Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas!

I love the week before Christmas. 

My mom came to town last week to spend some time with Marisa and her family.  We got together for a family Christmas Party.  We drove down to Colorado Springs and shared a wonderful night together.  My mom said that she wanted to be there when the kids opened their gifts from my parents, so we had a little Pre-Christmas party.  It was such a fun and magical night. We were showered with amazing gifts and as usual were completely spoiled by my parents.

{It should be said that my parents are the most giving people I have ever met.  They have the most charitable hearts and their willingness to give...and an example that I hope I can some day emulate}. 

Thank you Mom for a delightful night and for reminding me how much we adore you!!  Here are some highlights of our Pre-Christmas party.


Last night we did a cousin sleepover.  Marisa and I met half way and spent our usual 1.5 minutes together in a parking lot.  So much for living close!!!!

The kids had a lot of fun and we made one of my favorite Christmas treats, Christmas Corn Flake Wreaths.  My mom used to make these with us when I was a kid and the taste brings back so many memories. 

The recipe is pretty much Rice Krispy Treats with Corn Flakes, but here is the recipe:

Christmas Wreath Treats
1/3 cup butter
1 package miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon green food coloring
6 cups Corn Flakes cereal
Red Hot candies or Red Candies

1.  Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat and add food coloring.
2.  Add Corn Flakes.  Stir until well coated.
3.  Spoon approximately 1/4 cup onto waxed paper.   (Spray hands with cooking spray if needed). As the cereal cools, quickly shape into wreaths.  Press the Red Hots into place. 

Super easy and delicious!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Trip to California

Last month, Romney and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to California.  Romney had to attend an event in Dana Point at the Ritz Carlton, so we decided to leave a few days early and make a trip out of it.

Nan and Dwight came to stay with our kids while we were gone.  (I hate leaving my kids, especially when it involves a flight out of state, but Romney and I were in much need of some time together without the usual distractions, so we did our best to enjoy every last second.)  The kids had a blast and the trip was wonderful.

Before Romney's conference, we spent a few days in La Jolla.  The weather was too chilly to really enjoy, but we wandered the charming streets, ate plenty of delicious food and even saw a movie.  We spent some quality time with Romney's brother John and his wife Jodie and their 4 darling kids.  We also took some time to visit my dad's sister Kristy and her daughter Kim.

We spent one evening in San Diego.  It was really fun walking around the Gas Lantern District.  One of our favorite things we saw was the Padres Baseball Stadium, PETCO Park.  It was truly breathtaking.  It sits right in the middle of the city and an open park area in outfield allows people to walk right up and look into the baseball field.  We both loved it.

That night we ate a yummy seafood dinner at The Fish Market.  The restaurant sits right on the water and we had a nice view of the Navy Warship USS Vinson.  To commemorate Veteran's Day, Michigan State University and North Carolina basketball teams played a game on the flight deck.  (This was also the ship that took Osama bin Laden's body to sea for burial).  President Obama was watching the game so secret service was everywhere. It was cool.

View of the ship from our table.


The last few days of our trip were spent at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point.  It was a spectacular resort that sits on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean.  It was really fun.  We walked on the beach at sunset and sunrise and mostly just enjoyed the amazing view.

Romney stayed busy with his meetings and I decided to stay busy in my own way.  I grabbed a great book, an ice bucket full of ice and a liter of Diet Coke.  I sat outside read for hours...yep, for hours...while enjoying this view.  Although it was way too chilly for my bones, I loved every second of it.

 It was a really fun trip and a perfect way to celebrate 15 years!! 

We came home to this happy site!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Holidays are Here!

My computer crashed a few months ago.  It is very dumb.  I am sorry that I have been so terrible about updating.  The idea of posting from my phone or the iPad is not as easy as it should be.  Please forgive.

A lot has been happening.  I love this time of year.  As we pulled out our tree and gently hung the decorations, my heart began to swell.  I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by my family and have constant reminders of how precious life is.  My kids are maturing and it is becoming more meaningful each year to share the sacred events of Christmas with them.

I feel blessed.

Our family kicked off the holiday season with my sister Marisa and her family.  The historic "The Broadmoor" hotel in Colorado Springs holds its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We attended the festive event with the Bentleys.  This was our third year doing it together.  It is quickly becoming a favorite Colorado tradition.

The setting is spectacular.  The hotel is surrounded by the beautiful mountains and the hotel grounds are breathtaking.  The crowd at the Broadmoor tends to be a little more fancy and "uppity" than we are used to, but we just do our best to blend in with all the fur coats and oversized diamond rings.  

The lights are amazing and Santa always makes a perfectly timed appearance.  It is a perfect way to welcome in the holidays.

The tree is up, the music is playing, the shopping is nearly done (yep!) and I can barely wait for the kids to get out of school!!  My goal is to be wrapped and ready by the weekend.  Bring it!

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