As per tradition, Elizabeth requested that we do early morning karate. Erika came over bright and early at 8:30am, and after a quick breakfast the girls, Matthew and I worked out with a sensei Nick youtube special. Elizabeth wanted a challenge. Matthew was talked into doing some kata too. Pretty good ratio of instructors to students at our dojo lol. He still insists he hasn't quit karate. Elizabeth helped Erika with her black belt katas, and then worked on her tricks.
After Erika went home, it was time for today's gift and as per tradition Jan 1 is spa day! Although Matthew vowed never to have a facial again last year, he got talked into trying out the cute tiger mask I found. Mom and Dad had more traditional masks - mine was volcanic ash and mud and charcoal, while Brendan's was some kind of charcoal mask "for men" that peeled off in a very satisfying way once it dried.
We soaked our feet in an interesting peppermint and rose bath salt mix and listened to relaxing "spa" music. The older kids had baths as well, but Michael didn't want one. The house still smelled like peppermint hours later!
Then we headed to Mud Lake for a hike with the rest of our family. The trail was BUSY but we had masks and we were able to keep our distance. Michael wanted to build snowmen every three metres, so Brendan and Michael and I got a little behind the rest of the crew. Then I guess the trail split and we went one way and the rest went the other! The other trail had a dead-end but ours continued on past a large chunk of glacier rock which was pretty cool. Then we somehow got off the main path. Long story short we ended up walking all the way around the lake. The sun was setting fast while we were weaving our way through the woods and trying to stay off the lake. Suddenly, the furry remains of some unfortunate animal (bunny?), blood spattered snow and coyote droppings (full of fur!) After that we picked up our pace. There were a few more bloody snow patches and poop piles to avoid, but the only wildlife we saw round that side of the lake was a cardinal and a startled bunny. Lots of chickadees and squirrels at the beginning of the trail, and a few ducks that Michael REALLY wanted to pet.
Erika and Maria came home with us after for some hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.