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The Best Christmas Gift Ever

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If there is one thing in life that will always remain constant, it is that my husband is full of surprises.  Really.  I’m glad we are going to be together for a long, long time because I feel like he’s holding back stories and facts to keep me entertained for the rest of eternity!  I mentioned in my last post how he isn’t great at giving presents.  But this Christmas, he outdid himself (which, when you think about gifts of Christmases past, isn’t that hard).  Not only did he come through on the necklace holder I so desperately needed, but he also surprised me with something extra special.

We all have our bad days, right?  Well, there is no greater remedy to a bad day than to remind yourself what blessings you DO have, what good things you HAVE done, and who you REALLY are.  That is exactly what he gifted to me, in what he calls a Success Folder.  He has one he made for himself for his discouraging days (I have caught him several times leafing through his on a bad day) and he has been encouraging me to make one too.  I’m too lazy, so he did it for me!

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Mike spent a good deal of time collecting, arranging, cutting, sorting, e-mailing, and printing for this little book! He went through all my (unorganized) photos and started cutting my face out of a lot of them- he likes my face ;) 

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There were a lot of “remember that!” moments while going through the binder, like how Mike looked 17 when we got married.  Good thing he looks like an adult now, considering he turned 30 yesterday!

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He had in my success folder some personal things about when we were dating and engaged, like the excerpt from his journal that stated he had $250 to his name right before we were married.  It is a miracle we survived college!  He had my Graduation letter in my folder, my awards for my Personal Progress, and he even wrote up a resume for me.  Now, there are a few things I need to change a little (no, I am not fluent in French- I can get by, but that isn’t fluent!) but sometimes things like that are so hard just to start on your own… I am so glad he did most of the work for me!

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My girls also contributed, drawing pictures for me.  Somehow one picture got misplaced while he was putting the book together, but the munchkin does lovely illustrations of us with our beautiful long hair :)

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There are other successes in there, like the photo I received from one of the US Presidents after I wrote a letter to him in High School, music awards, images of the CD covers from albums I participated in the recordings, and so on. 

But the best part was at the end-

He had requested friends and family to write a few things for me, and it was SO wonderful to read each one.  Even my brother-in-law who compared my sense of humor to Bella Swan (WHAT??) was a spirit-lifter!  There were lots of memories that I am sure in my old age I will forget, but can recall simply by reading them again.  I know that I have good friends near and far, and that is one of the best gifts a person can have!

So, I share this gift with the cyber world not to toot any horn, but to tell you what an AWESOME gift it would be for your loved ones to receive from you!  This is a gift that lasts a long time, that can be added upon, and will forever be appreciated and loved.  Not just for Christmas either- Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Cinco de Mayo (?), whatever the occasion, it fits the bill.  I am not great at thinking up gifts like this, but my husband is, so I thought I’d share!

Another thing I realized as going through this folder is that I really need to be better at documenting my life.  Not just successes, but also the day to day grind that helps me empathize with others.  There are several, like the My Memories Suite digital scrapbook (link on sidebar with coupon code!) and Project Life, that help kick-start the documenting, and I really need to make that a priority somehow.  There are simpler ways that I might try first, I have seen friends just write on a notecard at the end of every day- easy, cheap, fast, but recorded.  And that makes all the difference!

I’ll see you later, I need to put streamers all over my house now before my husband gets home so we can celebrate his birthday!!

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