This and That

I am pretty proud of myself - I taught myself how to do some very basic coding in my Blogger template so I could add a fun font for post titles - which you should now see. The font is called "Irish Growler" which I thought was appropriate for this blog! So anyway, just another one of the fun changes I've been trying to work on to spruce things up here a little bit.

We had a good weekend that was over way too quickly. That always seems to be the case though, doesn't it?

I didn't watch the Oscars - gasp - I am usually so addicted to awards shows but for some reason I just wasn't feeling it this year. And I'm not really that sad that I missed it. I'm working my way through watching some of the movies that had nominations, so far we've seen Inception and Toy Story 3. I have The Kids Are All Right sitting at home waiting to be viewed. So I know I'll get around to catching some more of those as I have time. As for the actual awards, I read the recaps while I ate breakfast today and I'm all caught up.

My eyes are doing well and I'm noticing my night vision is starting to improve, so that makes me happy. I'm done using medicated drops and now will just need to use over the counter lubricating drops for awhile.

It appears that we have a rather quiet week on tap for a change, so I am going to relish that while it lasts!

That's about it from here. Over and out. Or something. It's Monday, what can I say.


The birthday party

Nate and I are coming up on 13 total years together next month and then five years of marriage in May. Hard to believe sometimes. I think just about everyone who comes here knows the story of how we got together, on a high school band trip to New Orleans. But, it is a little known fact that actually, the story starts a little before that trip. It starts actually back around this time of February at a friend's birthday party.

Recently I told the story of B, the guy who wasn't so good for me. It was shortly before this birthday party that I realized he wasn't good for me and had more or less broke things off, though we remained tentative friends. And somehow, B and a friend of his ended up riding to the party with me. I sort of remember not being happy about it, but for whatever reason, it worked out that way. And I know for a fact as soon as we arrived that evening I split off from B and his friend as soon as I could.

The party was at my friend's aunt's place downtown - really awesome party room and indoor pool from what I remember. It was a very large party with a fair number of our classmates and even those from grades above and below ours, including Nate and his sister. Now of course, I had known Nate forever, but it seemed lately that our paths were crossing more and more, getting put into groups together at school or being seated near each other in class but this party was the first time our social paths had really connected.

I vaguely remember talking to him while we were eating or something. Then the group decided to go swimming. And of course, teenage boys being boys, started splashing the girls and throwing them around in the pool, over their shoulder or whatever. A way of showing off how strong they were I'm sure. Nate came up to me and asked if I wanted him to throw me. And me, not missing at all that this was a flirtatious moment and liking the attention said of course. I do remember thinking "wow he's really strong." And I'm pretty sure I let him do it a few more times. We chatted a bit and I commented that I kind of wished there was a sauna somewhere. He commented that there was a hot tub and I then noticed a couple of my friends were dangling their feet in the hot tub and so I told him I was going to go hang out with them.

So I was chatting with my friends and may have even mentioned that I liked the flirting with Nate, I don't remember for sure, and all of a sudden, he comes over and said "Hey, I found a sauna, it's over there, want to go check it out?" Get your minds out of the gutters, it was perfectly innocent, but me being a fraidy cat grabbed another one of my friends and made her go with me. As we're walking, B and his friend came over and they're like, "where are you guys going?" And my loudmouth friend said "to a sauna over there, want to come with?" so of course, B decided to follow us.

The conversations the four of us had while we sat in there I'm surprised didn't turn Nate completely off to me because well, B was being a jerk and I was dishing it right back out to him and not really painting myself in a very good light. I specifically remember agreeing with my girlfriend about what a "hottie" Leonardo DiCaprio was and kind of going on and on about it - when really, I was never that into Leo. After we'd had our fill of the sauna I think we went back and swam some more but my connection with Nate had kind of passed for that moment -but it was clear there was a spark. I pretty much knew I had a crush on him. I remember wanting to stay at the party later, but having brought B and his friend, ending up agreeing to go home when they were ready to go home. There was something about that night though, I knew somehow that my life was about to change in a big way.

