Sunday, February 13, 2011

One year older and my knees are barely hanging on. . .

Best Birthday Ever!
I'm thinking about starting every post with some sort of Best _____ Ever! That way reading this blog will be like reading an email in ALL CAPS, or watching the third Jason Bourne movie--one heck of a vomit-inducing ride. Mmm hmmm. But really it was the best birthday ever.

First Mike made me breakfast. We tend to eat only cold cereal for breakfast around here. Otherwise someone (Mckenzie and Hannah, that's you) throws a major fit and our day begins with hatred and tears. Always a good send-off for school. So I was happy with breakfast. Kenzie, upon learning that it was my birthday, and with promises of getting to choose her own cereal for breakfast on her birthday, smiled and ate the eggs.

Before Kenzie left for school they gave me my present--new AT boots! AT is the act of rebelling against ridiculous ski lift prices by paying ridiculous amounts for ski equipment that allows you to ski-climb up the mountain. Mike is a superskier and I enjoy "earning my turns." We've been talking about getting AT gear and going into the backcountry for a couple years now. Our lack of knowledge about avalanches and lack of equipment has kept us in check, but we went to an avalanche awareness class last winter, and we've decided to slowly but surely accumulate gear. With prices for ski gear as they are, by the time we pay off our house we might have all our gear, you know by 2030.

This is me saying, "Mike you spent too much money. Thank you." 
Next we waited for Ellie to wake up so we could take her to Summer's with the girls. And we waited. And we waited. Finally at 9:30 I went to check on her and she was rolling around in the crib, smiling and talking to herself. Cuteness abounded.

We dropped off Hannah and Ellie and we were off to the UofU to rent some skis and bacon. Haha. Not bacon, beacons. (Another mindbogglingly expensive piece of equipment that allows people to find your body after you are buried in an avalanche. Although I'm sure some bacon might make you more findable too, you know, for the search dogs.)

We drove up to Alta, geared up and headed up the mountain. It was hard. And awesome. I'm always good with going up the mountain, it's the going down (the part Mike loves) that freaks me out. Same thing with mountain biking. As we kept going up, and up, and up some more, I started to feel nervous. I've skied off and on for about 12 years now, but I am by no means awesome. Especially on my first run of the season.  The last time I skied was two years ago.  So as we climbed up the mountain in beautifully fresh powder, I started to picture myself with a ski impaled in my head. Not so awesome.

I may have been a little whiny, and perhaps even cross, up at the top. Good thing Mike is a patient man. As we took off our skins (things you strap to the bottom of your skis that make them so they don't slide while climbing up), I tried to remember how to snowplow. And then down we went. I've never skied powder; it was like floating. Until it was more like falling. I spent a good portion of the day trying to figure out how to stand back up.

The downhill lasted about 1/8 as long as the uphill (minus the time spent trying to pull myself up out of the powder). Then we put our skins back on and skied up a groomed road. We practiced some more powder turns and then it was time to go get my new boots fitted and return the other equipment.

What a good day of skiing!

On the way home we grabbed some dinner and an ice cream cake to eat with the girls, but when we got home they had made me an all chocolate cake with sprinkles! I forgot to get a picture with the candles in, but isn't it cute? My parents had brought the girls over to our house to get ready for bed, they were so nice. It was fun to do cake and ice cream with them.

The sequence of me blowing out my birthday candles is actually quite embarrassing. I think I have a picture from other years that shows me doing the arm-flapping thing while I blow the candles out. Let me explain. I believe that flapping your arms and thrusting out your chest help you inhale. And I'm starting to get enough candles on that cake that I need all the air I can get. So watch for more arm flapping to occur. I might even try it during my runs.

I used to think of my birthday as being during the most depressing time of the year, but since we discovered snowshoeing and now AT skiing, my birthday is during the best month ever!


Kandice said...

soooo much fun! I am trying to talk spencer into taking up snowshoeing and cross country skiing, however, since I run all the time he thinks he will just be left panting and out of breath. My bday is in two weeks and all I want is to do one of the two.....
Happy Birthday!
p.s. you are the best writer!

Anonymous said...

"A ski impaled in my head. Not so awesome."

Hysterical Stephanie. A ski impalement would certainly put a bit of a damper on a birthday girl's day.

Anonymous said...

Flapping arms while blowing out candles makes a larger breeze, so that's a very good thing. LOL
I was relieved to hear that the skins were part of your ski equipment. Whew.
You and Mike are are such a great couple. Good choice, Stephanie.
Love you, GMB