Mountain Memories.

This weekend we packed up the car and headed into the mountains.  What should have been a four hour drive turned into six, and the minute we got there Graham puked all over the parking lot.  It was a rough start, but once we got there and saw our friends (and Graham got back to his normal self!) it made the journey more than worth it. 

We spent the weekend at Government Camp in Mt. Hood with two of our favorite families – great friends from Seattle who we see all the time, and our other great friends who moved away last year and we hadn’t seen since July!  You know how it is with kids though – as if no time has passed at all. 

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We rented a condo that was perfect for our group and had a big carpeted space for the kids to play.  We brought our train set, and it’s pretty much the only thing they did all weekend when we were inside.  A definite hit!

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We had six kids ages four and under, and they all got along SO well.  They all thought it was hilarious and awesome to see each other in their pajamas, eat meals together, and just be together all the time. 

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And while being with friends was definitely agenda numero uno, enjoying the SNOW was a close second!

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I think I shared recently here that we took a sledding trip into the mountains a few weeks ago, and my kids had an absolute blast.  Cullen in particular just really loved the snow, and I was so excited knowing we had this trip ahead, and I crossed my fingers there would still be plenty of snow on the ground when we got there.   

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As it turned out, there was more than enough snow – like GIANT piles that were several feet deep, and flakes coming down all around.  It was a true winter wonderland!

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We headed to a fun sledding hill that was a short walk from our condo.  The snow was so thick on the path leading to the hill that the kids couldn’t even walk.  The adults all sunk in to the knees with each step – it was amazing!  Thank goodness for sleds!

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My boys all scurried up the hill to get started with sledding.  The snowflakes were coming down all around us, and it was just beautiful. 

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Cullen and his buddy were the first ones down, and I found myself closing my eyes and cringing anytime they went down the hill.  Sledding is so fun and yet so terrifying!

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Just like last time, Cullen absolutely loved it.  I don’t know where this fearlessness came from, but he went down over and over again, and the giant smile never left his face. 

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Graham was scared of the “big hill” but still loved being outside in the snow.  He loved making snowballs and wouldn’t stop eating it all!

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I couldn’t stop laughing watching Cullen do these giant jumping belly flops into the snow.  Who does that?  He must have done it a hundred times.  It was definitely key to have all the right snow gear – none of the kids complained about being cold the whole time, and it made a big difference.

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Northwest beauty – I’ve never seen anything like it!  I sure do love all our water and beaches, but the past few months have really made me fall in love with and appreciate the Northwest in the winter. 

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Back to the house to warm up with hot chocolate!

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Despite the herculean effort it took to get six kids under age four in and out of all their snow gear, we decided to head back out into the snow a second time that morning – in order to take advantage of fresh powder snow and gorgeous sunshine. 

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We had planned to do the big tubing hill, but it was crazy crowded and also incredibly expensive.  So we found a big patch of snow to play in at the top of the hill, and it was just as good – if not better. 

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The kids and adults all had an epic snowball fight, and we were all exhausted and covered in snow by the end.  The kids were so thrilled to actually be allowed to knock each other down and throw things at each other, and the parents took great satisfaction in beaming their kids with snowballs. :)

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Back at home to warm up, stay in jammies all day, and watch the little monkies laugh and chase each other. 

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We had to check out on Sunday at noon, but we hustled to fit in one more snow adventure before we headed home.  We got to the tubing hill right when it opened, and there were only two other people there!

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We also found out when we got there, that the afternoon sun the day before had caused the tubing hill to turn into an ice luge.  The guy working the hill said it was way too slippery for the kids to do alone, and that adults would have to ride behind and drag our feet to slow it down.  Talk about a heart attack!

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I could barely watch, but the boys absolutely loved it.  Screams of joy the whole way down. 

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I actually went down a few times myself, and may or may not have screamed most of the way. 

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Little buddies who just love each other so much.  Makes my heart happy. 

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An annual tradition from now on – no doubt.

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We left just as the sky opened up and giant fat snowflakes started falling.  It was so beautiful!

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Can’t say enough about these mama sisters of mine – they are my family out here, and I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people to share these fun memories and moments with. 

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Until next year!