ANDREW'S MISSION PHOTO
JANUARY 1, 2020
Before Andrew headed back to school, I took his mission photo for his paperwork. He spent most of his Christmas break getting all of his appointments taken care of and filling out all of his mission paperwork.
MIKE AND SARA RUNNING
JANUARY 1, 2020
There is nothing better than starting out the New Year right with a fun run in the neighborhood. Mike and I ventured out to run our 3 mile loop up Royal Pine even though the weather was a bit cold.
NEW HOMEWORK APP
JANUARY 8, 2020
The kids were excited to start out the semester right and so they download a homework app that would help them remember which assignments would be due in their classes.
JANUARY 10, 2020
After a few months of doing CrossFit with Mike at Cross Fit Continuum, I finally started to see some muscle definition in my arms. I have never been super fit in my arms and so I was really excited to see my hard work finally starting to pay off.
JANUARY 10-31, 2020
This was month 2 of healthy eating with our cross fit team. One of my favorite dishes this month was fish tacos. I had that twice at Flying Horse. I tried to be really good about having salads for lunch every day and healthy snacks between bigger meals. For snacks, I tried to stick to a variety of vegetables mixed with my latest craving of grapes, specialty cheeses, and crackers. The key to eating healthy, though, was making sure I got in my 70-80 oz of water each day. That definitely took effort to drink that much water each day.
RUNNING WITH FRIENDS
JANUARY 11, 16, 18, 21, 26, 2020
I have so many good memories of running with Caryn and Dionne this month. From our track workouts with Striders to our longer runs on the weekends, it is always a blast when I get to run with these two girls. They have become some of my best friends and I am super grateful for our friendship and our mutual love of running!
NEW VINYL ALBUMS
JANUARY 16 & 31, 2020
Nothing makes me happier these days than playing some sweet music on our new turntable. I was really excited when my new Billy Joel Greatest Hits vinyl came in the mail. I found an original 1985 vinyl in nearly mint condition. Madeline now knows who Billy Joel is because we play his music so much.
JANUARY 18, 2020
I took Emma, Abby and Natalie to see the second Jumanji movie. It was actually pretty hilarious and fun. The girls posed in the Jumanji sign before the show started. They are a bunch of goofballs.
JANUARY 27, 2020
I wouldn't say I am the one who can lift the most during CrossFit but I am fit when it comes to the interval type workouts. It has been fun to watch my improvement in the heavy weights. I maxed out the back squat at 135 lbs and I couldn't have been prouder of myself.
HEART ATTACK DOOR FOR EMMA'S BIRTHDAY
JANUARY 29, 2020
Emma's sweet church leader and her daughter decorated our front door for Emma's birthday. Each heart had sweet thoughts for Emma. It truly brightened up Emma's day!
ABBY'S NEW HAIRCUT
JANUARY 29, 2020
Abby cut quite a bit of her hair off during her appointment and she was all smiles when she looked in the mirror. Her hair looked absolutely perfect on her.
EMMA'S BIRTHDAY DINNER
JANUARY 31, 2020
We took Emma to Biaggi's for her birthday dinner. While we were there, we gave her some fun gifts and let her open her present from Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz. We got her a cute silver bracelet and a variety of good makeup and some fun face masks. Our main gift to Emma was a mountain bike that she still needs to pick out. She is super excited to learn how to mountain bike this year. From her grandparents, she got a brand-new jean jacket and a new bracelet. She was beyond excited by all of her gifts.
