Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's that time of year!

The Jib Jab "Elf Yourself" holiday 2010 edition reminded me to ask my husband for a trip to Hawaii for Christmas. Please, honey?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

He's making a list!

Just six days left till the fat man comes and we've got a week packed-full of prep! (And a teething toddler.) I am 99% of the way done with my shopping and I MEAN IT- no more gifts for the kids. I have just had so much fun getting their gifts and I really need to stop because they have so much already and we truly want them to know that the season is not just about getting toys. I am seriously considering keeping some toys for February when we are stuck inside all day. ;)

Last night, we began what we think will become our new holiday tradition. We told the kids that we had a "surprise," which naturally had Preston beside himself with excitement. The first part of the surprise was dinner at Fort Wayne's famous Coney Island, next to the giant Santa. It was Preston and CeCe's first time eating there and they absolutely loved how packed it was with people, watching the other kids, and the staff yelling out orders... "I need 6, 2 without!" Too cute. Not to mention, they both ate their entire meal! Next up, we checked out the Santa, got a few pics, and then still had some time to kill before the AWS Fantasy of Lights opened, so we stopped at Starbucks for dessert- who can resist their hot cocoa and baked goods? Not the Erbs! Plus, we had the entire terrarium to ourselves so we could watch the traffic on Jefferson which included all the horse-drawn carriages while the kids ran wild and adored their tree. It was such a special holiday moment for us as we sipped our coffee and watched our precious babies play together, laughing and gobbling up their treats, with total anticipation of our last surprise. The last part certainly did not disappoint, as usual. Fort Wayne's AWS Festival of Lights makes me so proud of our community for embracing this amazing cause. AWS provides services to children and adults here who have physical disabilities. Each enormous light display has been sponsored and I kid you not when I say it's a magical holiday-light filled wonderland for kids. As our car crept through the line, Preston marveled at each display, CeCe exclaimed "LIIIIIGHT!" over and over, and we enjoyed some holiday tunes. Such a great night- I cannot wait for this to be something we look forward to every year!

This week we are baking cookies with friends and cousins, finishing my shopping, making reindeer food, wrapping, addressing, a much needed girls night- the list goes on.... OY! So, until next time- Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Santa just sent a message to Preston! You can watch it by clicking on the link below. It will only be visible during the holiday season, so be sure to watch before it's gone and he begins working on Preston's file for 2011!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our week in pictures

Meet Edward, our elf on the shelf. One day this week, he watched from the microwave.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!! Kevin turned 32 on Tuesday and we had a wonderful dinner with John and Judy to celebrate. Love you, honey- here's to your best year yet!

Last Sunday, we made our annual holiday trek to Elcona's Santa brunch. The kids had a blast, and I couldn't help but post a bunch of pics of CeCe's adorable dress. I think this might have to make another appearance before Christmas. Hope everyone is having a wonderful December!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

So much to be thankful for!

And these past few weeks are just the beginning...

We kicked of our holiday celebration the same way we have the past 3 years. As Illsley residents, we are the recipients of a gift given to seven area neighborhoods on the Broadway coridoor, just a few blocks south and west of downtown. While we are not big fans of the local attorney who gives the gift, we accept it graciously anyways and will gladly partake in his annual holiday hulibaloo. LOL!
This year, we hosted the King and Spitler families for pizza, salad, breadsticks and Sara's delicious pumpkin bread and enjoyed dinner and drinks ourselves before heading down to the festivites. (Perhaps this was the first step to my gaining 4 lbs in the last 2 weeks.) Then, we bundled up the kids- all 6 of them ranging in age from 4 to 4 months- and headed down to the lighting on foot. There was live music, a Santa and Mrs. Clause, a live reindeer, and of course, the holiday train. We walked the kids in their strollers and as we were coming up on the gathering, we heard the countdown and watched them turn on the tree. It was perfect timing with perfect company on a perfect night!

We had a wonderful day at the Roberts' family Thanksgiving. Can you say stuffed? OMG- the food. In true Roberts-style, we had a smorgusboard of variety, and the desserts were amazing, including my brother Collin's birthday cake! The kids had a great time and loved loving all the attention, not to mention several hours of playing with Aunt Tori and Uncle Collin!

