Gift giving is tricky in my family. Heath and I struggle to wait for the actual gift giving day to bestow presents. A week in advance, a couple days … this year’s birthday present arrived one month, to the day, prior to my birthday.

In the last few years Heath has been giving me pretty elaborate presents. Mostly because he’s a gadget guy. He loves toys and can’t help but buy me cutting edge technology to enhance my hobbies and interests. I’m not necessarily a technophobe but I like to take some time thinking about my gift before actually using it. That’s where receiving it early really works out in my favor. Most the time I’m ready to use it by the time my birthday rolls around!

He bought me a Cricut Explore for my birthday. I watched several videos with him before he bought it and I will admit I was getting excited about it. Still, my plan was to watch him play with it until his parents come to visit for Thanksgiving. Then I was going to let his mom play with it while I watched. Maybe come up with some projects for her to do for me. I would warm up to my new toy soon enough.

What happened is not at all what I expected. Heath played with it of course, but I feel like I may need to get in line to use it. The kids were slowly drawn into the creative realm like a moth to a flame.

Gwen was beside herself with joy when I gave her the butterfly filigree we cut out for the sake of cutting something out. She carefully arranged the hot pink cutouts on blue cardstock. I explained to her how to glue them in place and told her she could put the page in her scrapbook.

She stared at them on the page for half an hour before deciding to glue them down. It nearly ruined her day when they blew off the page and floated to the ground as she walked. Luckily it motivated her to get the project to her craft space and some glue sticks. The page hasn’t been put in her scrapbook yet. It’s decorating a pile of mail in my office. Hmm.

Gavin kept lurking as we tested different features in the design space online. He kept saying he wanted an Explore too because he was impressed with “the machine.”

Somewhere in the middle of this we decided to go to the craft store for products to complete our inspired ideas. Parker asked for a sweatshirt to decorate. I don’t think he understood why we let him get the sweater. All day he has been in and out of his new white hooded sweatshirt. All day long he has been begging us to let him color it.

I would try to explain how we would design something to cut out with the Cricut. He would get really frustrated because he just wanted to use my fabric pens to immortalize a sketch on the shirt. Finally Heath found the right combination of words to help Parker understand. They commandeered my computer to put their design together.

Meanwhile Gavin pulled up the website on his laptop so he could design something to decorate the sides of the Chinese takeout box we gave him last night. It was something else to cut out for the sake of cutting something out. We needed to test the score tool.

We had to go shopping for a hooded sweatshirt for Gwen today. JoAnn’s doesn’t have a lot of youth sizes and colors. Last night she wanted a pink sweatshirt but I didn’t like the precious baby pink. Gwen is a hot pink girl! Besides that they didn’t have anything in her size.

Hobby Lobby has lots more colors to choose from but only t-shirts. The picked over selection of sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts were only in adult sizes. How many adults want homemade t-shirt designs? Apparently a lot. Christmas is around the corner. We better get a jump start on those ugly Christmas sweaters!

After Hobby Lobby failed us we tried Target. Unfortunately they don’t have anything plain. Everything is already bedazzled or has silk screened characters and phrases on it. The best we could do was look at their jacket selection. Most of those were bedazzled with jewel sprays on the upper chest and shoulders. Gwen chose a sea foam green fleece pullover. She insisted and since it seemed we weren’t going to find anything better we bought it.

Now I have to blog from my Netbook. This is a long and tedious process. The cursor likes to jump to a random part of the text particularly when I’m on a roll and typing quickly. I have to figure out where the extra letters were typed so I can delete the mistakes and retype where they should be. It’s so annoying. This is why I hate laptops. That and the little keyboards. I like my keys with no names on my regular grownup sized keyboard!

Heath keeps telling me I need to convert to a laptop. He has a docking station for his laptop upstairs when he works from home. That’s what I would have in my office. It used to be our office until I took over everything. It’s now my computer. I rub off the letters when I type. That right there makes Heath not want to use that computer! My crafts take up the whole room that keeps expanding. Heath’s camera equipment is squeezed onto one shelf and I resent all the stuff that has to sit on the floor because there is no room.

But Heath is on my computer now. This Netbook is my only form of entertainment until my kids complete their projects. Heath is designing Parker’s iron on project in Photoshop and importing the image and text into the Cricut design space. Gwen will get some fancy stars on her jacket. Gavin may or may not want his designs to be cut out. Heath is still watching lots of video tutorials to learn the cool features of my birthday present.

I’m not complaining. It’s kind of funny. It must be the best birthday present ever for my whole family to enjoy it! Happy birthday to me.

I just refuse to age. Heath told me I would be 37 when my gift arrived. Thankfully that’s not true. I have another month. Even then I won’t be able to remember how old I am. I can never remember how old I am! I think I’ll stick with ignorance on my age. It’s more blissful that way.

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