We arrived in Vail a couple of days before Christmas for the second part of our extended family holiday...ten adults and seven children is a great deal for one mountain condo, but Susan somehow managed to pull it off with grace.
Cousin Isacah was very solicitous of QQ. So sweet!
QQ with Aunt Colleen, in from Minnesota.
Chrissie and her newest progeny, little Holland, just four months old.
Holland is a love, and I can't resist any chance to hold her!
Or, uhm, kiss her on the face! Yes, I'm a baby kisser. I can't help it.
Susan's tree...bare of ornaments on the bottom half, in anticipation of a roomfull of toddlers! Smart.
QQ, feeling comfortable at last in the hands of her beloved cousin Victoria, lets loose with a huge QQ grin. This is what she looks like most of the time...but most people don't see it, since she is a bit cautious around strangers these days.
Our lovely daughter. I can't even tell you how completely, madly in love with her I am. She brightens my every hour. She fills me with joy. She is fully mobile these days...not just walking, but backing up, turning on a dime. Even the mitered "steps" that mark changes in elevation in our old old wood floor are manageable of late. The only thing she has not learned is to look where she's putting her feet, so that if there's a toy or piece of clothing on the floor, she often trips over it.
Isacah opening a gift...look at the sheer glee on her face!
Isacah has taken to imitating my constant photojournalism. If she can get her hands on a camera, she lifts it as high as she can (there were a lot of photos of the carpet...cameras are heavy for a two-year-old!) and snaps away, proclaiming, "Look! I'm like Maia!" This is one she took of her mommy, her little sister, and her grandma.
M. attempting to teach QQ how to be gentle with the baby. Q has not entirely digested the concept of "gentle" yet. We're working on it.
We drove to Vail through a serious snowstorm, and by our first morning, the valley was blanketed in fresh powder.
A perfect winter wonderland...almost makes me wish I still lived there.
M., the pied piper of toddlers, amidst his admirers. Look at the smile on Q's face. That is the joy that shines out of her every minute of every day...the happy energy that illuminates our lives these days. We are so, so fortunate.
QQ enjoying the attentions of her grandparents and cousins.
Susan enjoying her second-oldest granddaughter.
Harrison took this lovely shot of his mother and baby sister.
Isacah and her "pincess" pajamas.
Does she not remind you of Cindy Lou Who?
She simply could not be cuter.
With the cold weather closing down the heated pool, we filled the tub and allowed the little ones a long, bubbly bathtime indoors.
Is there anything cuter than a tubfull of lovely toddlers?
Aunt Chrissie with our QQ.
Heaps of snow decorating Arrowhead's bridges.
The bottom of the Arrowhead trails.
My dog Sam revelling in the champagne powder. Look how happy he is!
Our cousin Kim, as photographed by an adoring Harrison.
Me and my beautiful family.
Basking in the joy of loving toddlers. Q is OK with my cradling the cousins, as long as she can be a part of the action.
Sunlight breaking through the storm.
Visiting Vail Village on our second day in town. It was colder than it looked. And yes, it was hard for us to have time neither to ski nor hike in all that wonderful snow. But somtimes family takes precedence.
Q and me in front of the Lionshead tree.
Daddy loves his Q.
A typical Vail scene.
Kim's adorable dog, Roxy.
Kim, Vernon, M, Q and Colleen, in the thick of it all.
Our dogs, meeting and greeting.
QQ digs into Daddy's wallet...
...and gets a little too excited about the credit cards!
On our way back down to Denver...Q passes out cold mid-meal, exhausted after two days of staying up much too late.