The Friday Five: It's the experiences, and the little things.

My husband is the hardest to shop for. (From what I hear, this is fairly common among husbands.) He tends to buy himself what he needs, and wants very little. But I recall a conversation we had early in our relationship where we agreed that we'd always go for the gift of an experience over a material thing. That may be we why we've seen five of the world's top guitarists in five years, and why when I put together a photo collage of five summers at the beach, we're wearing the same bathing suits, hats and sunglasses.

I say all of this because looking back over this past week, it is experiences that have stood out the most for me. This is probably the case most weeks, but for some reason it's extra clear as March 2016 kicks off.

 This lovely was a birthday gift from my in-laws - it hangs on the bulletin board in my office.

This lovely was a birthday gift from my in-laws - it hangs on the bulletin board in my office.

So, friends, what has saved your life this week? Taken you out of a bad mood, lessened your stress load, made you smile or laugh - even for a moment? Here are some of mine:

1. Adventure planning! Sean and I are taking our second trip out to the Pacific Northwest, and over the weekend we scheduled some new and exciting stops.

2. A fun and fruitful coffee date with a new friend this week. It's hard to beat chai and conversation about writing, photography and storytelling.

3. Women's group on Wednesday night was especially good - lovely people, rich conversation, laughter, and two sweet babies for us to fawn over.

 #4, AKA: When you grown kids crash your Wednesday night

#4, AKA: When you grown kids crash your Wednesday night

4. After group, I stopped over to see my parents for a few minutes, and my brother was already there, so we got to spend a little time as our original quartet (plus the dog). This doesn't happen as often any more (for good reasons), and so is extra meaningful when it does.

5. Voting on Super Tuesday - I always consider it such a privilege. And in these days when I achingly miss Jon Stewart, I felt hugely grateful for John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" episode on the Republican frontrunner, whom I will not call by name except to say #makedonalddrumpfagain. It's worth watching if you haven't seen it, and even my Republican friends will tell you that (because they posted it before I did!).

Of course, the little things matter too - sometimes, it's the little things that make days bearable. With that...

Honorable mentions: Stephen and Golden State's epic OT finish, Singing "For the Beauty of the Earth" in worship, watching Fuller House (yeah, I know), finally reading Wild (wow!), burrito night at our house, lemon zinger tea, watching the "Leap Day" episode of 30 Rock (because Leap Day), working out every day even for just 15 minutes, sleeping more soundly (maybe because of those work outs?), and a delish peanut butter chocolate chip cookie delivered at work right when I needed it today.

I dare you: Take five minutes or less and list your Friday Five!