We took a ski trip at the beginning of March with the Howe family to Purgatory, CO.
Mendy and her family have been there multiple times and she recommended it to my mom as a great place for our family to go and stay and ski.
It ended up being just perfect!
The kids and I went early on a Wednesday with Honey & Boss. We flew right into Durango after one layover and it was a little challenging to keep Dylan entertained during the entire trip but overall they did great.
No joke, while Kinley enjoyed playing with her Barbies, I really did look up at Ty reviewing the airplane safety manual in detail like he was instructed to.
The airport in Durango is tiny and wonderful.
No lines, no waiting, the bags and rental car and de-boarding is all in one place and so easy. They had the cutest little ski lift chair and snowboard to take pictures on..so we took a few..
Mom and I tried to hop on too but didn't look near as cool as the kids. We couldn't stop laughing.
We got in our rented minivan, (which my kids legitimately thought was THE coolest thing about Colorado. I would be winning serious mom points if I drove a minivan) drove into Durango to do our grocery shopping and then on to Purgatory to our condo.
It was right on the slopes and perfect.
We immediately went outside to play in the snow.
We sledded down ski slopes and walked to the base of the mountain for dinner.
It is amazing how fun and convienient the base of Purgatory is!
Day one of skiing was just focusing on Kinley and Ty.
Another amazing perk of Purgatory is childcare!
I dropped Dylan off at the onsite childcare each morning for 2 hours while we could all go ski with Kinley and Ty. Then we picked him up and all went to the house for lunch and then he took an afternoon nap. We rotated staying in for the afternoons with the napping babies and it just all worked out great.
The weather the whole week was great for kids learning to ski. Sunny and almost too hot! Like 61 some days and by the afternoon the snow felt a little like a snow cone slush beneath our skis. But it was so fun riding up the mountain with my babes.
Kinley picked up right where she left off last year.
She was zipping down the slopes in no time. She is so spontaneous and fearless when it comes to trying new things. She just goes out on a limb and does it, kind of like her dad, and it is so fun!
Honey and Boss took Kinley up the big mountain after lunch on Day one and I stayed in with the boys. She was in heaven one on one with them...and so were they.
Thursday evening Ben, Bart, Olivia, Anson, Matt and Sandy all came in town. They flew in all together and unpacked a little while we prepped for dinner.
All of the sudden I looked up from the kitchen and noticed Anson had changed clothes and before it could really register just yelled in excitement because his shirt said "BIG BROTHER" on it! What?! We were all surprised and SO excited that Bart and Olivia are going to have another baby!
It was just the perfect way to start the trip!
We were on an excited high the whole night just thinking of a new baby. We had dinner, took it easy and went to bed.
Day 2, Ben went with Kinley and Ty and I in the morning. It was so fun skiing as a family. Ty was much more cautious than Kinley. He is a little more like me in that, I am not sure I want to try something unless I know I can do it well the first time. What pressure we put on ourselves!
He didn't quite master skiing on his own this year. But, he sure looked cute dressing the part. He would do the bunny slopes as many times as we asked him as long as he could go between our legs, hold on to a pole or hold my hand. He would let go closer to the bottom and do it on his own. But, he was much more fearful than I expected and just wouldn't let go from the top of the hill. He mainly took advantage of morning skiing and rested most afternoons back at the condo.
One afternoon mom stayed in during Dylan's nap and Ben and I got to take Kinley up on the big mountain. It was so fun skiing with her!
Here we are skiing through the cutest little kid "town" on the mountain with Boss, Matt & Sandy.
This run was precious.
It had lots of little houses and building frames to ski through and Kinley loved it.
Boss, Matt and Kinley taking a pic with the train to show Ty.
Durango is just SO beautiful!
A little hot chocolate break at the top of the mountain pic with Aunt Sandy.
Each evening we would walk down to the base and hang out around the fire and look at these sleigh ride horses. There was one set of clydesdales that were the biggest horses I have ever seen. The guys were so nice and let Kinley and Ty sit on the horses.
My kids looked absolutely tiny on these huge horses.
Another, more normal size set of horses learning to pull the sleigh up the mountains.
Anson wasn't having it....he liked them much better from his mommy's arms.
Why not take a picture with a bear statue.
Kinley and I wearing our Mountain Mama Celebrate-Always shirts.
Most days our family is a walking celebrate always ad.
Pretty much every t-shirt we own my best friends made.
After the morning child care, lunch and a nap, sometimes Dylan and Anson would come out and sit in the adirondack chairs at the base of the mountain and watch the skiers come down.
I am pretty obsessed with these boys.
They are SO cute together.
And these matching snowsuits were just too much.
See what I mean!?
Anson was just sitting politely and quietly in this chair eating a snack and Dylan had to climb up and sit right next to him.
Tried to get a couple pics of all three of my kids...this is about how it always goes.
Sliding down snow hills after the lifts were closed for the day.
A few more pics of the cutest snowsuit ever.
The best parts of the trip were just all hanging out together in the evening.
We would have dinner, put the kids to bed and play games and laugh.
I just love those times.
It was a good trip to take during a pretty tough time for our family.
We originally planned this trip to celebrate my mom's birthday.
And we did that, but it was so bitter sweet.
My Pepa was very sick and my mom and dad ended up having to leave the trip early to be with him.
It was a tough way to end a fun family trip.
We did the best we could and pulled together a lunch birthday celebration for my mom with presents and cake and decorations the day before her birthday before they headed to the airport.
We took no pictures at all.
We knew it was a birthday celebration we would never forget.
We prayed and prayed that mom and dad would make it home before he passed away.
We didn't understand the timing.
My mom asked multiple times before we left for the trip if she should go at all. She was encouraged and assured to go. We didn't expect the call to come home early.
The timing just didn't make sense to us.
But, we trusted.
God's timing is always perfect and we knew He was in control.
I praise Him so much for that sweet time together as a family.
I praise him that Olivia and Bart brought the BEST news of new life that brought us so much joy as we were losing another precious life.
I praise Him that my mom made it home, held his hand, and was with him a couple hours before He left to be with Jesus.
And I praise God that when we found out Pepa had passed, I was at the table with my husband and siblings all together. It reminded me so much of the call we got at lunch all together with Bull passed away. God so carefully placed us together again around a table with our family, breaking bread together. There is no "coincidence" in that. God is purposeful and perfect and so intensely detailed in each person's life.
We took in that news and grieved and celebrated and toasted to a life for Pepa all together.
Even though, at first, we didn't understand God's timing, we can see now, how perfect it was.
He is in every detail and cares so much.
Even though it ended differently than we planned, it was a precious time and a trip we will never forget.