After that night Nate and I continued to find our paths crossing quite a bit for the next several weeks (maybe more purposely than before on each of our parts) culminating in me finding out pretty last minute that he was going on the band trip when he and I were the only students in our gym class taking a quiz that we were going to be missing. Then we went on the trip and the rest is history.

Of course he and I laugh about it now - I asked years later if I did indeed turn him off with my "Leo" talk and he said, "well it was surprising about you and I was glad it turned out to not necessarily be true." At any rate though, B or no B, I am so thankful we were both at that birthday party because really, that was the spark that started it all, even if it would take a few more weeks for us to truly find our way to each other!

And I know that the friend who's party that was reads this blog - so thank you JL, your birthday will always be one I won't forget!


Full serving of updates


It's been a crazy stretch here from having the Lasik to some things with Praise Project to the day to day craziness at work for both of us to daily things popping up at home both routine and not so routine to snowstorms interfering with things to just stuff in general.

In short? We've been busy lately. Not necessarily in a bad way. Just have a full plate and not much time to clean it off these days.

Some updates....

My eyes are healing well. I know I talked about it a bit in my Lasik recap post, but just wanted to touch on it again. I had many well wishes the day of the surgery and I appreciate that and thank everyone for that. Still dealing a little with dry eye and my night vision is not the best - I am getting the starbursts around lights and found I can't always see turn signals under headlights. It will improve over the next weeks though. Overall, it's going really well and I'm pleased.

I have only small complaints right now - One, it is hard to wash your face at night when you are not supposed to get water in your eyes. Two, I really have to think hard at times to not rub my eyes - can't do that for at least a month. Three, did you know when you put drops in your eyes it drains into your sinuses and then you can taste the bitterness of the antibiotic? Quite odd yes. Only taking those a couple of more days though. Seriously though, these three things are the only negatives and if that is it - well I'll take it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat because really, these things are so minimal, hardly worth complaining about.

So this next one is filed under the "not so routine" happenings at home - yesterday I went into my laundry room for something and noticed the floor was wet and the rug was damp down by our upright freezer. One of our kitties does have some potty issues, so at first I thought it was from her - but I got closer and could see, it was definitely water and it was definitely coming out of the freezer. I opened up the freezer and more water poured out and chunks of ice fell down. Not good. We think the motor died. It's old. It happens. Sadly, we had just gotten into really using it again, stocking up on meat and stuff. Fortunately, none of the meat was ruined. It was only just starting to thaw. At any rate, a bit of a mess to clean up and now we might go shopping for a new one. Weren't planning to use our taxes for that, but might be doing so now!

Life looks like it's slowing down a bit this weekend so I told Nate, he is taking all day Sunday to brew beer. Poor guy hasn't had a free moment to do that in weeks, months even. He's got his next kit all ready to go and we have an empty slot in the bar so I'm making him brew. Funny in a way! Maybe I'll see if my mom actually wants to decoupage while he does that - we haven't done so in a very, very long time.

I was so hopeful when the weather was getting nicer last week that we'd be able to start running soon. Snowstorm kind of dashed any hopes of that happening. I have the bug though, I am so ready to start again. I know we'll be kind of back at square one in terms of it, but I have the knowledge from last year's experience that I can do it. I can be a runner. And, even crazier, I want to be a runner! Never ever thought I'd say that! So, I am continuing to patiently await spring.

We're doing pretty good with our pledge to eat out/go out only once a week and to stop grocery shopping on Sundays. I still feel like we've gotten to go places and try things and it's been working out decently. And I don't mind shopping during the week on an evening. Yeah it can lead to some of our feeling crazy busy sometimes but I savor our Sundays now. We've been able to spend time with my in-laws, we've been able to go do fun things like visit the Science Museum. I look forward to my Sundays, even when we have church, we still have the entire afternoon and I love that.

