Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Jen's "Thankful Thursday" post inspired me to think about what I'm thankful for and do a little post - I might try to make this a regular thing!

I have SO MUCH to be thankful for of course, but today I'm especially thankful for snowy days and that I can stay home with M and play in the snow with him.

He is a hoot in the snow - he laid down in it snow-angel style said "night night!" and closed his eyes like he was going to take his nap in it!

He loves to "help" me shovel and watch our neighbor use his snow blower.

Then we came inside and set up his little tent that some family friends gave him.  Only it is not so little but nearly fills up the living room!  M loved playing in the tent so this was a great "new" toy.  I'm feeling very thankful on this snowy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"My Daddy"

Last Wednesday night at dinner, our toddler looked over at D with a smile and said "My Daddy."

He has been saying "Daddy" for a long time now, but that day was the first time that he started saying "my" and put together "my daddy."

D beamed with pride and we both had the biggest smiles on our faces - it was so sweet and adorable.

Just another beautiful life experience all made possible thanks to M's heroic bio mom.  What an incredible gift she has given us.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Daddy Phase


M is definitely in "The Daddy Phase" and it is the cutest thing ever.  I used to be his favorite person in the world, but now it's pretty clear that D has surpassed me.  To be fair, D & I have both laughed about this and acknowledged that there have been many days when M prefers me over him, not to mention that M & I nearly spend all our time together 7 days a week!

Big Sky Sledding
As soon as he hears D opening the door when he comes home from work, M charges over yelling "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" with a huge grin on his face.  If I happen to be holding him when D comes home, M starts wiggling as fast as he can to get down and run to Daddy!
Getting ready to help Dad outside.

When D is getting ready for work and M is downstairs with me in the morning, he will stand at the bottom of the stairs and yell "Hi!" up to D until he comes down.  And lately, of course, he is having a mini-meltdown when D gets into his truck and drives away to work in the morning.
Opening Christmas presents (No, the cooler was not a present - we were just also packing for Big Sky!)

This weekend I was sick as a dog, so D played with M and basically took care of both of us, so M was in heaven getting to spend so much time playing with his Daddy.
Going for a walk/drive

They are best buds. But I won't complain when The Mama Phase returns.  =)
Going to help shovel snow - he even has his own little shovel!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Quick Trip to Tampa

M & I went to Florida last weekend to attend my Aunt's Surprise 70th Birthday party.  It was a lot of fun, she was surprised and didn't have a heart attack from the surprise, so it was a success.
My dancer man, dancing away to my cousins' bluegrass band!

It was easier for us to fly into Jacksonville, so we did that and drove down to Tampa with my parents.  Plus, we got to spend a few extra days with Grammie D and Granddad (M calls him "Dad-Dad") so it worked out well for all.  It was about a 3 hour drive from my parents' house to Tampa, driving through central Florida.  There's not much to see en route but it is an easy drive.

We spent the weekend mostly at our hotel and at my aunt's house, which is in a nice neighborhood not too far from the airport and close to everything.  I hadn't been there in 10 years, and it is funny how everything seemed much smaller than how I had remembered it.

When we would visit them as kids, her neighborhood was the big, fancy neighborhood with big houses, a huge golf course and lots of sun because there were hardly any trees.  As silly as it sounds, I loved that they had sidewalks!  We didn't have a sidewalk along the dirt road that led to our house in the country - it's the little things!  =)  But now the trees were all bigger, and the homes seemed normal sized, and the golf course even looked a little worn (or "well-loved" maybe?)!  It is still a beautiful neighborhood - just a matured neighborhood now I guess!
M LOVED riding in my Uncle's RV - the truck/motor vehicle obsession continues!

My sister and I actually lived in Tampa with my aunt in 2004.  I had an internship with a federal judge and my sister was working in the city too.  I loved running in her neighborhood (the sidewalks!)  and I even did a triathlon downtown that was a lot of fun.  There are some really beautiful neighborhoods in Tampa and I loved that you could see the water just about everywhere - I remember sitting in our office in the courthouse and you could see the bay out the windows - beautiful!

