Hello, Winter!

Winter officially hit us in central Indiana last weekend. The temperatures dropped, and we got a full covering of snow…which is definitely not normal for this time of the year around here. That said, my cousin was born in an early-November blizzard in Canada, so I don’t find it particularly crazy. My favorite season in Indiana is autumn, so I feel like Mother Nature is playing a mean trick on me by skipping over the end of fall and heading straight into winter. That said, the best part of winter is the snow, so I won’t complain about the cold temperatures if there’s white stuff on the ground! 

I took this picture last weekend, when the snow was just starting to stick!
I took this picture last weekend, when the snow was just starting to stick!

Unfortunately this week I would have much preferred some slightly warmer weather. We know that insulation was going to be installed in our new house today, so last night Dave dragged me to the house so we could take pictures of all the wiring and pipes in the walls. We want to  have a reference just in case we ever need it. Dave needed an assistant to hold a measuring tape in some of the pictures and write down the location in the house that correlated to each picture number (because pictures of walls start to look the same after a while). Of course, that assistant was me. I had on a wool hat, mitts, and my Ugg boots, but by the end I was frozen solid….especially my toes. I don’t think Dave noticed it as much because he was moving around taking all the pictures, but I was generally idle and had lots of time to think about how miserable I felt. However, Dave made a good point….it’s a job we’re never going to have to do ever again. Thank goodness for that!

I have to admit that I’ve been ignoring this little blog lately, so I apologize for that. Honestly, I’ve just been busy. I’ve had several appointment stack up lately, plus we’re still taking care of house-building stuff. The most time-consuming thing lately has simply been prepping for the holidays!

This year our plan is to spend Thanksgiving with Dave’s family and Christmas with my family. You read that right, we’re voluntarily heading up to Canada in the winter to celebrate Christmas with my family. The kicker? We’re driving. This is definitely not the first time I’ve made the drive back and forth between Indianapolis and Winnipeg, and Dave’s done it several times now, but most of those drives have taken place during the warmer months. I’ve always opted to fly back for my winter trips. Unfortunately, flying isn’t very feasible this time. First, it’s much less expensive for two of us to drive, even with spending one night in a hotel each way. Second, Katie-dog is right on the weight-limit for being allowed to fly in the cabin. I’ve done it with her a couple times, but it was when I first rescued her and she was still a bit underweight. Now she’s almost 5lbs heavier, and might not make the cut-off if anyone at the airline really wanted to check. Even if I was comfortable flying her in cargo (I’m not), airlines won’t fly animals in and out of Winnipeg in cargo when the the temperatures are really low, so it’s not a feasible option this time of the year. Leaving Katie-dog in Indy and not spending the holidays with her is simply not going to happen. Finally, trying to fly with numerous Christmas gifts and heavy duty winter clothing in your checked luggage is difficult. The storage space in the car is going to make things much easier on us. Of course, driving through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba in the winter doesn’t come without its potential complications. We’ll be putting snow tires on my car to (hopefully) make the journey a bit safer. Dave hates driving in the snow, so I have a feeling that I’m going to be behind the wheel for a big chunk of the trip! 

Because we’ll be spending Christmas with my family, we’re going to be celebrating early with Dave’s family. As I’ve already mentioned, we’ll be spending Thanksgiving back in Dave’s hometown. We’re thinking of driving up on Wednesday night so I can finish up my little portion of cooking in the morning before we head over to his aunt and uncle’s place for the big Thanksgiving lunch. From what I’ve heard, Dave’s two cousins will also be there with their significant others, so it should be a nice big family get-together! We haven’t seen each other since our Labor Day camp out. I’m definitely looking forward to catching up with everyone. On Friday we’re going to avoid the malls and Black Friday shopping, and go pick out a Christmas tree for Dave’s parents. That way we’ll have the tree and all the decorations up when we celebrate Christmas with them in mid-December. 

We will also be celebrating Dave’s birthday over Thanksgiving weekend, but he hasn’t decided what he wants to do yet. I think the plan is to head back to Indianapolis on Saturday, so he has quite a few options. Seeing a movie or going bowling have been thrown around as ideas, but he can be Mr. Indecisive so I doubt I’ll find out what he wants until the very last minute! 

I’m surprised Visa hasn’t shut down my credit card for suspicious activity due to the crazy amount of online shopping I’ve done lately. I don’t like going to the malls at the best of times, never mind during the insanity of the holiday season. Thank goodness for Amazon.com and free shipping with Amazon Prime! I’ve had to shop for Dave’s birthday, and of course I need to get all the shopping for his side of the family done early this year. I’m also trying to get all the gifts we’re taking to Canada ordered well in advance so they arrive and I can wrap them before we leave. More wrapping done now means less wrapping to do once we get there, which means more time for me to spend with the family! In addition to all my shopping, I’ve had to place and/or receive orders from my family in Canada because a lot of American retailers don’t offer shipping to Canada. I’m used to getting an influx of random packages before my trips home, and my apartment usually started to look like a post office. There was a time when my dad kept shipping me log rack covers to bring home…and I think the people at my old apartment’s office wondered why someone living in a small apartment with no fireplace was doing with a bunch of covers for log racks! Anyway, our already-full apartment is being overrun with boxes at the moment. #firstworldproblems

Left: Dave's birthday present haul, Right: the first batch of wrapped Christmas gifts!
Left: Dave’s birthday present haul, Right: the first batch of wrapped Christmas gifts!