Last week was such a nice break from the routine. Our family trip to Steamboat was wonderful. This trip is something we began last year. It's a private bus tour run by a husband and wife team. They've been doing it for the past 35 years. It began with a friend we met a few years back. From the time he was young his parents took him, and his 5 siblings on this same tour. Now that they've all grown up, each of them are now taking their own families down to Steamboat, and inviting their own friends along. The bus holds 53 people in total. Ours held about 12 different families, most with kids between the ages of 3 and 13. You never would have known there were that many kids, it was so quiet most of the time. In this day and age of DS and portable DVD players, iPod, iTouch, and even good old fashioned activity books, and novels, there was more than enough to keep the kids entertained during the 24 hour long drive down. That's right it takes a full day. We take only 2 dinner stops, and a couple fuel stops, but that's it. You just have to trust me when I say it's kind of nice to get a point where you're actually bored.
The kids had a blast with all their little buddies during the bus ride on the way down. D and I got to chat, watch movies, read, and sleep - ahhhh. Aside from the bus breaking down outside of the very small town of Laramie, WY. The time on the bus was a nice break from the every day rigamarole. A replacement bus arrived to rescue us moments after we had finished supper at the local restaurant. I'm only sad that I completely forgot to take pix of the experience.
With a healthy snow fall every single evening of the week, skiing was fantastic. For some reason I had had this foreboding feeling about it this year. Last year was my first year on skies, the same goes for the kids. Things went very well for all of us, no injuries, and everyone enjoyed themselves. I think, that because I was pretty ignorant about the whole thing last year I didn't know to be afraid for our safety. This year, however, I was afraid that something was going to happen. I had a pretty good feeling that the girls were all going to surpass me in competence and speed. Because of that, I didn't know how we'd manage, two parents with three kids. I knew enough about human nature to know that I could not be afraid for both myself, and my girls. I was pretty sure that if I was alone with any of them, and one of us had had an accident, I would not be able to handle it. All that fear, was for not. We put the girls in lessons the first day, just as a refresher for them. Truth be told, I really thought I should take them again for a day also, but was a little too embarrassed admit it to my family. Within the first three quarters of an hour all three of them were on the gondola on their way up to the top of the mountain with their instructor little showoffs, lol. Isabelle (our eldest) managed to fit in a couple of black diamonds before the end of the week. Me? I did just fine. It's kind of like riding a bicycle, muscle memory simply kicks in and off you go. By the end of day 2 I was no longer skiing greens, but had graduated to somewhat tougher blue runs. On the third day, while everyone else took the day off to rest up, and do a little shopping in town, a girlfriend and I went out alone to tackle the hill ... in a whiteout. For real. It was some of the most fun I've ever had. The thrill of not being able see much past your own nose, up at the top of this humongous mountain with the wind whipping at your head, exhilarating I tell you. Evenings were spent hanging out with other families either out for supper or at someone's condo for supper. One evening we went to a restaurant called 8th Street Steakhouse. It was divine, the kind of establishment that has a meat display case for you to choose your cut of steak, chicken breast or salmon. You then cooked your protein yourself (with guided instruction by the servers) on this giant barbecue, adding spices as you cooked. Mmmm. I think it's safe to say we'll be returning there next year.
Here are a few pix from the trip
Everybody is back into the swing of things, dance, piano, grade six musical, church and the like. Looking back on the past two weeks I feel incredibly grateful to have the life I have. I know there was nothing truly spectacular about the past 14 days, but I think that's the point. To realize that life is truly a gift, that everyday is a new opportunity granted to us by the One who knows us intimately to leave a mark on this world. I think, therein lies the real gift. I read recently about Wilson Bentley, the first person to ever photograph snowflakes. It was because of his work that we came to know that each snowflake was individual, unique, and that once it melted it would never be replicated. Snowflakes, in all their glory and majesty are literally, one of a kind, yet their existence on earth is so fleeting, and completely undocumented, they leave no record of their ever having been here. Scripture says we are fearfully, and wonderfully made. Jesus modeled to us that, in all our uniqueness we are to contribute to the world around us, to love our neighbours as ourselves, care for the less fortunate, and to never take our days for granted, as they were never ours to begin with, but a gift from the Father above. A gift we get to open, and receive every day, whether we're skiing, cooking, cleaning, driving our kids to and from school, working with diligence, or whatever the case may be. For this life, I am so very grateful.
Speaking of grateful here's a layout I did this week using MME Stella and Rose collection. I love this girl. This happened to be the night of her 40th this past November. I cut the tag, and sewed a backing onto it, and added a button to help reveal the the journaling I added to the layout. I needed to be able to add journaling without compromising the overall design of the page.
Have a great weekend friends,