Something that you may or may not know about me is that I prefer to keep things easy. This usually means that I don't like to go out adventuring. That doesn't mean I don't like the adventure, it just means that the more prep work, clean up and equipment handling involved the less excited I am to do it. I know, I miss out on stuff... I'm trying to do better.
So, when the Lawrences and the Eggers invited us to go to their new cabin for Presidents day weekend. I jumped at the chance to hang out with friends, but secretly dreaded the packing, unpacking and all the wet snow clothes (and even worse, the wet socks) that come along with this sort of a trip. Everyone was also talking about going... gasp... skiing and snowboarding. Now, because of my aversion to equipment handling I have never made it a priority to become a very good skier. I didn't grow up going skiing and, even though I'm married to a Canadian Ski Bum (very sexy by the way), I decided that skiing wasn't for me. I secretly wished I liked it and was good at it. And I was always mad at my parents for not taking us when we were younger (my mom probably has an aversion to equipment handling too - I think it's hereditary) but I have been out from under their roof for 18+ years and I've probably only been 4 or 5 times. I guess I can't blame them anymore. Anyway, I digress....
The other obstacle I had to overcome was to help Kelsi decide that going to the snow was what she wanted to do. She also has a problem with the mental phsyc that comes with planning a big adventure (see how it is passed from generation to generation?) The other problem was that she didn't have any friends her age that would be there. I thought I might be able to convince her to go "play" in the snow, but I was pretty sure she wouldn't be thrilled about hitting the slopes. I was right of course.
To make matters worse I started realizing that Brad and Brady were the only ones that had good ski jackets. What to do? Go spend hundreds of dollars on jackets for me and the girls just to have them sit in the cupboard for the next 8 years? Borrow someone else's expensive jackets (how would I find 3 anyway)? Tough it out, and hope it would be a sunny day and we could ski in our shirt sleeves? Well, I'm glad I didn't go with option 3, it snowed practically the entire time we were there with temps around 20 degrees. I borrowed a jacket for Kelsi (thanks Annette). I bought a clearance jacket for me (hmm, we probably won't do that again - zipper broke after 1st run). And we made due with what Afton already had (hmm, we probably won't do that again either - jacket way to short to keep the snow out). But here's how it played out. After much groaning and wishy-washiness Kelsi decided she wanted to ski, which was probably good, Brady and Afton snowboarded, and Brad and I both skied. Brady and Afton went right out with their friends and Kelsi, Brad and I hung out on the bunny hill. Brad was so nice to make sure that us lame-o's were safe and taken care of. I know bunny hills aren't the biggest thrill to an experienced skier like Brad, but it was comforting to know he was there to give us pointers and encouragement. After a while we told him to take off, and Kelsi and I hung out.
At one point Afton, Shaelyn and Taylor convinced us to go down the bigger hill with them. Kelsi wiped out several times and was more than happy to go back to the bunny hill. Here's the amazing thing, we actually had fun. It wasn't too hard for me to convince Kelsi to go up the lift again and again. She was pretty good at skiing and I liked to pretend that I was. You know, swooshing down the BDBH (Black Diamond Bunny Hill) and only falling once (mostly because I snow plowed the EN-TIRE time). I know I looked lame, because you always look lamer than you feel and I felt pretty lame. But at some point during the day I had this amazing thought. I had a desire to take our REI rebate and use it to buy quality snow clothes and equipment for those of us who don't have any, and then make it a point to go up to the mountains more often throughout the season. I would dearly like to go often enough that I didn't feel like I had to start out with someone reminding me how to get in and out of my skis and that maybe, just maybe, I could start on a hill other than BDBH.
When I broke this epiphany to Brad he nodded and calmly asked if I had fun. When I told him yes and I want to go back, he remained calm, probably afraid to move or speak for fear of bursting the bubble that had enveloped us. But I couldn't help hearing, way off in the distance somewhere, the faint sound of a heavenly choir singing "Hallelujah." I think prayers were answered that day.
So that is my skiing story, but that is not all we did during our trip.
Here's a list of some of the other fun things we did...
1. The very first thing was to get stuck in the snow. Rob and Mark both got their SUVs stuck
and stuck good. It took their kind and considerate and very knowledgeable neighbor to get them unstuck. He even had to break out the block and tackle.
2. No heater all the first night. Thank goodness for the wood burning stove (my favorite place to warm my tootsies), that I eventually got some shut eye in front of. Everyone else seemed warm enough, what was my problem?
3. Cute kids playing non-stop in the snow. Brady would come in take off all his wet stuff, curl up in a blanket and then 10 minutes later put it all back on and go back out. It was so nice to have so many little boys there to play with. Isn't this THE cutest picture of Camden? This is my favorite photo of the trip.
4. "Tree Shaking" - apparently as popular as "cow tipping" except you get a lot wetter and colder.
5. New furniture (which, by the way, looked fabulous!!). Christy finally got to sit in her red chair.
Making the entire trip worth it!
6. Steven burning his finger. And milking it for all it was worth. Awwww, Look at those sad eyes.
7. Brock - "The Bentley Whisperer"
8. Lots of wet snow clothes.
9. Stefani and the little boys putting together a puzzle. Those little dudes know how to rock a puzzle. Nice job Camden, Brock and Tyler. (ok this is Zack in the picture, but Brock was the real puzzle doer.)
10. The installing of a new chandelier. Good taste Mark! Now you just need to install 6 or 7 more and you might not have to take it out of the ceiling 4 times.
11. Valentines Day Spaghetti Ristorante' for the kids complete with heart napkins
12. Adults going out for Steak and Lobster at the "OK Corral". With a name like that the food couldn't help being good. There was supposed to be a live band but we missed it. The fake red roses were a nice touch though.
13. The last 8 cinnamon rolls from the "Take 'n' Bake" YUM-A-ROO!! - thanks guys for building those "relationships of trust" with the owner last time so he would open the door for us even after he was closed.
14. The Soup Nazi
15. Doubling the size of the very nice Ward there in Pioneer (or is it Jackson) Brady said there were more visitors in primary than regulars.
16. Seeing the Forbes ("Homer Sweet Homer") of Camp Ritchie fame. They are nice people and couldn't say enough about my Dad's help at camp. Nice people.
17. Bentley leaving a present for Mark. He knows who to make friends with. (Look close, it's NOT a tootsie-roll)
18. Yummy "Beaver" Roast Beef for dinner (That is, it came from Beaver, not from a Beaver:)
20. Snow Forts (go Melinda with the "ice-chest blocks")
21. Skiing/Boarding (see above)
22. Hot Chocolate in the lodge - just the right temperature, just the right "chocolateyness" (yes, this is a real word in the world of hot chocolate.)
23. I88 being closed (avalanche control) when we were done on the slopes.
Darn! We had to stay in the lodge and drink more hot chocolate (see #21).
24. Leaving Afton behind an extra day to hang with her friends and miss school (Lu-ckee). The 3 of them sang, "We Love You Ste-fa-ni" (they are so cute) and Afton made crazy promises in hopes we would let her stay, (Ahhhh, I can already feel that back massage)
25. Leaving late and getting home late.
26. Have a blast amidst the chaos of 22 people and a dog, a small stomach problem and lots and lots of wet, tired, cold kids and adults.