December 31, 2010

Merry and Bright ...

The holidays were a bit different for our family this year.  The bigger and busier our family gets the harder it is to work around everyone’s schedule. This year we ended up having our holiday celebration with Dwight’s parents, sister Nadene and her family on December 23rd.  Of course the kids were super excited to see their cousins and open up presents before Christmas.

~ Justin watching Grandpa Bruce open up a present ~ 
~ Makenna and Memphis playing with his new truck carrier ~

This year there was no annual “Hodges Party” on Christmas Eve (Dwight’s Mother’s Extended Family).  So for the 1st time in 10+ years we spend Christmas Eve with my family.  My sister and her husband Bob cooked a fabulous festive dinner that was delicious … we topped of the evening with lots of wine, presents and Justin loose tooth finally falling out!

~ Sadly I have NO pictures cause I forgot my camera so we took photos with my sisters camera ... maybe she will read this and decide to forward them to me :) ... if she does I will post a few later!! ~

Yep … Double Duty … Santa and the Tooth Fairy after several bottles of wine! I’m happy to say everything ended up in the right stocking!!

My dad and Bobbye joined us Christmas morning for breakfast and “the opening of presents” chaos. It’s always lots of fun watching Justin and Makenna open presents. I got so into watching them this year that I almost forgot about taking pictures. Normally I have dozens to look at … this year I only took a few. Opps!

 ~ Justin was SUPER EXCITED about his Manning Jersey ~
 ~ Makenna and her Hello Kitty CD player from Aunt Lori ~
 ~ Aunt Lisa (my bff) hooked Justin up with a Polamalu Jersey and an Apron for Makenna ~
 ~ The Mess ~

Ahh…. by noon I was exhausted.  Makenna and I were lucky enough to get a Christmas Afternoon Nap before a quick visit to the cemetery … We took mom some red flowers and a darling outdoor present yard stake I found at Hobby Lobby.  There is a big pine tree near mom’s headstone ... after our visit this year Dwight and Justin decided that next year they are going to bring a ladder to the cemetery and decorate Grandma H’s tree!  Its special moments like this that warms my heart.  

We ended our day with a special Christmas dinner with Bruce and Sharon (Dwight’s Parents).   It’s such a blessing to have our families close … creating memories and sharing the joys of Christmas … helping make our holiday MERRY AND BRIGHT!

December 29, 2010

Santa Stop Here ...

This year Justin and Makenna really got excited about the countdown to Christmas day.  We did 3 advent calendars … which really helped them to understand how many days they had to wait.  We’ve had wrapped presents under the Christmas tree for weeks so I was super proud that they have both waited so patiently for this day to come.
Cookies, Oranges and Milk for Santa and the Reindeer ... plus notes from Justin and Makenna
Justin's Stash
Elmo's Stash

 Makenna's Stash

 Elmo found his stocking!
 The mess
Santa brought Justin 500 Denver Broncos trading cards ... Daddy helped him sort them all out
This is all Makenna has talked about for weeks ... A Hello Kitty Candy Jar 

This is what Justin has been asking for ... a John Elway Rookie Card.

We had two very happy kids on Christmas day.  Justin crawled into bed on Christmas night and said "mom I know Santa is real cause he brought us everything we wanted ... this was the best Christmas ever".  I crawled into be with a smile on my face.  Another year with more memories ... What a blessing!

December 25, 2010

Dear Santa, Define Good ...

It took 2 attempts but the kids finally got to talk to SANTA. We heard Santa and his reindeer would be at Bath Nursery on Sunday December 12th.  The kids got all dressed in the Christmas outfits … when we got to Bath Nursery we discovered that Santa must have sent out a BIG MEMO this year cause there was about 150 other kids waiting to see Santa.  OH MY … there was NO way Makenna would have made the “Good List” this year after standing in line for 2+ hours to see Santa. I knew it was going to get ugly.  Try explaining to a 4 year old ... um there's Santa way over there but all these kids need to talk to him so we will try another day. She was heart broken at first ... "I didn't tell Santa what I want him to bring to me" disaster was about to happen ... then she saw the Reindeer. We told her ... "since Rudolph wasn't there Santa had to get the reindeer back to the North Pole before dark so we would have to talk to Santa at his next stop. She bought it!

Makenna, Elmo and Justin ready to see Santa at Bath Nursery

~ Our Second Attempt to Talk to Santa ~ 

Things got a little busy so it took longer than expected to get back to talk to Santa.  I had the day off on Tuesday the 21st so the kids and I got dressed up again for another attempt at sitting on Santa’s Lap.  This time Santa was in Old Town at his little cabin next to the ice skating rink. 

