Thursday, January 17, 2008


Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting older; maybe it was the scrapbook my mom made me after our trip to London and Paris; maybe it's that I was so touched when friends and family members put such effort into buying/making such thoughtful wedding gifts; maybe it's the Christmas plate that Grandma Smullin gives to be each year (and this year I received two plates - one new and one from HER collection); maybe it was the look on my parents' faces when I told them I designed our wedding scrapbook.

What it is, I'm not sure. But I love to give (and receive) homemade gifts. They are invaluable to both the receiver and the giver.

Today is David's birthday. He's definitely not a "stuff" guy. We lead a fairly simple lifestyle, and definitely are NOT the couple who is waiting for the next great kitchen gadget/appliance or the larger flat screen TV to be released. Not knowing what to give to David, I decided to bake. He's a huge fan of a sour dough jalapeno made by a bakery here in DC. Unfortunately, it is a hard loaf to come by. So I decided to make my own.

That along with some fresh flowers, a nice bottle of wine, and peanut-butter filled pretzels from the Trader Joes made the perfect gift. Note: the bread didn't rise as much as I would have liked. I'm blaming the cold weather. I'll try it again in the spring.

In addition to making birthday gifts, I'm also working on several baby gifts. Below are two hats I just completed for my friend, Jen. Her daughter is due in March. The pink hat can be worn right away; the black and gold one (for the little Steelers fan) is a little bigger so it can be worn next fall during football season. I'm planning to add a gold flower to the black and gold hat to make it a little more girly.

As for receiving homemade gifts, David and I were surprised to find this...

in our dinning room when we returned from our New Year's trip to NYC. Our friend, Ted, made it for us. And he surprised us by moving it into our place while we were out of town. It is a beautiful piece and a welcome addition to our dining room. I feel so blessed to have such thoughtful (and talented) friends who would make such an effort for us. Everytime I look at it, I think about what a great friend Ted (and his wife, Martha) are to David and me. It will be treasured for years to come.

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