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Bluebird skies


Two days of skiing. Two FULL days of skiing. In a ROW. In a season that has felt more like spring skiing through the months which normally see the most snow fall, Friday and Saturday’s fresh accumulation (30″) was a welcome sight. Combine that with amazing sunny skies, it almost felt like a Tahoe day. Everyone else who ditched work to head to Crystal Mountain on Friday agreed. Matt had planned to head up for a clinic, he and 40 or so other instructors from the Summit taking advantage of our passes being good mid-week. About 10:30 pm Thursday night, I get convinced to haul myself and the girls up too with the promise of rotating child care and a ridiculously generous extra trip taken by a friend to get my skis out of our locker at Alpental. Amidst initial hesitation if I should really be going, excitement grew as we drove, looming Mt. Rainier getting closer and closer.


The day was gorgeous. I wouldn’t go as far as say it was epic (the lift lines and all-too-quickly tracked out runs deems it falling a bit short) but the best day of the season (thus far). Mostly good because I got to ski with Matt, which in this season of small children, a complete rarity. A solid reminder of all we give up to be dedicated to this activity and that, in the end, it is well worth it. This season I have learned what it looks like to prepare better. Being able to be up by 5:00 am, planning out food (like the home-made hot pockets sitting on the car’s dashboard shown below), kid’s snow gear (and organizing, washing and packing it each week), activities for the lodge (coloring books, pencils, toys) and the amazing cultivation of friendships with people who are generous enough to hang with the kids for an hour or two so Mommy can get some turns in. The last one involving accepting help, something I have a bit of a hard time with. 


But to see my kids, running amuck around the lodge, my co-workers playing tag with them and acting like monkeys just to make Araiya and Tallis laugh. To see these girls, eagerly begging for us to keep pushing them up the hill over and over again so they can tirelessly continue to ski back down, (even Tallis, a month shy of two nearly holding a wedge) and each time they arrive at the bottom they are greeted by a rise of cheering from a few different groups of random people  sitting on the deck watching them. To be served by my husband, who spends most of Saturday hanging out with, caring for, and carting around 3 kids allowing me to both teach and clinic in a sport I introduced him to, then being approached by strangers telling me how amazing he is with our girls. Then, at the end of two extremely busy, tiring and rewarding days, to be hauling three kids, gear and myself back across the Alpental bridge, Araiya and Tallis begging and crying not to leave, because they simply want to just keep skiing. That is when it ceases to be a sport and now has become a lifestyle. Despite the burdens, the hardship and difficulty, there is infinite reward and opportunity as we cultivate a love for our own chosen activity in our kids.


So out in the beauty of the mountains we go, into a place and atmosphere that is so ingrained in who I am, who Matt is, what we have forged together as a couple and how we perpetuate sheer enjoyment and immersion in it. In no way is it easy. There is still a lot to deal with, toddler stuff (like Tallis pooping in her pants right at the end of the day at Crystal) and being careful not to push them too hard or make them resent doing this. Hands down we wouldn’t be up there this much if they didn’t just eat it up then come home and talk about skiing, skiing, skiing all week long, even pretending the Eames Rocker is a chairlift so they can jump out and go swooshing down the hallway and back. And to see these girls of ours embrace it with reckless abandon, that they will grow up with these opportunities and memories as a family, well, that is just plain awesome!


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