This was an exciting month with Madeline. It started out like any other month with errands, weekly ballet and tap lessons and plenty of imaginative play at home. I love how talkative Madeline is these days. She loves to talk so much that sometimes she makes up stories about what she has done or where she has been during the day. She will often use one of the kid’s friends in her made up stories. It is pretty darn hilarious. When Madeline isn’t wearing her favorite Frozen nightgown, she is usually seen wearing one of her play dresses. Her favorite is still the Elsa blue dress and cape, but she also loves the Cinderella dress. There really isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t ask me to help her put on one of her play dresses. She plays for a while and then she is onto the next thing. She loves all of her dress up things, especially her hello kitty rolling suitcase and her tap shoes. She wears the older and slightly too big tap shoes almost every day. Her good tap shoes stay in her class bag and she only gets to wear those on Thursdays when she goes to her ballet and tap class. She continues to love the ballet statue and there isn’t a time when she doesn’t kiss and hug that statue as we are leaving class. This month Madeline discovered Penny the Horse at the grocery store. I decided to finally give in and let her ride the pony after paying for our groceries. It was only a penny after all. She just loved riding the pony and so I made a deal with her that when she was good in the store, she would get to ride the pony afterwards. Let’s just say we had many good shopping days. Most of the month was spent with smiles and laughter and joy. However, there was a brief period where Madeline got really sick and was not herself for a few days in a row. She actually fell asleep on my bed mid-morning those days and just slept. Even being sick Madeline is still the cutest little curly haired girl I have ever seen.
We adventured today to the Painted Mines to go walking and exploring with the kids. The last time we were at the Painted Mines was 5 years ago. This was Madeline’s first experience and she loved it. The older kids didn’t delay in exploring up and into the different geological formations. We technically weren’t supposed to be walking up on top of the formations, but we did it anyways, trying to be careful to not destroy anything we were walking on. It didn’t matter that we had been here before. Every formation seemed new to us. We all loved the different shades of yellow and pink. The brightly colored bands of clay, caused by oxidized iron compounds, are found throughout the entire park in formations including spires and hoodoos. The clay has an almost chalky feel to it. By the end of our exploring our pants were covered in what looked like chalk. We didn’t care, though, because this awesome Interpretive Park is pretty unique and amazing. We were lucky to be able to explore on a relatively warmer winter day. On our walk back to the car we shared the chocolate bar I had brought from home. That made for a great end to our adventure.
We put Madeline in one more day of ski school. She willingly went again, and we were so grateful. The rest of us, including Abby, skied straight out the back of the Charter to the Elkhorn Lift. We rode that and then skied the blue runs to get to the main area of the ski resort. We headed up to the top of the mountain and skied down the green runs, but this time Abby took us to some of her favorite runs that she did in ski school. We discovered that we really liked Powell and Piney. The kids had fun going through the Mystic Maze adventure zone. It was basically a fast and curvy narrow run through the trees. Mike and I went down it once and then enjoyed watching the kids speed down it. We had a really fun time skiing together. Eventually Andrew and Peter took off to go do the black runs off of Grouse Mountain while the rest of us stayed on the main part of the mountain until lunchtime. We headed back to the resort and ate lunch and by this point most everyone was tired from the last few days of skiing. When we picked up Madeline, she was beyond done with ski school. She had improved so much over the last few days. She completed everything on her checklist except stopping on command. She was pretty good about stopping some of the time and she even tried going down the steeper magic carpet run because her instructor thought she was ready. After one run of that she was ready to be done. Later that night Mike had a fun date planned for just the two of us. We took a sleigh ride up to Beano’s Cabin where we had the most fantastic dinner. It was a cold ride, but we cuddled together under the blankets and it was quite romantic. It was the perfect way to end our time up at Beaver Creek Resort.
We had initially only signed Abby up for one day of ski lessons but after such a great day in lessons we decided to give her one more day. She moved up to Level 5 and would be using poles so I ended up getting new poles and passed my old ones down to Emma who passed hers down to Abby. Abby was so excited when she found out that Garret would be her instructor again. She even found one of the girls she met the day before and immediately bonded with her. Madeline was a little more timid about riding in the elevator without me, but like a brave little girl, she went with the nice ladies without crying.
