A Very Illinois Christmas (pictures + words) : Part I

On Friday we got out of work, grabbed a bite to eat, and went home to take a short nap before we started our trip to Illinois. We were planning on leaving at 10:30 and driving through the night so we needed a little bit of rest.

When we woke up, we packed the car and started our trip when Caleb “remembered” he left his phone charger in the apartment. A few minutes later, he called from inside & asked if I would come in to help him find it. I ran in, and instead of finding a lost phone charger, was welcomed by a table filled with Christmas presents.

For the past year I have been asking for a camera. Growing up, my mom often called me a “leaky faucet” because I am notorious for being persistent with my requests. I love taking pictures, and drool over photography in my spare time. Every time I brought up the idea of buying a new camera, Caleb would brush it off, and I finally came to terms with the fact that iPhone photography was going to be my destiny.

However, Caleb not only surprised me with a brand new Canon, but with two lenses, filters, a cleaning kit, a tripod, and other things I can’t think of as I write this.

happy camera

After I cried & Caleb took this picture, we hit the road (for real), and drove 14 hours straight to Belvidere, IL. When we decided to visit Illinois for the holidays, I asked my Aunt & Uncle to keep our visit a surprise for the cousins. It was so great ringing the doorbell & hearing squeals of joy from Emily, Luke, Aaron, and Joy as they realized what was happening.

Here are a few pictures of our visit thus far (some from my new Camera, and others from my iPhone):

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Baby Joy is by far my favorite person to photograph

Christmas 1 Christmas 2 Christmas 3 Christmas 4

Christmas 7 Christmas 8We went to church & saw Luke, Emily, & Aaron in their Sunday School Christmas Program.  

Christmas 15

Christmas 10 Christmas 9

Christmas 17

Christmas 12

Christmas 6

Luke let me practice taking pictures of him:

Christmas 5 Christmas 11

Today we went into the city and visited Millennium Park & The Art Institute of Chicago:

Christmas 14 Christmas 13

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Christmas 18

We saw a few of our favorite paintings: 

photo (43)

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

photo (41)

Shoe Shop by Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones

photo (39)

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

photo (38)

Greyed Rainbow by Jackson Pollock

photo (42)

American Gothic by Grant Wood 

It’s only Monday, and we already feel so blessed to be here.

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10 thoughts on “A Very Illinois Christmas (pictures + words) : Part I

  1. I LOVE this. You are an excellent writer. I love the story, that was SO sweet of Caleb. (And doesn’t God always go beyond what we could ask for.) You totally deserve that camera because you were humble and content with just your iPhone. You are a natural photographer. Keep it up! I love the shot of the little boy with the lights behind him. (And I’m going to use your mom’s quote.)

  2. Holly – I appreciate this whole comment more than you know!
    I can’t wait to learn more about how to use my camera – it’s been so fun playing with it & learning as I go along.

    Haha it’s a great quote, isn’t it. 😉

    p.s. HAPPY ENGAGEMENT. ❤

  3. I love reading about your trips, Kelly! I’m with Holly, you are a GREAT writer. I especially love that picture of your little cousin Luke. So natural and special.

    Have a great trip, my friend! SO glad we got to spend some time together and I’m looking forward to more conversation over Indian or Thai 🙂

    • Thank you, Bonnie!! I am so so glad that I was able to see you & Bekah before I left. 🙂 It was such a precious time!

      I hope you & Luke have a wonderful Christmas together with family. 💕

  4. Pingback: The Bethadilly Challenge: January 6 – 11 |

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