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.