I don't know if my dad will be thrilled about my sharing the following story, but it was so special that I think it needs to be shared...
As you may know from reading my blog, my dad likes to paint scenic landscapes. He taught himself a few years ago by watching Bob Ross of all things! He's gotten pretty good at it, too. I'm super impressed with some of his paintings, and not just because he's self-taught. He gifted my favorite of his paintings to me, and it's hanging in my living room. I love it! He's never sold his paintings--he typically gives them away if someone says they like them (which is how I acquired the one in my living room).
|The painting my dad did that is now hanging in my living room. Impressive, right?|
Recently, my friend Andrea's car quit running. My dad is an auto mechanic, so I referred her to him to fix the car. Andrea's grandparents drove her to my parents' house and lent her their car to go pick up the auto parts that she needed. My dad had a chance to chat with Andrea's grandfather, who is 90 years old, for a few minutes. Andrea told him that her grandpa's memory isn't very good for short term stuff, but he is a WWII veteran, and his memory is clear as day when he talks about his ship, the USS Hornet. He's extremely proud of his service, as he should be, and he loves to talk about it. My dad is a Vietnam veteran, so they chatted about the military.
After Andrea's grandparents left, my dad thought about their conversation, and decided to paint a picture of the USS Hornet to gift to Andrea's grandpa. He looked up photos of it online and printed them out, and then used those as a reference to work on his painting.
When my dad told me what he was doing, I thought it was awesome! But he is very modest about his work, and he told me he didn't want to bring the painting over to Andrea's grandpa--that he would just give it to me to give to Andrea to give to grandpa. I thought that my dad should be the one to give it to him! So, I told Andrea about it, and she agreed. She said her grandpa would be absolutely thrilled, and that my dad should bring it over.
Last Sunday afternoon, my dad and Andrea brought the painting to her grandpa, and sure enough--he loved it! He told some stories to my dad about the ship, and they hung the painting on the wall right away. They had a nice visit, and my dad ended up being very glad that he went.
I know my dad was embarrassed of the attention (he literally just wanted the man to have a painting of his beloved ship), but I think he left feeling happy that he went. He later said it was one of his favorite things he's ever done for someone. And Andrea's family appreciated it so much, too!
Yesterday was my birthday (I turned 35!), and throughout the day, I kind of regretted not hosting the virtual 5K this year. With my depression being so bad, though, I wasn't in the right state of mind to do the work for it. I'm feeling somewhat better now, so I wish I'd have done it. As it was, though, I had a very relaxing birthday. I spent much of the day organizing photos on the computer (a never ending task).
We "celebrated" my birthday on Tuesday, because that's when Jerry was off work. While the kids were at school, Jerry and I went to a couple of running stores that I'd had gift cards to. I had $150 in gift cards at two different stores. Since I'm all stocked up on running shoes, I decided to use the cards to get new socks. Running socks (good ones) are expensive, and I hate spending money on them--$18 for a pair of socks?! It's crazy. But, honestly, they are worth it.
I love Balega socks, and planned to get mostly those. Surprisingly, one of the stores didn't carry them, so I tried Swiftwick instead. They are AMAZING. So squishy and super warm. I don't always wear running socks for running--I like to wear my really cushy ones on a day-to-day basis. Here is what $150 will get you in the running sock world:
I chose not to go out to dinner for my birthday, both to save on calories and money. Instead, Jerry and the boys cooked me the dinner of my request (gnocchi with pesto cream and garlic toast) on Tuesday. It was delicious, and I don't think I could have had a better meal at a restaurant!
The kids have loved cooking lately, and Noah has actually made several dinners on his own. It's a fun way to spend quality time with the boys. I was curious to see how dinner would turn out with Jerry supervising instead of me, but I didn't need to worry--it was amazing :)
Last night, for my actual birthday, instead of celebrating with cake or something, I decided to have Halo Top ice cream for birthday dinner. Obviously, the family loved this idea ;) I've been obsessed with Halo Top's new flavors!! My favorites are the Oatmeal Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup, and Red Velvet. (Even though I've had an aversion to peanut butter, the Peanut Butter Cup Halo Top is amazing and not too rich).
Last night, we had the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and my whole family loved it. I simply cannot believe that an entire pint of it is only 360 calories. It also has a lot of fiber and protein, but you would never know it by the way it tastes.
If you haven't tried the new flavors, definitely keep an eye out for them. Halo Top is life-changing. (I don't work with them as an ambassador or anything, although I would in a heartbeat if they offered, haha). The only downfall is that it's crazy expensive at 5.79 per pint. I decided that if it helps me to stay on track, then it's worth the price tag.
I made the same conclusion with vegetables recently, too. I found that I was wasting them a lot, because they are inconvenient and I never felt like taking the time to prep them. Now, I decided that even though it costs a little more, I'm going to buy veggies that are already prepped where I can, because it will help me to actually eat them.
I don't have any major plans this weekend, but Jerry is off work, so I may not write. When he's off, I prefer to stay off the computer as much as I can so I can spend time with the family. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!