Wednesday, December 24, 2014

We Ski!

Back in August, yes August when we first moved to Colorado, we loaded up on skiing gear and bought season passes to Loveland. We decided that we were just going to commit the first winter or how else would we know if we really loved it or not?! This past week we finally got to go on our first adventure. It just so happened that cousin Alyson Fox was visiting us too and got to go along (we didn't really give her a choice). It was a little hairy finding room for everyone in the car...7 people and all that gear?! It was nuts. We definitely overpacked as we had no clue what the kids were really going to need but it all worked out and now we are hooked, already trying to plan the next day trip as quickly as possible.

It was almost like Joel and I were on a date. We drop the kids off at ski school at 10 and pick them up at 3. The instructors not only teach them, but feed them lunch, snacks, hot chocolate, and play games with them. Every now and then we would catch glimpses of them (since we were skiing the bunny slopes too) but for the most part they really don't want the parents around. I use to be a pretty decent skier (in high school that is), but haven't been in what 17 years?! I was hoping it would be like riding a bike but it did take me all day to finally feel comfortable on the bunny slopes. Joel was a dare devil with no fear and Alyson only knew warp speed! We shared many laughs between the 3 of us. 

 Joel was in heaven. I think he is ready to go to the "real" side of the slopes next time.

Alyson was all smiles and that is me inching along behind her...ha! I was definitely the old woman of the group. The comment from the ski lift operators at the end of the day to me "you are finally getting the hang of the lift!".  Every time that had to pull me forward or pull me back. I am sure they get a laugh out of us newbies.

 The kids can't wait to go back. They ALL loved it!

 The kids have to be 4 to be in ski school so we planned on putting Josie in the child care all day. I made a comment about her birthday being in a few weeks and they decided to take her skiing! I was so nervous about her making it 5 hours in the cold without losing her marbles but she was a natural! We couldn't believe it when we saw her at the end of the day going down the bunny slope by herself (instructor right behind her) and making a wedge to stop.

Jesse loved going fast! 
Asher decided on learning to snowboard so we couldn't quite get pictures of him in his group. Snowboarding looks way harder than skiing but he has the hair for it...he definitely has the spirit of a snow boarder! 

We seriously can't wait to go again! Although I am sore in places I never knew existed and had some bruises that sure made it hard to run the next day. Yes, not only did I run but I had a race the next day. Number 13 and my final race of the year! It was not my best showing for a 10K...eating bad every day, skiing the day before...I was not mentally in it but still had a blast running it with one of my new Colorado running buddies Aimee. 

The Santa Stampede in Littleton, Colorado: a beautiful flat course along the Platte River, a wonderful electric atmosphere of runners all decked out in their holiday gear, and hot chocolate at the finish. It was a super fun race and I hope to make this a annual one for me! I even ran in a Santa hat...that is about the extent I will go for a running costume. We finished in 49:58 (an 8:09 pace) which was faster than I was anticipating and a PR for Aimee (it being her first official 10K). My arms hurt to swing then while I was does skiing make your shoulders sore!?! But oh what fun!

Now it is Christmas Eve and we are following Santa on the "Google Santa Tracker", making cookies, and cleaning bathrooms. Isn't that what everyone does on Christmas Eve? Well my parents and sister (with her husband and 4 kids) will soon be en route to our house-our first time all being together in 3 years!!! 14 people and 3 dogs for 1 week! It is definitely going to be an adventure but we can't wait!!!  The cousins together are like 4 sets of twins. I hope all of you have many holiday adventures awaiting you as well. Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

November Recap

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! November was such a fun and crazy month, which also included my fairy tale but also so much more! To start the month off, I ran a half marathon..yes another half marathon, bringing the total to 6 half marathons and 12 races total for me in 2014! Well so far (there is still time to squeeze in one more)!! The Backcountry Wilderness Half Marathon was another local and beautiful trail run. I still can't get over how lucky I am to be running in Colorado...I am just surrounded by amazing places to run and awesome running/racing community. It truly is a runner's paradise! I know I keep saying that, but somebody pinch me so it will finally sink in.

 The course was the most challenging that I have faced yet in Colorado...very hilly! As usual for trail races here, I made friends on the course and enjoyed mountain views. The race itself is very young so the start line was a little chaotic...5 port a potties for 800 people, a bullhorn at the start on a sidewalk that only 3 people could fit side by side. The race itself however had a easy to follow course with great aid stations, and the post-race party was the one of the best (after to run straight up hill to the finish line...I kept thinking "how embarrassing if I have to walk this part" but I made it up to cross with a time of 2:02.28.

And I got the best race photo I have ever taken!!!!

The post race festivities included all you can eat pancakes from Flippin' Flapjacks (they were to die for!!), chocolate milk, free beer, and great music. I also have to say that the goodie bag included a long sleeve technical tee...with every race offering t-shirts my collection of tees is quite large-I loved getting a long sleeve this time! This was now the 4th race that my family could not be at in my running "career" and I missed them like crazy. I actually had to jet from the post race party to get to Asher's swim meet where he qualified for state's in the 100 fly!!!

Asher swims for "The Rock" swim team in Castle Rock. In Colorado, making states is what all kids shoot for and it isn't easy! They earn a black swim cap when they make a state cut and this was Asher's meet! Asher's specialty is long distance in breast and fly and is over the moon to have earned his black cap and a place in the state meet. We are so proud of him!

We were super grateful to have our first house guests in November! Grandma and Grandpa Thorson joined us to celebrate Thanksgiving in our new home. I am not sure it was a break for them as 4 kids were constantly fighting for their attention (and me-Grandma fixed a curtain disaster for me since the sewing machine and I don't get along-thank you Leslie!!!). But it was a GREAT time! We kept up with some of our Thanksgiving traditions which were...

 our thankfulness turkey...each feather has something that we are thankful for. We are so blessed to have so many feathers!!!

 Oreo turkeys...Asher could not be bothered to stop for a picture...too yummy to wait!

Anna is always ready for a photo op!

 The weather was so gorgeous all week that is was super easy for Joel to deep fry our turkey. This is the only way we roll now!

And the 60 degree weather was perfect for Asher and Jesse to help put lights in our trees!

I am truly thankful that we are so blessed with a loving family, a new home and adventure that the Lord is guiding us on, and all the blessings we have received by obeying him. But superficially I am really thankful that our furniture arrived so we had a table to sit at for Thanksgiving!! The house renovations are almost complete! I can't wait to share it all with you once we are there. Just don't look in my basement where all the "other" boxes are hiding!