Sorry in advance that this is long. I should do a whole separate post about Lucy and her first try skiing...and probably other stuff in this post too, but I'm putting it all here so I can find it easy when I want to reminisce about this week.
So buckle on in if you care to hear about the adventures of spring break!
We spent spring break in snowy Utah this year.
But let's back up because we got to hang with my parents the first day we were there. They were headed to Germany to give a speech the next day so we had to hug them up while we could!
My mother, true to her best-hostess-in-the-world form, whipped up an amazing brunch for us.
My Dad, due to his most-involved/fun-grandfather-tendencies made the girls' eyes sparkle.
We went to church and cruised by the house we grew up in nearby:
That night Dave took the girls to meet up with his family and I attended my parent's "Inklings" group with them. They get together once a month with a group of super bright and interesting people and discuss ideas about whatever is on the docket for that night. Last time I went it was about poetry and I adored it so I was excited to go again. This time around it was about C.S. Lewis and his book "The Problem of Pain ." I haven't read that one so I LOVED listening in on the discussion and being so inspired by C.S. Lewis and also how the gospel is intertwined into our discussion and his words.
This is the only picture I got...nice one right?
Our friends also sent me this one:
After that little chapter of spring break it was off to hang with Dave's family as per tradition.
We were all set to ski on Monday, but the weather reports called for a pretty serious storm warning with high winds so we opted for something indoors instead.
Now, I'm a little funny about some things (ok, a lot of things), but my idea of fun doesn't normally link to being in a dark game center all day. But I must admit this day was pretty fun at a place called Fat Cats in Ogden.
I guess most things we do with Dave's family turn out to be pretty dang fun since everyone is kind of competitive and they just make it all pretty grand.
We played "Deal or No Deal" a bunch:
Lucked out to win a LOT of tickets:
I must admit I was kind of excited too because I beat Dave in two rounds.
Which equals twenty minutes of backrub for me.
So that made me pretty happy.
I had to take a picture of my score because hey, a 131 might not be too great for most people but it's picture-taking worthy for me :)
All the while it was snowing pretty well outside.
These desert kids thought that was pretty cool.
We hung with cousins all night at Dave's sister Julie's house. I love nights like that. Love those cousins (and sisters and brothers-in-law) with all my heart.
The next day was ski day.
We were still a little worried about putting Lucy in classes so I hung back with her the first part of the day. We hung with my sister in Ogden and headed up to the slopes to ski with everyone (Saren's kids included) in the afternoon. We borrowed some skis and Dave took Lucy to try out skiing on the bunny hill.
As you can see, she was over-the-moon excited about that prospect on the agenda.
That excitement apparently faded pretty quick when she realized how slippery the snow was mixed with her skis and no control...
But I didn't know that because I took Dave's place to join the big kids on the slopes.
It was incredibly gorgeous up there.
I told Dave my only problem with skiing (aside from putting on ski boots:) is that I can hardly handle not having my big camera strapped around my neck. When I see that gorgeous-ness it's so hard for me not to try to capture it. But my little iPhone did the trick for a few and I tried to leave it in my pocket as much as humanly possible.
Couldn't resist capturing these cute cousins from both sides of the family in all that beauty:
I missed my chance to get a picture of the whole group together but here are a couple stragglers:
We headed to my sister's house that night for pizza and games.
We did some serious prep to get Lucy hyped up for her first REAL ski lessons the next day. She was pretty excited until we got to the slopes.
Then she started whining like there was no tomorrow.
Luckily there was a darling girl in her class who said, "do you want to be ski buddies?"
Honestly, I'm always grateful for kindness. But kindness is so much more poignant when it happens so often with a daughter with special needs. Just that little random sentence "do you want to be ski buddies?" filled my heart so full. What a little sweetie that girl was.
It was a gorgeous morning.
Some day I will write a whole post about how it is to have a child you don't know how far to push. Ok, I guess there's a little of that with EVERY child. How much do we push as parents? How much do we let them find their own paths? I believe there has to be a pretty good balance that is so very unique to every child, and every parent/child combination. But it's an extra interesting balance when you have a child with very different abilities and needs than your average child.
