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Tyson: Christmas is next month. Time flies. I am looking for ideas for gifts for your families. Let me know some ideas or I will buy your family a puppy.

The text terrified me. My mind always goes blank the second someone asks me what I want for my birthday or for Christmas. I try to come up with ideas ahead of time so I can be prepared for the questions. I never am. The threat of a puppy I didn’t want was nervewracking!

Candi answered first.

Candi: Our family is interested in classic books for our library. We were thinking of the Chronicles of Narnia series or any other classic book you think our family might like.

That was enlightening. I was so grateful my brother asked my sister and me in a group text what we wanted. I talked to him later about books. He got the most beautiful books for Candi and Ed. He showed me pictures that took my breath away. We decided to get the Chronicles of Narnia. I learned later that Talon loves those books. Just before Christmas he begged for his mom to get them from the library again. She picked up the first book to reread. Imagine his delight to open the boxed set on Christmas.

I thought and thought and thought about gift ideas I wanted. The only thing that seemed to stick out in my mind was that we are still trying to make this house our own. How can I ask my family for those types of things? Good thing I wondered that aloud to Heath. He reminded me that we wanted pictures for our bonus room. I was so excited to pull up the posters we wanted online. I sent my brother and sister the links.

Tyson said he was inspired by the links but got us something different. He hoped we would love it. The anticipation was about to kill me! What would he have chosen? The links I shared were for a Moulin Rouge poster and another for a Friends poster filled with iconic lines from the show. Where could those ideas spin off to?

I love that Parker immediately suggested we hang it in the bonus room. Gwen quickly came back with, “No, it’s Mom’s!” She knows my taste. The picture is perfect. It’s not your typical Alice in Wonderland piece of art. I love the steam punk touches. Some of the characters remind me of Parker’s cartoon drawings with the big circle eyes.


My brother told me that he chose it because first of all, it looks cool. Second, he chose it because my kids would relate to different parts of it. Sometimes they may feel too small for something or too big for something else. The Cheshire cat reminds us that it doesn’t matter what direction you choose if you don’t know where you’re going. It’s a piece of art that makes you think. I love it!

We hung it up in the bonus room. I think we need to come up with a better name for that room! It’s our media room. Right now the picture hangs over the movie shelves. Those will be moving very soon. One shelf was compromised in the move to this house. We already had plans for better storage so we bound up the shelf’s wounds. It is bravely holding movies until our plan comes together.


Steve and my mom didn’t know they were going to help us build a cabinet and shelving to deal with all this clutter. My mom asked what we wanted for Christmas. My mind went blank as usual. I told her we just wanted cash. She likes giving cash because it’s easy. Then she says we have to tell her what she bought us. Well, so far the money has gone to lumber for this project. The plan is to make a floating box about where the cords come out of the wall. Then we will build shelves on either side of the TV that will go up to the ceiling. This is where the movies will go along with other fun décor like the signed mini helmet and possibly the signed football. The pets will sit on the floor underneath the box. It will be awesome!

One last gift I want to talk about was Parker’s gift to me. He bought me The Muppets Most Wanted. When I opened it he told me he bought it for me because he remembered it was a movie I wanted to see. But the day we were supposed to see it I got sick. Heath left me home with the toilet while he took the kids out for pizza and the movie. That was a couple years ago. I can’t believe Parker remembered that and so lovingly bought me the movie so I could enjoy it in the luxury of my own home. That was a super sweet gift.

Some gifts become even more special when you learn the thought that went into it.