Whew! It feels so good to be back in my normal routine.
Well, sort of…my kids still haven’t returned to school yet (tomorrow!), but we’re at least home and trying to get back into the routine of dance/volleyball/speech/basketball/violin/dinner at the table life. As much as I love the holidays (and you know I do!), I love this fresh season right here too. My house feels cleaned up and organized, my calendar looks nice and roomy (not too full) and the possibilities of 2018 stretch out in front. It’s a brand new year.
If you have been out of town too and missed my three post-Christmas blog posts, you can catch them below…
We have been out of town for the last 9 days or so, so that’s what I’m going to be recapping over the next few days (except on Wednesday, when Erika and I host our first How We Wednesday!). On Wednesday’s post, I’m going to share some goals/resolutions/etc for 2018, so if you’re into that stuff…hang tight 🙂 . I also plan on doing another YouTube video this month (oh dear!), I’m going to share my packing tips for a winter vacation (and reiterate how important I think my packing method is!!), talk about a few personal things near and dear to my heart, celebrate a special boy’s 8th birthday and blog some of my other favorite topics as well.
But today, fresh off our latest trip, I thought it only fitting to start there. As always, if I’m wearing something that I love and it’s still in stock, I’ll link to it for you. I am so happy to be “home” with you today.
So, right after Christmas, we cleaned up our house, packed and headed to Aspen as a family of six. It was such a fun time of eating, sleeping in, reading books (I read four!), being lazy and learning to snowboard. The Shull six planned this trip back in May, so we were super anxious to get it started.
We were at the airport and ready to go! We picked Aspen for several reasons: you can fly directly there from DFW, none of us had been there before, we heard Snowmass Mountain was a great place for snowboarding, the town and restaurants looks good, you can drive to Breckenridge and Denver from there easily. Six people and six pieces of luggage (four suitcases and two snowboarding bags) were ready to roll!
This girl was ready to play in the snow!!
I loooooove traveling with this guy!! Fourteen years later and he’s still my favorite traveling partner in the world!
We bought the two big kids Kindles for Christmas, and my kids have never read more!! I know it’s only been a few weeks, but they’re obsessed with these things and won’t put them down. My mama heart gets so happy to see my big kids read 🙂 . Here we are at the airport eating breakfast before our flight.
This girl always wants to sit next to me…and I love it 🙂 .
See…she’s reading 🙂 .
So, after a quick flight from Dallas to Aspen, we landed at their very small airport, and I immediately took the little two girls to the bathroom. There was a line because two flights had just landed (Dallas and LA) and low and behold, look who got right behind me in line…
…Rachel Zoe! She literally stood right behind us and I about died. I love her! I did not talk to her in line or take her pic (because that would have been weird), but after we were through, I took it while we waited for our baggage. Ha! She was every bit as fabulous as I thought she’d be. FAB-U-LOUS!
So, last year, I posted my packing tips and explained how I divide up my family’s items equally between however many suitcases we have so that if a bag or two gets lost, everyone still has some of their things (verses everyone having their own suitcases). You can read about it HERE. Friends, as a travel professional, I hear about suitcases getting lost ALL THE TIME, so I wholeheartedly believe this is the BEST method for packing…because sometimes, your luggage doesn’t arrive…
On our flight from Dallas to Aspen, THIRTY bags were left behind at DFW. Thirty. Including three of our six. Soooo…we were happy that everyone still had clothes, pjs, shoes, socks, undies, etc between the other bags. The airline said they couldn’t guarantee that our bags would be delivered that day or the next (because there were so many and so few flights from Dallas to Aspen per day), soooo…that’s why I pack the way I do 😉 . We rented a car (when you’re renting a car, rent car seats and booster seats too!!), packed up our remaining three bags and zipped into town for lunch…
…we stopped at Hickory House and fell in love with their BBQ and sweet potato tater tots right away 🙂 .
When I asked them to smile. Hahahaha!
Pulled pork with coleslaw, yes please!
