Saturday, January 1, 2011

Predictions for 2011

Happy New Year!

Wow, yesterday was a whirlwind day, to say the least. I was going, going, going from sun rise to well past sun set, but it was so much fun and well worth the exhaustion.

Several years ago I read (or heard of) an old wives tale that what you do on New Year's Eve is an indication of what the upcoming year will be like for you. On New Year's Eve 2008 and 2009 Andy and I spent a quiet evening alone in our apartment in North Carolina. We were living in a town we loved and knew well, somewhere we had made a home and community for ourselves. There were any number of people we could have spent time with, but we chose to just be a couple, not a group. It was cozy with our fire going and the curtains flung wide so we could watch the midnight fireworks display from the comfort of our sofa.

I can certainly see some truth in the New Year's Eve superstition. We haven't been alone for the last two years. I don't mean that. We have always been surrounded and bolstered by our family and friends. However, we've been on a journey these last two years in which we were sort of alone. Despite all the support in the world, these years have been a test and trial that we could only tackle together. Each of us experiencing it from a different perspective, but still being the only person to know what the other has experienced. I don't mean to say that our loved ones haven't been there with us, but Andy and I are the only two people who have lived this nightmare, day in and day out, for two years.

I don't mean to be pessimistic. The whole point of this tirade is to say that in the last couple of months we've been able to see a change. There is some hope - a small light at the end of the tunnel, and as the new year grew closer I started to feel more and more peaceful about it's coming and excited about the possibility of a new beginning. I don't expect 2011 to be free of heartache or hardship, but the older you get the more you realize that both of those things are just a part of life. I just have this feeling, deep down inside, that this year is going to be good for us.

So, if New Year's Eve really is an indication, and we spent the last two years surrounded by love, but ultimately alone, then 2011 should truly be a landmark year for the Steele family. Because NYE 2010 couldn't have been more different than the last two years, nor yet any year since we've been married.

All day yesterday was spent with old friends in this new place we call home. I think that will be the tag line for 2011: "Experiencing new things and places with old friends." I like it.

Our friends Robert and Allison came into town on Thursday and they are staying with us until Tuesday. I can't tell you how nice it is to see some familiar faces.

The morning started with fresh brewed coffee & warm cider, from scratch breakfast including spinach quiche and sweet potato hasbrowns. The in between was a blur of activity and I'll have to let the photos do (most) the talking for that. We ended at home, in our pajamas eating leftovers and drinking hot toddies. We watched "When Harry Met Sally" (my favorite NYE movie & a yearly tradition), which ended exactly at 10pm. At which point we said, "Happy New Year, East Coast!" and went to bed because we were all exhausted from the day.

Here are the photos (most of them) from the day. Some are kind of grainy and poor quality due to the fact that it didn't get out of the negative temps yesterday and we were just trying to take the picture as quickly as possible, sometimes shivering.

Micro brews are a big deal here, so on top of the list was to go to some local pubs and try out a couple of the local specialties. 

First was Dillon Dam Brewery, named after the dam, which is huge and if you ever come to visit me I'll take you over the dam road, which I have yet to get a satisfactory photo of. The view and the ride are really something to behold. I guess the beer is alright too...

Next, we dropped Robert and Allison at the Backcountry Brewery in Frisco. Andy and I went home for a little rest before the evening's festivities. 

The resort did a 6:30 fireworks show and a later show around 10. We opted to go to the earlier show to help avoid the crowd and because we didn't really want to stay out too late. 
We parked across the highway and walked through this underground tunnel. The mural was all the way through the tunnel and in the stairwells leading up to the resort.

The fireworks were set off on the lake, which in the winter serves as the ice skating rink. 

There were several ice sculptures around the lake. Andy was making fun of me at this point for taking so many pictures & acting like a kid in a candy store, but this is all new to me. I'm still kind of a tourist and in a way it feels like we're on a really long vacation. So, until it sinks in that I really live here, I plan to enjoy everything around me.

Santa's sleigh made of ice. I wasn't going to sit. Jeans aren't water proof and it was something like -10*. No amount of long underwear was going to make me sit on that block of ice.

These were in front of the sleigh. The trees are carved from ice too, in case you can't tell. 

We tried to warm up around one of the outdoor fire pits,
but eventually gave up and went into one of the shops.

I fell in love with this purple tree.

 We were going to ice skate, but it was kind of expensive. If we'd been willing to spend a couple hours on the lake it would have been worth it, but like I said, it was so, so cold and we just weren't going to fork over the cash to call it quits after 10 minutes. So we just hung out in the shelter next to the lake and watched the fireworks display. 

  Here's a video I took of the fireworks. You can hear the carols playing over the loud speaker. That was a nice touch.

Once we got home we started a fire and just relaxed. It was a really nice way to end the evening.

There is one more thing we did at the resort before coming home to relax, but that deserves a post to itself. I'll get it up soon.

I hope you all have a joyful new year!

P.S. My resolution this year is to just enjoy life and to make the most of what this year has to hold.

P.P.S. The red hat I'm wearing in these pictures was my mom's hat from the 70's. I always get compliments on it and it just goes to show that if you wait long enough, everything comes back in vogue. 

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