Adventuring with Kids: Skiing in Whistler

Late last month we spent five glorious days vacationing spending time in Whistler. It was our family + au pair (Lilly) and I think we finally have this ski vacation thing down. We’ve gone to Whistler for ski trips three times now (here’s a quick post from last time, 2 years ago), and Park City once.

Traveling to Whistler: How to Plan A Fun Ski Vacation With Young Kids

Here are some tips for you if you are planning a (winter) trip to Whistler with kids:

+ Plan ahead! Ski vacations aren’t the time to be spontaneous. I would look at your schedule and figure out how many days you want to ski and how many you want to just hang out in the snow and explore the area. Then I’d sign up for childcare (if needed).

Traveling to Whistler: How to Plan A Fun Ski Vacation With Young Kids

+ Take advantage of Whistler’s Childcare if your kid is over 18 months old for about $125 per day.

+ Take advantage of Whistler Babysitting if your kid is under 18 months old or if you have multiple kids. This year the rate is $20 per hour + $4 extra per hour per extra kid. This is a lot of money, for sure, but it’s a bit cheaper than putting two kids in Whistler’s childcare, which is what we would have had to do two years ago when Clara was 3 and Isabelle was almost-2.

+ Take advantage of the ski school program for kids over 3 years old. Both Isabelle and Clara did that this year and they had a blast. The 3-4 year olds spent some time on the mountain and some time inside reading and playing games. Clara (in the 5-6 year old class) spent all day on the mountain with a break for lunch. This program is about $200 per day (per kid).

Traveling to Whistler: How to Plan A Fun Ski Vacation With Young Kids

+ Stay at an Airbnb or Vrbo. With six of us on this trip we needed a bigger place with a kitchen, so we booked a place through Airbnb. (Use this link for a discount off your first trip!) I also always check Vrbo because a lot of times properties are listed through both places and it’s good to compare the fees and cancellation policies of both sites before deciding which one to book with.

+ Book a rental property should be near Creekside. This might be controversial, but I’m really glad we stayed near Creekside. This is because it was only a 5 minute drive to Whistler Village, but only about 20 seconds from the Creekside Village area, where there is a gondola and a ski school drop-off. Basically, it has everything you need without the long lines and reallllly long walk from parking to the mountain. Pro tip: if you have a roof box on your car, you qualify as an oversized vehicle and can park in the oversize lot parking spaces in the Creekside Village. It’s free!

+ Eat at Creekbread for the best pizza. We ordered takeout to avoid waiting for a table. I got mushroom pizza and it was amazing. Everyone should order their own pizza and then you have lunch or dinner for the next day, too! While we’re on the topic of food, make sure you stop by Bred at Creekside to get your daily latte and maybe a plant-based pastry or entire loaf of bread. It’s the cutest place and everything is delicious. Another (affordable!) place we love is Hunter Gather and for more of a splurge I like Crepe Montagne. My advice is always and forever to do takeout, because three kids (5 and under!) is a nightmare in a restaurant.

+ Rent your skis a day ahead of time. If you need to rent skis, reserve them online and pick them up after 3pm the day before you need them. You won’t get charged for the extra day and then you don’t need to wait precious ski time waiting in lines.

+ Head to the “Magic Chair” chairlift on Blackcomb Mountain with young skiers. It’s a slow, short lift for only beginners and it leads to a green run that anyone can do. Plus, it’s right by a lodge and parking lots 7 and 8 so it’s perfect for young families. We didn’t have to walk more than 10 feet with all of our gear, and at one point Tim and Phoebe sat in the lodge and waited for me and the other two girls while we were skiing a bit. Then when I needed help he ‘rescued’ us by just walking down the slope… it’s a seriously accessible place to learn to ski!

