Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reunion and Reintroduction...

It's no secret I host a ton of dinner parties, but I only make challah for special sorts of occasions. I never slice my homemade challah preferring instead to allow guests to pull from the loaf and enjoy ragged hunks of delicious bread. Something about the hands on ceremony brings folks around the table a little closer together.  Considering we had not seen our dinner guests for more than 17 years I thought it only fitting to bake up a braided loaf for the occasion.
The last time these two beauties had dinner together they were in high chairs! I met Claire's mom just before Emma was born and after a few conversations I signed on to be her nanny. I just loved Claire and her delicate nature proved to be a  perfect foil for Emma's bold personality. These girls kept me on my toes for two years before Claire's family moved out of state.
We all reconnected over a bowls full of beef stew and the conversation was easy and free flowing.  I am immensely proud of how both of these girls grew up; they are both artistically inclined, smart as can be and obviously kind-hearted.  It was an honor to reintroduce them to each other and reconnect with her family. The passage of time is gorgeous to me!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SNC Camp Trip...

Following our Christmas brunch all four of us took a drive up to DePere, Wisconsin so Finn could check out the soccer program at St. Norbert's-my parents' alma mater. 
With Finn tucked safely away with the Green Knights for the day, Leif, Emma and I were free to see the sights in Green Bay.
We stopped by Kroll's for a cup of chili, am espresso shake  and one of their famous butter burgers before taking a drive by the houses my parents were raised in.

They may look simple and rather small, but I cannot tell you how many wonderful memories I have of each of these houses. From listening to my poppy play the organ on Christmas while we waited for a coca cola glazed ham to come out of the oven to falling off a naughty three-legged stool after playing for hours in a back yard fort...these little houses were a vibrant part of my childhood.

It is always a treat to be in Green Bay and most importantly Finn loved his day of playing college level soccer. Fun times all around!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Papa's Posse...

I captured these images at my dad's request. He wanted to replace some pictures in his saloon since the kids have grown up. These are some pretty adorable cowpokes if you ask me!

Annual Christmas Brunch...

My mom always puts together a lovely holiday brunch for our family.  She whips up all our favorites like swedish meatballs, beef tenderloin, fresh fruits, hearts of artichoke salad, scrambled eggs, bacon and even lox & bagels with all the trimmings. It is an easy meal to eat because everyone feels like their favorites have been included on the menu! Following a our meal we open gifts before heading out. It is always a laid back day and lovely because we all get to spend time together.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Dinner...

Our annual Souther Comfort Christmas dinner with Team Tillotson (plus Nancy and Amy's parents) did not disappoint this year.  After appetizers of southern shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and pimento cheese we exchanged a thoughtful series of gifts while we sipped on a drink called The Rusty Sleigh.

The Rusty Sleigh
1 ounce scotch
1 teaspoon Cointreau 
2 teaspoons Grenadine 
Dash of nutmeg
A Lemon Twist

Mix the scotch, cointreau and grenadine together and pour over ice. Garnish with a dash of nutmeg and lemon twist.  Serve at once.

 Our Southern inspired dinner included:
Cider Brined Fried Chicken
Bourbon-Brown Sugar Ham
Mel's Mac n'' Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows and Pecans
Peas and Carrots
Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Amy's Door Co. Cherry Pie

It was one of the most laughter-filled nights I have had in a very long time!
Cheers to great friends and holidays!

Pre-Christmas Dinner Pictures...


Christmas Morning...

 Christmas morning is sacred family time for us. The kids enjoy their simple gifts...mostly books for Emma and loads of movies for Finn.  We exchange lovely little gifts and shower the pets with holiday treats, too. We eat breakfast, play games and lounge in our pajamas for as long as we possibly can!
It is, hands down, one on my favorite days of the year.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve...

Though I didn't take a whole bunch of pictures, our semi-annual evening with the Frigs and friends on Christmas Eve was as delightful as ever.  Pen made a gorgeous array of appetizers including Angie's Olive Cheese Balls, bacon wrapped jalapenos, giant scotch eggs and stuffed artichokes and Chris was happy to pour a hefty drink!  It is such a friendly way to spent a holiday and every single time I get invited to this party I feel honored to be included.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Nutty Girls...

Emma and I enjoyed a special date to see the brand new Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet. Save for a few small issues, we were both delighted by the production celebrating Chicago in all the best ways!

Monday, December 19, 2016


I frequently say my life feels pretend most of the time and today was no exception. Thanks to the recommendation of a friend, I had the opportunity to work as a food stylist for an all day photo/video shoot. I can't go into details about the project, but it was a super fun day filled with creative folks with a eye for getting a job done in a fun-filled environment. Emma came along to help and proved to be valuable as a stand in model, errand girl and general assistant. So. Much. Fun.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Tree Trimming...

Decorating for Christmas is one of my all-time favorite things to do and having these two on hand help elf up the place is pure joy!

Friday, December 16, 2016

My Girl...

...doing that cool thing she does.
Proud does not even begin to cover it!

(Photo Credit to Bill H)
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