Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mindful Giving - Day Nine

It's S's birthday!! So he'll be the main recipient of my gifts today.

Already the morning has been lovely and I am very satisfied with it. We have a certain standard for birthdays in our family. You know how Dickens' characters were keeping Christmas? Well, we keep birthdays, and well too.

The day started when I woke him up nicely, before dawn. Then I packed the day's lunches and made a home-cooked breakfast. (Which I do every morning but today's was more elaborate.) I made two types of French toast -- plain and cinnamon swirl bread -- with hot berry sauce and boiled eggs and sausage. The girls made an effort to wake up early and we all had breakfast together at our table in the backyard. We heaped the french toast on a plate and stuck it full of thin sparkler candles. I buy them at Target and they are the cutest candles ever. They are barely thicker than a toothpick, about 6 inches long, and shoot sparks!!

After we ate, S got to pick some of his presents to open. I was able to run around on Tuesday and pick up a few things I know he'll like. He's getting seat covers for his car, an assortment of new sunglasses (part of the gift is that he gets to keep the ones he likes and I'll return the ones he doesn't when I do errands), ukelele lessons (don't ask), a candle dedicated to Peace (because he loves the peace we share now), new 501 jeans (cause they take him back to his hot high school days), and a new windshield for his car to replace the embarrasing cracked one he has now. S is so kind to drive a car that is almost 20 years old and total crap. It has no stereo, no a/c, and looks awful. But we own it and it runs well, so he selflessly drives it. I wouldn't last a week in that car!

A week ago I had him sit down with me and I ordered several science fiction anthologies and magazines off of Amazon. He's been wanting them forever, but he NEVER buys anything for himself. Plus we ordered a cd from this odd band he likes: My Robot Friend. So those deliveries are trickling in over this week. S already got the CD and he was so excited. He loaded it onto his MP3 so he can listen to it when he drives.

Another of his gifts, of course, is a lifetime of meal planning, shopping and cooking. I spent almost five hours in the kitchen yesterday alone! All he wanted to do to celebrate his bday today is have a home-cooked dinner and invite my parents over. He didn't even care what I made -- he says it's all good. Finally, he agreed on Crockpot Chicken Stew, the same one that the French ladies raved over last week. So I ran out to the store to buy chicken and already got that going in the slow cooker. Seriously, Crockpot cooking is the way to go. You can buy a tiny one or a huge one and cook just what you need. You just chop everything and throw it in, and hours later, your food is waiting patiently for you. Last night, I pre cooked spaghetti and then put frozen meatballs, sauce and the pasta in on low and it was ready as soon as we got home from gymnastics. Plus it doesn't heat the house up like the oven.

Next I'll go pick up his cake. I know this amazing European bakery close to here. I hope he's having a good day at work.

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