Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas With the Wood's

This year Christmas was just delightful! It was so nice to be home and not all crazy and traveling and out of sorts. After all the shopping shenanigans came together and I was finally  on break we could relax and enjoy the glory that is Christmas!
We drove up to Platteville on Saturday afternoon and spent the night at Brien's parents. It seriously the best! The kids were almost all getting along, we had yummy treats, a hot cocoa bar that my sister in law put together, a gingerbread house competition and a pajama party! I love my sweet family SO much!

  Phanneth had the best idea to these chocolate, spoons using the fancy looking plastic spoons, melted chocolate and crushed candy canes! We saw them at Vintage Market a few weeks ago and they were selling for $4 a spoon! She totally nailed it! Until we put them outside to harden up and it started snowing and it was windy and they got a little wet, but no one seemed to notice or care! 

Someone was not thrilled with sitting in the chair with 4 other cousins....

The next morning we had a breakfast feast complete with mimosa's and cinnamon rolls! Then we let the kids run loose and do their annual scavenger hunt. My mother in law is poetry gangster when it comes to making up these clues!

These little critters found all of their treasures in a hurry! Then it was present time! I love my mother in law's philosophy of  something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read!

After presents we had a delicious lunch! I have never had lobster before, that was amazing. I get it, now! After visiting and playing we packed up and headed home to get ready for Santa! 

At home we lit a fire, watched a little Rudolph (which as an adult, I think is a terrible movie! How did I miss this as a child?) and laid out the cookies and hit the hay!
Brien and I did our traditional last minute terrible wrapping and watched Love Actually and it was off to bed for Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

The children were up at the crack of dawn of course and ready for presents. Kellen got his prized dinosaur volcano and Callie got a phone. We finally broke down and got it for her, really as an emergency, safety thing, but she thought it was pretty great and totally unexpected!

After presents at home, it was a mad dash to get my parents and have Christmas with them. It was whirlwind of presents and laughing and finally just relaxing and really enjoying family and Christmas. I was a little caught up in the days before, but it kind of hit me, that these little nuggets will only be little so long and I want to make sure that Christmas is magical for them, just the way my parents made Christmas magical for my brother and I.

It was such a fun day with family, I was super sad when the day was over so quick. Christmas came and went a little too fast for me this year! 

We were beyond blessed this year and I can't say it enough, we have the most amazing parents and extended family.  In the words of my little/bigger brother--"Merry Happy!"

Friday, December 29, 2017

December to Remember

What a month it has been! I don't know how we made it but somehow we have and now it's almost over... Sad times! December, minus the frigid weather, which in reality was unseasonably warm, is one of my favorite months! 

School went right up until the last minute, which was SO stressful. I told anyone who would listen how rough it was keeping 7 year olds' busy until literally 3 days before Christmas! In the meantime I totally neglected my own families' Christmas shopping, it was pretty much an underwear and socks kind of Christmas until my fella swooped in on his day off and saved the day, while I was at school working on report cards! (which PS I just finished about 5 minutes ago. Only a week late.) Well, him and Amazon! Next year I am doing ALL of my shopping online. In October.

Besides ordering presents and teaching my heiney off all month we did other fun stuff too!
The first weekend in December we went to our future small town, country Christmas. It was delightful and fun! The first weekend of Christmas season, little ol' Strasburg, does a festival with Santa at the bank, real life reindeer, hot cocoa on every corner, bonfires, cookies, nacho, hot dogs, firetrucks and all the fun stuff. All of the little shops open at night and have fun things for the kids to do. It was a blast! 

It was a super fun night! I can't wait to go back next year when we are real legit country people! 

The next weekend Callie and I headed to Colorado Springs with my sister in law, mother in Law and brother in law's girlfriend for the Vintage Christmas Craft fair. It was worth the drive! I got my shopping started, and got a ton of ideas for crafty things for next year! If my real life job afforded me some more down time, I think I could make a pretty good go of selling fun things I make... Maybe some day!
I mean lets be real...
Literally a cone wrapped in sequins with lights inside--$80

Scraps of fabric and twine...$35

2x4's with a triangle cut into the top $5 each... 
I could be a millionaire. Well at least a thousandaire...

Callie was digging the fudge, candy and this sweet lady playing the harp...

After we shopped til we dropped we headed to Maggianos on the way home for a fancy cocktail and appetizers. I love these ladies. It was a super fun day!

Even though we didn't squeeze in our regular traditions of  Zoo lights and ice skating (yet) we have had a fun month of Christmas-y things! Happy almost New Year!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Birthday Weekend/Month

It still technically November for just a few more hours and thus the conclusion to birthday month! It's funny how as our family grows the amount of birthdays and events just gets bigger and bigger. I mean we have been in throws of birthday season since August and still have a bunch more coming. But November is by far the busiest (at least in my mom brain) We have Callie, then Brien and then Thanksgiving and then our nephew's and by then it's practically a new year. I guess that's just how we roll in this big fun family!

Callie has been asking me when I was going to post about her birthday and all the fun things we did, and I don't think she will be satisfied until she sees it! I am sorry kid, life is busy right now!
So here goes...

The festivities started on Friday night at Spider Monkey...It's one of those crazy ninja warrior trampoline places. It was pretty fun!

