Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A surprising act of kindness that made my day


This morning, I was supposed to have a coffee date at Starbucks with a friend. She called 15 minutes before the girls and I were to depart and said she might have the stomach bug. Not that I'm beyond being empathic, but I saw her yesterday and feared that perhaps she passed something horrible on to me. I have very vivid memories of the last time I had a GI virus; not pretty at all.

Though the date was canceled, I asked if the girls still wanted to go to Starbucks. The girls are still at an age where routine is significant and where promised engagements are expected to be kept. To Starbucks we went, at 8 am.

I got my usual drink. Are you ready to hear my high maintenance drink? An iced tall white mocha americano, in a grande cup, light ice, no water, 2% milk filled up to the top. I handed my card to the barista to pay.

I was told that the drink was already paid for by someone else. Huh? What? Let me check to see whether my ears are functioning properly. Perhaps a barista was treating me to a drink; after all, I knew most of the individuals working this morning. They assured me, promised me, it was none of them. Was it Troy's colleague whom I had spotted studying at the coffee shop? Again, they declared, with certainty, it wasn't him.

Juli, a friend and barista at Starbucks, said some customer walked in shortly before me and said he wanted to buy the lady with two little girls coffee. Juli mentioned something about the drink not costing $20.

I was given my drink and a Starbucks card, at no cost to me. I was baffled, pleasantly moved, and grinning from ear to ear. What a way to make my day. Thank you, thank you. When I arrived home, I registered the new Starbucks card and found out the card originally had $20 on it. Wow. This person has bought me several cups of coffee. I'm speechless. I hope I can surprise and bless others in various ways, too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas presents, making and sharing

Last night, I stayed up entirely too late. Not finishing up stuff for the last week of stuff. Rather, I was making Christmas presents.

Do you guys realize that Christmas is next week? This year Christmas and Thanksgiving crept up on me and startled me, without warning. I'm racing against time, to get gifts to certain individuals.

All four bracelet creations of mine were unique. Made a bracelet for a lovely gal, Gabi, who has been watching my girls while I was in class. Czech glass beads and a sterling silver clasp.

Wanted Christmas gifts for Isabella's teacher and the assistant for the course, Ms. Haun and Ms. Amy respectively. For Ms. Amy, also using Czech glass beads and a sterling silver clasp.

For Ms. Haun, using foil glass beads, sterling silver beads, and a sterling silver clasp.

Then, there's Isabella's preschool director and fellow attendee of our church, Joyce. A little something for a lady with a huge heart.

When I was done, I wanted to make something for myself. One of my best friends, Abirami, gave me a lovely, exquisite crystal pendant for my birthday. Hadn't had a chance to make something with it, yet. Plus, I hadn't figured out the perfect plan for the pendant. The seed beads are from a dear friend, Tonya, who's working in Botswana. I was touched and honored she would pick up beads for me whilst in Africa. So, every time I wear the necklace, I'll be thinking of these dear, sweet friends.

I have failed to capture the brilliance and piercing royal purple coloring in the pendant. Nevertheless, this was my attempt at a departure from my creative norms. Have I succeeded? What do you think of the necklace?

Went to my last class for the semester this morning, took care of the girls, cooked some tasty food. Then decided I wanted to make something for my spiritual mentor, Carrol. This afternoon, we were meeting formally for the last time, after three semesters. I wanted to give her a gift as well. So, I spent the girls' precious nap time making and creating a necklace.

She immediately said she loved it and proceeded to wear it. Matched the sweater set she was wearing. I must confess, there were tears shed at this meeting. I'm still not over the shock that we've met once a week for three semesters and our formal meeting time is over. She is a tremendous, wonderful, loving, gracious, generous woman of God. No words can do her justice or capture just how incredible she is.

I've got to head to bed to make up for the sleep I didn't get last night. Good night.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy

One of my husband's best friends came for a visit. Staying through Thanksgiving. Pulling him away from his wife and two children. For more than a week. But, we hadn't seen him in six years, since Troy's brother got married.

After the Thanksgiving festivities died down, on Saturday, we took William for a spin, before he had to go home to humdrum (my words, not his; and, I actually like the state) North Carolina. We went to the Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy, beginning with the former.

Do these look like long time friends to you?

Look closer, then, if you're not sure. They've known each other for over 20 years.


Garden of the Gods.

William Uncle (when speaking Mandarin, the title goes after or following the name) quickly grew on the girls. He was great at playing with them. Much more rough housing than Mommy engages. Choking and biting, playfully of course. Hmmm.


People exude such kindness and flattery by saying the girls look like me. But, I struggle to see the resemblance. Their hair color, for instance, no longer matches mine. Definitely Daddy's hair color.

Two men and two little ladies.

This to me just seems very magical. Like a Chronicles of Narnia or a Lord of the Rings thing. What do you think?


What about now? Magical? Beautiful? Wondrous.

These girls have come a long way. As cautious as they were, as they started walking, they're not afraid of attempting high hikes.

See what I mean?

Or finding little nooks and crannies and homes can be fun, too.

What, oh what, are these guys looking at? Somebody's breaking "Do not rock climb" rules. No names shall be mentioned.

Isabella did much of the climbing on her own, never looking back and working excitedly.

Sweet "uncle" moment.

This rock formation at Garden of Gods occurred naturally. And, I acted as a spring board for William to get up there. Not kidding.

Exhibits B & C, my lovely little ladies.


Leaving the Garden of the Gods and embarking upon the Air Force Academy. Their chapel. Upstairs is a large Protestant chapel. Downstairs is a Catholic chapel, a room for Buddhists and another religion. The inside of the church looks like a plane or space ship. Seriously.

A couple of a number of planes we saw. Life size planes that were once functioning, not model planes.


This happened to be a gorgeous day, temperatures were in the 50's. But, as the sun started setting, by the time we arrived at the Air Force Academy, the winds and the temps weren't as merciful. Even with coats on, we were quite cold.