A day in ski boots is a good day: Skiing Big Sky

I’m not very good at lying on a beach, but a day in ski boots?

photo-51

That spells v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n to our family!

I’m recording it here so I can remember the details that make it such a perfect day… Starting with the early morning view from our condo window right when I open my eyes:

condo window view

Then out to the base area to get everyone rigged up.

photo-52

Matty, Adam, Cara ready to go!
Matty, Adam, Cara ready to go!
The skier and the snowboarder (cousin Karlee) ready to hit it.
The skier and the snowboarder (cousin Karlee) ready to hit it.
The skiing moms ready, too.
The skiing moms ready, too.
TO THE TOP
TO THE TOP

Quick stop for a few photos:

me and our girl

J squared
J2 !
JANELLE OUR BELOVED RULE-BREAKER
JANELLE OUR BELOVED RULE-BREAKER

And down…

OUT OF AFRICA
OUT OF AFRICA

Lift. Run. Repeat. All morning, until it’s lunchtime:

Lookit what we found after a little spill.
Lookit what we found after a little spill.
"When in Rome..."Goes great with pizza slices and sandwiches -- anything quick to get back on the mountain!
“When in Rome…”
Goes great with pizza slices and sandwiches — anything quick to get back on the mountain!
Liquid lunches are good, too. Cheers!
Liquid lunches are good, too. Cheers!

After an afternoon of more slopes action, it’s finally time for the La-la-la-last run. Bittersweet…

Lalalalast run

And if I win the lottery, the FIRST thing I will do is hire someone to take off my ski boots at the end of each ski day.

boots lottery

Ready for the pool and hot tub?

CARA IN HER ELEMENT.
CARA IN HER ELEMENT.
OUR MATTY
OUR MATTY
OUR BOYS SOAKING.
OUR BOYS SOAKING.

And with more condo games and action with our big group of family and friends, the day wraps up.

L-C-R was a fave this year!
L-C-R was a fave this year!

Too soon, yet right on time, it’s sunset in Big Sky. Here’s to one of the most perfect days.

sunset-from-the-living

Advertisements

Hosanna! indeed (You can’t have Easter without Palm Sunday)

Our little Caroline joined the Children’s Choir at Hosanna! church a few weeks ago. With just three rehearsals, she and her choirmates rocked Palm Sunday! They sang their little hearts out at all three (!) services. Each time, through proud tears, I couldn’t help but think this is what it must have been like in Jerusalem so many eons ago. Hosanna! indeed, Jesus. Way to ride right into the hotbed of Roman rule to preach God’s words.

I now feel braced for the events of Holy Week.

After all, you can’t truly have Easter unless you also go through Palm Sunday and Good Friday. That’s God’s grace.

And here are some images of our little vocalist …

IMG_3162

IMG_3163

IMG_3172

IMG_3179

IMG_3180

See a video snippet here.

St. Patrick’s Day Sleigh Ride – Big Sky, MT

The area in and around Big Sky, Montana, is a magical place for our entire (and I mean extended!) family. One of the most memorable evenings is at Lone Mountain Ranch for their Sleigh Ride. Years ago, Greg’s brother Curt proposed to his now wife on the sleigh ride! This year didn’t top that event, but it was filled with wonderful moments…

Our Maître d’

We were greeted by Wayne, the resident dog (don’t tell him that), who took his maître d’ responsibilities VERY seriously. He politely welcomed each of us individually, accepted some ear rubs, then ushered the kids over to his draft horses (I believe the beautiful Belgian draft horses belong to the Ranch, but don’t tell Wayne that).

wayne

Beautiful (and flirty!) horsepower

We met the gorgeous horses who would pull our sleigh up the mountain for our dinner … and get us back home.

IMG_3125

IMG_3129

He said, "Kiss me, I'm Irish." It was St. Patrick's Day! (But I'm certain I heard he's Belgian...)
He said, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” It was St. Patrick’s Day! (But I’m certain I heard he’s Belgian…)

Wine-ohs

My sis-in-law Janelle and I had time for a little wine (don’t we always?!) before we snuggled into our sleighs.

wine-ohs

Seated and snuggled under thick wool blankies!
Seated and snuggled under thick wool blankies!