I still think Tampa is a beautiful city.  It was 80 degrees when we were there - yes, in January!!  So that is definitely one downside.  It is plenty hot, but lovely with lots of things to do - professional sports, arts & culture stuff, shopping, and the beach is close by.  I think it would be fun to go back one day and do one of the Gasperilla races - we did it many years ago, so I'd love to do it again sometime!

One funny note about our trip - we had the same flight crew all the way from Spokane to Jax - the flight attendants were fantastic (as they nearly always are on Southwest!).  They were all men (calling themselves the "male revue") and they made such a nice effort to help me entertain M on the 2 hour first flight, and then 3 hour second flight!  One of the flight attendants even carried him off the plan and through the terminal for me!  They were super nice.  We love flying Southwest, and no, they are not paying me to say that!

Have a great week, and happy MLK day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Big Sky, Montana

We spent New Years in Big Sky, Montana with my extended family.  When they say "the biggest skiing in America" they aren't kidding!

We stayed in a wonderful home ("Twin Lift Lodge") that was across the street from the White Otter chair lift.  We could actually put our skis on by the front door and ski down the driveway to the chairlift, which whisked us over towards the main base area.

The house was great for our family because it had a couple different sitting areas, so the kids could be playing in front of the fire while my brother and dad vegged in front of the bowl games.  It had tons of windows with great views of the mountains, including Lone Peak (the highest peak in the area).  One down side was that there weren't enough dining chairs for everyone to eat together.  We had 13 people but there were only 6 chairs at the table and 4 seats at the bar.  Not a big deal, just something to note.

Points to Note:
  • the driveway to our house was steep, but not too steep.  we didn't know what to expect, but I think in the future, I would always call to find out what the driveway was like, considering we aren't super experienced winter drivers.  there was some other homes on our street that had REALLY steep driveways!
  • Big Sky resort has a great parking set up - we could pull right up to the main base area and park for 15 minutes for free to drop off folks for ski lessons and daycare.  they also had a quick shuttle system between the free lots and the main base area - the little kids thought it was pretty fun to ride this open air shuttle (essentially a trailer with benches on it towed by a truck) and it was smooth and efficient
  • that said, I couldn't imagine doing Big Sky without a car - there are a lot of different housing options but most of them seem like they are too far away to just walk to the lifts
  • take the first day to acclimate!  for the second year in a row, we spend the first day visiting in the cabin, not skiing.  this has really helped me to acclimate to the altitude, and makes the rest of the week more enjoyable
  • there's only one road up the mountain to the base of the ski area!  we went down to the Meadow Village to shop on our last day and we got stuck for 20 minutes because a truck was blocking traffic up the mountain.  We needed to get back up the mountain to pick up the babies from daycare, and thankfully my mom was able to pick them up because we weren't moving.  I started to panic about not getting back in time to pick up M, so in the future, I need to plan better so that I can avoid this type of thing! 
All in all, it was a fantastic trip.  The skiing was unforgettable, even the last day where I nearly got blown off and then stuck on the lift (yes, both!), and then nearly panicked trying to ski back to the base due to the crazy high gusty winds - future post to come on that! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back At It

Happy Monday and Happy New Year, friends.

It's Jan. 6, so I guess we better all be back at it by now, six days in to the new year!  We just got back from a week in Big Sky, MT with my side of our family.  It was an awesome trip and we made lots of wonderful memories with my parents, sibs and nephews. 

My husband had to leave Big Sky a few days early to get down to FL for his MBA program over the weekend.  Yes, they scheduled exams for the weekend right after New Years. Thankfully, he didn't actually have any exams, just a presentation and it seems that it went well.  But it's impossible to leave Gainesville without travel delays, so he ended up spending last night in Minneapolis with its negative temperatures.  Sunny and 32 degrees in Idaho never sounded so good! =)  Well, we just got him home from the airport this afternoon and he went straight in to work to touch base.  Loving husband that he is, he brought me some Chik-Fil-A all the way from MSP!

I've got lots to share about Big Sky and my thoughts about goals, hopes and dreams for the next year, so stay tuned!