Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Lot of Chrismas Cheer

Our Christmas celebration:

We were supposed to leave on Friday afternoon and make it to Grinnell by later in the evening. Maybe even in time to swing by Casey's and get the taco pizza. Not a pizza, the pizza.
But things don't go as planned. Especially in the midwest in the winter.
So we postponed our drive for 12 hours and spent an extra night at home, which meant an unexpected morning at home that we spent having our own small Christmas. It was still pitch black outside but that just makes the lights on the tree shine a little brighter.
Santa brought Charlotte a play kitchen this year. Bright and shiny she found it under the tree waiting to be fully stocked.

Over the hill, through the snow, to Oma's house we go. And for dinner? The taco pizza. We love coming home.

Oma does Christmas up right. She even talked Santa into making another stop at her house: A vintage doll bed was waiting under the tree for her....with a new blanket for her babies. Pure joy watching her light up as she turned the corner to Oma's living room. The tree, the presents, messy hair, pajamas, all of it was perfect. Even the small tantrum Charlotte threw for who-knows-what.

Later in the day we went to Grandma Faye's house to celebrate with her and Julie. More family, a fantastic dinner, and happiness. We're blessed.

As for our other gifts, we were overloaded with generosity from family and friends. Thank you to everyone. Please give me a 6 month leeway to get you a thank-you. I'm prompt like that.

Lastly - the aprons below were a gift from Oma. Charlotte and Dada have matching ones as well....sassy tiger ones. Rrrrrr. They're adorable; the picture doesn't do them justice. I'm trying to talk Oma into selling them on Etsy. So cute!! Who doesn't want one?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe Christmas full of love and laughter.
I'm feeling particularly blessed as I take a look around our house tonight. A husband cuddled up next to me on the couch as we watch one of our favorite holiday movies, a dog snoring beside us, and a happy, healthy, and very tuckered out little girl sound asleep. We have a good life. For this I am thankful beyond words.

Our cards this year:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Preparations

This is a magical time of year.
The lights, the decorations, the pull to "believe" in Santa, in reindeer, in everything.

We've spent the last couple of weeks preparing for Christmas. We've wrapped presents, baked cookies, and spent almost as much time taking ornaments off the tree as we spent putting them on (ahem, thanks to someone)
We've even stayed up late to watch Frosty the Snowman.
We're ready. Bring it on Santa.

Speaking of, Santa was visiting Lincoln Park during the zoo lights festival last week so we made sure to stop by and say hello. Charlotte wasn't thrilled, but she made a quick recovery once the big guy was out of eye shot. We turned the corner and she immediately told us how she sat in santa's lap.....and cried. And if you ask her she'll imitate exactly how she cried, scrunched up face and all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thinking About Good Things

Not yet ready to talk about the tragedy that happened in Connecticut today.

After tucking Charlotte in tonight and before crying more than a few tears for all of those families that should be doing the same tonight but cant, I spent a few minutes downloading some pics we took last weekend. Originally taken for Christmas cards but we went another direction.

Trying to focus on the good tonight. So much bad out there and I'm not ready to wrap my mind around it. Instead I'll wrap my arms around my little girl and thank every single star in the sky that I can.

Thoughts and prayers to so many people tonight.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The universe vs. Me. I'm still winning but by a little less tonight.
I just spent a very well intentioned hour, an HOUR, looking for my phone. An hour that was earmarked for a glass of wine, scissors, a roll of wrapping paper, and some incredibly perfect bakers twine.
I found it lying in the street next to the drivers side door.
I think the universe is being kind to me because as I turn it over and press the button it lights up - it's alive, and working. I come back inside and that's when I see the giant crack.
So now I'm waiting for the Mister to get home so I can tell him that he needs to replace my screen for the second time in a month. Is it too late to call in a Christmas gift from Santa?

