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Thursday, January 17, 2013


Christmas morning always starts bright and early at the Graf house! This year, we slept in clear until 5:30 a.m. before running down the stairs to the tree. It was a happy little Christmas with fun and thoughtful gifts and memories all around.

My favorite gifts from Matt were the blanket of all of Jake's month-by-month pictures and all of the awesome "coupons" that he sketched for me. So sweet, right? As for Matt, he basically died over the Rock'N'Roll bike trainer that he thought he'd only ever dream of. And Jake? He loved seeing all the wrapping paper flying and playing with his new airplane and sports balls. Our little guy kept saying "ball!" over and over while throwing the football around the room and clapping for himself. Since he was sick, we actually put him back to bed in the middle of the gifts and let him wake up to finish his later. And speaking of gifts... the one I was most excited about was the one my siblings and I gave my mom and grandma. Scroll down for more on that :)
When my Grandpa Smith passed away this summer, everyone was so sad that we didn't have any of his music either recorded or written down. Grandpa was a music major, music teacher, piano tuner, and incredibly talented musician who wrote dozens of the most beautiful piano songs. Luckily, I had a picture of Grandpa playing the piano with my dad and his video camera in the background from a few Christmases back, so I knew that we at least had a couple of his songs on video, and I knew just where (when, really) to tell my dad to look for them. It was such a sweet and comforting gift for my mom, her siblings, my grandma, and all of us really, to sit and listen to Grandpa play the piano as we prepared for his funeral. The most precious part was the song that he had written for my Grandma. But still, we didn't have any copies of his music written down.
For Christmas, I found a very talented pianist who was able to listen to the mp3 file of the song Grandpa wrote for Grandma and transcribe it to sheet music. It was nothing short of a miracle, actually, finding someone who was both willing and able to accomplish such a task in the time frame we needed -- during the holidays, no less. I printed the sheet music whole as the first part of the gift, and for the other, I chose three lines of the song, had FedEx blow them up for me, then tea stained the paper and had it framed for my parents' living room. My siblings are awesome and went in on the custom framing so we could all give it to my mom. For Grandma, we shrunk each page of the sheet music and put it in a little frame for her bedroom. We all cried as they opened their gifts and loved that, in a way, Grandpa got to be there for Christmas after all.
Jakey woke back up later that morning and wrapped up the unwrapping of gifts. Then, in order to not infect his 24 cousins, we left him with my parents and drove up the state to Matt's parents' house for the remainder of Christmas. It killed me leaving Jake behind (even though he's more than happy to stay and play with my family), but it would have killed to miss the Davis Christmas party, too, so... I just came home earlier than usual and we all survived. The Davises were so fun and generous, as usual, and we had a great time up there. Pretty sure Matt didn't leave until 2 a.m.! It was a very merry Christmas, indeed.


  1. I bawled at your gift. Gosh I hope I'm not pregnant;)

  2. I cried when I read about the gifts for your mother and grandma. The video of your grandpa playing the piano is so sweet!

  3. What a beautiful and sentimental present. How wonderful for your mom and grandma.

  4. It still makes me cry, too, every time I see it on the wall!


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