Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa Toys

I haven't had time to go through my Christmas photos yet but did spot these 3. Lily with her toy phone, Elle with her doggy pillow pet and Gwen in-charge at the microphone. My highlight was watching them peer down the stairs on Christmas morning and hearing them yell...
" He came! Santa came to our house!" That was the only present I needed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we tracked Santa on Jon's laptop. We went to the site and a news anchor gave live coverage of santa's sleigh and its whereabouts . When we were tucking our girls into bed he was flying north from Mexico. We told them he was almost to California and that they better hurry and get to sleep so he didn't have to pass our house (he can only stop if they're asleep.) I wish I could use this tactic every night. They were in bed and fast asleep in minutes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Angel

This little one has brought me nothing but happiness this past year. She now says "mama" and if you say, "lily, kisses" she will walk straight up to your lips and plant one on you. If that's not cute I don't know what is.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Sheets

Christmas Room

Elle and Gwen call their room the "Christmas Room". I got them flannel Christmas Sheets with santas and snowmen on them. You would have thought I bought them the moon. They were beyond excited. When I was washing them Gwen moved her little step stool into the laundry room to make sure she was there the minute they were done. The buffalo check duvet covers were an easy switch and I think made it so cute. In January we'll go back to lavender but this has been fun for them for Christmas. Here they are playing, "pass the grinch". The lamp only fell over once and it didn't break. A christmas miracle.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


We took our girls to see Santa tonight. It was crowded at the mall and the line was long. Our girls were wiggly and excited. After what seemed like an eternity we made it to the front of the line. We sat all three girls on his lap and they quickly took the picture. Lily freaked out completely and did the arch-back scream. As soon as they got the picture we rescued her and then Elle and Gwen each got about 30 seconds of Santa one-on-one time. Priceless. I forgot to set my camera's settings before the girls got on his lap and then it was just crazy and too late. The pictures are a mess but I'm thankful I at least got something! You can see Elle explaining to him with her hands the exact thing she wants him to bring her to hold her doll clothes in. Gwen was just as descriptive asking for her very own American Girl Doll.

I love the author Chris Van Allsburg's description of how he felt about Santa as a child. He explains it as,

"an exquisite almost unbearable anticipation of a fairy tale coming to life. a fairy tale that included me."

Just 3 more sleeps!

A First

Elle had a singing performance last weekend and sang her very first solo. Her teacher did all of the girls hair in up-dos before the show. She felt VERY fancy. Elle was so nervous and when we first arrived for the performance she told her teacher she didn't want to do it. We convinced her back into it and then in the middle of the performance she told her teacher again that she was too nervous. I looked at her, gave her a smile and whispered that she could do it. She agreed and stood up and sang Jingle Bells. The best part was her little face so happy with herself when she sat down. It was so, so simple and sweet.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


These girls make me happy. My Lily-pie missed the photo but was much happier taking her morning nap.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I had a party at our home last night. I moved these candelabras into our kitchen and had them lit all night. It looked so pretty that tonight after dinner Elle asked if I would light them again because it made it feel more like Christmas. I have no delusions of thinking I am a great interior decorator or that our house is "all that", believe me. I know better. I do however want to capture the home that my girls will always think of as theirs. The Santa on the island is Gwen's favorite. I caught her on the counter yesterday trying to see what toys he had in his bag. The Elf hanging on the wreath in the kitchen window we named, Sammy. He reports back to Santa each night if they have been good or bad. The Christmas cards hung on our kitchen cupboards hold the faces of the people we love most. I took these pictures on a whim tonight just as I was about to blow out the candles because it looked so pretty and I wanted to capture it for me. I want to remember that when I took these pictures I had my 3 little girls upstairs fast asleep in their beds. This is the home we are raising our girls in and the home they will always remember. That to me makes it special.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


It's official. Just 9 days until Christmas. My girls ask me every day how many more days until Christmas. I found this cute advent calendar that I hang in my kitchen window. Each morning we turn over a card and they can see exactly how many more days until the BIG DAY. Grandma and Grandpa McGee gave each of the girls chocolate advent calendars but on December 2nd I came downstairs to find Elle and Gwen with all 24 doors open on their calendars and all of the chocolates gone. No self control. And you know who they blamed? Lily. You can't eat these cards so I think we're safe.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday!!

