Category Archives: Random rambling

2018 in Review

I was getting sentimental on New Years Eve this year – thinking back to NYEs of past, way back, 20 years ago, and I realized that I couldn’t remember who I was with or what I did for a few of them and I am someone who has always had a pretty good memory! Specifically, I remember 1997 (Phish at MSG, waiting in line that fall over night in NYC to get tickets as an 18 year old freshman at Cornell) and I remember 1999 (black tie private party at the Rockefeller Center in NYC on Y2K!), but I can’t remember 1998. Just think, kids today will not have this luxury – everything is documented here, on the internet! But anyway, because my brain is starting to selectively remember things, I wanted to look back on 2018 while I still could!

January 2018 – The boys officially started preschool at Roots and Wings, rotating and having an individual day. Our au pair of 2 years, Megan from Australia, had to go back home and we all felt a void immediately. We filled it with dog walks, strider biking, and when it finally snowed, skiing. The boys skied at Heavenly and Sierra with a host of helpers including the Gardners, and Kyle and Jenna. Our friends from Oakland visited and we had fun playing in the snow at Kahle Park and skiing at Sierra. I skinned up to watch the lunar eclipse over Lake Tahoe early one morning and it was an amazing site.

Preschool, here we come!

Feb 2018 – We continued progress toddler skiing with the hockey stick method. We got some snow in Lake Tahoe and had some great powder turns. I went to Revelstoke after 5 years away and got to catch up with some great Canadian friends and ski more powder than my legs could handle. My legs got tired and I missed my kids – they cried every time I video called, so I flew home a day early. I crashed in a hotel with some cool folks from Jackson, including Lynsey Dyer’s cousin AJ. I forgot my keys in Canada and had to use AAA to get a ride to the dealership and get a key made. Looking back, wow it was ridiculous!

Stoked to be in Revelstoke with friends


March 2018 – Returned from Canada to three cuddle machines and a full on Miracle March in Tahoe – lots of great skiing, runs to the valley floor from Heavenly, storm days, great backcountry days – best of the year in Emerald Bay chutes with boot top powder and no other people in site. Superhero birthday party at Kahle Community Center for the now 3 year old triplets went off and was super fun!

When you feel like you found your church.

So much fun at the triplet’s third birthday party!

April 2018 – 2 awesome Alpine Meadows powder days with friends, more toddler skiing, a visit to Oakland to hang with our friends, a visit to St. Louis with family to see my youngest cousin get married, the boys started soccer and it brought back a flood of memories, but they were not quite ready. Lots of work to finish up a fast track project that was on track to be one of the fastest publicly-funded projects ever completed in Tahoe!

Soccer mom so hard!

May 2018: Spring trips to Mammoth to ski with the Mountain Collective followed by some great skiing on Tioga Pass in Unknown Couloir and a steep icy run down “Meghan says it goes” or Chute out with Greg. A great day trip with PK down to Mammoth and another great day trip down by the Saddlebag Lake area that was almost too pretty to make our minds up about what to ski! Then we visited my sister and her family and my mom in Denver and the boys loved it. We had a blast at the zoo, various splash parks, and the children’s museum. After that trip, I came back and met up with friends from Bozeman to ski Shasta the day after my birthday… we climbed and skied the last day of May and it was in a total cloud and we couldn’t see anything, but we summitted anyway!

Greg about to drop into Unknown Couloir off Dana

Sometimes this is the view from 11,000 feet

Sometimes this is the view from 14,000 feet

Boys loving life at the Denver Childrens Museum

June 2018 – got to play tour guide to friends from Bozeman and Jackson in Lake Tahoe and did a lot of biking and boating. Went up to Shasta for round 2 since I hadn’t skied with Will this season and the forecast looked favorable – skied a new line off the Hotlum route. Lots of great waterskiing and beach time with the boys.

Sometimes this is the view from 14,000 ft

Lake time with out of town friends is so fun

July 2018 – kept turns all year going with a trip up Freel Peak to ski a pretty nice patch of snow. Biked around on 4th of July and other busy weekends with the triplets in the chariot. Some great day dates flyfishing and paddleboarding with PK – celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary 1 day late by flyfishing in Markleeville. My best friend Lauren visited and we had too much fun going on hikes, fishing, boating, playing with the boys and seeing Phish in Tahoe. Camped at Silver Lake with some friends and visited the potholes for the first time. The boys got so dirty but it was somehow fun.

Inflatable SUP made trips to Angora Lake super fun!

