Friday, December 28, 2012

A Wonderful Christmas Time

For the past four years, we have spent Christmas in Park City, 
enjoying old traditions and making some new ones. 
 I think all the kids would agree that skiing together is one of their favorite traditions. 
 Being on the hill together feels like a little bit of heaven on earth for Dad and me. 
 This year, I got my camera out and filmed throughout the day
 and put together this little long video for the kids to enjoy!  
I tried to cut some of the footage... and believe it or not, I actually did:)!
You know that I LOVE taking pictures, but I found that I really really LOVE
 looking at this video of the kids skiing and interacting together!
And I hope the kids enjoy the video too!  
It was another wonderful Christmas in Park City!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas from Park City
and hoping that your Christmas wish came true!
One of the Holt family traditions is that we always wish for snow on Christmas day
and that is exactly what we got this year, so we were pretty happy about that!
Another tradition is skiing at Deer Valley with the kids on Christmas day 
and enjoying a delicious Christmas lunch at Empire Pass lodge.  
This year we changed it up a little and skied Deer Valley on Christmas Eve.  
We braved the cold, skied lots of fresh powder and enjoyed the smorgasbord at lunch!
All that was missing from this perfect day was Brett, Kimber and Baby Cheri!
Can't wait until next week when we are all together,
but for now you will find us on the slopes, enjoying the great Utah powder!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh There's No Place like Home for the Holidays!

It was a fun-filled weekend, packed with Christmas festivities and fun,
which also included a "surprise" visit from the kids, who drove home from college.
The weekend before we leave for Utah for Christmas is always busy
but having the children home added to all the chaos and fun, 
with kids coming and going all hours of the day.
There was lots of late night laughter and early morning runs to Bill's donuts!
And although, we all LOVE spending Christmas at our place in Park City,
there is really no place like home for the holidays and by home, I mean Granite Bay!
The girls loved catching up with so many friends from high school and visiting with our neighbors too.
One afternoon, Brooke and I ran into Safeway and bumped into Sue Jack and Donna Garton, 
who threw their arms around Brooke and gave her a big hug, 
so sweet as they were chatting and catching up with her.
As we left the store, Brooke turned to me and said,
"I love coming home and seeing all my Granite Bay moms!!"
It is such a wonderful thing to live in a community with so many great friends 
that have watched our kids grow up throughout the years, 
who take such an interest in them and seem to love and care about them as if they were their own.
I've always felt like Granite Bay is a special place but this weekend was really incredible with the kids home,
 the holiday season and our Granite Bay High school football team
 beating Poly High in the D1 Football State Championship game!
Everywhere you went in Granite Bay, that is all everyone was talking about all weekend!
There is so much Grizzly pride throughout the community that it really put an exclamation mark 
behind the phrase "There's no place like home for the holidays"...  or for that matter, any day!
Here are some of the highlights from the incredible game on Friday night.
We watched it on TV with Tyler, Allie and Justin all joining us on google chat.
It was as if they were all in the room with us cheering on our Grizzlies together!
My favorite highlight was at the end of the game when they interviewed Coach Cooper 
after he had just graciously accepted the State trophy.
He spoke about what an exceptional team this is and what the win means to our community.
Minutes later, Carol, his wife and Miko came running onto the field 
and threw their arms around him in celebration.
The look on their faces was priceless and made me cry!
Granite Bay football has become such a huge part of our community.
There is nothing better than Friday night football in Granite Bay.
The whole community comes out to support Ernie and the team, 
to watch the incredible halftime cheer routine, to listen to the award winning band,
and cheer along with "The Tribe", the spirited student body,
 who are dressed in their white tribe shirts and painted faces.  Those kids are awesome!
And I love seeing Noah, with his face painted green and black, 
leading the crowd in cheers, throwing glitter and doing the Haka.  
He is such a part of the Grizzly tradition and
 I love how everyone in the community has embraced him,
the cheer team, the marching band and "The Tribe", 
just as much as they have Grizzly football.
All of us in Granite Bay sure do love our Grizzlies and are so very proud of them!
Justin and Allie went to the Raiders/Kansas City Chiefs game
to watch two of his best friends from high school, Miles Burris and Devon Wylie play each other. 
Both are former Grizzly football teammates of Justin's. 
Miles plays for the Raiders and Devon plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
It was super fun for Allie too since she and Miles wife, Jena were both on cheer together at Granite Bay. 
Justin with Coach Cooper at the Raiders game.  Not a bad weekend for Ernie.
