The Best At Remembering

Recently Jane’s snow pants went missing. I’m not sure how regular of a reader you are, or if you live in the area, but this is January in Wisconsin. It’s cold and we do things outside. Snow pants are super necessary.

On the evening it was discovered that Jane’s snow pants were missing, we were on our way to the kids’ cross country ski lessons. Again, when you are seven and the windchill is in the single digits snow pants are super necessary for skiing.

In attempting to track down the snow pants we decided that they were either, still at the ski place from last time we were there, left at Grandma’s where the kids had been since the last time they skied or in the back of the truck in the ginormous pile of bags, ski clothes and general debris.

The only thing we knew for certain was that they weren’t in the truck and so a lively discussion of where they might be started. It was all hypothetical and going fine until Jane panicked when she realized she  might have left them at Grandma’s, about a two hour drive from home.  Then I reminded her that Grandma is a wonderful Grandma who will pack up forgotten items and send them in the mail the next day.

“Really?” says Clara, “I didn’t know she did that.”

“Yeah,” Jane says, “once she mailed me my rainbow crown.”

“What rainbow crown?”

“The rainbow crown that Otis broke and then that one guy was at our house I think his name was uhhh Matt, yeah Matt and he fixed it with that thing that started on fire in his pocket and then I left it at Grandma’s and then she mailed it to me” Jane explained.

I broke in with a “Wow. Yup. She’s right, good memory Jane” (Because Otis is a little boy who moved across the country almost three years ago and the man who fixed it was indeed named Matt and she only met him that one night, and no matter how you cut it that’s a pretty good memory).

“Yeah.” says Jane with not a hint of modesty, “I’m the best at remembering.”

“Okay remembering girl!” I said, “Remember me this! Where are your snow pants!!!”

“Mom. I don’t remember stuff like that!”


They were at the ski place. She… forgot… them there. 

Monday Night Ski Lessons

For six weeks in mid-winter, Monday night is cross country skiing night.

Ivy and Clara both take lessons, (with Peak Nordic Kids of course!) while I follow along with Clara’s group as a volunteer. Today was the last of this year’s sessions and looking back on the last few weeks I don’t feel that telling people it’s cross country skiing night really sums up the event.

You see, it starts at 1:30…

I figure 1:30 is the latest I can start gathering everyone’s skis, boots, and snow apparel, while double checking that we have extra socks, hats and gloves, without forgetting to collect a pair of p.j.s and a blanket for each girl’s ride home, all while on the phone consulting with my mom for a dinner plan. Because by 2:45 we have to be headed out the door to pick Ivy up from school. If we don’t make it there by 3:05 she’ll get on the bus and then we’d never make it to my parents’ by 4:00, so that we can enjoy the previously planned dinner with them by 5:00 so that at 5:30 everyone can put on their ski stuff. We have to have ski stuff on by 5:30 so that I’ll have time to switch Jane’s car seat to my Dad’s truck, say goodbye to the two of them and be out the driveway by 5:45. That way we can be at the ski place by 6:00 so that the kids can finish getting their ski duds on, while visiting with my mom (who is one of the coaches) and we can all be out to meet our respective groups on the trail head by 6:30.

While skiing is done at 7:15 it seems a bit insane to just go home so we take another half hour (or until someone’s toes are frozen) to play around on the trails with my mom before we go back into the warming house. Once back inside, we need to change into p.j.s (an activity that manages to spew two giant bags worth of gear all over the place) then pack everything back into bags and load all the skis, so we can be ready to go when my Dad gets there at 8:00 with Jane. But of course we never actually manage to leave at 8:00 because there are snacks, and adults to talk to and I’m never excited about getting back in the truck. So it’s always more like 8:30 that we get going, which means that it’s already past bedtime. Once we get half way home we have a “one last thing” request and then it’s officially bedtime in the truck.IMG_0541

Which means when I get home at 9:30, I have three sleeping kids, two giant bags, three sets of skis and poles, at least two pair of boots that have been kicked off, Ivy’s school bag, and random other debris scattered about the truck that needs to be transported inside.  Usually by 10:00 it’s all sorted. Everything is inside, the chores have been done and the wet ski clothes are hanging up around the rekindled fire in the woodstove.

Then I eat everything in the house, collapse on the couch and wonder how a 45 minute lesson can take eight and a half hours.

But worth it?

For sure!

In Michigan…

“Well, I guess in Michigan they have really big cats and lots of snow.” Ivy stated as we drove to meet my Uncle for an afternoon of skiing and sledding.

John and I agreed. It was undeniably true that the house cats we had seen since arriving in Michigan  were huge (I think one of them is actually part mountain lion) and the snow was impressively deep.

While I’ve no photo evidence to show you that the cats were at least three times the size of ours (and part mountain lion), I did bring the camera out into the snow.

After an entire afternoon of skiing and sledding followed by a delicious dinner, we headed back out into the snow for a fire and s’mores.

Soon after Uncle Jim joined us around the fire, Ivy calmly walked over to me, tugged on my jacket and said, “Can I whisper something to you?”

“Mom, why is Uncle Jim wearing a skirt?”

In Michigan, they have really big cats, lots of snow and they take perfectly good Finnish candles, call them Scottish Cabers and then stand around them in their kilts.DSCN7527-(2sm)

Alright, to be fair to the rest of  Michigan, I’m pretty sure it’s just my uncle that does that.

But we are so grateful that he keeps putting our animals back together when they break that we’ll still admit to being related.


No worries we didn’t bring any really broken animals with us this time. Just some veterinary maintenance that Clara presided over.

All in all it was a great trip, even the drive (two adults, three kids, two dogs, two cats through Chicago) wasn’t too bad.

Noisy- but not bad!