|Taking a tiny snooze mid-morning|
Nina asked Eileen to take her shopping. She expressed that since Teddy had gone shopping for my birthday it was only fair that she'd get to go shopping too. So...shopping they went. I dropped off the girls and went to run a quick errand and pick up Teddy. Eileen texted back about 20 minutes later that they were ready :) Later on, she explained that Nina knew precisely what she wanted to get me and did not hesitate to make her purchases! She is such a funny girl! Eileen was amazed at what a good shopper Nina is. She was determined and succinct. Initially, she had chosen a number of potential earrings (apparently there was a hysterical pair of huge purple flower earrings that didn't make the final cut.....I got a feeling Eileen had hoped they had!). In addition, she had commanded Eileen to stop and back up when they passed the sales table with all of the Christmas pins. Nina chose a beautiful polar bear pin for me. She was positive I would love it and she was right!
After I picked up Nina and Eileen in front of Macy's, we returned home where I had an opportunity to open my gifts. I loved seeing the pride and happiness that emanated from Nina. As adults, we love bringing joy to others through gift giving (at least we should!). However, often we seem to forget that this a skill that needs to be modeled and shaped in children. Receiving gifts is lovely but what is more important (at least should be in my book) is giving. That is why I've always had my kids participate in buying gifts for others. It is a simple way of showing them that one of the greatest joys in life is blessing others. Furthermore, it's a useful way of helping children not be so ego centric ;)
Anyway, the following video is of me opening the gifts that Nina bought me. She bought me a lovely polar bear Christmas pin, two hilarious (totally loud and ever so Nina!) pairs of earrings, a holiday Spatula, and some cupcake decorating molds. Just like Teddy, she knows me so well! I love how tickled Nina is with my delight and appreciation of her gifts! It is as it should be! She is beaming because she understands she is bringing me joy! What a precious heart from Heaven!
Once all my gifts had been opened, I turned to Eileen and thanked her for taking Nina. Eileen is my precious sister who has given so much. As such, tonight was going to be big girl night out. We cleaned up the gift wrap, and Eileen played a game with Nina while I did homework with Teddy. In our family, we don't just have a birth"day" we have a birth"week" where we get to be the "boss". The kids LOVE this! As such, because I was the birthday girl, Teddy proclaimed that I had to have the best week ever. When I announced that it was homework time, he was about to launch into his litany of complaints but caught himself! I burst into laughter and he said, "It's your birthday week. You deserve me not companicking about homework! Come here beautiful girl....pucker up and give me some sugar!" I kid you not! That is what he said. I immediately wrote it down because I didn't want to forget! I had a really hard time not laughing or smiling each time I looked at him during the remainder of homework. I really don't understand where he comes up with this stuff. We don't have cable (sure he watches videos) and no one is modeling this kind of stuff for him....he is hysterically amazing and can work me like no one else :)
So...we finished homework without a hitch. He did however have a few choice words to say about tutoring, to which I added a slightly jabbing remark that it was my birthday-week and that I'd appreciate no complaining about tutoring :) He rolled his eyes and let out a huge exhale! I'm sure he was thinking Man my mom is one pushy broad!
Shortly there after, Todd returned home and Eileen and I got the kids settled with baths (the queen is very particular about how her hair is washed :)....sweet girl!) and dinner. Then we were off. We went downtown to Blue Agave and had appetizers and just decompressed. We really hadn't had a chance to sit together and talk. Over chips and salsa and drinks, we laughed and cried, cried and laughed, and laughed and cried some more. It felt good to release a bit, to let it pour without restraint. After our round of appetizers, we met Larisa, Sharon and Crystal for dinner at Olio y Limone Pizzeria (most incredible restaurant!!!!) As I sat and shared a wonderful meal with these 5 extraordinary women, my heart filled with gratitude! I get so overwhelmed sometimes that I don't even know how or what to pray for. However, God knew that I needed these strong women in my life. I may not know how to pray for what I need (because I don't always know what I need) but I sure do know how to say a prayer of thankfulness without any hesitation. Perhaps that is more important!