So that's the good word from here. Might not look like/sound like that full of a plate, but it feels like it to me sometimes. But, I'm feeling pretty good. It's just our life and I wouldn't trade it for the world.


The Lasik experience

Warning - long post ahead

Well I am now three days post Lasik. And I am SO glad I did this. My vision is already very good and it will only get better as time goes on. There could be some shifts and changes for the next three months actually, but for the most part, my vision is awesome and I'm loving life post-glasses.

I want to recap the whole experience because I know some people expressed some interest/curiosity when I first said I would be doing this. Many have told me that they think they could never do this, because you are awake for the procedure and it is unsettling to think about what they physically do to your eye - but let me tell you, it isn't that scary at all. And it is over so quickly.

So to start, really we go back to three weeks ago when I had my first consultation at the Whiting Clinic. Now I should put a disclaimer here right now that Whiting Clinic is in no way shape or form compensating me for my comments - but I am going to really talk them up because I want to. They are amazing. From the moment I walked in the door for the consultation I felt totally comfortable and at ease. At the consultation you receive a welcome packet that explains a number of things about Lasik. They have you fill out a health history and questionnaire. Then you are taken in for about a 90 minute exam/tour/meeting.

During the 90 minutes you are given a full eye exam and a number of non-invasive tests are performed to determine if you are indeed a candidate for Lasik. Then they have you watch a little five minute video, which is Dr. Whiting explaining a bit about what goes on during a Lasik procedure. While this is going on, your tests are analyzed and a treatment plan is put together for you. Then they give a little tour of the clinic, and we were lucky enough to see the Laser suite as no procedures were being done that day. Finally we met with Dr. Loomis, an associate of Dr. Whiting who went over the results with us and explained the procedure in a bit more detail. There is no pressure to schedule the Lasik procedure if you do not want to, but because it was apparent right away that I was a great candidate, it was kind of a no brainer. Especially because my wonderfully supportive husband said, if you want to do this, we'll find a way to make the money work.

The consultation is also 100% free - if you decide Lasik is not for you, you are not out any money. They have three ranges of cost for Lasik, depending on where you fall in needing correction. I fit into the middle category. We did get a 10% discount because Whiting Clinic is one of Nate's work clients. The total cost quoted to us was $2400, less the 10% and then we were lucky in that we had money in my Health Savings Account from work that I am fortunate enough to have carry over each year when it is not claimed (thank you Fairview!) so our cost was significantly lower in the end. That might not be the case for everyone, but don't let the expense scare you - they also have finance plans available - talk to them if you are worried about the cost and they will work with you to make it affordable.

So, the next step was scheduling my procedure. They can get you in as fast as you want to it seems. They are a new clinic though (Dr. Whiting branched off from another clinic, he has been doing this for years though) so they are still building their client base. Because of some schedule issues for us, I ended up scheduling it about two weeks after my consultation.

As you all know, this last Friday was the big day. I reported last week that I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, but I won't lie, Friday morning I woke up way before my alarm feeling pretty nervous. I did my best to keep it in check, but it kind of hit me that it was a pretty big deal. I had opted for a very early appointment though so we didn't have much time to hang around at home for me to be sitting around panicking. And once we got to the clinic, again, the staff made me feel at ease instantly. We had a personal technician that worked with me the entire pre-op and she was soooo awesome. We (I say we because Nate came with of course to drive me home, but also had interest and wanted to see how everything worked) were brought into a pre-op room where I was given my sedative (you'd be crazy not to take it) and all my post-op instructions were gone over at this point. We were left alone for a bit then to wait until Dr. Whiting was ready, but he came in pretty fast actually. He talked to us before the procedure, explained some things one more time and then gave me my first dose of numbing drops.

After that, I was brought into the procedure room where they looked at my eyes in the microscope one more time and he actually made a little mark in each eye - already numb so I didn't feel it. Then the laser room was lit up with my favorite color light (purple) and they put on a Pandora music station set to whatever artist I wanted (I chose Neko Case). The technician came over and gave me the rest of my numbing drops and then led me over to the bed that is positioned under the laser.

