Holiday Cheer

J came home and found this lovely package on our doorstep! I have no idea how it was left there without the dogs going nuts about someone on our porch! It must have been placed there when we were out in the backyard earlier today.
Inside was a note...

...from my pal Jaime, who lives a neighboring suburb of Tulsa. Jaime and I met online over two years ago...on The Knot's Hawaii Board, which brings together Hawaiian Brides from all over the world in cyberspace. Never in a million years would I have thought we'd ever get a chance to meet. But we did...last August, for lunch. Then, this December, we organized an ornament exchange for Hawaii Knotties (that's what the gals who post on The Knot are called) through and lo and behold, Jaime drew my name and sent us awesome peacock ornaments!

The note says:

"Just a little more holiday cheer. There's something special marked "From Tia". She picked it out just for you saying that if you love Hawaii you had to have it! Hope and and J have a blessed Christmas.

Happy Holidays, Love, Jaime, Matthew, Tia & Hani"

Here's the adorable, handpicked item from Tia (her kindergartner)...

Love his sparkly shell and bright red flippers and cool snorkeling mask!

And, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge! I love it! I definitely feel like I've left my heart in San Francisco this Christmas. My mom called and she's meeting up with my aunt, uncle, cousin and brother in SF to see my other cousin's new apartment in North Beach, go see a move and then attend midnight mass at St. Peter and Paul Church in Washington Square. She also confirmed that she and her two chihuahuas (Dot and Sport) will arrive in Tulsa on Sunday, January 11th. I cannot wait!

And super tasty, world famous Honolulu Cookie Company Hawaiian Shortbread...mixed flavors including chocolate dipped, pineapple and lilikoi (passion fruit)...YUMMY!

The pugs were so excited too! Here they are checking out all of the goodies!

And how cute are these ornaments on our tree? Love them!

Words cannot express how happy this gift made me today. Jaime is an amazing friend who, oddly enough, I have only met face-to-face once. When I came out for my job interview last May, she left an OU Sooners coffee cup and sweet note for me at the hotel. And now this!

She's so thoughtful and I greatly appreciate her taking the time to do this for me, especially today, when I am home alone with the furbabies. Waiting for my sweetheart to come home after having worked a 16 hour day and getting ready for another 8. And talking on the phone with my mom in CA... getting ready to spend the evening with family in the city I love dearly and my dad in Alaska, gathering together my siblings and their children for a traditional Christmas dinner. It's nice to know that even though I am a little lonely on this day, I am not alone. Thanks for spreading the holiday cheer're the best!

Now it's my turn to spread some holiday cheer...I am surprising J by making carmel apples with peanuts....his fav! Wish me luck, I have never made them before butI have good instructions. And since we're in major debt-pay-off and save mode, my gift to him this year is a bunch of "love coupons" I made up for him on the computer, printed and put in a nice card for him in his stocking stuffed with all sorts of chocolates and goodies he enjoys (like Burt's Bee Hand Salve and Alba Shave Cream). The coupons are good for everything from a night on the town to a weekend get-away, movie of his choice and a tech-free evening (no TV, no phone, no internet..just us!). I hope he likes them and uses them too!

UPDATED: Here's how my carmel apples came out...

They were super easy to make!

- 5 medium Granny Smith apples, washed and dried
- One bag of Kraft Caramel Bits (they come with 5 wooden sticks)
-1/2 cup of chopped pecans and peanuts

Melt the caramel bits with two tablespoons over medium-low heat.

Remove the melted caramel from the heat, roll the apples (with the sticks inserted in the stem part of the apple) and use a spoon to cover as needed.

Dip the caramel covered apples into chopped nuts, using a spoon to press them into the caramel as needed

Place caramel covered apples onto wax paper sprayed with non-stick spray and refrigerate for at least one hour.


Jill of All Trades said...

How wonderful. I just love the turtle one. Our oldest used to have a huge collection of turtles and it reminded me of her. Have a great holiday. Merry Christmas!

Jaime said...

how sweet! my favorite is the turtle :)

merry christmas, lori!