Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vail 2016

The kids had been so excited leading up to our Colorado trip counting down the days, and this years trip definitely did not disappoint!  Unfortunately two days before we were supposed to leave, Chandler and I came down with a nasty stomach bug!  We sure were glad it turned out to only be a 24 hour virus and we were both good to go by the time we left Friday morning.  Sweet, pitiful girl felt so bad and all she wanted to do was snuggle her mommy (darn! :) ) It's been quite a while since she slept on my chest like that and I was so happy to be her bed for the day!

The past couple of times we have gone to Colorado we have flown with our crazy  crew.  This year GaGa and PaPa were planning on driving so Brian and I decided to give it a try.  Flying with little ones can be majorly stressful and hard to manage with everyones stuff, car seats, etc. and Brian and I tend to get a bit flustered!  So we talked up our family road trip to Brayden and Sterling and they were SO excited!  We woke them up bright and early Friday morning, gave them breakfast in the car and were on our way!  We followed behind GaGa and PaPa so the kids were able to go back and forth between cars for a change of scenery and for movies in their car!  This was such an awesome bonus and I have to say all three kids exceeded our expectations, they were so so good.  The first day we traveled for about 14 hours and stopped in Trinidad for the night.  The next day we only had a little ways to go and spent about five hours in the car.  Here are some pictures of our troopers from our LONG car trip:

Chandler seriously is the best baby, she slept off and on, and really just kept herself occupied!  She only started getting fussy at about hour 12 or 13 bless her heart!

Thank goodness for movies...and headphones!!!

Fruit loop bracelets for everyone!!!

I love this, Sterling was so excited to go through the rock tunnels and Brayden is fast asleep behind her!

And we finally see our fist snowflakes of the trip!  "mommy snow!!!"

Oh my were we all happy to finally arrive at our condo!!! And they had the very best snacks!!!
 On our first night we had to go out and get fitted for our ski equipment and Brayden could not wait to get his hands (and feet, and whole body) in the snow!  He was so wound up and excited! I swear this  child has such a huge tolerance for the cold and he just loves the snow!

We found some awesome ice sculptures and chairs (brrrrr)

We are so blessed to have such a good GaGa who is happy to stay at home with the girls while the rest of us go and ski and snowboard.  First day out we were all ready to hit the slopes!!!

GaGa and her little "shadow" Chandler definitely loves being held by GaGa (even more than mommy most of the trip) they too shared some special times and memories unfortunately including passing on her stomach bug to poor GaGa on the trip!

Getting all these clothes and equipment on is work!

Super excited on the first gondola ride up!

Brian is incredibly patient and spent his day working with Brayden on his snowboarding skills.  Brayden comes in at about 42 pounds without all of his gear on so I am guessing Brian probably spent the day lifting at least 50 pounds up and down the mountain.  He was spent and sore at the end of the day!  
The following day we decided to send Brayden to ski school and he gave skiing a try for the first time!  He had fun and we think he definitely had an easier time skiing than snowboarding.  The rest of us went out for another fun day on the mountain.

I love this picture "come on Brian get in the picture!"

Our condo had a bowling alley/restaurant that we went to Sunday night.  Sterling had never been bowling before and it is safe to say she had more fun than anyone!  It was so cute how excited she got, she really loved it!

GaGa our professional showing the rest of us how its done!
 They had craft night at our  condo twice while we were there and we were able to enjoy a cocktail while these sweet girls did crafts with our kids (Score!!) Sterling made some snowman ornaments, and a beautiful pine cone snowy tree, and the girl helped Brayden make a Darth Vader which he was incredibly proud of and happy with.

Brayden, Darth Vader, and GaGa with Rose in the background

We all love our uniform (Aunt Christi's awesome Seven 13 shirts!)

After the first day or two the kids really got settled in at our condo and felt right at home.  We definitely had some down time too and the kids did so good playing just like they do at home.

Jenga block building!

I joked when we got home that the kids had a technology hangover because they spent so much time on the iPads on this trip, more than they had ever used in their lives!
 Of course while we were there we had to get out and play in all that snow! (It snowed 34 inches while we were there...seriously!) Brayden loved it, Sterling tolerated it for all of ten minutes before she proceeded to cry (Scream her head off) for the next hour because she was so cold...precious child!

Seriously how cute is Chandler in her baby bibs?!

It was all downhill after this!!!

But Brayden didn't complain about the cold for one minute!

All smiles after we got home, dried off, and warmed up that tummy with a nice mug of hot cocoa!
Doesn't she look so excited?!
One of my favorite parts of the trip was going snowmobiling.  What fun!  Brayden got to go and sit on the back of Brian's snowmobile and he wasn't scared, not one bit!  He loved it too and kept telling Brian to go faster!  He sure is brave and loves adventure!

He really loved his helmet!

Our snowmobiling crew, Christi, Me, Brian and Brayden, Uncle Keith and Ms. Jen

They let us out into an open field of snow and let us go crazy, Brian let Brayden sit up front and "drive"

Here we are in at least waist deep snow! Brrrrrrr

Thursday we got to celebrate Brian's 35th birthday!  He started out the day going with GaGa and PaPa to work with Brayden and his skiing and the two of us spent the afternoon snowboarding.  The kid's favorite part of course was helping Brian blow out his candles and duh the icecream cake!

After an amazing week with family in the snow we loaded back up for the car ride home.  The ride home went just as great as the way there and the kids were terrific.  We were all so happy to get home to 75 and sunny here in San Antonio and the kids played outside for the entire day we got home!

So thankful for our GaGa and PaPa who made this trip possible and for all of the special memories we made!  Also so thankful God helped us all get home safe and sound through that long road trip and some dicey road conditions in Colorado.  Can't wait to get back on the slopes next year!!!

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