So I have been logging my giving in a little notebook because life has gotten busy and I am too tired at night to sit down and post. I think that this will come back to bite me...now I have 10 days worth of giving to write about so here it goes in a nut shell:
Day 9- The kids and I walked to a local restaurant and had dinner. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed our shared meal and chatted about our day. How stupendous to be able to have conversation with your 2 and 4 year old! I picked some delicious mousse up and brought it for a friend and I to share later!
Day10- I helped out my "ex-mother in law", Nancy. I picked her and my "nephew" up at the apartment, drove them to Walmart and then took them back to the apartment with their stuff, then drove them to the pool that Nancy manages for work. I also printed out a bunch of pictures of my kids and of my nephew and put together a little album for Nancy, knowing she didn't have any recent pictures of any of the kids.
Later that night, I took the kids to our neighbor's annual "after the 4th of July" fireworks display where we got to eat yummy food, swim, and of course, see awesome fireworks. My neighbor even let my 4 year old, Evan, release one of the "hot-air" paper lanterns. The kids and I had a blast!
Day 11- The kids and I went to a friend's birthday party and got together a gift I thought she would love: a small art kit, a new scanimation book, and a new board game. The kids and I had a great time celebrating!
Day 12- I picked up a friend and she ran some errands with the kids and I. I was so grateful for her help! I bought us all Subway for lunch, then she treated me to coffee! She then came back to my house and while I cleaned up and vacuumed my upstairs, she cooked us dinner!!! I surprised, Ellie, my 2 year old by taking the side rail off her crib...converting it into a "big girl bed" She was SO EXCITED!!!!
Day 13- One of my clients works for a local food pantry. They had an excess of produce, so she brought me way more than I could use. I passed a bunch of it along to another one of my clients. A lot of it happened to be squash, which happens to be her son's favorite food!
It's so funny how one gift sometimes transfers into so many other gifts!
Day 14- We had a huge storm and our power went out. The kids and I ordered pizza. The pizza guy was super late because they were really busy. I gave him a $5 tip, then the kids and I enjoyed a candle-lit pizza dinner, probably one of the most romantic dinner's I've had in years! =)
Day 15- I made the two older kids I take care of microwave popcorn for a snack...this was a big treat for them! I was trying to find the kid's song, "popcorn" by The Barenaked Ladies on pandora and it came on right after they left to go home. I RAN out to the car, so they could hear it before they left...we all danced to the song next to the car, WHAT FUN! =)
Day 16- Friends came over after lunch time for a visit. I made them coffee(rather let them help themselves to my coffee =), let them eat my leftover romantic dinner pizza, and then they helped me watch my kids so I could finish getting ready my stuff for our weekend trip. Evan had left Thursday to go to lake Cumberland with my Dad and grandma, so my Mom, Ellie and I rode down Friday night. I treated us all to a late night milk shake run!
Day 17- I got up and walked and fed the dogs so no one else had to.
Day 18- I WAS SICK!! Caught some sort of a gastro-bug and was out of commission all day! We headed back to Cincinnati around dinnertime and when we stopped for fast food, I bought the whole fam's dinner.
Day 19- My parents took the kids to their house Sunday night so I could rest and recover, what a blessing!! So when I went to pick them up Monday I picked up lunch for everyone. I invited friends over for dinner.
Day 20- My "ex brother-in-law" needed a land line phone, I had one I wasn't using, so I gave it to him. After riding a bus, then walking a mile or more to my house to pick it up I let him sit in the air for a while and gave him some ice water, also just chatted with him for a while since he's been going through some stuff.
What I'm really starting to realize as I write this today is that all of my gifts are really small. But the size of what you're giving doesn't matter nearly as much as the impact it might have on the recipient. I think one of the most significant gifts I gave in the past ten days was taking the crib rail off Ellie's bed. All it really took was a tiny bit of time and effort, and the look on her face was priceless! I will have to post a picture of her lounging in her big girl bed, looking SO PROUD! Some days even go by where I have a moment of, "I gave nothing today!" then I look back and indeed, did give something. Sometimes it seems insignificant at the time, but good intentions are always driving the gift. It is so awesome to give, and then watch your gifts multiply into something else. I am truly gaining so much more out of this experience then I ever thought I would!