Lights and New Traditions

We are five days away from being here officially for one year.  (Lee, at least.)  We have survived the twelve months of “firsts” for so many different things.  As we get ready to enter into year two, a recap of the Holiday that brought with it lights and more new traditions.

The Holiday season has kicked off of us the past three years with Christmas at Belmont.  Every other  year, it is held at the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.  This was one of those years.  This will be our final year of being able to attend, as this is a closed ticketed event.  Our son graduates in May and with that comes the end of the two parent tickets we get due to his involvement with the program.  I look forward to watching it for years to come on PBS as new students come after this amazing group leaving this year.  Now, you know, true to any college student, our first sighting of our son was him carrying his laundry basket.  Yes, I did this laundry with joy!

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What college kid doesn’t bring Mom laundry?

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That’s our Josh during the PBS showing of “Christmas at Belmont.”  

This was our first holiday in a long time where our home wasn’t hosting at least a couple of folks, so we decided to just stay in Nashville and spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family and my Dad!  We had the best time.  So much food was prepared and eaten and then the shopping where we were determined to find a deal….even if we needed nothing that was on sale!

Soon, it was time to say goodbye to Nashville family and send our son back to Belmont to finish his finals weeks of the fall semester.  Just like that, the Holidays were upon us and an eagerness to create new traditions so that we wouldn’t look so sadly upon those traditions that would be no more.

We have been so fortunate to find some wonderful people who have so willingly let us join their little group.  One of the first events of the Holiday season was our outing to see the lights at the Morton Arboretum.  Just beautiful.  I’m a light fan and the more lights the better.  One day I dream of having a “Christmas Vacation” home!  Nothing could make my Holiday better than seeing the power grid of Chicago shut down due to my usage!

There were various events to attend over the next couple of weeks and before we knew it, our college boy was home for a couple weeks!

Josh and I love the city, so we were so excited for our first trip in over Christmas!  We were able to take in “Christmas in Chicago” at the Symphony Hall with special guests, the Von Trapp Family.  It was wonderful and I am looking forward to that becoming a tradition for us in our new home!  It was followed by a dinner at Shake Shack (serious, yummy) and then our first venture to the Christkindlmarket.  I have one word for that-crowded!!!!!!  It looks awesome, from what we can tell, but going in the evening was not our best idea!  (We later would find a smaller one at the Oak Brook Mall, closer to our home!)

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The beautiful CSO performance hall in Chicago.  

One of my favorite deliveries over the Season, was a box from my Aunt in Pickwick!  Y’all, her peanut brittle is legendary!  My smile was huge when I opened a box from her and inside was a nice Holiday stash of this delicacy!  What made me smile even more was the inclusion of a couple of photos from way back in the day!

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What a throwback!  This is me (on the right), with my middle sis (on the left) and my late cousin, Todd.  

We made it over to Geneva one evening for a delicious meal and a walk around the downtown area to take in the Christmas festivities of what has become my favorite Chicago area town.  What is not to be loved about a town that has multiple candy stores!!!!! Graham’s Chocolate…oh  my goodness.  All Chocolate Kitchen…shut the front door!  Seriously.  Such a wonderful town!

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Geneva’s lovely Christmas Tree

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Yes, I really did meet Santa’s reindeer!

Christmas Eve, we started a new tradition this year. After Christmas Eve service,  Morton’s Steakhouse!  I would love to show you pictures of us in our Christmas best, but we all left our phones at home!  So thankful we made the reservation long before Christmas!  This is a new tradition that I think I love!

Christmas Day was quiet and just the three of us.  A small Christmas dinner was made and our college boy opened his gifts!

At some point over the next couple of days, we decided another trip into the city was warranted.  Christmas money in our pockets and shopping to be done!  We loved finding an area we had not explore before.  Right behind Bloomingdales-Rush Street.  Granted, most of the stores I probably could not have purchased a key chain, but we did manage to find some great buys at some other stores.  It was also fun window shopping at the Bentley store.  Drizzling rain all day on us, but it ended up being the “best day” of the entire break.  We grabbed a meal at Eataly and ran into our former choir director and his family from many years ago from FBC.  What a small world!

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The train ride into the city!

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Chicago at Christmas

Just like that the Christmas Season came to a close and our college boy was back at Midway headed back for his final semester of his undergraduate career.  Exciting times for him as he heads into audition season for graduate school.  Seven auditions!  We cannot wait to see where he ends up!  He has worked so hard and has become this amazing young professional!

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Hello from Naperville’s best hot chocolate cafe!  

Christmas One, Chicago Style…in the books.

 

 

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