Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Park, Snow, Sliding and Even a Date!

On Friday morning we had to say good-bye to Jon, Liz and Camden and that was very sad indeed! We will miss you guys terribly but look forward to seeing you somewhere in the US next year!!

When Mom and Dad got back from the airport we packed up some lunches and snowsuits and headed up to Winter Park to see some snow. It was such a beautiful drive...until the last 20 minutes! Can someone say high cliffs?!! We had to drive all the way up to the top of a REALLY high mountain and then part way back down the other side to get to Winter Park. SCARY!!

Once we arrived we found a hotel and asked if there was a sliding hill nearby. There was...but it was closed. We decided to drive through the town and check out the shops. There really wasn't much to the town though. At this point I'm annoyed...I hate random driving. I am so strictly routine that I hate aimless driving without a predetermined destination (some say this would make me a boring person...I say it makes me a great organizer!).

Finally, we saw a park with a picnic table (I'm obviously dealing with Southerners here...who has a picnic in 20 degree weather??). When we park we find some stairs and take those up. At the top is a wonderful surprise..a sliding hill with sleds for all to use. I'm not even kidding! The kids got to go sliding for their first time...and have their first absolutely freezing picnic...all on the same day! I have great pics but they are on Dad's camera and he won't be back until Tuesday so you'll have to wait until then.

When we got home Jim and I decided that we would like to treat Mom and Dad to dinner to thank them for all that they have done for us. Dad wanted Italian so I searched the Internet to find something close. We decided on a restaurant called Cinzetti's that I have seen in Northglenn where I shop sometimes.
We pull up to the restaurant and it's beautiful. While we are being seated we find out it is a buffet. Had I known that, I probably would not have chose it. All those hard for someone who chooses the entree every time!! It was sooooo yummy though! And they have homemade crepes for dessert (as well as a million other choices!)...there goes my diet!! Everyone loved it and I think I have a new restaurant that I will bring all of my visitors when they come visit me in Colorado (a little bit of a hint, a little bit of a bribe!!).

As we left the restaurant it was snowing. We decided to do some shopping and then head home to play in the snow. What is it with snowing in Colorado? The first time it snowed I was waking my daughter up at 4am. The second time, which is this time, the kids stay up playing in the snow until 11pm. Nuts! Does it not snow during the daytime?! Here is the very first snowman Kaylee ever made and she did it with her Aunt Melissa's help.

Dad and Jim decided at 10:30 at night to go searching for sleds at Walmart. The next morning the snow was still here and so Jim took the kids to a nearby school to go sliding for their second time

I'm telling you...this week has been like a family vacation! We have taken so many mini-trips and had so much fun. It's been so awesome watching my kids, and even my husband, have so many firsts.

And Saturday didn't only start well, with the snow and sliding, but ended well because I got to go on a date with my husband! Yes, me and Jim were ALONE for like four hours!! We left the kids with Mom, Dad and Melissa and Jim and I went Christmas shopping. It was great! I know that isn't everyone's idea of a date...but we have not been alone since July! We'll take what we can get. We did also go to Olive Garden for lunch where I got totally inebriated on one glass of red wine. Go me....SOOOO wild!! haha It was wonderful!

The night ended with a million, or maybe it was only six or seven, games of Skip Bo with Mom and Melissa. So fun!...well, it is when I'm winning! Me, competitive? NOOO!

Today Melissa left to go back to Austin. Mom and Dad left to drive up to Wyoming for a couple of days. And Jimmy went back to work. I'm sad and lonely with my quiet house. But my heart is overflowing with all of the love and laughter I received in the last week...that should keep me going for a little while at least.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Traditions

I was right...not surprising, I know! Seriously, I was right about my Thanksgiving table being full of love. Look at my wonderful family. And all of those happy faces with lots of yummy food in front of them. We are so blessed. For family. For food. Truly, I count my blessings often.

Dinner was wonderful. Mom put the turkey in the night before and then was up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning. Everyone took a turn in the kitchen helping out with different dishes. Jimmy, the wonderful man that he is, even did all of the kitchen cleaning with me while everyone else napped, read and rested. It was such a lovely day.

