Dec 31, 2018

Christmas Break

12/31/2018 — cori
We have all been looking forward to this time of relaxation and rest. The kids had 2 weeks off, Chuck got the whole week of Christmas off, I have a month off, and Gavin had 3 weeks off. Excitement and anticipation of Christmas filled the air.

The fun began when we went to the airport to pick up this stranger. I almost didn't recognize him. I can't believe how grown-up and manly he looks. He had spent the previous week visiting his friend Pranav in Dallas/Austin. It's always good to have him home.

On Christmas morning, Chuck took it upon himself to make homemade cinnamon rolls, we didn't protest too much. It's so nice having teenagers because Christmas morning no longer begins at 6am. We had a nice leisurely start to the day since everyone slept in.

This was the first year the kids were all super excited to give us their gifts. They actually insisted that we open our gifts first. It was very special. They each put so much thought into what they bought us - with their own money, nonetheless. We got the kids ski helmets and goggles this year. Chloe spent a large majority of the morning with hers on.

We bought Gavin an SNES (a classic nintendo game system) which he promptly went downstairs to plug and play. 

The day after Christmas, we drove to Snowy Range in Wyoming to ski in the Medicine Bow forest. 

It is so beautiful and serene. There were not a lot of people around and we feel we lucked out with good weather as well (the day after we went the high only got into the single digits and it was super windy).

Chair lift photo op. Every time I took a picture on the ski lift I was terrified of dropping my phone. Luckily, none of us fell while disembarking the lift...we saved our falls for the slopes.

I think each of us fell a minimum of twice. Fortunately, no one broke anything. Unfortunately, I almost went down the wrong run twice. Once I skied into a tree to keep from going down the scary blue slope. The second time I was going too fast because I was going down the wrong slope and Chloe called after me to stop. I did. 50 yards down the mountain. I couldn't get my skis off because of the way I landed. It took like 20 minutes to get them off and walk back up the steep slope carrying my skis to where Chloe was waiting. Then it took an eternity to get them on again. I was a mess. 

The boys had their own adventures in skiing. Chuck skied right into a snow bank one time to avoid hitting a kid. He also accidentally dropped a ski pole twice - while riding the chair lift. They even dared to go down the super steep blue runs. They estimated their speed to be somewhere in the 70-80 mile an hour range. I'm sure that number is not an exaggeration.

We also celebrated Gavin's 20th birthday early while we were still all together. It was so surreal. We still are having a hard time believing he's actually 20. We did the appropriate amount of reminiscing about what we were doing 20 years ago and how it seems like it was maybe only 5 years ago.

To cap off the birthday fun, we went to see Aquaman at the theater that evening. This was definitely the year of the Superhero movies!

We also found this fun game called Puzzling Adventures that we did. It's part scavenger hunt, part sight-seeing, part Amazing Race. That combo definitely piqued our interest. We had so much fun following the clues and walking all around Old Town Fort Collins. 

And finally to celebrate New Year's Eve, we thought there could be no better way than to jump it up at a trampoline park.

I tell ya, this family is the best. Crazy, loud, goofy, smiley. I just love all the fun we have together!

Obviously, that was not a complete list of activities for the entire 2 weeks. Those were just the highlights. We watched a movie every night, I think. Tons of Brawl was played on the Wii. Lots of games were interspersed here and there. We even ate out at Taco Bell one day. Also, Gavin cooked his famous fare for us...kielbasa and mac'n'cheese. We made a couple of trips to the library, shopped alot, and read alot. Overall, it was just the way we like it.  

Dec 9, 2018

My Baby Drives

12/09/2018 — cori

I know this has happened twice before, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when yet, one more kid in our house wants to learn to drive. But it still seems to early. She's only 5. So, technically, she shouldn't be allowed to drive - ever. But alas, time has not stood still and she is no longer my baby. She's a very adept, smart, mature 14.8 year old who is beyond ready for her chance at the wheel. Afterall, she's been in the car as both her brothers were learning. She's heard the schpeel 2 times already. She's ready to put what she already knows into action.

And it probably comes as no surprise...but she is very good at driving. She still has all the first-timer struggles, to be sure, but she doesn't lack for confidence. I think this comes in part because a car is similar to a horse. She's been learning how to navigate a horse and get it to do what you want for years now. In a way, a car is much easier than an animal with a mind of its own.

There is a new phase of our neighborhood opening up which already has all the streets and stop signs already in place and not a house or soul in sight. The perfect place to learn how to navigate these scary streets. 

But just because she's confident, doesn't mean she's not nervous. She's scared to death of other she should be at this stage. This whole driving thing is a huge lesson in trust for both father and daughter. Chuck had already been driving around with Chloe for a while when he thought she was doing good enough to come pick Bennett and me up and drive back to the empty neighborhood. 

Thankfully, she still has well over a year to practice. But then like the boys...she'll be off. And life will be full of excitement and freedom that having your license brings. If she's at all like her mother, she'll spend all that newfound freedom driving up to the library and the grocery store. 

Dec 6, 2018

Love Notes

12/06/2018 — cori

The other day I walked into my bathroom and saw these post-it-notes above my sink. Bennett decided I needed to know this. My heart melted. To get these little love notes at 5 or 10 years old is sweet. But for your 17 year old son to still encourage you and show you love using this medium humbles me and makes me so grateful for such an amazing son. Another way he is just like his father.

Here's Chuck's version of the same thing. All the sticky notes lined up on the right side, Chuck left with the kids to put on my mirror once a day while he was away on a trip. Next, he upgraded to writing notes in dry erase marker.  Why does he love me so much?! I'm forever in awe of him. I can only hope I return his love in ways equally special to him that make him feel just as loved as do.

Dec 5, 2018

Like Father, Like Son

12/05/2018 — cori

This is a candid shot I took of Chuck and Bennett the other night at the dinner table. This happens All. The. Time. They both usually have either one or both hands on or dangling over their heads every time they sit down. Be it at the table, a chair, the sofa. It's incredulous. Genes are amazing!

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