Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 2013: Christmas Eve & Day!

Christmas Eve wonderfulness started at Chapman's house - with Mike's extended family joining us for dinner and singing Grandpa Chapman's song. the girls played on the Sport Court in short sleeved dresses because we live in California and that's what California Christmases are all about.

i love that my girls know their great grandparents so well. they love their Grandma Grapes! (what they call all their great grandparents...the "greats" or the "grapes" depending on the minute or hour).

one of Grandpa's friends, Beverly came and celebrated with us and brought the girls little gift bags with these bears in them. the surest way to their hearts is through stuffed animals - so you can bet that Beverly was very easily their favorite person of the evening.

once everyone left, the girls opened their Christmas jammies, and we rolled out some sugar cookies to bake and frost for Santa. we took this process very seriously. only the best for Mr. SC!

the girls looked so cute in their cozy jammies! annnddd they were extra hyped up on sugar cookies and sweets so that was fun. 

finally everyone went to sleep -- and the girls were sleeping in our room. so Christmas morning came, and it was so cute to look over and see a little arm waving at me. 

and then another little arm waving at me. they whispered, "is it Christmas?? IT'S CHRISTMAS!"

 and then you'd better believe that they were ready to race down those stairs to see if Santa had come or not.....

and of course he came. OF COURSE!!

all of the girls' dreams came true as Santa brought them each their very own, very first American Girl Doll, Saige.

they adored those dolls!

mama and daddy also got them some gifts, including (but not limited to) some new dress ups! i see an adorable Dorothy and Glinda in our future!!!! (ok, that was a little self-interested since i'm a little Dorothy obsessed but i just couldn't resist!)

and mama and daddy also spoiled them with some Leap Pads! they were pretty stoked over those. let's just say these little girls had it prettttty dang good this year. 

 grandma and grandpa got Ellie her very own Sewing Machine (it's a kid one that binds fabric together without a needle - but is real felt fabric...Ellie adored it!)

and from Gammy and Pops, tons of new Frozen accessories to go with their Disney Passes from earlier in the month. you can only imagine how thrilled they were over these gloves and those boots and fancies that matched perfectly with their costumes.

i don't even remember what we had for Christmas breakfast, but it looks like Alice loved it!

all in all, a wonderful Christmas morning with these lil loves.

 Santa left a couple of extra touches to let us know for sure that he was there:
first, he ate almost all of those sugar cookies. what a jolly man he is! (oh, and Tim Mark Phil Dave even helped a little! bless that sneaky lil Elf)

second, he filled our sweet baby boys' stockings with little bears. i loved that. matching bears for our best boys. felt like they were both with us even though they are both far away for now.

 and after a wonderful cozy Christmas morning, we got all dressed up and went and saw Frozen in the theater as a family. of course the girls LOVED that. and after seeing the show, we went to the cemetery to Max's place to show him his stocking and his bear.

those moments of being there together as a family are so important to me. they are difficult because i can't pretend like everything is ok. it's a reality check that Max isn't with us making these memories in the same way. it's a harsh reality to be faced with and accept. but it's also in these moments that i can feel him most near. because we think about him and include him which invites him to be near. and so i felt that gift of having him near - and that was my most favorite Christmas gift this year. feeling my little family whole and complete for some brief moments at the cemetery. i love my forever family and am so grateful that we are whole because of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Savior. i know that His love is what makes my family's forever possible. and there is no greater gift that has ever been given than that. and so while we felt a void this Christmas, i also felt the truest meaning of Christmas than i ever have.

what a gift it is that our Savior was born - and that He lived the life He did for all of us. Merry Christmas 2013! it was a very Merry one indeed.


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