Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmastime in the Big City

Happy holiday season from (the) Philadelphia (area)! We have really been enjoying our holiday time together here. So thankful that we're more or less settled in--certainly enough to be comfortable in our home now--and beginning to move beyond our little home and exploring our new town/city. Its been a very different Christmas for us, though. Usually we try to fit in visits to both families, taking turns as to whose parents we visit for the actual Christmas Day, but this year we stayed in our own home and didn't travel at all--I realized that I haven't done that since I was 17 year old and in high school.

A few days before Christmas, we decided it was high time to venture into the big city. We hopped on the SEPTA and took the girls to see Santa Claus at Macy's. It was crazy busy at Macy's, but clearly they are used to the crowds because the enormous line moved very quickly. It helped that Santa seemed to have cloned himself in order to meet the high demand of child visitors (I think there were about 4-5 Santa booths?). Honey Bee was just in heaven. When we walked into the little booth where Santa #3 was sitting, she hopped up and down yelling "Santa! Santa! Santa!" and it just felt so magical. What fun to witness the joy of a little girl who truly believes in Santa Claus. Mouse, however, found it slightly less than magical. The instant we tried to put her on jolly old St. Nick's lap, she freaked out. We were fortunate to get a picture of us all in between wails, but she is still eyeing him up with a great deal of wariness.

Our day in downtown Philly was a little chilly, but just gorgeous. Here are some highlights from the day: 

Christmas Village. That's city hall in the background on the left.

Checking out the ships and watching the skaters at Penn's Landing.

Had our first taste of Philly cheesesteaks at Campo's. I thought I'd find them gimmicky and overhyped, but they were actually very yummy. Turns out melted cheese, beef, and bread all taste pretty great together. 


Christmas Eve, we made Santa's favorite ginger cookies--coincidentally, also my favorite cookies to make around the holidays!--and laid out some carrots for the reindeer. I can't get over how grown up Honey Bee looks in this photo. Who is that little lady?!?!?!

Honey Bee has been talking for weeks about asking Santa for a dollhouse for Christmas. We wrote him a letter, told him at Macy's, and she's mentioned it to anyone who would listen to her since we've moved here just to cover all her bases. She was really wanting a particular dollhouse "with a frog and a dog" that we saw at Target, but I had a feeling that Santa could do better. Luckily for all, Santa subcontracted the work out to a very nice man from Craigslist, and this is what Honey Bee woke up to on Christmas morning: 

That face is just to die for. 

Mouse's favorite part of Christmas morning was the chocolate chip pancake brunch.

Dog loves opening presents too. 

And just in case you are thinking our holiday has been all sunshine and roses, I'm including a bit of "reality" too:

Both children crying at Costco. (Mouse looks like she's not, but there's definitely crying/whining going on in this picture. Not pictured: fellow shoppers who looked like they were judging me for laughing and snapping this picture instead of comforting my precious children.)

Crying at grocery store whilst shopping for Christmas dinner.

We hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season and that 2015 is a year full of health and happiness for you all!


~family formerly known as neighbours said...

Aaawwww seeing you so happy and settled brought (happy) tears to my eyes. What a wonderful holiday. xoox

Sophie Vallee said...

Awww your daughters are too cute! I love reading your blog, and love the "reality check" at the end of this particular one! Hahaha I know too well those judgemental stares!!! You're incredible for going through all this change, please keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog! I look forward to your next one