After lunch, we drove to our Airbnb right at the base of Aspen Mountain…
For the first part of our stay, we picked an Airbnb because it was in the right location (could walk to town) and had plenty of room for all six of us. The kids were pumped about the bunk beds 🙂 .
I took some pics before we took it over 🙂 .
After we unpacked what we could (with only half our luggage), we headed into town to check it out. Ironically, it was colder every day in McKinney, TX than it was in Aspen while we were gone. Ha!
Kensington and I needed to rent snowboards, and while I was there, I saw my booties in a mirror and wanted you to see too. They’re Uggs, and are waterproof, so they were perfect for this trip!! The treads on the bottom kept me from slipping and because they’re Ugg, they were so warm and cozy on the inside. I LOVE them!! My beanie is HERE and 40% off right now.
After K and I rented our snowboards, we headed to the grocery store to get goodies for the week (breakfast food, cocoa, coffee and snacks!).
And then after we unloaded all of that, we had reservations for dinner at…
…Grey Lady. Um, this place was so good!! We had everything from the crab cakes to the deviled eggs, I had the lobster chowder, Andrew had lobster, the kids had pasta…it was the perfect first meal in Aspen. Plus, the location and cozy interior was spot on too.
I love these three!
When we got back, I went to make sure the big kids were getting ready for bed and then found the littles like this 🙂 .
After my shower, I sat down to read and enjoyed the fire. It was such a good first day!
And PS: at 2:30 AM, they dropped off our luggage 🙂 .
The next morning, we woke up bright and early and headed to Snowmass Mountain so that Smith, Kensington and me could take snowboarding lessons. Andrew loves snowboarding (it’s his VERY favorite hobby), so we decided to split up our week and let him stay with the littles while the three of us did it and then vice versa. I had never skied or snowboarded before, so I was anxious to get out there and try.
This kid was born to snowboard. He is just like his daddy.
This kid was excited and nervous at the same time. She is just like her mommy 😉 .
And this kid, gets to try skiing next year 🙂 . Do you know that these big mountains have ski lessons for kiddos and adults with special needs? You see…Ashby Shull cannot fall down on her arm. Period. The doctors tell us that at some point, Ashby’s little arm is going to break and her life will be dramatically altered from that point on. Not “if” it breaks, but “when” it breaks. Unfortunately, her lymphatic and vascular systems have throttled the life out of her bone on the right side and it’s only about the size of a pencil. It’s so weak, and it’s so frail that falling would be devastating. BUT, thanks to wonderful organizations out there, people with needs like this can take “no fall ski lessons” with certified instructors and still get to be on the mountain in a safe environment. Praise the Lord. We’ve decided to wait one more year before we sign Ashby up. She is already so aware of her limitations…but we thought one more year would really mature her to move forward with “no fall” skiing. She was super happy to watch and hang out with daddy these first two days. Andrew took them back to the condo and let them build a snowman, he made them cocoa and he said they cuddled a lot 🙂 .
While the littles were dropping us off, look who got out of the van behind Ashby…Charlize Theron. Ha! Ironically, I’ve already seen her before. Years ago (when K was a baby), we saw her at a restaurant in Dallas.
The big kids were enrolled in snowboarding school and I had a private lesson. Ready or not…here we come!
I was able to watch the kids and snap a few pics during my lesson. They did so great!!
We were three happy snowboarders at the end of day one! I mean…we stayed on the bunny slope/end of a green, but we had fun 🙂 .
Heading down in the gondola with my girl!
And my boy!
It was beautiful 🙂 .
And more cocoa for the girls 🙂 .
Later that night, we got dressed and went into Aspen for dinner at…
We’re smiling because the Italian food was SO GOOD! Give me #allthecarbs after a day on the mountain! The lobster carbonara was sensational!!
And that finishes up day two!
Tomorrow, more from Colorado…plus, my kids go back to school and life will officially resume.
Happy Monday, friends! xo