Returning to Skiing [After ACL Surgery]

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Hello!

Before I get onto the topic of skiing- I just wanted to put a reminder out there that tickets for this year’s Blend Retreat are currently on sale! We currently have quite a few tickets left, but that might not last for long. We are very limited in our overall capacity this year due to a smaller amount of lodging available (unlike the last two years). So, if you’re thinking of coming- go get your ticket now!

I am really excited about this year’s retreat because we have some fantastic sponsors lined up- and many of them are based in Colorado! We only have a few announced on the website so far (we are waiting for several contracts to come back), but you can take a peek at who has signed on so far here.

Blend

If you have wanted to visit Colorado or are just looking for a great girls’ weekend, Blend is a great opportunity for that! The tickets and lodging are extremely reasonable in price and you get a lot in return. And if you have any questions- feel free to ask me!

Moving on to skiing… This is going to be long and ramble-y at times, but I need to put these thoughts into writing. My hope is that I can look back on this in a few months and laugh. :)

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Life Lately

boots

Good morning!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I figured that it was time for a little “life update.” The last few months have been pretty chaotic (in both good and bad ways) and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the summer has to offer. Greg and I closed on our new home a few weeks ago and moved in a little over a week ago. We are loving it so far! This is the first new construction home that either of us have lived in, and it’s definitely been… different. :)

It’s pretty cool having a complete “blank canvas” for a house – but it’s also a lot of work! When we moved in, we didn’t have about half of the appliances we needed (like a fridge, stove and washer/dryer), ceiling fans/lights in the master bedroom and living room, any window coverings (and there’s lots of windows!) or a fence. We also didn’t have any sod laid in the back yard!

fence building

We’ve been busy installing blinds, ceiling fans, garage door openers, etc. for the last few weeks and still have a long way to go. We did get all of our appliances installed right before moving in, which was a huge relief. Out of all of the rooms in the house, my favorite is the kitchen. :)

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I’m Not Good at Sitting Still [That Time I Had a Skiing Accident]

ski patrol

Happy Monday, friends. Well, it’s certainly been an interesting weekend (and didn’t really turn out the way that I planned. At all.). It all started early on Friday morning when Greg and I woke up at 5:00 am to have an awesome day skiing. We had both taken the day off from work to head over to Vail for a day on the slopes. Greg has been to Vail several times, but I had yet to go. Ski season is over in a few short weeks, so we had to take advantage while we still could!

On the way out to the resort, it seemed like luck was on our side. Traffic can be crazy heading out west to the ski resorts but the roads were completely clear. It was a clear, beautiful day and about 20˚ by the time we got there (which might sound cold, but on a sunny day it’s kind of perfect for skiing). Vail is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado (or in the world, even) so it’s usually super crowded- but not on Friday!

lauren vail

We didn’t have to wait in a single lift line and pretty much had the slopes to ourselves. It was all too perfect.

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WIAW 84: Not in My Kitchen

zucchini chips

Good morning!

I have a love/hate relationship with being out of the house all day. While I love to go out and do stuff and have fun- I’m really just a homebody at heart. Plus, as much as I like eating out, I definitely prefer to cook in my own kitchen over going to a restaurant. Saturday was one of those days where I didn’t have a single meal at home.

A typical Saturday for Greg and me includes sleeping in, making a big breakfast and heading out to do something fun for the remainder of the day. Ski season has thrown a bit of a wrench in our “sleep in on Saturday mornings” routine- and as much as I love to ski- I am definitely looking forward to not having to wake up so early on weekends when it’s over. :)

Alas, the last few weeks of ski season are here and we’re trying to enjoy it as much as we can before putting our equipment away for the next 8 (or so) months. The great thing about Eldora resort is that it’s so close that we can go up there for just a few hours and not feel like we spent the entire day driving. We woke up bright and early Saturday, threw all of our gear in the car, grabbed some coffee and protein bars and hit the road.

pro bar

I’m a big fan of these CORE bars by PRO BAR. They keep me fuller than most other bars and taste delicious. That, along with a homemade soy latte, is a typical “car” breakfast for me.

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WIAW 78: V-Day on the Slopes

banana pancakes

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

As I was editing these photos to add to today’s post, I started feeling full all over again! According to my skiing instructor, you burn anywhere from 600 – 800 calories an hour when you ski. I don’t know if I believe that to be 100% true, but you definitely get a great workout and work up an appetite! Spending four days in a row skiing last week made me feel hungry for four days straight and wanting to eat all of the things. (Unfortunately, the calories don’t really even out- which I’ll touch on more soon. :))

Today’s WIAW post features lots of food from last Friday- Valentine’s Day!