They actually have really cool things and if I wasn't a super sophisticated grown up, I would have been right there playing with them (Who I am kidding, there is very little sophistication here, it's crazy expensive! Like 20 bucks an hour?? To jump around? No thanks, Tom Hanks, I have a trampoline in my back yard that I can jump on for free)

After all that crazy, we had 5 girls spend the night. It was not my cup of tea. I can't wait to have a basement that they can sleep in and I can just close the door, instead of having to listen to 6, eleven-year olds talk about instagram and play twister until 3 am. 

The next morning after NO sleep, we got the house ready for party number 2. I am loving these big girl birthdays. Gone are the days of turning my house into a princess palace. Nope. She just asked for Brien to smoke ribs and grandma Sue to make a cake and have everyone over for supper. That's more my speed!

It was fabulous and once again and we are so grateful and blessed to have our families nearby and always willing to come to our birthday bashes!

After the weekend wound down we had one more birthday surprise! Aunt Phanneth got her tickets to see one of her favorite singers, Britt Nicole, in concert the following Tuesday! 
I am not gonna lie, going downtown stresses me out these days! I remember always wanting to go to the city when I was a teenager, heck even when Brien and I were dating. In my 20's: Wanna go downtown? Me: Yes! Let's go right now! In my 30's: Wanna go downtown? Me: Ummmm...I have to stay in, cause there's people and traffic.

The concert was at the Belco Theater in the Convention Center, so we braved the snow and rush hour traffic and made it to perilous Denver. At work that day my girls at school helped me find a parking garage nearby that wasn't too expensive. I have this irrational fear of parking in outdoor lots and getting towed or lost or mugged and since I was going to be downtown with 2 young children it felt safer to be in the parking garage of a fancy hotel close to the theater!

 We met up with Callie's concert appreciating cousin, Aiden, and we found the theater with a little help from some friendly people and we were safe inside!

We got to be VIP'S and made it through the line quickly and got to the meet and greet, got out concert swag and spent a million dollars on snacks! But it was worth it!
It was the positive hits tour and Denver was one of their last stops. They had all of our favorite christian singers and it really is so positive and encouraging that their music is so popular. The musicians performing said that Denver by far had their biggest and best venue and turn out. It was pretty cool to look around and see families and churches in the middle of our crazy city in the middle of the week, in the middle of the night, worshiping God!

Our seats were ridiculously close and all of the musicians put on an amazing performance! Even with all of the shenanigans with getting there and it being downtown it was totally worth it and both kids had a blast staying up past bed time and listening to awesome music! Callie said "It's like being at church, but with really cool music." Well said, little girl!

After the show, we had more adventures...Of course, couldn't just get off that easily. We found our way back to the car, no mugging, towing or getting lost. But we sure got robbed by the parking garage. $38 to park for 4 hours. Yup that was 7 bucks an hour, not for the night. But hey, we were safe and dry, so there's that. Then onto the high way we went to meet up with uncle Joel to drop off Aiden.

About 5 minutes into the drive, I got behind one of those super awesome trucks that sprays the road with mag-chloride to keep it from freezing when it snows and it blew the spray all over my windshield. When I tried to use the wipers to spray off the smeary mess, I realized I was completely out of washer fluid. Dry as a bone. Dun, dun, dun! I couldn't see a thing, so we had to pull over at super shady gas station in a super sketchy neighborhood and put in the fluid. Thank goodness I had my big strong 9 year old nephew with me to help! 

Back on the road and then home safe, right? Nope, we happened to get behind some crazy driver that tried to crash into us like 3 times and then proceed to swerve in and out of traffic, run into cones and barriers and almost hit a bunch of other cars. So I did what any responsible driver would do. I had my 11 year call 911 to report them. Thankfully the 911 operator was really helpful and kind and the kids told her the make, model and plate number of said crazy driver. I hope they got them, that was scary!

We managed to get Aiden dropped off and back home without further incidents, praise the Lord!
It was a night to remember, that's for sure, never a dull moment!

The next weekend was Brien's birthday, so I tried to plan a night out with dinner and fun things.

I sure do love this fella!

 We had a great date night and I had my first Uber trip. That was interesting...I think this year I want to resolve to do more date nights, sometimes when we are sitting on couch watching Cops, I forget how much fun we have when we get out and about and spent time focusing on each other! Cheers to 35 Mister, I hope it's a great year!

So that was birthday week/month. It's always an adventure when we are involved! Until next November...birthday party on and stay safe downtown!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Just Thankful...

We had such a lovely Thanksgiving this year! Perfect weather (Hello 70 degrees in Colorado in November!) yummy food and a laid back time with the family!
I am so thankful for my people!

Especially these little turkeys!

My favorite picture of the day! Like little miss Cara was just done with him... I was dying!

They were ready for some yummy turkey!

Callie's sweet little star cherry pie! It came out so pretty!

Can I get a good picture please?

They had a blast at the park!

Per our tradition of putting up the tree on Thanksgiving night! It almost didn't happen. This year Brien wanted to get a real tree, but NO STORES were open on Thanksgiving morning to buy a tree and stand. So it was back to our big white wonder. I think it might be on it's last leg. You were a good tree, but you will be retired after this Christmas season. The little nuggets dragged everything up from the basement and put everything together. They did a pretty good job!

The most magical part of getting ready for Christmas, relaxing under the tree!

So much to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!