After 5 days of boxes in and out of the attic and basement, we finally have the house decorated and ready for Christmas. Kevin and I love - fake trees and all- decorating for the holidays. It's amazing how much holiday stuff we have accumulated in our 7 years of marriage. We've got snowflakes, wreaths, garland, lights, two trees, and now stuff in the kids room, not to mention all the accessories that are put out- the problem is just having enough space to store it all. I am embarrassed to say- I swear we need a storage unit, but that's a topic for another time. Another fun thing has been our elf, from the Elf on a Shelf book. Parents with young kids- you must have one- it's been such a fun thing to do and a tradition our family will enjoy for years! We named him Edward and he's been a very effective - um - behavior encouragement tool. I have to get better at hiding him, though- Preston usually finds him within about 30 seconds. :)

This has proven to be another busy weekend as we are loading up the kids and headed downtown tonight for dinner and then to see the giant santa, wreath, and tree. Tomorrow, it's up to Elcona for Brunch with Santa himself- more pics to come!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Once upon a time, several months ago...

...My kids had birthdays!

I didn't actually realize until early last summer that having 2 kids in 2 years - with birthdays just 2 weeks apart would mean that I'd be planning 2 birthday parties every year. Within a couple of weeks of eachother. I have a few friends who are in the same boat with kids who've got birthdays close in the calendar, so I asked around about what to do. The results were mixed- some had a rotating party in the family, for example, we'd do Preston one year and CeCe the next. Some keep it small until age 5. Some combine and do one big party. Us? ...I am still undecided, but have a feeling we'll be completely inconsistent with whatever I choose, anyways. This year, Preston had a 3rd birthday party and CeCe had a first. And they were both wonderful!

Preston chose a fire engine theme and we celebrated by having a bunch of his little buddies over. His red and yellow invites said, "sound the alarm! Preston is turning 3" with a cute little fire truck print. I only got a few pics, but thankfully got a few more from Holli (THANK YOU!) He had an absolute blast and Kevin and I had an absolute blast (read: irrational freak out) while making his fire engine shaped cake. However, the look on his face when he saw his cake was something I'll never forget. It was worth every last drop of Wilton true red professional food coloring.
Here's a look at my sweet 3 year old boy on what he repeatedly called his "fire engine day."

His friends having fun!!

Cecilia's big day was all about pinwheels- turquois, pink and orange, in fact! It was mostly family and we went all out with food and cake. I had a lot of fun putting some fondant on while decorating their cakes. It was actually the easiest part of the process and it was my first time, so I felt like I was learning a new skill. She wore the most adorable outfit that came from her Aunt Natalie (Love you!) and then had a complete costume change after her cupcake. It was such a great day- she got amazing stuff and we felt really surrounded by the love of friends and family for our special girl on her special day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gimme Candy

Happy belated Halloween! We had such a great time this year. Halloween is one of those holidays that is about 1,948,730,629 times better once you have kids. Kevin and I both got into the "spirit" (haha) of things and dressed up- he was a cowboy and I was a witch, complete with green face and all. We had two awesome gatherings to attend before trick-or-treating started at 5.

First, the Erb family has an annual tradition where Judy makes an enormous, delicious meal for all of us. Considering there are 13 grandchildren, it's a perfect time to get them all together while having fun in their costumes. I wish I had gotten more pictures. Everyone was so stinkin' cute, but alas, I was busy stuffing my face with the food and chasing around two toddlers.

From there, we traveled a few blocks away to a friends' house with even more little ones, and then off to trick or treat! Preston had a blast pretending to be a fireman and was so cute collecting his candy. He thanked every person who gave him a treat. CeCe was anxious to get out of the stroller, but was a showstopper in her bee costume, nonetheless. Such fun- already anxious for Halloween next year!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So exciting!

Last month, we had family pictures done for Preston's 3rd birthday, CeCe's 1st birthday, and our seven year wedding anniversary by Vilma Deckena of Gem Photography. Vilma is a saint who, must also be a miracle worker, because she was able to get some great shots on a day that my kids were.... well.... let's just say, not at their best. Thank you, Vilma! Here is a link to our sneak peek on her blog!

Click HERE to see our preview!

Monday, October 18, 2010

More pics!

...Just because! :)