Have you ever received a package in the mail that was so special you didn’t want to open it? This package sat in my home for two days before I found some precious time alone to carefully unwrap it and savor the treasure inside. I wanted some alone time to take it all in and finally found it on Saturday {July 30, 2011…you’ll see why this matters in a sec}. It was well worth the wait. 
Inside was a handmade book from dear heart and doodle dynamo Aimee Dolich. Do you know Aimee? She is the sassiest, classiest, kick-assiest creative mama and her talent knows no boundaries. If you haven’t yet, you must take a trip to Artysville
I knew I had saved our first email exchange {which sounds kind of weird, I realize, but I’m an email pack rat}, so I dug through my online folders to find it. I was floored to see that we first connected exactly two years before, on July 30, 2009. I had left a comment on her blog, she wrote back and we formed an online friendship over our common traits: the challenges and rewards of birthing highly spirited kids, our creative journeys following corporate careers, and our knack for seeing the world in full color. I almost just wrote that she made me feel less crazy at the time, but actually I think she helped me embrace the crazy in me. A great gift.
Last fall, we actually got to meet in real life – eye to eye, heart to heart – during a creative getaway with a cabin full of amazing, awe-inspiring women. This gift she sent to each of us last week is a hand-drawn recipe book; not just with recipes for the delicious dishes we shared, but with all the ingredients that went into our Soul Sister Stew – great memories, cherished moments, and a perfect blend of personalities. It’s flat-out amazing {you can see the whole thing at her blog}. 
Aimee arrived at the cabin a day late with Susie and Jen. I vividly remember seeing her standing by the kitchen shelves and feeling a big lump in my throat. I couldn’t believe she was really there; I couldn’t believe any of them were really, truly, fully, magically there. It was an experience I will cherish always and they’re a group of women I love like crazy. And now I have the ultimate souvenir: an incredible book made with love {so much love!!} by a crazy-creative mama I adore. I’m so full.