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December '05 Pictures

We are excited to celebrate the holidays with our Family back in Austin,TX and love to go see all of our traditional places for Christmas like the Zilker Tree, Trail of Lights, and the bonfire...We wanted to share all these cool sights with Xtremefamily before they left us for the next month for a well deserved break and a tour around Texas.  We have worked and traveled together for about four months now and they were chomping at the bit to get back on the road.

A view of downtown Austin as we waited for the Capitol tree to be lit up.  At first we we had a great place to sit right at the base of the tree, but couldn't hear the carolers down the way.  So we decided to move back a little and that's when they flipped the switch for the lights and everyone in the crowd goes ahhhhhh.  We missed it.

A few days later our very favorite holiday tradition lit up in the best park in the world ~ The Zilker Tree!  We didn't move this time and watched as they switched the tree on.

Not exactly Santa, but wicked cool looking anyway!  These guys were walking through the crowds promoting a Christmas Haunted House thing scaring the crap out of people who would turn around and see them.  And the were yelling creepy things into a megaphone loudly.

The entrance to the Trail of Lights is always breathtaking.

Sunny, Austin, Matt, Maddie, and Kesley taking any photo op's with stars they can find.  We love our glamorous kids.  Greg was chomping at the bit to have that scarf Maddie made that you can see her sporting.  She makes cool things like that.  She gave it to him right before they left with a little note simply stating 'you were chomping at the bit, love Maddie.'  She is da bomb.

Holiday Xtremefamily.

To good friends, great kids, and dreams, dreams, dreams.

The cat that we said we weren't going to keep is warming up with her new friend Timon.  Our other dog Daisy does not approve and therefore won't be seen cuddling with this cute damn cat.  Can our dog pillow get anymore ghetto?

For Christmas we were determined not to buy crap for anyone and give them something that meant something.  We don't feel anything when we go to a store and buy something for someone for this one time a year reserved for being nice and giving gifts.  Really, what does that mean?  So the kids and Jenn decided to work on an art project that we have wanted to do for some time, a 3-D object.  We walked around the RV park and gathered objects and trash to glue down to our canvas.  We found things like giant bolts, rubber pieces, a plastic frog, bottle caps, toys, moss, metal pieces, and then combined them with some things from our house that we have collected from the road.  Then we tried to figure out what was going to be the best way to glue them down and took us a few try's to get it right.  It was a fun project and the kids were so proud of their work.  We even talked about how cool it was that we cleaned up a little around our park and that made us feel good.  Yep, we gave out 'trailer trash' for Christmas and it was the best thing we have ever given!

You can see the all three of the 'trailer trash' canvas projects we completed.

Not to mention it was flippin' freezing outside and we couldn't do much of anything else with ice everywhere.  Austin went out and captured photos of the ice that was all over. This is the artistic fender well shot...

We even ventured out in the cold and ice with the VW to see our favorite band ~ Guy Forsyth.  Not even ice can keep us from seeing him and the band.  You could say we are obsessed, because it's true.  We are obsessed.  Jealous?


Not so icy anymore we took a drive around town thinking about how much we love it here.  And how much we miss the Xtremefamily.

December 7, 2005

Dear Ed, 

It's a Beautiful Mess.

Hmm...would you even recognize our brains anymore? You remember us, the crazy, sometimes idiotic Family that was all about forging a path in the world that would complement the very thing that drove us ~ ultimate creativity, putting it lightly. Well, we have come to a full circle that I can't even put into words. Years of traveling, sometimes running, from what we weren't always sure experiencing life as a Family that believed in personal freedom has brought us to a plateau of feeling like mission accomplished. No matter what, feeling like we found ourselves through a clutter of emotions, words, people, and places. For what we have experienced in the most remote places to the most packed cities on earth eventually evolved us into a sort of beautiful mess. Beautiful for being able to reach way down into our gut and pulling out all sorts of colorful mixes of work, play, beliefs and a mess in having the job of sorting it all out and putting it into the right categories. Not always knowing what is best, but knowing something has got to change we drove, played, created, cried, laughed, and prayed towards a common goal of being productive humans with hearts of gold helping ourselves without hurting others. Taking less, creating more, and bringing the value of our existence to our kids as well as humanity itself was what we knew how to do. Doing it well was not to be figured out at all, so we learned. With that, we have reached new highs as individuals who want to know peace. Peace of all kinds with all others that have come together to be beautiful messes within their means and their existences. Kids being raised in this environment seem to find a nice rhythm within the chaos. Showing us everyday that it's not what you do but who you are that matters and makes a difference. Crying at the thought of simple happiness and experiences we have been privileged to see and feel makes me realize what life is. For what is right in front of us is often overlooked as clutter and baggage rather than the simple joy of what it can be. With that, I think of all the words we have learned along the way, how they have made us feel, and what they have taught us. Many of them your own. Now I think about the people who look for our words and the value in them and think it's all about a beautiful mess. No matter who you are or what you want, it will always be about a beautiful mess. It will be about what you go out to find, even if only right outside your front door. It's not always waiting for you in the remote places; it's how you feel about being remote and what you do with those feelings. It's not in the crowds in those places on earth, it's right inside you. Your soul is waiting for words from others. Wanting to absorb them and learn from them. Waiting to put them into the right categories. That is the mission in life. A sorting machine is what I am. What you are. What all is. Sorting things and absorbing their meaning is like fuel for a fire or food for thought. It's what you do with it that matters in life. Nothing else. It's all about what you do with your own beautiful mess. How you absorb it. What you feel. What you do with those feelings. Cry, laugh, run, play, think, feel, pray. It's things like that, which propels humans forward devouring, and processing all that is presented to them and the things that will take them to the places they want to be. Here or there, no matter where we are all present. For good or for bad, it is only more to process and chip away at. Making it your drive in life to find who you are and what you do. How you process it all. Through the words. Through the people. Through the love. At the end of the day, you are you're very own beautiful mess. Everyone is. I am. That's what I was looking for. That's beautiful. That's peace. 

barenaked love,



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