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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve

Our days surrounding Christmas are INSANE!!! It's go go go. Mom arrived the afternoon of the 23rd then that evening we went to the BIG Parker dinner where ALL the cousins, and aunts, and uncles gather up...even distant ones. It was a little too loud for Kye so I didn't actually get to see many people and since it started at 7 we left pretty quickly as Kye needed to be in bed on time!

The morning of the 24th we rushed to get out the door as soon as Kye was done eating. We headed over to Mrs. Charlotte's and woke up all Zach's cousins (they camped out the night before on Big Daddy's property) to play the annual Parker Football Game. It was FREEZING but I was a good wife and watched the whole thing (and took pictures, and video taped, and kept the time...). Of course Zach's team won!
us women kept watch over the kids (Kye was napping inside) and enjoyed talking
After the football game we headed inside to enjoy the day together as a family. Zach's tradition growing up was that ALL the grandchildren spent the night (with their parents of course) at Little Mama and Big Daddy's house on the 24th and did Christmas all together on the 25th. Well now that Colt, Payton, and Kye are in the picture we split up and now we all stay at Mrs. Charlotte's house on the 24th! I know it's kinda strange but I've totally accepted it and know that I won't have Christmas eve at my OWN house until Kye has babies. So this year we all spent the day with Mrs. Charlotte and it was a lot of fun!

While Courtney's kids slept we got to enjoy Kye!
After Kye went down for his afternoon nap it was Gingerbread House time! The competition was pretty intense. We each had our own house and had to stay in the dining room then the parents were the judges of the finished products. Zach told me I should add water to my frosting to make it thinner...of course I listened to him and I ended up with a melty, gooey, MESS. It was impossible to work with!
Brad was hilarious...when he got there the first thing he said was "mmm candy, can I eat it?"
NOTHING would stick to mine and all the icing was just oozing off onto the table and floor. I finally gave up trying and just went with it. I decided it was a Love Shack and that the lovers made it so hot that the snow all melted!!!
After we all finished (Zach worked for almost 2 HOURS on year we're setting a time limit for sure!) the judges came in. We assigned each house a letter so they wouldn't know whose was whose.
Brad and I tied for 5th and 4th places (we said it was rigged that the blood relatives got top 3 haha), Casey got 3rd, Courtney got 2nd (which wasn't fair b/c she totally copied the design on the box) and OF COURSE Zach won. Gah so annoying!!!
Zach, Mom, Kye and I went home for a couple hours to let the dogs out to play and so I could go ahead and cook everything for our big Christmas supper the next night. We rushed back over to Mrs. Charlotte's so Kye could eat and go to bed. Everyone else was at Little Mama and Big Daddy's for a big Christmas Eve Dinner but we just couldn't make it. We try to do it all but sometimes it's not possible! It was a nice moment just Zach, Mom, Kye and I though when we put Kye to sleep. We wanted to tell him The Night Before Christmas Story but none of us knew the whole thing so we ended up each saying a line and making up our own Christmas poem. It was pretty cute.

I am the type of person that was 100% done shopping at the beginning of December and done wrapping it all by the 16th...well the Parkers do things a little differently. Mrs. Charlotte was still calling me on the 23rd asking for gift ideas and they were still wrapping the night of the 24th! We all drank hot chocolate, put together big items and wrapped presents until about 11:00ish when we finally went to bed! It was a long, but fun day!
Thankfully Santa's elves put together all Santa's gifts because this car from G-Mama and Big Papa for Kye was a pain!!
all ready for Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Pre-Game

Yes, get ready for a TON of pictures from Christmas! I took 900 in just three days!!! Before we get to all of that, I thought I'd share some of our fun that took place prior to Christmas.

