Our Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas everyone I hope you all are cherishing this time with your families or if you can’t be with your family this year, I hope you are doing something special for yourself because you deserve it! Christmas time is here again and I wanted to share with you all what mine and Chas’ year looked like. We’ve grown up a bit from last year where our biggest news was that Chas cut off his beautiful long locks. This year has a little more adulthood weaved into it check it out.


The last time I saw my mom. Off to a good start I know, but it’s all I’ve been thinking about. We all met up together in San Antonio, TX for Reid’s graduation from basic training from the Air Force. It was a great experience to travel to Texas in the winter season. Mom and I stayed in a hotel off the river walk, took longest elevator ride in the world (at least it seemed like because I thought I lost my wallet) at the Tower of Americas, and went to Bobby Lee’s stand up show. 


Wedding planning. This basically took up all of my free time up until August.


I turned 24 and Chas got me my ukulele! I love playing it and I learned that it is not so easy to strum a tune and sing along to it, but I’m working on it. Hopefully I can get good enough to play a song for you on the blog, I’ve already got an idea in mind!


My friend Carey and I drove to Santa Fe for my birthday. We wanted to go somewhere warm so we decided four hours south would work. She and I bought tickets to the Mustachio Bachio at Meow Wolf! I can’t even explain to you how crazy fun that place is. It’s like a mixture of Alice in Wonderland and Chronicles of Narnia. Meow Wolf has over 200 art instillation’s.  You’ve got to go. We also climbed and played around the ancient cliff dwellings right outside of town.


My life falls apart. I think I’m still in denial. Losing my mother to such a tragic accident breaks my heart and soul. Finding happiness and understanding the situation is difficult. I feel guilty taking life for granted. As I try to tell myself, that we find happiness within us and there is a reason behind the chaos in life, I don’t want to believe it. It’s much easier to be depressed honestly, it’s sad to say but it’s true. I’m working on doing everything and anything I can to not let this driving anxiety stop me from going out and indulging the things that make me happy. Lately I have found that volunteering my time brings me more than a burst of happiness. It feels good to do things selflessly. I have learned that meditation and surrendering everything over to the universe keeps me centered and relaxed.


A Doxie Dory Life started up! My mother always told me I could be a writer, with much disbelief I thought I should take a whack at it just for her. I, like her, had always written things down when I needed to express myself, or I would talk to her. Now that I can’t, I  thought instead of shoving my feelings down or in the faces of people who can’t handle it, I launched the blog. Then, I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training to earn my 200 hour certificate. Being the perfect time to immerse myself in another thing to occupy my time with a supportive safe group of people who share the same interests as myself. Still going strong, we meet up one weekend a month, we are at 100 hours! This last half is all about teaching a class where as the first half was diving into Anusara and all that is yoga. We read the Yoga Sutras not to be confused with the Kama Sutras as I learned when searching for the book on Amazon… Also, the Bhagavad Gita which I have learned to love, we also discussed the Anatomy of Movement. We discussed chakras, mudras, mantras, Ayurveda, poses, chants, loops, focal points, organic and muscular energy and so on, so much information.


Chas and I camped out in Alamosa with some friends and hiked up to a beautiful waterfall and drove right down the road to the Sand Dunes, the sand unfortunately was too hot for all the dogs so we didn’t end up hiking up. I climbed my first 14’er with my best friend Carey and our trusty pups (not Remy his legs are too little). Chas and I spent most of the summer fly fishing, SUP boarding, rafting, riding the dirt bike, taking the pups up mountain trails to run around, camping in the back of the truck, building fires, and star gazing.


We married on Chas’ birthday, his decision. We were joined by our loving family and friends from all over. I still dream of this day it was so beautiful and went along without a hitch. Even once it rained it was just so romantic. 


We flew to Hawaii for our honeymoon. Gosh was it beautiful. We stayed in a condo in Kona. Since Chas had just turned 25 we could actually rent a car to drive across the island to visit Hilo. The island reminds me of yin/yang. One side is very rough, rocky, covered in black lava, humid and hot where as the other side is tropical, lively, colorful  and rainy. We enjoyed relaxing on the beaches away from the tourism, we try to blend in at local bars rather than the chains, mainly because it’s cheaper and locals can tell you all of the cool places to check out. Chas and I swam next to the waterfalls and snorkeled at Two Step. It was a dream to say the least.



We became adults, I mean we closed on our first home. It’s a 2.5 acre 1,100 square feet, two bedroom one bath,  70’s decorated home. We love it, and we love coming up with HGTV projects to attempt. Right now we decided we need new windows because this whole plastic wrap thing feels kinda tacky… next the brown carpets have to go but I think we will keep the yellow counter tops. 



I cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal and decided that I will never do it again, I must say, it was  a success and very delicious. Chas found his new hobby in making Kombucha it is so delicious if anyone needs some scobey let us know! I also launched my photography website, Ivy Bencheck Portraits. I finally did it after all of this time I finally got the guts to officially start my photography business.



Our 1 year anniversary at our amazing jobs. Without these jobs we would never be able to live here, the housing situation here is crazy expensive. Our jobs have been super supportive of us this year and it’s actually the first job that I have worked an entire year at, pretty big step for me. Chas was promoted from a salesman thank goodness, that job was too stressful and had a high quota. Now he works less, has less stress, and gets paid more, win win win! Chas, the puppies and I will be indulging on an Indian inspired cuisine for our Christmas feast this year in celebration on my newly found opportunity of joining my boss in Leh, India with the organization Global Dental Relief this coming September. I will be assisting a volunteer dentist on performing extractions and restorations to children’s permanent teeth. We will be applying fluoride, sealants, restorations, performing necessary extractions and providing the knowledge to brush and floss daily! These children will be walking miles and miles for this care and our clinic will be set up in the Buddhist Monasteries. We are so blessed. 

Merry Christmas everybody, share with me below what your Christmas traditions are and how you’re celebrating this year. 

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