  His team wins the D1 State Championship game, and a couple of days later, 
he gets to watch two of his former players play in an NFL game against each other.
That is right, they both actually played.  Miles had 2 tackles and an assist 
and Devon had a run back on special teams.
Such a fun memory for these GB kids!
 Back in Granite Bay... It's not a visit at home without these two friends, 
Matt and Spencer, cooking breakfast in our kitchen with Ashley!
We were so happy that we were able to meet Spencer's girlfriend, Lauren.
I love hearing the laughter and fun as these kids sit around the kitchen table for hours!
Brooke had a group of friends from high school over to visit and catch up with each other.
Hard to believe that it has been over a year and a half since these girls graduated from GBHS!!
 Saturday night was Marci and Jerry's annual Christmas party, one of my favorite traditions.
I love to walk through Marci's house and see all of her clever Christmas decorations.
Her upside down Christmas tree in the entryway is one of my favorites!
 Love the huge fork intertwined with garland in her dining room chandelier!
 And the pink gingerbread ribbon was darling!
 And the gingerbread cake to match!
 And I loved the snowman ornaments on this tree in her living room!
 Everyone was supposed to dress up as their favorite Christmas character
or present or item that you want for Christmas!
So Marci stayed in character and dressed up as an angel,
 and I, of course, was snow... no surprise that is what Mark and I want for Christmas!
Sunday night, we set out to see Christmas lights with a couple of mugs of hot chocolate, 
bags of caramel popcorn and Christmas music playing on the radio.
Our first stop was the Disney themed house in Folsom Lakes Estate. 
Always a Holt family favorite!
Brooke brought her camera with her so she got out and took a bunch of photos
 and I'm so glad that she did!  Gorgeous, right?!
We sat in front of the house for quite a long time and tried to look at every detail 
but it really is hard to soak it all in because there is just so much Disney stuff going on at that house.
So when I downloaded these photos, I so enjoyed looking at them
and enjoyed the lights and decor all over again!
 So many gorgeous lighted trees and Disney princesses!  
I can't wait to bring baby Cheri here someday:)!
 Then we headed over to Dovewood Court in Orangevale.
Definitely another Holt favorite and a must stop at this time of the year.
Every single house in the court is decorated in some Christmas theme.
 With music playing and people walking around the court it always feels Christmasy and fun.
 Love the lampshade in the window and the bunny snowsuit!
 This house was Santa's airport!
 Love this!
Such a fun night with these two little girls!
 And this was my personal favorite, especially in light of the events that have taken place last week,
it took on even more meaning this Christmas season!
And as I look at this photo and think of the families that won't be able to celebrate 
this Christmas with their little children, it breaks my heart!
I am ever so much more grateful for my "little girls" and "the big kids" 
and their spouses and our little Cheri Ann and every single moment that we have together!
I'm so glad that the kids drove out to spend some time at home this holiday season, 
even if their visit was way too quick!
I'm so glad that they road tripped it, spending 2 days in the car 
so that they could have 3 days in Granite Bay!
I think they would all agree that it was well worth it 
because truly there is no place like home for the holidays!
Especially if your home just happens to be in Granite Bay!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Taking care of baby Cheri Ann and her Mom

I arrived in NYC on Sunday night and could hardly wait to meet little Miss Cheri!
And I'm sure to no one's surprise, I fell in love with her at first sight
and I think, her with me:)!  Or at least I'd like to think so!
I was able to stay for 10 wonderful days taking care of Kimber and baby Cheri.
 I use the phrase "taking care of" loosely because really Kimber didn't need any help or "taking care of" at all, 
she had this motherhood thing totally figured out and made it look way too easy. 
 And Cheri is such an incredibly good baby which helped that transition for Kimber.
Since Kimber felt so good, we took advantage of the nice weather and ventured out every day, 
shopping, lunching, running errands and enjoying the sights of the city.
It was so fun to spend time with Kimber, Brett and Cheri Ann!
There is nothing better than holding and cuddling a brand new baby,
except maybe holding and cuddling a brand new baby in New York City!
This is Cheri Ann, my little granddaughter!  Isn't she cute?!
I can't get over how much she looks like her mom!
Bundling up this little one to go out for her first outing.  So fun!
Here we are in the lobby of Kimber's building, right where I said "goodbye" to her 3 weeks ago.
Remember this post?!  WOW!  That seems like yesterday!
We are heading out with Cheri to her first doctor's appointment.
