Wednesday, December 31, 2008

10 reasons Angela Bonello Hanson rocks my friggin' socks off

OK, this isn't your garden-variety HWH post, but as we wind down 2008, I feel the need to recognize the leader of our little tribe and all the great things she does for our family. what she means to me and the kind of person, wife and mother she has become. All at once now: awwwwwwwwww...

In traditional top 10 style, here's my list of why Angela Bonello Hanson continues to rock my friggin socks off (tip of the cap to the "D"):

10--She's passionate. Yeah, she might raise her voice once in a while, but I'll take passion over indifference every day of the week. No question. 
9--She puts family first. I have a tendency from time to time to get sucked into my work. But I've always admired Angela for putting family first and for the most part, leaving work at work each day.
8--She's willing to try new things. One of the things I love most about her. Always enjoys trying new food, vacation destinations or impromptu "field trips."
7--She's a sharer and a helper. If you're in need or your family is hurting, Angela is usually one of the first to jump in and help. I've seen her do it a number of times just in the last few weeks. 
6--She loves to cook. OK, I'll be honest, I'd be enjoying a steady diet of Oreos, chocolate donuts and pizza rolls if it wasn't for her penchant for creating culinary delights. 
5--She knows how to relax. This is why we vacation so well together. We both enjoy just getting away and unplugging for a week or so. Of course, we haven't done that for four years, but we'll get back to it. Just taking a little haitus here the last few years.
4--She wants to be a better person. She went back to school a few years ago. She reads. She meets new people (hello Nokomis Mom's group!). She tries new things (see #8). She looks to help people (#7). Clear signs of someone striving to be a better human being.
3--She's a good communicator. Think I would marry someone who didn't know how to hold a conversation? Great writer, too. Love our late-night conversations--when I'm not on the computer that is. Recently got her hooked on FB. Next up? Twitter.
2--She's a throwback. I say this in an endearing way. She cooks, she cleans, she takes care of our family. She's old school. But in so many other ways she's contemporary. Love the mix and balance of the two in her.
1--She loves me. Well, most days. 

Love you #2. 

Ok, family, friends, what do YOU love about Angela? C'mon, let's let her feel the love...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008 II: The Gremlins Strike Back

OK, first let me clarify the title a bit for any first-time HWH followers. My brother recently dubbed the kids "gremlins" in reference to their "behavior" when they haven't eaten in two hours, need sleep, want to play with the same toy, etc. Christmas Eve, we celebrated with the Hansons over in Woodbury. Kids were pretty darn good--minimal meltdowns. 

Thursday night, we spent the afternoon and early evening with the Bonellos. Enter gremlins. Actually, they behaved the bulk of the day--it was the 5-7:30 pm timeframe where the green, slimy creatures made their entrance. After two solid days of three Christmas' I think they were just overtired and overwhelmed. That said, I'm just having a little fun with the headline of this post--the kid were really very good overall. 

Great Christmas with the kids. Santa paid us a visit early on Christmas day--as evidenced by the cookie crumbs and short note. Kids got some great gifts, we got what we wanted (sleeping in until 6:30--believe me, that's a treat) and we were then off to spend the afternoon with the Bonellos where we enjoyed egg nog shots, turkey dinner, figgy pudding and some good conversation. And like I said, the gremlins didn't show up until late in the day, so we can't complain too much. Of course, when they did make their appearance, things tanked quickly, but we still had a great time. Thanks Grandma Jane, uncle Rocco and aunt Meg for a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let the holidays begin ...

Tonight we had the first of four Christmas celebrations. We spent most of the afternoon and evening with Arik's family out in Woodbury. Not only did we eat ourselves silly with meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lefse - we also opened some pretty amazing gifts. 

As you will see in the photos, there was no shortage of fun. 

Despite some short naps, the kids were really good. I think Amy was asleep by the time we got out of the driveway!

Thank you again Rod, Diane and Aaron for a wonderful day! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays...Hanson style

Happy holidays to you and yours--island style!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Happiest Gnome

Great time with the Nederloes last night at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul. Great beer (the Sprecher and Delirium Tremens were fabulous), food and conversation. We even ran into an old friend--Wally Freier for all your Woodbury HWH followeres--who had dropped in during a break from the adjacent Curling Club. 

May have to make this an annual event...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pretzels+Chocolate=sweet holiday goodness

Angela busy making chocolate pretzel treats for a party tonight. I've been told in no uncertain terms to keep my grubby mitts off. What, a guy can't take down 24 pretzel rod covered in chocolate in a five-minute sitting? What is the world coming to?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Matthew's 4th Birthday

The birthday celebrating started early this morning. The house was decorated last night (including cupcakes baked!), so we were ready to roll when the family alarm clock of "Can I get up?" came at 6:15 am.

Arik and I went in to Matthew's room and sang him happy birthday. He had a big grin on his face, and asked, "Am I bigger?" He looked in the mirror and decided that he was definitely bigger today than he was yesterday. Very cute.

After a quick trip to the potty, we headed to the dining room where presents and birthday hats awaited. He dove into the presents first. He opened some new Spiderman pajamas, and a toy electric chainsaw (complete with safety goggles :) It was hilarious. He proudly wore his birthday hat during breakfast, and was excited to see us come around the corner with a candle in his raisin toast. We even let him blow it out twice! (see video below)

I joined Matthew and his class for lunch at the daycare. I will say this - it was probably the most balanced lunch I have had in a long time. All food groups were well represented. Notice that I did not say it was delicious. The kids thoroughly enjoyed their birthday cups (Batman or Princess - their choice) and swirly straws. I heard a lot of, "Hey Matthew's Mom ... watch this...." However, my absolute favorite memory is Matthew looking at something his friend Aidan was doing and saying, "Hey Aidan - that looks just like my chainsaw!" You definitely don't hear that every day!

We topped off the day with a quick trip to the local Burger King, and some tasty chocolate cupcakes. We can't believe how big Matthew is getting, and how much he has changed in the past year. Happy Birthday Matthew!

Happy #4 Matthew!

The big guy turns four today. Only 12 to go before that driver's license...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Running with Reindeer

So proud of Angela and Aaron--both ran the Reindeer Run around Lake Harriet on Saturday morning--in subzero temperatures no less. It was Angela's first-ever race! Woo-hoo!

The not-so-funny part? Matthew, my mom and dad and I went out to watch Angela and Aaron run Saturday morning, while Grandma Jane watched Amy (much too cold for a one-year-old). We waited patiently by the south side of the lake. Unfortunately, that's the exact spot where the track breaks in two--we ended up missing them altogether.

However, we did manage to see a bunch of interesting characters running the race including SpiderMan, a group of cows and "present-head", as you'll see in this video.