Friday, December 11, 2009

Our 2nd Annual Christmas Tradition

Sometime in the fall of 2008, my husband (Steve) witnessed something that touched his heart and we've changed how we buy presents for each other since..

Steve was in our local Walgreens. It's when the economy started going south, we were both worried about our jobs, aware of those around us who were starting to be impacted, etc..

A little boy and his father were walking down the aisle together. The little boy was carrying a hot wheels car that his dad was about to purchase for him. He was so excited that we wasn't paying attention to where he was walking. Steve was touched by the fact something as simple as a hot wheels car could make a child soo happy.

Steve came home and declared, 'I'd like us to take the money that we'd use to buy gifts for each other and buy toys for Toys for Tots instead.' How could I saw no after the story he told me and admitting we don't really 'need' anything. I thought it was a great idea...

The day after Thanksgiving that year, I headed out at 5am to get toys at 50% off (and another 10% off for opening a store credit card), which meant twice as many kids would get toys. It was worth the bleary eyes and lack of sleep. I did get many odd looks when I was pushing around a large amount of toys in a shopping cart. When people ask, I would just tell them what they are for. You could see the judgment change to surprise in people's eyes.

This year, we decided to do the same thing and probably will for many years to come. It was Steve's turn to brave the crowds the day after Thanksgiving, what a different experience for him. We think it's going to be a great lesson for our girls to learn. We want to teach them to be thankful for what they have and to give to those who are less fortunate.

I just wish I could see the look on the children's faces who are going to get toys this year, when they otherwise might not have. Just thinking about it brings happy tears to my eyes.

Happy Holidays to everyone....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best Part of my Day!

The day started off not so great, but it recovered very quickly and I am thankful for my life and the little happy moments I can share with my family...

I switched jobs at the company I've been at for nearly 4 years a few months ago. My new position affords me the ability to work from home more which means stealing moments with my 2 year old daughter here and there.

Today I picked Abby up from school. She goes 2 mornings a week and the school is a mere 2.5 blocks from our house. In an effort to tire her out before her nap I walked to the school and let her walk home like a big girl. My husband has been working with her on identifying a curb, the street, cars coming, waiting for the cars to pass, etc. His work is paying off. Abby got to the first curb on our venture home, stopped and reached up for my hand. She then looked at me and said 'cars coming'. I melted.. I picked her up and walked her across the street because it happens to be a somewhat busy street (for a 2 year old to cross) and explained to her it was a 'big street'. We got to the next curb, she grabbed my hand again and said 'little street, cars coming?'. She knew the difference and we walked across the street hand in hand.

I'm fairly certain I'm under market in terms of pay at my current company. These are the priceless little moments you can't put a monetary value on and ones I would not get to experience if I worked a lot of other places.