Traveling to Whistler: How to Plan A Fun Ski Vacation With Young Kids

+ Learn to ski on Whistler Mountain by the Olympic Chair area. The perk to this area is that you get to take the Whistler Village Gondola to the beginner’s area, and my kids love nothing more than a gondola ride! The cons are that the parking near Whistler mountain is far from the slopes so it is a HIKE before and after skiing. Then it just takes a while to get on the gondola and get to the beginner’s area. But once you’re there it’s awesome because there are multiple magic carpets and a slow, short lift to go a little further up the mountain. Plus, Clara and I could go further up the mountain and then ski down to the beginner’s area a few times while Tim and Isabelle hung out.

+ Check out Whistler Village – specifically the small sledding hill, ice skating rink, and Family Apres days (on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-6pm).  During the Family Apres days there are free snacks and hot chocolate, as well as some live kid-friendly music/entertainment which our girls were very into. My girls also loved the nearby playground. Bring your own sleds and skates and prepare to be out there a few hours! Luckily there are plenty of snack and coffee shops nearby so you can warm up if necessary.

+ Have fun! Once you’re on the mountain and everyone is where they’re supposed to be, have a blast! The hard part is all of the logistics, the easy part is skiing and having a blast with your family, creating memories you can all cherish!

Ski vacations with little kids can be intimidating, but we had a ton of fun! We took the kids skiing way more than we thought we would, because they kept wanting to get back out there! I loved that. We ended up skiing for 4 days total. Two days Tim and I went out together while the girls did ski school and the other days we skied together as a family. It was the perfect mix of fun, adventure, and family togetherness.

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Things I’m Into: February

I want to start a monthly list of things I’m into. I did it a version of it last month but I’m going to switch around the formatting so it’s less recap, more quick recommendations. ANYWAYS. Onto February.

Shoes I can’t stop wearing…

I bought these Sorel (waterproof) boots and have been wearing them nonstop. I bought mine from ebay because REI was out of my size… but they’re sold from quite a few places. I used to be a Hunter boots fan, but honestly they’re too hard to walk in, and unless I’m going to a muddy pumpkin patch, they seem unnecessary. I’m converted.

Podcast episode I’m thinking about…

I don’t listen to all Happy Hour podcast episodes, but I did listen to the Happy Hour podcast with Emily P. Freeman and I loved it. I especially like the part in which she talks about parenting, and realizing that her okay-ness does not (and should not) depend on her kids’ okay-ness. She says it better than I do, so just listen to the podcast.

Show we’re binge watching…

Red Oaks. Wikipedia says: “David, a college student, begins working at a Jewish country club in New Jersey during his summer break in 1985. The show follows David’s life, with numerous subplots including his family, friends, and coworkers, and primarily revolves around the Red Oaks country club. The show explores themes such as adolescence, relationships, socioeconomic mobility, and the pursuit of happiness in a mostly comedic fashion against the backdrop of the New York – New Jersey area in the 1980s.” It’s good stuff. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Hair dryer that has changed my life…

I’m usually too lazy to dry my hair, and I definitely am not talented enough to dry AND brush… so the Revlon Hair Dryer Brush (that everyone now owns) is truly life-changing in the best way. I don’t even need to straighten my hair after I use it, although sometimes I run a straightener through it once just to smooth it out.

Low-FODMAP milk I’ve trained myself to enjoy…

I’m all about hemp milk lattes these days. You may remember that I’ve recently found out I’m fructose (and maybe) fructan intolerant, which means I’ve had to take a lot of foods out of my diet (although I’ve added some back in). A lot of milks have sweeteners in them – so they’re all out for me. I like hemp milk better than almond (unsweetened) milk, but not as much as I like my all-time favorite oat milk. Unfortunately oat milk is high FODMAP. Sigh.

Post I’ve read before but am re-reading as a reminder…

“Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think” I am trying to find an excerpt worth sharing except there’s no one paragraph that’s better than the rest… just read the whole thing.

Happy Friday!

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Terrible Things I Love

A few months ago The Bloggess wrote a post about the terrible things she loves. Read the post, read the comments!

terrible-things-i-love

In honor of Valentines Day… Here are some things that no one believes I actually love, but I do!