They covered my left eye with a patch and started with my right. Dr. Whiting put a bunch of things around my eye to hold it open and steady - it was oddly comforting to know it was seriously not moving. I know that sounds weird. Now, I'm really not going to go into the very detailed things - but Dr. Whiting does explain everything that is going on and also how many seconds it lasts. There is a vacuum noise, I could feel vibration and a little bit of pressure. He warns that your vision will gray out for a second, but it's very short lived. Then there will be bright lights, beeping/buzzing and vibrations when he starts using the laser. Again, he counts down how many seconds. And when I say seconds, it seriously seconds - maybe ten or 15. There was an "odor" in the air at this point that fortunately is short lived, kind of made me a little nauseated, but doesn't linger. Then I could tell he rinsed my eye a bit and then we were on to the next one! It was over equally as fast and the next thing I knew, the technician was giving me my first set of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. I was led back over to the microscope where Dr. Whiting came over and said everything went perfectly, he looked at my eyes and sent me home to nap.

The entire thing is best described as "weird". Not painful, just weird. I could already see a little bit when we left the clinic. I had sunglasses to wear on the way home and did my best to rest my eyes in the car. When we got home I took Ibprofen to ward off any discomfort. There was some mild discomfort/scratchy feelings before I went to lay down. I had trouble sleeping - odd since I'd had the sedative, but I think I was on an adrenaline high from the experience. I did force myself to keep my eyes closed for awhile and dozed. They recommend about four hours. I got close to that point. Then I hung out in the basement with Nate and continued to dose off and on and watched him play video games and was amazed at how well my sight was already doing.

I returned to the clinic the next day for a post op and other than experiencing some dry eye - which is very normal and I have drops to help alleviate this - I'm healing well and my vision is already 20/20. I'll have some more appointments in the coming weeks and then I'll just go in once a year for checkups! Honestly this was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and I credit a lot to the Whiting Clinic - Dr. Whiting was named a Top Doctor in Mpls/St. Paul magazine and you can see why. I also credit a lot to my wonderful husband - he took great care of me and made it so easy to do this. He's thinking of going for a consultation and might get it done too and I will make certain to be as wonderful to him as he was to me.

So to make an extremely long story short - congrats if you actually read this far - I highly recommend Lasik if you are considering it. Do not let the concept scare you off. I survived, and I think it's a worthwhile investment!


Thursday Top Ten - Lasik edition

I haven't done a top ten list in awhile. So here you go - the top ten things I'm most excited about in getting Lasik:

1. No more dealing with smudged and dirty glasses - don't know about any of you who wear specs, but I can't stand it when my glasses get smudged and I can't clean them right away.

2. Being able to see the clock in the middle of the night without squinting.

3. Wearing whatever pair of sunglasses I feel like and not having to switch between sunglasses and regular glasses - and also buying cute cheap pairs. Already have my first pair and I can't wait to use them!

4. Being able to see what I'm doing in the shower or when taking a bath. Not that I have a huge problem this way, but it'll be nice to see the labels on shower gel/shampoo more easily.

5. Being able to see at the beach/swimming pool/water park with no problems - I told Nate we'll no longer be the "Half blind leading the blind" as we've joked about before. Now it'll be the sighted person leading the blind. Ha.

6. Not having to worry about getting my glasses adjusted if they get bumped - which has happened in really silly ways over the years.

7. Saving money in the long run over not having to buy new frames every couple of years or contacts every so many months - this is huge!!

8. More comfortable for laying on the couch and watching TV and if I fall asleep, no big deal.

9. My hair stylist won't have to cut my hair around where it would hit based on how my glasses sit on my face - she almost always has to have me put them on to finish my haircut. Not anymore.

10. Having the best vision I've had since I was a child. And working with a clinic dedicated to making sure I continue to have the best vision ever.