Greg and I had taken a Colorado-cation about 90 minutes west at Keystone resort. We rented a condo with a full kitchen, which made it possible to cook delicious breakfasts each morning. I had the same thing for breakfast all three mornings that we were there: Flapjacked Banana Hazelnut pancakes, Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt, bananas and honey. And coffee.

banana pancakes

After eating a delicious breakfast, I got my ski gear on and spent a few hours on the slopes. We took a break in the middle of the day and walked down to the village to grab some lunch. There are a bunch of different restaurants to choose from in Keystone, but I was craving veggies and protein. I ordered a blackened chicken salad, which was surprisingly delicious!

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Snow Culture

breck

Out of the four seasons, winter has always been my least favorite. Summer is my top choice, fall and spring and tied and winter comes in dead last. I am not a fan of being cold and in my adult life, I have definitely not been a fan of snow. When I was living in Maryland, winter weather would shut the whole city down and snow was nothing but a nuisance. True- it was nice to have the occasional snow day when I was a teacher, but snow wasn’t something that was usually celebrated.

Though I took many trips to Colorado prior to living here, I hadn’t ever experienced a Colorado winter. I was really sad to see summer end and the warm weather start to turn colder- but the temperatures here feel incredibly different than they did on the east coast. Even on our coldest days (like -12˚ two weeks ago!), it hasn’t felt that cold. The super bright sunshine definitely helps! And just yesterday- it was in the mid 60s. One of the crazy things about this state is that it can be warm and sunny down here in the foothills and cold and snowing if you drive an hour out west. This was definitely the case this past weekend!

A few weeks ago, Greg and I decided to plan a weekend trip to Keystone Resort. This was after my second or third skiing lesson, after the point where I actually started to like it. I’ve heard so many great things about Keystone and almost every local I talk to touts it as their favorite- and Greg has it at the top of his list. We drove in last Thursday afternoon and rented a condo for three nights. It was definitely nice to be close to all of the action! I hadn’t ever skied anywhere except for Eldora, which is way smaller than Keystone. I was really excited to explore new terrain and take on some new challenges- and that’s exactly what we got on Thursday. Through the condo that we rented, I got a free pass for night skiing, so Greg and I checked it out.

I definitely gave myself a challenge here- skiing on a trail that I had never been on, in the dark, while it was snowing. It was pretty cool though- and there was definitely a great energy and excitement in the air.

night

The trail was illuminated, but it was still really hard to see. According to Greg, night skiing is much brighter on the east coast. I’d say that skiing at night is 10% scary and 90% fun- and definitely worth experiencing!

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Ski School [Day 6 & Final Thoughts]

ski

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!

It’s so hard for me to really believe, but my time in ski school is already over. I’m fairly certain that these last six weeks have been the shortest of my life! Winter is the one season that I’ve never enjoyed and the months of January, February and March just seem to drag on forever. Go figure that when I do finally start to enjoy it, it flies by! I guess that’s the way it goes, right?

I had my very last session of the Eldora Women’s Days program this past Wednesday. You can read my re-caps from each week here:

I’m really glad that I documented my journey of learning how to ski, because it’s been fun for me to go back and read those posts and about what I learned each week. I went into the program with very few expectations and trepidatious optimism. I’ve never had the desire to learn to ski, the thought of it downright terrified me. I gave it a very weak attempt five or six years ago in Maryland and had such a bad experience that I never went back. Skiing and snowboarding are a huge part of Greg’s life and I knew that it would mean the world to him if I at least gave it a fair chance- so I did.

I went into ski school that very first day not knowing a single person, stomach in knots and wanting to be anywhere but there. When my instructor asked me what my objectives were on that first day I think I said “not to die!” Really, I just wanted to learn to ski well and not to be so scared of it. Even after that first day, I kept saying to Greg “it’s okay if it’s not something that I like to do- it can be your thing. There are plenty of other outdoor activities that we can do together!”

Six weeks ago, I never, ever would have thought that skiing would turn into something that I really like doing. And I certainly didn’t think I’d be recommending that we spend my birthday weekend at a ski resort!

lauren

My last day of class was bittersweet. From the way that the morning started, it seemed like it was going to be a great day weather-wise and the resort wasn’t crowded at all. The snow was a little bit crunchy and it took about two runs down for me to feel confident, but I was okay after that.

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SNOW Play, FLAPJACKED Contest & BLEND Details

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Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a great weekend, as always. I’m really happy to put the extremely cold weather from last week behind me as we head into 60 degree temps later this week (what?!).