Happy Beacan at the beach in July


Peaceful times on the river

August 2018 – I was training to ride Rose to Toads and so I was fitting in a few long bike rides a week… but then I broke my thumb on an early morning ride out to Scott’s lake/Dardenelles – just broke the tip off on a rock garden. It’s still healing as of Jan 2019, but not affecting me. So we spent a lot of time at the beach and I kept my turns all year streak going (month 23) at the patch out near Roundtop. The boys used a kids waterski trainer for the first time and Declan and Beacan loved it!. Started construction on the Kahle Basin just 9 months after getting funding.

Future water skiers

September 2018 – was able to waterski again and enjoy locals summer in Lake Tahoe. It was a pretty cold September though and I was working at lot with 2 construction projects going! The boys started preschool 5 mornings a week and every day they were so excited! Our backyard fence was finished and our backyard was transformed into an awesome play area – it changed the whole feel of our house! We took an awesome evening end of September boat ride to Emerald Bay with Kelly and hiked to the tea house with the boys on Fanette Island. And the boys all did awesome on a kids waterski. And we ended the month with a great fall camping trip to the Eastern Sierra with friends – our last trip before getting a truck camper!

Last camping trip in a 4 person tent! Major upgrade coming!

Hotspringing on the eastside!

Local’s summer… finally may be getting this waterskiing thing!

October 2018 – we bought our very own truck camper – a used Lance 865 out of Colorado. The day it showed up, we took it camping in Coloma for a kids camping weekend. I was able to kayak the upper run of the South Fork American and had a great time and then the triplets had a fun time rafting and camping. I knew I had a hernia surgery scheduled for mid-month, so since my thumb was mostly healed, I started biking as much as possible and conditions were great – some fabulous fall rides on the flume, chimney beach, and toads. Surgery was uneventful and I recovered well so we set off on our first long trip of 2018 – 5 days camping on the California Coast! Our first nanny Lina came to visit and we had such a good time that the boys wanted to camp forever! Then we capped off the month with Halloween dressed as dragons and somehow squeezing in month 25 of turns all year on manmade snow on Mt. Rose. Looking back, despite surgery, this was a great month!

Major upgrade! 5 day trip to the coast in a truck camper!

Fun times in the ocean!

November 2018 – I’m a November hater – I just don’t like the darkness… but I need to change my attitude! I was still healing up and there was no sign of snow. With a nice weekend forecasted, we took one more trip in the camper and the boys loved camping again. We had smoke in a lot of California and the Camp Fire was raging as well as others – things seemed bad. But at the end of the month, right on time, the snow came and I had a fabulous powder day skiing at Kirkwood with friends on the final day of November. The boys rekindled their love for skiing and we found out that Cormac had really caught the skiing bug.

November was kind of blah and then the skiing got GOOD!

December 2018 – Was it that deep day at the local backcountry spot or the 16 days that month that Cormac skied? The kid became a skier this month. He went from skiing holding mom’s hands to skiing all by himself of any blue run, even dipping in for some powder turns. Yeah, that is my highlight of the year. Now just hoping that Beacan and Declan find the same passion!

It’s a lot of work to ski with toddlers, but when it works, it works!

The family out skiing at Kirkwood!

I feel like there is something I didn’t do in 2018 and that is travel to a new place so that is a goal for me in 2019. I did have quite a few micro-adventures closer to home though and honestly, that may be the best thing about having kids – that everything becomes new and exciting again. So, I’m looking forward to loading up the family and getting out there with the new truck camper – both near and far. And I’m hoping to connect with many of my friends again – in person, not on social media. I’m also hoping to bring my energy – the energy I get when I’m living my best life – to the world. And I want to write some of this down, so I remember it! Happy new year!

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About last season…

It was a good one! I was able to ski a lot… it felt like this magic window of time where Mother Nature delivered an epic winter and my kids weren’t quite old enough to want to hit the magic carpet every day. Here’s a quick edit I put together with some of the highlights!

 

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Desk Dreaming

After my morning routine with the triplets, I arrived at work at 8:30 and went through my emails and to do list for the day. I paused for a minute to dream of a generic great adventure, standing high above the world on a peak with amazing vistas, I inhaled the crisp clean air, imagining the challenges I overcame to get there. I snapped back to reality with a work related phone call and then decided to check Facebook where I saw that Matilda Rapaport had died after being caught in an avalanche in South America, undoubtedly the same type of adventure I yearned for. I cried – right there in my office chair. Paralyzed, I thought maybe I should take a break and walk my dog, but I decided to write this. I didn’t personally know Matilda, but she became the kind of person you thought you knew because we had a lot of mutual friends and I followed her on Instagram. I knew she was 30, just married. Though our lives are totally different, I can remember when I was 29 and recently married and all the great things that have happened since. I’m sad because she seemed like the kind of person that would’ve loved what the next chapter of life would bring. Last year, I had a similar reaction to the passing of Liz Daley, another beautiful soul who I may have only met once, but felt connected to. I don’t know why these deaths are so sobering. I feel I’ve gained a sense of risk adversity were I would not ski terrain in snow conditions where avalanches could occur – I mean, I won’t even bike scary things since having the triplets. As females, we’re also reassured in avalanche courses that we are more risk averse – statistics show it. But statistics do not mean it will never happen. I’m sad today for the years these women, who were smart, adventurous, loving, and fun, won’t get to spend on our planet, because we need more people like them now, more than ever. Sending love to Matilda’s friends and family.

