Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Eve

Every year we spend Christmas Eve at my Aunt's with my fathers side of the family.  This year was no different, and even though we should have driven home on the 23rd, so we could be there early, we didn't.  We drove home ON the 24th and were just a tad late.  Fashionable you could say, lol.
My sister was already there with her brood, including James, the newest addition to the family.

He likes to sleep in my lap.  He was only twelve days old on Christmas Eve, and look how stinkin cute he was in the snowman sweater!!  My dad and uncle were loving him up for a while as well.

Maggie made sure she got her snuggles in too.  She was so excited to get to hold him all by herself.

Fionn, however was more interested in COOKIES.  That was his newest word.  Every time we fired up the oven last week he came out and yelled "cookies" while throwing his arms in the air.  He was soooo excited about all the cookies we made.  You would have thought the boy had never had a cookie before.  Here he is enjoying a yummy Pecan Tart that we made.

My beautiful nieces loving their new jammies that we got them for Christmas.  They practically jumped into them when we were done opening gifts.  Every year we give new Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve, and every year we see all our nieces and nephews on Christmas Eve, so they all get new jammies from us as well.

Even my nephew loved his new jammies.  We got all the boys these cute moose jammies.  Our nieces got blue Gingerbread jammies.
Once we got back to Mema and Pop-pop's, Fionn and Maggie opened their new jammies as well.  From there it was out to feed the reindeer their special mix and back in to leave Santa his cookies.  Fionn decided it was a great idea to sample Santa's cookies as well.  Sorry Santa.

We hope you all had a fabulous Christmas Eve, ours was beautiful and just as perfect as it should have been.  From this point we check the Santa Tracker and then our babies RUN to bed so that Santa doesn't skip us over.  We had hoped to make it to Midnight Mass, but before we knew it, it was already too late.  Every year we spend the night at Greg's parents, and it's so much fun to wake up together as a family on Christmas Morning.  More about that soon though...


Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow, snow, and MORE snow

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...too bad it's three days late, lol. 
Christmas Day it was rainy and chilly, but not snowy.  All the snow melted with the rain, but you wouldn't guess that if you looked outside now.  The wind is swirling, the snow is blowing, but it's nice and cozy in Mema and Pop-pop's house!  We're helping Pop-pop break in his new Wii, and we even got a few new games today to take back to the 'burgh with us.  Mario Olympics is fun, we've been testing it out all day.  I can't wait to get home and try out the Wii Fit Plus.  We got the game upgrade today.  I've heard nothing but good things about it. 
This year is the longest we've been able to be home with our Families for Christmas in the four years since we moved to Pittsburgh.  We usually get 24-48 hours tops, so being home for 5 days was nicer than I can ever tell you!  Our babies are spoiled beyond words and I think we'll need a trailer to hitch behind our truck to get it all home.  We took lots of pictures so I'll have a lot to post about in the coming weeks.  Also, remember that give away I mentioned?  I think it's about time for that.  I had hoped to get it done BEFORE Christmas, but I underestimated how hard it would be to get ready for Christmas with a toddler in the house.  I think it's a great New Years Giveaway though, so stay tuned. 
We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and all had safe travels.  Please say a little prayer for us tomorrow as we load up and head back to the Burgh!  Life goes back to normal tomorrow, well as normal as it can get when it's less than a week after Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

November/December Fun

We have been sooo busy the last few weeks. I have started numerous posts, only to just leave them as drafts when I didn't have time to finish them. As most of you know this is the busiest time of year for me as a family photographer, even though this year has not been as busy as normal, I thew in that trip to Omaha and worked every day I was there.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving we surprised Maggie with tickets to the American Girl Fashion Show. This was her "big gift" for Christmas this year and she was sooo excited to get to go. It was just the two of us and it was a beautiful day for a drive up to the Pittsburgh Field House. Carissa and Maggie were lucky enough to get a new shirts that match, and Carissa ever got her hair done. The fashion show was great, and Mag ended up winning our beautiful rose center piece. She loved seeing all the girls walking and learning more about the Historical dolls. The Junior League of Pittsburgh did a great job organizing the fashion show. Monday night, the 23rd, was Maggie's big concert at school for the Holidays. It was a program for the 1st through 5th grade. It was beautiful watching them all sing. I have all her songs on video and promise to upload them soon. Sorry for the low light, grainy picture, the lighting in the church was very low. The next day, Tuesday, was Mag's Thanksgiving Feast at school. We agreed to go in and help, and let's not lie, I love getting to go in to help at Maggie's school. I love getting to know all the kids, and seeing Maggie interact with all of them. She was a pilgrim girl at the feast, and she loved that Fionn was there with her. This picture is them praying at the beginning of their feast.
We were lucky enough to host Thanksgiving again this year, and it's always fun being surrounded by our family. The smells of the food cooking, the laughter of everyone playing, the snores of Greg(trying to get some sleep since he works 3rd shift Thanksgiving week) Our Wii feels loved while everyone is here, and even Zilla is tired when everyone leaves from all his playing with Phoebe. Fionn and Mikey are a blast to watch. They play musical laps between Mema and Pop-pop and then chase each other around and around. Maggie once again helped cook, and she and Pop-pop even ran to the store for some last minute ingredients. We were lucky to have my Aunt and Uncle join us, as they normally do for Thanksgiving. Their visit was short, too short, and I was sad not to have more time with them. Had I realized that they were leaving that night, I would have skipped my couple hour nap after dinner.
Align Center

