time for some gingerbread construction.

Here's chef Christy instructing Brooklyn on proper frosting technique.

Pretty enough to eat.

Gee whiz, do I really have to wait 353 more days until Christmas comes again?  I'm getting so nostalgic already.

Good thing candy is always in season.  Okay, maybe not according the most recent USDA dietary guidelines, but we can pretend.

Besides, calories in construction don't count.

Hey, check out Lance's masterpiece!  Before...

...and After.  I've always appreciated deconstructivism.

Eli quite intentionally added a bow and stern to turn his creation into a gingerbread houseboat.

And one final picture of Grandpa Charles with Annika Mae.

Ah yes, E.C. (Extreme Contentedness), even in Cincinnati.


Jason said...

Lance really did want to be an Architect in his other life...

Susie said...

Happy holidays all around! Loved being able to kick it off with you all in Cinci! Wonderful pictures and commentary, Kara 😊.