December 28, 2010

christmas '10.

Is Christmas really over?  Where did it go?
So fun to share the day with two little people who truly believe.  I expect there won't be too many of these extra-special Christmases ahead of us, and we thoroughly enjoyed every single threat that if they didn't get their acts together Santa wouldn't come stocking chotchkie, countdown, letter, question and cookie crumb left behind.  The boys were totally spoiled.  They even went to see the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater's Nutcracker with Kekes and Pap.  I didn't even get to see it!  Teddy said to me that the "Cracker" was great because there were soldiers.  Of course.
Earlier in the month we hosted a holiday reception at our home with Kevin's colleagues on the 14th Ward Committee to benefit a local organization - Community Health Services.  Kevin is a proud graduate of their head-start preschool program in Oakland 107 years ago.  It was fun getting the house all pretty for a wonderful cause.  The house was packed with old and new friends and even members of City Council, and everyone was so generous and creative in their giving.  CHS was able to fulfill every single client's holiday request and we were so proud to be a very small part of that.
Oh, and here is Mr. Enthusiastic also in the holiday spirit.
The tree trimmed, decorated and ready for Santa's arrival.

We took Doris from Loris with us to Mass on Christmas Eve. 
I had to tell her several times to keep it quiet.
Santa (surprisingly) put the boys on his good list.

And he left a few things under the tree too.
The soldier was thrilled with his loot -
camo, weaponry, survival and spy gear. 
He's ready for combat.

And Kevin George will be doing this for the rest of his life, unfortunately.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Pittsburgh Griswalds
(Note to self:  Next year Kevin is totally wearing a dickie.)

December 23, 2010

v is for very.

George had his first school program this week.  I was so excited - my first as a mom.  He had to recite a line that we've been practicing for several weeks, "V is for very!"  The kids spelled "Advent" and they all did very well with their lines.  I was nervous, but he didn't have a care in the world about the whole thing.  At his age I would have rather jumped off a cliff than speak in public.  I still feel that way for that matter.  George is his father for sure.

The Acklin crew waiting for the program to begin. 
Kiernan, Kekes, Trey and Teddy
(there is always one screwball in every crowd).

My man - cool as can be.

Cousins - all dressed by their grandmother.  She really can't help herself.  She said she went to 127 different stores to assemble this collection.  She did a good job.  But she really can't help herself. 

After the program we had pancakes at Pamela's in the Strip, then we stole Trey for the day.  We made cookies.  And the boy knows how to mug for the camera.

Soldiers like to bake too.

Maybe we'll leave some of these out for Santa tomorrow night.

December 19, 2010


Last week Kevin and I traveled alone to New York for a few days.  I had been there only once before and it was a whirlwind visit where I didn't see much of anything, and it was not during the Christmas season.  I've always heard that New York is magical this time of year, and everyone is right - it really is very special.

The first thing I saw when we drove in was the Statue of Liberty.  I couldn't help but think of my ancestors who saw her too.
Partial view of the city skyline.  Driving in I thought to myself, "We're here!" when I saw all the buildings in the distance.  20 minutes later and it seemed like they were still the same size!  Their magnitude is misleading!  Eventually we made our way into the city and took the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan.  We weren't there 5 minutes before this pulled up next to us at a red light.  Already I'm thinking this is my kind of place.
We're not in Kansas anymore!  Creepy!

Then we checked into our hotel which was located a block off of Times Square.  Here's the view from our window:
After putting down our bags I immediately started badgering Kevin to show me all the sites.  I think we walked 895 miles that weekend.  Here's what we saw:

Times Square
Rockefeller Plaza
Macy's on 34th Street
 Radio City Music Hall
St. Peter's Cathedral
Rockefeller Center
You're fired!
FAO Schwarz
If nothing else that weekend I wanted to go here.  On the weekends I heard that people stand in line to get inside.  It was very modern and not what I expected, but the store's long history was what drew me in.  We managed to leave without doing too much damage - an ornament, a science experiment kit and two children's books about New York.  And of course we had to see the piano that Tom Hanks made famous.  I tried to convince Kevin to dance on it and he wouldn't do it.  Had I not walked 895 miles that day, made I would have done it myself.  Next time!
FAO Schwarz
The store fronts were all amazing.  Above is Tommy Hilfiger with a huge red, white and blue (and black) bow.
Cartier was my favorite.  The store was wrapped like a massive present.
Tiffany & Co. had two handsome greeters standing outside wearing scarves in the Tiffany blue.
Looking at the Tiffany windows made me think of this image of Audrey Hepburn:
It was a fun trip.  We'll have to do it again next year . . . especially the part where we didn't bring the darling children.  We'll wait until they're old enough to walk 895 miles. 

December 11, 2010

guess where.

Guess where we have been the past few days!

December 6, 2010

tis the season.

First off, Thanksgiving.  It was wonderful, especially because I have been blessed with a father-in-law who every year does all the shopping and cooking.  All of it.  And it's delicious.  The only thing I have to do is have a cleanish house and set a table.  I didn't take too many pictures this year.  It probably had something to do with all of my drinking hostessing.

The after picture.
The kiddie table; complete with wine glasses of sparkling juice.
They loved this!  Hilarious.

Now moving on to Christmas.
We picked out our Christmas tree last weekend.
Flemings Tree Farm, Indiana County, Pennsylvania
"Christmas Tree Capital of the World"
It was very cold and a little snowy.  Perfect day.
Here is our tree before we lobbed it off and hauled it away.
Kevin, silly boys, tree
The boys love tools.  What can I say.
Not sure what that was all about . . .
And let's take a walk down memory lane . . .
Happy Holidays!