No Greater Gift

Wednesday evening, two packages were delivered to my house.  I was heading out the door to run some errands with JB so I didn’t stop to open them.  One I expected–some hair care products I ordered online.  The other was a mystery.  All I knew was that it came from my mom in Kentucky.

Fast forward through another long day.  After finishing errands, visiting a friend, and fixing supper for JB and me, I finally got the opportunity to open the package from my mom.  It was a small box–probably the size of a paperback book–and wrapped in brown paper.  As I ripped through the paper I thought, “What the heck is Mom sending me?”  I hadn’t asked for anything and she hadn’t mentioned that I’d have a package coming–which is part of the reason I’m writing this.

Once I got through the paper, I saw a box for an assortment of greeting cards.  At that point, I got really confused.  I knew I hadn’t asked for greeting cards.  I had no clue why she’d just send me some out of the blue.  I almost called her right then to ask why she sent me a random box of greeting cards because it just didn’t make sense to me.

And then I opened the box.  A greeting card with the handwritten message “Enjoy this holiday season in your own home!  Love Ya, Mommy”  and a Christmas ornament with the inscription “There is no greater gift than the love of a daughter.”

She worked two jobs to make sure we had the things we needed and that I had the things I wanted.  Notice I didn’t say, “we” had the things “we” wanted, because I’m certain you wanted one job to be enough.  But it wasn’t, so you did what you had to. Who has a greater love?

I see girls every single day who didn’t go to college because they weren’t encouraged to read.  Girls who don’t have their own homes because they weren’t taught how to budget and save.  Girls who became mothers to children while they were children themselves because they weren’t taught to respect themselves, they weren’t told that any man worth having will wait for you.  And I know that, in a different place and under different circumstances, I could have been just like them.

Fortunately, I was blessed with a mother who wasn’t afraid to be a parent instead of a friend.  Who pushed me and encouraged me and punished me when I did things I shouldn’t have done.  Who might not understand the choices I make in my life but who does understand that they are my choices to make.

So this holiday season as you’re celebrating, take time to remind those that you love why you love them. Appreciate every gift, great and small. And give love greatly.

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Ornament from my mom (right) and and ornament of my dad

Welcome to the neighborhood…

Well, we had our first real homeowner issue Tuesday night.  Whodathunk that, exactly one week after signing the paperwork, JB and I would be standing outside (in the RIDICULOUS cold) terrified our house was going to blow up?  Long story short, we are fine and the house is fine.  It just took a few fire fighters and a gentleman from the gas company doing readings for carbon monoxide to reassure us.

While the fire engine was outside. lights blinking away in the pitch black of 5:30 pm, a few neighbors stepped outside to “check the mail” or “shovel the driveway.”  No one came up and outright asked what’s going on, but I guess Midwesterners are too formal for that.  Where I’m from, someone would have probably walked right up to us, introduced themselves (and probably invited us inside their home to warm up).  Once we got inside, they would have asked us a million questions about ourselves while simultaneously telling all the neighbors’ dirty secrets and offering us something to drink.

I was wondering when someone would notice the new young Black couple that just moved in.  I think I have my answer now.

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Welcome to the neighborhood…

Clean or be cleaned?

When I was cleaning out my apartment for the last time, I came to a realization–I’m not very good (or consistent) at cleaning. Anyone else out there considered hiring help?

the doodle house

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Neither my parents nor Heath’s parents had housecleaning help when we were growing up. I don’t know the reasoning behind that decision in the Robinson household, but I’m pretty sure my mom nixed the option because she felt no one could do it as well as she could. I, however, do not share her enthusiasm.

I bring this up because while the question of whether or not to hire some bi-monthly help to tend to baseboard cleaning and oven scrubbing may not give others pause, it does for me because it’s not a luxury I am accustomed to having on a regular basis. Like manicures or massages. Nothing is wrong with either habit, but it’s difficult to embrace an indulgence like that if it’s not what you regularly grew up. I also feel like the maid debate is somewhat of a taboo, at least in our social circle. Before writing…

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A Very Kardashian Khristmas

You may still be eating leftovers from Thanksgiving–I’ve had spiral ham with mac n’ cheese for lunch every day this week–but it’s safe to say that we’re officially in the throes of the Christmas season.  For some of you, this may mean coordinating outfits for your annual Christmas photo.  While my family never had a “formal” Christmas photo, I’ve always thought the Christmas season is as good a time as any to get the gang gussied up for a professional pic or two.  Apparently the Kardashians have similar sentiments as they recently released the photo for their 2013 Christmas card.

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Photo by David LaChapelle – Image from The Citizens of Fashion

While every family absolutely has the prerogative to choose whatever style it wants for its Christmas photo, I’m not a fan of the Kardashian klan’s photo for this year.  So many things are going on in the picture–television screens, piles of gossip magazines, Gaga-esque headpieces, and random mannequin parts–that you can barely pick out the family members from the backdrop.  And speaking of family members…not everyone is in the photo.  Like, where’s Kanye?  And Lamar?  And Scott Disick?  Granted they are only related to the family by (impending) marriage, I’d think they’re still considered family and should be somewhere in the picture.

Now that I think about it, where the heck are Rob Kardashian and North West?  They are actually blood members of this family and are nowhere to be found.  If the point of a Christmas card photo is to highlight your family, it makes sense (to me at least) that all family members be included.  Maybe all the neon lights and broken mannequins scared the baby.

Anywho, I looked up some other Kardashian family photos and think this one from Christmas 2012 is really nice.  It’s simple, yet festive.  Everyone is present and looks happy, not fake fierce.  It actually looks like a celebration, which is what Christmas is all about–honoring the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Kardashian Holiday Card

Photo by Nick Saglimbeni – Image from E! Online

What’s your take on the Kardashian Khristmas photo?  Does your family take an annual photo for its Christmas cards?  If not, what are some of the other holiday traditions in your family?