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Christmas at the Harlan’s

Just like every year Thanksgiving is at my parent’s house, every year we spend an afternoon around Christmas at my Aunt and Uncle’s house.  Every year both holidays are a lot of fun, and this year did not disappoint.  My super smart cousin, who is working in Chicago, was only home for a few days so our window was shorter than normal.  But I’m glad it all worked out.  It had been, I think we figured, since the previous year that we saw Tricia.  So it was a treat to see her, and everyone else too of course!

This year we added something to our festivities, besides presents and stuffing our faces with delicious food.  We had an
ornament gift exchange.


Our time is together is always short.  But luckily there are many opportunities to get together during 2013.

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Winner Winner

For the last 20 days the polls have been open.  Up for the winning was $100 dollar credit towards a session (good through October 1, 2013), and for the 2nd runner up a gift – an 11×14 canvas wrap ($55 value).  You guys brought in 96 votes.  Woowoo!  Good job!  But I know you’re ready to find out who the first place winner is and who the runner up is.  Right?

Or maybe I should drag this on a little longer.

Here’s a little graph showing you who the winner is.  That person got a whopping 39%!  The runner up, which there are actually 2 of (but they’re of the same family so it’s all good) tied with 10%.

So who are the winners you ask?

Congratulations to the winner and her family (picture #21) for winning the $100 credit towards a session this year!  Does anyone know how to make the computer do the bells and whistles sound?  ‘Cause I’d really like to have sound effects right now!  I’m excited you won!

And our runner up goes to… Jamielee (pictures #4 and #5)!  Jamielee, please email me at to order your 11×14 canvas wrap from your session.

That was fun wasn’t it?!?!  I can’t wait to have this same contest next year with all of my 2013 sessions.  If you or someone you know is interested in booking a session, please don’t hesitate to call or email.  I’d love to capture the memories of you and your family.

Thanks all!

Booking sessions!  Contact me today for availability.

Courtney Montague - March 26, 2013 - 5:01 am

You’ve got it! How does the weekend before our (hehe) birthday sound? We’ll get something on the calendar! 🙂

Leah Taylor - March 26, 2013 - 3:31 am

Thank you Courtney!! I would like to book for Ceaton’s 1 year bday in May 🙂

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Teaser: CHL

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Making Sugar Cookies

Family traditions.  We have them and we love them.  Every family has different traditions.  Some have the same or similar traditions.  Let me share one of our family traditions with you (although we haven’t done it in a few years due to married sibling rotating holiday schedules).

We make sugar cookies for Christmas.  Homemade, from scratch, frosted sugar cookies.  And they’re good!  Mom has a large tupperware full of cookie cutters, and in the past we’ve gone crazy with any shape that is related to Christmas.  This year we – Paige, Kaitlin, and I – scaled it back to just two.  A tree and a star.  Sometimes simplicity is best.  You see, the funny thing about this tradition while we were all younger is that the younger 3 (I’m the oldest of 4) would be all gung-ho at the beginning.  Measuring, mixing, etc.  They’d help roll out one ball of dough, cut the shapes, load the cookie to bake (roughly 2 sheets worth), then they’d bail.  TV, nintendo 64, the phone.  Something else to do because we got to the “boring” part of sugar cookie making.  And can you guess who got to finish that task?  Yep, me.  That is until it was time to make the icing!  Everyone would pour back into the kitchen to mix powdered sugar and butter.  The thick good creamy stuff.  And then we’d frost the cookies.  And decorate with sprinkles.  Well, they’d do a handful each.  I’d finish them up.  Then we’d all taste test for quality purposes, a very important job.  Cookies were ready for public consumption!

This was the cycle.  The tradition.  And as much as I disliked the extra work and the siblings that bailed, I still volunteered for the job every year.  Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment.  Maybe I’m a sucker.  Or maybe I’m just sentimental about that time spent with my brother and sisters.

This year was different though.  My sisters and I made plans to have a cookie makin’ afternoon at my house.  I’m game.  Hello, I’m game whenever sugar is involved.  No arm twisting required.  This year they did all the work.  Role reversal.  I pulled all the ingredients out.  And helped frost the cookies, with most of an icing (not buttercream).  Oh, and I made an appetizer for the next day visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousins.  I must admit, I was quite nice to do all the “heavy work”.

Will this tradition continue?  Oh heck yes!  And someday we’ll have some little rugrats running around helping out.  Teaching them about family traditions, and togetherness.  Until then, it’s just us.  Just as it always has been.

And that’s ok.  More cookies for me.  🙂

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2012 #photoaday

366 days in 2012.  366 photos for #photoaday.  Done!

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