Ness asked about the best gift I ever received. She specified that I couldn't say my daughter, but no worries there. She didn't even make the list! I'm kidding, of course. (Today, anyway.)
It was hard to pick just one gift, because while yours truly tends to suck in the gift-giving department, the hubs pretty much rocks at it. He's given me some awesome presents over our 11-year relationship, except for the time he presented me with three wicker laundry baskets as a Christmas gift in the second year we were dating. But generally, he knows me well, and as such has given me Broadway theatre tickets, weekends away, and even an antique enamelware teapot from Belgium (which makes me sound like either an enormous dork or a stuffy snob, but trust me, it's really cool).One particular gift from him sticks out as especially awesome.
My 30th birthday fell on a Thursday, and I was at work. Our office manager called me down to the front desk and said I had received a package. My husband had sent me a huge box of Dippin Dots ice cream. Dippin Dots are possibly my favorite food on the planet, but because they have to be kept at something like -5,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit, you can't buy them from a grocery store's freezer case. So my husband ordered them directly from the company, and had them shipped to my office. It wasn't especially expensive and it wasn't flashy, but it was something he knew I would love, and that's what made it so special. You can read more about it here. I chronicled the Dippin Dots tale for my 30 in 30 project two years ago.
I couldn't pick just one "best gift" because to leave out this other one would be to ignore a gift that really shaped a big part of who I am today. For my college graduation present, my mom gave me a study abroad trip to London. I graduated from college in May of 1997, but in January of that year, I went with about a dozen other English majors and my favorite English professor to the U.K. to take a course called "Literature and London Museums." I was bit hard by the travel bug. I fell in love with London, with travel abroad, and with the exploration and understanding of other cultures. When I returned home, I made plans to hightail it back across the pond as soon as I could, which I did in August 1997. I lived in London for almost six months, trekked all over England, Ireland, Scotland, and France while I was there, and made it a goal to travel as much as I possibly could before having kids. And I did.
Now, "traveling" is a trip to Target with a drive-thru stop at Starbucks for a Caramel Macchiato, but I figure it's only another 18+ years before we head abroad again.
More answers to your questions coming soon.