Thursday, December 13, 2012

The CTA Holiday Train

If you follow me on Facebook then you already know that last week, I had a three year long Chicago dream come true.  I got to ride the CTA Holiday Train!  I have literally been wanting to ride this train since the minute we first visited Chicago, but after years of no official sitings and only mythical stories, I was beginning to think we'd never meet.  But then, last week, in a moment of pure fate, I got the chance to experience the CTA Holiday Train and all of it's goodness.  I was on my way home from work when the train driver came over the intercom and announced that the CTA Holiday Train was just five minutes behind us.  So you better believe I squealed with joy, jumped off the train, and eagerly awaited the arrival of the oh so magical Holiday Train.  I was literally jumping up and down with excitement, totally in disbelief of my holiday luck.  I'm so excited to show yall the pictures!

Dec 13 2012The face of pure excitement!  And look, here comes the CTA Holiday Train, eeek!

IMG 1188I was literally squealing like a third grader as the train approached!  Aren't those lights incredible?

IMG 1189And in true CTA Holiday Train fate, Santa's sleigh stopped right in front of me.  I literally reached out my arm and screamed, "Santa!"  It was a totally Will Ferrell "Elf" moment.  (For full effect, watch around the 30 second mark in this video.  Literally.  I was out of control.)

Dec 13 20121The inside is totally decked out with holiday lights, tinsel, red bows, and candy cane ribbon.  Even the seats are Santa themed!

Dec 13 20122See that little lady in the left of that picture?  She was an elf; the train had a crew of elves...passing out candy canes!  I mean, does it get any better?

IMG 1196To create space for Santa, they removed several cars, replacing them with flatbeds.  A perfect space for Santa and his crew :)

IMG 1195The CTA Holiday Train was every bit as magical as I'd hoped.  I literally ran to meet Matt, shrieking when I saw him, "I saw Santa, I rode the Holiday Train!"  I was a total Christmas crazy, with no shame at all :)

To view the CTA Holiday Train schedule, click here.  And if you're not in the Chicago area, take a few seconds to watch the video on their website.  Its pretty dang awesome.  So cheers to Chicago dreams coming true, Christmas fate, and the CTA Holiday Train!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oklahoma Weekend

A few weeks ago, we were so blessed to be able to take a long weekend to head to Norman for OU Dad's Day.  It's no secret that Norman is an incredibly magical and special place for me, and I love any opportunity to go back and visit.  But when it's combined with football season and getting to see my family, it's an extra special treat.  I also love getting to see my sweet brother live life as a OU student, sharing some of the same Sooner connections as me, yet making his own path at the same time.  But let's be honest, in the eyes of this obsessive big sister, he does no wrong!

B101345Saturday started off with a trip to the Sig Ep house, which oddly enough is right across the street from my old KKG digs.  We stayed and hung out for a bit and then headed to the Union to support my brother as he chaired a big campus event.  He is making his overinvolved sister so very proud :)

B101346I am convinced that OU is the most beautiful campus on the planet.  And during the fall, well, it simply takes the cake.

B101348I love that Matt has become an honorary Sooner, embracing the traditions and spending time in Norman.  He tries to argue that he hasn't drank the Koolaid, but I can tell he's loving the Sooner spirit :)

B101357Yep, this happened, for the second year in a row.  Absolutely no shame at all.  Kappa love.

B101358Another highlight of the trip was getting to see and hug this pretty lady.  We don't get to see each nearly enough, so it was really great to see her.

OU dads day 2012Sunday morning we headed to brunch to support Ryan in another campus event.  It was also a great chance to relax after a crazy game day, before hugging my parents goodbye, as they drove back to Houston.

And of course, it wouldn't be a long weekend without Instagram...

Nov 20 2012*Did I mention we drove from Chicago to Oklahoma?  Someone (ok, ok, I'll confess; it was me) majorly misjudged the trip.  I thought it was a 10 hour drive.  Turns out it was just around 13 hours.  Oopsie.
*Ulta's Smoke Screen + OPI's Rainbow Connection mani.

Nov 20 20121*We left a cold and dreary Chicago for a sunny and 75 Oklahoma; the weather was perfect on gameday!
*Two of my most favorite people in the whole wide world :) 

Nov 20 20122*It's gameday in Norman ya'll!
*Going back to OU is always so special; it was such a growthful and happy time in my life.  I feel so grateful and full of joy when I get to visit. 

