first christmas with grandma & papa

We drove straight from Milwaukee to Toledo a few days after Christmas to see my parents. The next morning, Evie awoke to a very special gift from her Grandma and Papa. This rocking plane was mine when I was little, and my parents had it refinished. It’s absolutely beautiful & I can’t wait until Evie can have some real fun with it.

She also loved this rocking chair, which was also mine …it’s the perfect size! This will stay at Grandma & Papa’s and be her special chair.

Relaxing with Papa.

Rosie was very curious about this little person in the house.

It was also a white Christmas there in Toledo.

Sitting pretty with Grandma ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you for the wonderful Christmas memories, Mom & Dad! You made this a very special first Christmas for Evie.


a white christmas in wisconsin

OK, so I’m hoping I can catch up a bit here!

We went to Wisconsin for Christmas to spend time with Michael’s family. I have a lot of photos, and while they aren’t the best quality, I still had a difficult time narrowing down which ones to post! So, I posted a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ They really capture the energy and love of the Christmas season, surrounded by family.

Michael & his brother Jeremy with their children … Evelyn was having fun with Lucas!

Evie eating Daddy’s nose. This is a game we play … where she eats our nose ๐Ÿ™‚

Barto siblings & their first borns!

The Florida – now Virginia – Bartos.

Our little Polish gymnast with Daddy.

Playing with her cousin Owen … decompressing after an action-packed cousin pro photo shoot that morning.

(Who needs pants anyways?)

Jackson, hard at work.

She loves her Aunt Tina.

… and Owen thinks she’s quite hilarious as well.

Andrew & Ben.

iPad = kid magnet.

Evie & her Aunt Becca

… and Uncle Jeremy.

… and her Daddy too. ย  Things just got weird.

Four of the Lynch sisters & Grandma Lynch!

Aunt Diana got some snuggles from Evie on Christmas Eve.

Early Christmas morning wonder.

Coffee & newspaper with Grandpa.

… and a morning nap.

A bit blurry, but I had to post a family Christmas pic…

All ready for Christmas mass.

Aunt Becca scolding someone, maybe? …and Evie approving of whatever she’s doing.

Sleepy Bartos ๐Ÿ™‚

No family gathering would be complete without boys wrestling.

Jackson giving his gift to Uncle Jeremy.

and Evie getting kisses from Uncle Jeremy ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas morning gifts.

Cuddles with (a serious) Miss Evie.

First Christmas morning.

The grandchildren (and yes, that’s Lucas on the left, not a salesman selling chicks.)

Evelyn & her great-grandma.

Nap with Aunt Lottie.

… and a nap with a very content Grandma.

How many babies can fit in an Anywhere Chair?


… only one, after she hits the other one with a snack container.

Evie loved the ladybugs who scuttled about.

… and also trying on Otto’s hat. She wanted to let him know she’s a Packer fan too.

Sleepy time with Daddy.

Good morning! Play time with the cousins.

Owen taking a call.

Lucas surveying the front yard.

Owen tasting a teether.

… and who knows what Evie was up to.

All dressed up on her last day in Wisconsin … and about to get in the car to drive to Toledo to see her other grandparents!

Thank you, everyone in Wisconsin, for such a fun trip. We can’t wait to see you again in June!

first little family christmas morning

Before we left for Wisconsin on the night of December 21st, we had our own little Christmas morning that day. Luckily, Santa got the message and came to fill our stockings the night before.

A little blurry, but I wanted to show how cute Evie was, checking out the owls on her stocking. ๐Ÿ™‚

A book, Wind in the Willows. Santa may have started a tradition by giving her a classic book in her stocking each year.

oooo… what is this toy?

She really liked herย clementines.

… and her puzzle. She really likes animals.

Sitting in her chair from Grandma & Grandpa, holding her clapping roller.

… and Evie playing with her gift from us, a Radio Flyer Walker Wagon. She has gotten really good at standing by herself, holding onto the bar. When we move the wagon forward, she has even learned to take steps forward!

We had a relaxing morning, drinking coffee and playing with Evelyn. We look forward to more Christmas mornings with our little family … especially next year, when Evie can better grasp the wonder of the season.

(Dec 21, 2012)

because this is what I do

… let’s do a seasonally appropriate blog post.

… about a month & a half late.

On December 9, in a sudden burst of Christmas craftiness, I went to Michael’s. (The craft store. Not where my husband lives. Which would also be my house.) I bought a medium & a small wreath, some brushed metallic berries, ribbon, a large discounted leather frame from the custom framing department, floral wire and spray primer & paint. I came home, and by the next morning, I had my Christmas paradise crafty mantle.

(Do you sense the pride? I don’t normally craft. It’s a financial decision based on a cost/benefit calculation, where I have a ridiculously large assumption for how much my “time” is worth.)

First, I took the large leather frame outside & sprayed it with primer. I wasn’t sure I could do this on a leather frame. I googled it, and nothing came up – which means, nobody had every spray painted a leather frame before. But, I decided to do it anyways, because obviously, I am a pioneer when it comes to being crafty.

I let the frame dry and went inside to tie the 2 wreaths together with floral wire to get one big, full wreath. (WHY do I keep typing “wrather” for wrather…err wrather…for WREATH?)

The fake berries were attached to a bendy stem, so I wrapped the bendy part around the wreath, tying down some berries with floral wire. Then I wrapped the wreath in white Christmas lights (which I already had).

I went outside periodically over the next few hours, spraying the frame. I think I did about 5 thin coats of primer & 3 thin coats of brushed metallic spray paint.

After letting that dry overnight, I brought it inside & used the wired ribbon to tie the wrather-wrata-WREATH to the frame.

I put the frame/wreath up on the mantle, plugged in the lights, took an old fake garland, wrapped it in lights & laid it up there. I took some metallic candle holders & stuffed the leftover berries in them. The pillar candle holders were already on my mantle, and then I added 3 white Christmas trees that my mom had got for me last year from a cute little store near her.

Ta daa!

And, because to me, this is more like a winter mantle, you could leave this up well into January. Like, January 20 for instance. With no immediate plan to take it down… because that was enough craftiness for a year, and you’re not really sure to do with your mantle after that.