Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Angels

Two of my Three favorite girls. I think they had a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas Morning

The first picture was taken right as Jon and I were heading upstairs to bed. It was 2:45 am Christmas morning. Elle and Gwen both came running into our room in the morning yelling, "it's Christmas, it's Christmas"! We made them wait at the top of the stairs for the traditional christmas picture. They then ran downstairs and headed straight for their toys. The main gifts they asked Santa for were American Girl dolls....Elle wanted the "just like me" doll and Gwen wanted the bitty baby. The rocking chairs were re-done by Santa. The taller one was mine when I was a little girl and the smaller one was my mom's. The girls have always loved them but they were a little worn out. I had an "elf" come and pick them up and he took them to the north pole to be fixed up and recovered. The scooters have been in continual use around our kitchen island for the last 5 days. Lily loves her new play-mat almost as much as her little squeaky giraffe. I think the morning was a success. It was so much fun to watch their excitement. I hope it was as magical for them as it was for us watching them.

Christmas Dinner

We had family here for Christmas dinner. Elle and Gwen loved showing off their new toys. I love that we have family that lives close to us.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lily's First Christmas

We had a really fun Christmas day. I am still sorting through all of our photos. Here is one of my favorites...little Lily in her Christmas nightie with her first gift. Santa brought her this little giraffe teething toy. It squeaks and she loves it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve

We went to Grandma and Grandpa McGee's tonight for the traditional Christmas Eve fondue dinner. Grandpa read Luke 2 and the cousins took turns singing a few Christmas songs. We got home late, put the girls in their Christmas pajamas and hopped onto Elle's bed for prayers. Jon got out his laptop so we could track where Santa was. It showed a live feed of Santa and his sleigh being pulled by reindeer through the sky. The girls were in complete awe. As we were tucking them into bed the tracking system showed that Santa was coming our way. We told Elle and Gwen that they had to hurry and get to sleep so that Santa could deliver their toys. It is now 1:30 am. I am beyond tired but I love this part of being a parent. Jon is currently in the garage with every tool from his tool chest and the directions on how to put together the girls "wurlybird". It took me some time to figure out where I hid all of the gifts but I think I have everything. I hope tomorrow morning will be as magical and fun for our girls as it has been for us preparing for it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Believe

I bought this wreath and then added the red satin ribbon to hang it from our door. A few days later I found this sparkly 'believe' ornament and added that to it too. Jon took one look at it smiled and said, "I am trusting you on this one, Amy". He wasn't too sure about it. I however, love it. It also helped me bring up with my girls about what the word 'believe' means. I asked Elle what we believe in and she said, "well, we believe in Santa". Very true. Santa is alive and well at the McGee home. I then also explained to them that we believe in the real meaning of Christmas. I was able to have them look at our nativity set and we talked about the events of Christ's birth. I hope now when they look at our sparkly 'believe' wreath they will not just think about Santa but also about what we really are celebrating this holiday season.

Christmas Lily

This little girl is my favorite early Christmas gift this year. I also think she makes the cutest Christmas decoration of all. I love you Sweet Lily.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

5 Stockings

It seems like just yesterday that Jon and I were in our little apartment by the beach with just 2 stockings hanging up. I LOVE that we now have three little girls' stockings sandwiched in between ours. I think it looks perfect.

Pictures with Santa

Starting with Elle's first Christmas, I have gone to the mall and stood in line to get my girls' pictures with Santa. I love it. When Elle was little she would always be so excited in the line and then as soon as we would get to the front of the line sheer terror would overcome her. I would put my screaming child on Santa's lap and then say, "just take the picture"! Maybe I am sick but I think the screaming child on Santa's lap is a classic shot. Elle thinks those pictures are hilarious now too. I put all of our Santa pictures in silver frames and display them all together on our front entry table. Our collection is growing. I even have one in the mix from when I was little.
p.s. how cute is that little santa and reindeer? I find those little guys all over our house throughout the day...I think my girls love them too.

Advent Calendar

Growing up we had an amazing advent calendar. I loved it. Since there were 5 of us, we would have to switch off turns as to who could put the ornament on the tree each day before school. I remember always trying to make it work out so that I could put the ornament on the tree on my birthday (the 7th)...funny the things you remember. I found this advent calendar a few years back and it reminded me of the one we had growing up. Each day the girls get to put an ornament on the tree up until the 24th. The ornaments are so cute and I love that they get to visually see how many more days until Christmas. Today was Gwen's turn...she even dressed up for the occasion in her very fancy, new, pink Barbie dress (a favorite birthday present from aunt shea).

