Little Loves

Not every day, but a lot of days, I put a note on a napkin in Baylor and Auggie’s lunches. Sometimes they’re funny, but mostly they’re just little love notes and wishes for a good day.

Yesterday, I got a note back. It was so simple, but it touched me so much that B would keep her napkin until she was back in her classroom and then remember to write a love note to me.

I need it on my desk forever – especially on the days I’m not feeling so awesome ❤

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Kindness Kits

Baylor’s school had the privilege of listening to Sr. Adele O’Sullivan speak about our city’s homeless. And where their school is located, they see homelessness everywhere. She spoke about how it is our duty as Catholics to care for the least among us and how we can do that. Sr. Adele is the founder of Circle the City, a respite that delivers healthcare to the homeless. In anticipation of her visit, she asked all the students to bring in hygiene items, snack foods, waters and bags. Then each class created Kindness Kits that the Circle the City volunteers hand out to those that visit the facility.

We decided that this was a great way for us to continue this stewardship at home. With a quick trip the Dollar Store and $15 later, we were able to create 6 bags full of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, water, EmergenC packets, snacks and a few other small hygiene items. We keep them in the car and when we see a homeless person, we offer it to them. Sometimes I get worried that the person won’t want it, but we’ve yet to be turned down.

Creating the bags opened up A LOT of questions. How do people become homeless? Why are they homeless? Why do they need all this? It was a heavy conversation to have. But it opened up a lot of topics too about how blessed we are to have what we have and how we can share that with others.

 

All the Feels

While eating her dinner, watching me make lunches for the next day, Baylor asked

“could you please cut my cheese into a heart shape?”.

WTF? My first response was an incredulous “whose MOTHER is cutting their cheese into heart shapes in your class??”.  Because clearly someone is making all the other moms look bad. It’s not enough that I A. remembered to pack a lunch B. it was something you liked and C. it was reasonably healthy…now I have to cut shit into hearts too?? Gah! I can’t keep up. Why is just making a nice meal not enough? Why does it have to have fireworks and hearts too?

When I found out who the culprit was, I was knocked back down a bit. I actually really like this mom. So if she was taking the time to cut hearts, I could too. And it turns out, I’m pretty good at free handing hearts in dairy substances with a butter knife.

The next day when I picked up Auggie from class, the first thing his teachers said was “he loved that cheese heart so much!”. All smiles, he ran up for a hug. It was a good reminder – the little things count. They get noticed and they are important. Yes, healthy delicious meals are important too, but that little extra thing makes a big difference.

I got all inspired and found a three pack of cutters that were made for sandwich. Dolphins, dinosaurs and of course, hearts. I surprised the kids with dinosaur shaped grilled cheese that night for dinner. Baylor was thrilled. Auggie, not so much. It turns out he’s not such a big fan of eating dinosaur heads. Or dolphin tails for that matter. So back we go to free handed heart shaped cheese. And peanut butter cups. Nothing says love like a peanut butter cup.

Ben’s Bells

I was so thrilled when a college friend posted to her FaceBook about spearheading a Phoenix chapter of Ben’s Bells. It’s an adorably simple concept: hang bells around town for people to find. Ask them to take the bell home and remember to practice kindness when they hear it ring.

The charity’s namesake, Ben, was a precious three year old living in Tucson. He awoke with croup like symptoms but seemed to be feeling ok. Like every mom would, his parents waited and watched his condition. In a flash, his airway swelled shut and they were unable to get him the help he needed in time. His parents began Ben’s Bells as a coping strategy that has blossomed into a beautiful tribute to his memory. And it has touched the lives of other tragedy victims including those in New Town Connecticut.

We were gifted 7 bells to distribute around town. We took them to our regular haunts and waited patiently  for them to be discovered and taken home. We realized later that people were a little confused as to whether they were supposed to take the bell, leave it for someone else or take it and then put it back out to be found by someone else. So after a few educational conversations with friends and aqaintences, all of our bells were found. We asked the friends that we knew to spread the word about the project. We’ve since bought a few more from the website as gifts and a few to leave for others to find too.

They make the cutest gifts for any occasion so order some up for you, friends and strangers: https://bensbells.org/shop

 

Leaving one at swim lessons – someone was not pleased about posing…

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I couldn’t tell that sweet little face that we weren’t allowed to “find” one, so it is hanging outside their bedroom door

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Best. Neighbor. Ever.

The first time I met Melissa, she came by on a sunny afternoon. As I answered the door, Baylor and her cousin Zoe were having a hair pulling / screaming match in the background. The pretty lady at the door said “Hi. I’m Melissa. We met a few weeks ago – but I was wondering, do you drink wine?”. My sister-in-law and I burst out laughing. My response? “Do you hear this shenanigans? Of COURSE we drink wine!!”.

Flash forward a few months and PW and I have become friends with Melissa. We’ve gotten to know her and it’s been a blast!

The other night, I realized while making dinner for friends (who were due in less than an hour) that I was totally out of balsamic vinegar. Despite my obsessive list making, the vital ingredient in my balsamic reduction for the caprese salad was no where to be found. Thankfully, in addition to working for a wine supplier, Melissa is a trained chef so there’s a good chance she will have whatever item I’ve forgotten at the grocery store.

Sadly, she too was out of vinegar. I hung up the phone and began dialing PW to ask him to stop on the way home when my phone rang:

“I felt bad that I didn’t have any vinegar so I’m running to the store. See you in a few minutes!”

And not 10 minutes later, there was smiling Melissa with a full bottle of vinegar. She explained she didn’t want me waiting too long to make the reduction as it leaves the house smelling quite pungent and she didn’t want our guests to arrive and immediately fall over from the smell.

seriously, who does that?! Best. Neighbor. EVER!!

Good Karma

Remember this post about trying to track down the guy with the parking tickets? Well apparently my attempt at a good deed paid off – at least for Peter any way. Oh, and a side note, the guy from the original post has A. missed a court date for the previous parking ticket and B. gotten two more tickets this past month. I’m waiting for the police to come knocking at my door looking for Dean Wray. If you know him, please tell him to update his address with the city.

So! Back to the subject at hand. And that subject is karma and how my attempt at tracking down the bad parker turned out well for PW. We used to live in DC while Peter was in law school. We rented a house in Maryland and in the last few months we lived there, the landlords sold the house. (Yeah, that was awesome. Nothing like being forced to leave your home for open houses and it’s not even your house! But that’s another blog). The new owners didn’t take ownership until after we had packed up the car and moving truck and headed west. We got our deposit back and we said adios to our jerk landlords.

Flash forward almost 5 years to about a month ago. Peter ordered a vintage belt buckle (again, another blog) on Ebay. We rarely use Ebay these days and  unbeknownst to him, PW accidently shipped the buckle to our old address in Maryland.

Apparently the very sweet couple that bought the house remembered being told by the land lord that the tenants living in the house went to Georgetown Law and were moving back to Arizona. So Mrs. Sweet Lady looked up lawyers in the Phoenix area who went to G-Town and found PW’s profile. She sent him an email explaining that she had received a package and would he like her to ship it to him. Amazing, right? I think its nice to know that there are kind and thoughtful people out there who would go to the lengths that this lady did all because it was a nice thing to do. Karma is lovely that way.

The buckle arrived last night and Peter sent a nice thank you along with the cost of shipping – plus a coffee for her trouble. Gotta make sure Karma knows we appreciate the gesture.