First, Zach had a sweet idea to do now that we have a baby. His dad never really did much of the Christmas shopping and Zach thinks it's important for our children to understand giving so he's planning on taking the kids every year to get a special gift for mommy! This year I was at Target running some errands and he met Kye and I there then took Kye around the store so they could pick out something together. It was sweet to see the two of them and so precious that Zach was so proud as he rarely does stuff in public with Kye alone so he enjoyed the baby attention!
here's what they picked out for me (a sneak peak at Christmas morning)...Guess Who! A great game I loved growing up and one that Kye wants to play with me someday :)
Kye and I got Daddy a book mark with Kye's picture on it. Great idea, but the catch was that I had to order 25 just to get ONE!
The weekend before Christmas we went over to Mema's house to celebrate Christmas with her and with Mrs. Charlotte's side of the family. It's a nice tradition to do it so early as it makes Christmas a little less stressful and it helps us start to get in the Christmas spirit! The funniest thing that happened over there was that Zach's 16 year old cousin has thought all this time that Kye's name is actually "Kite" hahaha I died! I never thought anyone would confuse his name that way but I guess it's possible!!!

The whole Parker clan...Zach's little cousin was the photographer and she wasn't so awesome!
our little family
In getting ready for Christmas I had a LOT of cards to buy! My family is big on the cards which is so fun and we have several birthdays around Christmas (Mom's, Dad's AND Charlotte's) so I went ahead and got cards for those events too. I know everyone wants Kye to sign a card for them and it was hilarious. He just wanted to eat the pen and it ended up allll over him haha
I have been SO pumped about having my family come to OUR house this year (we usually go to Melbourne but with Nana in Heaven we thought it'd be best to have Mom come up here instead). I had to show off my little place settings at the table, they turned out too cute
Mom got to our house a couple days prior to Christmas and she couldn't get over how BIG our tree is! She said you can't tell how big it is in the pictures I put up here haha. So we took a picture of Kye under it as a reference point, yup it's HUGE
Finally, on Christmas Eve Kye and I got to put up our last little thing on our Advent Calendar. I grew up loving my mom's and had fun finding the perfect one for our house last year when I was pregnant. This year Kye had so much fun putting one up each day as we counted down for Christmas. He knew to be gentle with them and not put them in his mouth haha. Each time we put one up we'd count down all the days and I'd bounce him for each number then tickle him when we got to 1. I know as he grows up this will only be more and more fun!
Next up: Christmas Eve with the Parkers!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Santa's Little Helper

I meant to post this before the holidays but I got in too much of a rush. I got Kye these cute pjs to wear on Christmas morning! My mom found him cuter ones so I decided to take some pictures of him in front of our tree and put the rocking chair that Nana gave to him to good use :) He was ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baby-led Weaning Book

As anyone who reads this blog knows I've been seriously stressing about nutrition for Kye. I hate not knowing for sure what is best for him and have been hunting for something to help me. I am a follower of the Babywise Mom Blog and she recently did a post on the book Baby-led Weaning. She hasn't actually done it herself but the post was written by mothers who have and I decided to order the book and see what it was all about.

Well it's my next favorite thing to Babywise!

I read the book in one sitting. Seriously! I sat in Kye's play area and let him play while I read it and folded corners. It was SO good. Actually it was a super sweet moment between Kye and I too as when I was reading I noticed that he had picked up a book and come and sat next to me. He was sitting quietly and looking and the book and turning the pages...just like Mommy! It made me feel less guilty for reading instead of playing :)

Anyway. I will be discussing a lot of the book in future posts but I highly recommend it! With Babywise I started from pretty much Kye's birth but I'm actually starting late on this one. It's recommend to start implementing the ideas at 6 months old. I think if I had read it then that I'd be having a LOT more to talk about!

This book was written by a British lady which was my only negative about it as I guess they spell a lot of things differently from us! Like realize was spelled "realise" Grrr it drove me nuts! The reason they call is "weaning" isn't because the way we think of weaning...weaning over there just means starting on solids. For us it means stopping breastfeeding! Once you get past that, it really is all common sense. It clicked with me the same way Babywise did!

The basic concept is to NEVER give your child baby food. Not even pureed "real" food. You watch for signs (which the book discusses) that your child is ready for food then you start feeding them. You always offer milk first and consider solids a fun thing until they are a year old. The author tells parents to eat meals with their children so the baby can copy as you eat as a way of learning how. They also say to feed your baby whatever you are eating!