Today is our Gwen's 4th Birthday. Jon woke her up early and took her to the donut shop and then to Starbucks for hot chocolate...just the two of them. When she came home we had her present wrapped and waiting for her. She has been wanting talking Woody and Jesse dolls for a long time now. They have not left her grasp ever since she laid her eyes on them. Can you tell she's excited? We are going to do a little party for her next week but until then she's set!
Happy Birthday, Sweet Gwenners.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Trees and a Birthday Party

We made our yearly trek to the local Christmas tree lot last night. The girls were beyond excited. We've gone to the same one for the past 6 years. Elle and Gwen have the routine down now. They play hide-and-seek in the rows of trees, look for candy canes and I of course always make them pose for pictures. Lily was able to join in on the fun last night too. She was so cute wandering around all the tall trees. We found a perfect tree and let the girls stay up way too late decorating it. ( i love these little girls. those smiles are so sweet. and i love that they were smiling at their daddy who was making them laugh for me while i took the picture)

In other McGee family news - today is my 36th Birthday. Elle ran into my room this morning and said, "mom! get up! gwen is throwing all of the Christmas ornaments around downstairs" (totally believable - she's our wild-child :) I ran down the stairs and found Jon with all three girls in the kitchen singing happy birthday. He woke the girls up early (without me knowing) and drove them all in their pj's to the bagel shack to get me my favorite breakfast bagel. They had a candle in it and everything for me to blow out. It was so cute and the best birthday party ever. Elle and Gwen were especially excited because Jon let them get chocolate milk because it was "a party". I've had a happy life but I must say that I have never been as happy as I am these days. Here's to another 36 years (and then some)!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Card

photo and card by ashlee raubach

This actually isn't our holiday card but it is pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. The talented ashlee raubach took our family pictures this year thanks to a hot tip from my sister-in-law Shea (thanks, auntie shea!) I chose this photo to hang in our front room. I love it so much. I was looking on Ashlee's website and saw she did custom holiday cards and used us as an example. Fun!
And speaking of my sister-in-law Shea...check out her amazing jewelry company,
Old Soul New Heart for any last minute gifts.
It is all handmade and beautiful!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Elle and her cousin Quinn on the front yard swing. These two were inseparable the whole weekend. Elle told me that they would lay in bed and whisper "private stuff" because they are BFF's.


Lily and my sister's dog, Zeta, on Thanksgiving Morning.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm thankful for...

How cute is this print by laura george?

When I ran across this print the other day it actually reminded me of Elle and Gwen's sweet prayers they say before bed. They literally ramble off everything they can possibly think of each night that they are thankful for. The things they whisper are usually the simple things that I take for granted each day. I am thankful for my little girls who remind me daily to be thankful (especially for the little things.)

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

We had a fun Thanksgiving weekend. Here's my Gwen in her Indian Costume she made in preschool. We spent Thanksgiving at my sister Megan's home and Gwen made sure that I packed this for the big day. We had a moment where there were tears because the pink feather was lost but I found it just in time (Phew!) The weekend was spent playing with cousins, swimming, sleeping in an indoor tent, eating and lots of lounging. Perfect.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Little Things

Here's my pie-pie diving for toys. She has been known to fall completely in and get stuck with her legs straight up in the air. Luckily I have been close by on those occasions to rescue her. I can't stand how big she is getting. Such a big girl these days. While driving today I was reaching my hand back for Elle to hand me something and Lily (whose carseat is directly behind the drivers seat) grabbled my finger with her little hand. It was totally unexpected and unbelievably adorable. She had my finger grasped so tightly and each time I pulled my hand back she would start to cry. I couldn't let go. I drove like that for the rest of my carpool run. It was just too cute. Being surrounded by little kids all day everyday is tiring but so rewarding. Little things like chubby little feet sticking straight out of our toy bucket and driving around with my baby's hand tightly holding mine are exactly the things I never, ever want to forget.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love her...

My Elle has a heart of gold. She is sweet and sensitive. The sensitivity causes some issues at times but I think as she grows up it will become her biggest strength. Tonight as we were lying in bed she said, "mama, I know I don't act like it outside my body sometimes but I really love you a lot inside my body. a lot. even higher than the sky, space and heaven." It was such a sweet way to hear her put her feelings into words. She then told me that she wants to be just like me when she grows up. She said, "I've decided to grow my hair long and to wear jeans, flip-flops, gold bracelets and cardigans every day." Too funny! I love this sweet girl.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

She's Walking!

This little love bug started walking on her own just a few days before Halloween. Here she is on our front porch this morning feeling very independent. There is something so sweet about watching your baby take her first steps. It never gets old. Lily-pie just cruises around our house now like it's no big deal. I happen to think it is a big deal and very, very cute.

Good Morning

This morning I found my 3 girls wrapped in a quilt on the stairs watching cartoons. That stair location is their favorite tv viewing spot. They were all snuggled up together in their pajamas (how funny is gwen's bed-head) and it really was so cute. I love these little girls and I am so glad they have each other.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Risk Takers

"There is no greater risk than matrimony.
but there is nothing happier than a happy marriage."
--benjamin disraeli, 1870

I love Jon. The best part however is that I really, really like him too. I'm glad we took the risk.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween

There's a new Sheriff in town...

In keeping with our "western" theme this year, Lily went as a Sheriff for Halloween. I couldn't look at her without laughing. The cutest thing was that you could tell she felt as cute as she looked. She's a keeper.

