Christmas 2012: Part Three (Week Thirty-Eight with Vianne)

Posted by Amy O. , Thursday, February 7, 2013 2:06 PM

Christmas Eve morning: we're waiting in a nearly-empty Ontario airport for our flight to Portland to spend Christmas with the Gustafsons/Storeys/Blairs and other Oregon family & friends (Christmas Part Three!).  Vianne charmed the few other wait-ers with her red rose coat & hat cuteness and also amazed us by spontaneously starting to clap while we sat there!  She's clearly a big fan of Christmas - or going to Oregon - or perhaps airports?

Watching the planes and baggage carts with Mama
Vianne once again was a great little airplane passenger - but was exhausted by the time we got to my mom's, crying and touchy and terrified at everything (we have never seen her like this).  Even still, she let us dress her up once more in her Christmas dress...

...and take her to Hope Fellowship's Christmas Eve service where we met up with Geoff, Vera, & David, and the Lincolns, Hsiehs, and Terwilligers. With Rebekah & Ava, opening her present...
Rebekah somehow worked her magic & got to hold Vianne for quite awhile (she wasn't letting anyone else touch her).
Vianne's first (actual) Christmas morning!  We don't have any mirrors at her level at home so she found Grandma's bedroom mirror most entertaining!!

Vianne had some presents waiting under the tree from Great Aunt Carol and Cousin Molly...(still a little reticent about her new environment)
Yellow ladybug pajamas from Great Aunt Carol!
"And what's in this one?"
Redwood tree blocks!
Patrick took a video of Vianne enjoying her blocks...

...and then she got a kick out of watching herself on the camera!
We decided to do something completely new & special this year as an immediate family - go to the Oregon Coast for Christmas!  So after a lovely breakfast with Grandma, we packed up the car full of presents and suitcases and food...
...we headed to Beaverton, and some of us (Winston Churchill) got a nap in... meet up at Uncle Geoff & Aunt Vera's house to drive altogether to the beach.  More people to get re-acquainted with & still a little skittish...(V, Margot, & Grandma).
We caravaned with Geoff & Emily's families and enjoyed the most peaceful, wintery (but not icy!), white Christmas drive to the coast.  It was so perfect!

Watch out! :-)
This is our very cool beach house (we rented) in Rockaway Beach.  Three levels & seven or so bedrooms gave us plenty of room to both be cozy and to enjoy solitude if needed.
The top level lookout.  I confess, what with my debilitating fear of heights, I never ventured up there...
...but everyone else did, and they got some shots of the fabulous views!

Thanks to a creative Thom, we had ourselves a Christmas tree!
Little Miss Christmas!

It didn't take long for Vianne to warm up to all the attention family...

I figured it'd be cold and rainy the whole time & we'd enjoy the view of the beach from the house windows.  I could not have been more wrong!  It was amazingly gorgeous & we even had sun breaks that allowed us to frolic down on the beach.  It was still a bit cold so thankfully Vera loaned us this adorable snowsuit of David's to bundle up our cutie...

The Storeys & Beatrix, taunting the waves...
Uncle Patrick joined in the the fun!

Jenny, Vianne & me

Geoff, Vera, & David

We did lots of puzzles (Gustafson family favorite activity)...

...and hanging out, admiring the view...
I LOVED having three days straight with all my family in one house - waking up to my nieces & nephews like the old days.  My sweet Grant & I had been talking about playing Ticket to Ride together for months - and we finally got our chance!
Matt with his Thor's Hammer (our Christmas gift to him)
Margot & Vianne
Rachael & Vianne
Grandma & her half of her grandkids: Rachael, Bea, David, & Margot
The other half (minus Vianne): Matt, Miriam, & Grant
My mom's creative Grandma tricks never cease to amaze me!  We awoke one morning to her entertaining the kiddos with toothpicks and mini marshmallows!
Grant, building (I think?) a house...
I think Bea ate a few more than she built with...;-)
Vianne getting quite comfortable with Grandma

Vianne & Matt

When we were packing up to leave, these two sweeties were playing on the bed.  I was trying so hard to get a cute one of them both together...
...alas!  (They're still cute!)
After three wonderful days at the beach, we headed back to Grandma's house.  Vianne (wearing a new outfit from Grandma) really enjoyed exploring and testing out her balance on slippery floors.

This trip was the first time our friend Christy got to meet Vianne.  We saw her briefly on Christmas Eve, but we also got to have lunch on Sunday before Christy left again for Texas the next day.  We hope to get more bonding time in this summer!
We couldn't believe the gorgeous weather we had our entire trip!  Very little rain, lots of clear, blue skies - and lots of pinching ourselves - motivated us to get out and see Oregon's outdoor attributes.  Everywhere we went, there were stunning views of Mt. Hood to behold!

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