Nov 20 20123*It's always a joy to see this awesome guy when I go back.  Quy and I were both overachiever, overinvolved, OU nerds together, and he never fails to make me laugh :)
*700 College...rah rah for KKG!

Nov 20 20124*It's so fun to not only be an OU alum, but also to be a Sooner sister.  I really wanted Ryan to go where he wanted to go, and I can't lie, I'm glad he chose OU, because it's such a fun bond to share! 

Nov 20 20125*Sibling besties.
*Matt really wanted to visit the museum, so we popped over Sunday afternoon for a leisurely visit. 

Nov 20 20126*After we said goodbye to my family in Norman, we headed north for dinner and a slumber party with Kelsey and her husband Chris.  Kelsey is one of my most favorite people, and I always feel full of joy when I am with her!
*What's a roadtrip without weird, random candy superstores in the middle of Missouri?

All in all, the weekend was incredible and just what my soul needed.  When I went back to work on Tuesday, several coworkers asked about my trip, and I replied, "I didn't know how badly my soul needed nourishing until I was in Norman with my family."  The weekend was just what I needed, and it was the perfect hold me over until Christmas!  So cheers to football season, long weekends, and time with incredible friends and family!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanksgiving Snaps

It's been a week and a half since Thanksgiving, and I'm just now getting around to posting pictures.  So I'm not the best blogger, ehh, I'm okay with that.  Matt and I traveled to Phoenix to spend a few days with his family, and we had a really lovely time.  Our trip started off with a bit of a snafu, but in the end, we made it, safe and sound.  Of course, Matt and I packed our fancy camera, and the whole time I kept thinking, "I should really break out the real camera," but then I remembered my new motto, and I decided to leave the camera be and focus on spending time together.  In the end, definitely worth it :)

Nov 25 2012*Since we were going straight from work to the airport, I tried to think of something that would be appropriate for work, yet still comfy for a late night flight.  I decided on leggings, an oversized flannel, a black blazer, a leopard scarf, cowboy boots, and big gold jewelry.
*O'Hare is really beautiful around the holidays.  Real world Home Alone :) 

Nov 25 20121*Shortly after we arrived, we found out our flight was delayed until 1:30 am.  Not quite what we were hoping for, but we made it work with a little Mickey D's.
*As we wandered around the airport, we noticed they were beginning to set up cots for stranded travelers.  We said a quick, "Oh no, that sucks for people."  Little did we know... 

Nov 25 20122*As our flight was delayed later and later, we started to get restless, so we wandered for a bit, adding several books to our "must read" lists.
*Remember those cots?  Once we got word that our flight wouldn't leave Chicago until close to 3:00 am, we ended up setting up shop on the cots.  But even as we were stranded in the airport, I couldn't help but be grateful for the awesome guy next to me, the family we were going to see, and the jobs that afforded us time off.  It wasn't the most pleasant experience, but we made it.

Nov 25 20123*We arrived in Arizona just before 6:00 am on Thanksgiving.  Tired and groggy, but really thrilled to be there!
*Anthony, Matt's brother's husband, did the whole Thanksgiving meal, and oh my goodness, it was incredible!  Thank you Anthony for an amazing meal! 

Nov 25 20124*Oh how I wish I could have this meal as we speak.  So so yummy.
*Matt and Jack were able to get in lots of snuggle time on this trip.  Aren't they cute? 

Nov 25 20125*We also got to meet this little cutie.  Sadie is a new addition to Matt's family, and she and I had some lovely bonding time!
*True to the Davis family, we did some fierce Black Friday shopping.  Matt's mom was so kind to treat me to some awesome lovelies.

Nov 25 20126*Thanksgiving was pretty much a three day food affair, and these ice cream Oreo sandwiches were just one of the many yummies from the week.
*The weekend had the most perfect ending when my Sooners had a crazy awesome Bedlam win.  The game was insane, Boomer!

We headed back to Chicago super early on Sunday morning, and then started the super exciting process of househunting!  Matt and I have been working really hard the past few months, getting serious about saving for a house.  And now our hard work is paying off; we're looking for our very first home!  A very awesome ending to a very awesome Thanksgiving trip.  I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and that you're enjoying a lovely start to the holiday season!