Hey, hey everybody! How was your weekend? Quick? Relaxing? Eventful?
All of the above over here. Except… exchange relaxing with insanely action packed and there it is.
Although it’s the shortest month of the year, February is for sure the craziest for Scott and I. We have nine home games with four of them being back-to-back Fridays and Saturdays. Once the madness is over, I am then flying to Orlando for our Orlando Magic Dancer reunion to perform at that game as well! I guess you could say I am putting in my time on the court this year.
Anyways, I have something very exciting to talk about today and it involves checking something off of my bucket list. I am also linking up with Katie to share the story!
But, before we get to that I am going to quickly recap Friday and Saturday. Both days revolved around Pistons home games.
I spent Friday cleaning the house, then had to hop in the shower around lunch time to get ready for the game and weekend ahead. We finally pulled a win and to celebrate we hung with friends and enjoyed a night of games on the Wii.
Scott and I both woke up mentally and physically tired Saturday morning. Either we are getting older or… nope. I’m pretty sure that’s it. We’re getting older.
When my friend Alex called to see if we wanted to grab brunch, we were more than down! We went to a snazzy place called Toast in Downtown Birmingham, and everything was so good. I will most definitely be revisiting and writing more about it soon!
I ordered a special that included an omelet with peppers, tomatoes, spinach, feta, chick peas and hummus! (What?) I have never heard of using hummus as an omelet topping, but it tasted delicious. Also, I got the pleasure of introducing grits to Alex.
Being from the South, it catches me off guard when people haven’t tried them before. I grew up with grits as a side for breakfast and even the occasional dinner! She loved them, naturally.
Before long, it was time to get in the shower and get ready for another home game. We won again!
This time, our celebration called for a girl’s wine and game night at Alex’s afterwards.
I want to personally thank Nichole (and apparently her brother) for supplying this bag of gummy bears the size of our heads.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t dig into it quite a few times.
After an already physically demanding weekend, all of us agreed that we could treat ourselves to pizza. Still being health conscious, we chose to order the veggie pizza with gluten-free crust and a side of gluten-free bread sticks.
It wasn’t bad at all! With some of the stomach issues I have been having lately, I like to stay gluten-free whenever I can. I don’t limit myself to strictly gluten-free products, but if there is a substitution available I go for it. It seems to be helping!
For the remainder of the night we had a blast drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity.
We also might have dropped the gummy bears into our wine for flavoring.
Every single time I play that game I laugh so hard I cry! It’s so great, yet so inappropriate. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning laughing our heads off and I am so thankful to have girls like these in my life up here.
Skiing at Mt. Holly
Sunday started actively with a halftime rehearsal for tonight’s game. I ended up hanging with Nichole after for the rest of the day before our plans to meet up with her family to ski later that night.
I know I have lived in Michigan for almost a year and a half now, but Scott and I still have yet to check off a lot of activities from our Michigan “to-do” list. My first sledding experience just happened earlier this season, and I haven’t attempted to put on a set of skis since I was in middles school.
Prior to our move up here, I had only seen snow a handful of times. I had only been skiing once in my life, and that was in Michigan while visiting a couple of family friends when I was a pre-teen. From what I remember, I did okay on the bunny slope but that was as much as I could handle.
Pizza (the wedge position) and french fries (the straight position) was all I knew. I saw the beginner’s course just around the corner, but had a fear of even going on the ski lift up there to the top. Heights really aren’t my thing.
I left that day realizing I may never ski on a “real” hill, and I was okay with that until recently. Since then I have gone sky diving, zip lining, and repelling from over a hundred feet up. It was time to reassess my fear of heights!
When Nichole’s family invited us to join them on an evening ski session at Mt. Holly, I knew this was the perfect chance to face my fears.
We arrived to the ski resort right before sunset with just enough time to change into ski clothes and snap a few photos before it got dark.
Everyone in Nichole’s family has tons of skiing experience, so we had quite the selection of ski clothes to borrow from.
Naturally, we picked the matching retro jackets to be obnoxious. They both were from Nichole’s mother’s ski days back when she was our age!
Her father is a part of the Ski Patrol there, her brother was a part of a speed ski team, and all of them have the capabilities to teach a snow newbie how it’s done.