~ Watching the ice skaters ~
 ~ Waiting Outside of Santa's Cabin ~

At last they got to talk to Santa.  He assured them they were both on the “Good List”.  Not sure how Santa defines GOOD?!?!?  But it looks like he will be making a stop at our house this year.  Makenna wants a HELLO KITTY CANDY JAR.  Yep Santa, hope you have one of those at the North Pole cause momma elf is having a tough time with that one.  Elmo didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap.  Makenna says he will next year when he gets a little bigger but she told Santa that Elmo wants a TEDDY BEAR and Justin wants a JOHN ELWAY ROOKIE CARD.  Santa said he would look in his own collection because that is an antique!

December 24, 2010

Ugly Sweater Party ...

Our dear friends JC and Jen added a little twist to their annual holiday couples party.  This year the attire was “ugly sweater”.    Well I would have never imagined that Goodwill would be completely SOLD OUT of ugly Christmas attire, but it was TRUE!! Since I was slammed with hours at work I didn’t have time to search all the thrift store in town so Julie Bigge shared some of her lovely holiday attire with us. 

The Girls
I know this picture is HORRIBLE ... but it was the best shot I had of this beautiful sweater Dwight wore for the party!

Yep ... The Grizwolds were the hit of the party aka Josh and Julie Bigge!

The Guys
The Hosts of the Party ... Jen and JC Van Cleave!

Like always we all had a wonderful night full of tons of laugh with great friends!

December 23, 2010

Momma's got money ...

Life has been a little crazy around our house lately. The majority of our craziness can be blamed on ………….. MOMMY HAS A JOB!! After spending the last 4 years being a stay at home mom I decide to step back into the working world. I started my job adventure in early October after doing some online research of “Great Companies” to work for. REI … Recreational Equipment Inc. was listed as 14th on the “2010 Fortune 500 best companies to work for”. Well it just so happened they were hiring so I updated my resume (my resume was only 10 years outdated) … filed out the online application and hit submit. Seriously I had NO IDEA what I was in for.

The phone call came. They wanted me to come in for a group interview. My idea of a group interview was me and a few managers. Ummmmmmm … was I surprised when I walked into a room of 18 other people applying for the same job as me. It really was a group interview! I have NEVER been more intimidated. For 2 hours I role played, brainstormed and mingled with 18 others that wanted the same job. I walked away from my interview with this …

OVER 850 applications were submitted
Which was narrowed down to 51 people
They were doing 3 sessions of group interviews in which
Fort Collins REI would be hiring 16 seasonal employees
they would call either way by the end of the month

Sheeeeeeesh … the good news was I made the first cut. But by no means was I holding my hopes up. Life went on …….. then on October 26th I received the call that changed everything. REI offered me a seasonal job I was one of the top 16.

It has been almost 2 months and I KNOW WHY … REI is one of the top companies to work for! I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job! I would have NEVER guessed having a job would be this much fun. ………… right now my job stands as seasonal but I have been told that there is a chance they might keep a few of us “newbie’s” on after the holidays. This time I am holding my hopes up! I will be super sad if my REI adventure comes to an end … for now I just feel blessed that I have been given this opportunity to work for an amazing company with some of the most incredible inspiring individuals in Fort Collins! I am blessed ~

December 19, 2010

Pony Party ...

Wow … I am so far behind on blogging but decided to stay up late to get this DONE!

Makenna turned 4 in November ... yep that tells you how far behind I am!   This years she decided to celebrate with a pony party. She absolutely loves My Little Pony right now and was set on having a “Pony Party”. Since she wanted to invite 5 boys and 5 girls to her party I decided to drop the “my little” and just have a Pony Party that wasn’t ALL PINK! Once the theme was set it was time to get busy.  You know me … nothing can be simple when it comes to parties.

First I handmade all of her invitations ...

Then it was on to the party favors.  Grandma Sharon and I handmade 10 stick horses.  They were a lot of work but turned out SO STINKIN' Cute!! 

Birthday girl Makenna with her purple pony!
Mommy baked the cake and Aunt Sheri decorated it ... just the way Makenna designed it.  Purple pony with a rainbow mane! ... I know it looks pink but it really was light purple :)

 Making a wish!

 Opening the presents!
Our Niece Madalee with her pony!