Happy Halloween

Elle and Gwen were cowgirls this year. Their stick horses made galloping sounds when you pushed a little button on the horses' ears. The toy guns and holsters provided a full week's worth of entertainment. They had those things on all day, everyday and would chase after pretend rattlesnakes, coyotes and raccoons (I'm not just making this up) in our house. Gwen learned to yell, "yeeha!" and Elle's favorite line was "howdy partner!" They each filled their plastic pumpkins to the brim with candy. Jon and I woke up the next morning to both of them sitting on our bed with their pumpkin buckets in their laps chomping away (I have sticky marks all over our white quilt to prove it). If you're not having candy for breakfast on November 1st then I just don't know if we can be friends. It's a must. The end to a very fun Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My little Pumpkin

This little pumpkin is all mine. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Pumpkin Patch

Since Elle's first Halloween we have gone to the same pumpkin patch each year to pick out our pumpkins. It is now a tradition and the girls LOVE it. Jon and I were both so tired the night we went and it sounds silly but I really had to "rally" to get the energy to dress everyone up and head on out. However, the minute we saw their little faces light up when we got there it was all worth it. Jon and I both looked at eachother and smiled. Totally worth it. That little knit pumpkin hat was Elle's, then Gwen's and this year it was Lily's. As long as the girls will let me dress them the same I am going for it. They looked so cute. The pumpkin patch has music playing, kiddie rides, a small petting zoo and of course rows and rows of pumpkins. The girls got to choose their own pumpkins and even picked out a small one for Lily. It was a fun night and I know the girls are already looking forward to next year.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October House

I try to make the holidays fun around here. Just a little effort goes a long way with little kids. The girls get so excited about everything. The Halloween tree was so simple and it is their very favorite decoration. I just picked up a manzanita branch from the local flower stand and stuck it in floral foam in my white pitcher. So simple. I then found the pumpkin lanterns and had Jon help me hang them up. At night when we turn the hall lights on they light up. It's pretty cute to see how something so simple can be soo fun for the girls. Just 8 more days until all the fun begins...but who's counting?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ducky Elle

This is Elle on my shoulder Halloween 2005. She is the exact same age that Lily is now. I think I am going to have Lily give this costume a second-run this Halloween. It is just too darn cute. This is still how I picture Ellers in my mind. On my shoulder and sucking her thumb. They really do grow up too fast.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ladybug Boots

Gwen heard the UPS truck pull up to our house this morning and started screaming... screaming with excitement. I ordered her a pair of ladybug rain boots and a ladybug umbrella last week when we had so much rain. I showed her the picture of them online and told her they would be delivered to our doorstep. I kid you not she has asked me 3 times a day for the last week if she could check our porch for them. Today was the day! She put them on and then ran upstairs to get her outfit for preschool to match them. The ladybug umbrella is on backorder and we are still anxiously waiting for its arrival. The excitement over these boots however, has made the wait for the umbrella bearable. Here she is counting the polk-a-dots. And in case you're wondering, there are "forty-four-five" polk-a-dots. That's a lot.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I really can't believe how much I love my Lily-pie. We've actually just started calling her Pie-pie as of late. I think it's pretty cute. She is still struggling to walk on her own but loves to push the shopping cart around the house. I successfully got her to stop using a bottle. Oh how she loved those bottles. It was a (really) rough two days but I made myself just throw them away so that I wouldn't be tempted in a moment of weakness to give in to her. I stayed strong and she is now quite happy with her sippy-cups.

In fact, she was holding her sippy cup right before I took this picture (below). Gwen swooped in and snatched it from her. Did I mention my Pie-pie has a temper? She does. Can you see those clenched fists? She wanted that sippy-cup back STAT.

Don't mess with the Sippy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Princess Gwendolyn Agee

Gwen went to Disneyland for her friend, Malia's 4th Birthday. Malia's mom had the girls lined up for hair appointments at the "princess hair store" (that's what gwen called it). Glitter, hot pink and purple hair extensions, braids and her very own princess comb and brush. To say Gwen was excited would be an understatement. When she arrived home she was sound asleep. Jon carried her to her bed and we slipped her into her nightgown but were careful not to touch her hair. I took these photos of her right as she woke up. Her hair extensions still in tact and glitter covering her pillow proved that all the fun she had the night before was not just a dream. She was adorable telling me all about her fun night with her friend. She called her self Princess Gwendolyn Agee (that's how she pronounces mcgee). I told her she could leave her hair just like that for preschool. A few more squirts of hairspray and a bobby pin and it was as good as new. I love this little princess.


There's nothing like cousins. Here my girls are with my sister Megan's two girls, Hayden and Quinn. I really wish my sisters lived closer. My cute nephew Charlie (josie's little boy) was actually just out of the picture frame. We begged him to get in but he said there were "too many girls". I don't blame him.