Sunday, January 5, 2014

2 weeks in Colorado

On the way to Colorado:

Over the many rivers, and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go...
 Before we left the ladies couldn't get enough of Hayden.  Why do you think he loves church so much!?
Garrett turned 11 months while we were there and cut two more teeth.
 The kids were amazing to ride all the way on the 16 hour trip.  We made it in one day by doing whatever they wanted with movies and lots of snacks.  The wheelchair lift came in handy to haul all our luggage while we had the car packed with a stander, wheelchair, lots of medical supplies, diapers, diapers and did I say diapers and presents.

4 Generations under one roof:

On Sunday we got to go to church with their Great Grandmother aka Gigi. 
The kids got an early christmas of Colorado coats and pose with Gaga & Great Gigi.
While it was much colder than we are used to in Texas, the kids were very excited to see snow and visit the North Pole, Colorado where Santa lives.  Norad tracks him every year as he travels through the sky to deliver presents.
Gaga got the boys polar bear hats and gloves.  They were cute little monsters who weren't sure if they liked the hats until they felt how cold it was without them.
Hayden was so cold and discouraged for the train but once we got on it and then rode the gondola, he changed his mind.  He was even thankful for it in his nightly prayers.

 The North Pole village is adorable.  Be sure to dress warm if you ever make it there.
 Garrett and Gaga photobomb on the train.
 The wait outside Santa's house was long and cold.  Everyone seemed to think it was very worth it and wonderful except for Garrett.  Hayden couldn't take his eyes off of Santa.
 Garrett & Hanna loved Aunt Sue Su and Uncle Alan!
 Hanna couldn't believe that she got a letter from Santa.  She knew this year she couldn't sneak and open up all the presents like she did last year.  She exercised real patience until 6 am.

 I love how easy the kids are to please at this age.  They really don't have any expectations and find joy in the littlest things.
 This was my baby Garrett's 1st Christmas.  He is so big now.  I couldn't stop kissing him all day....that is when I could catch him.

 Mom's pretty mantle & picture of her old home in London.
These two ladies sure could cook up a storm.  Even if were snowed in for weeks we wouldn't have run out of food.

 It was such a relief to have so many family members like Aunt Janie to be an extra helping hand.  That must have been why I gained 5 lbs from all the free time to eat.
We had lots of mobility devices to make Hayden independent and one to keep Garrett contained.

 Hanna and Scott loved the chance to have a snow ball fight....

 Scott a little too much...

 Hanna got him a few times pretty good though...

 Sledding in Guffey:

 Possibly one of the best times ever.  Aunt Ginger and Cousin Emy & Maggie drove 4 wheelers up the mountain so we could sled and roast marshmallows.
 Once upon a time, I used to live in that barn there when I was little.

 Garrett was still a little unsure of just how much fun this really was.

 My famous Hanna Ranch cousins, Maggie & Emy.  I loved that we got so see each other after too many years.  Aren't they so pretty & smart too!
Aunt Ginger is much like my grandma that passed away many years ago.  She is tough and so much fun!
 Hayden loved the snow this time.  I got us some momentum on the sled.  He had been wanting for so long to make a snow angel.

 Who doesn't love roasting marshmallows?
 Ol' friends and a happy day.

 Hanna thought she was going to hunt this dear.  Only problem, she needs to learn how to be a little less obvious.  Pink is the new camo.
 Don't worry, I didn't drop my drink or the camera.
 Hayden driving with no hands!  Thanks Emy!
 Maggie taking it easy on her freeloading cousin.

Skiing Beaver Creek:

 Easy come & hard to go.  Beaver Creek spoils you.  And we were spoiled with discount tickets from our friends Josh and Stacey who have the best job working for Vail resorts.  I would like to ski and get paid too:).
 We had been planning on taking our kids but decided at the last minute to leave them with our family before we try and teach them how to ski when they are older and will appreciate it.
 At the bottom of this run we ran into a differently abled ski/sled instructor/nurse.  She gave me her personal business card and told us to come back with Hayden next year.  I think we will!
 Selfie as we were the last ones down the Grouse Mountain followed by ski patrol for 2013.
 A happy start to 2014!

 The second day it snowed all day and the skiing in the trees was amazing!  Unfortunately the drive back was awful taking 8 hrs to go 150 miles.  It was the worst I have ever seen in all my years living in Colorado.  So glad the kids weren't with us that time.

 Saying Good Bye:

 We had to take our annual pilgrimage to the Broadmoor.  We used to go every year as a child to see the spectacular lights and Christmas decorations.  It was all we could do to say a little thank you to Momma for taking such good care of us and letting us invade her home for such a long time.  We can not begin to repay for the easy healthy vacation we had.

Happy New Year!

2014 has so far been such a welcome relief from the tough year that 2013 was on all of us.  While no doubt trials will be upon us this year, having heathy children is such a precious blessing.  

When we arrived home we were greeted by many wonderful cards.  We love looking at each and every one of your good looking faces!  It was especially wonderful to get cards from kids that look like my Hayden, with walkers, wheels & crutches.  We will leave these up until our next holiday, Garrett's 1st birthday!