Yes, I could write a book about this and all the thoughts flowing through my head about it lately, but for today here are the basics:
Lucy is different. Her muscles don't work as well as other kids' do. She can't see very well. She has issues that are difficult to explain.
As parents, it's so hard to figure out how much to push and how much to sit back and let her be.
But what we push on brings her SO much confidence.
Take riding a bike for instance.
That's a tough thing for a BBS kid to do. But the fact that she can do it is pretty momentous for her confidence. She glows that she worked so dang hard on that (with a LOT of help from her Dad on the side), and accomplished her goal. She is getting so much better it is so fun to watch.
There are still a whole heck of a lot of things she can't do...tying her shoes, brushing her hair, buttoning and blowing out candles to name a few. But she CAN do them if we really, really work with her. Everything just takes time. And there's always that question lingering in our minds trying to figure out what's most important.
So, every year skiing has been one of those things we didn't want to push overly too much because we weren't sure it was time.
But this year we figured if the whole family is skiing, at some point we really do want her to learn.
So, as we kind of expected, Lucy didn't do well in her morning ski class. The teacher basically explained what we already knew: low muscle tone, lack of coordination, etc. He had a big class so he couldn't help her much.
Heart sinks. Does she need a "special needs" teacher? Is skiing just not her thing? I know it's not a lot of kids "thing" whether they have a genetic syndrome or not.
Lucy did NOT want to do the afternoon class.
But after a little lunch:
This time there happened to be no other kids in her class. No one showed up. We had put her in a group class because we figured the peer pressure would be good for her, but the individual help ended up being pretty sweet.
Her teacher, the sweetest girl named Rachel, seemed pretty ready-for-the-task so I headed off leaving her in good hands.
As the rest of us skied I kept wondering how she was doing. Dave and I took a little break and found a spot we could watch her out the window.
And do you know what?
That girl skied!!!
Sure, it was just a gentle slope, not even a hill.
Sure, her teacher did tell us she had to remind Lucy at the beginning that "nine-year-olds don't throw tantrums."
But she did it! She took the first step! She "skied" down that little slope quite a few times.
And her face was beaming with happiness about it.
Who knows at this point if we'll decide that one little "push" on skiing is enough, or if she'll be ready to try again next year, but I'll tell you what, that little girl glowing with pride sure made me glad we pushed. At least for this year.
Doing new things is such an important part of life! Just so hard to find the balance of what "new things" are right for this girl and what's ok to let go.
I guess the bottom line is that every child is just so incredibly unique, syndrome, special needs, or not. And every parent is so unique too. So it's all just a big game of seeking guidance (from others and especially from Above) and communication and going with your gut. And learning from the mistakes you make along the way.
Lots to think about.
Our family, FINALLY with Lucy right along with us but now missing Max.
At least we got a really great letter from him that morning and got to read it on the way to the slopes.
So we kind of felt like he was with us as we chuckled at his funny stories all day as we weaved through the gorgeous snow.
There is this painting we always see in downtown Salt Lake:
It was much more fancy for dinner than for lunch so we worked hard on our manners...
...and expanding our taste-buds a bit.
The next morning I met up with some of my best high school girlfriends for breakfast.
Oh how I love those girls. We just need more time to catch up! We keep trying to figure out a time for a weekend get-away but I think we're all in such busy phases we'll just have to be happy with breakfasts or lunches here and there with as many as can come for now.
Dave "conveniently" needed to run on a quick errand to find something we need to send Max while we shopped.
Then we headed to see Zootopia.
We cruised by my old stomping grounds on the way to send Max a package:
I love having a high school my kids are excited to visit ;)
Sure, it's been remodeled since I went there, but the fact that High School Musical was filmed there makes it kind of cool. It's my claim to fame :)
The same leopard that was in our front hall is still there.
Oh man, SO many memories.
The girls wanted to see the cafeteria quick:
I snapped a picture of a couple of the letters the girls wrote to Max before we stuck them in his package. Loved this one from Lu:
Here's her picture though:
We spent our last night with Dave's cousin and her family, including a cute niece down there on the left:
Dinner and games with more cousins:
Dave headed home with the three younger girls while Elle and I headed to check out San Diego State for their "Explore" weekend I'll try to write about tomorrow.
Phew, that was a lot of stuff. Congrats if you made it through!