All week long, my seester was excited about my birthday gift. She couldn't give it to me, though, 'cause all the pieces hadn't yet arrived. I couldn't imagine what on earth it could be.
On Friday, the boys and I drove two hours to Nashville to meet up with my dear friend Elaine, who lives two hours away in Alabama. Another friend, Amy, happened to be two hours away as well, visiting her brother in Chattanooga. We spent Friday evening stolling around and taking a boat ride through the Gaylord Opryland hotel, which was very, very cool. Then on Saturday, Elaine and I took the kids to the Nashville Zoo. It was low-key and relaxing, and I loved watching our kids interract so well and become friends. Today, Elaine told me that her youngest daughter (who's 2) asked when Stacy is coming to her house. Aww!!
When I arrived back at my sister's house, the gift was waiting for me on the kitchen table. It was a pink and brown canvas bin thingy filled to the brim with my favorite things. My sister had stalked my blog to come up with things that I love! There was a gift card to Sonic, Aveda Hand Therapy lotion, 3 Tyler candles, a Mary Engelbreit mouse pad, a precious silver heart charm with my name engraved on it, a sign for my scrap room that says "Stacy's Parking Only - all others will be towed", and a book: In Her Shoes.
It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gift.
On Sunday, we drove to Mississippi for Brittani's swim meet. It was her first meet in her new age bracket; at her most recent meet, she had the best times in the 11-12 group, but they were still below the slowest times in the 13-14 group. But Brittani will not be beaten! With determination and skill, she ROCKED those lanes, coming in 2nd and 3rd in all her four of her heats. I was so proud! As I took photos from the seating area above the pool, I felt tears gather in my eyes. Her butterfly stroke is absolutely beautiful. Brittani moves with such grace and artistry in the water. She definitely has a gift.
Both of my nieces are undeniably precious. They're considerate, polite, kind, loving, conscientious, reliable, smart and beautiful. I'm so proud of them! (And my sister for raising them!)
Much of the week, I was pretty emotionally absent. I can't explain why or even HOW I felt, but I found myself being withdrawn and quiet and not even making excuses for it or apologizing about it. Bobbie never once chided me or tried to coax me out. She just let me be. She let me rest. She let me wonder and think and reflect and pray. She let me be ME. She loved me anyway, even though her usually fun and energetic sister had come all that way only to be a big blob. And THAT was the best gift of all.
I love you, Bobbie!