Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

December 31, 2013

December 2013 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 9:55 pm

December Highlights:

A Month of Hanging out with Family and Friends

As I began organizing this month’s pictures, a theme quickly emerged. Hanging out with family and friends is what the month of December was all about. We enjoyed the traditional events: like celebrating the birthdays of our Guerra ladies to begin the month and enjoying Christmas Eve with my sister. But we also got a chance to do some things we don’t do that often: go to the movies with my parents and Tyson’s inlaws (Micky and Rick), visit with my brother and his family (last time we saw them was Christmas of 2006 — here were the cousins then and here they are now), spend time with Grandma Carol, and attempt to teach Cathy how to ski.

Hitting the Slopes
The big Christmas gifts for the kids this year were a snowboard and customized Xbox game controller for Luke, and skis and ski boots for Lilah. We put the ski and snowboard apparel to great use as we managed to hit the slopes three times during the Christmas break. The start of our first day back in the mountains led to some initial grumpiness on all our parts as Lilah complained about not being able to turn and possibly me needing to pay for some lessons for her, Luke grumbled about not being able to glide down the hill heel side and also echoed his sister’s call for lessons, and I got grumpy simply because the kids were not having a good time and were asking me to take big hits to my wallet to pay for lessons.

Initially, I told them they had just gone to Mammoth last month so they should be okay. That only made it worse as the kids pointed out how the snow at Mountain High wasn’t the same as Mammoth. But as with many things in life, sometimes all you have to do is wait and the scenario will change. In this case, this meant letting the kids go down the mountain a few more times to settle in and get the feel for the snow. Once that happened, the smiles came back and the kids and I enjoyed ourselves immensely (especially since I purchased my own new board as part of my annual Christmas tradition of buying a present for myself). As I’ve mentioned before, Mountain High isn’t the best place to go for Winter sports, but it’s the closest resort to us at just under a two-hour drive (depending on the route you take). For me, the proximity and easy accessibility to us means we are able to go more often. Going more often means we are more consistent and the result is we get better.

Going more often is what Cathy will need if she ever wants to learn how to ski. She went with us on our last trip and looked like she was doing great in the group lesson. She was consistently the best rookie in the group when it came to all the pre-skiing exercises. However, once it came to gliding down the snow on her skis, she fell backwards and lost some of her confidence. I still thought she did very well for her first attempt on skis. Cat said the biggest problem was how uncomfortable her rented ski boots were. She said she just couldn’t wait to take them off once the lesson was over because her feet were hurting so bad. So if she ever does it again (which she said she doesn’t need to do to feel fulfilled ;-)), we are going to have to find a solution for the boot problem because I totally get it. If something hurts and is uncomfortable from the get go before you even start skiing, then chances are you are not going to pursue it any further. Still, kudos for Cat for sticking to her word and making an attempt to get out there on the slopes.

Thankful for Another Fulfilling Year

The Guerras aren’t big year-end resolution makers but somehow we manage to do a lot of cool things both individually and as a family unit, creating a lot of special memories along the way. Through the simple process of living we grow in ways that we don’t always understand until much later. One of the main reasons I keep this blog is that it allows me to capture some of those moments before they get lost in the void of forgetting. Looking back on 2013, here are some of the experiences that I’m glad I managed to live, witness and capture.

  • The kids and I fall in love with Mammoth
  • We visit Jalama beach for first time and hang out with Randy and Janae and family
  • We camp as a family for the first time at Carpinteria State Beach — Cathy makes it special by actually joining us an having fun
  • We go to the Ventura County fair together for the first time since 2006
  • We attend a symphony together and hang out in Santa Barbara for Saint Patrick’s day
  • We get to hang out with the Skov family – on vacation from Denmark.
  • We visit Solvang for the first time – can you say aebleskivers (yum)…
  • We all get a chance to visit with Grandma Carol Bennie, and his kids
  • Both kids play at Spring piano recital – Luke was sick for previous recital
  • Lilah continues her streak of getting straight As in all classes, showing me a degree of focus and dedication I only wish I had at her age
  • Lilah earns Student of the Month Award – theme of Award is Perseverance
  • Lilah becomes a teenager and still agrees she will join me at the Father/Daughter dance in the New Year
  • Luke runs track for the first time and wins a medal in the high jump.
  • Luke learns to snowboard (and so do I)
  • Luke focuses on his grades and we reward him with an Xbox
  • Lilah and Luke visit Magic Mountain for the first time
  • Cathy runs three half marathons, expands the repertoire of classes she’s teaching, and keeps climbing ever higher on the fitness and confidence ladder.
  • Grandmy retires from the county and receives a commendation for her years of service: she is the first person to be given this award
  • I participate in my first triathlon in more than 9 months, manage to win my first age group award (and two for the season), and qualify for National Championships in my first season back after my accident
  • I get a chance to visit with old friends Alan and Johan during separate events
  • Cat throws a big birthday party for me where I get to visit with special folks in my life
  • I visit family in Chile for two weeks, getting a chance to travel with both my Mom and Dad, and climb an active volcano in the process
  • On a sadder note, we lost two family friends this year – Miguel Bello and Luis Zanartu. This wasn’t uplifting news, but I wanted to remember these two very special men who will always be in our hearts. I wrote about them both in my February update.

Wishing you all a wonderful year full of all that life has to offer…more next month!

1 Comment »

  1. Que hermosas fotos, la familia en pleno. Tus hijos cada vez mas grandes y bellos; madre e hija es sorprendente como se parecen, lindas!! Tu Papi se ve feliz, tu Mamá regia y Carol su sonrisa, como la recuerdo.
    Cariños especiales, llenos de recuerdos a cada uno y para ti mi eternas Gracias por compartir, besitos.

    Comment by Pamela Luz — January 8, 2014 @ 11:43 am

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