Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



good life – intentional memories

Part of cultivating a good life is being intentional about creating memories.

I wrote about being intentional in last week’s Good Life post and I’m using that word again today. To move forward with real intent and purpose is what many of us have on our minds and in our hearts right now as we kick off a new year. And because many of you reading this have an interest in making and preserving memories, I hope the thoughts I’m sharing with you will resonate.

About 3 or 4 years ago, David and I took the kids to Utah to visit family and friends as we tend to do at least once a year. Only this time we decided we would fit in some skiing. David and I and our friend Jen would ski the first day, then we would bring the kids along the following day. When the three of us got off the lift at the top, I fell straight away. I got up, inched forward … and fell again. Then I looked down that mountain. And it hit me.

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to ski.

I’m not sure how this didn’t really occur to me before I got to the top of the mountain. And if you are familiar with the mountains in Utah, this was no joke. I was terrified. My experience skiing once – maybe twice – was not helping me out in this situation. I skied as a teenager… more than 20 years ago… in Pennsylvania where it’s definitely more “hilly” and not so much mountainous.

I insisted that David and Jen go on without me. I was going to figure this out on my own and I was not going to hold them back. I’ll spare you the details of what it took to get me back to the base (mostly prayer!) … and I won’t talk about the fact that I ended up on black diamond tracks and moguls … but 2 or 3 hours after I took my first tumble, I was back safe & sound with David and Jen.

By the time I reached the bottom, I was physically and emotionally drained. I was exhausted. I was frustrated. I was 100% ready to quit. Not just for the day. I was done with skiing forever and always. I had no interest in ever putting skis on my feet again. As I sipped on my soup and fought back my tears, David and Jen proceeded to tell me that I had to take a ski lesson. In fact, David had already enrolled me in a one-on-one lesson with Bryce.

Naturally, I refused. But again, to spare you more details, I did have that ski lesson with Bryce, who would become my new best friend that day. I learned to ski. I learned how to decrease my chances of falling. I learned how to get up when I did fall. I learned technique. I also learned to not be bitter about the sport that I was certain was the most dangerous sport after my experience hours earlier.

So what on earth does this have to do with being intentional about creating memories? I promise I have a point, if you’ve stuck with me this far. I for sure do not have an innate desire to ski. I do not naturally wake up on any given morning of any winter day thinking, “You know what would be fun? I want to ski today!” But you know what I’ve done every winter since that most memorable day? I have skied.

If I don’t love it so much, why do I force myself to get out there? Because I love my husband. David loves to ski. And I want to share those memories with him – and with the kids. Because he wants them to learn. And they’re learning.

I ski because I’m trying to be intentional in making memories with my family. We are bonding. We are enjoying the time together as we sharpen our skills with a sport, all the while getting fresh air! And you know what? I’ve grown to really like skiing. I still don’t wake up wanting to hit the slopes (told you it’s not an innate desire for me), but once I get going I find joy in the experience. And I’m not so terrible anymore, so that’s a bonus.

This year I’m trying to be more intentional in making memories, whether it puts me outside of my comfort zone – or not. I want to read to my kids while they’re eating breakfast the way I used to. I want to be better about one-on-one dates with each of the kids. I want to be more intentional and regular with weekly dedicated “family nights.” I want to play more games and do more activities that the kids want to do. These things, to me, would be cultivating a good life.

We are so glad to know that you’ve enjoyed the Good Life series on the blog last year. I’m pleased to share that we have every intent to carry on the weekly tradition of sharing a new guest post every Sunday of every week in 2015.


11 Responses

  1. Julia Schueler says:

    Becky, you are so right. I have the same experience with skiing. I do it for my husband an my kids, so I can be with them. But half a day of skiing is enough for me. The other half day I enjoy watching them or the view of the Black Forrest or the Alps. There is plenty to see.
    And I started last year our family game nights. It helps if it is always on the same weekday. I did this for the same reasons: To enjoy my family and to make memories togehter.
    Happy new year

  2. Stacie Garn says:

    Becky, good for you for being so willing. Skiing is hard and it takes practice and dedication, but it is also very rewarding. When I married my husband Jake he had never skied before, ever! And I had been skiing since I was 3. We had a family trip planned to Targhee. My Dad told me to go with the rest of the family and that he would take care of Jake. 5 hours later he was hooked. Now today, we both work part time at Deer Valley ski resort so that our family of 7 can ski as much as we like. We spend pretty much every Saturday on the slopes TOGETHER! 2 of my 5 kids are autistic and we were so worried that we would lose this together time, but skiing has turned out to be the one thing that we all love and look forward to each year. Life is GOOD!

  3. Michelle says:

    My father in law passed away on New Year’s Eve, I’ am so ready for more family connectivity. this has changed everything.

  4. Debbie Lee says:

    I honestly feel the same way about camping. Its not something I’m excited to plan for when the season hits, but it’s something my husband enjoys and wants to do with/for the kids. So I do it for them. And to be with them. In the end we are making great memories, together, and that’s what’s most important.

  5. Audrey says:

    I love what you said about reading to the kids at breakfast and one on one dates. In 2015, I want to be intentional about the activities that I choose to do with them, not just what we can squeeze in around everything else. Thank you!

  6. Rhonda says:

    this was a GREAT post and something that’s been on my mind too as I’ve thought about the upcoming year. (Not skiing but choosing to make the memories and choosing the right things to focus on). This yea my one little word is choose and I think you nailed my sentiment that imwas feeling and just didn’t know how to say it!

  7. ana roat says:

    My husband is a hunter. When we were a young couple with kids to feed he would provide fresh game for us each and every season. On many occasions I hunted with him. Although I’ve never killed anything I learned to enjoy and appreciate the time spent with him outside hiking and listening and seeing God all around. We then turned to the kitchen where we together prepared some of the most delicious meals ever. As we ate he would explain to the kids the importance of giving thanks for the meal and how important it is to not take what you cannot use. So many lessons learned and memories made. Memories worth keeping.

    Good for you Becky. Love always finds a way to see us thru even if we’re not super crazy about the “intent”.

  8. Suzanne says:

    I thought of your post the other day while I was skiing. I am trying to enjoy it and not stress about getting down the mountain because my family enjoys it. I enjoy rolling hills not the step mountains of Utah and the last run of the day tested me in ways I never imagined. But watching my kids and husband smile afterwards (when I finally made it down) was so worth it.

  9. Lori Wilson says:

    This is my favorite post from you, Becky! This describes me and my husband and our experiences to a tee. It is NOT innate in me to chase adrenaline, but my family enjoys these types of adventures and in the end I’ve always had fun when I’ve pushed through the fear and let myself enjoy the experience. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. I will try to remember that, and this post, in 2015 as my initial reaction might be to decline an adventurous invitation. Thank you!

  10. Kathy L says:

    For me it is golf. My husband LOVES to golf as does my 10 yr old son. In order to spend more time together and to be outdoors I golf. I do not live it, but I enjoy the scenery of the gold courses and I enjoy improving my game, watching my son grow, and the cheer joy on my husband’s face that we are all out there together.

    Regarding reading to the kids, there was just an interesting post on the Scholastic Books blog about the benefits of reading a loud to our older children and how much they really enjoy it.

    Love the Sunday Blog series.
    So glad you are continuing in 2015.

  11. Shirley K says:

    Learning to ski was frustrating for me too, but once I learned how, it’s great! Similar here, my husband likes to ski, so to now know how means I take myself out of family time/activities. It’s one of those things that, in retrospect, would’ve been easier to learn as a kid though, because kids are fearless!