Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas in Denver

Hello, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas! I am so excited to share all of our Christmas celebrations with you. The weekend before Christmas we flew to Denver to celebrate with Matt's family. We got there early Friday morning and spent the day hanging out just the two of us. We usually have to get away in order to hang out together! We headed out to dinner with Matt's aunt and uncle that night. It started to sprinkle a little snow, and Matt was loving it!

It snowed several inches while we were at dinner. We woke up the next morning to this.

We headed to Greeley for the big Benson Christmas. The on ramp had not yet been cleared to the highway. Luckily we were in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Not so lucky for us, hardly anyone else was. Several cars were stuck in front of us. We got out and pushed five cars up the hill before we were cleared to go!

We had a great time catching up with all of Matt's relatives. We woke up the next morning to COLD weather!!!

However, the mountains were a beautiful backdrop!

We spent the next day at Matt's aunt's new house. She had snap circuits! I play them with some of my therapy kids so I was super excited!! I got Matt and his sister to play with me!

Matt's birthday was coming up so we celebrated with ice cream cake.

We headed to the airport that night. Matt's youngest brother was also flying out to see his their other brother in Austin. He hadn't flown since he was four so we helped him navigate the airport. I tried capturing the moment of Michael's first time on a train, but as you can tell, these two are not the best at taking pictures! ;)

Michael's plane took off, but ours was delayed. We were originally supposed to leave at 9:30 that night but got delayed multiple times. Finally around 2:30 am they cancelled our flight! It was a nightmare! There were no flight for the next day so we found a group of people and decided to rent a car. We got to the the rental spot but couldn't find what we were looking for. One of the other passengers found flights for early Tuesday morning so we ended up booking those tickets instead. 

That meant another day and a half alone in Colorado. We went back up to Matt's aunt and uncle's but they were out of town. We had no car so we took a walk to the shops at the bottom of the hill for lunch. I would not have wanted to be stuck there with anyone else. We tried to make the most of it. We had a beautiful backdrop, but I think we are happy in Phoenix where we don't have to rely on the weather. We made it back home safely Tuesday morning. only a few days later than expected!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Card 2016

Merry Christmas from the Bensons!
We have had quite the year. Another year to be so thankful for all that we have and all that we have learned. We have had our ups and downs. And even though this year brought a few lows for us, it makes the highs that much better. As always, our year was filled with lots of trips to Nebraska which are always fast and end way too abruptly. We are so thankful we are able to make it back home so often and see friends and family. We like to focus on the positives here so that is what we are recapping month by month!


My mom and grandpa Paul came down to help celebrate my birthday. Matt did a fantastic job of making the day extra special for me. He had me open a present every few hours. We headed out to Schnepf Farms and had a blast! You can read more about it HERE


Nolan came down. We did everything under the sun! Just take a look, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.


We hosted Easter with some of Matt's relatives.


Patrick and Angela came to visit. We surprised my mom with a trip home for her birthday! We decided we needed to do something fun on the weeknight besides work until we fell asleep so we took a stained glass class.


We took another trip to Schnepf Farms this time with our neighbors for the Peach Festival. Then we took a trip to Vegas with my family! I have lots of updates from that trip-HERE, HERE, and HERE. A few days later we headed for our annual Memorial Day trip to San Diego; this time our friends, Joel and Jessica joined us!



We began pool party season. We also bought our first car!



You may remember the massive road trip we took two summers ago. If you are new around here, you can read all about it starting HERE. We took another road trip this time to the south east. We had the best time. If you want to read my recaps, THIS is the last post but it has a link back to each day.


My mom and sisters came to visit! We took on a big undertaking of starting our own small business. It has always been a dream of ours; we were just waiting for the perfect idea. In August, it struck! Check out our new business HERE.


My mom and dad came out for a quick weekend! It finally started to cool off enough in the mornings to do some hiking. We started Labor Day weekend and have put in lots of miles since then.


Matt and I took a weekend getaway to Tucson for a music festival. We were back to Nebraska for a wedding and harvest. We headed back to Schnepf Farms with our neighbors for the pumpkin and chili festival. We tried really hard to create a fun fall experience even though the temperature stayed above 100 all month!



I really started getting into the Christmas spirit early this year. I held off putting up our Christmas decorations until the day before Thanksgiving! To curb my excitement, I bought several Christmas decorations and a few presents! We also went to The Sound of Music at The Gammage. It was amazing, and so funny!


We are in full swing with lots of Christmas celebrations! I love this time of year! We will celebrate with Matt's family in Denver one weekend and my family will be down for the week of Christmas.

Wishing you and your family the best holiday season! And always remember the real reason for the season:

~And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.~
~~1 John 5:11~~

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Early Christmas Celebrations

Hi friends! Wow, our weekend was jam packed with all things Christmas. I wish every weekend was a preparation for Christmas! We are totally exhausted, but it's the best kind of tired. Here's a recap!
Thursday night we had a Christmas party with our bible study group. We shared food and played games. We have some of the best cooks in our group! I love when we get together for meals! Then we played Family Feud!

These guys found the Family Feud theme song and started playing it to get into the spirit.

We had several husband/wife duels!

Matt was READY to play!

We had so much fun!
Friday night was Matt's work party. It was in this adorable little Carriage House next door to a cool pizzeria near downtown Phoenix.

Saturday night we hosted my company Christmas party. Good food with good company is the best kind of time. We served BBQ and tons of Christmas cookies!!

I also made a few festive drinks like this cranberry, mint infused water!

We all fit on our farmhouse table! It was cozy, but I loved it!

Sunday my neighbor, Jenny, and I hosted a cookie exchange at her house. It was ssooo fun!! We found a cartridge on her cricut perfect for making cookie exchange invitations so there was no other option but to throw a cookie exchange party, right!? We spent most of the morning decorating and snapped this picture right before the festivities began. Literally, people were walking through the front door at this very second!

We had our drink station, 

and a place to grab bags to be filled with yummy cookies for everyone to take home!

We had the tables ready for all the cookies to arrive!

One table full of goodies!

We also made a hot chocolate station. It was a little warm for hot chocolate, but a few people enjoyed it!

We had ladies of all ages participate!

Picking up some yummy goodies to take home! 

Here were the football fanatics.

Good times all around!!

Our neighbors enjoying the gorgeous weather!

Abby LOVED eating the cookies!

But she got really messy!!

We had everyone vote on their favorite cookies in multiple categories such as most creative, best tasting, etc. The winners got to choose an ornament to take home as their prize!

We also played lots of fun Christmas games throughout the event. We went over the answers at the end of the party.

We had more prizes for our game winners!

Here is my friend, Sara, picking out her prize for, no surprise here, best dressed!

These girls had so much fun!

I was making several trips home after the party and on one trip these young girls were riding a bike around the neighborhood belting out Christmas carols. It was so cute!!

It was such an awesome weekend! I am still working on recovering from our busy weekend, but all is well. I am posting our Christmas card Friday so check back then!