A Family Ski Trip

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Over the long Martin Luther King, Jr holiday weekend, Jon, Ian, and I joined my family for our annual ski trip. This little tradition is something my parents started over 5 years ago, and they’ve continued to foster it so that each year my entire family gets together and enjoys each other’s company while hitting the slopes. It’s always a lot of fun, and even though I couldn’t actually go on the mountain this year, I still enjoyed myself. We had a packed house- 9 adults and 4 kids (ages 3 months, 2 years, 9 years, and 11 years), but the house we rented was nice and spacious so it didn’t feel crowded or overrun.

I could probably write a hugely long post about this fabulous trip, but instead I’ll just hit the highlights (though it will still probably be long!).

  • The weather was actually pretty great
    The weather was not too cold, but also not so hot that the conditions on the slopes were terrible. It hovered around the 30s on Saturday and the 20s on Sunday. All in all, pretty nice. This allowed me and Ian to go outside and play in the snow a large majority of the weekend. He LOVED tromping through the snow.

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    • Seeing family was fantastic
      Since we do live 10 hours away from my family, it was so nice to be able to get together with everyone and just relax. The house we rented this year was enormous- each family had their own bedroom and bathroom. There were also two large gathering areas and a really big kitchen with a table that fit everyone comfortably. It was wonderful to have a bit of your own space to balance the family togetherness.
  • Ian rode a horse and got a cowboy hat
    On Sunday, only my dad, mom, brother #2, and Jon went on the slopes. The rest of us decided to get out of the house together and do something together. We found there was a little farm not too far away that offered hour long trail rides. Riding a horse was out of the question for me, but they told us there were pony rides for younger kids, so I decided to tag along for Ian’s sake. Well, the pony was not a pony- but a full size horse! After some coaxing (and yes, maybe even a bribe of ice cream), Ian finally agreed to get on the horse and ride around the field a bit. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but before too long he really seemed to enjoy himself. He was talking to me and the horse and even cracked a smile or two.

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    • Ian also let a llama eat out of his hand
      At the same farm where we did the horribly misnamed “pony ride”, there was a petting zoo. Ian was intrigued by the alpacas that were out grazing in the field. He also seemed to really like the donkey. Inside the small barn, we met some rabbits, a llama, and a goat. After watching me feed the llama, Ian decided he was brave enough to attempt it. He stuck his hand out flat, we poured the feed into it, and he let the llama eat all the food from his hand! I was amazed and also a little proud.
  • Caring for a toddler and an infant is HARD!
    On Sunday evening, everyone trekked out to the tubing park and spent 2 hours going down the runs. Since my doctor told me tubing was not in the cards for me, I ended up babysitting Ian and my baby nephew. Fortunately, my brother and sister-in-law had a baby carrier, so I was able to strap my nephew to me, and he fell asleep almost instantly. Unfortunately, Ian was so annoyed that he wasn’t able to tube with everyone else that he became cranky and whiney and insisted on being carried, too. Carrying three kids is tough. Thankfully, my brother came to my aid about halfway through tubing and took his son off my hands so I could focus on Ian. And then for the last 30 minutes of tubing, Jon came and played with Ian (putting him in a tube and pushing him down a small hill) while I carried my nephew in the carrier again so my brother could tube more. Having help made such a big difference. I went from feeling so incredibly overwhelmed (and frankly, a little scared of what things will be like when I have 2 like this of my own) to feeling like things were easily under control. If anything, this showed that I will need to learn to accept (and welcome!) help when this baby comes in May.

I’m excited for next year’s trip… I’ll be able to participate, and Ian might even be able to strap on a pair of skis or go tubing with us (he just might be 42 inches next January!).

Do you go on a trip with your family during the year? Where do you go/what do you do?

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A long trip, fun with family, and a wonderful wedding

This past weekend was a whirlwind, but man was it fun! My oldest brother got married on Sunday, so we treked back to Virginia to celebrate with him and his bride (and to see family). A whole post about that adventure would be just way too long, so here are 5 things about our trip.

1. Driving at night is tiring but so much nicer when you have a toddler!
We left our house at 5pm, stopped around 6pm for dinner, got back on the road by 7pm, and (after stopping once for fuel) finally arrived at my in-laws at 3:30am. We were beat but Ian was able to sleep through most of the trip and passed right back out as soon as we got him into the bed. It was lovely not having to stop multiple times or attempt to keep him happy and occupied the whole journey.

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2. “The Wheels on the Bus” is a fine song…but is best in moderation
This is Ian’s new favorite song, so we sang it a million times this weekend. Most of those times were while we were in the car…because what else is there to do when you’re stuck in a seat but sing a children’s song? The only plus is that he is so incredibly cute when he sings along and does the hand motions.

3. A ball is really the only toy you need
We knew we didn’t want to bring a bunch of Ian’s toys with us this trip because we didn’t want the hassle and didn’t want to forget or lose them. I was a little hesitant to do this because we normally take a horde of toys and I wasn’t sure how Ian would react to not having them. But we found that as long as he had a ball, he was happy as a clam.

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4. Weddings are a different kind of fun with a toddler in tow
Before Ian was born, we had a lot of friends getting married and went to a fair amount of weddings. They were a blast. An opportunity to get a little silly, reminisce with friends, and stay up really late. After Ian was born, we still had friends getting married. So we were attending as new-ish parents (he was 7 or 8 months for his first wedding). This was a different kind of fun and it took some adjusting. Instead of getting too crazy, we were showing off our son to our friends and worrying over whether he would interrupt the ceremony or have a meltdown during the reception (fortunately we were blessed with a pretty amiable baby, so we normally worried needlessly). With a fully mobile, excitable, little person on our hands, this wedding was yet again a new experience. We spent a lot of time dancing to the music and sampling the food (and desserts!). We had a lovely time, even if it was somewhat exhausting!

5. Making time to visit family is so important
Living 10 hours away from family, it can be hard to justify the time, expense, etc involved in making the trip. But it is always SO worth it. Seeing Ian interact with his grandparents, aunts, and uncles is the best. And of course I love getting to connect in person with our families. It’s always a little sad on the day we head home, but we truly cherish these moments and memories.