the windy one.
as a child, the windows at Marshall Field's along State Street were magical to me. all glittery and nutcracker-y, ballerinas twirling, giant pretend candy. the city all dressed up in it's finest. michigan avenue all strung up with twinkling lights.


we brought the kids down there right before Christmas along with our neighbor friends (Lucy's little best friend, the most adorable little 4-year-old boy who lives across the street), my parents who took the train in from the suburbs to meet us, and two German exchange students from my husband's high school and soccer team (he's a teacher/coach, fyi). we wanted the German boys to experience the big city and the German Christmas market. they headed straight for the curried sausage, a taste of home for them, but steered clear of the sauerkraut which they both despise, by the way. :) our boys love hanging around Daddy's soccer player boys. teenagers are cool, ya' know.


my parents bought me a little cuckoo clock for Christmas. eeeek! ever since i was little in my adopted grandparents' den with their cuckoo clock that was magical to me, where i'd sit patiently waiting for that little bird to pop his head out and sing his song, i've wanted a cuckoo clock.  thanks, Mom and Dad! wait 'til you see pictures of it's colorful adorableness! (note: it's NOT one of these below...they're just pretty, aren't they?)
my Dad.

what would be our one purchase of the day, my husband bought me two ornaments from the little German glass ornament cottage at the market. i chose a sleeping fawn and a tiny white chicken but forgot to take pictures of them! there were tons of pretty ones......so many gorgeous birds!





of course, we had to stop and refuel at the Magnolia Bakery that just opened up. you know how I'm a bit bakery-obsessed, right? but, you know what? shock of all shocks, i actually didn't get anything....nothing struck my fancy. everyone else enjoyed what they chose, though.







the city all lit up at night is a breathtaking....



but it can't hold a candle to this, can it?
*night sky photo found here

was it kind of a pain driving 3 hours to get there after we had just driven the same distance the day before? a bit. 
were the pre-Christmas crowds crazy-craze-crazy (did i say crazy)? you better believe it. 
were we exhausted on the way home? you betcha. 
did i have a long list of things to get done at home to get ready for the big day? ohhhh, yes.
was it worth it for our kids, for the memories made, for the looks on their faces, for the German boys to experience a city like that (we chuckled when we heard them exclaim, "Jakob, it reminds me of Munich!"), for their gratitude, for the wonder of it all?
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  1. Ahhh- Chicago. What a fascinating city. Thanks for taking us along on the adventure. Love your spirit!

  2. d-ma-richards06 January, 2012

    It's so much fun to see the wonders of the season thru the kids' eyes. So glad that you shared this this us!

  3. I was in Chicago a few years ago for a conference but didnt see much of anything besides Navy Pier(I didnt even see the bean....terrible, huh?) Maybe someday we'll get back there.
    And I cant wait to see your cuckoo clock. My grandpa used to have one that I loved.
    And how did I not remember your hubby also being a teacher/coach? He and Eric would get along great:)

  4. Oh, it all looks magical and super fun!

    And I *love* the night sky photo. Made me homesick for the sky I looked at every night in the high desert. So clear and dark and twinkly and lovely.

    Thank you.

  5. Really enjoyed hearing all about your Christmas adventure to Chicago...I would say it was worth the drive! I loved seeing the city all dressed up for the holidays. What a fun way to spend a day!

  6. Love Chicago. I went to College near there and spent many weekends there. Have been back a few times to visit. So pretty, clean, and lots to do! Alos Giordano's Pizza? The absolute best pizza anywhere hands down.

  7. oh my goodness that cookie cake thing about did me in. day 7 of a no sugar diet. geesh! loved all the picks. chicago is close to my old stompin' grounds.


    oh i am so happy.

    i have been to that german market!
    i know all those places.
    that was so cool.
    but magnolia bakery?
    that is new! i am so excited to go now!!!

    comments on your blog make me crazy happy.

  9. oh, you guys (girls, i should say),
    your words are the best gift.
    thank you!
    you should see me smiling.
    let's all meet at magnolia bakery, ok?!
    love to you today from across the miles,

  10. oh my goodness, I am SO glad and happy you have comments ON! It kills me every week to not share with you what I want to say every time, I want to comment so often LOL...
    loving these pics, i went to Chicago in Sept. and I took pics similar to a few of yours, you should check out my BEAN pics if you have time,...anyway, really great pics, lovely time!!!


you and your words are a GIFT to me! thank you!