Let It Snow!

Last week we got ninety inches of snow. NINETY INCHES. Almost four feet.

It was so much snow that the road was closed for avalanche control for 18 hours straight. So much snow that Sundance Resort couldn’t even open because the road was buried.

The road. Our car. Our house. Everything was buried.

We are buried.

Although we’ve been here almost four years I have never seen a snowfall like this one. Since few people experience the amount of snow I’m talking about I wanted to share some photos. Enjoy this winter wonderland and be grateful you didn’t have to shovel out.

I Believe in God

This post might not be popular. It may be quickly deleted from your feed. You may not open it at all. But I’m still going to write it.

I believe in God.

When I view the beauty of the mountains, feel the wind on my face and breath in all that fresh air I experience the divine. There is glory in the outdoors, in the trees, trails, and animals. There is joy in sliding down a mountain on my snowboard, wonder at the growth of delicate flowers, fascination at the small and large. I believe in God.

For me the outdoors is a testament to the Divine. Being in the outdoors is healing for my soul, makes me more grateful for my blessings and helps me be a better human being.

I know the topic of God causes a lot of conflict in the world. I find this ironic since God is supposed to be Love. A lot of violence is justified in the name of religion, but I would like to invite anyone reading this to see the good in belief. Faith breeds humility. A higher power offers hope in an often dreary world.

The popular view in the world is that there is no Divinity. We’re the result of millions of years of evolutionary reiterations. But I think that sells us all short. The peaceful moments in life when I gaze at my baby, or hear my kids laughing have supernatural power. The beauty of a sunset or the lull of ocean waves on the shore, are those not Divine?

Truth comes in many forms. If the only sources of truth in the world are those you can quantify and have been approved by scientists I feel we miss out on the spectrum of human emotion and experience. Does a poet who can move you with words NOT speak truth? The sources of truth in the world are great and grand. The awe I feel when in the outdoors reminds me that there is a greater power at play.

Talking about a Divine Creator in this age of technological innovation may seem archaic or uneducated. But the truth is the outdoors helps me appreciate the beauty of creation. Being outdoors makes me pause in wonder and awe. The feeling of amazement that I can be part of this whole beautiful earth and share even a small part of it reaffirms that there is a God.

When I see the mountains I see God’s glory. When I see my happy family I feel God’s Love. I believe in God. Please, look for the higher power in your life. Let there be Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.


Babiators Submariners Review Plus 20% Off Coupon Code

This post is part of a series of weekly gear reviews. And this one has a coupon code for 20% off! Check back most Wednesdays for reviews of cool gear for outdoor families.

During swim lessons earlier this year Big E was a champ. He jumped in when asked, followed the teachers’ directions and learned new skills.
His younger sister, on the other hand, was the problem child of her group. Little G did not want to get her face wet, spent several class times ignoring anything the teacher asked and often sat on the edge of the pool asking for mom. I attribute part of this reaction to the fact that she was only three, but another part is the lack of good gear.
Swimming requires very little – a good suit, access to water and a good pair of goggles. Mountain Dad knows this first hand from his years on the high school swim team. I have never had much luck with goggles. Usually I end up with elastic indents on my face, water in my eyes and general frustration.

It’s even worse with kids. Whenever we swim, if goggles are in the equation, I spend a lot of time adjusting, repositioning, tightening or loosening straps for my tots and usually they just take them off anyway.
So when Babiators offered to send me some of their Submariners swim goggles to try out I jumped at the chance. I’m a big believer in the power of design and these goggles are designed with a kid in mind. The eye piece is one solid section with a generous gasket around the edge to keep the water out. No more worrying about getting each eye to seal. Having it all one piece means it’s easy for kids to put on themselves.
The straps are adjustable by a simple button on each side that easily locks into place when needed. And although they look a little like snorkeling goggles the lack of a nose cover is great for helping kids learn how to manage their breath while swimming. 
What my kids really liked were the cool submarines the goggles came in. They double as pool toys (we also play with them in the bath) but I wish there were some color on the case. We lost the front of one submarine and I can tell you it’s not fun searching the entire pool for a see through toy. 

The cost of $35.00 seems steep for a pair of kids goggles, especially with how often things get lost or broken in our house. This is where Babiators is genius. Their Lost and Found Guarantee means that if you lose or break your Babiators within one year of purchase they will replace them for free! Seriously genius.

  • Easily adjustable
  • Kids can put on themselves
  • Solid eye piece 
  • Generous gasket around the eye piece prevents leaking
  • Cool submarine case that doubles as pool toy
  • Lost and Found Guarantee
  • Clear submarine toy case is easily lost underwater
  • Price – $35.00 
With cold weather all around heading to the community pool is a great way to be active with kids in the winter. It’s fun for everyone, even Baby L enjoyed it. Kinda.

After trying out these goggles I once again realize that it’s worth it to have good gear, even for kids. These goggles were so much better than other kids goggles I’ve tried. They were designed for kids, not just adapted from the adult design. That makes them worth it in my book.

You can get 20% off your own pair of Babiators Submariners. Just use the code MountainMom20Off when you check out here. It’s good through December 23, 2015!

How Skiing Strengthens Families

Last season I was pregnant with Baby L and missed the thrill of snowboarding. I missed gliding down the mountain, trying tricks and spending quality outdoor time with my tots. So when Sundance Mountain Resort opened last weekend Big E and I were there. Even though the snow wasn’t great, it was better than no snow at all. I’ll take what I can.
Skiing and snowboarding are more than just fun winter activities. They are activities that strengthen our family. Here’s how:
Skiing defines what your family is. Some people are soccer fanatics. Some families are music families. We are a Mountain Family and that includes skiing and snowboarding. My kids may never play on a school basketball team but they will all learn how to ski.

Skiing and snowboarding strengthen family ties even over multiple generations. Since I sat out last year, my dad took Big E and Little G skiing. He enjoyed it so much he made a goal to ski with my kids once a week this coming year. My kids are three out of thirty grand kids so to have that one on one time with him is truly something special. 
It encourages new skills. Studies have shown that couples who try new activities together have stronger, longer marriages. The same applies with the whole family. As a snowboarder, I learned to ski when Big E did so I could help him on the mountain. Learning new things puts me into an open state of mind, vulnerable, teachable and when I accomplish a new skill like parallel turns on a blue run I feel triumphant. I want my kids to feel that too. 
When new activities are tried together it creates bonding memories, helps individuals push their boundaries and puts us in a good mental place.
Seeing my kids conquer obstacles gives me opportunities to praise. So much of my communication with my tots revolves around getting them to do things – clean up, homework, get dressed, stop hitting your sister. It’s nice to just have fun together and have the opportunity to see them do something difficult.
Sitting on the chair lift forces you to talk to each other. My sister and brother-in-law have older kids, including a teenage daughter and tween son. What they like about skiing together is the one on one time they get with their kids who would rather be hanging out with friends. I’m not against trapping my kids twenty feet in the air to have some positive bonding time.

Skiing and snowboarding gives me a reason to love winter. Let’s be honest, shoveling, scraping, and driving in snow is not fun. Darkness at five pm is depressing. Cold weather is uncomfortable. Winter can be rough so having something fun that depends on cold and snow makes seasonal depression less of an issue.

We are a skiing and snowboarding family. Even when the snow doesn’t cooperate we will be out on the slopes, spending time together and enjoying the outdoors. If you’re looking for a way to create some positive connections with your kids try skiing together.