Today was a big day for me.

I enjoy downhill skiing but I've never had great gear. My sister bought me my first pair of ski boots from Play it Again Sports for my 12th Christmas. At the time those boots were probably as old as I was; rear entry clunkers with a past life in a rental shop.

I used these boots until I was in my thirties. My husband, an experienced skiier, was appalled at the quality of my gear and helped me source new stuff. Since then I've been wearing a family member's hand-me-down high school racing boots. A huge upgrade but hardly the right boot for me.

I'm heading to ski school on Monday, hoping to inch past the line between intermediate and advanced. I took a course a few years ago and they told me that I was pretty much done advancing my skills until I could replace my boots with something that fit me properly.

Today I completed my search for a good pair of boots. This was Jer's Christmas gift and I also used some Christmas money. I went with a shiny new pair of Atomic Hawx 2.0 100s - the right combination of comfort, flex, value, and fit for my surprisingly-narrow feet. Also, I get to hear Blondie in my head when I ski in them.

My skis were nearly as run down but I wasn't looking to replace them until I found a really sweet pair of Rossignol Temptation 82s at a Play it Again Sports.

I've never had nice skiing gear and I'm SO excited!

Photo notes: .6 seconds at f1.4, handheld and with an ISO of 1000. Why, you ask? Because the kid was sleeping around the corner and she cried when I turned on the light!