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To me, there is nothing more joyful than pulling off a good surprise gift- whether it be for Christmas, birthday, gender-reveal... or whatever...

Recently, I have found myself in the enviable position of Chief Surprise Gift Creator. This was not a "perk of the job" I expected when I negotiated my contract last January. (hahaha-cracking myself up.)

I am thoroughly enjoying the stories that I am being woven into with these commissions I've taken for the Christmas season. Now I have 'deposit' and 'done by' and then 'SEEN?' tabs on my spreadsheet to check off. (Partly because I don't want to spoil a surprise by posting a very recognizable puppy portrait all over my social media accounts, but also because I can't wait to hear how my client pulled off their surprise!

This latest client did a fine job of surprising his wife with a very large (5ft by 4ft) custom nest painting this past weekend. Not only did he have it installed in their beautiful 2-story foyer while she was out of town, but y'all- he remembered her talking about one of my nests she had seen at the Wesleyan Artist Market LAST MAY. Seriously?? Now that, my friends, is a husband who was actually listening! (Note: I don't know how many hints were dropped or if there were others involved in this but I'm giving him full credit!!)

The best part of this job is the personal email I get telling me the rest of the story...the good stuff...the joy of surprise, the memories, the obvious thoughtfulness...the LOVE. All the feels.

There aren't many things better in life than a good family story with a happy ending...

For those of you who have allowed me and my paintbrush into your Holiday Season: thank you. I have loved being part of your surprises and your stories.

To all of you and yours...I wish you much joy, and happy surprises this new year.


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