The rest of us spent the morning riding the green runs up on the main part of the mountain like the day before. The reality is the blue runs were closer to the bottom and somewhat icy so we stayed as close to the top of the mountain as we could. After getting bored of the green runs, Emma, Peter, Andrew and I headed back over to the double black so that we could get to the Grouse Mountain Express Lift. Mike was a good sport and skied down some of the other runs while we tried the harder stuff. I didn’t like the double black as well as I liked it the previous day. But the kids thought it was pretty awesome. We took Emma on Screech Owl and she loved it. I got lots of photos of the kids going down the moguls and off the jumps before leaving them to head to the Spa at the Park Hyatt to sit in the hot tub with Mike. Since Mike booked us massages for the evening time, we had access to the spa all day. It was so nice to sit and relax before heading back to the resort to each lunch with the kids. Just like the previous day, we ate, relaxed, watched TV, and then Mike and I headed back to get the girls from their ski lessons. We made dinner for everyone and then Mike and I went to get our massages. That was the way to do it. It’s fantastic to have built in babysitters to watch Madeline.
We took our time in the morning getting everything ready and packing the car for our ski trip to Beaver Creek. We arrived around lunchtime and headed first to the grocery store for some lunch from the deli. We ate in the car and then headed to the Charter at Beaver Creek which is where we would be staying. Since our room was not quite ready, we parked in front of the resort and then got on our ski gear and piled into the resort shuttle and headed over to the main ski area. Mike took Madeline first while I went up the mountain with the older kids. We skied up near the Red Buffalo Express Lift and did a few of the easy runs up there before Abby and I headed down to switch with Mike. The kids met Mike up at the Cookie Cabin and they skied until the end of the day. Madeline was pretty much done skiing when I got her and so we just waited at the bottom for the 3pm free warm cookies that Beaver Creek Ski Resort is known for. Madeline, Abby and I were in heaven. We decided to head over to the Charter via the shuttle to check into our room. We were pleasantly surprised by how nice the Charter was. We got settled and then Mike and Andrew headed to get groceries for the next few days.
On our first full day at Beaver Creek I got Abby and Madeline ready and headed on over to the ski base to get them checked into their ski lessons for the day. Mike bought Abby a one-day lesson and Madeline a 3-day lesson the previous day. After speaking with the instructors, we ended up putting Abby in Level 4. We wanted her to focus on more parallel turns. For this level, she didn’t need poles. Madeline went into the beginner level with the other 3-5-year olds. I was a little worried about how she would be when I had to say goodbye to her at the elevator. A sweet lady helped me label her skis and then she held Madeline’s hand and took her down to the kid center on the lower level of the resort. Madeline spent most of the day on the magic carpet with plenty of fun breaks like story time, snack time, and play time. Abby had a great time in her lesson and picked up a few new skis on parallel turns. She was excited that they made her one of the kid leaders and she had nothing but great things to say about her instructor Garret.
While Abby and Emma were in lessons, the rest of us took the Centennial Express Lift to the Cinch Express Lift and to the Cookie Cabin Summit. We spent most of the morning skiing down the easy green groomers as that was where there was the most powder…so we thought. We skied down the Red Buffalo and Booth Gardens runs the most. After a few hours of exploring this area, Andrew, Peter and I headed over to the Grouse Mountain Express Lift via the double black Golden Eagle run. It was way easier since it was mostly powder. The steep moguls would have been nearly impossible without all the powder. Once on Grouse Mountain we skied down the single black Screech Owl twice. It was definitely more fun to navigate those moguls. The boys had fun speeding down the moguls and going off some jumps. From there we headed all the way back to the Charter via the Creekside Skiway. It was so much fun to ski all the way to where we were staying. We met Mike and Emma back at the room for a late lunch. By the time we ate and relaxed, no one really wanted to go back out. Mike and I headed back out to ski for just a little longer before picking up Madeline at 2:15pm from her ski school. We hopped on the shuttle and headed back to our resort to drop her off before heading back to pick up Abby at 3:00pm and grab our free warm chocolate chip cookie. We spent the rest of the day just chilling at the resort, watching movies, and eating.