Once There Was a Snowman

Today Camden and I played barefoot in the grass, watching a ladybug crawl over the back of my hand, chubby fingers trying unsuccessfully to pin the bug down.  It's hard to imagine that less than a week ago we were bundled in coats and hats, exploring crunchy white snow and slippery ice on driveways.

Our trip to Utah was like visiting another planet, for Cam.  A white one, where your breath is visible in the air, and trees are tall and thick.  {Even Juniper trees are tall and thick to us desert dwellers.}  We saw tons of deer, elk, geese, and there was even a resident fox.

Camden noticed these creatures, I mean really sat and stared at them.  Once we walked onto the back porch to see a herd of twenty deer only thirty yards away, staring at us.  Camden lifted two fingers and greeted them with an inquiring, "Bah?"  Which probably means, "Mom, do you see those crazy looking things right there?"  It gave me hope that the zoo might be interesting soon.

Also, this kid never experienced so many layers in his life.  Mittens were very interesting.  He flexed his fingers, watching the way the mittens moved, and then accepted them as accomplices in his expeditions up and down slippery outdoor walkways.

Vernal was coldest.  Or maybe it just seemed colder without Roy.  {Aww, private pity party for me!}  He had to stay in Arizona and catch up with us later due to his bar prep courses.

So my brothers, my parents, my son and I arrived in Vernal just in time for the big Collett family post-Christmas dinner.  My dad is the sole sibling who lives outside of the state of Utah, so I always feel like I have a marathon-worth of catching up to do with cousins, aunts, and uncles.  But I loved it all; the food, the conversation, watching kids beat the candy out of a pi├▒ata.

Camden wasn't very happy after so much car time, altitude changing, teething, any and all other excuses I can possibly throw out there for him... he had a bit of an epic meltdown while I was in line getting food for him.  So we put him down for a nap and he missed most of the party.  But he got a little bit of playing time in with his adorable second cousin, Taelor.  Of course it involved a push-along toy.  Typical Camden.

We spent a few more days in Vernal.  The boys went rabbit hunting, we ladies went out to a fancy lunch, and Camden made friends with a little dog named Bella.  I also came to the realization that large numbers of children make him nervous, which is kind of hilarious.

On Monday we headed out to Heber to stay in a cozy cabin I quickly fell in love with.  I just wanted to cuddle up with a book by the fire.  Camden just wanted to be outside in the freezing cold every minute of every day.

I thought we'd make the best of it by building snowmen and snow caves and having baby-sized snowball fights, but... shows how much I know about snow.  It was the "wrong type" for packing, I guess.  It was pretty much useless.

Camden's first snowman.  Yes, he looks about as disappointed as I felt. 

Roy!  He arrived just in time for some snowboarding.  I hadn't been in two years and was worried I wouldn't remember how to not fall on my face.  Luckily it came back instinctively, and I felt like I was on top of the world.  There's no other sport I enjoy more than snowboarding.

We spent two days at Park City, thanks to Costco and my parents.  Costco because it's the absolute best place to get the cheapest tickets to Park City.  I need to shout that from the rooftops.  Go!  And then, of course, none of this would have been possible without my amazing parents being willing to take Camden for two whole days.  Saints.  

The first day snowboarding we spent with the ever-enthusiastic Zachary.  He's improved a ton in the two years I've been out of the game.


And the second day we spent with Mason and the McAffees!  We secretly worked with Kenny so that meeting us for snowboarding was a surprise for Andrea.  Roy and I are the perfect wedding anniversary gift, right?

I couldn't help but smile and think of Camden when I saw tiny three-year-olds on skis.  I skied when I was small, and didn't start boarding until I was ten years old.  When I wondered aloud whether we should start Camden on skis, my brothers were adamant that they would be teaching him boarding.  So there we have it.

On the last run of the last day, Andrea had a brilliant idea.  The skiers and the boarders should switch equipment and try the opposite sport.

"Brilliant idea" quickly turned into "worst decision ever made."  But sometimes bad choices make for good stories.  Like how I somehow laced my skis around a sapling and couldn't untangle myself.  Or how Andrea, after falling on her butt for the fiftieth time, sprawled out in the snow and screamed, "I HATE THIS!  SO!  MUCH!"  Shout out to the kind older gentleman who helped me get my butt out of the snow and taught me how to slide sideways down the steep hills.

Andrea and I switched back to our own fortes about halfway down the mountain, otherwise it would have taken us another hour to get to the parking lot, I'm sure. 

Poor Mason had to wait for us all that time, but he's a patient guy.  Zac had taken the truck home, so we piled into the McAffee's car along with the boards and ski poles.  We were one seatbelt short, so I laid across the laps of Roy and a very exhausted Andrea, who took a power nap on the way home.  {Since the ski adventure was a surprise, she didn't realize early that morning that it wouldn't be a good day to work out her legs at the gym.  Ha!}

Once we all got back to the cabin we four took a soak in the hot tub on the back porch.  Then Jameson and Jessica came to hang out, and we all stayed up ridiculously late playing Settlers of Catan.  I don't remember why we were laughing so hard, but it was a good night.  Team Bangerter won {I didn't really understand what was going on for half of the game} and we finally called it a night. 

Andrea and I chose to share a bed for the evening.  Even though we were both struggling to keep our eyes open long enough to brush our teeth, we couldn't help but chat in bed about babies, love, and life decisions.

Finally Andrea said, "I think I'm fading."  And that's the last thing I remember from that night.

Speaking of fading, this post is getting really long.  {Surprise, surprise.}  I think I'll pick this up with a second post later.  I'm going to go crawl into bed with my new series of novels {seriously, Costco!} and fall asleep, dreaming of snow.

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