Not a bad way to start a new decade.

I got spoiled. It really is that simple. Jeff and the girls pulled off the most amazing, thoughtful birthday for me. It was so meaningful because everything just reaffirmed that these three humans know me the best and love me well.

The morning started with two excited girls bouncing in with hugs and kisses and wondering whether I could have my gifts. Bear presented me with her version of a plant terrarium, because she had seen me eying one at a church function. The best part is that she thought the flowers/plants were supposed to be fake, so she bought fake tulips and put them in a gorgeous glass vase with rocks. KJ brought out a gift basket from her and Sophie (our puppy). Sophie ‘gave’ me grass seed to apologize for all the digging she does, KJ gave me seeds, new tools and because I’m getting old, kneepads for the garden. Sassy kids!

Jeff handmade me a wooden frame for some Malawian art I had brought back and gave me an Itunes card. But his best gift was a scrapbook filled with pictures and letters from friends. He had asked, via email, some of my friends to write a note to me and to send it along with some favorite pictures. He printed them all out and put them in this book, leaving some empty pages for more notes and for me to capture this year in photos, thoughts and writings. Really beautiful! (So, if any of you want a spot in the book, send a letter or email and it will be added)

The icing on the cake was a weekend away in NYC. Through the gift of a free place to stay and a host of new friends willing to watch the girls, Jeff and I had 48 hours to spend with each other. We watched the Lion King, walked 12 miles around SoHo and Greenwich village, walked into any store that caught our fancy, admired the architecture, ate some fabulous food, drank really good coffee and enjoyed each other’s company.  It is the first time since leaving Vancouver that we had both left the girls, but it all came together and I am so grateful.

Some stories from that time are best told in person…but it has taken me almost a week to recover from the trip!

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