It's been a great week for mail! Great cards, packages, and magazines that made me smile with new ideas, old memories, and sweet friends.  I especially love when they are unexpected; so much better than the typical bills, monetary requests and junk catalogs. 

The best dates in the world!  When I went to Las Vegas 4 years ago to visit my oldest friend, Karen, (oldest as in I have been friends with her longer than anyone else I know, not oldest as in her age), she took me to the China Ranch Date Farm in Tecopa, California, about 80 miles west of Las Vegas, between Death Valley and the Mohave Desert.  It truly is an oasis in the desert, a working farm with abundant wildlife and incredibly delicious dates.  I have been thinking about ordering them since I was there (I literally brought back 5lbs on the plane with me) and finally bit the bullet last week.  If the only dates you have eaten have been the dry, packaged ones from the grocery store, you have never really had a date.  Forget chocolate, I will snack on these morning, noon and night!

The ranch has some incredible history - check it out here. The picture below is from my trip, 4 years ago.

Can you believe this is in the US???

Hilarious card from one of my best friends, full of love and encouragement.  It now has a place of honor on the refrigerator.  This is kind of how my life looks when Todd is not home.

We swear most of our young lives that we will never be like our parents.  Then we get older and things change.  Case in point - Country Living Magazine.  I will read this over a fashion magazine any day.

This box was the biggest surprise of the week!  My mother's dear friend sent it to me with some old crafts my mom had made years ago - a patchwork heart ornament and a cornhusk angel - along with notepaper, reminiscent of our time in Rome.  When I studied abroad in 2006, she and my mother came to visit for a week.  We called them Merry and Pippin, after the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings and their many crazy adventures.  The Romans are crazy drivers, and my advice to them when crossing a street was to cross with the nuns - a Roman will never hit a nun, and there are plenty of sisters in the Eternal City to tag along with!  While at first M & P thought I was crazy, after the first excursion into the city on their own, they quickly learned that in this city, we never joke about the roads!
So many good memories, and so many more in the works!  Now it's my turn to make somebody's week a good mail week :)