Friday, January 6, 2012

Exciting News!

Just received some big news.

Scotty found out that he will be doing an internship for SkyWest airlines this next Semester! 

We feel totally blessed and humbled by this amazing opportunity.  But also super excited because for the duration of his internship, we get free flight benefits.

I am more excited for that than anything else.

So our plan?  

San Francisco


New York

Washington D.C.

Florida (Harry Potter World!)

Our goal?  Fly as often as we can.

So proud of Scotty and how hard he works and so excited for him and this wonderful learning experience.  

What a great way to start 2012. 

Christmas 2011

Christmas time at the Hoopes' house.  What could be better.

The anticipation mounts for the whole month of December, and for some, even before then!

It is truly one of my favorite things about my in-laws.  They sure know how to make a holiday great!

Christmas eve, we always go out to dinner.  This year, we went to the Black Bear. There was quite the crew.  Even though it seemed like a lot, in comparison to last year, it was quite a small group.  Last year, we had around forty or more people.

 Christmas morning was magical as always, starting off with Santa's magical foot prints.  He usually has a little snow to dust off after coming from the North Pole and usually leaves a little in the entry way! 

Santa brought Scotty a golf bag and putter for his newly developed hobby.

And Santa brought me a new charm for my Pandora bracelet and a new I-pod.

After presents, we head to Grandma's Searle's house for breakfast.  The food is always divine.  Eggs, bacon, hot chocolate, sausage, fruit, pancakes, amongst other things.  YUM!

We spent the rest of the day with family and friends, celebrating all the blessings that our family enjoys.  

This time of year makes us more aware of how grateful we are to live close to family, friends, a college education (even though sometimes it seems to come with a lot of stress for being a blessing), our wonderful apartment, jobs (or the hope of getting one), and most important of all, our savior Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Checklist

For the holiday season, there were many things on my to do list. Some items on the list were to:

Drink hot chocolate

Drive around and look at Christmas lights

and of course, build a Gingerbread house

No Christmas is complete without one.  So Scotty and I decided that a few days before Christmas, we would have our neighbors, Justin and Kinsey over for dinner and some gingerbread house building fun!

I must say, we made quite the team.  Our house pretty much looked identical to the one on the box.

There was no shortage of laughing and storytelling.  

Great Fun

Great Friends

So lucky!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Reality of Santa

Tonight, while all the family was gathered around the table for dinner, we started discussing when children make the dreaded discovery that Santa isn't real.  

I can remember it like it was yesterday.  I had found three sleds in the back of my mom's van a few days before Christmas.  There was a purple one, a yellow round one, and a red long one, that could fit two or three people.  They were covered by blankets.  On Christmas morning, to my dismay, I found the three sleds for my sister and I as our gift from Santa.  My heart sank.  The magic of Santa and the childlike innocence I experienced with Santa, his elves, and the presents they make seemed to vanish in an instant.

So, I knew discussing the fact that my oldest nephew, Kason, could discover any time that Santa wasn't real, was no light matter.  He would remember that moment in time forever.  Answering the question would be even more difficult.  How do you tell a child that Santa isn't real? 

Then I remembered a story that I had read a while ago and printed off so that one day, when I have kids of my own, who question the validity of Santa, I could answer him with this answer.  

As her young daughter questioned Santa, Martha Brockenbrough, answered her in a letter.  She wrote

"You asked a very good question. Are you Santa?

I know you've wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I've had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no.  I am not Santa.  There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though.  I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning.  You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won't make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived.  What he does is simple, but it is powerful.  He teaches children how to have belief in something they cannot see or touch.

It's a big job, and it's an important one.  Throughout your life, you will need the capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends in your talents and your family.  You'll also need to believe in things you can't measure or even hold in your hand.  Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during the darkest, coldest moment.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he's filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no, I am not Santa.  Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness.  I'm on his team, and now you are, too."

I love this answer and hope that in the years to come, my children, my nieces and nephews, and my grandchildren can understand that Santa is so much more than a person who brings presents. 

He teaches us to believe, and, that is truly, one of the greatest gifts we could ever receive.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Tis the Season

To be jolly


  'Tis the season to run around like a mad man trying to find the perfect presents for your family and friends.

 I am no good at buying presents.  I have never been a good gift giver.  My husband's family is another story.  My mother in law is the best gift giver on the planet.  Not only will she find the perfect, most sentimental gift, but she will also find it for half price.

So no worries.  
My husband has only grown up with the best Christmas presents any child could hope to have.
No pressure there.

Thus, to try and hold some glimmer to the Christmases he has had in the past, I have been searching, shopping, thinking, stewing, and asking to find a good present for my husband.

And I have been slightly overwhelmed.  Finding presents is hard.  Scott is the one who has it easy.  Last Christmas I went on a shopping spree to Banana Republic, wrapped the clothes, and then told Scott what he got me.  Couldn't find an easier way to give gifts than that!

So, today I finished my shopping.  I felt relief for around two minutes.  Then the doubt began to set in.  

Had I found the right gift?

Was Scott going to like it?

What if he doesn't?

What if I spent too much?

What if I spent to little?

And then it hit me.  I was wasting one of the best seasons out of the whole year.  I was waisting the Christmas season worrying about presents.  For some, Christmas is all about the presents, but I didn't want it to be that way for me or my family.  And, yet, that is what I was allowing Christmas to become.  

So, today, I am letting go.  I will wrap the presents that I have and they will be enough.  I am gong to stop worrying so much about finding the perfect gift and focus more on creating memories, memories that will hopefully stick around longer than the gifts.

So, in the next to weeks, we are going to:

Build a ginger bread house

Drink hot chocolate

Drive around and look at Christmas lights

Listen to Christmas music until we can't anymore (This might be impossible to accomplish)

Help someone in need

Spend time with family

Remember the Savior and his birth

Because after all, these things, and not the presents, are what make the season magical.

Live Nativity

Scott and I were invited to be apart of the live Nativity out at Tuachan the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The Roger's and Ence family were the ones who put it together and needed a few more people so we decided to tag along. 

Scott was the Inn Keeper who turns Mary and Joseph away.  I was cast as the Inn Keeper's wife (nice).  Scott was really excited for his big role.  We got all dressed up, learned what we were supposed to do with a little direction from the Tuachan staff and then it was show time!

It was really neat to be apart of the Nativity.  All the animals were alive, including the camels!  The best part was it really set the tone for the holiday season.  Being an acting part in the story of the Savior's birth was heart warming and the perfect way to set the tone for the upcoming holiday.   It was great to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas before the hustle and bustle of December set in.

Baby J

Baby Jackson

Scott and I are so excited to have another nephew!

He is so sweet and brings such a wonderful feeling into the family.  We love sundays because we know that all of our nieces and nephews come to grandma's house for dinner, including Jackson.  It has been so fun to hold baby J and sit in awe at the wonderful little miracle he is.

And he is cute

Jackson was blessed a little over a week ago.  All the family was here for the blessing so we decided to have Clint snap a few family photos.  The Hoopes family is certainly growing.  There are eight nieces and nephews in total so far.  Even though it was hard to get all the kids to smile while looking into the sun, we still got a lot of great pictures and memories!