Obviously I've already been giving Kye baby food. I'll discuss in a future post WHY they say not to but I just wanted to get the summary out there for everyone! After reading this book I've STOPPED giving Kye ANY baby food and it's been a wonderful two days! He's so much happier when eating and has been doing awesome! He ate slices of fresh apple this morning dipped in yogurt, pieces of chicken with butter beans and cottage cheese for lunch and beef stroganof with carrots, honey dew, grapes, pineapple and water melon for dinner! His poops the past couple days have become more regular and he's communicating more with me while eating. And honestly, it's so much cleaner than the messy baby food AND it's easier to prepare! I'm so so thankful I picked up this book!!!!

The book points out that babies crawl when they are ready, they talk when they are ready, they walk when they are ready. Why do we force them to eat when we are ready for them to? It's important to not feel pressured to feed your baby solids until THEY are ready! By offering him a variety of textures, colors, and flavors I'm allowing Kye to learn about REAL food. How stupid is it that we give them this mushed up version of the real thing for 6-8 months then expect them to suddenly enjoy actual legit food?

My favorite part of the book is where the author breaks down nutrition. This is what I've needed most. She (I assume it's a she?) broke it down very simply for me and it makes my life SO much easier. A serving for ANYONE is the size of what you can fit in your hand. Isn't that easy to remember? So Kye's portion sizes for food is very very little. Each day I need to be trying to feed him (and myself, this is nutrition for ALL ages!): 3 appropriate serving sizes of vegetables, 2 of fruits, 1 of dairy, 1 of meat, and 1 of grain. Can that GET any more simple? I haven't even opened the book while writing this...I just wrote that from memory :) Of course the more variety you offer the better especially by trying to offer different colors of each thing. Like the three veges, one could be yellow, one orange and one green.

A couple other good tips I got from the book included:
  • stick a plate in the freezer while you heat up the food for the baby then put the food on that plate so it'll cool to a comfortable temperature
  • cut foods in longer "finger" shapes as that way the baby can hold it with his hand and eat the part that sticks out (worked great for the apple slices!)
  • don't praise him a ton for eating, it's what he should do and you shouldn't make a big deal of it. 
  • don't worry too much with manners, it's about learning about food
  • let him decide when he's finished, the way to know is to offer a little more of something they like and if they don't eat it then they're done!
  • never feed him at all. the baby should ALWAYS feed himself (a hard one for me!) as it's actually a choking hazard when we do it for them.
  • don't rush the eating process (as I totally did with baby food!) let him eat as much as he'd like and take as long as he'd like to do it (tonight Kye ate for 40 min! It was WONDERFUL! Zach and I got to enjoy our food while Kye enjoyed his AND we had time to sit as a family and just talk and enjoy each other!)
  • it's okay if the baby doesn't eat much. always remember that for the 1st year they are getting all the need from their liquid feedings!
It's really been such a positive thing for me already. Eventually I want to be eating healthier so Kye can eat the same things Zach and I eat. Right now WE don't eat healthy enough! The book talked about processed foods and how bad they are for you and I agree. Fresh really is best. I, however, can't always offer fresh food. It's impossible! We live on a budget and only go once a month for groceries so I plan to buy fresh foods for him then and maybe go one other time a month for some more. The next best thing to fresh is frozen so I plan on doing a lot of that! My goal is to rarely give him anything that's been preserved like canned goods. It's been easy so far! I just use my pressure cooker to cook some of the frozen vegetables and then put them in a Tupperware to use as left overs (and keep the rest of the bag frozen for later use). It seriously took me 6 minutes and I made enough veges to probably last a week! When I make meat for Zach and I, I've just made a little extra for Kye! It's SO much easier than I ever would have imagined!

One thing Zach and I do eat kinda often is pre-made meals. I call them "boxed meals." They are great! All the ingredients come in the box. You just mix it, heat it and serve it. Well I agree with the book that this type of food isn't healthy. I hope to eventually find quick, easy meals I can make instead of using these but I feel like since we rarely (like maybe once a month) eat out or eat fast food (only eat it when we're traveling) that if Kye has some processed food a couple times a month that it won't kill him!