Scott met us after a full day of events and was quite tired before we even started. Knowing that, I was excited to see him arrive right after us!
Since our arrival time coincided with the hill closing break, we took advantage of it and grabbed a quick bite to eat in the ski lodge. It was packed!
After all of the paperwork and ski equipment rental was taken care of, we finally set out for the hills.
Scott, Nichole, her brother and mother headed straight up to the trail while I stayed back to ride the “magic carpet” up the bunny hill and learn the basics from Nichole’s dad.
(sorry for the blurriness)
Skiing is a lot more complicated than I remember! I got off to a rocky start when I couldn’t even figure out how to walk or slide in them. With a little assistance, I made my way up the “magic carpet” (<- bunny hill ski lift) and drug my feet across to the middle of the hill. Her dad coached me through all of the basics, and after a half hour I felt really confident about turning and stopping.
When we arrived, I had no idea I would then be heading up to conquer the big hill with the rest of our party. In fact, I verbally fought the idea for a while.
After some reassurance from everyone who witnessed my bunny hill moves, I hopped in line and tackled the ski lift with the rest of them. Let me just say that that in itself is an accomplishment!
We made it to the top of the hill and against my better judgement, I agreed to slowly make my way down it with wide turns and a team of coaches surrounding me.
My first run started out great. I took off nice and slow, shifting my weight from one foot to the other, keeping my wedge tight. About a quarter of the way down, I saw Nichole and Scott stopped on the hill, looking back up at me. I was directed to “stop” and tried my hardest to do so. But instead of stopping, I kept speeding up.
At the halfway mark, I realized there was no turning back. I was going to get to the bottom of the hill somehow and I was just praying I made it safely. I kept hearing screams of “pizza” and “put more weight on it” in the distance, but knew at that point that nothing was going to work. I honestly had no idea what was was going to happen!
Needless to say, I made it to the bottom before everyone else and officially earned a title of “Speed Racer”. With a runny nose and teary eyes I admitted I had no idea what I was doing! Apparently, everything I learned prior to the hill escaped my body and I needed to regroup before even thinking about taking another stab at it.
My biggest problem was that I kept my weight forward. Doing so eliminates any control you have at the front of the skis. Also, I wasn’t keeping my shins against the inside of my boot. I was trying to work from the back of them which also wasn’t helping me connect my legs to my brain commands.
I swore I wasn’t going back up the hill again. I was really shaken up and didn’t think I had what it took to gain control in the right way I needed to. I had no problem revisiting the bunny hill for a minute and applied some corrections.
Against my better judgement (for the second time), I agreed to go back up the ski lift and give it another go. This time I was determined to take it slow with really wide turns, and it went a lot better!
The third run was the first time I actually felt like I was getting the hang of it and wasn’t scared for my life. I followed Nichole’s tracks the entire way down. Weaving my way downhill and through the snow finally became fun!
Feeling accomplished, I decided to end on that note and warm up inside with the girls. We left the guys to race down the hill by themselves and enjoyed sitting by the fire in the meantime.
I felt very blessed to be surrounded by such a caring family. With my family still in Florida, it’s comforting to feel like I somewhat fit in with another one in between our visits home.
Over a couple of rounds of hot chocolate, we talked about the day and Nichole’s mother let me in on a little secret. I had just conquered the blue trail!
For those who aren’t familiar with the difficulty of ski hills, it starts at bunny then goes beginner (green), intermediate (blue), advanced (black). No freaking way!
To celebrate, I proudly put on my Mt. Holly Michigan pin and toasted with a spiked hot cider. Cheers!
The boys joined us upstairs shortly after and we spent the next hour or so watching Olympic Speed Skating. I tell ya, I have a whole new appreciation for those athletes! Racing downhill at speeds of 90+ is absolutely incredible and I just sat there with my jaw dropped watching them take jumps and turns like it’s nothing.
Scott, on the other hand, had hit is energy quota for the day.
For someone who hasn’t been skiing in over ten years, I was very proud of him as well!
A big shout and and THANK YOU going out to the Josey family for helping me conquer my fear of skiing yesterday. I am very excited to go back and try it again soon!
Now I’m off to get ready for another home game tonight. See you again in the morning!
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever been skiing?
• What is one of your biggest fears?