Mondays. banana flavored runts. turkey skin (back when I wasn’t vegetarian!). chili w/ spaghetti noodles. taking surveys. long roadtrips. drinking everything with straws. filling out forms. the newborn phase of parenting. walking around cities in stormy weather. room-temperature beverages. walking instead of driving. burnt french fries (dipped in a chocolate milkshake). talking to strangers on planes.

Tell me some of yours!

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IT’S FINALLY OVER! (January.)

I love January in theory, but in actuality I only love like the first few days of January because the rest of it is looooooong! I feel like New Years was three years ago.

January Recap!

+ I spent the first part of the month journaling about all of the things and figuring out how I want to spend this next year. I made lists of things I learned last year. Life giving/life draining activities. What worked well last year. What didn’t work well. Etc etc. I basically created all of the lists and decided I had a great year last year! I had just enough margin in my life to do things I wanted to do and I started feeling like myself again for the first time in a long time! All good things. But I’m not creating many (if any) resolutions this year because I want to minimize my life and to-do lists and not add to them.

+ In the middle of the month we had our first few snow days of the year which meant everything shut down right after we were really getting into our post-holiday routine! It wasn’t ideal timing, but a snow day or two is always fun.

+ You may have seen on my Instagram stories that I’ve finally discovered I’m fructose intolerant – which means I can’t eat anything. I’m only being slightly dramatic. From now on I’m on the FODMAP diet which is zero fun and a lot of effort because I’m reading all of the ingredients in everything. But the positive is that I feel a bijillion times better and have much more energy to do all of the things! I didn’t realize how sick I really was until I came out of the fog and realized it isn’t ‘normal’ for me to be too nauseous to get out of bed in the morning or to socialize or be able to move around after dinner… I wish I could have figured out what was going on years ago when this first became an issue! I could go on and on about this, but if your body is acting crazy, I urge you to try to figure out if it could be diet related. (I originally attributed my nausea to hormones and/or anxiety.)

+ Do you bullet journal?! This is my newest obsession. I especially like this video on how to set up a simple bullet journal. (Mine is not artsy at all, but I love it as a place to keep lists and charts! I have all of my ideas, resolutions, to-do lists, and calendars in one place – FINALLY!)

+ We’ve been trying to figure out whether we should switch preschools and how to register for kindergarten and also interviewing potential au pairs for next year… It all gives me a headache just thinking about it. Moral of the story: juggling childcare for three kids is hard.

+ We’ve been taking a break from all of the kids’ activities to give ourselves some breathing room (mainly because now we go skiing a lot which takes up most of our free time) and it has felt good, but now the girls are asking to do their classes again so we’re once again trying to strike a balance that feels right for our family.

+ This is the first year we’ve bought season ski passes (to Stevens Pass) and we are taking full advantage! We’ve gone every weekend (Clara has lessons for 6 Saturdays) and then sometimes during the week for a day date. It has been great for our marriage and also great for this fun-loving enneagram 7!

+ Tim’s mom visited a few days this month, and then a few weeks later my BIL and his girlfriend visited. So much family time! We had a blast and I love seeing the girls connect with their long-distance relatives.

+ This CBD healing stick is one of my very favorite things. I use it on my sore muscles and feel almost-instant relief. I hear that I should be using CBD in a lot of different ways, but so far I’ve just used it topically.

+ I’ve been listening to Oprah’s podcast (Super Soul Conversations) and have LOVED a few recent episodes. Listen to this one with Bishop T.D. Jakes, this one with Lady Gaga, and this one with Amy Schumer.

+ I’ve also been loving the Lazy Genius podcast lately!

+ I’ve been on a John Steinbeck book reading binge and finished ‘Of Mice and Men’. I loved it. (But I still love East of Eden the most.)

OK I think we’re caught up for now! Any book or podcast recommendations… send them my way!

