17 December 2010

Santa Visit

We headed to Gurnee Mills last week to Bass Pro Shops, our annual spot we go to visit the jolly guy!  We first had dinner at The Rainforest Cafe (one of Mallory's favorite places) with Papa and Grammy and then headed to the carousal for a ride.  Papa took Mallory and daddy took Jillian on her first ever carousal ride!  We then stood in line to see Santa.  Mallory appeared brave in line proclaiming she was going to sit on his lap but once we approached she cried and basically freaked out!  Seriously, it's somewhat of a weird concept to a 2 year old I'm sure..."Go sit on that strangers lap who is sitting under huge bright lights and surrounded by a million other screaming children....yeah, go sit on his lap and smile nicely...."  Ah well...maybe next year!  Jillian however was happy as a clam to sit on his lap seemingly unaware of all the fuss!  Either way it's a classic tradition we put our children through all in the name of priceless pictures! 

Photos from the evening...

07 December 2010

First Snowfall...

"When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old."

Over the weekend we had our first snowfall.  We had a busy weekend and were unable to get out and "play in it" but I'm certain we'll have ample opportunity for that this winter.  I did capture some shots the morning of the first snowfall of the season!   Mallory seemed delighted to wake up to it and loved watching it out the window! 

Scenes from our backyard...

06 December 2010

Holiday Traditions

I admit it...I love Christmas and everything about it!!  I love the sappy Christmas songs, I love the timeless classic movies..."It's a Wonderful Life", "Christmas Story" etc. I love the decorations, the tree, celebrations, seeing family, and the list goes on!  I also really get great joy from the idea of creating traditions for my family.  When I was a child we always went to Candy Cane Lane every year to the see the Christmas lights and I loved it! While I'm told that neighborhood no longer puts on the display it's fun to think of new traditions that my kids and I can enjoy together. Just thought I'd share some of our traditions. 

Here are traditions currently started:
*Going to see The Lincoln Park Zoo Lights every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
*Giving the girls one gift to open on Xmas Eve, the gift is always new pajamas to wear to bed that night and have for Christmas Morning.   
*Advent Calendar
*Going to see Santa at Gurnee Mills with Grammy and Papa, eating at Rainforest Cafe and riding the carousal.
*Hot Chocolate and family tree decorating

Here are traditions I'd like to start someday:
*Seeing the Xmas display at Botanic Gardens (we actually have plans to attend this year)
*Elf on a Shelf
*Giving Tree at church (buying a gift(s) for a needy family)
*Decorating Xmas cookies (another one we will try this year)
*Going to see It's A Wonderful Life at The Music Box in Chicago. (Tony and I used to do this and it's so stinkin festive!)

Here are some photos from this year's trip to see the Zoo Lights. 

 "There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions".

-- Bill McKibben

03 December 2010

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful...

Winter and the Holiday Season is here!! I can smell it in our pine scented candles and taste it in the gingerbread I baked yesterday (From Trader Joe's, Love being so close to Trader Joes)! I can see it in our almost decorated home minus the xmas tree (weekend to-do list) and hear it in the newly uploaded i-tunes Christmas playlist as well as tuning into 93.9 in the car at any given moment throughout the day.

In the spirit of the season thought I would post some pics from my first attempt at an in-home studio photo session with the girls! Mallory's smile is a direct result of the lollipop bribe she's holding. The lighting in the room (or lack there of) was tough to work with but I tried to do the best with what was available. 

Here they are...

Happy Holidays to one and all!! 
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