It was raining that morning so baby Cheri was all bundled up, ready for her first cab ride with Mom...
and Gramma!  As you can tell, we were pretty excited but Cheri slept the whole way!
And she slept through most of her doctor's appointment too.
Doctor said she looked great and Cheri was an angel and slept through the whole thing.
Once we put her back in her stroller, she started looking around but didn't make a peep...
so we decided to walk home and enjoy getting some fresh air...
and the gorgeous Christmas lights at Zucotti Park.
Cheri Ann figured out how to keep that binky in her mouth 
and would bring her right hand up to hold it steady.
Holding that binky with her right hand and stretching those little legs out straight!
Probably my favorite photo of this little one!  
She was so alert that day, looking out the window!
All dressed and ready to go, sitting in her car seat waiting for us to buckle her in!
Walking back home along the Hudson River, 
I had to stop and get a photo of the beautiful sunset and the New Jersey skyline.
The end of another perfect day and a perfect baby that slept over four hours
 while Mom and Gramma lunched, shopped and ran errands.
Dad sure loves his little Cheri.  He can't get enough of her!
And she is obviously just as enamored by him. 
 Look at the way she looks at him!
She looks so tiny in Brett's arms!
She's definitely a daddy's girl!
And she loves cuddling with mommy too!
 Such a little snuggle bug!
 Here she is in the cute outfit Aunt Lisa gave her, stretching out her arms!
 and making cute faces!
 And her one week old photo with her knitted friend!
 Cheri loved laying on her owl blanket and having some play time!
 This baby loves to stretch her feet straight out!
Jenna came by on Friday morning to meet Cheri Ann!
Cheri can't wait to meet her cousins, Davis, Gwen and Chloe!
 It is bath time for this little one, sponge bath time and she loved it!
 Kimber is such a good little mom and loves her little Cheri!
 It was Brett's birthday on Thursday.  He was turning 30 on the 30th so it was a big day!
Kimber kept asking him what he wanted for his birthday 
and he would always say, "All I want is a baby girl for my birthday!"
Well, Kimber didn't disappoint him.  She not only delivered baby Cheri a week early, 
she wrapped her up in a bow on his actual birthday,
 placed Cheri on her owl blanket with this Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday to You book!  So cute!
 Waiting for daddy to come home! 
Daddy loves his birthday gift!
 Cheri even wrote a note to her daddy and stamped her hands on the inside of cover of the book.
 What a fun birthday! 
 Brett's office gave Cheri this darling gift of all these owl items that matched. 
 So adorable!
 Happy 30th Brett! 
 These are the beautiful flowers that my dear friends, Brad and Karen Wilkes 
sent from Kigali, Rwanda to Brett, Kimber and baby Cheri!
It was so thoughtful and it made me cry when they arrived!
Even though Karen and Brad are so far away, 
they have been so cute and shared in all the fun!
Love them for that and anxious for their return in January!!
 Brett's brother, Dennis came by Saturday night to meet Cheri Ann!
I think she slept the whole time!  She is such a sleepy baby!
On Saturday night, Brett and Kimber went out to dinner to celebrate Brett's birthday 
and I got to babysit Cheri Ann all by myself!!  As you can see, I was pretty excited!
And apparently, I look a little tired in this Instagram... 
according to one of my friends, who when she saw this Instagram, texted me and said that I looked really tired. Ha! Ha!
And to be honest, I was!  This grandma thing is a little exhausting, 
getting up in the middle of the night, keeping Kimber company while she is feeding the baby,
and then trying to keep up with Kimber during the day...
 yeah, I am first to admit that I still can't keep up with Kimber, even though she just had a baby.
But, on that night, I was so excited to spend some one on one time with Cheri Ann that I soon forgot how tired I was!
 So Cheri and I hung out together and we just played!
 She was so awake and alert, stretching her arms and legs out.
 So I had to take a bunch of pictures and I think she was really loving it.
 And then she started talking to me... so cute!
 Love those pretty eyes of hers!
 And one last photo of her stretching.  She cracks me up with her hands up and legs straight out!
And of course, I had to Instagram, Gramma babysitting little Cheri, not looking quite so tired:)!
  So that my friend would know that I could handle this and was in complete control of this grandbaby situation!
Then I fed Cheri a bottle and she got sleepy...
and then it was time to go in the swing.
She loves that swing and it only took a few moments...
 and she quickly feel asleep!
 More photos of Cheri baby playing on her owl...
 and then her eyes are getting heavy...
 and once that binky is in her mouth, her eyes are really really heavy.
