Category Archives: Friends

Christmas Morning 2010

Posted by: Maggie

Christmas morning was spent at home with just Josh, Eleanor and me. Eleanor hadn’t slept well the night before. She’s a little sick this week, so she slept in very late. I got up around 8:30, Josh a little later, but Eleanor didn’t get up until after 10. She was hungry, so we ate breakfast before starting to open presents. Thus, the bright sunshine coming in the windows in the following photos.

As it was in my house when I was growing up, the presents for Eleanor were mostly from Mommy & Daddy with a couple from Santa. The Santa gifts are always something that was made by elves in Santa’s workshop (definitely not something with a brand name! The elves don’t work for Mattel or Disney!).

This year Santa brought Eleanor musical instruments, an Eleanor sized guitar, and a little drummer boy drum! She was very excited!

The rest of Eleanor’s gifts were mostly books and movies. Her favorite things!

It took forever for Eleanor to open her gifts. She wanted to try each one out before moving on to the next.

I gave Josh clothes. I know, it’s not an awesome gift, but it’s what he really needs and he was very happy with it.

Eleanor made a present for Josh and me at school. She wanted to help Daddy open it. It was a very cute ornament with her picture on it!

The last gift to open was mine. I knew that Josh had planned some big gift for me and had asked some friends and family to contribute, but I had no idea what it was. I thought maybe it was a camera lens or a DVD box set. But when he put this under the tree I had no clue what it could be.

It was Exposed: Redefining Boudoir, a book on boudoir photography by my favorite boudoir photographer Christa Meola! You may remember that I put it on my Cranky Gift Guide and mentioned that it was the gift I most wanted! I definitely didn’t cry when I opened it. Those are not tears in my eyes if you zoom in on the picture below!

A very big thank you to my Mom & Step-Dad Tommy, my father-in-law Brian & mother-in-law (as of Sunday!!) Raisa, Josh’s BFF Brian, and my BFFs  Betsy & Justin and Andrew & Amy without whom Josh would not have been able to afford this amazing present! Love you guys! This is the best present I’ve ever received!

After opening my amazing gift, we dug into the stockings.

Eleanor got a cool light-up ball,

a slidewhistle,

some cool new bath toys, AND

CANDY!! Of course! That’s the most important stocking gift of all!

Josh got the notebooks he wanted (see the Cranky Gift Guide), and CANDY!

I got a harmonica (I’ve been talking about learning to play), and CANDY!

And that was Christmas morning! Christmas dinner coming soon!

Eleanor’s Third Birthday: Part Two – The Party

Posted by: Maggie

Because we did Disneyland for Eleanor’s birthday, we decided just to have a small pizza and cupcake party with my family and the Schuberts. You can read Amy’s post about it HERE. In fact, she pretty much tells the whole story, so read about it over there and then come back and look at my photos! Thanks Amy!

Eleanor’s Third Birthday: Part One – Disneyland

Posted by: Maggie

Here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for!

For Eleanor’s birthday we decided to take her to Disneyland for the first time! We thought this was the perfect age for her to really enjoy it! We were right! She loved it!

I want to start by saying that I love Disneyland! Love it! Before we had Eleanor I would go every year for my birthday, but I haven’t been since the birthday before I got pregnant. Hopefully I don’t sound too terribly cheesy when I say that Disneyland is beautiful and magical and makes me feel full of wonder like being a little kid again. Disneyland is like eternal Christmas for me!  So I was very excited to finally get to share all of that beauty and magic and wonder with Eleanor.

We started the day by letting her open one present early, a Tinkerbell shirt to wear to Disneyland.

We didn’t want to sit in traffic, so we didn’t rush getting out of the house. We left at around 10:30 and arrived at about 11:30am.

We spent the first 45 minutes wandering around main street, listening to the Barbershop Quartet sing Christmas songs, checking out the Christmas Tree (Eleanor didn’t like it, she said it was too big to be a Christmas Tree), and buying and applying $15 sunblock since we forgot ours.

Then we went to have lunch at Pizza Port in Tomorrowland and finally got on some rides. We started with Buzz Lightyear and Finding Nemo and then headed over to Pixie Hollow. This was Eleanor’s favorite part of the day! After a very long wait in line we got to meet Vidia (a sassy fast flying fairy from the Tinkerbell movie) and Tinkerbell!

The actress playing Vidia was fantastic! She complained that Eleanor had Tink on her shirt and told Eleanor to tell Tink that Vidia was prettier than her. So funny!

Then on to meet Tink! Eleanor loved her. She was speechless and only giggled at her. They were very cute together!

Then on to the teacups, Eleanor loved it. She kept telling me to spin us faster and then didn’t want to get off.

Then on to more Fantasyland rides. Eleanor had so much fun on the rides and kept saying how scary they were and how much she wanted to ride again.  We, of course, had to ride the Carousel. Eleanor adores Carousels. But who doesn’t? They are so pretty.

While I was taking photos of her riding I said, “Oh look Eleanor a mirror, I can be in the picture too!” She replied, “No! I don’t want you in my picture!” And then made this face:

Aren’t three-year-olds just darling?!

After our carousel ride, we headed to the front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle for some gorgeous photos of the castle decorated for the holidays, just as the sun had set. So, so beautiful!

I’m glad we waited until dark to visit Small World. Perfect for seeing the Christmas lights.

By the time we got off, we were starving and it was suddenly freezing cold out. So we hopped on the train and rode through the park to New Orleans Square for dinner. I don’t think I’ve ridden the train since I was little and I completely forgot about the Dinosaur land it rides through. Thanks for the tip Andrew!

I then spent the next 45 minutes waiting in line, freezing, waiting to get some soup for dinner. It was pretty crowded that day, and I guess everyone decided it was dinner time at the same time and everyone wanted soup. Meanwhile, Josh and Eleanor went to get us some fast passes for Haunted Mansion and then wandered around for a bit.

The vegetarian gumbo and clam chowder in bread bowls were pretty much worth the wait!

After dinner we jumped on Pirates, which had a very short line, because the fireworks were going off.

We were a little concerned that it would be too scary for Eleanor because of the big drop at the beginning, but she loved it. She kept asking to go back on the ride with the big slide where people screamed.

Afterwards we hit the haunted mansion, which was decorated Nightmare before Christmas style. I’ve never been at Christmas before, so I was excited to see it.

It was okay. Kinda cool, but I prefer the regular Haunted Mansion.

By then it was very late and time to go. I always ride on Jungle Cruise as my last ride of the day. It’s fun in the dark and the boat captain always seems to be a little funnier at the end of the day. BUT the line was so long I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never seen such a long line for that ride. So we headed to Main Street to call it a day, but of course, we had told Eleanor we would go on one more ride and she wasn’t about to let that go. Luckily, we walked by the Tiki Room and decided to check it out.

Neither Josh nor I have ever been in before. It was actually sorta fun. It’s a 15 minute theatre show with a fountain, and some singing and joke telling birds. Eleanor seemed to like it. She always loves singing.

After the show, we finally headed back toward Main Street to leave.

We made a quick stop in the candy store for some Salt Water Taffy for me and Josh and candy corn for Eleanor, and then wandered into the main store to let Eleanor pick out one souvenir. She chose a Minnie Mouse doll whose skirt twirls and lights up. Shockingly, as of writing this, she has not yet broken it.

We left the park at about 11:30pm! I could not believe it! We knew Eleanor was going to skip her nap, so we assumed that we would leave when she started melting down in the evening, but I guess Disneyland is just too exciting and magical a place. We had very few bouts of crankiness and she was pretty much full of energy until she got in the car and fell asleep before we got out of the parking garage.

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