Early in the month we pulled Clara out of school for a week to go to Utah for a ski trip. I have amazing and treasured memories of skiing with my family while I was growing up and I'm loving every bit of creating new skiing memories with our girls.
We skiied two days - Tuesday and Thursday - so that everybody could have a break in between, but I think next year I want to shoot for three full days of skiing. I seriously don't know how my parents did five days in a row when we were kids when they were dealing with all five of us because that is a TON of gear and planning and preparation for lunches and making sure everybody has their goggles and gloves and socks and coats and pants and everything else that they need, including renting all of the equipment!
The conditions were as perfect as skiing gets. Gorgeous skies, nice temperatures that weren't too cold as long as the wind wasn't blowing straight down your neck, and the snow was fresh and wonderful. Plus, we practically had the mountain to ourselves since we went in the middle of the week and it wasn't spring break for anyone yet. It's not exactly easy to pull the girls out of school but I really feel like these kinds of experiences are 100% worth the missed days of class.
And anyway, our school district lets us take an entire week off without penalty or counting the days as absences as long as you do the full week (not a partial one) and give them two weeks notice to prepare a packet of Independent Study materials. So my mom helped Clara with a lot of the school work during down hours back at home and it's like she wasn't even gone. It helps that right now she is just in Kindergarten and doing really well with her reading so I wasn't really worried about her getting behind.
While the girls were in their morning class, the grown-ups got to ski together. On Tuesday it was just me and Jennie and my dad since Jessica had to work and Paul was still in California. Jennie's husband Ryan was there but he was taking a ski class as well since he had only been skiing once before. But we had a great time getting reaquainted with the slopes since it was Jennie's first time skiing in 12 years.
My mom was amazing and watched all four of the little girls at home while we skiied with the big girls. She said that Adelaide and Rose had a ball playing with each other. Then she packed up the 3 year olds and the almost 2 year old twins and brought them up to Brighton to meet us for lunch.
We had egg salad sandwiches and cheetos and fruit and cookies and it all tasted so good. For some reason, egg salad is the lunch of choice when we go skiing and has been since I was a kid. I love it! It's always nice to take a break and give your legs a rest from skiing and hard to get going again. The girls all had a bit of a hard time going back in for the afternoon class. Although all of them had leveled up in the morning, Clara and Emma were put in a class together for the afternoon and Lily was on her own in a little bit more advanced class.
While the big girls were back with their ski instructors, Jennie and I got Adelaide and Rose suited up and took them on the bunny slope for a few runs.
Then we hit the slopes. It was actually Rose's second year skiing and she did great! I was so proud of her! She was absolutely thrilled and giggled and laughed the entire time, just loving being on skis and on the mountain. I held her under her armpits for much of the first run, trying to coax her into supporting her own weight and standing up rather than making me carry her down the mountain (which was exhausting!). On the second run, I skiied backwards in front of her and she did much, much better even though I had to keep her upright and kept having to push her skis apart into a wedge for her while trying to explain what she needed to do to make that shape and slow herself down.
By the third run I was able to put a little distance between the two of us and have her ski to me while while I skied backwards. I would let her ski into my arms every few yards or so, catching her whenever her speed got too much for her, and she thought it was the best game ever and laughed and laughed. There was zero fear or nerves from Rose.
By the fourth run I was able to actually ski beside her much of the way down the slope and she had figured out how to stop herself with a "pizza" or wedge of her skis and I even started working with her on turns by explaining how she needed to point her feet in the direction she wanted to go. Then I would ski backwards across the mountain and she would point her toes toward me, then we would turn and go the other way, etc. It was pretty amazing progress for a 3-year old, in my opinion, and if I had had the stamina and had taken her multiple days she would have really been skiing by the end of the week. But as it was, I was selfish and wanted more time doing harder runs instead of teaching so this was Rose's only afternoon skiing this year. It was a good one though and next year she will be old enough for ski school.
Once the big girls were done with classes, we did a few runs with them to see what they had learned. I was amazed at Clara's progress and you could tell that she was super excited about skiing. The only thing we wished could have been different about Tuesday was more time skiing with the girls! A full day of classes was the right move for their first day back skiing for the seasons, but we all loved skiing together in the afternoon once classes were over and wished we had longer to do it.
On Thursday, Jessica and Paul joined us for skiing! We put the girls in ski school for morning lessons only and the grown ups skiied together.
We had another wonderful lunch (same lunch as Tuesday - we talked about doing something different but it just tasted so good that we did the same thing again!), although this time my mom stayed home with the twins and Adelaide and Rose. Then after lunch we all skiied together as a group.
There was a tiny bump at the bottom of one hill and she kept going over it and declaring that it was her "jump" and she had gotten air, which cracked me up. She wanted everyone to see it so Grandpa and Jessica and Paul all had to go on runs with us so she could show them. I was just grateful that this year she was able to get herself back up when she fell so I didn't have to keep bending over and hauling her back on her feet! And she had a fantastic attitude on Thursday - there wasn't a single bit of whining or complaining about being tired or anything - she had finally found the passion for skiing that I was hoping for for her. I can't wait for next year already! I wish we could find a free weekend to take her skiing in CA this season but our schedule is looking super booked and I don't know how we are going to be able to do it.
After skiing we stopped at Aunt Jessica's house to meet up with my mom and the girls so Jennie could transfer cars and head back to Spanish Fork. I was so glad that she had come to stay at my parents house for the whole time we were there so that we could talk and the girls could play.
My girls are obsessed with Jessica's dog, Juniper, and loved playing with her in the yard. They did NOT want to leave Jessica's house and are begging to go back. We had dinner at a taqueria called Lone Star or something like that and it was so yummy!
The rest of our time in Utah was pretty low key. We hung out at the house and the girls read books and played with Grandma.
We went to Farmington Station to watch the dancing water show and get donuts at Mad Brooks. The girls always love doing this.
Then on Friday Paul and I drove down to BYU campus with the girls and spent the morning wandering around, stopping at the candy counter in the bookstore and looking at the science exhibits in the science building. It was such a gorgeous, Spring-feeling day and I loved seeing all of the students out on campus and just feeling the energy there.
Afterwards we went to Jennie & Ryan's house in Spanish Fork and the girls played with cousins, enjoyed cupcakes from the Sweet Tooth Fairy, and rode bikes. Clara even rode a two-wheel bike with no training wheels for the first time, which was awesome! I have some videos that I really need to get uploaded so that I can post them but I know that I will put that off and then this post won't get published and I don't want to procrastinate that any further so for now, no videos. After riding bikes, Uncle Ry got his tools out and the girls did a bike repair shop, which they really enjoyed.
Then while the girls watched Moana and had dinner with Jennie's family, Paul and I went on a date to Bombay House for Chicken Tikka Masala and Garlic Naan, followed by a super nerdy but awesome date wandering around BYU campus some more and enjoying the new Life Sciences building. We also went to the library and looked at an exhibit on medicine during Medieval times.
That night John made a fancy dinner for everybody to celebrate his birthday and the Nash cousins all watched Moana (yup, our girls got to see it two nights in a row and they are OBSESSED). And we drove home the next morning! It was such a wonderful trip!