Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Colorado New Year's

So I'm still not being paid, but my view has improved dramatically.

That was my first view of 2019, taken off the back porch of my parents' new home near Winter Park, Colorado, and it was a spectacular one. Their new place is gorgeous and we love it and I think we'll be spending quite a bit of time here.

Papa and Gigi and the grandkids

But first! We left at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and made it to my sister's beautiful new house (everyone got a new house in 2018 except us; we're totally fine with that, particularly since they're all in handy places to visit, but I didn't realize it until I typed that out!) near Boulder at 6:55 p.m. The kids were perfect (literally, not a single whine or complaint; road trips are our life), I got antsy because I'm bad at being still, and James calmly drove the whole way.

We had a delicious dinner at my sister's and watched the kids play with their only cousin and it was a delight. They are the cutest.

Sky is 2 and very enamored of princesses and cousins. Watching them play was pure joy.

We enjoyed a good night's sleep, breakfast, and some outside time on a day that claimed to be in the 40's but felt like 85. Cora wore snow boots and her new Pocahontas princess dress she got from her Tia and Uncle Billy and that felt about right.

Then we headed out on the next stop of our Colorado road trip - tiny little Tabernash, CO! My parents' new home is absolutely beautiful and just perfect for family gatherings, particularly the grand kid room that is the stuff of childhood cousin dreams.

I mean:

And there's a bookcase full of all ages of books, toys, puzzles, games, and even a TV they can all see from the bunk beds. It's basically the coolest room ever. As is the rest of the house, which is lovely and comfortably slept and held us all. After settling in we headed out for a horse-drawn sleigh ride, the only activity all 9 of us could do together with 2-year-old Sky and my nearly 7-months-pregnant sister.

It was cold, but fun, and the little cousins were adorable in their winter-wear (a theme for the whole stay).

Landon and Claire sat up front and helped drive the sleigh and at the end we had hot chocolate and lots of sledding.

If the little girls were together, they were FEARLESS.

I also sledded, as did Papa and Gigi, and of course, Landon and Claire. They fly fast and solo these days.

After the sleigh ride we picked up our skis and this little princess was going to GO FOR IT. Her 5th family ski trip and she was READY.

And adorable. We were heading to a local place that was free for kids 6 and under, and her rental was a free add-on to ours, so we were willing to give it a try. Again. We got home to dinner, games, and princess pj's for the little girls, followed by more games (and wine!) for the grown-ups.

On New Year's Eve we woke up to -5 temps and a plan to ski. We got breakfast, got suited up (something that inexplicably takes about an hour), and headed out to Granby Ranch! We'd never been, and it only had two front halves of a mountain and 3 lifts, but it was well under half the cost of Winter Park and given that the big kids could use a warm-up ski day, James and I knew we wouldn't exactly be pushing ourselves with the littles, and Cora, historically, HATED cold and snow and was not afraid to show it (and was genuinely offended you'd made her come at all), it seemed like the perfect place.

And it was! All five of us- on skis/boards!

We took Cora up the ski lift that served two short green runs and I realized, once we loaded, that I had no idea how to teach her to ski, or even how to get her off the lift, and ski school is worth every penny of the MILLION pennies that it costs.

On the lift! This is happening!

We managed to get off the ski lift, but she fell onto my skis and then I fell over her. We stopped the lift. It was not a promising start, but she stood up, brushed off, and pressed on.

James just walked her down the slope, holding his board, while she wedged her way to me back and forth. It was the cutest. She was so earnest and SO PROUD. We were so proud! The sun even came out for a few seconds and brought the temperature above 0 to celebrate!

After her second run, and successful ski lift dismount, she said, "I'm all done skiing Mama."

"Okay!" I said, and we walked to the lodge to split a bag of chips and cup of water while we waited for Papa, Gigi, Uncle Billy, and the big kids to come down the blue slopes they were doing. And once they did- we found out they'd even done two blacks! Landon has gotten really strong and confident in his skiing and Claire will do anything as long as she's following her Gigi and taking it slow. But she never balks and we were so very proud of our sometimes cautious Bear.

I went on a blue/black run with the big kids and Billy while James walked to the car to retrieve our lunches and my parents waited for my sister and Sky to drive over and join us for our picnic lunch in the lodge. It was so fun to watch the big kids ski a run, but I did not mind at all that Cora was ready to go home with my sister after lunch since I'd kind of maybe broken my foot the day before while we were sledding after the sleigh ride. (I slipped and stepped down hard with my left foot and felt shooting pain go up the top of my foot, followed by bruising, swelling, and intense pain anytime I moved my foot or put any weight on it at all. The ski boot was torture to put on, but then it actually felt better since it acted like a brace, but I had no faith in my ability to do a sharp right turn that required me to press my left ski into the mountain.)

