After some skiing in Tahoe (Ivy actually took snowboarding lessons for those three days we were there--I stayed w/ normal skiing) we cruised back over to my parents' place just outside of El Dorado Hills. My sister Melissa's kids are looking great: Jacob (almost 2) and Will (10 months I believe...). They were the center of the action and fun w/ everyone. Some good presents were exchanged: Ivy got me the superb Beatles "Love" c.d. (based on the excellent Cirque de Soleil show featuring the Beatles--we saw it this past 4th of July in Vegas); Ivy also hand-crafted and painted two corkboards made out of wine corks in a wooden frame (I helped with the hole drilling, which impressed Ivy as she always likes to see me do anything "handy") and gave one to my parents and the other to Laurel. My mom gave Ivy and me two more classy leather-bound books from the Narnia series and we're looking forward to reading those with some kids some day!
Ivy had to go back to work this past Wednesday, but I got to hang out with Melissa, Mark and their kids and--amazingly enough-- all five of us fit pretty well in our little one-bedroom apartment w/ one bathroom. I just reminded everyone that this is how families live together in much of the world outside the U.S. (e.g. we saw about 10 people living together in one room in Thailand) and so it's no big deal. But they decided to leave anyway after 2 days with us for some reason!
I finished the John Adams biography yesterday. It was phenomenal. I loved nearly every page and have concluded biographies are my favorite books. It's always so moving to see the highs and lows of a person's life and how they dealt with adversity. I'm also always very sad at the end when the person inevitably dies, but inspired too to live life purposefully because time is clearly limited. In another post I'm going to add a bunch of great quotes from the Adams book.