Christmas Eve was a lovely day. We headed off to church bright and earlyish.
Where she went to Sabbath school with her cousins and friends. Ryan's cousin Shirlyn is all the way on the left with her two littles (or three I should say, one is still a baby bump!) and next to them are two friends, and my cousins. It always sets me back a few, to introduce those little ladies as my cousins. They feel much more like nieces! It makes me smile to see Leilani getting to grow up with all of these sweeties.
After a lovely morning with our church family, we headed off to Ryan's parents house to spend the day with them and some friends. Leilani just adores her Thatha and Grandma. They spoil her to no end.
And in the evening, she got to open her first gifts of the year! The new pink penguin pajamas were an instant favorite.
She had to put them on right away.
When we got home late that evening and got her tucked into bed, Ryan and I got to work tidying up our little space for the next morning. I am so thankful for our cozy little house. I am thankful that the Lord has allowed us to be here this holiday season. He has been so faithful to provide during this crazy time, I am so in awe that He has not only provided for our needs, but He even gave us enough to give away! Under the tree was full of gifts to be given to each other and to family and friends.
The next morning was sunny and less chilly. We all got to sleep in a little, and when I got out of bed, Ryan had made corn bread! Leilani woke up to this adorable little rocking chair given to us by a friend, and to a new little stuffed puppy sitting on top with a bow. It was really sweet to be able to give her this surprise morning.
Dada and Leilani started a fire, which only lasted about as long as the presents did. One day we will figure that thing out... It sure did smell nice and crackle pleasantly while it lasted.
We gave Leilani her stuffed puppy and a new vintage baby doll (both for $3! LOVE those awesome thrift finds.) a new pair of pajamas and two new books: The Water Hole by Graeme Base (a counting book with wonderful illustrations) and How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? from her favorite "How Do Dinosaurs ...?" series. We had to read both right when she opened them.
Ryan also got her a big box of holiday shaped goldfish crackers. That was probably her favorite gift.
We managed not to take another picture the rest of the day! I gave Ryan a new Redskins sweatshirt (which was a hit) and a few other little things, and he surprised me completely with a beautiful new dress, and a box of tea, which had a new 31Bits necklace inside. I was a happy Mama. He is so good at thoughtful gifts. It was a simple Christmas at home this year that felt just right. It was so nice to be able to spend the morning at home together.
We stopped by my parents for an hour or two on the way to his aunt's house for the rest of the day. Both were lovely. His family always does Secret Santa, and this year we had a special twist. We each were assigned a family member, and we limited our gift budget to half the usual amount. With the other half, we picked a special ministry or cause to give to. Compassion, World Vision, ADRA, and Smile Train were some of the ministries we all gave to. It was really great to come together as a family to give gifts that truly made a difference. I look forward to doing it again!
Twas our Christmas. Being able to spend it all with family felt so great this year. After the whirlwind of "what ifs" and change this fall, it was such a relief to be able to spend the holidays here.
Thank you Lord, "my cup runneth over." I am so thankful for it all!