Winter Break: Oh, How Sweet It Was

I’ll be honest: I love that my kids are almost back in school and I will have several hours to work and play. But when they are home for an extended amount of time, I’m reminded just how much I love being with them without the pressure-cooker of school, activities and homework. I was worried we would get stir-crazy but we had the perfect mix of fun, excitement and R&R. Haddie goes back to school Tuesday, Bode on Wednesday and then it’ll just be Jamie, Fat Kitty and me.

Here’s a quick pictorial summary of our happenings!

Class Party

Our winter break started with Bode’s holiday party at school. I brought my family’s traditional bells and those first graders were about as cute as can be playing Jingle Bells.

And yes, that is Hadley who invited herself along as my very helpful “assistant.”

Everywhere he goes, Bode makes a new best friend and this entire school year, he has been raving about his buddy, Brody. When I was busy helping kids at the party, I heard Bode say, “Excuse me, Mommy.” I turned around and, grinning ear-to-ear, there were two BFFs standing together. As polite as could be, Bode  said, “Mommy, I would like to introduce you to my friend Brody.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Mrs. Johnson.” And then, because the formality was about killing me, I give him a fist bump as greeting.

Great Eats

To celebrate the kick-off to winter break, we went to see the Hobbit at Harkins Theaters in Stapleton and also hit one of our favorite restaurants, Zengo, which is now offering bottomless brunch on Saturday and Sunday (hail any restaurant that offers Saturday brunch!)

It would appear Bode LOVED their churros with Mexican hot chocolate dipping sauce (as did we all).

What would you think of a restaurant that only survived gourmet, healthy food? On New Year’s Day, we ate at Cherry Creek’s new True Food Kitchen Based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, this restaurant paired popular trends in cuisine with healthy living. Even the kid’s menu was delicious and I’ll be doing a full review on it all later. Bottom line if you live in Denver: GO.

Christmas Treats

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to bake delicious treats for our neighbors and friends. This year’s line-up was caramel corn, almond rocha, sugar-and-spice cookies, snowball cookies, cream cheese cutout cookies, shortbread, coconut penuche and caramel toffee squares. Hence the reason our kitchen looked like this.
And then, of course, we went skiing at Loveland on December 24, had our huge Christmas Eve fete  and a fun Christmas Day.


To burn off a few calories, we went skating at Evergreen Lake (one of my favorite winter activities in Colorado) with our besties Nolan and Rowan. And then we added the calories back on when we stopped at our favorite breakfast place in Colorado: Country Road Cafe in Kittredge. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at that basketball-sized pancake stuffed with raspberries. I took a risk from my favorites and tried something new: their Timber Ridge Tamale Benedict, which was two pork tamales topped with two eggs, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, sourcream, red chile cream, avocado and cilantro mojo drizzle.
It was a risk worth taking.

New Year’s

Remember when I graciously planned a New Year’s Eve bash at my friend Lisa’s house without telling her? It turned out splendidly! Haddie made beignets….And we all miraculously made it until midnight to ring in the New Year (I was the person in question). One of the highlights was winning the Newlywed Game because many of our answers resolved around the pumpkin. I.e. “Name something your husband has too much of.” Pumpkins. “What is something that annoys you about your husband?” Pumpkins.

We even almost nailed the question, “What cartoon character does your husband most resemble?” The other couples were waaaaay off-base, such as Phil’s answer “The Incredible Hulk.” His wife’s? “Homer Simpson.” For Jamie, I immediately thought of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, so wrote down Charlie Brown. Jamie’s answer: Linus.

Me: “Linus. Why did you choose Linus?”

Him: “Because it was Linus who believed.”

Following the game, one of my friends joked, “I had no idea your lives revolved so much around pumpkins.

They obviously do not read this blog.

Harlem Globetrotters

One of Jamie’s bucket-list items has been to see the Harlem Globetrotters so we were thrilled to score tickets. I knew they were funny but I did not anticipate two hours of non-stop, interactive, gut-busting hilarity. Bottom line: We loved them! When I asked Jamie about his favorite part, he immediately said, “Watching Bode.”He nailed it. Though we all loved the game, Bode was out-of-his-gourd excited for everything. The above picture on the right is when he grabbed Haddie to rush the court to do the YMCA, one of only countless fun moments that evening.

Sweet, Sweet Skiing

I have lived in Colorado for 10 years and there are still several major resorts I have yet to ski including Copper Mountain, Steamboat and Winter Park. Last weekend, we spent a few days at the latter. Stay tuned for all the fun details of our Winter Park vacation.

Just let it be known you may not hear from me for a while. After such a fabulous Winter Break, reentry into the real world is going to be bumpy.





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