On Thursday, Annabel pulled a note out of her birthday advent calendar that read, “Surprise! You’re going to the snow today!” Her reaction was shock, then excitement.

going to the snow!

A lot of you commented on last week’s video that you couldn’t believe my kids had never seen snow. That’s Southern California for you! We live close to mountains that get snow, but thanks to the drought, snow has been very sparse the last few years. But we had a good round of storms a week or so ago, dumping a ton of snow on the mountains around LA. My friend Tara and I had been talking about taking our kids to the closest mountain to let them play, and we decided last Thursday was a great day to go (And yes, we pulled the kids out of school. Life experiences!).

The mountain that we went to (Mt. Pinos for you locals) was absolutely empty when we went, giving us our pick of locations to play at. We ended up driving all the way to the top of the mountain, at an elevation of almost 9,000 feet. Since we live at an elevation of only nine hundred feet, I kept a close watch for symptoms of altitude sickness in the kids (something I suffered from when I was their age), but they all did great. Once we got all of their snow gear on, they were off and running!

James in the snow

snow play!

snow time!

I was really surprised by how DEEP the snow was. Tara and I would sink up to our shins with every step. The kids, being lighter, didn’t sink quite so far, but they (mostly) didn’t mind when they inevitably fell. In fact, my kids thought laying in the snow was amazing.

laying in the snow

james in the snow

It did get hard for James to climb the hills, so I started having him lay down in our sled and I’d pull him up the hill. Every time I looked back to make sure he was still in the sled, he’d happily call out, “Hi, Mommy!”

pulling James in the snow

The kids did a lot of sledding, but they soon became interested in learning how to build snowmen, throwing snowballs, and moving snow from one area to another.

that's one use for a sled

moving snow

The kids also thought having a “snow picnic” was the coolest thing ever.

snow picnic

I thought it was the coolest thing literally because my butt just about froze on the snow.

We were in the snow for about two hours before we packed it up. It was the perfect amount of time – everyone got to sled as much as they wanted, throw snow, and build snow forts. No one was too cold (except Tara, who is cold on an 80 degree day), and both of my kids fell asleep before we’d even gone 500 feet down the mountain. Such a fun day with my oldest friend – I love that our kids can make these memories together, just like we did when we were their ages.

Tara and Heather

snow babies

my snow babies