I also LOVE receiving Christmas Cards. The best part of my day in December is going to the mailbox. We hang all the Christmas cards that we receive on our kitchen cabinets. It makes me so happy to see so many pictures of people we love hanging in our home.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Sunday

We were all rushing in the door from church today and I made my nephew take our picture in front of our front door. Not everyone was too thrilled with the idea but I think it was worth it. I love this picture. I love each and every person in it more than words can describe and I love that we are standing in front of a home that we love.
Countdown time...5 days until Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Elle and Gwen had a small recital at their ballet/tap class yesterday morning and I almost missed it. I had totally forgotten about it. My friend called me and asked where I was. Well, I was at home in my pajamas with 1 little girl still in her pajamas, one naked and one completely dressed for kindergarten. I was about to say that there was no way I could make it and Christy said, "just make it happen". That was all the pep talk I needed. Done! I frantically stripped Elle out of her school clothes and put her leotard on her. Next up was naked Gwen. I got her into her leotard and Lily stayed in her PJ's and was put into her carseat. You can just imagine how glamorous I was looking...at times, motherhood completely strips you of the time or ability to be vain.
We raced over to the dance studio just in time. Gwen missed the practice completely but got there just in time for the recital. They each did a routine to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The antlers were so cute and they put red stickers on their noses. Gwen had no idea what was going on but loved every minute of it. She is such a ham! Elle was so cute and I loved this picture of her taking a bow at the end of the dance...so proud of herself. It was adorable.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elle the Cookie Angel

Today I went to Elle's Kindergarten class for their Holiday performance. She was a cookie angel. About a week ago her teacher sent home the blank angel and said to return it to school decorated. Elle loved the feather boa skirt and of course all of the glitter we added to her angel. The performance was adorable. I had Lily and Gwen in tow and Gwen, who is usually quite wiggly, sat mesmerized through the whole performance. I don't think Elle lost eye contact with me once throughout the entire performance. When we got home she said, "mom, why did you look at your purse for a second during my show"? Wow. I will work on being more alert next time. I am so grateful I am able to be at all of her functions. It means the world to her and I get that. Elle's teacher asked me if I could stop by their class tomorrow and take photos. Needless to say, Elle is thrilled. I am not taking all of this for granted. I know sooner than later she will not want me around as much. I am taking it while I can these days.
I love you Elle. You were a beautiful Cookie Angel.

Christmas Tree

and to prove that we really did have sleeping baby Lily with us...

I love going to the Christmas tree lot. I love watching my girls play chase through the rows of trees just like I used to with my sisters and brother. We go to the same tree lot each year. Elle and Gwen both remembered where they keep their candy canes and went straight to that spot the minute they hopped out of the car. Lily was sleeping so we left her in her carseat. Shocking I know, but I didn't want to wake her just for a photo. We found a great tree...Noble's are my favorite. The minute we got home Elle and Gwen started getting all of the ornaments out. Our tree is decorated and looks so pretty with all of the white lights. Each time Gwen walks past it she jumps and yells, "merry kismas"!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Party

We celebrated Gwen's Birthday on Saturday. She had two of her favorite friends, Malia and Charlotte, come with us to see the movie, "The Princess and the Frog". After the movie we came back to our home for pizza, presents and cake and ice cream. I asked Gwen what kind of cake she wanted and she said a pink butterfly cake. The cake turned out to be adorable and Gwen LOVED it. She has been loving all things 'Snow White' these days. For months she has been wanting a Snow White dress. Well birthday wishes do come true... Jon and I got her a very fancy Snow White gown complete with very fancy plastic jewelry. Malia and Charlotte gave her snow white's shoes and a 'snow white baby doll'. She was in pure polyester heaven! Gwen wanted to sleep in her princess attire and we were happy to make that wish come true. A very happy 3rd birthday to my Gwen-Gwen.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Three Years Old

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Gwen-gwen. I LOVE this little girl. We have been teaching her how to hold up 3 fingers (it's so hard to hold that darn pinky down) and she has been walking around yelling, "I'm 3"!! Her little preschool class that she goes to on Tuesdays gave her this paper crown. She LOVES it. Her official birthday is today but she has worn that crown for the past 5 days straight. I can't get it off of her. She gets lots of attention from it (hmm...I think I'm on to something). Every single aisle we went down at costco she had people wishing her a happy birthday. She loved it. I love my Gwen and can't imagine my life without her.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Abominable Snow Monster

We've been watching a lot of Christmas movies around here. A favorite is Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer. Gwen LOVES the snow monster. Jon called for me to run upstairs this morning while Gwen was in the shower. He had used his shaving cream to make her into the abominable snow monster. None of us could stop laughing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Jon was so thoughtful and planned an amazing overnight trip for my birthday. We went and stayed at the new resort in Palos Verdes called Terranea. It was especially fun for me because I grew up in Palos Verdes. I took it for granted while growing up there but now each time we go back to visit my family I am amazed at how beautiful it is. Jon booked a room right on the cliffs. We slept with the balcony doors open and the sound of the waves was heavenly. I loved every minute of our stay. Our whole getaway was less than 24 hours but it was well worth it. Life came at us really fast the next morning with 3 kids and hasn't stopped since but I wouldn't change that part either. A big thank you to my Jon!

Birthday Lunch

These 5 ladies are some of my most treasured friends. They rearranged their busy lives and took me to lunch for my birthday. We went to the most delicious place to eat in Old San Juan Capistrano. The location is beautiful and the food is amazing. If you have not been to Ramos House before, you must go. I am so grateful to have these ladies in my life and for their examples. I love you... Elizabeth, Stacey, Christy, Becki and Marlene. Thanks for making me feel special on my birthday and everyday throughout the year.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Today is my 35th birthday. We woke up to rain which was the best gift ever. I love the rain. Gwen and Lily are in bed with Jon watching a Santa Claus movie. Elle begged me to take her outside so she could jump in the puddles in her rain boots. The start to a great day for sure.