When I found out Ashley couldn't afford to keep me once school starts, I decided I wanted to do something really special for her and Marilyn as a thank you for the past year. And I thought, what better way to do that than with a photobook of the boys? Since probably March I had taken my camera to work with me every day. Timothy, the two year old, loved making silly faces, holding up his toys, pressing the buttons, and looking at the pictures, so I was getting a lot of shots of him. Even better, my pictures were getting better and better each time. I didn't have quite as many shots of Benjamin as I had of Timothy, due to Benjamin being in school full-time, but practically every shot I do have of Benjamin is simply captivating. I blame those blue eyes of his. 90% of the shots I have of Timothy are equally as wonderful, but he just doesn't have those gorgeous blue eyes that his brother has. I talked to a Mom from my church who's a professional photographer about which company to go with for the book, and she recommended MyPublisher. I'm glad she did, the books were high quality and absolutely beautiful and perfect. It was so cool to see the photos I'm most proud of taking come to life in the form of a book. Thinking of ordering one for myself. The week of the 13th Ashley and her husband went on vacation and I helped Marilyn with the boys. I knew that Marilyn and her husband were leaving to go to Colorado on the 19th a week before the rest of the family got there, so that Monday I ordered the books, and surprised Marilyn with hers on Friday since I won't see her again until the 9th when I take Molly back (I'm keeping her while they're gone). She was so surprised by the book, she obviously loved it, but she was more surprised by the letter on the first page:
Congrats, you finally beat it into my head that I'm not "actually leaving" (as if I could ever really leave you guys). Still, it's going to suck not seeing you, Ashley, & at least one of the boys on a weekly basis. You guys make life so entertaining! I've grown so accustomed to T's frequent squawking & someone mumbling "Bobby Dawn" when they're frustrated, it's going to be weird not hearing it all the time. I hope you realize how absolutely wonderful I think you are. I am so thankful for all the talks & laughs we've had over this past year, we've certainly had a lot of them! Thank you for being such an incredible support system when mine at home wasn't really there & for always telling me how wonderful you thought I was when I couldn't see it for myself. It means more to me than you know. I know you speak the truth, maybe one day I'll start listening. You know how hard-headed I can be. I can't tell you how much fun I've had watching the boys grow over this past year, they have me wrapped around their fingers. Can't wait to see how they grow! Okay, yes I can. They're growing way too fast. Who would have guessed taking a nanny job would lead to me gaining a second family? Best extended family ever. I am so blessed by you & Ashley's presence in my life. Love you to the moon and back!
She cried, hugged me, and said, "You know this isn't the end". Needless to say, she loved her gift. I decided to give Ashley her's Monday morning before the workday started. I figured the week would be a bit hectic without Marilyn there, so that seemed like the best time. I told her it was just a "thank you" for the past year. The look on her face when she opened the tissue paper in the box, oh my goodness it was priceless. "The book!", she exclaimed, I guess Marilyn told her about the book I gave her. She started thanking me and got up to hug me when I said, "Wait, you need to look at the first page". "Why?" she asked. I smiled and said, "Don't ask so many questions, just read it". While her letter was similar to the one I put in Marilyn's book, it was a little bit different:
Who would have guessed taking a nanny job would lead to me gaining a second family? Best extended family ever. I know I'm not "really" leaving (as if I could ever leave you guys), but it's still going to suck not seeing everyone on a weekly basis. I've grown so accustomed to T's frequent squawking and someone mumbling "Bobby Dawn" when they're frustrated, it's going to be weird not hearing it all the time. I know I've said it before, but you really have no idea how thankful I am for you (and the boys too of course). You're not just the best boss ever, you're more like a sister. Seriously. Anytime someone doesn't understand a Friends reference I've made I think, "Ash totally would have appreciated that". You have been an incredible support system over the past year, even if we didn't get a chance to talk much, & you've made a HUGE impact in my life. For real. You're awesome (and you know I don't blow smoke). Thank you for being such a wonderful support system when mine at home was, to say the least, shaky. You have no idea how much it's meant to me. I hope you know how wonderful I think you are, you're seriously the best! Thank you for sharing your sweet boys with me, you know they have me wrapped around their fingers. Can't wait to see how they grow! Okay, yes I can. They're growing way too fast. So thankful for you & Marilyn's presence in my life! Love you to the moon and back!
When she looked up from the book her eyes were watering and she gave me one of the biggest hugs I've ever gotten from her. She was speechless. She absolutely loved the book.