This past Christmas was as good as it could possibly be without Bryan being there. Marlie slept in a little bit on Christmas morning so I got up before her to help Santa with a few last minute details. I got online and saw that I had a few emails from Bryan asking me to get on Skype. Even though he had been at the computer for a while, I hurried to get on before his time was up. He was still on so I offered to take the laptop to the room where Marlie was sleeping so that he could see her wake up and discover what Santa had left for her. That's exactly what he was able to do! All the way from Afghanistan, he was able to watch Marlie get out of bed and see her Christmas presents for the first time. It was such an awesome blessing for all of us!
Here is some of what he got to see...
While we can get away with it, Marlie's gifts are pretty minimal. The only thing she asked for this year was "lipstick" (chapstick) so she got plenty of that!
I tried really hard this year to help her keep in mind why we celebrate Christmas. One way we did that was by celebrating Jesus' birthday with a cookie cake, balloon and by singing Happy Birthday! M really enjoyed this!
After singing Happy Birthday, I explained that since we couldn't give Jesus a birthday present, we would give gifts to one another. I managed to get some pictures of her opening her presents from my family.
Late that afternoon, my aunts, uncles and cousins all came to my parents' house for our big family celebration. Since we're spread throughout Georgia (and of course we are out of state), Thanksgiving & Christmas are the only times that we are all in the same place. As a result, those holidays are extra special and a lot of fun!
M had a great time playing with her favorite cousin!
M spent a lot of time playing in her new tent. She even got my sister to climb in with her.
No family get together is complete without a game of Apples to Apples!
At the end of an exhausting day, I finally got a picture with my favorite girl!
But she wouldn't stay long enough for the family picture!
6 days ago