Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hot Chocolate 15K

Last weekend me and some of my favorite girls ran in the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15k/5k.  This was my 4th year doing this run and this year was the 2nd time for the 15K.  I think I have seen almost all weather conditions just in these 4 years of running too.  This year it was a nice 16°! I think we all felt like we had lost our minds!  We headed to Atlanta on Saturday because we have to pick up our race packets at the World Congress building.  We actually look forward to this run each year because it brings a girls' weekend for us!  It makes all that running worth it!  We walked around at the expo for a bit then left so we could grab some dinner.  I mean food is the reason we run after all.  After we ate we had a Target run and then got checked into our hotel.  We have learned to stay right there at Turner Field so in the morning we can sleep as long as possible and just walk down to the starting line.  Dawn and I had signed up for the 15K again this year and somehow had not really trained like we should but I was so proud of us because we did great and ran the entire race.  It was funny looking back at our time last year compared to this year's time...this year we were 10 secs. faster.  We do not run for time by any means but I was proud of us for keeping our same time.  We just knew we would not be able to do it but we did.  I know my legs were screaming at the end.  Atlanta is full of hills which are not my favorite at all during a run.  I'm thinking we may need to move on to another run that might be in warmer weather with less hills!  We definitely want to keep the girls trips up though!


BRRRR...Race morning was definitely a chilly one!


After a good lunch at Cracker Barrel, I mean we run to eat after all, we headed back home.  Kelly and I had some grocery shopping to do so we also decided to go to Hartwell Dam and see all the gates open and the water release.  We took Kate with us and it was definitely a sight to see.   Its rare to get time alone with one child especially with Kate so we really enjoyed a little "Kate" time!

Just a great day to hold a rainbow!

Before we left on Saturday I had taken Cohen to Athens for JanFest.  This is a fundraiser hosted by the UGA auxiliary.  This was Cohen's 3rd year going and she looks forward to it.  We weren't sure if this year would be possible with the snow/ice that we got but the roads were not bad and we made it fine.  I leave her there and the plan was for Kelly to pick her up but Bryce ended up getting sick on the way to get her which caused Kelly to have to come home.  Thank goodness for our wonderful baton friends who got Cohen back home!  Kelly was an awesome Daddy while I was gone and handled Bryce.  I think the clean up was a much more drawn out process than the actual sickness but still he deserves a huge shout out.  I felt a little helpless being away.

Speaking of snow and ice, the kids were out of school that Friday but it really didn't do anything until that afternoon.  Dawn and I had a Sam's run to make so all the kids got to have some fun with us.  They were happy to go since a Chic-Fil-A lunch was involved!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Copper Mountain!

We just got back from a very fun ski trip to Copper Mountain with some of our closest friends.  We had quite a group, 22 in total....10 adults and 12 kids!  We have always loved skiing in colorado and this year we were excited to get to take Cohen.  It was her second time skiing but first out there and also her first time flying!  We left on Thursday morning and headed to Atlanta.  We had our kid-free moment riding down because we rode with Alan & Jen and our car was just us four.  We had to enjoy these little moments!  We got everything checked in, had lunch and then boarded our plane.  I knew Cohen was so excited.  Her face during take-off was priceless.  She said it felt like she was on a fun roller coaster!

ready to board

 We switched up our seats while flying so she and Josie could sit together and entertain each other.  I happened to notice during our landing that these sweet girls were holding hands!

First flight was a good one!  
We got our rental vans...2 15 passenger vans!  All ready to go now!

The drive to Copper Mountain from Denver was close to a 2 hour drive so we stopped along the way to eat.  It was Wyatt's birthday so that meant ice cream for the kids! 

We made it to Copper Mountain safely and got everyone settled in.  Day 1 was good and now we were ready for our first day on the slopes!
We got up and going on Friday morning pretty easily.  Everyone was feeling the affects of the high altitudes and had been waking up a lot in the night.  We had to get everyone fitted for boots and skis, and some of the kids (including Cohen) were going to ski school for the day.  You quickly remember all the work involved in getting everything on.  You have to be all bundled for those temps!  We were glad to know that Cohen, Josie, Avery, and Elliott would all be together during ski school so that helped them.
ready to ski
 On one of our runs down we saw these cuties working.  They were all smiles so we knew they were having a good time.

lunch break

Our group minus the kids in ski school
We had a great day skiing and the girls did great at school.  At the end of the afternoon we headed to the slopes they were on so we could get a peek at how well she was doing.  We were excited to see how good they were doing.  We picked Cohen up at 3:00 and then instead of quitting like we should have, we took her up a different lift to a different run.  Kelly thought she would enjoy doing something different but that is where he was wrong.  It was not good at all.  She had it in her head that she would not be able to do it and after her first little slide down she was done.  Unfortunately you can't be done on a mountain!  Long story short, I skied down to meet them at the bottom after waiting on them for a while no less.  Turns out Kelly & Cohen had a time and it ended with him carrying her down the mountain.  I thought that might do her in from ever skiing again but she said she would but she would definitely want to stay on the easier slopes she had been on at ski school.  Live and learn!  That night we drove to dinner and had some of the best Mexican food!  The kids came back to enjoy the hot tub...and Kelly!  He had some sore muscles from coming down that mountain with Coco!

Saturday we got up ready for another day of skiing.  This time we would have the kids with us all day.  We came to know 2 lifts really well...Kokomo and LumberJack.  We were thrilled to get that Lumberjack lift in though because that meant Cohen had added another lift and slope to her list!  Avery liked skiing those slopes too so she and Cohen had a fun time together on those.

lunch break

Avery & Cohen on the ski lift

It was a fun day!  That night we stayed in the center village to eat.  It was always fun to see the reaction we would get when we told the hostess we had 22 people.  They would laugh at first thinking we were kidding then as we would keep coming through the doors that smile would fade to an almost scared face..."oh your serious!".  It was quite funny.   You can see here that we could fill up some big tables!

Our chariots!
On Sunday, most of us had only 3 hours of skiing so that morning we packed and loaded our vans then explored in the center village stores.   It had only stopped snowing for little bits at a time the entire time we had been there.  I have never seen so much snow.  It definitely was pretty and gave you a lot of fresh powder to ski in!   Sunday it snowed the most and the flakes were big ones.
Our view outside our kitchen window

building a snowman 

a view of our lodge-Westlake Lodge
The big fireball in the center village

Loving the arctic cat!

After lunch we quickly grabbed our ski boots and headed to the West Village and got our skis and hit the slopes for our last few hours of skiing.  We actually got Cohen to go on another slope!  Kelly & I even got to go up to a few other slopes again right before we ended the day.  

After everyone had turned their skis in we loaded up the vans to start heading back toward Denver.  It was a much slower ride because of all the snow that had fallen.  We had a good ride though and stopping to eat helped to break the ride up.  When we got to our hotel we had several sleepy heads in the back including Cohen & Josie.  We were laughing at how they were laying and as always Cohen had her mouth open!  I know they had to be worn out though!

We had to be at the airport at 4:45 Monday morning!  Eek!  I can't say enough about how much fun we had!  We are blessed with an awesome group of friends that we can laugh and have so much fun with, and even better that we all have kids that get along so good and have as much fun as we adults do.  I am so glad we had the opportunity to all go together.  We made some great memories!
One last group picture in the hotel lobby...this was by far the earliest picture!

Ready for take off 
Flying so early means you get to see the sunrise from above the clouds! It was beautiful & the picture doesn't do it justice.
As much fun as we had, I was ready to see 2 of my babies!  I had missed Kate and Bryce so much!  I think they were glad to see us too :)