Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love, Adventure, & Snow.

This week has been a mixture of just about everything you can imagine. A week to remember. Moments of what being a family is all about. And also moments of complete and utter craziness.


Layne and I decided we wanted to take a trip up to Lake Tahoe for Valentine's Day just like we did last year. We love the idea of using money that we would've spent on each other to spend on something we can do together instead. But, life happened and plans changed. Instead, Mama Coey came down to babysit Payton after we put her down for the night so we could go out for a nice Valentine's Day dinner at the Elephant Bar. This was the place of our first date down in Palm Springs, and one of the best memories as a couple. It was a gorgeous night on Sunday as we soaked but the warm breeze and sat looking at each other with the same love we've had since day one. We reminisced about every special memory we have had and the many more we can't wait to make. Having the baby has taught us to treasure moments together even more and to appreciate any given chance to have an intelligent adult conversation. Fellow moms know what I mean.

Love to me is seeing how Layne looks at Payton...or the way Payton lays her head across my chest... or the feeling of complete security when we are all together even if it's in utter chaos. To me, Valentine's Day is Love Day. It is about appreciating the love in your life and the love you have for one another.


I use to think of myself as a pretty adventurous person. Since becoming a mom I have suddenly turned into the most overly-cautious person that it still surprises me sometimes. I still have moments of wanting that freedom of spontaneity and lucky for me Payton is a very easy, laidback baby so we can always just pick up and go if we want.

On Valentine's Day last Monday we decided that instead of going to Tahoe, we would just make a short trip up to the snow because the weather was turning bad. We ended up at Donner's Pass 45 minutes north east of us where we picked a random road to drive off of and "experience" all-wheel drive. To say that I was nervous is an understatement, even at 5 mph. I was cringing and being Layne's worst back-seat driver nightmare. Payton was happily cooing away in the back as I was yelling at Layne to "STOP!" or "Turn around, there is too much snow". We are used to hot summers and fairly mild winters (well, compared to up north) so driving on even small patches of snow scares the beejezus out of me. All in all, it ended up to be a fun little adventure. We side parked it on a dead end road and played, or rather awed, at the snow for a couple minutes before Payton had enough. We happily waddled away in our bundle of clothes and a sense of togetherness.

Sometimes I just want to slow time down just so I can savor being in the moment that much longer. Life can be that good sometimes. I want to remember every speck of detail and emotion because I'm afraid in a flash it will be gone and we're 10 years older. Our day ended with a drive back full of talk and laughter as the baby slept. We made a wonderful home-cooked meal consisting of Mongolian Beef with brown rice and Veggie Lo Mein. And settled. It was nice. Just what we needed. 

And that's where our adventure should have ended. But there were other plans.

Thursday our spontaneity kicked in and we went to drive up to Grass Valley to see Layne's mom because it was SNOWING. I thought it might just be trickling snow...but it was dumping. In the 24 years Layne has lived in Northern California he has never actually seen it snow. We had to go.

There is something about the snow that is so magical to me. 

The way it glistens...
The way the snow flakes flutter down in patterns of disarray...
The way it makes me feel like a kid again...
I want Payton to experience the magic that every child should.

But THIS was a winter storm.

And it turned into a wreck....literally.

We were on our way back home when we decided the "scenic" route would be much more suitable to us to experience and enjoy. We soon found the roads were too slippery and unplowed. We turned around and even cautiously making our way through the thick, slushy roads full of ice and snow couldn't stop the car who was about to hit us head on. We swerved and barely missed the car, barely missed the tree right in front of us, and almost flipped. We ended up on a slope with the car at an angle that, with the right leverage, could have still easily flipped or slid down the slope.

The road we ended up sliding off of. 
There are those moments few and far between when life suddenly goes into slow motion. I found myself thinking of a million things in just a few short seconds. I could feel myself brace for impact. I looked at my husband and closed my eyes to just...wait.

We stopped. I breathed.

Layne was still in a panic because he thought if he took his foot off the brake we were going to flip. The guy helped us out as fast as we could climb out. And there we were in the freezing cold with snow dumping on us and my baby not properly dressed for a winter storm. They closed the road down and we waited for Layne's mom to come to the rescue. I feel so lucky that nothing worse happened and that we were close enough to Mama Coey's house to wait out the snow there.

When you are not in immediate danger, the snow can be quite beautiful. Payton thought so too.

We sat by the fire, ate hot soup, and cozied up on the couch until we decided we were actually going to brave it home that night since it cleared.


  1. Thank heaven you are all safe and no one was hurt! Tell "mama coey" i love her!!

  2. Yes! God was definitely looking out for us that day!!