That afternoon Cora took a nap, I drank tea, and it was a lovely few hours of alone. I'm so glad Cora accepted skiing and snow into her life and I'm so glad it cost $0 and we stopped on her high note after 2 runs. As she told me today, "I really like skiing mom. Next time I will do it all of the time." Good, I didn't say, because this is the last year you're still young enough to go to childcare (which is what she's doing when we meet our friends in Breckenridge because it's way cheaper than ski school and I had no faith in her willingness to touch snow for multiple days).

Everyone else skied and boarded for a few more hours and I'm so glad they did. When they got home we set up the table for our New Year's Eve dinner because of course Gigi had special things in store:

noise makers, candles, and light-up glasses for the kids that were so cool I was a little jealous.

We had a big nacho buffet for dinner, played hours of games after the kids went to bed, and I just can't imagine a better way to see out a year.

Which brings us to today- we woke up, had a big New Year's brunch (this recipe FTW, forever; I made one version with the bacon, and one with spinach) and dressed up to go sledding down the street near the house.

It was a GORGEOUS day. It was also -4 outside, but with the sun out, it felt at least 40. I started sweating while walking a sled up the hill. Colorado is so weird.

We were sledding over a frozen pond, which the kids thought was the coolest thing ever, and it was just so fun. Family time + Colorado + physical activity = peak Lag Liv family excursion.

Even Cora had an absolute blast, proving she may be a beach baby, but she's also part snow bunny. Just a really deep part that took five years and five snow trips to uncover.

My sister and her little family headed home since she has to work on the 2nd and then my parents joined us with their dogs. Aka, their only kids who still live at home.

We did lots of sledding and playing on the snow-covered playground and then decided, since the sun made -1 feel so reasonable, we'd head to the local tubing hill in Fraser.


Super fast, with a pretty quick lift, and they let you do just about whatever you want. Like linking together 6 tubes and going down at the speed of light.

After LOTS of runs, in which Cora sat on everyone's laps (you have to be 7 to have your own tube; Cora thought this was just fine), and James and I went down once face-first holding hands and it felt like I was flying and then the wind stole my hat and one of the employees had to run out to save it, we headed back home.

The big kids went out to play in the snow (of course), James went to swim, and Cora and I felt very comfortable with our life choices that led us to wearing pj's and 2 p.m. and not going outside again at all. I don't even know what we did... I think Cora played in the grandkid room (which my mom has outfitted with books for all ages and some favorite toys from the Houston house), I edited pictures and drank tea... it was a lovely New Year's Day.

We had our traditional Bermuda Hopping John for dinner (a black-eyed pea stew for good luck) and tucked the kidlets in bed nice and early. My parents are watching the UT/Georgia game (Hook 'em!), I'm finally blogging (overdue; sorry already for the length), James is answering some swim school emails, my dad just made me popcorn with cheez-its (the best!), and we leave tomorrow to drive to Breckenridge to meet our friends for 4 more nights of fun.

It's been such a fun four days so far and I love that this Colorado road trip adventure is exactly 50% family and 50% friends. A perfect blend that has gotten off to a perfect start.


Happy New Year's from our family to yours!


  1. Happy New Year, Lag Liv! Just commenting to say I couldn't get your breakfast recipe link to work. And since I use and love allllll of your recipes...

    1. Yay!! And thanks for letting me know about the link- I totally forgot to link it in before I published. Should be fixed now!

  2. Happy new year Rebecca, best wishes to you and your family§ I am glad you had such a nice Christmas break :-)

  3. Happy New Year! The views in the mountains are so damn spectacular! (I'm husband and daughter are up there right now, I'm home alone for two days! Wheeeee!)

    I actually wanted to ask. My daughter and I are doing a TX roadtrip in March, and we're going to be in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area for a day or two. Any recs? Places to stay, things to see, definitely things to eat?

    1. Hi Meegs! Yes! You should definitely go to the Arboretum in Dallas for a few hours. It's beautiful and so fun. How old is your daughter? There's a children's garden that is phenomenal (honestly it's James and my favorite spot to go, so it's worth a stop at any age!), but the whole Arboretum is great. There's some great restaurants nearby too.

      The Perot museum (in Dallas) is supposed to be incredible, but our kids aren't quite old enough yet. (Well Landon is, and maybe Claire; it's very late elementary through middle school I think.) In Fort Worth, the zoo is really wonderful, the water gardens are a favorite (and free!), and Magnolia Street is a favorite for great food and wandering around.

      Feel free to email for my thoughts! lag liv at gmail dot com

  4. I've been thinking of you with this &$%$^!! shutdown. Sending hugs & I'm so sorry.

    1. Thanks Misha! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  5. Also thinking of you and hoping you are doing okay LL. Lots of love