Don and I try to be really intentional about creating great experiences with our kids. We want them to have a whole treasure-full of memories that shape them and can increase in value with time.
Last weekend, I had the privilege of watching Jadyn’s last cross-country race of her first season. She’d been working hard all fall, acclimating to the altitude again, learning the discipline of a new sport, getting over a cold, and steadily increasing in strength and focus. We were all looking forward to seeing how she’d perform!
I was in my own blissful reality as a mom, just watching her grow up. I drove her and one of her best friends down to this race in Aspen, CO, and we just made it a special girls weekend. We stayed at the Westin, slope-side in Snowmass, ordered room service, and dipped in the pool. The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious and nutritious breakfast before heading to the race.
And she raced well!! We were so proud of her! She learned that she could start out her races with more speed and maintain it, and that she had a little bit more juice she could stride out with towards the end. She pulled it all together for a strong finish for herself that day. She ended well without any regrets. That’s a great feeling to hold on to!
After the race, Jadyn and I drove just a few miles down the road to see Maroon Bells in the fall. This had been a dream of mine for years! I wanted to see the colorful Aspens against the rock-face, reflected in the water, like all the iconic photos. And it did not disappoint!! Surreal!!! Then we went back to the hotel to wash up, rest up and go shopping before we hit the road. We were fortunate enough to squeeze in a spot in downtown Aspen, at the White House Tavern for lunch, a state-wide favorite!
And then we drove back on one of the most beautiful Highways in the whole country – Independence Pass. We wound over mountain passes, sometimes on one-lay highways with cliffs to the side, sometimes past river beds or lakes, and through golden Aspen tunnels. It was pretty magical! I wished I had a GoPro on my car so I could capture the scene better and relive it again. We jumped out of the car a few times for photo opps – our favorite being at the top of the pass, at the top of the Continental Divide! Arctic Tundra, 360 snowcapped views, blue skies – we were on top of the world!
And Jadyn and I just had the best time together road-tripping, catching up about school and life and sports now that our lives aren’t as intertwined. We miss each other. She’s a wise soul, and still so easily teachable. Don and I know that it’s a privilege to have a voice in her life. Our lens is vital right now that her world-view is being shaped by the ideas and experiences around her. These longer road-trip conversations are priceless!
Here’s a mini-slideshow capturing a bit of her race and some of the views we enjoyed!