I finally have uploaded my pictures from our trip to Colorado more than a month ago. I have nothing but laziness to blame for the long delay.
Mike and I had differing opinions on whether we should drive to CO or fly. I didn't want to spend 10+ hours in the car with Jake (who has never loved the car anyway, though he's much better now), and Mike didn't want to spend the money for 4 plane tickets (Jake is still free if he sits on my lap). So, we compromised. I used credit card points to purchase a plane ticket for myself and Jake, and Mike, Zach, and Drew drove out. This was the best of both worlds, because it meant we didn't spend any money on plane tickets, nobody had to endure the drive to CO with an active one year-old held prisoner in his seat, and we still had a car to drive as opposed to renting one. So Jake and I flew out Wednesday night, and Mike and the big boys drove partway that night. They finished the drive the next day. I got this picture as a text at some point.
While Mike and the boys were driving out, I got to meet up with my childhood friend Gina and her daughter Ari, who is 3 months older than Jake. It was very sweet to see Ari and Jake watching each other and playing side-by-side, and it was really good to see Gina again.
Mike and the boys arrived around noon. It started snowing that night, and by early Friday morning, Denver had gotten a bunch of snow. I can't remember how much- 10 inches, maybe? We were worried we wouldn't be able to get up to the mountains for our weekend with my high school friends, but we decided to give it a try. We hopped into the car and headed west, and I-70 was snow-packed and icy in spots, but not as bad as we expected. I was thankful that Mike was driving, though, because I would have been too nervous.
We got to Winter Park, got our ski equipment, and hit the slopes for the first time in probably 5 years.
After our first run we were able to meet up with my high school friends Ian and Ana, and Ana's husband Keith. We all skied one run together before Keith, who skis 3-4 times a week, took off for some harder runs. Then Ana, Ian, Mike, and I did another green together before I assured them I'd be okay on my own and encouraged them to go on to the blues they were itching to get to. And I was fine. I'm kind of a scaredy-cat skier, especially after 5 years have passed since my last venture out on the slopes. But I am perfectly content to ski greens all day, build my confidence, and enjoy myself, rather than move to something more challenging and feel tense and stressed out. At the same time, I don't want to hold anybody else back from skiing the runs they want to ski, which is why I encouraged Ana, Ian, and Mike to go on to harder runs without me. We set a time and met back up later for some lunch, at which time we had another skier take this picture. Keith had already taken off, though, so he missed the photo-op.
When the lifts closed, we headed back to our rooms at Devil's Thumb Ranch. We all wanted to save a little money, so rather than staying in the main lodge, we opted to get rooms in the bunkhouse, which was still wonderful. We got showered up and headed to my friend Preston's parents' house in Tabernash for the pre-wedding dinner party. It was so fun to see old friends again and to just relax and hang out. While we were out, I got this picture as a text from my sister. Zach and Cam really were sound asleep like this. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I think this one speaks volumes about what good buddies these two cousins are. I really love this picture.
On Saturday we started the day with a little tea and a pastry at the cafe at Devil's Thumb Ranch, and then Mike, my friends, and I all headed to the spa for some yoga. This was my first yoga class, and it was fun. Later we went into Winter Park for some delicious brunch, and then back to the ranch for some relaxing before the big wedding. Here we are just before heading to the ceremony, which was at the ranch, too.
Mike, me, Ana, and Keith
Me, Ian, and Ana- Ian and I went to the same elementary school, and we met Ana in junior high, so we've all been friends for a very long time.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful, and the reception was lots of fun. Great food, a blue grass band, and good friends. This picture shows Ian, Ana, me, and Bill (another friend since junior high) at the bar at the reception.
The whole Wheat Ridge crew- Bill (who lives in CT and I haven't seen in 6+ years), Ana, Preston (the groom, another friend since junior high), me, and Ian.
Mike and I were up early on Sunday morning to head out of town and get back down to Denver to celebrate Christmas with my whole side of the family. We had to get one quick picture of the mountains as we left.
We had so much fun up in Winter Park for the weekend, and we knew our boys were having a blast down in the city. Zach basically spent the entire time at my sister Becky's house, and of course loved every minute he got to spend with Aunt Becky, Uncle Tom, Cam, and Myles. On Friday night my sister Sandy, brother-in-law Will, and nephew Anders had arrived from Minneapolis, so Drew was very happy to have his "best cousin" Anders to play with. And Jake was doing well with Grandma and Grandpa taking care of him. We were thankful to know that everybody was in good hands and having lots of fun. I know while we were gone both Zach and Cam and Drew and Anders got to go sledding, and they enjoyed that a lot. I sure would love to see some pictures from that weekend... (get the hint, sisters??) (or Mom & Dad??)
Everybody was pretty excited for our Christmas celebration on Super Bowl Sunday. We got to the stockings right away.
Then we moved to the presents, and even Sadie got in on the action.
Then it was time for presents.
Jake loved his lollipop drum from Grandma and Grandpa.
Drew, Jake, and Anders enjoyed playing in the log cabin that Grandma made for Anders.
I like this picture of Anders and Drew playing with the little toy computer we gave to Myles. The funny thing is that Drew is laying in the bathroom. I guess with all those people and especially all those cousins, quiet space was hard to come by, so they took the first place they could find!
Before Uncle Tom headed home to watch the big game in peace (he's from Massachusetts and is a big Patriots fan), he took Zach and Cam outside for some fun in the snow.
After the little boys woke up from naps and while we moms were working on snacks for the game, much of the family enjoyed some Little Rascals.
On Monday Sandy, Will, Becky, Tom, Mike, and I took all the boys except for Jake to the Museum of Nature and Science. We checked out some exhibits and then saw an IMAX movie on winged dinosaurs. It was pretty cool, but maybe a little too scientific for the kids. They liked the 3D aspect of it, though.
That evening, we finally got a picture of all 6 of the cousins together. Trying to get 6 boys ages 6 and a half and under to smile and look the same direction is pretty much impossible, though. I picked the best ones of the bunch. Ages of the boys are- Zach- 6, Cam- 5, Myles- 2, Anders- 3, Drew- almost 4, and Jake- 14 mo.
Mike, Zach, and Drew headed out early Tuesday morning, and Jake and I flew home midday. It was a pretty rough flight, as I had to wake Jake up early from his nap to get to the airport, and then he was tired and incredibly antsy the whole flight. At the airport, the only thing that kept him happy was the moving walkways, which was great until we got to the end of each one and had to get off. Then Jake would cry and fuss and go all floppy on me. Once we got to the last walkway, we rode it about 4 times back and forth until we had to head to our gate, and that didn't go over so well.
Though ideally flying would be easier, it seems Zach and Drew were sufficiently worn out from all the fun with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and I think Mike probably had an easier trip home than I did.