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130 things that made my year (2019)

100 130 Things That Made My Year (2019)

(This idea stolen borrowed/stolen from Austin Kleon)

130 things that made my year (2019)

  1. Celebrating the first day of the new year (2019) by walking on the beach (at Carkeek Park) with my two little ones. I even set up a tripod so we could get a picture! Success.
  2. The view from our little cabin at Alderbrook Resort – overlooking the Hood Canal and watching the planes land on the water there. Also that entire babymoon.
  3. Hiking to Colchuck Lake with Tim during our day date in Leavenworth
  4. Eating at a German restaurant with Lilly (so she could tell us what to order)
  5. Listening to live music while eating outdoors in Leavenworth at Nudeln
  6. Thrifting
  7. The crazy amount of snow we got in Seattle in February – and playing in it for weeks on end
  8. Walking Ozzie around the neighborhood
  9. Laughing with Tim (mostly at ourselves)
  10. Prenatal massages and acupuncture
  11. Girls’ nights out
  12. Seeing Clara learn to ski for the first time
  13. Rolling our eyes as Isabelle learned to skate and spent most of her time trying to eat the ice
  14. Watching the girls during their ballet class together
  15. Celebrating birthdays
  16. … And baby dedications
  17. … And new additions to families
  18. … And friends moving away to embark on new adventures
  19. … And holidays
  20. … Basically, all of the celebrations
  21. Getting to know the people working on our house remodel
  22. And seeing them give the girls all of their snacks
  23. Deciding on when we would have Phoebe, and finally picking her due date – April 8th
  24. Dropping Isabelle off at her first day of preschool
  25. … And then seeing her make so many friends those first few months
  26. This sling
  27. And this baby carrier
  28. Walking through the tulip fields
  29. Adults only small group dinners, where we had time to really connect and finish our sentences
  30. Buying Isabelle ice cream on her birthday
  31. Feeling Phoebe roll around in my belly
  32. Strolling and biking along the Burke Gilman Trail on day dates with Tim
  33. Witnessing my girls become even closer friends. They were the sweetest besties all year.
  34. The moment I saw Phoebe for the first time
  35. Tim telling me that we had a third daughter
  36. And then being able to tell our family and friends the happy news
  37. Seeing my older girls meet the youngest
  38. Snuggling Phoebe in the newborn phase
  39. Celebrating Phoebe’s birth with my best girlfriends at my sip n’ see
  40. Watching the girls play in the mud at preschool
  41. Running on the beach at Cape Disappointment
  42. Meeting our new little friend, Griffin
  43. And meeting Reeve, who visited with his family from Portland
  44. Road trips and seeing the beauty all around us in our state
  45. Our first trip to the Washington coast (at Long Beach)
  46. Seeing a psychiatrist who validated me
  47. Watching my dad play with the girls on the beach
  48. Eating dinner with my family, Tim, and the girls the night before I was to be induced
  49. Watching Clara kick the soccer ball for the first time in a game
  50. Sitting by the fire with friends at summer barbecues
  51. Taking Isabelle to get her first pedicure
  52. Seattle thunderstorms
  53. Our church – and a few other churches we tried out and enjoyed
  54. Seeing the small town Independence Day Parade near Mount Baker – where we vacationed with friends
  55. Sledding near Mount Baker on the Fourth of July
  56. Walking around Green Lake with Annie (consistently)
  57. Spending the weekend with Laura during her visit to Seattle
  58. Witnessing Phoebe’s firsts
  59. Changing leaves
  60. Attending a neighborhood bonfire with the ladies in the area
  61. Crossing the bridge from Washington to Oregon, near Astoria
  62. Seeing a shipwreck on the Oregon coast
  63. Dance parties with my girls
  64. The Bible study I joined
  65. Sipping cocktails (outdoors!) with Tim during date nights in the summer
  66. Meeting new friends at my MOPS table
  67. Taking a boat ride on Lake Sammammish
  68. Sitting on our deck, talking to friends
