Monday, December 28, 2015

After Christmas.

I can't believe Christmas is over.
Now we're in that weird phase between Christmas and the New Year...
....where the Christmas decor looks a little stale but I'm not quite ready to take it down.

Looking at it makes me sad because Christmas is over...
...but I'm also looking forward to that clean empty feeling that comes along with January.

Due to a water system problem, last minute shopping, late wrapping and a sick baby....
....Jeff and I pulled an all-night-er on Christmas Eve.

We haven't done that since we were 20 years old...(so about 4 years ago. ;)

The weekend has been crazy....I haven't been to sleep before 3:00 am since December 22.
I want a nap. A great big nap. Ha.

Christmas with a one year old is the Best!
He is so much fun. I think the other kids were more excited over him getting gifts than anything else.
It was so cute to watch them all.

And despite having a fever and his poor little ears hurting....He loved Christmas!

I love this family of mine so very, very much.
Especially the one giving me a kiss. I still melt when he looks at me.

I mailed out half of my Christmas cards. The rest are in the basket on the shelf in my kitchen.
If you are upset about not receiving a card from us this year..
...feel free to stop by our house at any time and pick your's up. Ha!

Outside is ferocious. Cold.Windy.Rainy.Icy.Snowy. Now it's acting like Chritmas weather.
Hope you're having a relaxing Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The PERFECT friendly.unique.last minute Christmas gift Idea!

How about an old fashioned sleigh ride at Go Sleigh?!

Okay, so there is currently no snow on the ground in Northern Illinois..
..but you can bet your bottom dollar there will be soon.

When the snow finally does fly, you will have an adventure to look forward to.

What a sweet date it would make...
...sitting under a warm blanket together in the back of a sleigh, sharing a cup of hot cocoa.
{Think ahead...Valentines Day is not that far off!}

They've even had people get engaged on their sleighs. How romantic is that?
{Did you read that boyfriends who are dragging their feet? wink, wink}

They also have sleighs big enough for the whole family.
Give Grandpa and Grandma an outing with everyone for Christmas
instead of a boring box of Fannie Mae Mint Meltaways.

The property is absolutely beautiful.
I'm telling you, you're going to want to move in when you visit.

Their house, their barns, their's dreamy.

I'm posting this not to sound like a commercial,
but because I think it's a really unique idea to give as a gift.

Mike and Connie Walsh started Go Sleigh as “Countryside Christmas” in 2009 providing sleigh rides to the Chicagoland area. Their vision is to provide an enjoyable adventure for families and children during the Christmas and holiday season. 

P.S. I stole the paragraph above from their website.
P.P.S.S. I also stole all of these pretty images from their website.

I will not be disappointed.
Now go book a sleigh ride  {they have giftcards}
...this way you won't have to go near that over crowded, over priced, germ filled mall.

Happy Christmas Week.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fashion Tip Friday....What exactly is plaid?

Everyone is mad for's everywhere....Everywhere!

So what exactly IS plaid?
It's actually a type of fabric, usually made of wool, with a tartan print on it.
Tartan is the print we mistake for the name plaid.

Plaid and the tartan print originated in Scotland way back when.

Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.~ Wikipedia

The literal Gaelic meaning for plaid is "blanket".

Today there are a bazillion different prints we put into the category of "plaid".
Here's a little cheat sheet to help you sound more pattern savvy when
you're out shopping for "plaid".

{the "check plaid" is also referred to as Buffalo Plaid...which is the pattern on Frankie's hat}

It's the last weekend before Christmas!!!
Happy Friday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

We do school at home.

Homeschooling #4

Homeschooling during the holidays is both relaxing and fun around here.
We {for the most part} take a break from our "regular" school and
incorporate holiday related activities into our school days during the month of December..

{at the high school level, my kids mostly stick to their studies...only taking a couple of weeks off}

We do a heavier load of school during the month of January...
...doing this gives us 3-4 weeks to enjoy the Christmas season.
I love it..and so do they!

We bake...a lot.
We read....a lot.
We watch movies...a lot.
We play Christmas music both on the piano and the radio...a lot!

We take things slow. We focus on the real reason for celebrating.

We are reading through this Advent book.

We also have around 1,100 Christmas books in our home!
Today the girls chose short books to read and write reports on..
...complete with artwork to go along with it.

We spend our days learning, but not the conventional "sit- at- a- desk" sort of way.
We've been doing this since the oldest was little...and I'm so glad we did.
Since the beginning of raising kids....we have enjoyed December.

Hope you're enjoying this most wonderful time of the year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

That one Christmas we went to New York City.

How do I share 955 pictures? or everything we did while in NYC?
I can't without boring you and making you sit here reading all night long.... here's the {semi} short version of our little Christmas road trip.

We stayed two nights in this beautiful, historic hotel. I asked if we could move in...they said No.
We ate dinner at this classy little place.
We walked from 44th street to 1st street to see Washington Square Park and then back again.
We tried coffee at Tim Hortons and Dean and Deluca
We went to Eataly. I love it in Chicago, but NYC is even better!

We went to Chelsea Market.  Love, love, love it there.

Of course we went to Central Park. and Rockefeller Center.

On our way out of the city we stopped at Carlo's Bakery of Cake Boss in Hoboken.  
Oh my baked goods ever! Now I want a brownie.

Yes, I woke up early one morning to stand outside Studio 1A ..... Joanna Gaines was there!
Jeff watched from a distant....he didn't quite share my excitement. Ha!

Jeff's cousin Heidi inspired the whole trip. We met up with them once we got into NYC.
Her and her husband Justin are amazing. {Love you guys!}

The best part of the whole trip?....being alone with my incredible husband.
I could get all mushy right about now..but I'll spare you and just tell him how wonderful he is.

Merry Christmas Season.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Where 10 hours can take you.

I knew we were off to a late start when I opened my eyes and the sky was turning pink.
We slept through the alarm. So much for our 3:30 am start.

We tossed on our clothes. Loaded suitcases into the car. Grabbed our passports.
Stopped for coffee at Starbucks...and we were off.

It didn't matter that we were behind schedule, because we didn't really have one.... was just the two of us with nothing but time. {for a few days at least!}

It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

We drove up to Niagara Falls and spent the night in Canada before heading to NYC. 
By the time we arrived it was dark. {The falls are amazing to see at night.}

The next morning we walked along the river and up to the falls.... was cloudy and foggy and misty and cold. The water was so powerful and loud.

What a gift nature is to us.
God sure did create a gorgeous earth for us to explore!

....and what a gift to have time alone.
We're dealing with that whole re-entry thing.  

I already dislike tomorrow morning when Jeff leaves for work. ;)
Time alone with your spouse is so important...and we haven't had much of it lately.
This little road trip was just what we needed. I wish today was Friday so we could start all over again.

We did miss the kids's nice to have them back. ...
however, they did not miss us nor did they want to come home. Ha!
....and it was also very nice of my parents to keep them for a few days.
{Thanks Mom and Dad! xxoo}