Skiing Weekend Getaway – or How to Be the Coolest Aunt and Uncle Ever

A little after 10:00 on Sunday evening I got a text message from my sister asking if we had made it home. We hadn’t, quite, but were nearly there after a journey down to Ann Arbor and back. “The boys are worn out an in bed,” she said. “They should be!” I said. And I wasn’t kidding. Also, so were we.

Thursday afternoon, we made the three-and-a-half hour trek down to Ann Arbor where we met my sister to pick up her boys for the weekend. We chatted excitedly over dinner, and then split. Zylar and Kade, 11 and 8, stayed awake for most of the trip, but had fallen asleep by the time we were truly back Up North and in to the piles of snow that they were so looking forward to playing in.

We wrangled in all their weekend accoutrements, and then got ready for bed – which includes a nightly reading from The Hobbit. After this weekend, we are just over 150 pages through, and I am always shocked at exactly what they remember from trip to trip.

After homework and organization time Friday morning, we geared up for four hours of skiing in the afternoon. For two boys who spend so much time together and in some ways are so similar, they have remarkably different skiing styles. Zy tends to fly by the seat of his pants, recovering from almost-falls in the way that only cartilaginous children can. He zips down the hills, turning occasionally, but generally just kind of hopes for the best. And it generally works for him. Kade on the other hand, is a bit of a granny (no offense to grannies 😉 ). He makes slow, tight turns, zig-zagging his way down the hills in nearly geologic time. He is careful and methodical. Which is not to say he doesn’t fall; he does, but it’s not the spectacular skis-go-careening-end-over-end kind of fall that we watched Zy live through.

For little guys who only ski one weekend a year, four hours is a lot to ask of their legs. (And, yes, our patience. You don’t dare tell a little boy he’s tired and needs to take a break – it’s like telling a toddler he needs a nap.)

Saturday was pretty much a repeat of Friday, but a couple hours earlier. And then in the afternoon we drove to Traverse City to pick up Jackson (our friends’ almost-four-year-old son) for some slumber-party-ish fun. We opted for pizza for dinner, and followed that up – logically – with hot chocolate. The three musketeers giggled their way through some video games, the two older ones taking turns while assuring that the youngest was always included. My favorite moment of the evening was while they were playing Limbo, a spooky black and white puzzle game. The character in the game (you) is terrorized by a huge spider that he constantly has to out-run, and (SPOILER ALERT) eventually, after many puzzle/battles, the “spider” ends up as a giant body and a single claw-like leg. After trying several ways to defeat the monster, they finally realized they would have to pull its leg off…which is practically the most hilarious thing any of them had ever heard (it was after 11:00 at this point). They all laughed heartily, Jackson so much so that he was nearly in tears. (I was nearly in tears from the poignancy.)

At midnight, we shooed them all to bed, against zero complaints. Ironically, that night’s selection from The Hobbit began a bout against the large spiders in Mirkwood. We decided they should have just pulled off their legs. It was 12:45 by the time I quit reading, so I was a bit surprised to find this at 8:00AM:
Zy and Jackson

I think they got up around 7:30 – earlier than I wanted to be up, in any case. Crazy kids. After buttermilk waffles, the boys layered up for some snow-fort building time. Which is to say that they actually went out and traipsed in the accumulation in the back yard, tracking up my pristine photo op snow 😉

And if all that weren’t enough, we then loaded my nephews and all their belongings, and Jackson into the car, and went to the pool for an energetic 75-minutes before heading back south to Ann Arbor. Zy and Kade were asleep less than thirty minutes after lunch, and only Kade was awake when we arrived for the switch. Jess later texted us that Jackson had fallen asleep on their way to lunch, and proceeded with an uninterrupted three-hour nap.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a nap, too 😉

Peachy, foggy morning My one high-quality photo from the weekend. The rest were taken on i-phones or our Tough Camera via gloves under mittens…
peachy foggy morning


20 thoughts on “Skiing Weekend Getaway – or How to Be the Coolest Aunt and Uncle Ever

    • All my cousins are around the same age as me or older – and all at least 500 miles away. But family time is always so fun! Do your cousins live nearby?
      I feel like the sun’s presence has been rather sparse lately, so I was grateful for my few moments with it Sunday morning!

      • Although my cousins don’t live as far as yours they don’t live nearby ( around 200 miles or so ). Most of my cousins are my age as well, which makes it nice. Yes, enjoy the Sunday days while when you can 🙂

  1. You are the coolest, Heather! And Tony! I am so impressed. Can hardly believe that you added a slumber party to the fun. They will love their auntie and uncle FOREVER. Forever and a day, to be precise.

    • We can hardly believe it, either. Nothing like having a houseful of boys – none of whom are “yours!” We love all of them and are glad to be a part of their lives 🙂

  2. I doff my hat to you!! I have the single about to turn 5-yr-old and I can barely manage to hold on to my sanity 😉
    Beautiful pictures especially the last one of the snow…I think I’ve mentioned earlier how much I love it and its pristine whiteness here is positively therapeutic 🙂

    • Don’t praise too strongly – we’ve been married over 12 years, and still opt not to have children (perhaps in favor of holding our sanity) 😉
      The snow, especially when it’s like that, can be astonishingly beautiful. At this time of year, it’s important to remember that, because it’ll be here for a while longer – probably another solid month, and I assure you spring fever is building. Would love to see some of your birds in my backyard!

      • I was married 17 years before we decided to adopt!! And much as I love my son, I completely understand where you’re coming from! Children are beautiful but never easy!

        Do you get to see nocturnal birds – owls in particular? I love them but never get a chance to see them!

        • We do occasionally get to see owls; we get to hear them much more often. I know that a lot of folks don’t like them, but I’m a biology nerd, so I also love the chilling yips and howls of the coyotes we hear during summer nights. Tony and I have been very fortunate lately in spotting bald eagles – which is way more exciting than I ever thought it would be 😉
          We’re not ready for kids yet, and to everyone who’s every expressed concerns about be getting too old, we always say there’s adoption 🙂 I certainly don’t want to put myself in a place of regret…too much is at stake with children!

          • Coyotes and bald eagles…sigh…that’s how I want to live! We have black kites here and one lucky day I had a young adult pose for me just outside my window!! I got some great shots up close 🙂

            We adopted when I was 40 and although I tire more easily than say a 20 or 30 yr old…I know it was wise that we waited coz I did a lot of the stuff I wanted to do before he came along and I felt ready and ‘able’ to be a good parent. Don’t worry about anyone else…you’ll know when it’s right and that’s all that matters 🙂

  3. Kinda glad I’m so late picking up on blog reading that I get to circle back around to this one after the kid commentary 🙂 Doubly insightful read.

    Keep going back to look at that last picture. And look how happy little boy looks! 🙂 *swoon*
    Thanks again!

    • I bet it is more insightful with your insider’s knowledge!
      And yes, those were some happy boys. Delirious most of the time, but definitely happy 🙂 (Remind me and I’ll get you hi-res versions of any photos you want!) And you’re welcome!

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