FEBRUARY 5, 2021
I’ve been ramping up my running and although I don’t usually check my weight, I have been inclined lately to see where I am. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that I was under 110 one morning after my run. It's been over a year since I have seen that. Yippee!!!
FEBRUARY 8, 2021
I love watching Madeline as she dances to Mike playing the guitar. Her favorite song that Mike plays for her is the dress-up song that he wrote. She usually runs upstairs and puts on one of her dress-up dresses and then runs down the stairs to spin and twirl.
EMMA GETS HER DRIVERS PERMIT
FEBRUARY 11, 2021
We were in and out of the DMV in less than 30 minutes to get Emma’s drivers permit. The DMV has come a long way since Andrew got his permit. And to top it all off, she took the cutest picture. I’m so excited for her next adventure to learn how to drive a car.
BREAKFAST IN BED
FEBRUARY 14, 2021
I wasn’t feeling well, and it was Valentine’s Day, so Mike made me breakfast in bed. It’s always a good morning when you get to eat buttermilk pancakes, bacon and hash browns for breakfast.
VALENTINES COOKIE KIT
FEBRUARY 14, 2021
My mom ordered a cookie decorating kit from a childhood friend of mine who has her own business. We opened the box on Valentine’s Day and let Madeline have fun decorating her cookies.
FREEZING COLD TEMPS
FEBRUARY 14, 2021
We have been experiencing a rather drastic cold front. Today in the middle of the day it was -2F with a real feel of -20F. I don’t think we have had weather this cold since we’ve lived in Colorado.
FEBRUARY 17, 2021
For the last few months, I have been working with Alpine Custom Binding to customize new scriptures. I ordered a brand-new large set and had them divide it into 2 books. I went back and forth with the color of leather I wanted but settled on something delicate and simple. I love my baby blue scriptures with silver embossing. They even put in some of the church proclamations and my patriarchal blessing into the back of my Book of Mormon.
PANERA LUNCH DAY
FEBRUARY 18, 2021
I bought Panera for everyone today since it was an e-learning day for the big kids and a snow day. Peter loved his grilled cheese, Abby loved her mac-n-cheese, and Emma loved her caesar salad and napa almond chicken salad sandwich.
BIG SISTER LOVE
FEBRUARY 18, 2021
Every time it snows Madeline is eager to go outside and play in it. After she got home from school and Abby’s school was finished, she told Madeline that she would go outside and play with her. She gave Abby the biggest hug.
MIKE’S MAD COOKING SKILLS
FEBRUARY 21, 2021
For dinner Mike made Cornish hens, roasted vegetables and stuffing. It was such a delicious meal, and everyone was impressed. I love it when Mike gets the urge to make something new for dinner. For dessert Mike made a chocolate cake with homemade frosting. It was out of this word amazing.
PRACTICING WRITING WITH MADELINE
FEBRUARY 23, 2021
Madeline’s preschool sent us a chart of skills to know before Kindergarten. Many of the skills she has already mastered but there are a few that will take some time to master. We started working on writing her name. We spent some time learning the proper stroke order and then I had her trace her name a few times. She did amazing. Then she drew a picture of me under the sun. I love her drawings so much.
UNDER THE WEATHER
FEBRUARY 23, 2021
It’s always a sad thing when one of the kids is sick. This was the first day of the school year that Emma took the entire day off of school. She slept most of the day but started to feel better by evening.
MADELINE’S DENTAL VISIT
FEBRUARY 24, 2021
Madeline has been going to the dentist for over a year now and this was the first time that she sat in the chair all by herself. She did such a good job letting the hygienist count and clean her teeth. When she brushed her teeth with the electronic toothbrush, Madeline just giggled and said it tickled. It was pretty cute.
LETTERS AND THEIR SOUNDS
FEBRUARY 25, 2021
Madeline and I spent another day of learning working on letter recognition, order and sounds. Madeline has known all of her letters for quite some time, and she did a great job putting all the letters in order. She still struggles with some of the sounds that some of the letters make so we pulled out the Leap Frog fridge magnets and used that to help us with the letter sounds. She got about 70% of the sounds.
