This is the only shot I got. Yep. This is our first family ski trip.

Before our first ski trip, I had all these fantasies of snapping all the Ski Firsts. The First Time in Skis!! The First Snow Plow!! The First Chair Lift!!

Now I understand that going on a family ski trip is somewhat akin to having your third baby. There are no pictures. The third kid is lucky if he gets a couple random snapshots thrown into an album.

While we were schelpping ski-crap (5 goggles, 5 pairs of gloves, 5 ski helmets, 5 jackets, 5 snow boots, 5 ski boots, 5 skis, 2 prs. of poles--not to mention assorted snacks & beverages), I thought: Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to have a family photographer just following us around capturing all our special moments?

Then again, maybe NOT having pictures is a good thing. Then no-one can see me hollering with utter loss of dignity: "PIZZA WEDGE! SNOW PLOW! PIZZA WEDGE!" as James pummels downhill headed straight for a pine tree.

No-one will see me hyperventilating on the chair lift as James (on the chair in front of me) experiments with the safety bar: "SIT STILL JAMES!! DO-NOT-MOVE!!"

No-one will know that I shouted to the ski attendants: "CAN YOU PLEASE SLOW THIS THING DOWN? THIS IS MY SON'S FIRST TIME!!!"

No-one will witness my sheer exhaustion after picking Jude up 28 times on the bunny-run--I finally fell over and just lay there sucking in great gasps of air like a beached whale. A picture-perfect moment, really.

No-one will see The Mateo loaded down like a dutiful pack-mule, hauling all the ski stuff as we limped along behind him in various stages of whimpering exhaustion.

Seriously, I am SO thankful for my big, strong husband who hauls the stuff, packs the car, buys the tickets, keeps us all fed and clothed, puts up with our whining and in the end cheerfully asks:

"So, who wants to go skiing for spring break?"