Monday, January 15, 2018

White Pass | 2018

We took our two little snow bunnies up to the mountain this past weekend.

Ryder went to White Pass for the first time when he was about nine months old, and we really wanted Kiley's first ski trip to be just as fun. 

It was a success!

We arrived super late on Friday night and checked into our room at White Pass Village Inn. It took a while to unpack the car and convince the kids, who had slept most of the way, that it was still nighttime, but eventually we got them back to bed. 

The next morning, Ryder was thrilled to wake up and realize that we were at the mountain! 

We could see the ski area and the lifts opening right from our front window.

Ryder was super excited to try snowboarding on his own for the first time this year.

We all bundled up and headed out on the hill just as the sun started to shine through the clouds.

Kiley chose to nap through that first morning snowboard lesson...

Ryder was all geared up and ready to go...

He did such a good job as Stew took him up and down the bunny hill for his first few times!

Eventually, he even tried out the magic carpet.

Even though Ryder was a total trooper, learning to snowboard is tiring stuff, and eventually he just wanted to play in the snow like a little kid.


As usual, we were on the trip with the Christiansen family. Baby Jane even learned to ski!

Later that day my mom and sister arrived, and since the weather ended up being so beautiful, a group of us decided to go snowshoeing around the frozen lake in the afternoon.

When we weren't playing outside, we found lots of ways to entertain ourselves in our condo...

Ski Hat Hair.

Ryder was thrilled to learn that he could stand on the porch and feed birds right out of his hand!

In the evenings, we all took turns spending time in the hot pool. Swimming in the mountains in an outdoor, hot spa temperature pool is literally the best after spending a day in the cold.

Our good friends were celebrating their TENTH wedding anniversary, hence the themed pool attire.

The weather the next day didn't turn out nearly as nice, but even though the fog never burned off, we still got Ryder out on the slopes a second time. 

He also did some sledding with Daddy.

Kiley managed to stay awake this time.

Even though taking a ski trip with little kids involves a lot of planning, effort, and a literal ton of gear, I think that being out in the snowy mountains with my family makes it all completely worth it. 

And one of the best aspects of the trip was that we were cooped up in a tiny condo together, which meant we literally had nothing better to do than to get down on the floor and play with our kids. At home these weekend moments are consumed by various chores and errands, but tucked away in the mountains we could really take time to appreciate and reflect on the memories we were making as a family. 

We were absolutely thrilled that Ryder came away from his first snowboarding experience with a positive attitude, and we can't wait to go back again next year... maybe by then it will be Kiley's turn! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dear Kiley... Eleven Months

Dear Kiley,

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

The Christmas season comprised the majority of this past month, and it was truly magical to have you with us for the first time to make new holiday memories.

Daddy and I attended my company holiday party on a Thursday night, and Auntie Erin was kind enough to come up to our house and spend the afternoon and evening with you and Ryder while we were gone. She was shocked by how much macaroni and cheese you were able to consume for dinner! You were a very good girl, sleeping soundly in your crib when we got home. I missed our usual bedtime snuggles, but it made me happy knowing that you were with someone who loves you so much.

I had fun this month dressing you up in adorable holiday-themed outfits.

We took you to see Santa Claus for the first time, and unfortunately you were not a fan...

We spent Christmas at Nana and Papa's house.

Kiley's First Christmas, 2017 — Ryder, Mommy, Daddy, Kiley, Nana, Papa (with Roxy), Auntie Erin, Uncle AJ, Aunt Morgan, and cousin Kinley

Even though you're still a bit young to understand what was going on, you loved being around the family and were excited to participate in all the Christmas morning craziness.

You absolutely loved your Radio Flyer trike from Nana and Papa! Everyone took turns pushing you around and around the house on it.

You were a big fan of a lot of your brother's Christmas gifts, too.

Your innocent joy helped us to remember and experience the true meaning of Christmas. 

A week later, we were back to celebrate again with the addition of your Uncle Aaron, Aunt Nichole, and cousins Sophia and Aubrey.

And during this visit we had our first ever professional family photo taken!

You were only moderately cooperative, but the photos will still make great memories.

Although the Seahawks aren't looking that great this year, we are still in the midst of football season.

This means that you often get to spend your Sundays with Nana and Papa while Daddy and I attend the home games. One time, Nana and Auntie Erin took you someplace super special... Zoolights, where the Point Defiance Zoo is transformed into a colorful winter wonderland with bazillions of lights that change the exhibits into three dimensional animal light displays.

You were a huge fan, despite the dark and the cold.

You have turned into quite the little monkey!

Toilet paper rolls are currently your plaything of choice. 

At any opportunity, you like to yank all the paper off the roll and onto the floor. Then you sit there happily shredding it (putting a few pieces into your mouth, which you chew and store in your cheek like a little chipmunk).

You're into absolutely everything... 

And you love climbing into toy baskets, bins and drawers.

You are pulling up onto everything you can, and you can crawl super fast now, which means it was time to put the gates up.

Bath time is your favorite, especially when Ryder is there to play with you. 

You've totally mastered drinking from a sippy cup, and trying new foods continues to be a daily adventure. 

There's probably nothing you hate more than having your face wiped after a meal.

You and Ryder still love playing together, but I've had to break up quite a few squabbles lately.

You are independent and confident, and aren't afraid to grab something you think should be yours (whether your brother agrees or not).

You continue to love being outside, and we actually got a few nice days toward the end of the month to enjoy.

Although you are sleeping better now overall, naps were still often a struggle, mainly because we were away from home so much during the holidays.

We always try to read a book together before bed.

You have had so many physical developments lately that it's hard to even keep track!

We finally went through an entire month without having to take you to the doctor or urgent care... well done! You have several more teeth coming in, which I can tell is uncomfortable, but regular doses of Motrin seem to help. You say Mama, Dada, Nana, and something that sounds like an attempt at Brother. We call you Kiles or Kye Kye. Ryder likes to say your name with a funny accent, something like "Kye-leh." We love making fun of your fuzzy, goofy, mullet hair. 

It's a new year, which means a fresh start and infinite possibilities. 

Dream big, little one...