I'm pretty excited! Tomorrow is the big day - busy weekend ahead too, so not sure when I'll blog about the experience, but you can bet I'll be here to tell you all about it as soon as I can!


Feeling Strangely Fine

I won't lie - I stole the title of this post from an album from the group Semisonic that was popular back in the mid-90's - but it describes me at the moment.

I have had many different reactions to the concept of me having Lasik. A large number of those have been "Wow, I could never do that, I can't believe you're doing that, you're so brave." I don't know, maybe there is something wrong with me that I'm not terribly freaked out about this yet. I have a few days left, I suppose it could happen, but I feel ok right now.

Even last night at dinner my own husband is like "so how are you feeling about your surgery, are you nervous yet?" And I'm like, no not really. Should I be? Ha ha.

I guess when I let myself truly think about the actual things that will be going on - sure it gets the heart going a little bit, but for the most part, I'm just not that worried about it. I will be getting a sedative if I want it that day. They are going to be using quadruple strength numbing drops. The most I've been told I'll feel is a little pressure, as if if someone is pushing on my eye with their thumb. And even that only last about 10 seconds.

My mom asked today what would happen if something goes wrong - but I'm kind of like, ok sure, there is always a risk, but I'm not thinking in terms of something going wrong. And my doctor is one of the best at Lasik - he'll stop if there's a danger and he'll fix it if something gets messed up. I have a lot of faith in the doctor and I don't anticipate issues.

I'm just calm about the whole thing. Zen even. And again, we're still a couple of days away, there is always that chance I'll get panicked before then. But I don't know. With other major things like when I had my wisdom teeth out, or got my braces or even when I know I'm facing a blood draw, I could be angst about it for days. Not so far with this. Eyes just don't freak me out. And I'm so excited about the end results that I guess that is what I'm mostly focused on.

Ok, wait, I got it, there is something scary about this - I won't be able to wear eye makeup for a couple of weeks afterward. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Happy Valentine's Day!

I wrote last year that we don't necessarily make a huge deal out of Valentine's Day because we don't feel we need a specific day to tell each other that we love each other - I love my husband every day, not just on Valentine's Day.

But we do still try to do a little something to make the day special - and we're going to do this year what we did last year. No gifts, just a nice dinner out for the two of us. And this year, we're trying someplace we have never been before - Erte in Northeast Minneapolis. I am excited about that. The downside, the only reservation I could get was for 5:30 - so we're actually going to meet there.

I joked, we could pretend we're meeting on a blind date - I could wear a red ribbon in my hair and Nate could bring a red rose. Ha ha. But despite arriving separately, I think we'll have a nice dinner. My parents just ate there a couple of days ago and have just been raving about it.

I'll be sure to report back and let everyone know what we thought of the restaurant. I'm guessing that after dinner we'll bring home dessert and crash on the couch with some of the TV shows we've been watching. Super exciting? Nope, but I wouldn't trade it for the world, it's my favorite thing to do with my favorite person in the world.

To all my readers, whether you're into the holiday or not - Happy Valentine's Day!


Not much to share at the moment

Man I just feel like I've been slacking on the blogging lately. It is certainly not due to lack of things going on, we are as busy as ever, but at the same time life has slowed a bit, at least allowing us quite a few evenings that we've been able to just chill in front of the ole TV with our favorite shows.

I'm still coming up dry. I don't have my Lasik proceedure for another week, so I really have nothing fun to report there quite yet. We have some things going on with Praise Project, but that's kind of the norm. We've gotten to do a couple of things on the "Winter Bucket List" I posted a couple of weeks ago. I'm not stressing over that list though - if we get to do some of it great, if not, no big deal.

We've been trying to save our money as I've mentioned a bit too, so we haven't really been out to eat much or trying any fun new restaurants. We are going somewhere on Valentine's Day, which usually I kind of rebel against, but this year I felt like we should do something special, so we are. Kind of a reward for our good behavior or something!

