Ed and I stayed with my cousin Jennie and her husband Jay. Jay has been learning to sail, and took us out for a spin on Lake Union.
Ed looks cold, but is having a blast!
Ed and I with his brother and parents at the top of one of Seattle's historic buildings, on one of the spectacular blue sky days we had. We had a great time showing them around Seattle, and the weather cooperated beautifully!
We usually have Christmas morning at Uncle Ted and Aunt Cathy's, and have a few small gifts to open. Here my dad, sister Laura, and her husband Greg are enjoying a calendar made by my cousin Jennie. I usually have Christmas with Ted and Cathy and their immediate family. It was great for my parents, Ed's family, and Laura and Greg to join us!
We have afternoon family Christmas all together. We had decided some time ago to have Christmas in the activity room of my grandmother's nursing home, hoping she could join us for the festivities. She was no longer able to sit up, communicate, or respond much by that point, but we took turns taking a few minutes away in small groups to sit with her, sing Christmas carols, talk to her, and hug her. I can't imagine a more fitting way for it to be!
One Thwing family tradition is Jesus' birthday cake - which I made this year. My Aunt Cathy always narrates, though - we light one candle for every family member and guest present.
And we have our family white elephant, which alwas generates loads of merriment and good-spirited gift stealing - here Ed's mom opens a promising-looking bag...
And me and Ed - awww...
My parents, Ed's parents, Ed and I, Greg and Laura, and Warren.
The extended Thwing family - 34 of us present this year, though a few couldn't make it. We are turning into quite a crowd!
The day after Christmas, the Thwing cousins went up to Mt. Rainier for a play in the snow day, and again, it was spectacular! Ed's family came with us - Floridians in the snow! I think the mountain made a very good showing for them!
Cousins playing in the snow and taking pictures - and shots. :)
Ed has no patience for this and starts up the mountain - the summit doesn't look that far!
And takes the fast way back down!
Can I tell you how much I love this picture! I don't think I have ever seen Rainier look so gorgeous!
On our way back down, we saw two foxes - one red
and one black - very cool!
A look back at the mountain in the late afternoon sun... almost Alpenglow
Dinner at Uncle Bill and Aunt Lola's in Puyallup on the way back
On the evening of December 28, my grandmother went to her heavenly home. That night, we had planned to celebrate Ed's dad's birthday, and had a surprise celebration for their 40th anniversary, which had been a few days before Christmas. It ended up being completely appropriate. :) We had reserved a private room at one of Seattle's very nice steakhouses and had a fabulous dinner, and celebrated life and love and family!
Ed ordered some crystal wine glasses engraved for them, but they didn't get there in time, so we got a pair of wine glasses at Crate and Barrel and had everyone sign them with a sharpie - Ed's mom and dad examining their "gift". :)