FEBRUARY 25, 2021
Emma and I headed over to Flying Horse to use the treadmill since her Kokopelli practice was cancelled due to all the snow. I did some fast walking while she did her workout. I’m so grateful to have a clean, safe, and uncrowded place to exercise inside.
HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS
FEBRUARY 25, 2021
FEBRUARY 26, 2021
With the kids being home the majority of the week to do school via e-learning, there is rarely an opportunity for me to go into their rooms and help them with some deep cleaning. On this particular day I focused on Peter’s room. It was so dusty and cluttered but by the time I was finished it looked great.
EMMA’S TRACK MEET
FEBRUARY 27, 2021
Emma ran in her first track meet of 2021 with the Kokopelli racing team. We weren’t quite sure what seed time she was capable of, so we guessed and put her in the 5:45 heat. She did such a fantastic job and finished her mile in 5:46. With two more months of pre-season before HS track season, she was thrilled to be in such a good position already.
I was only able to exercise during the first part of this month and so I fully took advantage of some great runs and a surprise bike outside when the weather was cooperating. I did an easy run with Dionne on the Santa Fe one morning after a really stressful day the day before and that was a nice way to open up the month. Then I found myself being able to get on my road bike for a quick ride outside. It felt so good to be able to bike without the trainer. I ran the CRUD Cheyenne Canyon Hill Climb with Dionne and Caryn and that was an awesome run. I didn’t get my PR but I was only 10 seconds off from the month prior and this time the road and trail were definitely snowier. My last run before my procedure was a quick little run up in Cordera. It felt good to push the pace a little in the cold. My last bike was on Zwift where I challenged myself to the Innsbruck 15-mile hill climb. It was brutal but I’m so glad that I did it.
It was a lot nicer to sleep in and then not be so rushed in the morning to get to the gondola. We parked at the Solaris parking garage again and headed to the lift line. Once again, the line was extremely long. We even got there when the gondola opened but it didn’t matter, there were just so many people at Vail who wanted to ski. It took us about 20+ minutes to get through the line again but this time at the top we all stuck together and decided to ski together for the day. We headed up the Wildwood Express Lift and decided to all ski down Hunky Dory together. Madeline did great on this true blue run and even did the harder pitch towards the bottom. From there we headed up the Mountaintop Express Lift and went a short way down the Timberline Catwalk before attempting a new run. Peter went down the black Northstar run while Abby went down the blue Northwoods run. Emma apparently went all the way down the catwalk, so Mike went after her while I attempted to do Northwoods with Madeline. There were two steep pitches that she did fairly well getting down. The second steep pitch she fell over and I had a little trouble getting her upright and started back up again but really, she did awesome on that hard blue run. I was super impressed with her mad skills. We met Mike, Emma, and Abby at the bottom. Peter was already in line to head back up to the top, so we told him to ski it again and meet us on the Highline Express Lift but then later just had him meet us at the top for lunch. We got to the top right when our reservation to eat inside was ending. We didn’t anticipate how long it would take to get through the lift lines. Fortunately, I had cute Madeline with me and when I explained that we missed our reservation and if they could just find us a table for even 5 minutes, he took pity on me and he found a table for all of us for a new reservation. It was glorious to sit inside to eat lunch and relax for a little bit. After lunch, we headed down Boomer and then headed down Flapjack all the way to the bottom. We made our way over to do Swingsville a few times and then Madeline was kind of done so Mike took her and Abby and headed down on the gondola while I went with Peter and Emma and skied down Riva Ridge. Riva Ridge was a fun run, but definitely hard in some spots. We went through some more groomed steep sections and then some deep mogul runs. It was a blast and a great way to finish off our amazing ski weekend at Vail.