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a ton of Christmas traditions in my home...some would say too many...not I! My very favorite tradition would have to be making the Christmas t-shirts with the kids. I even wrote about it for the Blade..I will post it when it has been published. Anyhow, we decided to do our t-shirts while Camden was here. It was so cute watching Cam do his first shirt. He didn't cry until the last hand print and that was mostly because he was being held in an awkward position. Check out his handiwork...

This is not the best picture of all of the children but it's the best shot of all of the shirts. I don't think there was a good one of the kids...too many different moods at once!

Another one of our traditions is that we get new pajamas every Christmas Eve. We go to church and when we come home I tell the kids to go put on their jammies so we can make cookies for Santa. They go to their rooms and when they open their drawers there is a wrapped pair of jammies for them. It's really very exciting.
However, the pajamas are always holiday themed and so they are only cool for a week or two. This year we decided to change it up so that we get them on Thanksgiving evening and that way we get more wear out of them. Also, this way Camden was able to participate! So, after much eating and playing it was time for baths and jammies. And what do you know...each child had a new pair of jammies in a Christmas bag on their dressers (Camden's were by his suitcase). It was still very exciting. The kids all stripped and had their new snowman jammies on in minutes!
Again, it was very hard to get a good picture. I do love this one very much's my new screen saver. What cute little cousins!!

Dancing on Ice

On Wednesday Mom and Dad wanted to go skating since the rest of the family had arrived and Jimmy was off of work. We decided to go to One Boulder Plaza Mall which is an outdoor mall in, guess....Boulder. It was absolutely beautiful. You've already seen pics of us skating so I decided just to upload the best video...and of course, it's of me!! haha No, it's cute. Jon grabbed me and started dancing with me on the ice. I think this was a first for me. So fun! Anyways, enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Hilde

This was seriously the funniest ever Thanksgiving greeting I've received. Written in an email with no opening....

I hope you both had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had an okay thanksgiving up until I stepped in Dog sh*t. By the way, Coby did too. Love yall, Hilde

Now who wouldn't keep a friend like that around for life?!! Oh the laughs!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Column 11-26-08

Thanksgiving..such a beautiful holiday. Time to sit back and give thanks for all of the year's blessings. A chance to sit around the table with those that you love and be thankful for having them in your life. And even a day of mourning as we remember those that we've lost over the year and are not able to share our holiday traditions any longer.

As I reflect on the last year, and oh what a year it has been, I am so filled with thanksgiving. I conquered some major fears, including overcoming my fear of heights and going on a zip line and was blessed to still be alive at the end of it! I have been blessed with a new life, in a new home, in a new state. I have been given the opportunity to experience Autumn again and to watch my children experience it for the first time. I saw snow this year! I am in good health. I have been blessed with lots of laughter in my little world.

I am thankful for all of the new friends in my life. The friends that I’ve made with my new neighbors and the friends that my children have made with their children. We have been blessed with wonderful teachers for our children that have been really interested and involved in making sure that our whole family transitions well to our new home. I started a new bunco group and I am so thankful for the women that joined and all of the laughter they brought to my life last Thursday!

My table this year will be filled with those that I love so very much. My awesome husband of ten years who I love more than anything in this world by my side. My three beautiful children that I cherish with all of my heart. My wonderful and entire in-law family that I have been so blessed to have share in my life. And with my special new nephew, Camden, who is five months old and I will be meeting for the first time!

My family lost a friend this year to suicide. I am so sad for my best friend who's husband it was and my children's best friends whose father it was. This year is a sad year for them as they remember their whole family together. It's also a day of looking forward and setting new traditions as they remember the man they loved so much. My heart hurts as we all mourn him this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful experiences I've had this year. The joys and the sorrows. The laugher and the tears. The ups and the downs. I know that every bad situation has the potential and ability to help us grow in character. My life, and year, has had a lot of character building moments and I am thankful for the friends, family and even strangers who have had kind words to build me up to who I am. As I write this and finish my reflecting, I have to say I am truly thankful for the awesome year I've had and to all of you who have brightened my world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The North Pole

Mom and Dad decided that they were not going to buy Christmas presents for us. Instead, they were going to "do" Christmas presents with us. Yesterday they surprised the kids and took all of us to the North Pole in Colorado Springs. There are a bazillion pictures but these are the only ones on my that's what you get.