I also agree that organic is the best way to go. Again though, we're on a budget and we live in a small town where that kind of stuff isn't readily available. So I plan to try to follow the "dirty dozen" list when I can and not really worry about the rest of it! I mean a girl can only do so much! I did read in a magazine that for a child Kye's age the third most commonly eaten vegetable is french fries!!!! I mean seriously America!!!! I guess I'm not too bad then huh?

As you can tell I'm MEGA pumped about this book!!! I love love love it and hope it helps other people too! I finally feel like I have it all together! Between Babywise (soon to start Toddlerwise!) and the Babywise Blog I feel like I'm good with his scheduling and such and with Baby-led Weaning and Wholesome Baby (I check it before I feed him anything to make sure it's okay!) now I'm good with his nutrition too!!! Yay for me! :)

Here's some pictures from the past couple of days!

beef stroganof!
apples dipped in yogurt
yummy cottage cheese and chicken!
made Zach and I laugh out he eating beef stroganof or smoking something? haha
Zach said that maybe Kye is actually the son of my high school boyfriend Mark!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

100% Off The Breast

Like the title? Haha I still laugh like a little kid when I write the word "breast." Anyway, semi-sad news. I'm 100% done breastfeeding as of today :(

My plan was to nurse Kye for 6 months and I nursed him for 9 months and 18 days. I actually wasn't ready to stop nursing for our morning session yet. I was fine with dropping the night one as he's so squirmy and ready to play that it's a hassle for us both for him to nurse. But first thing in the morning? He's so sweet and loving! I really enjoy that time together.

The past couple nights though Kye hasn't been sleeping well. He's been waking up at random times and seems hungry to me. This morning he was up at 6:15 and wouldn't go back to sleep. I ended up nursing him at 6:45 (usually it's around 7:15) and that's when it hit me. Maybe he's waking up because he's not getting enough to eat all day. Maybe I'm not producing milk like I should be for this feeding. I decided to test my theory by heating up 4 oz of formula right after he nursed. Yup, he drank it all.

I did cry while I was nursing him a little bit. I just like planning things and I knew it'd probably be the last time I nursed my sweet boy and it made me sad. I know most of you are thinking that I nursed for soo long (maybe longer than some would be comfortable with) so it shouldn't be a big deal but it is sad. It was also sad because our last time was not a happy time. Kye was very fussy since he'd been up so much in the night and had a runny nose from all his crying. Yesterday was a super sweet nursing time together so I'm going to try to focus on that.

I wasn't as sad as I thought I might be though. I think it's because I did go for so long. I know I gave him the best thing I could and for as long as I could. I also know that he'll still be getting 2 feedings a day of breast milk until he's either close to or right at one year old. I didn't cry many tears and I don't think Kye will have any issues with us moving on. I don't even think my body will be much affected by the change. So far I've hardly leaked or had any discomfort with any of the weaning process.

I'm sad to see it all go but it's time and I'm ready as is Kye. I'm interested to see what happens to my body now that I'm finished! Will my breasts be 2 saggy lumps? Will they get bigger? Smaller? Will I gain weight? Lose weight? It should be interesting! I'm going to give it a few weeks then go to Victoria's Secret to get measured! I'm also about to call the dr. b/c I can get on the REAL birth control now!

Overall I'm so proud of myself for overcoming all my obstacles and achieving my goal. I honestly don't know if I'll ever nurse this long again but it all went exactly how it was supposed to go this time and I'm so thankful that I never gave up!

Goodbye Bottle, Hello Sippy!

The sippy cup has been somewhat of a struggle for us. I started when Kye was a little over 6 months old to offer him some water in a Nuby sippy with handles. He took to it pretty well and even drank breast milk from it occasionally without much issues. My problem with the transition was actually my breastfeeding. Since Kye only had bottles a couple times a week it was hard to get him used to drinking from the sippy. Especially since the only time he did get bottles was when we were going places that would be too hard to have him try the sippy first like church, restaurants, and such.

