Since the girls have an extra week off school right at the beginning of the year, we decided to head to Utah after Christmas to ring in the New Year and start the year off right with some skiing.
Even though I grew up skiing Solitude and learning there on Moonbeam, we have been taking the girls to Brighton for ski school. This was Clara's third year skiing (she started when she was 4) and she is doing just awesome for only going 2-3 times each season. She went right to class and had a great attitude the whole time about it, doing a full day of instruction our first day, and then just a half day class the second day so we could have more time to ski together as a family.
Rose, on the other hand, struggled with going to class. Which is unsurprising since Clara was the same way the first year that we had her skiing. This is the first year that Rose was old enough to be enrolled (and actually, we cheated a little bit because she was supposed to be four and her birthday was still a couple weeks away) so last year she just skiied with me for a day and had done pretty well with the wedgie straps attached to the tips of her skis.
But this year, the real problem was just that she didn't want to be in the class at all. I don't think it helped that the first morning she was put in a group with a really young, cute instructor who let her quit pretty early in the morning before they actually started skiing and go back inside the ski school. Really all Rose wanted to do was play in the snow and eat it.
I know Rose and she has a hard time with anything that seems hard or foreign at first, but if she just tries it then she is fine and has a great time. Swimming, ice skating, even dance at first were like that for her. And there is almost no reasoning with her when she starts wailing about how she doesn't want to do it. But get her going and then she pretty quickly will change her mind and decide whatever she's doing is the best thing ever.
So after lunch and giving Rose a pep talk and a little tough love, and then talking with one of the program directors, we put Rose back in for the afternoon but with an older male instructor. I told him that I was pretty sure if he could just get Rose moving down the slope her tears would go away. Sure enough, even though she wailed and moaned the first 10 minutes out of the building as they trudged through the snow and got set up on skis and went up the magic carpet, once they started going downhill and she felt some actual speed, she did tons better.
By the end of the day she was all smiles and declaring how much she loved skiing.
We had a repeat performance of her tantrum for the first couple of minutes the next morning, but the same program director was there and once again, as soon as they got Rose up on skis and moving, she was all smiles and had a great time.
Which made it so fun for all of us because once classes were over Paul and I were able to ski with the girls, which is seriously one of the funnest things ever. I just love watching them ski and cheering for them and seeing how proud they are of being able to do something so difficult. There are so, so, so many lessons learned from skiing about resiliency and determination and effort, and such a great reward with speed and strength and endurance.
And the girls absolutely soak in their bonding time with us on the chairlift and skiing down the slopes. We skiied until the last minute the resort would let us for the afternoon because Clara just wanted to do run after run. I would still love to get the girls back on the slopes here in California but I don't know if it's going to happen this season with how busy our weekends are through the rest of the Spring.
I took my girls sledding at Soldier Hollow one day when Jennie's girls were in school, which was a lot of fun. Although it was still a lot of work even with the magic carpet to pull you back up the hill to sled on their runs. But Clara and Rose loved it. I was starting to come down with a bad, bad cold though and to be honest, felt a little miserable and ended up completely losing my voice after this.
Our last morning in Utah, we got to go to Emma's baptism. It's one of the main reasons why we wanted to be in Utah in January in the first place and we are so proud of this girl. She is such a sweetheart and I can't hardly believe she is already 8 and that Clara will be getting baptized next year, just like this cousin that she adores.
The long drive home wasn't too terrible. It was just me and the girls and we left straight from the baptism to head out. Fortunately, long drives like that aren't too bad for me and I'm pretty used to making them alone. The girls watch movies, read books, and enjoy snacks, and I listen to audiobooks and podcasts, and every now and then we just turn everything off and talk. It's actually pretty enjoyable.
Looking forward to skiing with these girls again next year!