Here is the official North Pole...and it's made out of ice.

What fun is an amusement park without a train??

I promised Jon that this picture would make it onto the blog!! xo

The boys checking out the map to see where we should head after our hot chocolate break.

Aunt Melissa on the Dive Bomb.

Jagger feeding Santa's reindeer.

James and Kaylee riding on a roller coaster together. Liz and I actually got on for the next ride. For a kiddie roller coaster it was very scary!! The kids loved laughing at us screaming!

Okay, if any of you remember the post from Family Camp then you will remember how scared I am of heights. Well, check out this next picture! I cried for the first part but then I got brave enough to raise both hands up into the air. So brave I am!! Lots of big hurdles this year.
Jagger on the Sky Ride.

James and Melissa on the Sky Ride.

And after four hours of fun would you believe that we didn't even go see Santa?! We were at the North Pole for goodness sakes!!
It was another perfect day. Thanks Mom and Dad. I know the kids loved every minute of the day and we had a blast too!


Since we are not going to be together for Christmas, I wanted to have a little gift for everyone while they are here (seriously, I'm cheap..I didn't want to pay shipping!). I bought jammies and books for all of the girls. We got matching jammies...different books though.

This is the funny picture. Instead of "say cheese" my idiot husband said "say Jenny Craig!" You can see how impressed we all were.

And here we are being sweet and snuggly.

Meeting Camden

There is nothing better than a baby....unless it's my nephew Camden!! I finally got to meet him when Jon, Liz and Camden arrived on Sunday. He is so precious! It's moments like these that I so wish that all of my family lived close by.

Here he is being his cute self....

The kids were so excited to have their cousin arrive. Kaylee had met him shortly after his birth when her and daddy had visited Maryland.

James and Jagger have been so gentle and sweet with the baby. They are wonderful big cousins.

I did not get my picture with Camden the first day but here we are enjoying a moment together on Day 2. I'm such a lucky aunt!


Jimmy took his dad to the Broncos game on Sunday for his Christmas present. They are never allowed to go again though because they DID NOT!! bring the Broncos any good luck. However, they did have a good time. And because they were one of the first whatever number to get there, they received free hats. Here they are giving them to the boys when they got home! So cute!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Manly Men

Are words even necessary?? I'm sure they broke about a million rules of proper man behavior in this one setting alone!!

And surprising them with this picture on my blog....priceless!!

How NOT To Impress Your Mother-In-Law

I love my mother-in-law. She is a wonderful, caring and giving person. She loves me and my children so completely. Still, regardless of this unconditional love, I feel this need to impress and please her with my cleaning and culinary skills. Yesterday...I did not! Here is my embarrassing tale....

We got home from our very fun day of shopping and skating and we start preparing for dinner. Kaylee has asked for her Mamaw's famous steak fingers, mashed potatoes and gravy and some cornbread for dinner. My only job is to make the dessert; the best homemade-from-scratch chocolate birthday cake in the world.

I don't know where I went wrong. The cake cooked and puffed up on the outside but stayed flat in the middle. It overflowed in the oven and smoked and stunk the whole house with burnt cake smell. The sides burnt onto the pan and needed to be cut off. When I took the cake out of the pan the bottom stayed in the pan. The cake was falling apart. I had to put more milk in the icing to make it thin enough that I wouldn't make a bigger mess when trying to ice the cake.

And the most embarrassing part, the part I can't believe I'm about to type? I'm still on the South Beach Diet. And this said diet gives me major gas. I mean stinky boy gas. And while all of this smoking and burning cake is going on I am stinking the kitchen up with my noxious gasses.

