Monday, January 31, 2011

Remember This

We did it.  We made it through the weekend.  Whew!  It was craziness.  In a good way.  A very good way. 

Friday was an exciting day packing and shopping for our trip up north.  The boys were giddy with anticipation as visions of skiing sloshed in their heads.  Ben, Grace, and I picked Joey up from school early which made the upcoming trip that much more exciting for him.  His classmates looked wistfully after him and wished him well as he beamed his radiant smile and jammed his books into his backpack.  Then we went downstairs and picked Tommy up from his kindergarten classroom where he was eagerly waiting for us.  The boys had a spring in their step as they bounced out of the school doors, happy to be on their way.  I smiled right along with the boys, remembering those rare days of my youth when I was able to leave school early for a special trip.  I recalled those very same excited emotions my boys wore on their faces. It warmed me to think the boys would look back fondly on this someday.

It was very difficult to keep the boys calm through their lunch and as I finished up the last minute packing, but eventually we were ready to go.

The three hour ride took closer to four hours as we had to do a u turn and go back to the house for Todd's ski jacket.  That, and the three potty breaks we had to stop for, really slowed us down.  But we made it to the cabin just before dark.  And it was beautiful.
The untouched snow covered every surface.  I knew it wouldn't last long with my kids and the dog eager to get at it, so I captured it in pictures.
The next morning we were up early.  We bundled everyone up and headed out to the hill just twenty minutes from the cabin.   We rented skis for the boys and made our trek out onto the hill. 
I sat Gracie down in the snow with a few buckets and shovels and let her have at it while Todd and I got the boys on their skis.  Todd took turns taking each boy down the hill and helping them back up the hill on the tow rope.  It was my job to get the boys out of their skis when they got to the top of the hill so that they could play with Grace, and then get the next boy into his skis and pass him off to Todd for his turn down the hill.  And I tried to take enough pictures (and video camera) to capture the fun.  And I played with Grace and tried to keep her from running away too.  Todd's back and knees ached from hunching over the boys up and down the hill, and I was sweating trying to keep everyone in order, but we managed.
 The boys tried very hard to be patient for their turn and did a good job playing with Grace as they waited.
Joey was the first to go down and after a couple of tries was able to do the tow rope by himself.  Then it was up and down and up and down all morning.  No longer did he have to wait for Daddy to help.  He was self sufficient and went up and down the hill by himself to his little heart's content.  He was very proud of himself.
It was harder for Ben and Tommy to wrap their little paws around the rope tight enough to hold on and Todd was happy to help.
Tommy sailed down the hill by himself with Daddy by his side.
And Ben waited for his turn.
Then it was Tommy's turn to wait.  And round and round and round and round.  Tommy, Ben, Tommy, Ben.  Down, up, down, up. 
Even Grace got in on the action.  Todd held Grace as he glided down the bunny hill.  She had a blast!  When he set her back down at the top of the hill she cried and cried.  Another future skier was born. 
After close to three hours on the hill we were all ready to head inside to warm up and fuel up.  The kids gorged themselves on hotdogs, fried cheese curds, rise krispie treats, and huge chocolate chip cookies the size of their faces.  After they were done eating Todd took each boy out on the hill one by one for a real run down the big mountain.  He helped them onto the ski lift for the ride up the mountain and propped them between his legs as he took them down a blue diamond.  They were thrilled!
It was a thrilling and exhausting day.

When we got back to the cabin we all collapsed for an hour.  Then it was back outside for a little ice fishing. This time Grace and I stayed inside by the fire and prepared a plate full of cheese and crackers and sausage for everyone to nosh on before dinner. 
Even Molly joined in on the outdoor fun and was jumping like a bunny rabbit through the deep snow. 
After a stint on the snow covered ice Todd and the boys worked on a snow fort until it got dark.  Then it was back inside for snacks and dinner.

Safe to say we all slept like bears that night.  I don't even really remember going to bed.

Overall I think we all did a very good job.  Todd and I knew that we would be requiring an extra dose of patience and calm this weekend and I think we delivered.  Over and over again we commented on how, though it was trying and exhausting, we would look back on these trips with our young family fondly.  Even strangers reminded us to enjoy this time.  One after another our elders would stop us on the hill or while we were eating to tell us what a beautiful family we had and each would gently warn us to enjoy every moment.  "It goes by so fast." they all told us.  And we knew they were right. 

These are the best times of our lives.  And we hope and pray that through all the madness, craziness, busyness, we will be able to cherish it all.  This was a great weekend.  And we definitely want to remember this.


Mom24 said...

So glad you were able to go and that you had a wonderful time. What great memories you made for your kids.

Linda said...

Oh, how much fun! I'm so glad you got to go, and that it was such a success!

I remember our 2 ski trips with our 3 kids. It was so much fun watching them get the hang of it, and just skiing all day long. We were exhausted at the end of the day, but it was well worth it!

Emily said...

Wow. While exhausting, it does look like such a memorable and amazing vacay!! Glad y'all had such a good time. The kids look adorable!

Linda said...

Oh, how much fun! I'm so glad you got to go, and that it was such a success!

I remember our 2 ski trips with our 3 kids. It was so much fun watching them get the hang of it, and just skiing all day long. We were exhausted at the end of the day, but it was well worth it!

Naqvee said...

I love your blog becz its full of love and words.. God bless u

Jessa said...

And now there's more snow coming! Looks like a fabulous weekend. Sometime I want to give skiing a try and hopefully not break anything.

Suldog said...

As much as I am NOT enjoying this winter with it's insane amounts of snow, I'm very glad to see some folks making the most of it. And I've got to admit, the photos of the as-yet untouched snow are wonderful. There's something about that pristine white that's lovely.

Dawn said...

That does sound like a lot of work but yes, so important. Your kiddos are blessed to have such wonderful parents.

MamaB said...

That sounded just about perfect! I'm so glad you all had a blast, definately good memories!

historygirlie said...

(long time lurker from NE WI finally chiming in with a comment)

What a wonderful weekend, and such great memories! We're heading to Blue Harbor resort with the girlies in a few weeks, and hope to have a special weekend too!

I hope this snowstorm doesn't hit you too hard....we're on the top end of it so we'll only get a few inches...darn! no snow day!

Dysfunctional Mom said...

That looks like so much fun!
The experience doesn't last long, but those memories will last forever, and to me that's what it's all about....making memories. =)

Jeni said...

Loved, loved, loved this post! THe photos were great -kids so cute and sweet -and ready to roll down the hill too. What a wonderful bunch of memories you and Todd created with this fun weekend with the children. And how great it will be someday to sit with grandchildren and tell them all about how wonderful true family time is and how it bonds the members together in fun and love.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Looks like perfection all weekend! I'm so glad it went well--you're right. They will always have great memories of their childhood with such fun parents.

painted maypole said...


Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson