Saturday, December 24, 2011

Showering Baby Melsa

You know, Matt + Elsa = Melsa

Our wonderful friends threw us a wonderful baby shower. It was lots of fun to be together and just having a shower makes this whole 'baby' thing a lot more real. I remember back when we first found out we were pregnant that thinking of the third trimester felt so far away but it is here and it time to start preparing.

It was extra special since our friends Carolyn and Ashley came into town from MN to help with the celebration. You guys are such great friends! It was also very important to make sure our friend Christine was able to be there as she is moving to Africa very soon for two years. AND our friend from Ecuador happened to be in town so she was also able to join in! (We didn't even take a picture together, Natalia!)

Me and my sisters

Some good name suggestions. So I pretty much failed in taking pictures (I think my sister got a few more good ones, maybe I'll add those). Thanks friends for everything! We are so appreciative to have you in our lives and now our baby's life.

Also it was our nieces Caroline and Addison's 2nd birthday this month. I can't believe they are already 2! Here they are at their birthday party with dad...
Happy birthday and we love you Addison and Caroline!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

28 Weeks

So here I am at 28 weeks. I can't believe that I am already in my third trimester! Time really is flying by which is just fine with me (at least for right now). Things are progressing just fine; the baby is growing well, moving a lot and I am feeling pretty good.

And in the spirit of taking weirdly clothed baby bump is a gem of an outfit that I dug out of my mom's closet...

Reminds me of my childhood when she used to wear this lovely warm-up suit. I have to say, it was very comfortable. I mean, VERY comfortable, like almost the most comfortable thing I have ever put on.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Goodbye 1417 Redbud Lane

It was the end of an era in the Wallgren family...our grandparents moved out of their house a little over a month ago. We all have spent so much time in that house that I wouldn't even know where to start but I have to say that one of my favorite memories are spending Sundays there. Growing up, we used to go to grandma and grandpa's house every Sunday for dinner after church then hang out (cousins, aunts, uncles and all) for the whole day.

And of course the other favorite memory for all of us is celebrating Christmas there (starting with dinner on Christmas Eve, continuing with a huge family sleepover, then finishing with a Swedish pancake breakfast and spending the morning in PJ's playing with all the new Christmas toys). We will miss the house and the traditions that go with it but we also know that their house was just a place.

A few months ago (before knowing they were moving) I just happened to walk around their house snapping shots of some of my favorite vignettes...

And here are some pics from Christmas morning a few years ago...

Yes, that is "A Christmas Story" on in the background

As you can see from the above photos, my grandma has a great eye for antiques and has spent her life collecting them, too many to take with to their new two bedroom apartment, so she decided to divvy it all up between the daughters and granddaughters...and we were all happy to comply.

So after everything was sorted, we had a few days of "give-aways" where every one of us ended up with loads and loads of 'new' (old) treasures and great pieces. Here are a few pics of the piles of loot...

And all the women ready to pounce.


and after

Here are some of the things that I brought home (and this was just part of the stuff from one of three days).

And some of my favorites (although its hard to choose because I love it all)...
A copper pot and tray that originally belonged to my great grandmother. She had the same initials as me (her maiden name, Elvira Martha Johnson, and my married name, Elsa Martha Johnson) so my grandma saw fit to give these pieces to me since her initials were engraved on the tray. The tray was given to her as a teenager when her family left her behind on a trip to Sweden and they brought it back for her since she couldn't go (kind of a consolation prize I guess).

Love this large glass jar

The special birthday plate

These dishes also belonged to my great grandmother.

I love this drawer piece (it was in one of their upstairs bathrooms). And the powder box was another one of my great grandmas from the 1920's.

This bench was in their basement and used as a coffee table by us kids on all those Sundays. Now I have it at our dining room table and just love it.

The bell that grandma used to ring when dinner was ready.

And one random thing that I got from their house that I love is this book "The Century Book of Facts". It is filled with facts about how things were in the world in 1900 and I could look at it for hours.

So we gathered together one last time to share memories, give thanks for our family, cry, pray together and celebrate many great years of traditions and many more to come.

And then the house was empty.
But like I said before, we know it is just a place. It's fun for all of us now to have some of the special pieces of their house live on in ours. And it has also been fun to see how my grandma has put together her new space...very inspirational for my own designing.

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. We were lucky to be able to celebrate with both sides of our family since Matt's family was able to come out here to Chicago for the holiday weekend...and our little one bedroom apartment was bursting at the seams with all of us Johnsons! We had a great time catching up, hanging out, playing pinocle and eating. It's always fun to have some time to relax and just be together. And it's great to have our families together once in a while since they live so far away from each other.

The Johnson clan

At Tre Konor

We're glad you were able to come, Mark, Debbie and Jeff! It was fun to have you and celebrate the holiday together.
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