I kinda of gave up on the sippy thing for awhile and just offered it to him after he ate solids with some water in it. He would drink from it, but he mostly just played with it. When I went to introduce formula I was tempted to introduce it in a sippy and not a bottle but I knew he'd have a hard enough time getting used to drinking something other than breast milk so I didn't want to push my luck on that one!

Now that Kye is 9 months old I feel like it's time to be done with the bottles. I decided to wait until I was done nursing him at his night feeding and that I would just give him the sippy without any other option. No more of the sippy first followed by a bottle if needed thing. He KNEW he'd be getting the bottle so he'd just fuss until he got it.

I also changed up the type of sippy I was using. Mrs. Charlotte actually told me that she'd try the Take and Toss Sippy. It doesn't have handles so it's more like the bottle in that he can hold it the same way. It made a lot of sense to me!!! Yeah the "nipple" is hard plastic instead of soft like the Nuby one but I started giving it to him with water after his solids and he did awesome with it. He learned how to tilt it back and could just handle it so much easier. Plus these are mega cheap so I'm all about that!

Once Kye started holding the bottle on his own last week and feeding himself I decided it was time. I had already planned on dropping the 7:00 pm nursing session so it worked out great! I thought I'd just do it the same way I did the formula introduction! I am so thankful that I didn't 100% follow Babywise on his solid schedule. The book says to feed him solids at his 7, 11, and 3 feedings and I instead to them at the 7, 11, and 7 feedings. This has been great for us and made it even easier when transitioning to both formula and the sippy cup.

What I did is probably considered a little on the unorthodox side but whatever. It works and I'm sure I'll do it again. I waited until 3:45 to feed him as I knew he'd be more hungry by then (his 3:00 feeding is actually more of a 3:30 feeding now) and I offered him his formula in the sippy. He didn't like it. Just like he didn't like it when I first introduced the formula at this feeding. With the formula though he was polite about not wanting it and pushed it away and cried. It was SO tempting to just cave in and give him the bottle but I didn't. Zach helped me to entertain him and I felt so bad because I could tell he was pretty hungry but I continued to offer it to him and he wouldn't drink it. When it was time for his 7:00 feeding (which is actually now a 6:15 feeding) I heated up the breast milk and put it in the sippy and gave it to him and he drank it all!
That was on Thursday and we haven't looked back! I nursed him that next morning as usual (I'm just not ready to let go of that morning feeding yet...he's so sweet for it!) and then I offered his other liquid feedings in the sippy. He honestly wasn't very happy about it at all. He was pretty fussy and would push it away but he'd drink it! Yesterday was the first day that he seemed to be 100% fine with the sippy. I still heat up his milk in the bottle and transfer it over so that's a little stressful because I have to make sure he doesn't see the bottle but he's doing much better! I know a lot of people probably think it's bad parenting to let him go hungry but I really don't know of any other way to do it.

I tried the idea of letting him drink as much as he would from the sippy then going to the bottle but he figured it out that he'd be getting the bottle if he was fussy. I honestly think that was a big mistake! I think he would have been MUCH sweeter about the whole thing if he didn't think that he could have a bottle if he fussed about the sippy enough! Next baby I will probably do the same thing I did this time. At 6 months I'll introduce the sippy with water after eating solids then at around 9 months I'll just switch to the sippy 100%.

He still hasn't figured out that he can hold the sippy yet so I'm basically giving it to him like a bottle but I think he'll catch on pretty soon. I'm just glad I set a goal to accomplish this month and that we did it! Right in time for the holidays and I'm so glad to be packing up my bottle drying rack, nipple dishwasher holder thing, and all the little bottles! Our next big move is saying goodbye to baby food!!!

New Vs Old

I'm soooo pumped about my new diamond earrings that Zach got me for Christmas! I know most of my few readers don't even live in Valdosta but if you do happen to live here or ever visit tell your man to stop by Steel's Jewelry! They really are so awesome! First, Zach bought my engagement ring from them and they allowed me to borrow ANYTHING I wanted to wear on my wedding day! I wore beautiful dangly diamond and pearl earrings, a pearl bracelet, and an amazing diamond and pearl broach in my hair. My jewelry was over $10,000. AND they let the mother of the bride as well as the mother of the groom borrow anything too! My mom wore a necklace that alone was over $20,000!