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All the Guilts

I get all the guilts. It’s probably my Catholic upbringing. Thanks mom. Maybe the new Pope will change this practice? At any rate, whenever the triplets tear apart Lego structures or knock over a tower, I like to tell them “nothing is permanent” Maybe they’ll be Buddhists.

#1. Mom guilt – obviously. Is there a mom that doesn’t get this? I recently met my goal of exclusive breast milk for a year though and this has relieved a bit of the guilt. Now most of the guilt comes from simply not having enough time to spend with the triplets because I’m either working, doing adult chores, or trying to get outside and do something fun.

Here are my kids, under-dressed, in the snow, one is crying. I’m smiling. Mom guilt just looking at this photo.


A video proving I’m into “free-range parenting”

#2. Skier guilt – this is also commonly called FOMO or fear of missing out and it doesn’t just apply to skiing but that was fresh on my mind this winter. This guilt manifests itself with the following internal thoughts, “there’s good snow out there, I should ski it!” or “I haven’t skied Tallac this year yet” or “Lines are filled in here in Tahoe that haven’t been for years and I haven’t skied any of them!” Just thinking about this is overwhelming, makes we want to run to my car, get my ski stuff together, and drive to the end of Fallen Leaf lake and ski Halls of the Gods.

By the way, I did ski Tallac this year in a last minute skier guilt induced mission!


I also skied one of the Emerald Bay chutes which I’d never skied. See, writing is cathartic!

#3. Environmental guilt – Triplets increased my carbon footprint. No doubt about it. Shear time constraints have forced me to drive more. Shear number of family members have forced us to own bigger cars. At least I didn’t fly anywhere this year to ski. Every year I want to compost and I can’t seem to get it together. Oh yeah and SO MANY DIAPERS = SO MUCH GUILT!

I biked to work two times this spring! The bad thing about this is, see Scout back there, I just found out she has 2 partially torn ACLs… probably from biking and skiing… more mom guilt!


By the way, Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is now free to watch on-line!

#4. Community guilt – Attending that community meeting, friend’s social gathering, fundraiser, etc. is going to send me off the deep end. Sometimes I have to go to bed at 8:30. Other times I have to use the time between 8:30 and 9:30 to obsessively prepare wholesome food to assuage mom guilt as described above.

#5. Work guilt – I don’t have much to add about this except that in busy periods I wish I could do more work. Doing more work leads to more #1, #2, and #4 guilts – maybe a bit less #3 guilt since my job is to help improve the environment. Is that a catch 22? Or is it ironic? Damn it Alanis! I bet Buddhism holds the answer.

#6. Non-paleo guilt – I just ate 3 cookies while writing this post.

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A day before the big day

1 day until the triplets turn 1! Unbelievable. Declan and Beacan have been standing on their own and trying to take steps. Cormac is close behind. He loves standing and swaying back and forth.

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Declan at the playground a few weeks ago!

Goofing around on Scout's bed the day before their 1st birthday

Goofing around on Scout’s bed the day before their 1st birthday

Martha came to town a few weeks ago and I had a great time showing here around.

Martha enjoying Tahoe's backcountry

Martha enjoying Tahoe’s backcountry

We capped off the week with a showing of Shifting Ice and Changing Tides at the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema in Tahoe City. It was my first time seeing it on the big screen! Very cool! If the Winter Wildlands Alliance Film Festival is playing near you, check it out!

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Trials and Trip-ulations of a Skier Mom

Winter has arrived early in Lake Tahoe this year. After 4 consecutive years of sub-par winters, the early snow is a welcome gift. After taking last year off, I’m excited to ski, but knowing I’m also busier than I’ve ever been and so I feel a need to make ski days “count.” This is a somewhat dangerous way to think if you’re traveling in the backcountry, so it’s required me to shift my attitude, avoid social media a bit, and revel in the journey. Here are a few lessons from the 5 days I’ve been skiing so far this winter…

1. I have to be efficient. I often pump on the way to and from skiing. I’m pretty sure a Sierra at Tahoe employee caught a glimpse of my milk makers while changing into my pumping bra after skiing a few runs up there early season. Solution: wear pumping bra under sports bra to avoid embarrassing encounters!

