My husband....he amazes me. It's in the little things - the way he shoulders the load when I'm flagging. The way he cleans the kitchen without being asked. His big heart and stoic nature. Nothing is impossible to the man, and he is always willing to do whatever needs to be done for his family. He always finds something new delight for us to discover as a family on a day off - a Vietnamese deli, a spice shop, a handmade confectioner, a hidden lake. He is the perfect travel companion, camping buddy and hiking partner. But this year on my birthday he really pulled out all the stops. The week in San Francisco was, of course, the crowning glory - but the embarrassment of riches didn't stop there. The following are just a few of the things he saw fit to spoil me with over the past couple of weeks. Above, a pair of gorgeous beaded mules that I coveted in a store window in San Francisco's Chinatown (more on that beautiful evening in another post). Hard to believe they had anything in a size 11 in an Asian boutique...but they had at least one pair, and it just happened to be the most perfect color. A Buddhist 'eternal knot' necklace from a San Francisco museum shop. He picked out this one himself, and I treasure it dearly. My fill of Japanese design magazines from Kinokuniya Books in the Japan Center. I am a design mag addict, but here in Denver the Japanese ones are difficult to find. A book of Rumi poetry. A trip to the Asian Art Museum, where we also had one of the best lunches I've ever had the pleasure of indulging in - yaki udon, with fresh handmade noodles, mushrooms and veggies. The thought of it still makes my mouth water with desire. And a hat made from vintage Brazilian tarpaulins, from a Denver green-living store. My father was stationed in Recife, Brazil during his time in the military, and he brought back an enclosed canvas hammock that I adored as a child. It was made from a heavy, faded khaki canvas, with screen windows on the sides to keep out the insects at night. Though we had few insects on the Southern Colorado ranch where we were living at the time, I loved to unzip it and crawl inside for a nap of a summer afternoon, rocking gently and watching the patches of sun and shade pass over the stained and spattered canvas ceiling. This hat reminds me of that hammock. The gorgeous bracelet on my wrist, btw, was a birthday gift from my wonderful mother, who is at the moment on a small boat exploring the fjords of southern Chile. Of course, the greatest gift is my family, and this truly charmed life we lead. Nothing can compare to that.