The sweetest gifts in life are often the ones that cost the least. A sprinkle of love and thoughtfulness is all you need to come up with the perfect gift for a friend.

As I look around my house I see little items that remind me of my friends. Thoughtful little things that keep giving year after year because they remind me of those I love and those who love me.

Before I left for to run the Boston Marathon my friend Jess gave me the cutest little framed print. I love it not only because of what it says but because it is from her. It now sits on my desk and reminds me that I can do all things, I just have to believe.

When I arrived in Boston to my surprise I had a little pile of gifts for my birthday from my mom. Included in the pile were two cards addressed to me. I was rather confused who was sending me cards. On the bottom of one card it read – Open me BEFORE race!! On the bottom of the other it said – Open me AFTER the race!! The girls I did most of my long runs with this training season, had taken the time to not only give me a card telling me good luck, but had taken the time to send it to where I would be staying in Massachusetts. After my long race ordeal it was a nice treat opening this card and reading how proud of me they were. They even included a gift card to my favorite place STARBUCKS. Instead of drinking away the balance on the card and forgetting about the gift, I got a mug I had been wanting. Now whenever I drink my coffee from this mug I will be reminded of a whole group of girls who care about me and are proud of me for the person I am.
Another one of my favorite gifts was given to me two years ago on my birthday. For my birthday my friend Michelle came from New York to visit me. While we were out shopping one day, she and Chloe went off on a little walk. I didn’t know at the time what they were doing, but Michelle let Chloe pick out a present she wanted to buy me for my birthday. She picked out a mug [she knows mommy!] from Anthropologie. I use the mug to hold pens on my desk so I can be continually reminded of the sweet gesture. It meant so much to me that one of my best friends would do that for my daughter and also for me. The mug means much more to me than a mug – it’s a symbol of love – my daughters and also my friend.
Before Marine Corps Marathon 2008, where I was going to give it my best shot thus far at qualifying for Boston, another best friend Ashley gave me a book of quotes. On the inside she simply wrote. “I believe in you.” I qualified for Boston with a 24 minute marathon PR that year. I do think that she had an integral part in me believing in myself and knowing that despite what was seemingly impossible, I could run that fast.[she also met me around mile 23 and ran me into the finish – every quarter mile or so I would ask her if I could still qualify – she told me that I more than could qualify, I was going to] I treasure this book and know when I look at it when I’m 80 something it will still make me smile.
These presents are just a few of countless awesome gifts I have gotten over the years – may they inspire you as they have inspired me.
Is it better to give or receive? What are some of the gifts you treasure most in your life?


  1. SupermomE12 says:

    I love to give, but it is really nice to receive too… mostly because it is so special to feel like someone has taken the time to think of you and do something for you. :)

    Sweet post!
    Oh, and I blogged about you today. :)

  2. Pemberton Family says:

    This is such a great post! You obviously have a lot of people that care about you and it's neat that you recognize that. I think both giving and receiving feel awesome. I have loved all your posts recently, I haven't commented much because we had our third son last Monday and life with 3 (as you know) is busy! I ran 3 miles the day he was born and ran another 3 miles four days after his birth. I can honestly say I never would have tried that if it wasnt for your blog and your inspiration. So thank you and keep writing. I'm always reading even though i may not comment.

  3. Jeni @ stepping out says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I was just thinking of this yesterday when we had our final get together for secret pals (like Secret Santa) at my work. I had such a good time coming up with a final gift for mine that it didn't even matter that the person who had me is no longer at the school. It's definitely better to give.

  4. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says:

    Great post!

    It is without a doubt better to give. The best thing I have ever been given is the ability to give to others. (ok, there are many "things" that are great, my faith, my family, my health but I am blessed by being able to give and an eager willingness to do so).

  5. Karen the "Hungry Mom" says:

    Great post! You have such restraint to spend your Starbucks money on a mug!! :) but you are right, the most meaningful gifts don't cost a thing… It's the thought!

%d bloggers like this: