If I could think of a perfect weekend, this past couple of days would have been in the running! It started out fairly business-as-usual with our company holiday dinner on Friday night, but after that, it was all play, play, PLAY!
Although we got home from the dinner later than expected, Will and I still managed to roll out of bed pre-dawn on Saturday morning. Since Colorado has been getting annihilated with snow, we made plans with a friend to head up to Keystone to catch some of the freshly-fallen powder. Weekend skiing can be absolutely brutal because of the bananas traffic, so we wanted to beat the hordes of people and arrived at the mountain right at 8:30.
Even better? The sub-zero temps had scared most people away from the mountains so even though there was tons of snow to be had, the slopes were relatively empty! Honestly, I was totally expecting lift lines out the wazoo, but there really weren’t any! Sure, we were skiing in single-digit temps all day but we had planned for the chill and bundled up. I wore a new Mountain Hardwear down jacket that I’m testing and that sucker kept me warm! In fact, I even debated shedding a layer for a hot second! (Haha, get the pun? Get it?!)
Our friend, Caryn, was on skis for the first time in five years so I put my rusty teaching skills to good use and helped her figure out the two-plank world. She did fantastic for her first day and even worked her way up to blue runs. I like to think it’s because of my mad ski instruction skills….but let’s face it. I’m not that good; she is a natural athlete!
However, we weren’t done with fun on Saturday….because Sunday was our COOKIE PARTY!
If you’ve read my blog for a year or longer, you likely remember photos from past years’ parties. This cookie thing started a few years back when a friend and I were talking about Christmas baking. She used to do major cookie carnage with her mom and sister, but her mom had passed away and her sister had moved out of state. I knew it was special to her, so I volunteered to go to her house and bake some cookies. We had a blast and put it on the calendar for the following year.
Well, year #2 rolled around and I invited another friend to join the party. Little by little, the cookie party gained speed and this year was officially the fourth annual event!
I think we had 15-20 friends come this year (including Lauren and Paige!), but half were guys who had zero interest in baking or decorating cookies. They found some beer and the latest Bronco game and happily parked themselves on the couch for the day! The rest of us gals were on a mission though, and I definitely think we made the most cookies to date. If I had to guess, I’d estimate that we finished up the day with at least 40-50 dozen cookies of various shapes and sizes.
Per usual, I made my Grandma’s buckeyes and sugar cookies, but we had so many other types! Chocolate peanut butter, pretzels dipped in chocolate, mexican wedding cakes, pizzelles, a saltine-caramel-chocolate combo, caramel salted cookies and creole crispies….just to name a few! I mean, Cindy even made homemade dog treats out of peanut butter, bananas and parsley (which, for the record, Tally LOVED!)
Overall, I had so much fun. This time of year is so busy for everyone and it was great to get some friends together to catch up with each other before the chaos of the holidays really gets going. I also loved the sentimental feeling I got from baking Grandma’s cookie recipes. Our entire family has missed her since she passed in August, but baking Christmas cookies is something totally “Grandma.” Sure, I don’t have the same Santa cookie cutter that she used and I sure can’t frost cookies with her expert level of detail, but she loved packing up boxes of cookies to ship to family around the country. I don’t have as many cookies as she used to make (after all, I had to share with everyone else!), but I’m really looking forward to sending some cookies out to family over the next few days. Kinda feels like a perfect tribute, you know?
Do you have any holiday traditions like baking cookies?
How about cookies parties—love ‘em or hate ‘em?