If you’ve ever moved to a new city as a family, you know that it takes a few months (if not, a couple years) for a place to feel like home and to make good friends. When we traveled last year, we supercharged that speed by jumping in quickly because we were usually in places for just one month. I’d scour the homeschool Yahoo or Facebook Groups and Yelp reviews to try to meet as many people and visit as many attractions as we could during our four weeks.
Well, moving to Keystone, CO this time was different because we were going to be here for six months. And the first two and a half were chalk-full with fun visits from family and friends. So, between guests, school, snowboarding, and family time, we kept things pretty low-key as a family. It’s always special for us to just be together as a family around a dinner table. Always great conversations. At night we can chill and play games or watch sports, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss or some new good movie.
But we are officially “plugged-in” here now in Summit County. And we totally and completely love it.
We are a very active, athletic family. We love to be outdoors. And since we homeschool, it’s been especially important for us for our kids to participate in sports so they can be around other cool kids, learn from their coaches, learn how to compete, stay in shape, and develop all those great disciplines when it comes to athletics. Up until recently we’ve mainly been a soccer family. All our kids played since they were just under 5. We embraced it as a whole family, even starting something we called Sunday Soccer while we lived in Austin. It was such a great foundation for any future sport.
But we figured our kids would branch off into the sports they love on their own, and it’s starting to happen.
Isaac just loves lacrosse. He was lucky to have an older kid in our neighborhood in Austin to teach him skills at such a young age, and Isaac invested his own money to buy his first stick, gloves, and pads. Once we were convinced he’d stay with it, we helped with the rest for this gear-heavy sport! Unfortunately, he missed out on a season last year while we were traveling, so this year we made it a priority to stay somewhere for a whole spring season just for him. He’s getting to play now with the Summit County Lacrosse team out in Breckenridge and hasn’t skipped a beat. They won their first game, and he scored 2 great goals during it.
Gabe also gets to benefit from us staying put for the spring season. He was able to join the Middle School Track team here at Summit Middle School. Colorado makes it easy for homeschoolers to join in extra-curricular activities, so we lucked out. Poor Gabe, though. How would you like to be sent to your first day of school EVER in Middle School?! He walked into a gym with 120 students and knew no one! He’ll admit it was pretty awkward, but he handled it like a champ and just knew it would take time to make friends. He looked forward to trying his best and seeing how he compared with others. Go figure – he ended up being the best high jumper during their “trial days” and the fastest in the 100. We’ll see how he competes in his first track races next weekend. Should be fun. Running is near and dear to both Don and I (he competed through college), so it’s so fun to watch Gabe enjoy it as well.
Jadyn was supposed to have taken gymnastic lessons here, but there were never enough to form the homeschool class! We were so bummed. But she is signed up for spring soccer, so that should be interesting and fun!
And for all of us, we feel sooooo lucky that we live just down the trail from the Keystone Indoor Tennis Center! All the kids have taken lessons there twice a week for the last couple months now. Sometimes we get to walk there (almost a mile), when another kid is at a different practice. Gabe even comes back from his track practice to jump into his tennis lesson. He stays after each lesson to play a few matches with his new buddy, Will. Always exciting to watch.
The family who runs the Tennis Center is fantastic! They’ve made it enjoyable and engaging for the kids. We’ve even been able to meet with them and help them with business systems and strategies and might even run it for a week in May, which would be very cool. We always wanted to be a “tennis family,” and it’s neat to see it happening.
My dear, sweet husband even signed me up for a women’s tennis ladder last month. I played my first two matches ever in my whole life. Thankfully, both women were just so cool and professional, but I totally lost both sets – a double bagel! I kept my cool, though, and did my very best, and never let them know it was my first match. Don has taught us well to always give your best to your opponent out of respect, and that mindset really served me well. I ended up finding a woman who’s about my level and we are now playing once a week which has been fun and helped me improve.
Come to find out, one of the tennis instructors is also a guitar teacher! I wish I had have known in December, but better late than never. Matt comes over once a week now to teach Isaac. They are practicing blues, learning how to sing and play, and just be able to join in on any song by picking out the chords by ear. It’s been perfect for Isaac to help him step into the next level of playing/performing. We love hearing him play each day.
And Jadyn is happy to continue taking violin lessons from Betsy Dewey her instructor from Austin, via Skype. It’s worked out well, and she continues to be inspired to practice. We also found an instructor in the area who leads fun group lessons once a month, so she’ll join on Monday for the first time.
So, we have our routines here now. Work, school, eat, play. Don and I walk around the whole resort area around our Townhome to catch up and connect around business. The kids knock out their checklist for school on GoTasks, and they can head outside now in the afternoon to rollerblade or skateboard. I run along the river here every other day. We try to hit the rec center on days we don’t have sports’ practices, and it’s cool to run into friends now.
This is just a very special part of the country. Each and every day, I look out the window or around during my walks and can’t believe I get to live in such a beautiful, amazing place with 360 mountain views. I’m really grateful. The kids want to come back again next winter and join Team Summit again, so we just might shoot for that after we galavant around the country again starting in June.