  69. Hosting our community in our house (Superbowl, baby shower, casual dinners, playdates…)
  70. Playing card games with the girls (this one is their all-time favorite)
  71. Watching Schitt’s Creek and laughing a lot
  72. Figuring out my personal (home) style
  73. Dressing Phoebe in the cutest outfits – some of which her sisters wore
  74. The view at Pearrygin Park
  75. Outdoor movie night – when we watched Moana
  76. Swimming with the girls
  77. Reading almost 100 books
  78. Watching the girls eat s’mores
  79. Lattes
  80. Roaming around bookstores (and ALWAYS buying something)
  81. Eating dinner with friends in a floating house
  82. Welcoming Lilly (our au pair) into our family/lives/chaos
  83. Seeing Diablo Lake and the Northern Cascades during a drive to Winthrop
  84. Staying at our first KOA campground with the girls
  85. Getting a part-time job (for the first time in 5+ years!)
  86. This vacuum
  87. Hiking with friends to the Big 4 Ice Caves
  88. Learning to curl my hair – kind of
  89. Paddleboarding on Green Lake
  90. Spending time with our families when they came to visit
  91. Getting professional family pictures taken by Ashley Scheider, whose work I just LOVE
  92. Visiting with my good friend, Lisa, when she was in town for work
  93. Working out at the YMCA at classes my neighbor Katie was coaching
  94. Hiking with the girls and pointing out all of the bugs, slugs, flowers, etc we would see along the way. One time we even saw a baby bunny!
  95. Planning so many (hypothetical, and sometimes real) trips for the future
  96. Watching Isabelle do her first gymnastics class (by herself) and jumping joyfully on the trampoline there
  97. Getting to know other moms at the preschool a bit better
  98. Soaking in a hot tub under the stars in the summer
  99. Soaking in a hot tub while it was snowing in the winter (in Bend, Oregon)
  100. Spending Thanksgiving in Bend with best friends
  101. Ice skating outdoors at a resort in Oregon
  102. Singing along with Caspar Babypants (who we saw live quite a few times)
  103. Trying new recipes out of a few different cookbooks
  104. The girls’ preschool festivals
  105. Seeing the girls in their Halloween costumes and taking them trick or treating
  106. … And also getting dressed up
  107. Laughing as Isabelle fell asleep in the most random places
  108. Listening to Christmas carols for the entire month of December
  109. Finding our Christmas Tree and then decorating it
  110. Taking Clara to pick out Isabelle’s Christmas presents and seeing her excitement to give a great gift
  111. Getting serious about my health and finally figuring out why I’ve been sick for years (I’m fructose intolerant)
  112. Catching up with friends during phone calls which lasted hours
  113. This documentary
  114. Reading to my girls before bed
  115. Being in disbelief when Phoebe started easily sleeping through the night
  116. Taking Clara to VBA/VBS and watching her sing/dance on stage
  117. Hearing Clara recount that she got on stage in front of all the VBA participants to talk about what she learned about Paul (in the Bible) and being so stinkin’ proud of her
  118. My new (mirrorless!) camera
  119. Watching some great (Seahawks) football games on TV
  120. Christmas markets
  121. Attending The Nutcracker Ballet with the older girls and Lilly
  122. Allowing the girls to pick out their own outfits, and seeing what they put together
  123. Listening to podcasts. All of the podcasts.
  124. Coordinating MOPS (with my friend, Renee) and getting to know a great group of women through that
  125. Playing with the girls outside, riding bikes and scooters and just running around
  126. Our church campout, where the girls got to play with their friends and even go ziplining
  127. Sledding on Christmas at Hyak for the second year in a row
  128. Eating a German Christmas dinner with Lilly’s parents, who hosted us
  129. Wearing matching Christmas jammies
  130. Feeling my love for the girls and Tim grow and grow and grow!

2019 wasn’t perfect, but it was good. I hope you’re able to look back on the past year and list a few things that made your year great, too!

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