Happy New Year. (I’m tired.) – 39 of 100

So here we are, beginning a new year.

We spent New Year’s in Waterton Lakes National Park. Dan loves Waterton. He loves it with such a passion. And we’d never been there in winter. It’s quiet. Only two hotels open – and one weiner restaurant (it’s called Weiners).


The view from the Prince of Wales hotel at twilight

We always take the scenic route on the way there – rolling ranch land with mountains punching up to the west. For one 100+ km stretch, you’re really in the middle of nowhere. That’s where James started screaming. Where we pulled over to the shoulder and found hives covering his face and back. Where I frantically nursed him and put him back in the carseat and did my best to distract him (while he mostly screamed full throttle) while we drove toward civilization to find a signal and an emergency room.

Yes, we went to the emergency room on New Year’s Eve. But it was the quickest visit I’ve ever had in my life (under an hour!) and the doctor was pretty handsome. James was fine. Sometimes, it just happens and we’ll never know why, he said.

The trip waffled between awesome and exhaustion. We skied at Castle Mountain where a local named Wilf (“I lived at the base of this hill in a tar paper shack in the 80s.”) toured me around the hill after we met on the lift. It was a perfect blue bird day and my first time on skis in two years.


To be clear: we did not ski with James in the carrier. Dan and I took turns hitting the slope and then watching the babe.

We walked the shore of upper Waterton Lake with James on my back. I interviewed a local who lived in Siberia with Grizzly bears for 13 years for a piece (coming soon).

As we met all of these local people I started to understand why Waterton and this southwest corner of Alberta is so special. Obviously, it is much quieter and less touristy than places like Banff and Jasper. Less obviously, it is passionately loved by the people that live there – who have loved it for many many years and generations. It’s like they have an extraordinary secret in this land. They’ll welcome you to it, but they’re not going to run around and try to tell everyone.


Anyway, James kept waking up at 5 a.m. Which meant he was cranky. And we were tired. Getting him to eat was a challenge (something totally weird and new). His teeth are coming in.

But after he went to bed, Dan and I would drink a bottle of wine and make fondue, just like we used to.


When there’s no kitchenette in your hotel room: Fondue it.

We’ve done a lot this year. Sometimes it’s been really tough. Sometimes it’s been totally smooth. 90% of the time it’s been worth it.


You might not believe that I packed all of this into the car singlehandedly while also mothering this child. But I did.

So it’s a new year. And if you are reading this right now, I want to say – Thank you.

After I posted #1 of my attempt at 100 I thought I might give up right away. But I went on. I got this annual report of blogging from WordPress and it told me I’ve posted 37 posts and it’s been viewed about 4,600 times, in 87 (!) countries.

In the world of blogging and the internet, these numbers aren’t very impressive. But to me, they are SOMETHING.

And – no – I’m nowhere near post 100 Random Thoughts and Memories yet – but I am getting there. I’m reminded of how important it is to put one foot in front of the other even when you’re not sure how you’ll ever get anywhere.

I’ve learned some things. I’ve learned that as much as I thought I might write some really short quick posts- I’m pretty much always longwinded. But that’s me. And I guess that’s ok.

I can’t keep up with my ideas (a good thing?) I wanted to write about all the crazy hippy shit I tried in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I wanted to write about my complicated feelings about raising James away from my family. About many many other things. I have about 20 saved drafts that I never published (why?)

I’ve learned that I totally suck at social media and I keep meaning to carve out time for it but I just can’t seem to do it.

I’ve remembered that writing and reading are about connection – and the magic way we can reach across space and time though words. Writing has made me feel less alone. And whenever someone tells me they identify – I feel this great lift. Like, Oh yeah. That’s why we do this. That’s why people have always done this.

Happy New Year all. Here’s to a beautiful 2016.DSCF4729


8 thoughts on “Happy New Year. (I’m tired.) – 39 of 100

  1. You , Dan and James have brought so much joy to our 2015. Keep on writing… I feel so close to you as I read your words❤️

  2. Yes, keep going Skiles! I love your blog and I’m always happy to read when there’s a new post! Happy New Year and thank you for the clarification on skiing with James, I was at the same time both confused (on how it would be possible) and concerned (for the safety of both of you).

    • Haha – I guess there was some misunderstanding when I posted that picture on Instagram – (though I had to wonder: don’t people see that I’m holding the skis (not wearing them)?) Anyway – glad to clear things up!
      Happy New Year Altmans!! xoxo

      • 87 countries?!?! that’s a lot more than something Sky!

        “I’ve remembered that writing and reading are about connection – and the magic way we can reach across space and time though words. Writing has made me feel less alone. And whenever someone tells me they identify – I feel this great lift. Like, Oh yeah. That’s why we do this. That’s why people have always done this.”

        This couldn’t feel more true. I feel so connected to you and to all mothers in the world when I read your blog posts. I so look forward to your next post and it somehow always hits home and is exactly what I need to read… I always feel less alone when I get to the end. big love.

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