Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The January and February Marathon

This is my first blog post of 2014 and the fact that it is almost March is very telling.  The end is in sight!  We are almost to longer days and already there is more sunshine.  As much as I try to live in the moment and find joy in each day, I struggle during this time of year.  The short days, low light, and lack of fun holidays to distract me from the cold weather wear on me.  And like most of the country this year, it has been COLD.  We have had our windows freeze on the inside, our front door freeze shut, and the beloved cottage has been on the wrong side of a large snow drift until just a weeks ago.

I wish I could feel the love for January and February...
but I can appreciate it in ice castle form

Last year I vowed to get out of town for the better part of February.  It didn't work out like I had hoped, but we did manage two week long trips.  In January we headed south from the cold to sunny San Diego.  It was our second annual "friend trip" with Esther and Craig and their boys.  Last year we went to Minnesota, and as enjoyable as that trip was, San Diego was a perfect choice for January! 

We went back to LEGOLAND.  I am not sure if I will ever tire of that place.  The creativity of the Lego designers is amazing.  LEGOLAND has opened a new hotel and we decided to stay there.  For anyone planning a trip, I highly recommend doing this.  I would say it took the fun factor up by 50%, if not more.  The elevator alone is worth the stay.  When you get in you hear elevator music, but as soon as the doors close a disco ball turns on and disco music plays.  We had a dance party on every ride!  Most other families did this as well, however a few looked at us as if we had lost our minds!  Each floor has different themed rooms.  We were on the pirate floor.  The kids had their own bunk beds and every where you turned were fun Lego details.  There was a safe in the room and the kids had to follow a treasure hunt to get the combination.  When they opened it there were mini figures in there for them! 

Note Caroline's adorable new glasses!

A very squinty picture of all of us!  Love that sunshine!

After LEGOLAND we went to see Ray's father's grave.  It was one of those perfectly odd moments in life, Ray knelt to pray and reflect, Caroline followed suit, all the while Max stood there loudly asking questions about coffins and body decomposition.  I snapped a quick photo and led Max away to give Ray some peace.  We then went to visit Ray's mother.  Sadly, she was quite sick with a cold.

After a day of relaxing at Ray's mom's house, we met back up with Craig and Esther to visit Sea World.  It was a fabulous day.  There were no crowds and we saw lots of shows, rode on rides and even had a very special lunch with Shamu!  Caroline has now altered her career aspirations to include being an Orca trainer.

I have never been quite so close to an Orca before!  It was quite a lunch!

Our next trip was without Ray.  We headed west to Utah, it was not a warm get away spot, but it was a heart warming getaway!  Our friends there have become our family and we always come home refreshed and well loved. The kids were beyond excited to see their precious Auntie Caroline.  We were there to see her son Keaton in the play How to Succeed in Business with out Really Trying.  He was amazing!  The kids adore him and his brother Dane.  We also got to spend a lot of time with our sweet friend Karen, who lives two doors down.  Her grandson and Max are great buddies and Caroline bonded with another girl in the neighborhood, spending quite a few days with her at different activities.  Karen has a wonderful craft room that entertained us for days.  And then their was Tim's cooking...a reason to drive to Utah all on its own! 

We LOVE visiting the Salt Lake Children's Museum. 
I think they did not let go of Utah Caroline's hands the whole time!

After the museum we met up with UC's nieces and made Valentine's cookies!

One of Keaton's lines in the play was "they call me Mr. Money Bags." 
So Caroline and her friend helped Utah Caroline make him a Money Bag as gift!

The girls were so proud of Keaton and their Money Bag creation!
Max hero worships Keaton and for years insisted his name was Max Keaton.

After reading on a friends blog about the Midway Ice Castles, we decided that we would go there on our way home.  Since I have two Disney Frozen obsessed children, it was the perfect spot to visit.  The kids brought their Disney toys and became quite an attraction unto themselves, many people stopped to photograph their toys!  Caroline said she felt like she was a celebrity.  Max thought the ice castles were incredible.  He climbed and crawled and explored, it is always wonderful to watch him "on the move".  It was the last day the Ice Castles were open and it was SO crowded, but we had a fabulous time.  It was the perfect end to a great getaway.

Thanks to UC for these amazing photos!

We came back to Colorado to find all the snow and ice thawed!  I think the wind blew it all away.  The wind has been beyond description!  On our drive back I actually got a blister on my hand from struggling against the tug of the steering wheel.  There were 50-70 mile an hour gusts on both legs of our drive. 

The wind is still blowing, but the sun is shining and I know Spring will be here before we know it.  I look back at my two least favorite months with fond memories.  I suppose this is the way to do it, I can't create more sun, but I can find some "bright" friends and family to visit and some beauty in the ice!


  1. Awww! Happy, happy, happy! You sure do know how to make special memories! I am so grateful to get to be a part of some of them. I treasure my Martin family memories!

  2. It was so fun to see you all!! So glad we all made it through these two hardest months of the year! Thank you, Rebecca for the "sunshine" and love you brought our way!!

  3. Reading your post has made me Happy! I'm not sure where you are but our son, DIL and grandchildren are now in Colorado.... along with six horses, two lambs, three chickens, two bunnies, a chinchilla, and a Bernese Mountain Dog. They are very happy. The weather is changeable on the eastern side of the mountains so they send me pictures of children is short sleeves with snow on Pike's Peak in the background. It is truly beautiful. We are looking forward to visiting them in July for Kylee's 13th birthday. The years seem to be speeding by but the joys of being a grandma.....the true blessings of old age.
    Thank you for sharing your "winter adventure". It warms my heart to see you and your family so happy.
    Hugs and blessings
    ^j^ Mrs.C.