Friday, March 2, 2018

Defying Logic – Having Fun on the Slopes

West Coast students enjoy not only a Christmas/Holiday break and a Spring Break, but the wonderful gift of a Winter Break (aka Ski Week), too.  Yes, a bonus week with no school. So we took that gift, booked cheap tickets on Southwest, and escaped to the Utah slopes for a few days.

Sometimes I wonder why we enjoy skiing.  On the surface, it makes absolutely no sense.  For those who don’t partake in the snow sports, I once heard it described this way.  To experience skiing, go buy a $50 pair of gloves and immediately lose one.  Then, clamp on your most uncomfortable shoes of your life with a metal vice.  Finally, lock yourself in a meat locker for 8 hours and burn $100 bills to stay warm. 

While this description describes skiing perfectly, we keep defying logic and have a great time nonetheless.  This year didn’t disappoint.  We enjoyed 5 days of skiing and snowboarding at Snowbird.  The weather was cold and snowy.  I don’t mean Florida-girl cold, I mean -5 with a -22 wind chill cold.  But with a million layers of clothes, we stayed warm enough to enjoy all that fresh powder on the slopes. 

It was amazing how much the kids improved in just a few days.  Jaley conquered beginner blacks on her snowboard.  Sarah and Mick cruised the mountain from top to bottom clocking in 3000’ of vertical on one run. As for Scott and I, we may not be improving much these days, but at least we aren’t regressing. 

With break over and March upon us, I know it will soon be the spring season. Scott is leaving for Australia tomorrow.  It is the season of travel for him.  He has been on the road a lot this year.  Jaley and Sarah will make their middle school “Broadway” debut next weekend.  It is crunch time for the school play, Honk!, but it will be all worth it when the curtain rises.  Mick is playing for the Oakland A’s.  It is fun for his Little League Mascot to be a hometown team.  Somehow, I got snagged into being the co-team-mom.  Volunteering for kids’ events is becoming a full-time job.  If you are looking for info on Snack Shack tickets or play rehearsal supervision or the School Site Council or Cornerstone reading or the Dodgeball tournament just ask me – I’m currently volunteering at all of them. 

That is life in MomZania.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Bye-Bye Holiday Break, Hello Birthdays, Braces, and Busyness

The holidays have come and gone and New Year’s Celebrations have shifted into Weather Forecasting Groundhogs.  My last post was about the busy run up to the holidays.  Today’s post is the same busy message, just another time of year.

Here is a quick recap of the happenings in the Harrell house and a view of what’s on the horizon.

Christmas was fabulous.  We all took a much-deserved two weeks vacation.  We started the holiday with a visit from Nana.  She cooked up a storm and spoiled the kids.  We even embraced our local team spirit cheering on the Warriors from the nosebleed seats.  The kids must have been on the nice list because when the big day arrived Santa didn’t disappoint.  There were gifts galore for kids and adults alike.

Just as soon as the wrapping paper stopped falling, we packed up and headed on our first big trip out of the country with the kids. We had a blast in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica.  There were thrilling 600’ high zip lines, a snake-filled hike in the rainforest, hanging with the Ticos on New Year’s Day at the beach, reeling in an impressive 35 lb. Roosterfish, learning local cuisine at cooking class, frolicking with monkeys on our balcony, relaxing in natural hot springs, spying sloths in the trees, and getting close enough to touch amazing waterfalls.  We came home tired but with our memory bags full.

With the holidays complete, the real world rushed in to make sure we knew vacation was over.  We returned to no hot water in our shower and a broken dishwasher.  Then, there were unexpected repairs on both cars and a fun-filled ride in a tow truck.  Of course, there was also the usual array of work, school, and kids’ activities.  Basketball started for Mick and field hockey started for the girls.  The school play is in full swing for Jaley and Sarah will start helping out backstage with the crew next week. 

Yesterday, Mick joined the ranks of millions before him.  He entered the world of braces.  He been seeing the orthodontist for the past 8 months and already has a mouth full of metal.  We have cranked his top and bottom expanders until they wouldn’t crank any more.  As of yesterday, he completed the ensemble and is sporting the full metal smile, top and bottom braces.  He mouth was sore this morning but should be good to go by tomorrow.

It wasn’t just the stuff of everyday life keeping us busy, because the beginning of the year brings birthday season at our house.  Sarah turned 14.  How can my baby be so grown up?  She celebrated with laser tag, awesome ice cream, and hanging out with friends.  As if turning 14 weren’t sign enough of her growing up, the high school just hosted a welcome week for incoming freshman.  The packet of information said welcome, but it might as well have said, “This gets real.”   High school is the big time, the stuff of movies, the stuff of glory days, the stuff of becoming an adult.  I can’t believe Sarah will be headed to high school next year, but she is and she is ready for the challenge.

Sarah’s wasn’t the only birthday in the house.  Today, Scott finished another trip around the sun.  On the half-empty, Scott spent 22 hours of this year's birthday in airports or on planes.  On the half-full, Scott’s birthday lasted 33 hours.  He started in Spain and finished at home on the tail end of a two-week business trip.  While it was far from a relaxing birthday, we did surprise him with decorations at the door and dinner on the table.   It was a combined happy birthday, welcome home celebration.  Next week, looks like a less hectic one, let's hope that holds true. 

That is life in MomZania.