Thursday, February 26, 2015

a winter recap

You would think that being stuck inside for a couple months now would be reason enough for me to stay caught up on journaling about our family!  I guess not, though!  I haven't written for almost 60 days!  Sadly, this blog has taken a back-seat to other things.  It saddens me because I love to write about our family and to keep record.  Maybe a two month absence from the blog doesn't really seem like a long time but I've got a two year old who is drastically changing everyday and when I don't write about the little things, they disappear from my memory.

So what's new?!  Well, we started this winter off by bringing the girls to their very first play, "Mary Poppins."  They loved it, we loved it, it was magical!  And as soon as Chicago was decorated for Christmas, we took Natalie and Ruby (out of school even) and Charlie for a visit.  We took the train, their first train ride!  On our way to lunch at Pizzaria Duo, the girls heard a man loudly asking for money.  I was ashamed that at first Jordan and I ignored his plea.  Natalie and Ruby looked appalled that we were at first unresponsive to this man sitting nearby.  They asked if they could bring him money.  We gave them some and he thanked them for it.  Once at the restaurant, we explained to the girls that it's very hard to know how to help these people.  That sometimes maybe money is the way to go, maybe food, but we decided that we wouldn't ignore them, that we would make eye contact and smile.  We explained that we can't help them all but that each time we see someone, we can pray for them.  But it was also decided that we'd get our left-overs divided into separate to-go boxes and hand them out to whomever we felt led to give them to.  So once out of the restaurant, we were all excited to start giving.  The girls wanted to give that same man we had before, but we said that we'd help some others this time.  That there'd be plenty of others.  Well, we walked and walked.  Didn't see any for quite a while.  Then we got excited when we saw a lady sitting with a cup in front of her for money.  The girls handed her a box, and with hardly any acknowledgement, she placed the to-go box on a pile of at least five other boxes!  Ok, then.  Ruby shrugged.  We walked on.  We passed the next beggar, she was quite heavy and already eating a lunch. So maybe food isn't the best way to go either?  We strolled and shopped, stepped inside the church and rested in the pew, grabbed dinner.  Then we listened to a large group of Christmas Carolers while watching the ice-skaters below us. We also visited the enormous Christmas tree in the Christkindlmarket. They loved it, we loved it, it was magical.  But magical evenings can also have their dark sides... like when Ruby was kissed by a stranger- unbeknownst to me and even while she was holding my hand.  Jordan saw it happen and grabbed Ruby away while I sweetly gave her our last box of pizza leftovers. It kind of shook us all up a bit, just how quickly something weird can happen even while we're right there.  Ruby didn't dare to open her mouth for a while or lick her lips.  We all felt violated.  Natalie was afraid to go by Ruby for a little while and Ruby felt like she was plagued.  To show her that I wasn't afraid, I asked for a kiss... on the cheek of course.  Poor Ruby!  How bizarre.  We also noticed that for about an hour, there were at first 4 and then 5 helicopters hovering over a point.  Then they moved over to a different point over the skyscrapers.  Not sure what that was all about.  Next, we found ourselves walking straight into a group of 50+ protestors, with 30+ officers walking next to them on the street.  There was a swarm of them and we were swimming upstream through them while they shouted, 'hands up, don't shoot' for the 6:00 news (which they missed, haha!).  But it was a little daunting to our innocent little family.  The last time we had been in Chicago, Jordan and I noticed police, dogs, and cars everywhere we turned.  Just made us wonder if maybe we shouldn't be out after dark in Chicago with our kids in tow.  Our last stop before the subway station was Dunkin' Donuts for coffee, ice cream, and donuts, of course.  We all shared our sweets with each other... except for Ruby.  No one cared to have a sip of her strawberry shake that night ;)

It's been a very, very cold winter.  Record-setting cold.  We've had below zero temps without factoring in windchill. And a lot of snow. The kids have had 8 snow days now.  More specifics later, for now I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
 A Valentine Tea Party with Grandma.

 Playing 'tigers' on a snow day.


 Charlie took a selfie.
 Another tea party.
 Date night!

 Hanging out at Great-Grandpa and Grandma's.

 Chicken-on-the-bone night.

 Emmy and pigtails.
 Date night with Charlie!

 Enjoying massages!

 Potty training!

 Sleepovers with cousins... all 7 in the same room that night!

Jordan's view from work!

 more cousin sleepovers!

 Jordan grew a bushy beard!
 Emmy is in a big-girl bed which means she climbs into bed with mom and dad twice a night.

 playdates, hot cocoa, and donuts...