So, I have just had a lack of interesting words to share at the moment. I'm sure that will change eventually. I'm glad it's not November when I try to post every day for NaBloPoMo! Then I'd be in trouble!

I'll be back next week hopefully with more fascinating things to talk about! Until then, happy weekend one and all!


Wordless Wednesday

These guys help me chase the winter blues away. Love my kitties.


The Super Bowl of Beers

So yesterday may have been the actual Super Bowl, but on Friday night, Nate and I attended what I can only describe as the Super Bowl of MN Beers!

Yes, it was finally the big night of Winterfest and Nate finally getting to enjoy his Christmas present just over a month after the holiday. It was well worth the wait and the money invested, I have to say that much.

We headed over to the MN History Center which may sound like a strange venue for this kind of event, but it was perfect. The doors were scheduled to open at 7:00 and we made it in by 6:45. Parking was free - total plus and the line wasn't so bad that we were still able to wait inside in the lobby.

We were given a stamp on our hand and a booklet listing what breweries were in attendance and what they were offering, plus a map showing where they were and where the food was on each of the three floors. Omar, the founder of Surly Brewing, gave a very short welcome and then opened the doors, we were led inside by bagpipers. We then stopped to grab our commemorative tasting glass (about 2 oz in size) and to drop off our coats. We then beelined for our favorite brewpub in attendance, Barley Johns, because they listed a beer we had never tried before and we wanted to grab it before it was gone.

After that I let Nate lead the way as this was his evening. We went to Surly next and a couple of smaller breweries before decided we needed to get some food in our stomachs. We made our way through the food line and chowed down on white chicken chili, cornbread, cheese and veggies. Very nice spread of food.

We stopped at several other breweries tables, including a couple of new breweries. I paced myself since I agreed to drive us home. I wanted Nate to experience as much as possible. We hit the food line again and then sampled a few more brews and then were ready to head home as it was a quarter to ten and the event was only lasting another 15 minutes.

It was quite loud - as people drank the noise only grew - but it was fun to be amidst other beer lovers. My favorite brews of the evening were a Blackberry porter from Brau Brothers, something called the Pink Eye from the Town Hall Brewery and Surly's Moe's Bender, kind of a coffee/vanilla tasting beer, not surprising since I love vanilla lattes. The other two were more fruity in nature, something else I'm finding I like in beer.

Below are a couple of pictures from the event. I hope we have an opportunity to go again sometime, it was a lot of fun and probably the highlight of our winter so far!

Nate and I - self portrait

I think I have MooJoo's Oatmeal Stout by Brau Brothers here

Nate enjoying some type of IPA I believe


New sight

Spectacles. I have had a few different ones over the years:

Age 15

Age 26

Age 28

I have needed corrective lenses of some form for about twenty years or so now. Maybe even longer than that, but it was the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years that my parents finally realized (and I admitted too) that I should probably see an eye doctor when I had to sit right up by the TV in order to play my Nintendo games. And sure enough, we found out that yes, I definitely needed glasses.

It didn't bother me, in fact, growing up I used to think it was cool when my friends ended up getting glasses and actually used to secretly hope I might need them too. Yeah, strange kid right? Not worried about being teased or anything.

Of course, a few short years later when boys and makeup entered my world I got a little more vein and decided to go for contact lenses. I stuck with them a pretty long time too, giving it up after moving on campus my junior year of college due to pretty much just being tired of dealing with them and having to lug stuff back and forth from my parents house to campus.
And then I went back to them once again after I had my first real job, because I did enjoy not having to deal with glasses, especially in working with kids. I had them through my wedding and even into the first couple of years we were married and then gave up on them once again when Nate was out of work and I couldn't justify the expense of them any longer. So it's been back to glasses ever since mid 2008.

So now you're probably wondering, where am I going with this? Well I had to build suspense see, because I am excited to announce that I have made the major decision to have Lasik Eye Surgery. No joke.

