Now that we are more married to a traditional school calendar (boo for our carefree days of skipping preschool!), Rick and I noticed that Palmer didn't go back to school until pretty late into January. We jumped onboard with a week of skiing in Winter Park, CO after Christmas during Winter Break.
Grace stayed back in Texas as she still isn't quite ready to ski this year. Meanwhile, Rick and I enjoyed some quality time with Palmer while enjoying the marvels of just one kid!
This is Palmer's fourth year of skiing and we especially saw such a marked improvement this year.
We planned on keeping Palmer on the mountain with us the entire time, but ended up sending him to ski school for one day so that Rick and I could get out and enjoy some kid-free runs.
However, I think our days of needing to keep Palmer back are nearly over because Palmer skied very strongly this year- he even skied a black! Rick has been hoping to get Palmer out with him on most of the runs and I think that was nearly accomplished this year.
We got an insane amount of snow- powder that any ski lover dreams of, but also tough for a child when the powder comes up to your knees!
Add nearly blizzard like conditions of sideways-blowing snow and Palmer and I had had enough! Rick guided Palmer down the mountain after one particularly rough run due to the weather.
Our après ski activities included daily hot tubbing in the outdoor tub (where Palmer usually initiated some sort of challenge to various strangers who we met in the water, including games like "who can lie down in the snow with a swimsuit the longest!" I got a glimpse of future frat boy Palmer when he challenged about 10 college students to such competitions...) We also fell in love with a nearby crepe shop/bakery/maker of amazing hot adult drinks/coffee shop and visited it about twice a day.
Our luck nearly ran out when we nearly got snowed into the resort, but after a treacherous drive over the mountain pass, we were able to catch our flights home and get back just in time for our very own Texas snow storm.
Grace wasn't too crazy about the Texas snow and cried about being cold, which helped end my guilt about not taking her to Colorado. Little gal is going to have to toughen up a tad more before she hits the slopes in snowy conditions.
Grace and Palmer have two very different personalities which I think was summarized perfectly recently: Rick and I are doing the Whole 30 diet- one that cuts out sweets and grains and dairy. Thirty days without the extra foods in our diet. Over-achiever Palmer told us he would like to do the "Whole 40 diet" for forty days. Grace told us she would like to do "Whole Princess". So, there ya go...my eager beaver and my one who lives in her own world in the clouds and full of pink.
(I must follow up, however, and tell you that on day 1, Palmer was presented with a donut. "Mom, I'm going to eat this donut and start Whole 30 tomorrow." Day 2, after school: "Mom, I just can't do Whole 30. I like sweets too much. Maybe I can do Whole 2!")
One other story I want to mention for memory's sake: Grace has an obsession with the music played in the car. Every single day, "Turn it up, please!" "New song, please!" "Louder please. No REALLY loud. It's NOT up. It's quiet. I want it loud!" Over and over and over and over. Round and round and round we go about the content and noise level over the speaker in the radio. I mostly acknowledge and ignore her requests, which can be tiresome on a daily basis. But, I know that one day I will look back at these "sweet" days with fondness...
Meanwhile, I will work to embrace the sweet moments that occur daily...
I made a to-do list on the playroom chalkboard with things to do during the Christmas season. The name of the list was called "Christmas Spirit" and all month Palmer has been asking me how we are doing on our Christmas Spirit. The cards have fallen where they landed and I would say that once the dust settled, the answer is that we officially did very well with our Christmas Spirit. Our activities were accomplished, memories were made, and fun was to be had.
Gingerbread house making and PJ party with the Wonsmos family:
Mr. Charlie's first birthday: he takes after his daddy and does not like cake...
Aunt Samantha and I took a turn at teaching Palmer's class and did a lesson on what Christmas is like in Germany, complete with homemade gingerbread play dough and Palmer wearing his grandfather's childhood German lederhosen.
Christmas lights, check. Our favorites: the Santas with Big Tex and Electric Lizzyland.
Palmer was named the "Super Stallion" for his kindergarten class, an award given once a six weeks. Palmer could not have been more tickled with the honor and told us that his classroom clapped when his name was read over the morning announcements.
Rick and my Christmas present from Palmer. "Palmer, where's daddy's name?" Palmer: "Oh, he can share it with you!" (Note that I am officially the favorite parent- something I've been working towards for nearly six years.)
Christmas morning was oh so much fun this year. Both kids were really into the presents. Palmer was enamored with the magic of Santa and Grace was terrified every time Palmer mentioned that Santa would be coming to our house!
The morning was filled with a pogo swing, a superman helicopter (something he received last year from Aunt Amanda and "it broke and mom put in the trash and now (Palmer) needs a new one"), a dollhouse, a doll cradle, and a new scooter. (Note to self: Bethany, please bust out your real camera for Christmas morning next year. These iPhone photos are unacceptable.)
Samantha and I did our annual spread for Christmas dinner and she conquered the 2014 Southern Living cover cake this year. It was super tasty: peppermint chocolate chip!