Who hasn’t dreamed of being an Olympian? Perhaps you’ve imagined yourself standing at the edge of the high dive or kneeling in the starting blocks with an empty track stretched…
Who hasn’t dreamed of being an Olympian?
Perhaps you’ve imagined yourself standing at the edge of the high dive or kneeling in the starting blocks with an empty track stretched out before you.
I don’t want to speak for the boys (Dream big fellows!) but it’s probably safe to say that visiting the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is the closest Brent and I will ever get to being in the Olympics. Even if I can throw a pretty solid side kick.
Maybe you have never dreamt of being an Olympic Athlete but I bet you wanted to fly a jet after seeing Top Gun?
Yeah, me too.
Our second must-see-spot in Colorado Springs was the Airforce Academy where we learned about the daily life of the cadets. While the visitor center was cool, we’d all agree that the chapel was the best part. That is if you don’t count the falconry club.
Then two days before we left Colorado Springs I got a text from our dear friends, the O’Dells!!!
Over the winter they had stayed with us in our RV in Breckenridge proving what I already knew: they are, indeed, kindred spirits.
Now they were on their way back home to Minnesota but wanted to stop and see us en route.
We hung out. We hiked. Three of the boys slept outside in tent.
And much too soon we had to say another goodbye.
And then another when we spent our last night (unfortunately we didn’t get a picture) with our longtime friends, the Fields.
Life on the road is not always fun and games. Especially when you are an about-to-be-a-teenager and your birthday comes around. Especially when you are an about-to-be-teenager who is used…
Life on the road is not always fun and games.
Especially when you are an about-to-be-a-teenager and your birthday comes around. Especially when you are an about-to-be-teenager who is used to having birthday parties with lots of friends and family.
This year, he was going to be 13 so we wanted to try and make it special.
Thing One is a family guy. He asked if we could go back to Indiana to celebrate his birthday with my family so he didn’t have to be with “just us” this year. I said, “Sorry but we just can’t do that right now.”
Little did he know I was plotting.
For a month and a half, I hid in the bathroom to text or slipped away to the campground clubhouse to make calls for the surprise birthday I was planning.
Thing One and Two were a bit confused when we asked them if they would like to go to Denny’s for ice cream at 10 pm. (I’m not sure if they were more surprised that we said Denny’s or that it was 10 pm.)
Regardless, they were even more surprised when we drove up and saw a couple that looked like GG and TT (my grandparents) walking into the restaurant. Oh no!!! However, much to my relief, they were distracted by ice cream and didn’t think it was really them. I mean GG and TT were in Indiana not Colorado. Right?
They were in Colorado Springs for his birthday!
Saying he was happy is an understatement.
The birthday week kept getting better.
Two days later on our way up to GG and TT’s hotel room, I suggested we check out the conference rooms as a potential place to celebrate his birthday. He reluctantly agreed.
When we got to the conference room, we discovered it was locked. Like crazy woman I started jerking on the handle. The caterer opened the door and told me there was a party going on. She didn’t realize it was our party.
So I stubbornly politely threatened said, “Well we might want to have a party here so we’ll just take a quick peek at the room.”
Thing One was mortified as I pushed past the caterer and told him to take a look. That was until he saw Weewah and Papaw (my mom and dad), GG and TT, and our very good friends waiting for him.
He was shocked to tears.
Later, he told me it was one of the best birthdays ever. I think it was even better than the time I made the dilapidated limo cake.
Thing One wasn’t the only one we managed to surprise. Earlier in the day, I had dropped Thing Two off at the hotel for some alone time with GG and TT and he was shocked to see Weewah and Papaw had joined us!
It was a special weekend, indeed!
We ate in an airplane.
We all crammed into an elevator shaft and went 1000 feet under ground at the Mollie Kathleen Mine.
On our way home from the mine, we stumbled upon a delicious little bakery run by German immigrants in a town of just 300 people and ate the most delicious food.
Mostly, we spent time just being together and then, much too soon, the weekend was over.
And it was time to say goodbye.
So sad but so thankful they came to spend time with us and make the birthday of a teenager so special.
We can’t believe our baby is thirteen.
This just seems like yesterday.
Time is turbo charged and shows no mercy.
It makes us that much more grateful for our life on the road together.
Even if it means living in a small space with a teenager. 😉
We were away the day our heater broke and had a scare with Virginia. We came home stone cold and frozen stiff little turtle. Thing Two (Virgina is his turtle.) and I sat on the couch sobbing hysterically crying trying to warm her little shell in our hands. I may or may not have prayed for her to come back to life. I mean if Jesus brought Lazarus back to life he can certainly revive a frozen box turtle. 😉 A few hours later she moved her legs. Shortly after that she said, “Enough already!” and went back into hiberation for a good 3 months. A few weeks ago she “woke up” and we’ve been enjoying her every day since.
I tried snowboarding when I was about 16. It was something I always wanted to do. Unfortunately, my single snowboarding lesson didn’t go too well. I ended up riding the…
I tried snowboarding when I was about 16. It was something I always wanted to do. Unfortunately, my single snowboarding lesson didn’t go too well. I ended up riding the board like a sled down the mountain with tears freezing to my cheeks.
Being a believer in the power of positive thinking, I prepared my kids for the worst before we headed out to Colorado for the winter.
I told them that snowboarding was super SUPER hard and they would probable hate it for the first month.
Parenting at it’s finest.
We were wrong.
At best I thought one of them would love it. Never, NEVER, would I have imagined that both boys would ask to go to lessons and come home happy. Most of the time.
This was their last weekend of snowboard lessons. The season ended on a high note. They rode with one of their favorite instructors and were filmed going down double black diamonds for a Breck website promo.
Thing Two said, “It was Epic.”
Yes, little man this winter was most definitely “epic” and we have the pictures to remember it.
Our first day on the mountain heading to lessons.
They went from this…
Brent got his groove back after 15 years off the slopes.
Even mama learned to jump.
We are thankful for the Breck Ski and Ride school. The teachers and staff are amazing. They cared for and challenged the boys with enthusiasm.
Not only did our boys have a blast learning to snowboard at the ski and ride school…
…their lessons gave Brent and I the chance to play by ourselves
…and time to just chill.
In March, the boys and I decided to snowboard for 6 days in a row. Some of the days were only a few hours long but we managed to get all our gear on (no small feat) and head to the mountain Monday through Saturday. In our homeschool, we used it as a lesson in “short term goal setting”.
Their commitment paid off and I could no longer keep up with them. Just weeks before, I was riding slowly behind them offering words of encouragement and suddenly I was speeding along trying to keep them in sight.
Four months at the mountain also gave us plenty of time to spend some quality one on one time with each of the boys.
Dear Thing One and Thing Two,
We have had so much fun watching you go from the bunny hill to black diamonds. While we are so proud of your shredding skills, we are most proud of your willingness to try something new and the courage, patience, and perserverance it took to learn these new skills. Those thing are much more important than any spin or jump. We know at times the winter felt really long, the weather really cold and the rv really small but you guys stuck it out with (mostly) good attitudes. It’s been super fun riding with you and we hope this is only the first of many seasons we get to spend on the mountain together! You both are epic.