My mother-in-law laughed a lot!!

And she still loves me!

My family was gracious enough to eat the crazy chocolate cake and surprisingly it was still delicious (yes, I cheated on my diet. It has to be some kind of really bad luck to not have a piece of your daughter's birthday cake..right?? Well, that's the story I'm going with!!).

Skating at Flat Irons Mall

Kaylee's birthday was yesterday and I had promised to take her shopping for a bunch of new clothes. Since my in-laws were in and Jim was working we decided to go to one of the nice malls...Flat Irons. We had tons of fun. We were so surprised and excited to see an outdoor skating rink when we arrived. We did some shopping and had lunch. Then Mom and Dad surprised us by buying us tickets and skate rentals for a little afternoon fun!! Thanks Mom and Dad!!

This was only the second time to skate for my Kaylee (she was only 3 the first time and hated it!). It was the first time for James and Jagger.

Here is Mom and Dad enjoying watching us fall on our bottoms while they kept their bottoms high and dry on the benches.

Jagger loves all things sports. He was smiling and laughing the whole time. He really enjoyed the whole experience.

Kaylee caught on very quickly..and enjoyed it much more this time around! She fell quite a bit but enjoyed skating. It was a nice birthday surprise for her.

James was frustrated a lot. We all did a lot of cheering him on to help him get his confidence up. I even told him that he had an advantage because he is Russian and Russians are great skaters! I was so proud of him for staying so determined and really working it out.

What a great wipe out picture!

James did great with the shovel because he focused more on the shovelling than the skating. He was really getting it at this point.

I'm thinking of going professional.....

And maybe Melissa would like to be my partner??

What fun. And what wonderful memories!! Thanks Mom and Dad. It was a perfect day!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Brunette's Blonde Moment

We thought it would be fun to get tickets for Dad and Jimmy to go to the Broncos vs. Raiders game on Sunday as Dad's Christmas present. We searched some sites and finally found a great deal on ebay. We put in our bid and seventeen hours later we were the proud highest bidders of two tickets. I immediately logged onto my paypal account and paid.

Today I receive a message on ebay saying that the seller will overnight the tickets to 8327 Silver Fir Lane in Baytown, Texas. Are you kidding me?!!

The guy's number was listed and so I called him a bazillion times and even texted twice to really get my point across. I also responded to the message on ebay telling him that NO! that is not the right address!

After an hour of biting my nails and wearing my phone batteries down I get a call while walking around in Target (shocking, I know. When stressed, to Target I go!). He is calling from a totally different number (because he has an I-phone that sucks and never got my messages anyways!) to say that they cannot confirm overnight delivery to Baytown and is there another address he could send the tickets to? I was like DUDE! I LOVE YOU! and I only live 5 minutes from you, how's about I just pick them up?

Could you imagine? $200 down the drain because I didn't change my address on ebay. I so would have sucked rotten eggs on Sunday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jimmy's Break in 3D

So, my wonderful husband is watching our Jagger while I spend hours cleaning the house today to get ready for family to arrive tomorrow. I also asked him to run to Lowes to pick up some blinds for our bedroom. He got on his shoes, put on a movie for Jagger and was supposed to leave. Instead, he is being captivated by Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D. See for yourself... gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Standard Blade Article 11-19-2008

By Krista Clinton

One of the most important things I needed to do when I moved to Brighton was find an orthodontist. I have had braces since February and needed to continue with the treatment. I was smart enough to have an appointment in Texas two days before I left which bought me four weeks to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.

I went into three orthodontic offices in Brighton. I had a couple criteria that needed to be met. They needed to be schooled in cleft palates; both my daughter and I were born with one. I wanted someone who would see both adults and children so my daughter and I could go to the same person since we have the same history and it would be easier than explaining it to two people. Lastly, I wanted someone who was up to date with some of the newest technology and would be willing to try some modern approaches.