On top of that awesome perk they also do an earring exchange. You can trade in your diamond studs and they give you the value of them towards a new pair! Zach didn't even buy my original studs from them but they still gave him a couple hundred dollars for them toward my new ones! How awesome is that? They really are the nicest people and they have so many great coupons they send out and super fun events too. Before Zach takes my old earrings back to them (they let him keep them until after Christmas so I wouldn't notice them missing in my jewelry box) I had to get a picture comparing the two! I just LOVE them!!!! They may not be some big bling-bling ones but they are so so pretty and are just the right size for me (and for Zach's wallet haha!) I won't miss my old ones one bit haha!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tough but Necessary

On our way up to Banner Elk I hoped to stop by and visit Uncle Spear and Aunt Cheryl who live in Greenville, South Carolina. We ended up needing to wait to stop on the way back because Uncle Spear wouldn't be there on our way up. I was SO nervous about visiting! For as long as I can remember I have dealt with "tough stuff" by living in a state of denial about it. Uncle Spear was recently diagnosed with ALS. The normal Emily wouldn't have visited. I'd want to think of Uncle Spear how I have always known him: goofy, funny, healthy nut, story-telling, strong, Uncle Spear. I don't want to think of him as sick. Or as frail. Why would I want to have that image of him? I'd rather just go on with life pretending like he's fine and not thinking about it.

When Nana died I decided to change. I know denying everything isn't healthy! I have to face reality. I saw Nana after she passed away. I would NEVER do that normally! Not EVER! But I did and it made me face the fact that she's gone. Uncle Spear is still living! I needed to see him...not just for myself but also for him!

On the way to their house I was very nervous. Zach and I talked about it and I knew I needed to be strong and not to cry. It was going to be tough!!! But I needed to visit with him as it's hard for us to get up there and I'd hate to ever have any regrets. When we got there we saw Aunt Cheryl first and she seemed so upbeat! Their house looked so pretty and ready for Christmas. I went into the living room and planted a smile on my face and let out a big "HEY!" when I saw Uncle Spear sitting in a chair. It was hard. I'm used to Uncle Spear getting up at 5 am and being dressed and ready for the day before I even get out of bed. It was 10 and he was in PJs. He looked much better than I was expecting but you could tell he's lost weight and seemed more fragile.

Our visit was so nice! We caught up on everything that's been going on. Zach asked for advice about getting some birds to come to our back yard feeder (Uncle Spear is a bird PRO!) and Aunt Cheryl filled us in on the Furman game recently. My uncle was the equipment manager for Furman University for 20 years and had to retire due to the ALS this year. They honored him during their last home game this season! All the players wore this sticker on their helmets and they had him and all his family on the field at half time to present him with a plaque. She said that after the game was over the players came over and picked him up from the stands and carried him to the locker room! I wish so badly we could have been there to see awesome!

It was tough talking with them as Uncle Spear is usually the type of guy who will be the center of attention. Instead he would try to speak to us but we could barely understand him. ALS patients are still 100% themselves...the brain isn't affected...but all the muscles are. So basically his body is slowly shutting down. Right now his entire left side of his body has been affected so he can't do much with it. His tongue is also affected so he has a difficult time chewing and when he speaks it sounds like his tongue is swollen, you can barely understand anything. He has a little white board that he writes things down on which does help! Even though it was so so difficult to see him struggle to talk, it still made me proud. He has always been a big talker and this junk hasn't stopped him one bit! We may not have understood over half of what he was saying but it didn't stop him from saying it. That alone showed me that he's not going to let this beat him. It may take his body over, but it will NOT hinder his spirit.

His nurse came in around 11:00 so we had to go and Aunt Cheryl wanted to go to lunch with us before we hit the road. Zach went to help her get a few things from their shed and I was with Uncle Spear on my own. He motioned for me to come hug him and I did and he squeezed me so tight. I could tell he was starting to cry so I couldn't help it, I joined right in! I told him that I love him so very much and that I am praying for him everyday and how proud of him I am. I couldn't understand very well but I could tell that he said he loves me too and is proud too. He motioned for me to give him a kiss and told me that he hopes to be at Brandon's wedding in March. I so hope they can make it down!!!

