Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Squaw Valley Ski Bums

I have not written in a long. Long. Time. (periods added for emphasis, not grammatical correctness.)
That's the biggest problem with procrastination: the longer you put something off, the harder it is to do. However, there is WAY too much to say, so I am going to attempt to throw off writer's block and put down some of these memories.

March has been the best month of my life. I am prone to say things flippantly, but I am serious and thoughtful about this. Never have I felt so much peace and contentment, been so fulfilled and productive, or so happy about the future. I can't really pin point an exact reason, but I am just soaking up this blessed time--aware that trials won't hold off forever.

As some of you know, we left the last week of February to Tahoe City--two cars, a trailer, tons of snow gear and a bunch of die hard skiers. Due to snow conditions, we hadn't skied much the past couple years and we had kind of forgotten how much we loved to ski . . . we did remember that it was something to be excited about. We forgot it was addicting.

The first couple days, snow fell slowly and surely--4'' here, 8'' there.

 Despite Tahoe's horrible snow year, we managed to have 6-7 powder days (which totally made our passes worth it). When the snow stopped, we practiced synchronized skiing, like Daddy used to do with his siblings. Total blast. Since we wear matching jackets, people kept asking if we were a team, and soon we knew every regular on that mountain!

It was awesome to feel like a local.

We eventually tried the park. Can't believe we left it alone for so many years! A bunch happened there that I cannot put into words.

My feeling of ecstasy as I landed my first 360. Karaline's excitement at making the landing on her first 25 foot table. Kelsey's terrified face as she watched the large landing fade away before she dropped 20 feet onto hard snow. Daddy and Kimmy's grins as they learned the rails. Kyla's rapid fist pumps after her successful grabs.

And then, there was my stomach churning as Baylor launched upside down and . . . stopped. He learned a lot from the mistakes he made on his first backflip attempt and his broken collar bone reminds him to pick a better jump next time.

It was such a blast to ski hard in the morning, rat packing down chair lines and trying to follow Daddy's lines down "bump runs."I don't know what it is about skiing with your family, but it's amazing--a feeling I don't ever want to forget.

"This puts life into me!" Daddy shouted.

Anything for Daddy… ;)

In the afternoons, the older kids, Daddy, and Mother would ski with the younger half. I felt like a proud parent (actually, more like a proud sister) as I watched Bentley laying down carves and Barrington and Kinsey race down the hill. Those kids have no fear.

That scares the rest of us.

Our time was even more rad when our longer-than-life-friends (our parents were friends before they were married), the Williams, came to Tahoe for their ski races. These guys are the real deal and skiing with them made us feel that all the skill we had gained was nothing. As always, we had a great time learning from them and fellowshipping. Our Uncle Tim, Aunt Brenda, and all my darling red-headed cousins stopped in as well and we had a wonderful Sunday strolling by the lake, building rock sculptures and chatting while eleven kids splashed like crazy in the small Jacuzzi. When Brendan Stevens came and hung out we had a blast skiing, snowball fighting, and sharing a massive burger (that fed 14 of us) . . . the "GNAR BURGER." Good times.

Okay. So just one more highlight: the moonlit snowshoe trip with my parents and us four oldest. It was quite the trudge on the way up a small ski mountain, but on the way down we flew. Bay discovered that by sitting down we could haul down the freshly groomed runs.
The problem was stopping.

Screaming and laughing we'd race until it felt like our snow pants were melting, then we'd dig in our ski poles for all we were worth--and keep going, and going, and going. As most of you know, Daddy is a dare devil (with wisdom) and he lets us take risks, but I had never seen him get mad about us doing something crazy until we skidded out of control down that hill. It was thrilling, terrifying, and memorable all in one. We enjoyed counting our bruises the next day.


Before Tahoe helped us understand helmets are a crucial part of one's ski gear. 
Wow, guys. So this is the fourth weekend in a row I have tried to post this. If this seems disjointed, that may be why. =)

To sum up, our ski trip was pretty much--no definitely--the best thing that ever happened to me. Our family drew SO much closer as we learned new skills together, challenged each other, and pushed each other to new heights.

Family is amazing ya'll.

I am beyond blessed to have parents that leave the status quo in the dust, and beyond beyond blessed to get to live with my best friends every single day!!!