Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snowboarding Pictures....

A few pictures from the trip....

The group, minus Kevin and Will, at dinner Thursday night.

Action shot of bearded Jenner.

This is Kristi after getting off the lift.

Jenn looking awesome.

Will, Jenn, and Kevin on the lift.

Katie and Jenner waiting for the lift.

Kristi and me doing what we did best that day.

Me and my favorite at the end of the day.

What Goes Up...Must Come Down, Part 4

I believe there is a moment in every friendship when two people come to an understanding of each other. This moment can come quickly or it can be a long time in coming. Either way, once this moment arrives, the people involved have two choices. They can accept it and become better friends or they can ignore it and never really understand each other. Standing on the side of that mountain with four year olds on skis whizzing past us, Jenner and I arrived at this moment.

"So, Jenner, I think Kristi and I are going to call it a day."

" No, you are not."

"Oh, but we are. Can we walk down this mountain?"

"I don't want you to."

"I don't really care what you want, Jenner. Will Massanutten allow us to walk down this mountain?"

"Well, yes, but I don't want you to."

"Again, I don't really care what you want, Jenner. I want you to find the rest of the group and enjoy your day. We're not Marines. You are allowed to leave us behind."

"Will you go rent skis?"

"Have you lost your mind? No, I will not rent skis."

"Please, go get skis."

"If you leave me alone right now, I will walk down this mountain seriously considering renting skis." (Of course, I had no intention of renting skis, but anything that would make this man get away from me...)

"Ok. I'll go."

"Thank you. But first we have to go save Kristi."

And with that, we went up the hill to unstrap Kristi from her board of death. After a few more parting words and pleas for skis, Jenner snowboarded off to find the rest of our group and Kristi and I began our trek down this mountain. It was a good moment. Jenner and I parted still as friends, but with a better understanding of each other, and I was grateful to be able to part on my own two feet. In pants, no less.

The rest of the day was spent standing at the foot of the mountain with Kristi, watching and waiting for our friends to get to the bottom. Jenn is a great snowboarder. I was really proud of her and Katie, too. The guys are awesome snowboarders and it was a lot of fun to watch them. Later in the day, Kristi, Katie, and I went tubing. That was a lot of fun and the guys and Jenn even made their way over to the tube park to watch us for a bit. That was great :) After dinner at Chilis, we went back to the hotel to ring in the new year. Not surprisingly, only us girls made it all the way to midnight. Of course, our energy was buoyed by a performance by the New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys. Oh, was that amazing :)

All in all, it was a great way to spend New Year's Eve. I did a lot of new things in 2010 and besides going to France, I think snowboarding was my favorite. It was something I never thought I would do and I actually did it. It might have just been for few seconds but I snowboarded. Not only that, but I snowboarded with some of the best people I have ever known. Friends who challenge me and make me laugh at the same time. We do meet no ordinary people in our lives. And I snowboarded with at least six of them :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Goes Up...Must Come Down, Part 3

"Yes, please." Two oh so simple words said oh so reluctantly. I really didn't want help but I also knew that I didn't want to stay attached to a wooden slat fence while standing in one sock for the rest of my life. There are so many other things on my list. Tour Italy. Write the great American novel. See 2011. So I said "yes, please" and waited for the eventual humilation of detaching myself from the fence. Or, I guess the eventual continued humilation would be more accurate.

As I wrote in the last post, Jenner was a little more than half-way down the hill while all of this was occurring and was about 20 or so yards away from me at this point. So that meant coming back up the hill on a snowboard to help. Not an easy task for anybody. But I didn't have just anybody coming to help. I had bearded Jenner. Now, I know clean shaven Jenner is an awesome person but I'm pretty sure he can't snowboard up hill. But bearded Jenner could and did. Let it be known that bearded Jenner defied gravity that day :)

So, after Jenner snowboarded over, we got to work unhooking me from this fence. About this time, my snowboard began to slide down the hill a little bit more and I don't think saying I began to panic is an overstatement so I asked Jenner to just unstrap my second boot from my board. Asked, begged, commanded, it's hard to say. Fortunately for me, Jenner is a Marine and has no problem following orders. He unstrapped my boot and I was finally standing on solid ground again. Without being connected to the board of death, I was able to work my pants off the fence and gain freedom once again. Once I was off of the fence, Jenner informed me he had solved my problem. Oh, yes, Jenner please tell me my problem. "Your boots are too loose" he said. Well, golly, Jenner. Let's just tighten them up and head off to the top of the mountain then. Honestly though, I don't think Jenner and I had reached the part in our friendship yet where I felt comfortable being that sarcastic with him so I said "oh...well...hmmm" and left it at that.

