Getting to Bear Lake isn't the easiest. It isn't the hardest, but it is a pretty long journey. You have to fly into Salt Lake and then rent a car and drive like another 3 hours. I like that the flight is short (seriously Mom and Dad, you must move closer) but the car ride makes for a long day. Our kiddos were troopers though, they will do just about anything to hang out with our extended family.
The kids were good on the flight and were patient while we got the car rental situated. I do not know what happened to me from the time we got off the airplane to the time we got into our car, but I had the worst headache I have ever had in my entire life, I couldn't keep my eyes opened, I couldn't eat, I couldn't talk, I couldn't do anything, and eventually we had to pull over on the side of the road so I could throw up. It was bizarre. Luckily it only lasted that afternoon and I was totally fine the rest of the trip (and ever since).
When we go to Idaho I feel like I never even see my kids. They all run off in different directions with their cousins. It is both awesome and confusing. I am not used to not having my little ducklings around me at all times.
Sawyer and Kimber proved to be the mist hardcore snow bunnies. They were out there for hours.
Cambria & Sawyer and an unlucky snowman.
Decker and Grandma got a lot of bonding time in.
Marc and his sister Mauri.
Harps had fun hanging out inside with Matisse.
And my all time favorite sisters.
One of the neat things about hanging out with lotsa family and having my kids entertained, I get a little extra one on one time with this dude. I can't complain.
The weather in Bear Lake was weird this year. Less snow than most years, rain, wind, sunshine, snow, you name it, we got it. The sunny clear days were great, the wind was pretty terrible. The icy sledding hill made for some quick and fun runs but it also seemed a little dangerous. Sending my kid down an icy slope gives me all kinds of anxiety, I can barely even stand to watch (I am a wuss). Surprisingly Harper is kind of scared of it too, so she stays away. Decker went down with both Marc and I and he cried the whole time. Sawyer on the other hand has no fear, she could be out there all day and never get tired of it (or complain about being cold!) I love seeing the snow every February and I would be sad if we didn't get to go, but that is enough snow for me for the entire year. Less clothes and more sunshine is my motto.
I seriously took so many photos of Decker because his cuteness was killing me, even if he wasn't all that happy.
The grandparents spend a lot of time in the cabin and out in the barn (Grandma is a gem and cooks and feeds all 21 of us, Grandpa tends to the fire in the barn to make sure everyone has a warm place to go when they are done in the snow) so when they do make it out on the hill it is pretty exciting.
Marc went up on the sled hill and built a barrier from the wind. I think it actually helped out a lot.
The only good way to get up a giant sledding hill is to be pulled by a snow mobile.
Catching a ride on the actual snow mobile is even better.
Marc thought he could trick Decker into liking sledding. It didn't work.
One day when we were getting ready to head in for the night I took Decker and Harper back to the house with Grandma and Grandpa and I told Sawyer I didn't want her sledding anymore because it was getting too icy and I had a bad feeling about it.
While I was taking this picture…
Sawyer and Kimber decided get in the tube together and go for one last ride. Sawyer was on the bottom and Kimber hopped on top of her. The girls flew down the hill and got wedged underneath the wood fence. It took two grown men to get them out and both were screaming and crying. Sawyer's face was bruised - she is lucky they didn't hit one of the posts because I fear it could have been a lot worse.
Leaving Idaho this year proved to be a little trickier. Well not really trickier, just really really exhausting. First of all, we had rented a Tahoe but the rental car people didn't have one when we went to pick it up so they gave us an Explorer. Granted the Explorer was brand new and a really nice car, but we could barely fit three car seats across the back row and we couldn't use the third row since we needed space for our luggage. The kids didn't like the sardine situation and Sawyer complained that Decker smelled like seaweed. We picked a bad time to fly home - it was an evening flight which is kind of precarious - much easier to just wake up and fly home in the morning, no lag time, no chance for kids to get cranky. As the day progressed and Decker didn't nap I knew it was going to be bad.
Take note of the carseats…they clearly didn't really fit. Ha!
We had time to kill when we got to Salt Lake so we hit up the City Creek shopping center. The girls had the best time and even got to try on clothes and do a little shopping with Grandma. Decker on the other hand fussed, and cried, and was on the verge of a colossal tantrum the entire time. Lucky for us, Decker saved the most massive tantrum of his entire life for our flight home. In all of the flying we have done with our girls, I had never experienced anything like it. Boyfriend screamed, and cried and was completely inconsolable. Marc and I passed him back and forth, paced with him up and down the aisle, and seriously nothing could make him happy. I had strangers coming up to me and rubbing my shoulders assuring me that he wasn't bugging anyone (Ha! Then what made you walk up to my seat and let me know you weren't being bothered?!), people offering him lollipops trying to make him happy, and other folks around me telling me there terrible traveling stories with their children. Eventually Decker, red faced and sweaty, completely wore himself out and passed out in Marc's arms. You guys, his screaming went on for like an hour. It was insane. And we haven't flown since (that is not really why we haven't flown, we haven't had anywhere to fly to, but we have a trip planned for Virginia and for Hawaii coming up and I am shaking in my boots thinking about those long flight times!).
When we finally got home everyone was tired and excited to get into their own beds. Lucky for me, Marc took the next day off work too so I got a little bonus husband time.
If you look closely you can see the bruises on Sawyer's face. I am so glad that that was the worst that happened to her.
And as hard as traveling can be with kids sometimes, I totally think it is worth the memories. My greatest joy in life is making memories with my family. Nothing better.