I have thought about it often in the past but kind of cast it off because I figured, it's pretty spendy, I don't need to spend that kind of money. Nate actually thought about it more seriously than I did at one point and even had a consultation about eight years ago. At that time, he was definitely not a candidate though, so neither of us gave much thought to it again.

Flash forward to the last few months and it turns out, Nate's IT firm provides support for a brand new eye clinic that specializes in Lasik. And it also turns out they are offering a discount to the employees of Nate's work and their spouses. So he and I talked a bit about it and decided, couldn't hurt for me to get the consultation done and just see what we could find out.

Turns out I'm a perfect candidate. After walking through all the specifics with the awesome staff at the clinic I decided that yes, I want to do this. So, in a couple of weeks I'll go in for a relatively short procedure, and will be able to see that very same day. Without glasses. Or lenses. Just out of the eyes I was born with for the first time in over twenty years. I am so excited. More to come after the surgery so stay tuned!



I used to be a pretty big fan of the show "ER" when it was on television. And one of the most memorable moments for me was the episode in which the character of Dr. Mark Greene dies from a brain tumor - he has a very touching conversation with his pre-teen daughter in his final moments, saying he wanted to impart some sort of wisdom on her and couldn't figure out the perfect thing and then realized what it was. He says "Generosity. Be generous. Generous with your time. Generous with your love. Generous with the life you have."

Generosity. Seems simple doesn't it? Yet, how many of us can say we are generous with our time, love and life? I know it's something I could work harder on.

Right before Christmas I was witness to something extremely generous - I wanted to get Nate tickets to an event called Winterfest - it's put on by the MN Craft Brewers association and it's a pretty big deal, all sorts of local craft breweries will be there, you get a meal and a chance to sample their best brews. So, I decided this would be a fantastic Christmas present for my homebrewing husband. One problem. Tickets to this event sell out fast because they only sell about 700. And even though I was on the website right when they went on sale, somehow, I could not get through.

I found out that the tickets sold out in five minutes. Maybe even less. They started showing up on Craigslist right away for double their value, even triple in some cases. I love Nate very much, but I didn't want to spend THAT much more on his Christmas present. I had resigned myself to come up with something else. And then something happened.

I had friends who did manage to get tickets. And when they heard I did not they said "You know what? We'll sell you our tickets at face value. None of our friends were able to get tickets so it would just be the two of us and we figured, Nate would appreciate this more because he brews beer and will get a lot of value out of going and trying out the different beers." I asked them more than once if they were sure and they said yes and that if I didn't want them they'd probably just put them up on Craigslist anyway. So, I thought about it and took them up on their very generous offer. And Nate's reaction on Christmas morning was priceless. I can't thank them enough for being so kind.

In another instance, I recently had a Partylite party through a good friend and was recounting to her about the first time I had a Partylite party with a different consultant, I ended up in "candle hell" because the orders were all goofed up from the warehouse and I had spent a great deal of time on the phone with my consultant straightening them all out (and the consultant did help a good deal on that - this is not dissing her). Anyway, we laughed a bit about that and then my friend said "well tell you what, when your orders show up this time, I'll come over and help you sort them. And I'll even help you deliver some of the orders if you'd like." Now of course, this is a dear friend and I know if I had just asked, she'd have done that anyway - but the fact that she offered I think is a very generous thing. It's not anything I expected and I appreciate it so much.

I could count many other things I am witness to that are gifts of generosity - both sets of our parents treating us to dinners out, coffee on Saturdays, my sister-in-law making me a scarf, all the things my dad does helping us with the house, my big "brother" treating me to a manicure in honor of no longer picking my fingers. The list actually could go on for awhile the more I really think about it.

Sometimes it is hard to see the good in humanity. But looking back over some of these things - sure some are simple - but just fact that I can find many examples of times people have been generous to me, shows that indeed, there is good in the world. I am amazingly blessed by all of these wonderful people and the generous things they do/have done for me. I am inspired by them.

Have you been witness to generosity in your world?

Be generous. I can dig it.