montana – day 3

with a whole first day of newly found confidence, we woke up saturday morning ready to take on the day.  i mean, i could just feel it was going to be a good day because it was loads easier to put on my boots.  🙂  once i got the rest of my gear all situated, the group decided to start things off together at the white otter lift since it was within skiing/snowboarding distance of the cabin.  in theory it sounded like a great idea, because this lift would take us up to a run that would get us to base a lot quicker than trekking through the snow.  plus, the crew felt i was ready for the white wing run, and i didn’t want to disappoint.

long story short, here is how things went on the white otter lift and white wing run.  i got onto the lift all by myself no problem.  i enjoyed the scenic and quiet ride up the lift.  i completely ate it when i got off the lift, one ski popping off but my energy still intact.  i watched as the crew, one by one, shooped down the very steep entrance from the lift onto the run.  i also observed, with much trepidation, as phillip made his way down as well, slowly but surely.  i took a big gulp of “i have to get down some way” reality, mustered all the spirit i could, and launched myself down the hill.  i’m not quite sure what happened, but the result was a quintessential wipeout right in the middle of the run.  the struggle was real one attempt after another as i tried to get my ski back on and get myself out of the way.  eventually i righted things and after a few more confidence-crushing falls, i shuffled my way to the finish line.  when i finally found phillip, all i could say was, “well, that is the least amount of fun i have had this entire time.”

there was good news out of this, though:  that i recognized what my abilities were and were not and, as such, spent the rest of the day back at bear basin.  phillip was a patient and positive cheerleader throughout the windy afternoon as i worked on weaving and faster turning and getting all the fresh mountain air that i could.

ultimately my goal for the second day of skiing was to end on a high note, and i think these pictures are evidence of just that.  🙂

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montana – day 2

after an extremely restful sleep thursday night, we were awakened by the wafts of something delicious coming from the kitchen.  steve had whipped up a good ‘ole american breakfast for the crew, complete with eggs, bagels, fruit, and, of course, bacon.  what a delightful surprise!  i couldn’t think of a better way to start the day before hitting the slopes.  oh, wait.  yes, i could.  setting the theme song for the day!  while we were enjoying breakfast, for whatever reason people couldn’t stop singing “africa” by toto, and just like that, it was the song of the day.

everyone cleared and cleaned their dishes and then piled into the cars to drive over to base.  before we could go shredding anywhere, we first needed to pick up our passes.  ben led the group right over to the lodge and stuck us in line to wait with everyone else.  i felt quite out of place without all my gear on yet but did my best to look the part and act like i knew what i was doing.  i knew it wouldn’t be long before we were ready to go, so we patiently waited our turn as we took in the surroundings.

first of all, it amazed me how much energy there already was in the crowd.  it was my impression that the typical person coming to big sky knows the skiing and snowboarding ropes pretty well, and these people were ready to get on those lifts and tear up the mountain.  the energy was infectious, and i found that i was eager to get into my boots and find my way to the bunny slopes.

it wasn’t long before phillip was strapping my lift pass to my pants and we shuffled aside to get all suited up.  i already had on my base layers, pants, and jacket, so the next order of business was the boots.  the nice folks at lone mountain sports had given me a quick tutorial the day before on putting on boots, so i slipped off my sneakers and grabbed the left boot.  for about a solid 30 seconds, i sat there struggling, unable to bend my ankle at all and get my foot all the way forward.  i glanced around to see if anyone else was in a similar predicament.  nope, only me.  i grunted and tugged and pushed but could not get that thing on.  i finally decided i was wise enough to realize i needed help, so i hollered at ben to assist.  i was quite grateful when he told me that ski boots can be tricky to get on and that he would be more than willing to help out.  with a little more wiggling and pulling, boom!  the left boot was on!  i felt like a champion already!  with some new-found confidence, i tackled getting on the right boot all by myself.  it may have taken me a few minutes, but soon enough both boots were on and i was more ready to go than ever!

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that’s my boyfriend!

last week we had an unusually cool tuesday wash over atlanta, georgia, and i insisted we all take advantage of it.  phillip’s company was having their softball game at the active oval of piedmont park, and i convinced clark and kari to join me for a lovely evening in the city.  despite the fact that the opposing team never showed up, we still had a fabulous time together.  i thoroughly embarrassed phillip with my cheering and jeering as he was up to bat and out in right field.  his coworkers looked at me on the bench and laughed, hopefully out of humor more than anything else.  although it was a forfeited win that night, it was a win nonetheless, so there ya go!

lefties hit more home runs!

lefties hit more home runs!

afterwards the four of us took a stroll across the street and enjoyed a lovely dinner al fresco at the nook for some world famous totchos and beer.  as i took in the other patrons, i was overwhelmed with joy at the weather.  i cannot recall how many times i said, “how gorgeous is it out here?  this weather is unbelievable!”  i am a naturally joyous person, but when fall comes around, it’s a whole other level of happiness that i cannot contain.  i couldn’t help but thinking of u2’s famous song “beautiful day” and how grateful i am for the changing seasons and the Lord’s grace for us on His earth.  it’s an amazing thing, isn’t it?

’tis picnic season!

picnic

a couple of weeks ago, i had the brilliant idea for kyle and i to surprise kari, his fiancée, with an impromptu trip to piedmont park, where they would just happen upon a wonderfully laid out picnic with goodies for a fun-filled afternoon.  i was up quite late pulling everything together, but it was certainly worth it.  we spent a delightful day under a tree as the rain lightly fell down around us.  there was no shortage of people watching, giggling, story-telling, and good company.  and then when i thought it couldn’t get any better, we went to the dog park afterwards to watch all the pups romp around in the sun.  the perfect saturday afternoon with my favorite people.

the treats we dined on were so delicious that i knew i couldn’t keep them to myself!  the antipasto pasta salad and pineapple-mango salsa were delicious, but my favorites were the blackberry lemonade, lady marmalade chicken salad, and homemade rice krispy treats.

p.s.  my secret for the rice krispy treats is to double the marshmallow filling.  YES.  you know it’s what you want.  for the rice krispy treats, melt six tablespoons of butter on the stovetop.  add 16 ounces of mini marshmallows and melt.  stir until combined.  measure out six cups of rice krispy treats into a large mixing bowl, add the melted marshmallow mixture (say that five times fast), and fold with a spatula until incorporated.  mash mixture into a 9 x 13 pan that has been liberally coated with non-stick spray.  NOMS.