 So I bundle her up and she is gone!  So easy!  She is a dream!
 We made a turkey dinner on Sunday to celebrate Thanksgiving
 since Kimber and Brett were a little busy that day and missed that holiday. 
 And here is their Thanksgiving blessing wearing her turkey jammies
with the felt turkey that Kimber and Brooke made to use in the video 
when they announced that Kimber was pregnant.
Very cute that she actually came on Thanksgiving day!
 We met up with my high school girlfriend, Julie Floyd for brunch at Bubby's in Tribeca one day.
Gosh! I love that we are still so close and that we can pick up right where we left off.
Julie has lived in NYC ever since she graduated from high school when she signed on with Ford modeling agency.
So glamourous, right?!  What I love about Julie is that after all these years, 
she is still the Julie that I knew in high school, just as sweet as ever!
  It was Cheri baby's first time to Bubby's and she was an angel!
 I ordered the Banana Walnut pancakes.  YUM!
Julie ordered the Huevos Rancheros. Yum!
 Baby Cheri was a doll and let her Mom eat her lunch 
and then took a bottle with no complaints!
 Julie and I still can't believe that I'm a Grandma!
 Such a fun brunch and so good to get out in the city and walk!
So here is proof that every once in awhile, I can be a little bit crafty.
Notice the little balls at the top of this swing? 
 Remember how they were covered with ugly black and white material?
Well, it kind of bugged Kimber and me, not just cause it was ugly material 
but because it didn't match the nursery/baby playroom.  
So we went to The City Quilter and bought material to coordinate with the room
and then I cutout the fabric, sewed it up and covered the balls.
It turned out really cute!
Don't ask me exactly how it happened and please don't ask me to do it again!
That is the extent of my craftiness and I am happy to say that I think Cheri liked it too!
Once again, this little snuggle bug has fallen asleep...
she is wearing the cute pig hat that Brooke gave her and looks so cute all bundled up.
Holding baby Cheri in my arms.  I love the way that she is looking at me! 
She looks a little concerned right here...
and then the next thing you know, she closes her eyes and falls asleep!

 Such a cuddle bug!

Mom and her sleepy baby!
 Later that day we walked around Kimber's neighborhood.
Sometimes I forget how cool it is where Kimber lives 
and then I turn around and see the Freedom Tower in the background 
and have to stop and snap a photo!  I love that she lives in NYC!  Such a fun place!
 And of course, I want a photo with the Tower too.
 And as long as we are at it, let's get one together!
 We stopped to grab some dinner and Cheri baby just slept through the whole thing!
 She is wearing the cute little shirt that Ashley gave her and looks absolutely adorable!
 The next day we headed up town to run errands and shop at Trader Joes.
Walking the street in that neighborhood was one of those moments again 
when I looked up and was like, "Oh my gosh!  
There is the Empire State Building!  Stop!  I've got to get a photo!"
I'm such a tourist sometimes and Kimber gets a kick out of it.
I know that it is no big deal to her because she lives there 
but I am so in awe of the cities beautify and just soak it up!
 I mean, really?  Look at that view of the Empire State building!
 Thanks Kimber, for being patient and letting me snap a photo or two... 
or three of you and me in your wonderful city!
 Cutest little Snowman!! or Snowbaby! 
 And here is a sleepy snowbaby!
 Notice that she is holding her binky in her mouth with her right hand.  So cute!
And before I knew it, it was time to go home.  One last photo with Cheri!
I love the way she is looking at me, kind of like she is thinking, "Who is this crazy lady?"  
and I want to believe that the next thing she is thinking is,
 "I kind of like her and can't wait to get to know her better:)!"
and that is exactly how I feel about Cheri Ann.
I can tell that we are going to be best friends!
I was so sad to say "goodbye" to her and yes, I cried, 
knowing that she would change so much by the time I see her in January.
It was 10 wonderful days getting to know little Miss Cheri Ann and spending time with Kimber.
As I said earlier, I really didn't spend too much time "taking care of" Kimber,
she pretty much had the motherhood all figured out 
and the new baby thing completely under control.
I had to laugh because the last night I was there, she turned to me and said, 
"So is there anything else that you need to teach me before you leave?"
She was so sweet and sincere, but I just had to laugh
because pretty sure I hadn't taught her a thing since I'd been there!
I was really just there for the fun of it and being able to watch Kimber as a new little mother was SO fun!
She is doing such a great job and I'm so proud of her!
Thanks Kimber and baby Cheri for making my transition to being a Grandmother so easy:)!!