Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa Babies

Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas 
if you stop opening presents and listen.
-- Anonymous
This Santa's helper was extra special to our family. It was typecasting for Melvin, Randy's Dad. Nobody had to twist his arm to don the red suit and beard each year for Stafford's Santaland.
It gave him the perfect opportunity to keep adults guessing and interact with his favorite people - kids.
In some ways, it's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since he passed away and 16 since Marie died. We're thankful for the memories. And we're still making new ones, though the celebration has changed - and the people might look at little different these days, too. We picked up Brent at the airport last evening, then met Kathy, Dave and Emily at Hangar One. Amanda was sick, and Jill, Eric & Kinley were traveling back from Iowa. And that's OK. Next time, it may be a different combination of faces and places. But it's not the day or the location that matters: It's family - whether all the different puzzle pieces are together or just in our hearts and minds and memories.

The changes are evident on my side of the family, too. Today is my Mom's birthday. The annual birthday photo with Grandma and the grandkids was first complete in 1994, the year Madison was born. It was tough to capture all the faces in the photo. That hasn't gotten any easier.
Last year, there were two great-grandchildren to add to the family photo. This year, there are already two more. But that photo snapshot will be obsolete next month, when my niece has her second baby.
Braden, Neelly and Great-Grandma
Today, I'm thankful for family and making memories.


  1. Dear Kim, Thank you so much for sharing these photos. My father passed away 22 years ago, and of course Christmas has never been the same. We travelled back to Stafford for 15 years, and when Allie and my niece Daisy were small. I know they have memories of those Kansas Christmases. Randy's parents were my 4-H leaders and wonderful people. I know they are all missed very much. God bless you, Randy and your family this Christmas season. Cathy

    1. Thanks, Cathy. Yes, my in-laws were very special people (as are my parents). I am blessed with a wonderful heritage and wonderful memories, and it sounds like you are, too. My very best to you and yours this holiday season. May it be filled with love and laughter!

  2. Merry Christmas, Kim! Thanks for sharing the old photos--I love seeing them! And now I can't wait for the 2012 edition!

    1. Mrs. E - I want to see photos of those gingerbread houses! Wishing you a wonderful day of building new memories with the "Bug" and your girls!