Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009

Dear Friends & Family,

We would like to wish you a very Happy Holiday season and hope that you are blessed in the year to come!

Christmas promises to be white this year and our holiday spirit is overflowing. Many lasting memories are in progress and we cannot wait for the excitement of Christmas morning and being with our family.

We hope that you all are warm, happy & safe this season!

With much love,

Ben, Laura, Caitlin & Cara

Monday, December 07, 2009

Santa @ his Tropical Retreat

This year, we decided to take the girls to see Santa at a local (huge) garden center. We told Caitlin & Cara that this is where Santa goes to escape the bitter cold of Colorado and especially the North Pole.
Both girls had fun looking at all of the plants and hundreds of Christmas trees. They even got to plant their very own "Christmas" plants.
Unfortunately, Cara would not go within 6 feet of Santa this year, even with Ben holding her. We'll keep trying and maybe, just maybe we'll be successful. Caitlin, of course, hopped right up and whispered her wishes to Santa.
All in all, we had a great time.

'Tis the Season

We have officially begun our holiday festivities. It began on Friday, December 4th when we went to downtown Denver to take in the annual 9News Parade of Lights. This is our second year going and we still enjoy it immensely. Before the parade, we battled the chilly night air to roam the streets surrounding the 16th Street Mall to take in the sights & lights. Downtown Denver is so pretty & festive this time of year.

Afterward, we headed to our parade viewing location. This year, we were lucky enough to be able to view the parade from a unique vintage point--indoors on the 3rd floor of Ben's work downtown, right on the parade route. It is a very different experience than being out on the street with the crowds, but we were thankful to not have to deal with the below freezing temperatures! The girls (especially Cara) were captivated by the parade, eagerly watching for which float, band or group was coming up next. Both went crazy when they saw Santa's float appear. We all waved from our 3rd story perch in hopes that the man in red would wave back. Before disappearing out of sight, he turned around and waved right at us! I bet you can imagine how excited everyone was (even the grown ups).

The Parade of Lights officially started our season of holiday madness. We will be visiting Santa (post to come shortly), attending a holiday party, participating in a Daisy Scouts unit event, partaking in some delicious German cuisine at a company party and many more activities sure to bring us lots of great memories!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Slip, Slide and a Crunch!

Please send a Band-Aid or some duct tape this way as my poor car is in pain! This morning, after learning that the the youngest one's bus was running very late (darn snow, ice and bus heaters), I decided to drive Cara in myself as the main roads in town were not all that bad as the road crews had been out at dawn to plow, sand & ice. As we pulled out of the parking spot when had been sitting in waiting patiently, before receiving the news on the tardy bus, and started to approach the exit of our complex, poor Sally (my husband's name for my car) hit a patch of ice on a "plowed" road and headed straight for the end post of the open gate. Slip, slide, CRUNCH! Sally yelped and came to a stop while I sat in shock. I had made all humanly attempts possible to save the poor vehicle from its ultimate fate, including braking and turning the steering wheel away from the gate but, it wasn't enough. I promptly got out of my car in the freezing cold to inspect the damage. The gate took quite a bite out of the driver's side front bumper and gave Sally quite a bruise.

I backed the car up and went into our complex's office and spoke to the maintenance guy. Alright, I'll be honest, more like snarled at him. He then followed me back (out, once again, into 16 degree air) to the accident scene to inspect the damage and then told me to contact the property manager, who was out of town. Call her I promptly did, but I was disheartened to know that due to a very convenient addendum to our lease agreement, she didn't believe that the complex was liable for any property damages since a reasonable attempt was made to deal with the "conditions" on the roadway.

Not willing to take no for an answer, I went about getting a quote for the repairs ($1200 and some change *gulp*) and coming up with a strategy for when I talk to the property manager tomorrow. I believe, truly, that the complex is at fault for not dealing with the snow & ice more effectively and in a more timely matter. I'm not asking them to pay for the repairs, no-no, just all or part of my $500 deductible to get the damage fixed. Since we pay for snow removal services, I have a reasonable expectation to be able to exit my home without having a run-in with the gate.

I am going armed with pictures, a time line and sincere hope that our property manager will work with me on this. Poor Sally needs to have her front end fixed. In the meantime, did you know that duct tape comes in 14 colors? I'm sure I can find one that comes close to my bumper color!

Comfort & Joy

Some of the highlights of our trip to my parents' house for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Much relaxing was done, delicious food consumed, company enjoyed, cookies and Playdoh made. We left full & refreshed though not wanting the weekend to end.
I certainly counted my blessings--health, happiness, love, family & friends (just to name a few).

Here's hoping that you & yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!


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