We were planning on spending Christmas in Iowa with my family so we had our own little Christmas on December 16. The night before was our pretend Christmas Eve and the kids opened their pajamas. Once they were snuggled in bed, Laura and I got the presents set up and Andrew finished a few last minute gifts.
The next morning they came down ready to see if Santa came to visit us. While I grabbed the camera Andrew read a few stories. We opened stockings and found smocks and candy that Santa left. Everyone was hungry so we broke for breakfast before opening the presents under the tree.
My dad had sent a few messages for us to talk so I gave him a quick call while everyone ate. He delivered the news that my Grandma Blomquist had died the night before. She had a catastrophic stroke and died quickly. This was super unexpected news. I broke down sobbing and had a steady stream of tears until late afternoon. My body carried me through the stages of shock while I sat on the couch and fed Laura and we opened presents.
Emily received the doll I made which she named Charlotte right on the spot (but sometimes she’s Clara or Susan), a book of the letters I wrote her and pictures of her for the first year of her life, a bible (she was soooo excited! She’s wanted one for a long time – she tried taping two book of mormons together for a bit and then borrowed mine) and a book from Grandma Jackson. Nathan received the boy doll, a harmonica, a pair of snow boots (which he thought was a big chocolate coming out of the box), and books from Grandma Jackson. Both kids were so excited and grateful for each gift they opened. Nathan ate all his Christmas candy and orange while we were opening gifts.
Andrew made interlocking discs for Laura which Emily helped to open and show her. They are beautiful! It will be fun to see Laura start to use them in a few weeks.