Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A very giving weekend

As you may or may not know, we are from Connecticut.  We both grew up in Monroe, a small little town bordering Newtown.  We shopped there.  We ate there.  I worked there.  My brother worked there.  I ran my first 5k there.  We have friends who live there and work for the school system.  Though we don't personally know anyone from this tragedy very well, we do know some people who did and our hearts are breaking for them.  It's all we've been able to think about this weekend.  I honestly don't even have the words to put together at this time.  I think it's been very slow hitting me because it just feels like a dream.  It doesn't seem real that somewhere that we so frequently visited could be the scene of something so horrible.  Never in a million years could I have imagined such a thing in an elementary school, let alone just down the road.  Imagine my surprise when hearing the news in the middle of the night.  
Upon hearing the news, I knew we had to do something right in the world.  It began with hugging and kissing each other and our beautiful boys.  We are so lucky to have the life that we have, and we don't take the time out in the day nearly enough to be thankful for that.  After much loving and kissing, we looked for our one and only Blitz- the drunken Elf.  Though Blitz spent the night in a bottle, he was on the right page today.  Even in his inebriated state, he was on the same wavelength as us.  He asked us to donate some toys to a needy child today.  And what better way to do that then the Marine Corps very own Toys for Tots.  And even better?  Daddy had volunteered to collect the toys! 
Blitz may have spent the night drinking, but he was still sober enough to know that we needed to see and do this today!
Zach picked the toy out himself.  Here he is with Daddy giving it away! 
The next day was also filled with giving.  There are many single Marines here who have no family to spend the holidays with.  We are very fortunate that Okinawa's community never forgets this.  Dima's unit put together a Cookie Drop which involved the spouses baking cookies and giving them to those single Marines.  

And so, I baked.  And Baked.  And baked.  

Have I ever mentioned that I hate baking?  I'm terrible at it.  Seriously.  Terrible.  I can cook.  Give me some veggies and turkey/chicken and I'll whip something great up. But baking is not my thing.  But alas, I baked 13 dozen cookies to donate.  I made about 10 dozen Vanilla Spritz Cookies in Christmas shapes and 2 dozen "Coal" cookies.  The coal cookies ended up being harder then I thought, further proof that I am a terrible baker.  As for the last dozen, I took a tried and true oreo truffle recipe from my dear friend Louise and made them look like coal.  These were for my neighbors!  We then went around asking everyone if they were naughty or nice.  If they were nice they got spritz cookies.  If they were naughty they got coal.  I may have to repeat this tradition next year!  
Oh ya drunk...

And so, our weekend ended. We felt a little better after doing so many nice things for others.  I even dropped a few candy canes around the place this weekend with "Random Act of Kindness" notes.  I look forward to doing more to help.  More specifically, I am going to donate to Sandy Hook Elementary.