Once I was free of the fence, I was able to look around and really pay attention to where Kristi was during all of this. I'm not usually so self-absorbed but when one is hooked to a fence while attached to a snowboard, one does tend to turn their focus inward. Sorry. So, Kristi was sitting in the snow in the middle of the hill. With a look on her face I can only describe as....not really digging the snowboard. Being confident that Kristi was most likely over the snowboarding and knowing my own luck, I decided to let Jenner know that our snowboarding outing was probably over. Remember when I said that Jenner and my friendship hadn't yet reached the "comfortable with sarcasm" level? Let's just say, level reached.

*The picture is of me and bearded Jenner. Notice that I am free of the fence.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Goes Up, Must Come Down...Part 2

So, once I realized that I probably wasn't meant for living in a shack on a mountain, I resigned myself to going down this hill on a snowboard. Just as a disclaimer, I have never been someone who has to be good at something or do something again and again to get good at it. I am definitely that person who tries an activity once and crosses it of my list, you know? So I really just wanted to get upright on the snowboard, slide around for a bit, fall gracefully down on the snow and walk off into the sunset. That was my vision. Unfortunately, my vision has never been exactly 20/20.

Once everyone had departed the lift (some more expertly than others....Kristi), we made our way over to the edge of this little "beginner" hill. We were instructed, by Jenner, to now sit down and strap in the second boot. Looking back on it now, I think this is THE moment I realized that I should have stayed in the lodge and read my book. Once you are strapped into a snowboard, there is no going back. Mainly because I really had no idea how to unstrap it but also because you are now locked into a flat surface on ice. Never a good thing, really. So, our next Jenner- inspired instruction was a simple, "Stand up". Two words have never made me want to hit anyone so badly. Sorry Jenner, but you became my most hated enemy at this moment. Just "stand up". Just "stand up". Just "shut up" was more like it :) I learned to stand up a long time ago and have been succeeding fairly well in this area but you couldn't tell on that day. I had a better chance of winning American Idol than standing up on a snowboard. Not surprisingly, Jenn and Katie stood up without too much trouble and they, plus Will and Kevin, took off down the hill. That left the brave, or just unlucky, Jenner with the not so brave Becky and Kristi.

While I am not one who desires to be excellent at everything I attempt, I do want to give most things a shot so I did try to stand up. A couple dozen times. And failed, I mean fell, a couple dozen times. Watching my struggle from a few yards down the hill, Jenner was very encouraging and finally suggested that I try to flip over onto my stomach and try to stand up on my toes. Hmmmm. Flipping in any direction while attached to a snowboard is not something I ever thought I would even consider, much less do. But I did. And this actually worked. Well, worked-ish. I did manage to get up off my knees at some point and I think I snowboarded for all of ten seconds but I SNOWBOARDED. During this moment of amazingness, I saw the fence.

I am a smart person. I read and do complex thinking. Because I do these things, I can't really explain my reasoning during the next moments. The fence I spied while SNOWBOARDING was this little four foot wooden slat thing that looked unbelievably unstable. But I was determined to reach it in order to gain some leverage, thinking that was the only thing I needed. Through a series of flips and flops, I managed to reach the fence. And leverage it provided- I was standing. Only until, my pants got stuck on one of the wooden slats.

Remember when I said I should have stayed at the bottom and read my book because a flat surface and ice are a bad combination? Yeah, well. I tried desperately to unhook the back of my pants from the fence but it wasn't happening. And then I felt the board slide. While the top half of my body remained still, the lower half was sliding downwards on the snowboard. "I am going to die without any pants on, strapped to a snowboard on the side of a mountain" were my thoughts. And as much as I knew how proud Jenn would be of me for this, I did not want to die this way. Not so much without pants but on a snowboard. I knew I had to somehow detach myself from the board of death so I yanked my right foot out of the boot. From down the hill, I hear Jenner yell, "do you need help?" No, I was good now that I had one sock in the non-moving snow. Now all I had to do was unhook my pants, get back in my boot and I was golden. The only problem being, I couldn't unhook my pants. I tried and tried and tried but these pants were not letting go of the fence. The pants might be the smartest thing I brought on this trip. "Do you need help now?" came from down the hill. "Yes, please."

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Goes Up, Must Come Down....Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, Jenner suggested a snowboarding trip over New Years (for those who don't know, Jenner is a Marine who has been part of our small group for the last few months). Snowboarding and Becky? Sounds like a great idea to me! So last Thursday, Jenn, Katie, Kristi, Jenner, and I loaded up our cars and headed off to Massanutten, a ski resort near Harrisonburg, Virginia. Our friend, Jack and his sister Muriel were going to meet us there for the day and Kevin and Will (more Marines from our small group) were going to arrive late Thursday night. The trip got off to a fantastic start what with Jenn backing into the front of Katie's car, Jenner falling into a ditch, and Katie leaving a plate off goodies on top of her car. Fortunately, these events were the most exciting things to happen on the drive and they all happened before we pulled off of my street.

