Gifting the Gifts of Giftedness

I haven’t written a post in over a month. Which is really sad and alarming to me. I’ve known for a while I need to get my time under better control, and the fact that I can’t sit down to write – even one post in a month – is testament to that. I have so much to do over the next two weeks before the year ends, and I want to finish strong for the people and entities depending on me to produce for them – so I’ve been tucking myself away in the fetal position to get to work.

I’m carving out time today, though, to help you with some last minute shopping. If you’re stuck on what to get someone – hopefully one of these ideas will help you out.

Gifting the Gifts of Giftedness

Just like army training forces an individual to embrace responsibility and maturity, you can help someone achieve that same discipline and focus by giving them an adult coloring book. Or you can watch them cry while trying to color. Either way – it’s really more of a gift for you than for them. I would simply request you don’t give me one – unless it’s the one my friend tracyfixen[dot]com found for me on Instagram one day. That one looked doable.

I love meaningful, practical gifts and in a world dependent on consumerism, sometimes it can be hard to filter through the “stuff” and find something useful to give. So without further ado, on to the gift ideas and the reasons I’m recommending them!

Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper:

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t really know how to work ours. I’ve made popcorn in it twice, and it turned out both times (deliciously), but it gives me anxiety and I’d much prefer my husband make the popcorn. That said, I can’t go back to microwave popcorn after having my kernels stir-popped. Never again will I have to suffer through that microwave-smoky-singed flavor when a bag was left popping a few seconds too long. We use coconut oil for our popcorn, and while neither my husband or I are fans of coconut, the stir-popped popcorn tastes like a little bit of heaven. We melt butter over the top of it, and I’m so glad I conceded when my husband told me he wanted to buy one. It’s one of my mini-kitchen appliances I’m happy to have around. Plus – we make a lot more popcorn for a lot less money. Win all around. If you have someone who likes to save money, likes to eat popcorn, and doesn’t like setting off their smoke alarms to whip some up – this is the gift for them. Given with a little jar of coconut oil – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Nespresso [VirtuoLine]:

I have a client who was raving about his coffee every morning and like the real investor-in-people I am, I thought he was full of baloney. It turns out, he’s full of really good coffee. In my meeting with him after Thanksgiving, it was all we drank during our morning meetings. I’m a self-proclaimed latte addict snob. I love the rich, smooth texture of a good vanilla latte, and ones that are sweetened just so are hard to come by sometimes. When I can’t hit the drive through of my favorite coffee shop, I would always brew a standard pot at home and just sip off of it whenever I had a chance. I’ve always been one for pre-ground coffee in bulk, because it’s easy, it’s convenient, and coffee is coffee.

Oh, how wrong I was. There is too much to type about this, so I did a little video (worst ever, but you’ll get the gist) you can watch here. If you know someone who LOVES their coffee and would rather spend $1.10/cup than $5/cup, this is the gift for them. If you ARE that person, and this is a gift for yourself – you really cannot go wrong.


I don’t know about you, but my body is made up of a bunch of muscles. I’m certainly far more than “skin and bones”, anyway.  More often than not, these muscles try to solidify and turn themselves into a knotted pile of concrete. The best way to get me to relax is to pay someone an inordinate amount of money to work these knots into pliable muscle tissue once again. It’s my favorite gift to receive, ever. If you know someone who doesn’t like getting massages, you can give me the one you would have bought for them. I like to help however I can…


If you know someone who does a lot of work at a computer, or needs to spend a lot of time concentrating on their work, this is the gift for them. Focus At Will is an online music streaming service that incorporates the science of certain sounds and songs into the science of concentration. It sounds hokey, but I can personally attest to its effectiveness. I turn this on every time I need to sit and write, or focus on accomplishing a task that needs my undivided attention. It has sounds for everyone – if you like peace and calm or noise and bustle. You can read up about the science behind it when you visit the site. It works, and it’s so worth it. Cross my heart. I’ve linked through my referral link, so they know I’m sending you. I’m not an affiliate, and this is not an affiliate link.

New Socks – and Money:

Nothing feels better on my feet than a brand new pair of socks. I’m one of those weirdos who would write “socks and underwear” on my Christmas list each year, because I needed them, and they’re super cozy. A lot of people feel cheated if they open a package of socks and/or undies for Christmas. It’s unfortunate, because really it’s a great gift. That said, a great way to beat their disappointment is to slip a few presidents in the box as well. Comfortable feet, cheeks, AND money? Best Christmas ever!

So there you have it, my recommendations to help you get a meaningful and unique gift this Christmas. (Or next, if you’ve already got everyone covered this year.) Merry Christmas and happy gifting!


