A few months ago, a friend recommended a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It really is a GREAT book (and I have since read 4 other books by him)!
Anyways, the basic premise is that everyone gives and receives love in one of five ways: Words of Affirmation, Gift Giving, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. It teaches you how to express your love to others in THEIR love language, and makes you aware of how you receive or feel loved.
I had a pretty good idea what my primary "love language" was after reading the book, but just to be sure, I took the little quiz at the end. And sure enough, I was pretty much as high as you can get for "Quality Time" and ridiculously low on "Gift Giving!" What that means is I feel loved when someone spends TIME with me over receiving a gift from them. And in turn, that is generally how I SHOW love to others.
I didn't even really realize it until just last week, but for my (soon to be official) niece and nephew, I almost always DO something with them for birthday and Christmas presents instead of buying things for them. (Birthdays are usually movies and slumber parties!) I mean these kids have all the toys they need anyways, but it all just makes sense now - I am showing them I LOVE them by spending TIME with them! (Too bad they're a little too young to appreciate it and would probably rather just have a wrapped present, haha!)
So - for Allie's Christmas present, I took her out to lunch and ice skating! We went to Town Center the day after Christmas and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. We hadn't ever been there before and the food was really good!
Then we went ICE SKATING! I took her once last year and we had a great time. To say she was excited to go again is an understatement!
Here is the link for a short YouTube video of her skating around:
It took her a little bit to get the hang of it again, but by the end (a couple of HOURS later!) she was skating great and didn't want to leave! I had to bribe her with ice cream to get her off the ice! ;)
I'd like to think she loved her gift of "time" just as much as a wrapped present under the tree. Who knows. She DID, however, have a GREAT time. She assured me of that!! :)
The next day was BRODY'S turn for his Christmas present! The plan was to take him to the "Dinosaur's Unearthed" exhibit at Union Station, but I found out on Monday - after I already had him - that it is closed on Mondays! We opted for a visit to T-Rex out at The Legends instead.
(It is entirely not fair that a 4 year old little boy has eyelashes like this!)
Brody had been there before, but he said he wanted to go again. I'm pretty sure he was a little scared when we walked in and the dinosaurs were roaring and moving around! He definitely kept a pretty tight grip on my hand, haha! ;) Thankfully they had a little "play area" where you could dig and uncover fossils in the sand. We literally did this FOR.EVER. I didn't think he was EVER going to quit brushing the sand away and then smiling and saying "Ta Daaa!" ;)
I finally convinced him to come look at the games on the other side, but it didn't last long. He went right back to digging in the sand! ;)
There were other cool things to do and look at, I promise, he just really liked the SAND! ;)
After walking around and looking at all the fish and animals and dinosaurs, we found one of those machines that smashes a penny. Of course we HAD to do that! ;)
From there we got some Cold Stone ice cream. Brody picked cotton candy ice cream with rainbow sprinkles - MY FAVORITE! I knew I loved that kid! ;) He actually just picked the ice cream because it was blue and stood out from the rest, and I may have prompted him with the rainbow sprinkles, but whatever, it was amazing! ;)
After ice cream, we threw pennies in to the fountain and pretended to ride a horse before heading home.
All in all, I thought it was a GREAT Christmas for Allie and Brody - they got plenty of gifts from both sides of their family, and I know they both had a blast spending an afternoon with their cool "Aunt Terri!" I hope those two beautiful kids know I love them to pieces, even if there wasn't a big wrapped present under the Christmas tree for them from me! What can I say ... my love language is QUALITY TIME! :)