In other news it's starting to look a lot like Christmas around here. Stockings have been hung, there are presents under the tree, Charlotte even has a mini tree in her room that she gets to add an ornament to each night. My heart is smiling as I look at these pictures....the perfect cure for a broken screen. And a host of other things.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Seattle Part 2

While in Seattle we spent one of our beautiful (rainy) mornings downtown at the market. The place is outstanding. We did the the touristy stuff. Watched flying fish, put gum on that sonastywecouldbarelyhandleit wall, ate a piroshky while simultaneously wishing we had ordered more than one, and ate donuts....more than one.

Putting some pics in of one of our many flights. 10 hours of flying to be exact. We had a few secret weapons but the best by far were our ipad and a homeade wallet for Charlotte. One that we stashed a ton of fake cards, stickers, etc in - an idea from Oma. Thanks Oma!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Some Pictures

Taken a couple weeks ago - trying out a new coat and gloves. Frog gloves. 

If you ask Charlotte what they are it comes out as a four letter word beginning with "F"...but I can assure you it is not "frog". Troy and I sometimes ask her what kind of gloves she has just to make us laugh - judge away. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


For so many reasons.
Too many to list.

But for one, I'm thankful to be around people that humble me. People that remind me of who I am, and where I came from. It's incredible the feeling of ease that comes from the familiar. Another state, a new baby, another routine, but it's all easy, really it's all the same. Everything falls into place. We open a bottle of wine and settle in around a movie. Minus the wine, the babies, the husbands, and the mortgage we're the same as we were 15 years ago. Having these additional things in life only brings us closer and for this I feel grateful. Friendships forged ages ago...apparently my sixteen year old self did get one thing right if nothing else.

California welcomed us with open arms. Sunshine, blue skies, and lots of stars at night. We (the boys) cooked an amazing dinner, and we all went for a short walk to the park after dinner and before changing into the obligatory Thanksgiving day sweatpants. A memorable Thanksgiving spent with dear friends, and a precious new member of this amazing world.

As Charlotte says: Happy Birthday-giving.

Potty prizes.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Beyond words.
We're on a five day family high and we're only half way through what is sure to be a memorable week.
Seattle is in a nutshell a beautiful city with beautiful people. People that we're fortunate to call our family. We've missed these people, and we recharged our family batteries in a big way this weekend. Full up.

One post doesn't do it justice, the amount of family time we packed into 5 days was truly heart filling. New bread recipes, little hands working all important pie crusts, private orchestra concerts, doting cousins bathtub parties, dinner dates, and a good deal of quiet in between moments. Moments filled with quiet girls piled around a book, testing doctor skills, and lots of sibling time - both young and old.

We'll have more to share, but for now, this is what we've been up to.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tire Swing

Favorite thing at the park lately is the tire swing. The faster it spins the better. Watching it makes me sick.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick or Treat

If there's one thing I'm sure of it is that Charlotte thrives in new situations. Lots of stimulation, lots of people, etc. The more going on and the newer the experience the happier she is. 
No fear of the unknown. 
Little Red Riding Hood went from house to house this year like a pro. She quietly said "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You". She took one piece of candy until someone told her different in which case she would grab as big of a handful as her small yearn and half fist could grasp. 
She held our hands to cross streets, and made sure Brinker stayed close by. And she carried that basket as if it were a lifeline. The fuller it got the whiter her knuckles were. 
At the end of the night she had a sucker as we sat on the front steps handing out candy to the last of the kids who were out. 

One homemade cape. Countless thanks to Oma!!
One borrowed basket.
And one 'wolf'. AKA: Brinker. 
Makes for one perfect night. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Write-Up

Wow it was a great weekend. One that makes it extra hard to go back to work on Monday. Fall is amazing. 

Friday afternoon Oma drove into the city just in time to join is in a fall festival at C's school. Face painting, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, and trick-or-treat bag making. 

Over the weekend we found time for sewing a very special someone a cape for the upcoming holiday. We also finally got around to baking some bread: pumpkin challah. 
A lot of mother-daughter time on all fronts. And no weekend is complete without my wonderful husband. The sanity that holds this house of crazy together.