About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Last year I didn't buy my husband ANYTHING for Christmas!

Anyone who knows me...even for a little while...would soon realize just how deeply I love my husband. Yet, my title above is correct. Other than allowing our children to buy my husband Christmas presents, I didn't buy him a THING!

Now, before you think I'm just a miser or mean, let me explain!

For a year or so, every time we walked through an antique mall or store, Roger would comment just how much he would love to have a copy of his grandparents' wedding picture. He would then go on to explain how he would put it in an antique oval frame just like the one that it was in when he saw it. This picture had to have been approximately 90 years old and was kept by his elderly Aunt Dorothy about 2 or 3 hours from us.

He often talks about his "gramma" and even took me by the house where she lived as a neighbor to him as a tiny boy. He thought she was wonderful. His parents were in their 40's when he was born so his grandparents were elderly when he knew them.

I decided that the very best thing I could get him for Christmas would be to somehow get a copy of that picture and try to duplicate it in an antique frame. This would be difficult since I still worked full time at that time and had no idea how to get to her house so far away without him knowing it.

After trying to figure out a way to accomplish this with no real solutions, I discussed that idea with the aunts on the OTHER side of the family who are still very close to the other aunt. "Aunt Marcie" then contacted "Aunt Ruth", who contacted "Aunt Dorothy" who asked (through the aunts, again) me to call her...all in secret! She knew better than to call ME in case my husband answered the phone OR got the message off the answering machine. I called her on my cellphone and pleaded with Roger NOT to look at the list of phone calls made when he received the phone bill.

Aunt Dorothy told me that she decided that she would GIVE me the ORIGINAL as a gift for me to give to Roger! She had already made arrangements for it to be transported to Indianapolis where I would drive to pick it up from a family friend's house.

I was amazed and thrilled to be able to do this for him! I cried!!

So on my next time off of work, I went out on my secret mission. Roger was completely stumped as to what the the present could be. I had to go to a part of Indy that I had never been to before and I am NOT good with directions! But I had no problem finding the house belonging to the old lady who remembered Roger AND was happy to be a part of this big secret!

I was able to pick up the VERY LARGE parcel...Aunt Dorothy had it wrapped and wrapped and wrapped again in old tablecloths and all taped up. It was so difficult for me NOT to unwrap it right then and there. I finally pulled off the interstate and parked so that I COULD finally see it!!

I was so excited and surprised to see just what it looked like, after all this time of planning AND of hearing about this portrait! It was beautiful and elegant, just as Roger had described his Gramma!

Back at home, the big present was disguised by packing it in a large square box and wrapped and put under the tree. Everyone was warned to be very careful of the present. He was still completely unable to figure it out!

Christmas morning, we were all gathered. Everyone else knew what the present was. We were all excited to see his reaction.

He was just thrilled!! He had tears in his eyes and just couldn't imagine that I had thought of getting that gift to him for Christmas.

He kept telling people about it and couldn't have been happier. Neither could I!!!

He teases me from time to time telling me that I didn't "buy" him ANYTHING for Christmas last year! He's right, I didn't, but I think I have set a a precedence that will be IMPOSSIBLE for me to accomplish again!


  1. That is just a lovely story Beth! What an effort you went to on behalf of your husband. I think the frame is beautiful too. I love to have photographs of family from years gone by, displayed in my home and the old photos look their best in antique style frames. When I last visited my mum in England in 2001 I brought back all her old family photos which were stored in a biscuit tin. They were mainly sepia and black and white - I made copies for myself and put the originals into an album - not a scrapbook style which can sometimes 'lose' the image with too many embellishments - just a simple, classic photo book with black pages, I used traditional corners and underneath each picture, I wrote in cursive in silver pen, names, dates and places. It cost a small fortune to mail but she was thrilled. There is so much joy to be gained from giving as well as receiving and when we go the extra mile - as you did literally, it is even more rewarding!

  2. Oh, Thanks, Ann! I was so excited to have done this for him and it is by FAR my favorite gift I have ever given!
    Your album sounds beautiful and I'm happy that your "Mum" loved it!
    Our tiny granddaughter's OTHER grandmother is also a "mum", having come from England. In fact, our son in law is actually a British citizen but has been here in the states most of his life. (No accent...well, British, anyway. He has an "Indiana" accent." Too bad, I do love a British accent!")

  3. That is so awesome! I love intrigue at Christmas time. But what in the world are you going to do this year???

  4. Such a sweet story and it sounds like such a fun experience Beth!

    I found you in the comment section of Large Family Mothering and saw your comment where you mentioned thinking about adopting from Foster Care. We are a large family and my hubby and I are "older" (52 and 49) and we are adopting from foster care. If you ever want to talk about it I can tell you my experience so far.

    Jill in Washington state

  5. Beth! I forgot that my account is under my husband so disregard the little picture on my comments! He is not replying to you-I am!

    Jill in Washington state