Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our Thanksgiving week

We had a great time in Chicago for the annual Merritt Family Thanksgiving. We came home Monday night--it was a long but very fun week. I am posting a ton of pics--here are many of the events of our pictures!!

The day before Thanksgiving....hanging out with all the cousins!
Cameron, doing what he does best....cheesing
Luke, eating one of Gram's chocolate chip cookies
Colin, helping Daddy play Monopoly with Uncle Rog and Uncle Jay
Ethan, helping everyone open their presents from Aunt Deanna (or, in other words, eating everyone's wrapping paper)

Thanksgiving morning:
Aunt Karie and ReeseIt was snowing outside, and the kids loved that!I love this shot--all three actually smiling! With 33 people at Lynette and Roger's house, Colin was apparently feeling a little cramped--I went looking for him and discovered him in the back bathroom, inside the whirlpool tub, reading a book in the peace and quiet....Ethan's first bite of real mashed potatoes.....I'm not so sure that he liked them!

The day after Thanksgiving--downtown Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry
My two little clowns
Colin, climbing the tractor Colin and Cameron, driving the combineColin and Daddy in front of the U-505 submarine exhibitColin and Cameron loved the boat section!Later that night.....Ethan playing patty cake with DeannaRoll 'em........
Sunday morning:
All of the kids in front of the Christmas tree at Lynette and Roger's churchSunday night--exchanging presents with Jay/Karie/Reese and Roger/Aimee/Luke
Cameron's new pants.....Colin's new shirt....
Reese's new coat.....Ethan's new shirt and toy..... Luke's new Cubs hat..... How big are you Ethan?
Soooooo big!!

It was a great week, and spending time with our family that we don't see often was wonderful. We have so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We ventured outside again today after church....enjoying the last of the 'playing outside even though it's chilly' weather....and managed to get a couple more good pics!

Enjoy everyone, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving--we are headed north tomorrow afternoon to be with Shane's family for the holiday!

Is there a Colin under there?
My big boys.....
and my baby boy--once again, eating leaves!!
Daddy and the boys
One of our famous 'self-pictures'
I think Ethan has clearly had enough of the picture taking!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today, we went to Sears to get some family portraits done.

I was soooooo excited.

My excitement quickly turned to dismay. Anyone ever experience trying to capture three boys' attention long enough to snap even ONE good picture? I am not even asking for smiles.....but by the end of the session, just for the boys merely to be looking in the general direction of the camera all at the same time would have made me happy. didn't happen.

Out of the probably 25 shots the lady took (it didn't help that we had a photographer who was NOT at all good with children--we were sooooooo irritated by the time it was over, let me just say) we had one good one.

And none of the boys were looking at the camera. It was one of those posed ones, where they are looking away on purpose. And it turned out very cute, but it just was not what I had gone there expecting to get.

You know, you go through all that trouble of getting the right outfits picked out, and getting everyone packed up and to the studio on time, and through the whole session....just to see that the proofs on that little computer are nothing at all what you had hoped for.


So, sitting at lunch, sulking together over the debacle we had just been through, Shane and I decided to make the best of it--we were going to go outside, and just snap some candid shots of the boys. (And, if I had my way--maybe get ONE of them looking in the general direction of the camera.)
I would say that we were decently pleased with our results.

Colin and Cameron loving being up in the tree--Ethan hating it
It got dangerous for just a moment here, but we quickly grabbed the stick
The boys decided to play a fun game of dumping leaves on each other--Ethan bore the brunt of it!
Throwing leaves at each other was fun for quite awhile

My favorite shot of the day--Ethan looks a little traumatized, but other than that, I thought it was a pretty good one! I ended up getting a good shot afterall!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Seven wonderful years

This week, I got the surprise--well, maybe not of my life-- but a bigger surprise than I have had in quite awhile.

Shane arranged it all--he whisked me away for 3 1/2 days to celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary. (Picture is of us heading off on our trip on Friday afternoon.)

Now, this was no easy task, considering the fact that we have three children. But, very good friends of our family agreed to let our boys be a part of their family for a few days, and Shane and I went up north all by ourselves.

We had an amazing time, doing all the things we love to do, shop, see a couple of movies, eat, sleep in, relax, and eat! (These pics are outside at the Crate and Barrel, downtown Chicago, on Michigan Ave.) It was such a gift to have this time with him, and I am so thankful to have been blessed with such an amazing husband who would work so hard at surprising me with something like this! I love you so much Shane, you are the best thing that God has ever given me.

And, talk about blessings--our friends who would take on all three of our boys for 3 1/2 days to help make it happen--thank you so much to the entire Munro family! I know that each one pitched in their part to keep our boys, and we are both so grateful. A special thanks to Ann, who I know bore the brunt of effort! We love you guys--you are more than friends to us, you are truly family! (By the way, for those of you reading this who don't know this family, they have seven children already--so their house was packed with 12 people while our boys were there!!)

At Giordano's, enjoying pizza (Shane was goofing for me and the camera, but was loving the pizza even more than what the camera shows!)

Inside Garrett's popcorn, on Michigan Ave. This place is famous for their popcorn, so we decided to wait it out (over 15 minutes, and it wasn't even a crowded day!) to try was worth the wait!

In front of Chili's, downtown--one our our many dining experiences!

Seven years ago I married my absolute best friend in the whole world....the years have flown by, and it keeps getting better and better everyday. I love you Shane!