What an awesome day.  Returning after a week away, my sprouts were definitely just as excited to see me as I was them.  In addition to my return, it was our Holiday Party and the enthusiasm was palpable… the fact that Christmas is only a few days away only added to our festiveness.  Donald was first in with his mom carrying treats… he ran, I mean long-lost-dog-running-to-his-owner-he-hasn’t-seen-in-years ran into my arms for a hug.  He randomly hugged me all day long… it’s nice to be missed.

I got tons of hugs all day and lots of gifts too.  There is another ornament on my tree that lets the entire world know I am officially the world’s best teacher.  If I eat all the homemade candies and treats given to me, I’ll tip the scale at about four hundred pounds by New Year’s Eve.  Gift cards, homemade cards, paintings, and bath soap… it all added up to a nice swag bag… by far, the gift that had me on the verge of tears was from Lionel.

He handed me a ransacked pile of wrapping paper with a bow on it…  clearly he’d wrapped it himself:

If that wasn’t enough, I then opened it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and here is what I got:

Lionel didn’t say anything, but it was clear.  He’d taken a toy from his collection, grabbed some wrapping paper, and gave a gift from his heart.

“Oh I love it, it’s Princess Leia, right?” I asked.

He mumbled something that sounded like ‘yes’ or ‘uh-hu’ and then was off like a whirling dervish.  Breathe… this gift brought me almost to tears… priceless.

There was cake… two cakes to be exact.  More cookies, chips, and assorted salty and sweet treats to make Santa sign up for Jenny Craig.  I might not eat for a week, but it was totally worth it.

The celebration was a success and I had more love from my kids than I could have imagined… being missed so deeply is a wonderful thing.

At the end of the day, I packed a bag with all my goodies… but Leia, she’s staying at school… on my desk… she’ll remind me what giving is all about.