Early season turns at Sierra


2. Pumping en route to a backcountry ski, I decided to forgo bringing a coolor and simply buried my pumping parts in the snow near my truck. As I skied back to the truck, I noticed ravens circling above. I panicked – they had the ziploc bag my pumping parts and milk was in. Where was everything!?!? AHHHH! I literally started yelling! I hurried over to the bury location and, sure enough, nothing was there. My friend had picked up the scattered parts, but there was one missing. I looked around in despair, but spotted 2 of the 3 birds perched on a tree just a few hundred feet away. I waded through the thigh deep snow and saw a little pock mark in the snow. I reached down and pulled out the missing part! WOW! Solution: Bring a cooler, even birds love breast milk!

Great ski partners also help you find your pumping parts!


3. When, it’s cold, it’s COLD. Left my pump in the car and had to hook it back up after a few hours of skiing in the cold. Solution: be tough, which you already are if you’re a mom.

4. Messing up has bigger consequences. I was skiing around at Kirkwood when I swiped a tree. I heard a jingle. I stopped and checked my pocket. It was ripped and the keys had fallen out. STAY CALM. I have nerves of steel thanks to the multiple times I’ve had to accomplish things with 3 babies crying. My eyes darted, I saw a dark spot right behind me in the snow. The keys. Phew. My babies would not be going hungry. Solution: practice makes perfect… stay calm.

A father of 2 making his ski days count! After sampling this powder, a pushed it a bit and almost lost my keys!


5. Weighing 205 lbs in March 2015 had a way of keeping my legs strong. I’ve lost all the weight, but exercising twice a week since then has made the impact of early season skiing a lot harder! I’m sore! Solution: I only really have 2 or 3 hrs to ski anyway, so ha, but maybe I’ll pull out my alpine set up a few more times this year!

Working out the early season kinks


6. MOM GUILT. This is unavoidable, but I’m such a happier person after skiing and I know the triplets see this when I come home and dive right into hanging out with them. Solution: Go skiing!

Excessively hard to leave these future skiers but one day I won’t be able to keep up!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I’ve been living at the hospital for 16 days. I wonder if it’s harder to live at the hospital as a sick person or a completely healthy, albeit overly pregnant, person. I’ve had daily visitors and sometimes it’s felt like a party. It’s a different way to live, that’s for sure. We do things like play Scrabble and complete puzzles. I’ve learned 3 songs on the ukulele. Yesterday a kind nurse escorted my mom and I outside because of hospital policy and told us about the pool on the campus across the street. We stopped in and found out that there is a special program for preggos with a doctor’s note – $5 for water exercise. I was in… especially if I could swim laps. So we went to work and got a note from my doctor and all I needed was my swimming stuff which another friend kindly dropped off. Then… the supervisor rained on everyone’s parade. Even the nurses were sad. She said it was against hospital policy for me to go. Wah wah.

I've come a long way since getting here... they used to only let me leave in a wheelchair! Pushed here by another pregnant woman.

I’ve come a long way since getting here… they used to only let me leave in a wheelchair! Pushed here by another pregnant woman.


Not to be discouraged, I decided to try on my maternity swimsuit (which is now a very suspect fit) and do a little experiment. I like to refer to it as “hospital adventures.” So I walked over there (illegally) and gave them my doctor’s note and they said only the class is $5, not lap swim and classes were already over for the day. PLAN FOILED! But it was still an adventure and broke up the day. There’s always tomorrow. Stay tuned for the next edition of “hospital adventures.”
Another type of "hospital adventures" - walks around the floor and coming up with funny captions.

Another type of “hospital adventures” – walks around the floor and coming up with funny captions.


So, what is the plan? Well, I’m on the schedule for one week from today if all continues to go well. That would be 36 weeks along plus 1 or 2 days depending on who you talk to. I’m trying to enjoy the quiet as I’m about to be overstimulated for the next 15 years at least.

Lastly, I want to thank a bunch of people. My husband for taking care of everything at home and bringing me all the things I need at the hospital. My mom for flying out here to keep me company and staying for a while to help with the triplets. My friends who have taken care of Scout the puppy. And all my amazing visitors who have taken my mind off living in the hospital by accompanying me on walks, playing games, bringing me healthy and delicious food, and just making a lot of funny jokes. THANK YOU!

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