This post has been slow in coming, due to the great amount of pictures I had to sort through! Grandparents who take a ton of pictures are great at preserving memories - it's just hard picking which ones to use! :)
From Alabama with my family, my parents drove us to Atlanta for the annual gathering of Ryan's mom's family. She has 6 brothers and sisters, and they all make sure they're there, and the cousins all try to come too.
We were still battling sickness, as I had a bad cold and Ryan was getting over the stomach bug. So Sunday I spent most of the day at the hotel resting and making sure Hadassah got a good nap as she was tired from late nights and lots of activity. But on the up side, I read a book in one day, which hasn't happened in forever!
For a few moments, Hadassah had her grandparents all together. It can't get much better than that! I've never seen a baby so in love with her grandparents... it always thrills her to see them on skype weekly, and she loved being with them in person. She often asks for them at home now, and it's hard to tell her we can't go see them anytime soon... So we look at a lot of pictures. :)
With Evan just three months younger than Hadassah, it's fun to be raising a child at the same time as Ryan's sister, having common things to talk about and relate on.
With her shoes bought in China wearing out a month after getting them, we went shoe shopping with the grandparents on Saturday morning :)
A glass-topped coffee table provided many happy times of play :)
It was a beautiful day, so we enjoyed some time outside
Nothing is quite as fun as being swung around by Daddy!
You've got to love Christmas in the south, where you play in the leaves instead of in the snow! :)
I was also happy that Hadassah finally got to wear a dress I made. I cut it out in China, only to find the sewing machine I was borrowing wasn't working. So, I brought it along and made good use of the jet lag by staying up 'til Midnight on Christmas sewing it together. It's already almost too short, but I like how the colors turned out, using fabric from aprons made for our wedding and from curtains for our first home.
One of Hadassah's 2nd cousins was also a year old! They didn't play much together, but had fun playing side by side at times.
We stayed at the same hotel Ryan's parents were at, and whenever we were there, Hadassah always wanted to go down the hall to "G'ma and G'pa." And no wonder, when she'd get extra love and crackers! :)
For the first big family gathering, the cousins organized an ugly Christmas sweater competition. Hadassah's face says it all... her parents looked pretty crazy!
Some of the other awesome contestants!
"I fish you a Merry Christmas" won the guy's trophy, and I took home the girls' award, with the tackiest sweater ever, a girl's pajama topped with sewn on ornaments and accessories. Ryan won in a category they made up just for him... ;)
Sunday night we had the traditional caroling. So much fun to hear everyone singing out heartily!
Hadassah loves to dance to music, and when she found an empty space, she went at it, twirling and smiling. Made this dance-loving mama proud. :)
Hadassah found out that if she's not careful, her grandparents might put her behind bars...
...but all for the purpose of giving her lots of fun!
Monday morning we set out with Ryan's parents for an all-day drive to Indiana for the last week of our time in the US...