Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christmas is Not in December...

My favorite thing in the whole wide world (aside from getting snuggles from my kids) is to surprise someone with something wonderful. Something that makes their eyes light up and a smile instantly appear on their face. Something that may even make them cry tears of joy. When I give gifts, this is my goal. To get it just right and give the person something that is just perfect. This doesn't work out as often as I'd like, but when it does, it's worth any effort that I made towards the gift.

My mom, my sister and I are three best friends. We talk all the time and can't wait to hear what's going on in the other person's life. So when I have a surprise for one of them, I can't hold it in long. Two years ago when I spent Christmas with my sister she opened her gifts knowing full well what each of them was, because I was living with her so couldn't keep the secret. I think I made it three weeks into my pregnancies before calling my mom and sister to tell them the news even though I had planned on telling them in person when I visited. I've even told my husband, "Don't tell me anything confidential while you're in Afghanistan, because I can't keep a secret." Which is why I'm sitting here writing this blog not quite sure what it is he's doing over there.

I digress.

When I read that one of my two favorite bloggers, Kelle Hampton was coming to San Diego and was even having a book signing, I couldn't believe my luck. I started planning how exactly I was going to get there and get books signed for my mom and sister. As luck would have it, my wonderful respit nurse Gemma was able to come and put the kids to bed so I could go and experience standing next to greatness. Because, if you've read Kelle's blog or her book, you know that she was put on this earth for us. God placed her here to talk to us and tell us her story, to teach us that we are all human and we all have ups and downs, but everything is OK if we love and accept our roles in life. Her role is to be a mom to a daughter with Down Syndrome.

My sister turned me on to Kelle's blog when I was staying with her two years ago, and I've followed it since. I love her posts and pictures and feel like she's a friend, something that I'm sure most of her followers feel. My mom, sister and I even refer to her casually, like, "Hey did you see Kelle's post about ...?" or "Haha, Kelle had a great picture on Instagram today, did you see it?"

In my excitement to see Kelle and get three autographs out of her I started scheming to surprise my mom and sister with the autographs. I decided to flat out admit I knew Kelle was here, but that I couldn't go to see her. But the real question was, could I hold up the secret until Christmas? Nope. Not even close. The day after I saw Kelle (a mere 14 hours after I met her) I handed over the padded envelopes to the postmaster and smiled. Now I just had to avoid my mom and sister until they got the packages...

When I met Kelle I was all thumbs and blubbering. I know I said to her, "We just love you. We just love you guys!" and I told her that my sister went out to see if she could catch Kelle when she was visiting Traverse City (bad idea Kari, you don't tell someone that someone you know was stalking them!). And I don't remember much else of the conversation because all I kept thinking was I'm standing next to a Goddess! I'm standing next to Kelle Hampton!!!! And after I got my books signed I resigned myself to avoid stalking her while she was in San Diego because I didn't want a restraining order put out on me. I mean, for all she knows I'm crazy, right??

If by chance some day Kelle reads this blog post, I just want to say that you were every bit as classy as I imagined you would be, and I hope you enjoyed this city as much as I do every day.

The sun was going down as I was driving to San Diego. It was beautiful.

This was the woman I stood in line with. We because instant friends and I will forever remember our great conversation as we waited to meet Kelle.

This post was sitting waiting to be posted until my mom and sister got their packages. It was awesome to hear how much they appreciated the books, I even got to skype with my sister and watch her open the book. I told her that I got something on the book, and had her look at it. It was the inscription!

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