3 Ways Hurting Has Helped Me Heal

Call me stubborn, but I’ve never quite bought into the whole “pick yourself up and dust yourself off” mentality. If I’m going to feel something, I’m going to feel it until it’s all feeled-out. I’m going to be mad until I can’t be mad anymore. I’m going to laugh until my sides ache. I’m going to cry until I have no energy left to shed more tears.

I don’t pick myself up. I don’t dust myself off. I allow myself the freedom to roll or wallow, barge or bolt through, or whatever I need to do to make sure I understand what I’m feeling, and why. Usually, I end up learning from it.

After we lost Harlynn, my entire perspective shifted. I was forever changed. I realized I didn’t want to be stifled in my grief. I wanted, more than anything, to be allowed to grieve messy. And whether I was “allowed” to or not, it’s what I did.

With another Mother’s Day recently past, I once again waddled through grief in different stages. And I was okay with that.

3 Ways

So how has hurting helped me heal? Oh, let me count the ways! I’m by no means “healed” or restored to what – or who – I once was. But I know allowing myself to feel the hurt has been more of a healing journey than a hindered one. Here are three of the many ways I can share with you.

1. Doing What Matters

Before Harlynn died, we did what we had to. We went to our jobs, dropped Little Miss off every day of the week, went home, fulfilled social obligations, and hoped one day it would all pay off. When I returned to work from “maternity leave” – which totally sucked because I didn’t have a baby with me during those weeks – I found so many things about my life pointless.

Why was I advancing this person’s distribution so they can make a boat payment? Not important to me. Why was I letting someone else play with and tickle Little Miss instead of being the one to do that myself? Why was I driving through fast food every night because I was too tired to stand over a stove and cook a vegetable or two for my family?

No. When I was able to allow myself to feel the hurt of what I was missing out on, I began to have clarity and focus on everything that actually mattered to me. I took a job working from home. I stayed with Little Miss and watched her sing Frozen songs to her own reflection. I have been able to witness every single moment of every single day of Little Man’s life. I cook for my family. We go shopping during the daytime because we can. We spend time together doing things that pull us together as a family. We know what we can lose in an instant, so we make sure we spend our time doing what matters most. And it’s absolutely liberating.

2. Totally In Tune

I am more in tune with who I am as a person than I have ever been. I know my likes, I know my dislikes. I know my preferences and my purposes. I know things I can do to fill my family’s emotional tanks, and fill my own.

I am not afraid to put my foot down for my own desires. If I don’t want to go somewhere, I don’t go. If I want to invite someone over, I invite them over. I don’t have to have every crumb picked up from the floor or every dust speck wiped from the shelves – I am totally in tune with who I need to be with in certain seasons and times, and I can assure you they don’t care about crumbs or dust.

I know when I need to step back and have some alone time. I can sense things in my environment that build me up or detract from what I need it to be, and I address it right then. I have nothing to hide, and no reason to pretend. It took me more than 30 years to get to know the real me, but I’ve got to tell you, I like this gal. She’s sassy, she’s smart, and she adds a lot of value.

3. Firmer Faith

Allowing myself to hurt whenever the feelings of grief crop up has not distanced me from God. Rather, it has drawn me closer. I was so tender at first, and I remember not even being able to pray. I felt far too vulnerable. I was a gaping, gushing wound, and my spiritual journey seemed too intense to bring into the fold of what was happening in my life. Yet, the more I allowed myself to live in the raw moments, the more I was able to trust the One who would get me through each one.

I used to think David, the Psalmist, was a bit bipolar. But you know what? His baby died. He lost more than one child. He grieved. He also ruled a nation and had the stress of a kingdom on his shoulders. Do you know how he handled it, though? By being raw in the moment, and praising God anyway. I can attest as time has gone on, the more I give in to the rawness of the moment, the closer He draws me to Him.

God has never once left my side in all of this. It wasn’t a side I was comfortable standing next to for a time. So I withdrew. But being genuine and authentic in my pain and grief in the very presence of God, has shown me that He’s authentic and genuine in His love for me – no matter how I’m feeling. I can’t even get over it. My grief in losing my daughter has given me firmer faith. It doesn’t make sense. But I love it.

Whatever season you’re walking through right now, I pray you give yourself the freedom to walk through it in whatever way you need to. Take the long way. Take your shoes off. Sit down right in the middle of your journey’s road. Just allow yourself to hurt when you’re hurting.

Work through the pain, learn from the experience, and let it grow you personally. It won’t be the same for everybody. It probably won’t be easy. But I promise, giving yourself the freedom to process through things the way you need to, will be totally worth it.