Over the years, some of the most thoughtful and lovely presents have been centered around words. One year Norm gave me this beautiful word cloud. Obviously that was when we were still in Utah and everybody called me Kristy. (For more details about why I switched to Kristina, you can read One More Syllable over here.)
Another year, I tried to have a "virtual" birthday gathering by asking a bunch of friends to just drop a word to honor my hubby. I had over 40 replies from forty different friends, and it was so fun to get all the emails and then print them out. My presentation was severely lacking, but once again I'm more about content than polish. Here's what the wall looked like before the big reveal.
Last year at Christmas I tried to be super creative and clever and crafty. So I dreamed up an idea: a scrabble board with words that reflected our family members and situation during 2020. Notice my favorite detail: the word "masks" is really hard to read because there's a few hidden letters.
Unfortunately, my cute hubby wasn't super impressed and actually thought it was a lame Christmas present. He didn't see how much fun Amber had with a glue gun, trying to help me stick letters on straight. So I kept it for myself and decided to make more! This idea was the impetus for another important moment: remembering when and why I started writing a blog. After thinking of the first names of women in my extended family, I added a bunch of names of friends that were in my neighborhood four years ago.
Then I was a kinda sad for a minute, because they're all really far away, so I made another scrabble board with names of women I love, who live in Texas. These women have welcomed me into this new neighborhood, they've helped me with my children, etc. AND the best part is this: there's a ton of names I didn't even add to the board because I ran out of time and needed to clean up the mess.
That brings us to celebrating the birth of this blog. See Happy Birthday Little Blog if you want to read more about WHY I started writing all these notes. But for now, let's just talk about cake for a minute. My friend Laura at The Southern Basket designed this cake, and spent a bunch of time playing with scrabble letters, too. I LOVE how she made a cake that looks like a scrabble board, and it tasted amazing too. Her son helped with some of the word placement, and when she asked him about the word, "HER," he replied simply, "Because she's not a HIM."
Also noteworthy here: The other night I banished Norm and the kids upstairs for an hour while a handful of girlfriends helped me celebrate and eat cake. (They had fun with Mario Cart and soda pop and candy and all things teenager-like.) While I'm talking about cake, we need to take a moment and appreciate one of my favorite literary characters: the Mole in Charlie Mackesy's lovely book. see here for more on why I love this book so much! In a nutshell, there are four unlikely friends: a boy, a horse, a mole and a fox.
"Do you have a favorite saying?" asked the boy.
"Yes," said the mole.
"What is it?"
"If at first you don't succeed, have some cake."
"I see, does it work?"
One day the mole approaches the little boy eagerly. "I got you a delicious cake," said the Mole.
"Where is it?"
"I ate it," said the mole.
"But I got you another,"
"Did you? Where is that one?"
"The same things seems to have happened." This whole dialogue is much better with the calligraphy and illustrations. But you get the idea.
I'm grateful for all y'all's support, and especially for those who have been in my home and who know me well. Thanks for reading! And thanks for humoring a word nerd, who loves to rearrange the letters all the time. Happy Birthday #4 to my little blog.