Lunch with nice with Aunt Cheryl and I'm so thankful that I've gotten over my denial phase so I was able to visit with them. It was such a special visit. Yes, it was so tough and yes I spent a good bit crying in the car but it was so worth it!!! I'm hoping to get Kye up there to see them sometime soon and plan to do something to help them out. I don't just want to to a typical fruit basket or something...I want to think of something that will REALLY help! Any ideas?

Please continue to keep Spear Sedgley in your prayers. Also pray for Cheryl Sedgley as she is caring for him which must be so so tough for her to do. They have always been such a happy, devoted couple and it's precious to me to still see that between them. If anything their bond seems even stronger. He was trying to tell her something and she said "what do you want?" Uncle Spear's reply? "You."

Finally some Skiing!

On Monday we got up early and looked outside and it was going to be a nice day! Time to hit the slopes! We always ski at Beech Mountain as it's the cheaper of the mountains up there and it's kinda where our trip originally started. We first went to Banner Elk our first year together. Zach had just won the National Championship his red shirt freshman year and we met a group from VSU to go up to Banner Elk to take a ski class for a couple days over Christmas break! It earned us a 1 hour credit, taught me to ski, and created a place that Zach and I cherish! I'm so glad we went!

Anyways I'm glad we went when we did and waited until Monday to go. The prices were great! $30 for the whole day versus the regular $60! The only bad thing was that it was HOT. I mean like in the 50s which is pretty dang warm to be all geared up in ski stuff. For the first time EVER I skied without my hat or gloves! Here's some pictures from our fun day together! I think next year we're going to go on the trip a little closer to Christmas. After coming home and having to rush rush rush to get everything done this year I think I'd rather rush rush rush to get it all done sooner THEN go on vacation :)

on our way up the mountain we saw this beautiful fog

ready for some skiing action!

We stuck to the greens (easiest) when I skied, since I was only doing it for one day I didn't really feel like challenging myself haha so we just rode the lift over and over again and went down the same little slope a million times. I was proud how quickly I picked it all back up. Granted, I'm not some great skier or anything but for someone who considers herself non-athletic I think I do pretty well! Here's a video showing how Zach and I start off at the same spot and how long it takes him to get down versus how long it takes me (and this was me going fast haha)! Here's another video of me showing off my madddd skills. And another video of the dreaded LIFT. I swear I am terrified of it! I dread it so much!!! Skiing is a BREEZE compared to getting off that's so stressful!

The slopes were EMPTY which was nice! It was also funny b/c we'd keep passing the same people. We passed these little girls several times and it was so funny to hear them. One of them is super fast (like Zach) and kept getting annoyed with the sister who liked going slow (like Me!). She knew she was supposed to be helping her but she'd keep forgetting. I loved hearing the older one because she'd be so annoyed and would say stuff like "Hurry up. You are so slow. I'm leaving you. You're going to have to ski by youself" in this little bossy tone. Then she'd remember she was supposed to be helping (or she'd see me watching is probably more like it) and she'd suddenly be all supportive saying "c'mon you can do it...nice and slow" haha

Zach doing a jump!

Since I'm not the expert skier like Zach is I only ski for half a day. He skies with me for that half and helps me learn and such then the second half of the day he goes on his black diamond runs and I hang out in the lodge reading. I know that sounds lame but I totally enjoy it and I was excited for that time this year! I am re-reading Lovely Bones. It's my favorite book EVER and I can't wait for the movie! Anyways here we are enjoying lunch!

I LOVE the cookies every time we go!

It was so hot that I took off my ski pants and just hung out in a shirt and my tights. It was a really fun day though and I always forget how much I enjoy skiing. The short time we got to go REALLY made me wish we could have stayed longer so I could get more time in. Next year I'll re-read this post and remind myself that I LOVE to ski and that it's super fun!

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