We got up super early to get everyone ready and out the door by 5:30am. We did pretty well and actually left the house at 5:50am. Since I-70 was a mess we choose to drive the back way through Breckenridge. The roads and weather were actually pretty good until we got closer to the pass before Breckenridge. The roads became snowier and everyone seemed to be very cautious, so it took longer to get to Vail. We got to the parking garage around 9:30am only to find that it was full. Luckily, the Solaris parking garage was open and only $10 more per day so we opted to park there. We must have gotten there at the perfect time because we were able to park close to the front of the garage. We got on our gear and headed to the line at Gondola One. The line was extremely long, and it probably took us at least 20-30 minutes to get on the gondola. At the top, Mike took Abby and Madeline while I headed off with Peter and Emma to see if we could ski some of Blue Sky Basin on the backside of the mountain. By the time we got all the way to Poppyfields, I could tell this time would be very different than our last ski trip. There was so much snow it was almost harder to ski. I felt very uneasy skiing on so much powder with so many people that didn’t seem to know how to ski on powder. We opted to ski all the way down to the Tea Cup Express but were surprised to see the line was uncharacteristically long. We actually took off our skis and walked around to get in line since the “official” line before the bottleneck wasn’t moving. It was kind of a nightmare but after a few minutes of waiting in that we heard lots of cheering and massive amounts of people in line left to head over to the Skyline Express Lift because apparently Blue Sky Basin was opening up. It was marvelous to not have to wait so long to get on the lift. We headed back up to the top and then skied down Sourdough to try and find Mike and the girls. After getting in touch with them we realized that we could ski all the way down Flapjack and up the Highline Express lift and then meet them at the top for lunch. Apparently, Madeline and Abby had been having a great time skiing on the front side of the mountain. Madeline didn’t seem to have any trouble with more snow on the runs and at one point she fell and before she got up, she said to Mike, “I think I broke my legs.” She was ok and didn’t even cry but it was funny what came out of her mouth. We all met at Two Elks Lodge and had to eat outside because we missed making an inside reservation. We all skied together the rest of the afternoon and had a great time. We ended our day skiing down Swingsville a few times. Peter and Emma took Riva Ridge down the mountain for their last run and Mike and I took Abby and Madeline down the gondola. However, Abby got separated from us and when we got to the top of the gondola steps, she wasn’t there. We headed down the gondola thinking she had already left but when we got to the bottom she wasn’t there. Mike headed back up the gondola and found her at the top waiting. The rest of us headed to the car and started to pack up our ski gear. Then we headed to our hotel for the night and got settled, ate dinner, and watched Ponyo together.
We usually get a few random warm days in February so when I saw that the weather was going to be in the 60’s, Madeline and I headed to the zoo on one of her days off from school. She was so excited to see all of the animals. She talked constantly about the giraffes and how she wanted to feed them. The giraffe exhibit is the first thing you do when you go to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I paid for 2 giraffe feedings and when I went to hand over the lettuce to Madeline, she wanted nothing to do with feeding the giraffes. I think their dominance in height sort of frightened her, so I fed the giraffes instead. She eventually warmed up to the giraffes and was talking to them from a distance as we made our way around that exhibit. Then we headed towards the elephants and found a few roaming around outside. It wasn’t long after we got there that Madeline was already keen on leaving so that she could go and see the snakes and birds. We walked to the Australia Walkabout section and saw the red necked wallaby’s, the alligator basking in the sun, the tree kangaroo, and the many snakes and lizards. From there we saw a black bear, tiger, seals and baby moose before heading into a new section of the zoo called Water’s Edge: Africa. In this new section we saw African penguins roaming around outside, the Nile hippopotamus roaming in the waters, and some warthogs. Then we walked into the primate world where we saw the gorillas, orangutans, and siamang monkeys. The gorillas were massive and interesting to watch as they were either picking at their nails or regurgitating their food and then eating it. The most interesting animal in this section was definitely the baby siamang monkey. That baby monkey was so tiny, yet so full of energy. We stayed and watched as it tried to swing from rope to rope. It was quite marvelous to watch. As we left the Primate World, we headed down to the Skyline ride and took the chairlift all the way to the Mountaineer Summit. Most of the exhibits at the top were closed so we decided to get back on the lift and head back down to the bottom. We stopped at the gift shop on the way out of the zoo where Madeline decided on a baby giraffe figurine. It was such a fun day at the zoo with Madeline.