Thursday, December 23, 2010

Done and done.

Yesterday I bought my last gift and tonight I put the final touches on my wrapping.  It feels good to be done.

Chad and Ky were out running errands together today, in typical guy fashion.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

We have been listening to the best holiday music this year to help get us in the mood.  My aunt made me an unbelievable holiday mix of Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin.  It is fabulous.  Even Brynn likes it.  I swear though, if I have to listen to "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" one more time...  ;)

Brynn and I have loved checking the mailbox every day for all the Christmas cards.  We love tearing them open and looking at all the pictures of the kids and how much everyone changes in one year.  I have seen some really creative ones that are really fun.  Thank you everyone for sending them, it means a lot to us.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and I wish you a very happy new year.  I will see you in 2011, which is proving to be a year of some really great things to come.  I can't wait to share them.

Lots and lots of love.  Peace.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New traditions and old ones

I do not handle change well.  I have a hard time throwing things away.  I get very attached to houses, articles of clothing, toys, old books, you name it.  It drives my mom crazy.  Especially when I insisted I still needed that record player and boxes full of notes from friends in high school when she was trying to pack me up for college.

This year I have been all about change.  I have gotten rid of excess things in my life.  This is coming in handy as I purge the excess in my cabinets and drawers and try to pack up.  I am trying to get back to the basics of what is important in life and look forward to a new life for my family in a new home.

This holiday season has been truly magical as I watch the excitement grow in my 4 year old daughter's eyes.  Making Christmas cookies, singing Christmas songs in the car, seeing Santa a million times and attending an endless number of Holiday parties have kept us in the spirit since Thanksgiving.  I am loving living vicariously through her.

I have incorporated change in creating new traditions, but I am loving keeping the old ones too.

Ever since I can remember, we have gone downtown before Christmas to Marshall Field's to the Walnut Room for lunch with our family.  I can barely bring myself to call it Macy's.  (Please see above note about how I feel about change).

I am loving continuing this tradition with my own children as well as with my sisters, niece, mom, aunt & grandma.

All the years we have been coming down to the Walnut Room, we never have been seated directly under the tree...until this year.  I am telling you, there is magic in the air.  I may get that Red Rider BB Gun this year.

Brynnie thought a little buttering up of the Big Guy wouldn't hurt.

There was no line for Santa!  Is this a sign of how bad the economy is, or did we always used to go at peak Santa-seeing times?  Hope it is the latter.

B & Ella would not sit on his lap, but they did agree to sit on the armrests.  The Big Guy was ok with that.

I think we may need to teach Kyler the little tradition known as The Naughty List.  He has been up to no good lately.  He has started walking and now thinks he is the boss.  Just look how happy Marin is with him trying to lock her in the cabinet.

I love seeing my photos in my friends/clients homes.  This was one of the great holiday parties we attended for Finn's birthday.  He now shares his birthday with his new little brother, Tripp, who came in to this world yesterday.  He waited just long enough for his mom to get through the party.

We have enjoyed the new tradition of Finn having Santa make an appearance at his party.  He is always a hit.  You can see why.  This guy is the real deal.

Hopefully we started another new tradition...Brynn didn't sit in the pew with us this year for her holiday program at school.

The boys enjoyed it.

We have also enjoyed snuggling up together and watching Christmas movies every night before bed.  Berks has been staying warm on these cold winter nights too.

Kyler continues to torment our Charlie Brown tree.  He likes to rearrange the ornaments and add his own decor...he tosses used diapers at the tree and laughs when it lands on the branches.

B made her ballerina debut in The Nutcracker this weekend.  I felt like a stage mom putting makeup on my little snowflake, but it was really fun too.

And finally, Kyles continues to be helpful with moving preparations by making some adjustments to the water heater.  We caught him "fixing" it when he disappeared and got really quiet.  He was intently concentrating and didn't hear us sneak up behind him.

I don't even know how he knew what you do with tools.  Our water heater works great and he has never even seen Chad work with those tools before.

I hope you are taking the time to share old family traditions as well as start new ones with your new little families.  We should do that all year long, not just in the month of December.

Just an FYI, I will be taking the week off between Christmas & New Years as we will be spending some time up at the Lake and also up north in the U.P. for some snowmobiling.  I have very little cell coverage there, so it forces me to put the phone away and enjoy my family undistracted.

How is the shopping coming??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Ol Blue Eyes

Thank goodness for the internet.  Christmas shopping has never looked so good.  I finally got started last Friday and the packages are starting to arrive in the mail.  Chad and I went out last night until 10pm putting a good dent in the rest of the shopping.  Now on to the wrapping.  Ugh!

Don't get me wrong, I love the "reason for the season" and the gift is just finding the time to do it all that stresses me out.  Speaking of which, I will not be booking any sessions in January (other than the ones already on my calendar) with the hopes of packing up my house and movin' on up.  

I also wanted to mention that I have two seats left in my February 10th workshop if you are interested in coming to hang out with an exceptional group of women for a day.  I am so excited about all the attendees...all are smart, creative and fun girls.  I can not wait!  Men are welcome too ;)  Don't be scared!

This little man wasn't scared of me...even though I wanted to eat him up!

I have to mention, I have not done anything to digitally alter the natural, electric blue color of Kellen's eyes.  Those are all genetics baby.

Kellen's mom worked at The Paper Merchant in Geneva for about ten years, so we had free reign of the store.  I was ecstatic.

I think he may be picking up where his mom left off.  Gift wrapping anyone?

We were celebrating Kellen's 1st birthday.  What better way to celebrate than with peppermint gelato from Graham's 318?

A big thank you to Kellen's Aunt Brittany for coming along and being so helpful.  Brit is a loyal "Vander-blogger" :)  Love you!

Happy Thursday!