About a month ago, around July 4th, we went with another family to Chicago - Wooohooo, ROAD TRIP!!

When we first decided to go to Chicago, I was actually rather excited. I had always heard about the great architecture there and was anticipating some great scens and pictures. Well, as it turns out, the architecture was just OK, as were the pictures, but I got something out of it that was much more important.

When the girls found out we we're going to visit Chicago, the first thing that got planned was a visit to American Girl. We discovered American Girl a couple of years ago on a trip to New York City. My co-worker suggested that we take the girls there and to this day, I still curse her for the suggestion. :))

For those who don't know American Girl, it's a huge store that sell dolls - really expensive dolls. The extravagance at American Girl knows no end. They offer high tea, lunch and dinner - with little high chairs for the dolls. And they even have a salon for the dolls - yes, that's right - a SALON for the dolls.

On this visit to American Girl, we booked a lunch and I was expecting another fortune to be spent there. Funny thing though is that while we spent a lot of time there, we spent on a moderate amount of money. My oldest daughter, despite being told she had a certain amount to spend as part of her graduation gift, bought nothing. Instead, she chose to save her money for some jewelry, specifically, jewelry that is actually for adults. Watching her search through American Girl, seeing her internal conflict between the jewelry and American Girl clothes really brought to light what I already knew - they don't stay young forever. I get scared thinking about them growing up and I see my younger cousins getting married and having kids of their own, I really dread the day when my girls "don't need me anymore."

That dreaded day will come soon enough - but this trip taught me the most important lesson. Getting good pictures is nice, but making memories and capturing them is what's really important.

I'm looking forward to creating the next set of memories!!!