Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in Chicago Recap

I had intended to do a day by day recap of my family's visit to Chicago, but after going through all 9 million pictures, I realized that just isn't going to happen.  Because I picked out all of my favorite pictures, and well, they totaled 63.  And since I love you all so much, I decided to spare you the play by play, and instead just post a few of my most favorite pictures from their trip.  And by "a few most favorite" I mean 30.  Ha.

DSCN4112.JPGThey're here, they're here!  So happy to finally have my whole family in Chicago!

DSCN4115.JPGMe, Ry, and Chicago.

DSCN4121.JPGSunday, we stopped by the Christkindlmarket, a big German Market that sets up shop in Daley Plaza.  Several Chicago friends had recommended the market, but with my parents having gone to a real German Christmas market in Germany, I was apprehensive.  But it was delightful!  Lots of the vendors fly over from Germany and bring some incredible treasures with them.  My surprise, the food, particularly these potato pancakes :)

DSCN4124.JPGOh how I love this guy :)
PS: Most days in Chicago, I try hard to look cute, no matter how cold it gets.  But Sunday was painfully cold, and I couldn't bear the thought of freezing all day while we showed my family the city.  So I said to heck with it and piled on my big puffy coat.  Sure I may have resembled a marshmallow, but I was a warm marshmallow :)

DSCN4122.JPGFried apples+whipped cream+powdered sugar=a very happy dad

DSCN4127.JPGMy favorite four people in the world.

DSCN4140.JPGYall know I had to drag them to The Bean.  It's my favorite place in the city!

DSCN4149.JPGChristmas card worthy according to my mom.  A potential for 2011.  Except Matt looks kinda lonely over there on the right :(

DSCN4152.JPGSomeone needs to windex The Bean.  Its throwing off my photo opps.

DSCN4157.JPGMatt found a great spot at the Art Institute that has an incredible view of the city.  We went up to take a peek, and I added it to my top five Chicago spots.  The view was beautiful and oddly undisturbed.

DSCN4183.JPGWe spent most of Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry, and I couldn't get enough of the interactive butterfly exhibit.  You know, the ones where they react to where and how you move.  Don't kid yourself, I was pushing the ten year olds out of the way so I could have another turn.

DSCN4201.JPGDinner at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, without a doubt one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.  We bring about half of our guests here, and I have dreams about the bacon wrapped dates and spicy potatoes with tomato aioli.

DSCN4208.JPGDuring the two hours we were at dinner, it snowed quite a bit (especially in the eyes of a Texan.)  My dad was so excited he laid down at the corner for an impromptu sidewalk snow angel.  Awesome.

DSCN4222.JPGCookie decorating at our place.

DSCN4230.JPGMatt and his headless snowman.  Poor guy, didn't stand a chance :)

DSCN4232.JPGMe and my OCD cookie.  I arranged each sprinkle with a toothpick.  Lol, crazy much? :)

IMG_1664.JPGHow did I get so lucky to be his big sister?

DSCN4235.JPGThe Christmas tree at Macy's on State street.  Really really beautiful (though I think the tree at the Museum of Science and Industry outdid it.)

DSCN4243.JPGA kid in a candy store :)  My dad is a total popcorn lover, so Garrett's was heaven for him.

IMG_1670.JPGYou can't come to Chicago and not have deep dish pizza.  Our favorite is Lou Malnati's.

DSCN4239.JPGThere's no better way to warm up than with a red cup from Starbucks.  (Remember in my Christmas Happy Lately list when I mentioned the caramel brulee latte?  Heaven in a cup I tell you.)

DSCN4260.JPGHanging out in our new Christmas Eve pajamas.  (Every year on Christmas Eve, we get to open one present.  It just "happens" to be new pjs each year.)  This year I asked my mom for more loungewear type pjs, and I got a super cute lounge set from Express.  Black with a little bit of leopard, just my style.  Thanks Mom!

DSCN4273.JPGRyan opening his present from Matt and I.  He really wanted new shoes from Nordstrom, so we got him a gift card.  But I can't just give a plain old gift card, so I wrote a poem to accompany it.  A sample from this year's poem: "You get to choose the size, color, and shape...just don't be acting crazy like Professor Severus Snape."  Just call me Jay-Z junior, bahaha.

IMG_1695.JPGMatt's gift to me, a major blog upgrade!  More on that in the months to come.  (Thanks, honey!)

DSCN4285.JPGWhat better way to celebrate a white Christmas than sledding!  Hooray!

IMG_1704.JPGPlease ignore the lady on her iPhone, and note the guy on the green disc with his arms outstretched.  Yep, that's my dad, always a big kid at heart :)

DSCN4286.JPGA guy who loves me, supports me, and makes me laugh.  I couldn't ask for a better Christmas gift.

DSCN4292.JPGWeeeeee, there I go!  (I hadn't intended to pull a spin move, but the one leg out did me in.)

DSCN4290.jpgMy "little" brother and me.  Ha.

DSCN4299.JPGOur last group photo before we turned home to lounge in our sweats and enter a food coma.  (Matt did all the cooking and oh was it yummy)  Having my family in Chicago was such a treat, and I couldn't have imagined a more delightful, wonderful Christmas!  I am SO grateful that my family braved the cold and came to visit.  Going home is always wonderful, but there's something special about having the people you love come to you!

New Years is tomorrow, so I guess this is officially my last post of 2010.  Hard to believe this year is already over; it has seriously flown by!  Have a fabulous New Year's Eve, however you choose to spend it, and please please be safe.  Happy 2011 yall!


Norma said...

awwww seems like you guys had a really good time! love all the pics!


ilene @ muchloveilly said...

aaaah! i LOVED all these chicago pictures. :) i miss that place during christmastime!!!!

Leslie said...

I want to go to Chicago now! Looks like you had a wonderful time with your family!! Those sugar cookies look incredible!!
Happy New Year!

suburban prep said...

Each year I want to go to the Christkindlmarket in the city but I don't get the time.
Looks like it was wonderful.
Yes this year seems it was a very cold December for the Chicago area.

Great pictures of you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What a great Christmas!! I wish I had captured ours as well...I am so bad at pulling out my camera :/ My dad would have been in heaven at the popcorn store, too! I got him a big tin for Christmas and it was gone before anyone got some :) Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful family Christmas!! Happy New Year!! :)

katie@tulsadetails said...

I had no idea Christmas in Chicago was so pretty! :)

Alivia said...

Oh Love, this post cheered me up SO MUCH!! You always talk about how you couldn't cut the photos down any more, and I'm always so glad you include a lot! They're great!

Dave and Jenny McIntosh said...

We went to the Christkindlmarket too! It was freezing and we had 2 little boys with us so we didn't last long...but it looks like I should have hit the food area. Looks like a wonderful first Christmas in Chicago!

Sorry if this publishes twice...