It has been a flurry of activity lately!December has felt pretty chaotic, and we've had both really fun and really sad things going on. First for the fun stuff! Grandpa Wayne and Grandma Sharon came for a visit in early December. They got to spend lots of time with their two nutso granddaughters (I have a hilarious video of Sharon trying to feed them breakfast, but it won't upload. I'll keep trying!) They left a singing snowman thing that the girls love to dance to:
The girls also got to meet Santa in early December. I was a little worried about how they'd do sitting on a hairy stranger's lap, but they must have already sensed that Santa was a good guy because they did just fine!On December 13th, Claire and Abby's cousin Lily turned 1! I can't believe its already been a year since she was born. Lily had a great party at Grandma and Grandpa's house with her family and friends.
Lily got tons of great presents, but I'm sure she loved this spinning Elmo chair from her Aunt Lisa, Uncle Ryan, and cousins Claire and Abby the best. :) You can see more pictures soon at my sister's blog: www.woyak.com.
As soon as Lily's party ended, us Lamberts hopped in the car and drove to Eau Claire for a housewarming party for Ryan's brother, Scott, and his wife, Emma, who just moved into their new house. We also had part one of our family Christmases and the girls' first ever Christmas celebration. We partied it up with Grandma Gwen, Grandpa Rich, Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Andy, Cousin Alex (2, pictured above with her parents), Uncle Scott and Aunt Emma.
The girls (Claire, left, and Abby, above) got cute mouse ears from Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Andy, as well as these cool puzzles with their names on them. They also got a turtle that projects stars and moons on the wall around their room from Uncle Scott and Aunt Emma. Alex seemed to like the Tinkerbell book and Thomas duplos we got her, too. We all got great gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, too, including story book pillows, new sleepers, snowman magnets, and more!
Campbell Family ChristmasAnd the Christmas fun continues! We spent Christmas Eve at Grandma Maggie and Grandpa Mike's house with Aunt Jill, Uncle Jason, Cousin Lily, Uncle Greg, and Great-Aunt Pat. We discovered a new food we love: green marshmallow jello salad. Yum!
The girls wore these beautiful dresses that Grandma Sharon made for them (can you believe she made them?!?!). Abby, in green, and Claire, in red, looked so adorable! I would have loved to get a picture of them in their dresses WITHOUT pacifiers in their mouths, but they've been teething pretty badly lately and scream any time they're without them. It's made for a fun few days with the girls!
There were also many more wonderful gifts at the Campbell Christmas! The girls got a Radio Flyer wagon -- complete with seat belts, cup holders, and a canopy -- from Grandma and Grandpa. They also got a Little People musical ride-on toy, which they are loving, and a book rack from Aunt Jill and Uncle Jason. And of course, Santa brought them lots of toys and treats! It was a wonderful first Christmas! (I was also incredibly excited and surprised when Ryan and I got a camcorder from Jill and Papa! Woo hoo! I'll put it to good use and you can expect more videos from me in the future, I'm sure)
Good-bye Grandma GreatBy far, the biggest (and saddest) thing that happened this December was the loss of the girls' "Grandma Great" (my grandma and my mom's mom) Dorothy Stinson. Grandma Stinson lived a wonderfully long 93-years, and was very healthy for most of those years. However, a very bad gall bladder infection left her with no other choice but to go through surgery, and the recovery became too hard for her. She passed away the afternoon of December 14th, surrounded by her three children and others who loved her.
When I think of my Grandma Stinson, I am sad that my girls won't ever get to hold her soft hands, or play with her beautiful snow white hair, or eat the delicious food that only she could make, but I am so very grateful that she got to meet my girls and spend at least a little time with them. Her family brought such delight to her, as she told us often, and I know each one of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren had a special place in her heart, as she did in ours. She was an incredible woman with a great sense of humor (even at 93!), and she will be missed very much.
My brother and I visited our grandma in the hospital the night before her surgery. I told her that she was in every single one of my big memories from childhood, and it's true! My roommates in college used to refer to my family as "the herd" because we went everywhere together. I realize now how lucky I was to have that. What kid gets not only their immediate family, but also both their grandmas and their aunt, for every birthday and holiday celebration and every trip to the cabin? She has left me a legacy of wonderful memories, and a family whose strength and warmth grew from her own. When it comes down to it, and especially at Christmas, it's the best gift I have ever been given.