I’ve got some really great stuff to share with you today, so I’m just going to get right into it. That “stuff” is so exciting that I had to use ALL CAPS in the title! You may have guessed by reading the title that this post is going to be about three things: playing in the snow, a contest from Flapjacked and finally- the details for Blend 2014 (including the date for ticket sales!).

First things first: Snow Play!

I’ve come to conclusion after making it more than half way through my first winter as a Coloradoan: I have a love/hate relationship with snow. Well- hate is a strong word. Maybe it’s more of a love/annoyed relationship. I have absolutely no use for snow down here in the foothills. The roads never get plowed and it just makes driving conditions awful. When it does start to melt, things get muddy and messy. It also makes it much more difficult to hike (though it still doesn’t stop me from doing so!). Greg and I headed out for an easy hike at Chautauqua on Saturday, which was still completely covered in snow. I have to admit- it does look beautiful.

snowyflatirons

I couldn’t find my ice trekkers, so I was slipping and sliding all over the place. But that’s kind of my fault.

Enough complaining- let me tell you about why I love snow. As you know, I’ve grown quite fond of skiing. And, as you also know, skiing would not be possible without snow. On Friday I got to experience my first real powder day and it’s so different than skiing on groomed snow. My friend Katie and I headed up bright and early to Eldora and got there right as the lifts were starting to run. She’s a much better skier than me and was nice enough to go at my pace and push me when I needed it!

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Ski School [Day Five]

corduroy

Brrrr…. it’s been cold here in the foothills of Colorado all week! For almost a week now, the roads have been covered in a thick layer of ice and snow and the temperature has barely climbed above freezing. When the sun’s out, it’s actually not so bad- but at night… watch out! You can imagine my enthusiasm for being outside all day this past Wednesday when I saw the weather forecast- with a high of zero degrees (and sunshine). The Women’s Program meets every single Wednesday- no matter what it’s doing outside- which has ended up being a very good thing. As I said after my last lesson, having different conditions each week has taught me that I can ski in various types of weather (and snow!).

As we drove up to Eldora on Wednesday, I nervously watched the temperature on Greg’s dashboard. It was -12˚for most of our commute! As we got up to Nederland (the town where Eldora is) the temperature started rising steadily and it got up to a whopping THREE degrees. I thought it was really strange that it was actually warmer up above 9,000′ elevation! I had four layers of clothing on (which made me feel like a marshmallow) in attempt to stay warm. I also had my trusty hand warmers in my mittens, which usually help on super cold days.

When I got to the resort, the parking lot was more empty than usual. Only about half of the women in the program showed up- I guess the others were scared off by the cold weather! Since there’s only six sessions total, I definitely didn’t want to miss any of them. Luckily, my buddy Jenn was still there- and it ended up being just her and I with our instructor Jane that day!

halfpipe

It had snowed a little bit the night before and since there was (quite literally) NO ONE on the trails we had corduroy to ski on. It was really nice to have the entire lower mountain to ourselves (okay, there were like five other people skiing) but it was eerily quiet- and definitely much different than how it was over the weekend! One of the great things about skiing on corduroy was that we could easily see our tracks- which is very helpful when you’re trying to improve your technique.

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WIAW 76: Ski Day Saturday

salad

It’s another Wednesday, my friends- the first of February! Today marks exactly one week until I turn 34. How is that even possible!? Wednesday also means two other things: I’m spending the day rocking the slopes at Ski School and about to share a day of eats with all of you wonderful readers. :)

Today’s post shows meals and snacks (and beer…) from last Saturday, which started out with some skiing at Eldora! Though I was excited to get another day of skiing in, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the crowds. On top of being a weekend day, it had snowed the night before which meant total chaos on the slopes! I decided to make the best of whatever I was faced with and just get a few runs in and have a good time. I’ve been so spoiled by only skiing on weekdays when I basically have the slopes to myself!

I made some Swiss oats in a peanut butter jar to take along in the car on the way up to the resort. It usually takes about an hour to get up there, but with the snow and extra traffic I knew it would take a bit longer and I’d have plenty of time to enjoy my breakfast in the car.

swiss oats

I added some peanuts on top, which made these oats extra awesome.

It ended up taking an hour and a half to get to Eldora and it was already packed when we pulled up. We had to park way over in the north lot, which meant that we had a bit of a hike to get over to the main lodge where we met up with some friends. Hiking in ski boots while carrying skis = crazy workout! After getting a few runs in (which took about twice as long as it would on a weekday) Jenn and I headed back into the main lodge for some beers and to meet up with our husbands. Eldora has a great selection of local beers!

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