We got to the hotel around 3 and arrived at the slopes shortly after. Jack and Muriel were already snowboarding so Jenner and Jenn, who were going to board and ski, got their lift tickets and off they went. Katie, Kristi, and I walked down to the tubing park to buy our tubing tickets for the next day. Once Jenn realized her ski boots were a tad too small, the four of us waited for the three snowboarders to finish up so we could go to dinner. After a fun meal at Applebees (Jack's pick, of course), we said goodbye to Jack and Muriel and headed back to the hotel. A few hours and some good games of Apples to Apples and The Game of Things (my new favorite) later, Kevin and Will finally arrived. We played a few more rounds of The Game of Things and called it a night.

The next morning we headed back to Massanutten for a full day of snowboarding and tubing. Or dying, whichever came first. Having never snowboarded before, I was a little, maybe a lot, nervous but I was brave and don't think I showed too much fear :) When the board rental girl asked me how long I wanted my board to be, I knew I was in trouble. But I figured if the three year old next to me could do it, so could I. Haha. That's a good one.

We got out on the snow and Jenner explained how to strap one boot onto the board and then drag-scoot the board to walk. This is not as easy as I make it sound and I decided then to make peace with this world and prepared myself to meet my Savior. But Jenner apparently had much more faith in me and we got in line to board the lift. Boarding the lift happened so fast I am not really sure what happened. So, looking back that might be my favorite part of the whole experience and the ride up was actually very relaxing and quite lovely. Mainly because I didn't have to move around on the board but also because the view was pretty. Unfortunately, the ride had to come to a stop sometime and we had to get off. Just so everyone knows...departing the lift was NOT A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE.

To get off a ski lift on a snowboard is to experience near death in a brand new way. As Jenner explained to me on the way up, "it's like riding a skateboard". Oh, ok. Now I'm good. My only goal was to not get hit in the head or break my leg. Actually, those are my goals for anything I attempt to do. I managed to get off and I think I only brought Jenner down with me. Have I mentioned what a great sport Jenner was during all this? BUT, I didn't hit my head or break my leg, so score one for me. I got up laughing which was really the only thing to do in that moment, I was strapped to a board after all. Now, though, came the hard part because unless I wanted to move into a shack at the top of this hill, I had to get down.....
By the way, the picture is of me stoked to be there and Kevin, who is also excited but not quite at the stoked level yet....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Year in Months....

2010 was such a great year. I thought I would go back and sum up just how great it was...
It got off to a fantastic start in January with Cole Baby. Even though he was a few days late (which I am sure I will remind him of for many, many years), he is amazingly awesome and I can't believe he will be one year old later this week. February brought more snow in two weeks than I have ever seen in my life. I got to spend those two weeks, basically in my pajamas, watching the Olympics all day. 2010 could have stopped there :) I think I showered everyday but I can't be sure. March was March but I did get to experience Tent City. But we will move over into April. Oh, April. In April, we met Andrew and Jack and our lives have not been the same since then. May, we began seriously fundraising for the trip to France and I got an A in a class I wasn't expecting to get an A in so that was stellar. June brought a nice long trip to South Carolina and good news regarding Allison :) I spent July 4th getting my passport stamped in London (which I thought was pretty ironic) and got to experience an incredible week of camp in France. In August, I kayaked for the first time and ate waffle ice-cream sandwiches with Jake. I began teaching four year olds in September and I have never been so challenged at my job. But it's all good :) Molly also left in September but we are still not talking about that... October brought some bitter-sweetness when Jack and Andrew graduated from TBS but we are managing. In November, I shot a 22 for the first time and discovered that I am a crack shot every 5th round or so. December was awesome. I got flowers for my birthday, went bowling twice, and played Hungry, Hungry Hippos with Jake.
That pretty much sums up 2010. It's hard to believe that it's already gone and 2011 is here but I guess that's the way it goes. If there is anything that I am most thankful for that 2010 brought, besides precious Cole Baby, is all of the friends I made. I just spent the past couple of days with the most awesome people and besides my sisters, I didn't know any of them this time last year. And I am so grateful and feel so blessed to call them friends. I love the quote from C.S. Lewis, "We meet no ordinary people in our lives" because I know how very true that is. Now onto 2011 and all of the adventures it will bring!!!