My parents drove up in the worst of it, on Thursday, when the snow was falling, and the night was descending, and the traffic was heavy. They saw many accidents on the way, but they were slow and steady. They stopped on the way to pick up Cady, the little sister of Lilli, from what is probably the last litter from the breeder. (We had thought Lilli was from the last litter, but the breeder got a surprise with Cady). They had planned to get her on Friday morning, but with the onslaught of the storm, the breeder thought it best to get her right away, lest she be snowed in, and my parents unable to get the dog at all.
So, it was on a cold snowy Thursday night that my parents arrived with the sweetest bundle of a puppy. Lilli and Cady were instantly friends.
Cady is so much smaller than Lilli ever was (well, obviously, Lilly was this small at some point, but by the time we met her, she was already 30 pounds). Cady is under 10 pounds, but looks just like a little Lilli, so in this sense, we got our time to bond with a puppy version of Lilli. And Grandma and Grandpa got to bond with their new puppy too.
What a beautiful snowy weekend it turned out to be. The dogs had so much fun exploring the snow and each other.
And the boys had fun in the snow too.
Inside, we read, played games, and ate. And we spent as much time as possible by the fire.
And of course, we spent a lot of time playing with the puppy and with Lilli and trying to help Cady know that she needs to go outside to go potty. Luckily, puppies are so otherwise adorable that somehow their potty accidents are easy to overlook. Doesn't she look like a little stuffed dog? She is impossibly cute.
And so is Grandma.
My parents left on Saturday morning, so they could get a good start on the drive and enjoy some time in Columbus (they planned to stay at our favorite hotel, Hotel Indigo, for the night). Otto was so very sad that they were leaving, feeling like the visit was too short. He was crying when they left, and it was sad for everyone to see his reaction. But it was also good that they could have two shorter days to drive home, and it was also nice for us to have the bulk of the weekend still ahead to spend with the four of us.
We finished up the game of Monopoly that we had started with Grandma and Grandpa. I think it is the first game we officially finished, played through until the bitter end. And the end of Monopoly is always bitter, isn't it? Someone has to dominate and obliterate the rest of you, which is the part that we all realized is not very fun. Otto was clearly winning and instead of enjoying his victory, he found that it was not as fun as the beginning of the game, when the outcome is still unknown, and it's fun to acquire new properties and think of all the possibilities. I don't think we play a very vicious game, though, as there is a lot of bartering and good will and reluctance to see anyone go bankrupt. Except that Max was eager to go bankrupt and leave the game, as he was bored long before the rest of us. And so, in the end, it was an easy defeat for Otto, and he was happy to have all the property and all the money and call it a day. It didn't stop him from happily displaying all his properties, his two gold coins, and all the rest of his money, as well as a pretty impressive corner of built-up property.
The other issue with Monopoly is that it is such a long game. It was such a pretty weekend for talking walks in the snow, so once we finally finished the game, we got outside for a walk. First, though, we saw a whole bunch of deer right in our back yard.
Out on the walk, we saw a few more deer, possibly the same family, as it was about the same number, but there are so many deer out here, it's hard to tell.
Our neighbors stopped by with bacon-topped cornbread and chocolate covered macaroons, both of which were seriously delicious.
There are no pictures of the actual walk, perhaps because it was too difficult to operate a camera as well as Lilli and our ski poles and our big pokey snow shoes—especially when Lilli was off leash and barking like crazy at some random passers by. I am sure the chase scene they witnessed, as I tried to catch Lilli while clomping around in my snow shoes, once even falling right over them into the snow, was pretty hilarious. So perhaps it's a good thing there are no photos of that.
And then it was time to pack and get back to Chicago. With one minor set back. Our car battery was dead. We contemplated asking our kind macaroon making neighbors for a jump, until Martin realized we had a battery charger in the house. And within 15 minutes, we were up and running and on our way back to Chicago.