The best thing about my trip to Sydney last year wasn’t watching Cats. It wasn’t the chance to see what went on backstage, not even the opportunity to interview the actors.
The best thing about my trip to Sydney last year was the time it gave me to hang out with Bex, Erick, the sweet, adorable and smart little Xean and baby Xam (who still in Bex’s tummy at that time).
In my very short time in Australia, they took me around, treated me to an unforgettable meal and spoiled me like crazy.
I left Australia absolutely in love with them. Bex, who I first met because of our Havaianas obsession, no longer was just a friend who shared a similar passion.
We had become family. From flip flops to family – how awesome is that?
Despite the distance, my family in Australia never failed to let me feel their love. They constantly showed their thoughtfulness in pictures, Facebook posts and messages.
And then, yesterday, they did something extraordinary.
They moved Christmas to January.
Yes, they have special powers.
I knew Bex was sending me a box. I thought it would be a small box, just the right size to fit the chocolates, bracelet and pop-up book that she said she was sending.
So when the box arrived, I was surprised.
Because it wasn’t small. No, sir, not at all.
It was a big box and it held lots of surprises.
There were presents.
So many presents.
So many pretty packages.
I couldn’t believe it.
And not just for me.
There were gifts for Jill too.
She couldn’t believe it either.
And there were chocolates.
So many chocolates! Including Crispy Mint M&Ms that we thought we’d never get to eat again! I had to stifle a scream.
And Cadbury Crunchie, all kinds of Crunchie! Which I love!
Because I’m addicted to honeycomb!
And a lot of Tim Tams! In my two favorite flavors – original and honeycomb! Tim Tams are on top of the list of my most favorite things in this world.
More Cadbury goodness! Mint! I love mint chocolate too!
Bex, Erick, Xean and Xam sent so many chocolates that I felt like I can build my own chocolate factory.
But I’m no Willy Wonka.
So I opened my presents instead.
Lego goodies! I love my new Lego lamp and torch!
And duck notebook and pen! Quack!
And the limited edition Lego minifig they got at the Lego exhibit in Australia! He’s now hanging out with our other minifigs.
And so many pens I can’t wait to play with!
And this beautiful beautiful charm bracelet made with old typewriter keys.
It’s so awesome! The little charms are so exquisitely detailed – a girl typing, a quill and ink well, a newspaper, a computer, a typewriter, a notepad with pen, a coffee cup and saucer, a rolled up newspaper. It’s just perfect. So perfect it makes me want to cry.
And all those goodies were enough to overwhelm me. But Bex, Erick, Xean and Xam weren’t done yet.
There was one more present left.
And it came with an adorable card made by Xean.
I love this card so much. It’s better than any card you can buy in any store in the world.
It made me grin like a fool. And it made me wish I could give Xean a big big hug.
I tore the gift open and my breath caught in my throat when I saw this:
Oh my god.
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
Patent lilac Doc Martens!
Here’s a quick background on these patent lilac Doc Martens.
I first spotted them in Hong Kong two years ago.
But I didn’t notice them because the pink pair grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. I didn’t buy the pink pair there and ended up ordering mine from the US. And because I fell in love with the pink pair (and realized all that talk about Doc Martens being painful to wear was just crap), I realized I wanted it in other colors too.
And I realized the next pair I wanted was lilac. Because yes, those are my two favorite colors – pink and purple/lavender/lilac.
But because I can be such a cheapskate sometimes, I kept waiting for the lilac pair to go on sale. It disappeared before it went on sale. I tried forgetting about it but every few months, I’d remember it and feel an ache in my heart. I couldn’t believe I let that pair go. (I couldn’t believe I let the Sanrio Doc Martens go either but that’s another story altogether.)
Just a couple of weeks ago, I found out that there a Doc Martens flagship store had opened in Singapore. And that they might have the lilac pair there. Karen, another Doc Martens lover, offered to buy a pair for me in March.
Awesome, I thought. I was finally getting my lilac boots.
So imagine my surprise when I saw the lilac Doc Martens staring up at me.
They arrived two months early.
And they looked so pretty.
I was so happy that I kissed my new boots.
I swear, I really did. And I couldn’t stop smelling them too. New Doc Martens smell so freaking good.
I introduced my new Doc Martens to my old Doc Martens.
Jill says she knows what the beat-up pink pair said to the lilac one.
“Good luck, sister.”
I love Doc Martens. And I love Bex, Erick, Xean and Xam for being so thoughtful and so sweet.
I can’t wait to see what adventures I’ll have with my new DMs. I already wore them out today to dinner and a movie and unlike the pink ones, they don’t feel like they need to be broken in. They’re already super comfortable.
When I finally stopped hyperventilating over the DMs (and trust me, it took a long time), Jill started opening her presents.
Because they know she is obsessed with Lego, cameras and pop-up books, Bex, Erick, Xean and Xam got her a Lego camera.
A Lego case which is perfect for the Lego camera.
And an Elmo pop-up book.
And the Elmo book is doubly special because it reminds us of Xean’s love for Elmo.
I was so overwhelmed by the box and its many wonderful surprises. But I was even more overwhelmed by the love, the kindness, the thoughtfulness and sweetness of Bex, Erick, Xean and Xam.
Before I could catch my breath, I wrote Bex a very long message – half of which was just exclamation points. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make a lot of sense.
But here’s what I wanted to say. All these gifts are wonderful gifts. But they’re not just gifts. And the package isn’t just a package – it’s a manifestation of the kind of people Bex, Erick (and even little Xean) are. They are sweet, giving, loving, generous and incredibly thoughtful. And I’m sure Xam will grow up to be the same way.
Bex told me that when the courier came to pick up the box, Xean told the man to take good care of it because they contained my presents.
I was and I am really touched.
They put so much love and care into preparing the package and it showed. Every single thing in the box was so well thought of – it was like they had magic access to our hearts’ desires.
It’s been over a day and I’m still overwhelmed.
My family in Australia? They are masters at spoiling me. And I would like to spoil them too in every way I could.
Bex, Erick, Xean and Xam are wonderful people and I am so lucky to have them in my life.
Christmas in January – it can happen, yes it can.
And now I think I’m going to cry again.