Like I said, we've been busy! I'm working on a special blog project over on my work blog, I'm trying to do a picture post a day everyday until Christmas. I've been better about posting there than here I'm afraid. I don't know about all of you, but I feel like this month is flying by. We have successfully hunted our tree, but have yet to decorate it. We still have to take our pictures for our Christmas cards, even though I've designed a lot of cards so far, ours are not ones that are finished.
I plan on hosting a give away before Christmas, my first give away ever, so make sure you stop back soon to see what it is!!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Light Up Night

If you've been reading our blog for long, you'll know that we always attend Light Up Night in Downtown Pittsburgh every year. Well, except for last year. It was bitterly cold, and as badly as we wanted to go, taking Fionn out was just out of the question.

This year though was perfect. The weather was still in the 50's, and the sky was clear. It was a great night to see Santa light up downtown. We picked up daddy from work, and off we went...

As you can see, even Santa loved his work of lighting up the Point! Fionn wasn't too sure about these fireworks, but loved the ones on the 4th of July. After the fireworks were over we headed down to see Santa's handy work. The tree looked great and we snapped a few pictures in front of it while we waited for the crowd to dwindle down.
It was another long, but fun night. Fionn scored this awesome light up light saber from a passerby. All he did was say "ooooh" and "wow" when the college guy was walking past him, and he gave it to him. He loves it so much that we have to hide it just so he'll put it down.

Monday, November 16, 2009

time, PLEASE slow down!

So I went into panic mode this week, did anyone else?
Okay, so it was more like today, but WOW. We've picked up a few things here and there over the last month or so, but I was so proud of myself, felt ahead of the game. Then today the realization hit, it's NOVEMBER 15th
Whaaaat? What in the world am I going to get these kids for Christmas! I know, I know...we keep preaching to them about it not being about the presents, but as a mom of two small kids, it's still a big deal. Less than two weeks to the start of advent, oh yeah, and Thanksgiving is thrown in there too! whoa. I feel behind now, way behind...
Okay, now my seasonal induced rant is over, back to the reason I've been so quiet. WORK, ha. Yes work, it's been crazy, but it's that time of year. I guess I don't feel festive yet, there's not even been a dusting of snow, and today I saw people stringing up their Christmas Lights everywhere. We still havn't brought in our patio furniture, and as a matter of fact, were using it today after church even. On November 15th.
It's been so unseasonably warm, that last week on my trip to Omaha, I had to buy a pair of flip-flops. It was that warm. I was even sweating in Denver. Denver that's already had over two and a half feet of snow, was in the high 50's last week, low 60's. Oh, and got over a foot this weekend too. I'm not saying I NEED snow to feel the seasonal mood, but yeah, a good dusting or two would sure go a long way. I know a few of you are moaning right now, but holy cow people, it's NOVEMBER, and I live in Pennsylvania for goodness sake. I've not needed more than a sweatshirt in the mornings in like three weeks. We've barely had maybe my seasonal rant isn't over. I'm designing Christmas Cards, and I'm NOT in the mood to be designing Christmas Cards. I don't FEEL festive yet.
Friday night we took the kids to the mall to see Santa's arrival. It was fabulous. Still didn't put me into Holiday mode yet. We stood and watched as Santa arrived, made sure Fionn saw him, saw how excited we all were, we made sure he saw Maggie run up and give him a big hug, then waved bye-bye to Santa as we watched him get set for his first child to sit on his lap this year. Still it didn't hit me, not until TODAY.
So now I had better get back to work, and think about what's quickly approaching, otherwise Christmas morning is going to be a sad day for our two kids. On a side note, at least I already bought their Christmas jammies, which we always give them on Christmas eve to wear. That's ONE point for mommy and daddy at least.
Is anyone else feeling like it snuck up on them this year too?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gutting the Pumpkins

**Last Post until next week**

[I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for a great multi destination weekend. I'm spending a couple days in Omaha with Amanda before heading to Denver this weekend for a NILMDTS Area Coordinator training. I am so excited to be going both places, I can't even begin to tell you! I will fill you all in once I'm back]

Well we showed you how we picked out pumpkins, so now you get to see the process to see what they turned into. Our children were just as picky about the designs, down right bossy you could say, but it was all worth it, they were perfect. Maggie and Fionn were both excited to help, and couldnt' wait to dive right into the mess. We like to carve the night before Halloween if we can(to avoid any boo boo's with our pumpkins outside) Heaven forbid if one didn't make it to Halloween, there would be meltdowns!

Warning, there are even pictures of ME in this post, so no one wonder who that strange lady is. The funny face that Maggie and I are making, that's our spooky Count laugh as we carve our pumpkin. We hope you enjoy our pumpkins as much as we did!!

Dearest baby, if indeed you are NOT a girl, I am very sorry for putting a tiny little bow on your pumpkin's head. Your sister insisted, and who was I to say no?
And yes that giant piece of pumpkin she's holding up in the last picture is indeed a bat. Daddy's HUGE bat symbol was AWESOME!