Johnson Family Newsletter 2013

In typical bipolar fashion, I decided to do a holiday newsletter, then opted out and then upon receiving newsy holiday  newsletters from friends,  decided it should be back on. After all, the world must know what the Johnsons did in 2013!

Overall, we had a great time full of family and friends, travel and minimal hospital visits (our gauge for a good year). We took plenty of fantastic ski vacations all over Colorado and a week at our favorite, Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. Last summer, the kids and I spent almost a month in Canada on a 3,000-mile trip that covered two countries and six states (Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah). Jamie was only able to join us for a week of our trip, citing  “someone has to work to support your playtime.” Wise man; I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s a quick glimpse at our happenings. Click on the links for more details!

Atop 14,265-foot Mount Evans


Hadley (9 going on 19) is in fourth grade at her Waldorf charter school and continues to love their arts-based academic education. Our free-spirited, fun-loving girl has been on several camping trips with her class and keeps busy with piano and volleyball. She’s also a stellar skier and for my birthday, we had a girl’s weekend of mogul-busting, snowshoeing, lake-skating and sledding. Hadley is a huge fan of horses and was delighted to spend a week at overnight Camp Chief Ouray last summer. She loves Fat Kitty, swimming, hiking, crafting, gardening, cooking and she was the top-performing girl in her grade at her school’s Fun Run. I should know. I ran beside her the entire way until our fifth mile when she blazed past me and I walked with a limp for a week. Her love for Scooby Doo has been replaced by mind-numbing shows on the Disney Channel like “Jessie” and “Dog with a Blog.” It looks like we have a tween, folks.

Hadley’s first scary leap into the Rooster Tail at the lake house in Vernon, B.C.

Skating at Copper Mountain

Summer hiking group at Mount Falcon


Our resident geek, Bode (age 7) loves all things space, educational and ensuring everyone is following the rules all the time. He is moderately obsessed with being the best-behaved kid in his second grade class (yet somehow is also among the most well-liked), thrives in academics, is a great little soccer player, skier, hiker, cook, master pumpkin grower and lives for his bi-weekly WiiU and technology sessions. For the second year in a row, he and Hadley were my child models at the 9News Back-to-School fashion show and he put Zoolander to shame. He and his sister went to Avid4Advenventure’s Survival Camp last summer and I now feel confident they can survive exactly two hours solo in the great outdoors. He never shuts up on the piano loves to play the piano, enjoys to read Calvin and Hobbes, bike down to our neighborhood skate park and play with LEGOS. His current obsession is constructing dream mansions for us out of giant wooden blocks and creating intricate maps of his designs. We strongly encourage this as a future profession.

First solo flight to see Grandma in Utah!

A snowy hike in Evergreen=joy

First fish fly fishing at The Ranch at Emerald Valley


The Pumpkin Man had a great year. He grew his biggest pumpkin ever, 1,220-pound Stanley, and we landed a picture of him in The Denver Post. A professional carver drove down every day from Fort Collins for a week to chisel a marvelously creepy face into the giant gourd. And then Stanley and Jamie went on tour visiting both of the kids’ schools and harvest festivals, thereby cementing his status as a local celebrity. In other news (though really, is there any other news?), Jamie’s web development business Pixo Web Design and Strategy continues to grow, he has a few employees and is always busy. We marked our 10-year wedding anniversary last February and he surprised me by recreating the magical night we got engaged that included a limo ride to the swanky Briarwood Inn. He was recently released from the Bishopric at church and not even five days later, he was called as a stake clerk over technology, a real stretch.

Atop McConkey’s lift for the first time as a family at Park City Mountain Resort

Stanley the Pumpkin

Stanley’s scary carving


I’ve had a busy year working for the newspaper and various freelance opps in the travel industry. Our favorite gig is writing for AAA Five Diamond The Broadmoor’s magazine because they pay their writers in trade, which amounts to an opulent, indulgent vacation like no other in Colorado Springs.  I love hiking every week, skiing, boot camp, volunteering at school and in the community. I received an award in recognition of journalistic excellence as a community blogger from Digital First Media, The Denver Post’s parent company. But my real prize was when I was at a media luncheon hosted by the Maui Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and my name was drawn as the winner of a trip to Maui (we’re going in February). At church, I was sad to be released from the Young Women (favorite calling ever) and now serve in the stake’s Public Affairs where I work with community leaders and media.  I’m also the volleyball coach and our ward’s Primary pianist and have mastered The Look from across the room, which quickly corrects the behavior of any misbehaving kids. We all have our talents.

Solo hike to Maxwell Falls in Evergreen, Colo.

9News fashion show

Girl’s only birthday ski trip

Fat Kitty

He’s still fat, snuggly, sleepy, sweet and lives for his backyard adventures of stalking mice and eating grass ’til he pukes. We often walk in on him licking himself in Cirque du Soleil-esque positions but it was this shot I took of him on my bed that convinced us all that he’ll be America’s Next Top Model. Look for him on a Kitty Litter advertisement coming your way soon.

America’s Top (Cat) Model

We feel infinitely blessed this holiday season for wonderful family, good friends and the gospel in our lives.

Merry Christmas!


The Johnsons

Other Posts