Sunday, June 6, 2010

he is impossible to shop for

Hubby's birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, and I have been looking for the 'perfect gift' for a long time.  I mean, a LONG time.  Since before he deployed.  Of course, one of the requirements for this mythical 'perfect' gift is that it has to be something I can ship to him over there, and preferably something he can USE over there.

The gift thing started with this little drama:

Originally, we were supposed to see a U2 concert for his birthday.  Last year they announced new tour dates near us (we had tried to get tickets to earlier shows and they all sold out in MINUTES) so when the on-sale date came, hubby was sitting at his computer, credit card in hand, logged in to ticketmaster to get first crack at the tickets.  This was last November.  He ended up splurging for floor seats, at $250 each.  OUCH.  But it was for his own birthday, and you only live once, right?  Then in January he got his official deployment orders, and while we were bummed about the concert thing, he urged me to go without him, take a friend.  Then we found out about baby on the way, and the concert was a no-go for me, too.  Hubby figured, no big deal - he had bought the extra traveler's insurance on these tickets, so if we couldn't make it for some reason, we could get a refund.


Those stupid insurance things do NOT cover deployment for war!  HUH?  They also don't cover non-war deployment if you are normally active other words, they would cover a RSERVIST who is deployed for NON-WAR reasons???? Like that would ever happen.  Anyway, we found a clause that said we could get a refund if we could not attend due to a high-risk pregnancy (normal pregnancy is not covered).  We decided to talk to my doctor about labeling me high risk so we could file a claim; with my age and weight, it technically is high risk anyway, right?  Besides, we are talking about nearly $550 here!

While waiting for my next appointment (next chance to talk to the dr) I decided to post an ad on craigslist to sell the tickets locally.  Two weeks later, a bite - the guy even offered to pay cash for the tickets!  Turns out the buyer is a pastor at a local church, and was looking for a way to really surprise his wife for HER birthday.  DONE. :)  Hubby went with me to finalize the deal (remember this was craigslist, and hubby is more paranoid than most men) and we both breathed a sigh of relief when they guy turned out to be exactly who he said he was, and had the cash ready, etc.  Everything went off without a hitch.  He even offered to add my hubby to his congregation prayer list for military.

SOOOO, a week or so after we sold the tickets to this guy, hubby was wearing a U2 concert shirt from a tour about 10 years ago.  It has HOLES in it. well, duh, its a ten year old t-shirt!  That's when the idea hit me to contact the pastor who bought our concert tickets, and ask him to pick up a new t-shirt that I can ship to hubby for his birthday.  Of course the pastor was happy to help, and we arranged to meet again before the concert so I could give him some cash for the t-shirt. 

YAY!  Birthday present DONE!

Or not.

Bono (lead singer for U2) had emergency back surgery last week.  Meaning the concert is now postponed until sometime NEXT YEAR.  Sad face for that nice pastor and his wife, and back to the drawing board in my search for a birthday gift.  Well, not the drawing board exactly.  More like the world wide web.

Thankfully, last week I found fanfire, the livenation site for concert gear.  I bought him the t-shirts from the concert we originally wanted to attend last fall, and another cool one with the band's picture on the front. 

I know he will wear both of these, so FINALLY I can say, *whew!*

Hubby's birthday is the same week as Fathers Day, so I stressed a little about a Father's Day gift.  Every idea I came up with was something he would use AT HOME, but not 'over there'.  Finally my friend Jessica told me what she is sending to her hubby....

its a USB drive from Things Remembered, and you can engrave any message on it!  They have it in a shiny silver, too, but I think hubby will like the gunmetal finish better.  Load it with plenty of daddy-pics, mail it off, and DONE.  Only $30, plus $12 for engraving.  Hubby has his netbook with him, so he will be able to view the pics almost any time he wants, and can even carry them with him on the attached keychain, for like, FOREVER.  Cool idea, huh?

So now I just have to figure out an anniversary gift.  We were married July 6th, 2002.  This will be our 8th anniversary, and it is the 4th time we have to spend it apart.  Sounds about right, 50%, right?  Anyway, I really want to find him something AWESOME for our anniversary.  Remember, this is the same guy who bought me a Kindle for my birthday last year, and for our anniversary he got me an iPod touch.  My birthday this year (right before the deployment began) he got me an iPad.  So, yeah, I need a GREAT gift for him this year!

I did find this cool Slingbox......I can hook it up to the TV/DVR in his office (aka the man cave) so he can log on over the internet and view anything that's playing live, or anything he has recorded, on the home tv. 

He can even use his netbook over there to SET the DVR to record something!  I know he misses TV more than he misses me, so this would be a GREAT gift for him.  Unfortunately it is WAY out of my budget, so I am looking for some extra babysitting jobs or something to pay for it.  That's a lot of babysitting, but he is so worth it!

Just in case you were wondering, MY gift preference for this anniversary would be this:

I know I'm not getting it, but I really really really WANT it.  Almost as bad as I want my husband home with me! :)

I'm easy to shop for....I just have expensive taste!


Lindsey said...

I just went through the SAME THING. DH's birthday is so close to Father's Day that I had to send it all in one box. Well, that enabled me to spend more and send just one single gift. It took forever to come up with something, and when I did it was purely by accident.

I was walking through WalMart buying ink for the printer so I could print pictures for the scrapbook when I noticed this picture of a little boy hugging his father on one of those digital photo frames. I decided right then that that was the perfect gift! So, I bought it, brought it home, uploaded a gazillion photos, tested it, and shipped it off. Done! Whew!

So, I can completely relate to the stress that is shopping for a deployed husband. LOL.

~Gretchen~ said...

Great ideas for gifts for him! I always have such a hard time trying to figure out what to get him....especially when he was deployed. Christmas was random stuff he'd need for when we moved to Chicago and some goodies that I knew he'd use over there. I splurged for our anniversary though when he was deployed and did a boudoir photo shoot and sent him the book. Best gift ever! Maybe do a maternity shoot or have a friend take some great pics of you to put in a nice book and send to him.

Expat Girl said...

I LOVE the USB pin idea.....definitely might copy you!

Renee said...

What unique gift ideas! I'm with Expat Girl - I love the USB idea! I gave Rich a pocket watch set with my time zone and had the longitude and latitude of our home address engraved on the front, as a 'going' away gift!

I hope you are doing well!

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