Dr. David G. Sabbot, 503 S. Fourth Ave., fit the bill perfectly. I was immediately impressed with DeAnne who took my initial phone call. When I first arrived I was even more impressed with how nice the office looked and how friendly everyone was to me.

The first thing I did was get pictures and X-rays taken with DeAnne. We talked about what I have had done and where I wanted to end up. Then Dr. Sabbott met with us and DeAnne summed up everything I said for him. Dr. Sabbott gave me his ideas and I shared mine. He was so great on understanding that I was not aiming for perfection. I just wanted a few things fixed. We were able to come to a great compromise.

I had a total of four appointments, all of them with Jada working on me. I was so pleased with Jada’s gentleness and understanding. She even sent me a note after the first tightening telling me she hoped I was able to eat dinner that night. It’s those little touches that make a huge difference. In those four appointments we were able to correct all of my issues and I had my braces removed this month!

I am thrilled that I will also be able to bring my daughter to Dr. Sabbott. He makes things fun for kids. He has a wonderful wooden nickel program as incentives to keep your teeth clean and braces from breaking. You are able to trade those wooden nickels in for gift cards (which the adults love) or little toys (which I did for my son when he had to come with me one time and was so good).

Check out my before and after pictures at my blog.

Happy Brushing!

Friday, November 14, 2008

First Snow!!

I woke up at 4am because Kaylee was coughing every 15 seconds. When I went downstairs to get the medicine I looked outside and the snow was was such a beautiful sight against the street lights!! I bounded up the stairs, with medicine in hand, and made my poor Kaylee jump out of bed so she could see the snow herself. It was very exciting. Falling back to sleep was VERY hard!!

We did fall asleep. When Jimmy came home from working nights he woke the kids up and before we knew it we were all out playing in the snow at 7am! What fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brighton Blade Column 11-12-08

By Krista Clinton

I love everything fall. I was spoiled growing up in Canada. I thought that fall was fall no matter where you went. Then I moved to Texas and never really paid attention to the loss because I was too smitten with the man who is my husband. Now that I am back in a truly fall state I realize everything I have missed and am enjoying every moment of having it back.

How about the sights of fall? Is there a more beautiful sight anywhere in this world than the changing of the leaves? The colors of yellow, orange, green and red all mixed in with a blue sky behind. Then mix in my beautiful children all bundled up in warm jackets, hats and mittens. I’ve never seen them look more cute. It’s not just simple nature folks, fall is a masterpiece like none other.

We go walking around and while we get to see this beautiful masterpiece we also get to hear the sounds. You know, the wind rustling the leaves, the leaves crinkling under our feet and the sounds of children laughing hysterically as they jump into the big piles they have made. It’s like an orchestra being maestroed by the best of the best.

The smells are absolutely delicious. And I’m not just talking about all of that holiday cooking that’s around the corner. We went to Estes Park to enjoy all of the colors and the first thing we noticed was the smell. Fall has a distinct smell. You can smell the cold, the wind and the leaves. Oh, and the smell of the fireplaces that have started back up again. If they could bottle that up it would be a best selling candle.

Thanksgiving is yummy but so are all the other tastes. It’s back to hot chocolate with marshmallows after we come in from the cold. It’s hot soups, stews and chili for lunches and dinner. Gone are the popsicles and in their place are the hot apple pies and warm banana breads. It’s a banquet of flavors fit for a king.

I think the one thing I have missed the most is the feel of fall. There is that literal feel of the cold stinging my nose and cheeks. But also figuratively, the sense of community that seems to touch me. It’s family over for dinner on Thanksgiving. It’s friends that come for snacks and football on Sunday afternoons. It’s helping the needy by donating food or working at the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. This season touches my heart more than any other.

My prayer for all of us this season is that we stop and enjoy the feast for our senses. That we forget about the busyness of life and sit back and enjoy the season with our family and friends. I am wishing you a fall season that you could experience with reckless childhood abandon. Happy fall!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Before and After

This is what I looked like when I left the house this morning.

And this is what I looked like when I came back thanks to Dr. Sabbott's office and to Salon Silverado. Yippeeee!!