What a whirlwind of family and cooking and sewing and eating and eating and playing and reading a snuggling and eating the past several days have been!
After some frantic Saturday morning sewing and stenciling, we drove through a blizzard to celebrate Christmas with Tim's family on Saturday evening.
On Christmas Eve, we returned to Tim's parents' to spend time with just them. We built a gingerbread house, which has become an annual event at their house on Christmas Eve.
Then the four of us and Tim's parents joined my parents and Grandma Jean for the a Christmas Eve service. It was the first time I had been to church on Christmas Even in probably 7 or 8 years, and it was a nice change. I love that service - all the readings and carols that tell the Christmas story. Just what a Christmas Eve service should be.
Christmas morning we woke up at our house to find presents from Santa. I guess that elf pictured in my last post told Santa good things, because he brought Eliot lots of wooden railway pieces and the Kit American Girl doll for Aidin. She was really surprised. And overjoyed.
We didn't go overboard with the kids this year. We let Santa take care of the something they wanted. For something they needed, each got some clothes. For something handmade, they each received a Nutcracker that I painted and Tim helped to re-assemble. And for something to read, Aidin got the Lauren Child Pippi Longstocking book that I posted about earlier (and so did Aunt Paige, the first Pippi fan of the family) and an American Girl word game book. Eliot got four books - the new Bear book, Bear Feels Sick, the classic Make Way for Ducklings, Curious George and the Dump Truck, and Froggy Plays Soccer. We all think the Froggy books are hilarious.
After a little bit of playing we loaded up the car and drove back to my mom and dad's to celebrate Christmas with my family. We had a fantastic brunch, opened presents, and enjoyed time with my brother's family.
And about then we got the phone call from my Aunt Debbie in Colorado. Her partner, Paul, one of the most wonderful, caring and optimistic men I have ever met, was tubing on the mountain on Christmas Eve, had a heart attack and passed away. So although the time with our family at Christmas was terrific, we have the terrible sadness in our hearts as we move forward from this festive season. And it just doesn't seem right at the moment to give you a laundry list of crafts I made. I've posted some pictures on flickr, if you're interested.
Tomorrow is Eliot's kid birthday party (I stole all the ideas from Kirsten's Cars party for Thomas last year), and right after that we are going to leave for Colorado and Paul's funeral, weather permitting.
So hug those you love close. One minute you can be having fun, the next minute it can all be over. I hate to end the year on this sad note, but such is life at the moment. May 2008 bring you many moments of love and joy. See you next year, my friends. See you next year.