Of course the horses wear sleigh bells, so we jingled our way up, with a few stops for them to rest.

IMG_3136

Just a not-so-little reminder of why this is called Big Sky!
Just a not-so-little reminder of why this specially blessed area of God’s World is dubbed ‘Big Sky!’

Candlelight makes everything better

Then, we arrived at the rustic (not electricity, no plumbing, no gas) North Fork Cabin.

northfork_1

IMG_3146

wine-by-candlelight

Inside, a Prime Rib dinner with entertainment by Bruce Anfinson, his guitar, and his delightful songs about Charlie Russell, huckleberries, home-grown tomatoes and the state he so adores: Montana.

bruce

Our group settled in for the amazing family-style meal of locally grown delicacies….mmmm….

IMG_3142

IMG_3141

Cheers! Greg and I first came to the sleigh ride in March 1997. Comforting that even though so much as changed since then ... the really core things have stayed steady. Love you, sweetie.
Cheers! Greg and I first came to the sleigh ride in March 1997. Comforting that even though so much as changed since then … the really core things have stayed steady. Love you, sweetie.

My favorite, of course, the fresh Montana blueberry cobbler with hand-whipped whipped cream. Enjoyed with people I so adore and appreciate, while a great musician sang and strummed. Did I mention Montana is a magical place?

cobbler

Too soon–yet just right–it was time to board our sleighs for the moonlit ride back down the mountain.

stars

And that, my friends, is how you celebrate the magic of Montana. Sweet dreams guaranteed!

Road Trip to Home Sweet Home

What did our family do on the first weekend off from our own kid’s hockey season?

Drove 328+ miles to watch more hockey!

Moments I’ll forever remember from our
Road Trip to [one of my] Home Sweet Homes (aka North Dakota):

The kids, along with cousin Adam who we picked up in Fargo, so excited going into The Ralph. Matty literally skipped up the walkways. Love that boy.

photo-27

Visiting with my colleague Susan, in seats from my colleague Linda (Thanks, Linda!). Love these smart professional ladies, and don’t see them often enough since I work remotely. Another reason we work together so well? We all love Sioux sports!

A little date time with the best souvenir I ever found in North Dakota, hubby Greg (the kids sat in other seats with other relatives). Ah, the times he and I have spent watching Sioux hockey … 21 winters now!

photo-28

Thinking about my father-in-law, a veteran, in his seat across the arena, as we all proudly watched Former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha ceremonially drop the puck before Friday night’s game. He’s only the fourth living U.S. soldier to receive the Medal of Honor. As it turned out, that was by far the most exciting moment of the game. Here he is in a more somber moment, Feb. 11:

photo credit: WhiteHouse.gov
photo credit: WhiteHouse.gov

Watching our Caroline talk her Grandpa’s ear off during the game, and seeing him smile and listen and laugh. Generations bridged!

Listening to my mother-in-law tell stories about my husband and his youth hockey days. I never tire of those tales!

Thinking about how much fun our daughters had staying overnight with Gram and Gramps.

Watching our nephew Adam play in his final tourney of the season in Fargo ~ Go Freeze!

When your aunt and uncle are on penalty box and scorebook duty, you get to help.
When your aunt and uncle are on penalty box and scorebook duty, you get to help.

Settling in for Saturday Night at The Ralph ~ MUCH better game with a little of everything, including OT and the bittersweet Seniors Night!

photo-30

Finding one of our middle-schoolers’ classmates at The Ralph (we’re actually surrounded by UND grads and fans in Lakeville):

photo-33

One last hockey game on Saturday morning for Adam and his Squirt teammates. Barn burner that went to OT.

photo-32

A weekend of memories from a very special place I’ll always proudly call one of my home sweet homes.