These days we're waiting. Waiting for the day that we get to
celebrate the birth of our Savior. We're filling our days with reading
books, playing with the Christmas toys that only come out once a year,
decorating our tree (yes, our fake one thanks to our destructive little
boy), being crafty and counting down. Oh, and enjoying our sweet puppy before we leave him to visit family back east.
you can probably tell, we got our DSLR in the mail last week. We're
really enjoying using it and getting some decent pictures already - even
though we're just scratching the surface of this camera's potential.
Yes, the out of focus and in focus sections of each picture are
intentional. I know some people want faces to be in focus every single
picture, but sometimes other things are more important in a picture, in
I made our tree's star this year. Last year we
finally retired our lighted angel tree-topper. She was a hand-me-down
and I think someone dropped her, more than once. I found the directions
for the star here and I am so tickled with how it came out. I love it so much I might just make a tradition out of it.
Ilana made her first tree ornament in Sunday School - an angel. I love where she decided to put it on the tree.
we were visiting our friends in St. Louis we had a great playdate full
of crafts and cookie decorating. We made a miniature manger with a baby
Jesus and wrapped him in a cloth. Ilana loves to take care of her baby
Jesus, even though he is almost microscopic.
I'm thankful for these quiet days.
For good friends.
this area is finally starting to feel like home, especially at this
nostalgic time of the year when everyone seems to yearn for home.
For the anticipation and excitement in my kids eyes when I plug in the lights on the tree.
That Ilana is growing up to be the sweetest, most thoughtful little girl I know.
For a husband who offers to help by making a casserole when the tasks of an evening seem overwhelming to me.
For the Christmas music in my ears.
When Nonni was in town last week we finally ventured down to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is free to get in, but you have to pay to park in the parking lot (welcome to the city). I was amazed at how close it was, and how easy it was to get all around.
When we got there the first thing we saw were the big cats. We went inside and were pretty close.
Then it happened.
I dropped our Canon PowerShot SD800 IS digital camera.
I've dropped it before, but never when it was on and the lens was fully zoomed. I tried pushing the power button and it made an awful noise. That was when I knew I had killed it. I knew it almost immediately and could almost just as immediately live the conversation I was going to have to have with Paul. ugh
This was our first digital camera. We got it when I was pregnant with Ilana (only 4 years ago). We've been talking about getting a DSLR for awhile now, but everyone I talk to that has a DSLR still has their "point and shoot" camera. All I knew in the moment was that our family was digital camera-less except for my iphone.
Well, I took a few minutes and mourned the loss of a great camera then went on with our zoo experience. Thankfully Nonni brought her's so we just used that one the rest of the time. Did I remember to get the pictures off of it before she left? NO. Oh well.
Despite the death of our camera, we had a blast at the zoo. Ilana was really excited about the monkeys so we saved those for last. She searched and searched for Curious George, but he apparently doesn't live at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Paul actually called wanting to go out to lunch with us and I had to tell him about our dead camera over the phone (not how I had lived it before). He was surprisingly ok with it. He told me to simply "let it go." I did. We had a fabulous lunch at Ian's Pizza (that we've talked about on our blog here - I'm so glad we revisited it!). They have a seasonal "pumpkin pie pizza." It. was. to. die. for. Almost as good as their "s'mores pizza." YES PLEASE!!
That night Paul took apart the camera, just to see if he could figure out what actually broke on it.
It wasn't fixable.
So the hunt for a DSLR has begun.
Not having a digital camera makes blogging a challenge. So, we're going to be working backwards a bit here. I'm still going to blog, but the pictures will have to be from before last week or from my phone until we get a new camera (a DSLR - yes I'm excited!). We're planning on taking advantage of the day after Thanksgiving day sales to make that happen.
Rest in peace digital camera. I'm sorry I killed you. You served our family extremely well for 4 solid years.
Life around here has been a little humdrum for me lately. I love autumn, but the impending winter, cold hands and dry skin that invade my well-being, coupled with the innumerable runny noses and possible extra trips to the doctor just to hear him say "keep the humidifier running all the time", just seems to be exhausting me already.
In the midst of my mind being consumed by the future, I have moments like these...
Ilana is 3 and a half years old today - crazy!
The windows were open and the kids were comfortable in their short sleeved shirts. It was warm. They were happy. We were just finishing up dinner and the post-dinner, full-belly happiness was settling in for the evening. I loved this moment. I love these kids.
And although the winter is coming when simply getting out the door threatens to undo me, I am challenged to live today and love my kids in the moment. The sun'll come out again...in June.
There were a lot of them, but they didn't scare her one bit.
Then we found the "horsies." Again, without hesitation she walked right in all by herself, found her favorite, climbed in, buckled herself up, and started warming up her horse for the big ride. Gray was a bit young, so he couldn't join her - next year sweet bundle! I was amazed at how independent my little girl is.
Good thing she had complete control, that horse looks like he needed a strong leader.
After waiting for this ride, and getting all geared up. It broke after one turn around the tracks. Ilana handled it just fine. I thought she would melt down, but no. We just went on to the next ride. Great job, big girl!
THE TRUCKS!! I think Gray was really upset that he couldn't participate in this one. Ilana was a great driver.
It was her first "up and down" ride. There was one small hill. :)
After a break for lunch, we fed the "greedy goats." This one was my favorite. He was little.
This goat was especially greedy and even ate the cup right out of Ilana's hand. She was upset, but handled it alright. Especially when I gave her the rest of my cup. Again, she was such a big girl and fed these goats right out of her hand without any kind of fear. It blew my mind!
Ilana found her favorite. He was wandering around the outside of the pen and super docile.
I offered for Ilana to ride on the real ponies, but she insisted three times that she was NOT interested. I didn't push it. Maybe next year. So we got four little pumpkins and some bumpy gourds and went home.
All in all, I was simply floored by how grown up Ilana is becoming. She is still really hesitant and cautious (for which I'm thankful because she's still almost as tiny as a peanut), but she's really growing up these days.
You can tell the air is on the verge of changing here in Evanston. In fact, it may have changed today while we buried ourselves under the covers. The kids Grayson is a bit on the sick side so we (finally!) took it easy today.
Lately we've been seeing a lot of these...
This even made its first appearance at the middle school down the street.
I think Moses is a little worried about the coming weather.
I think he's mostly concerned about his invasion of peace and privacy.
And who can blame him with things like this happening around here!
Seriously, this is what is looks like outside right now:
See all those small, orange streaks against the brown house? Those are falling leaves. Yep, I'd say it's officially AUTUMN!!!