Giving and Thanking

Happy Easter to everyone! Hope you are having a great day with family; never forget to be thankful for the wonderful blessings that we all have been given. Today it is very easy for Shannon and me to be thankful. Not only are we very thankful for it being Easter and remembering all that Christ did for us, but today is also our first anniversary! It has been such an amazing year…the best of my life (and hopefully for Shannon as well…heh). We did most of our anniversary things last week. Since our actual day was going to be on Easter this year, we decided to take a few days out of town last weekend. So, we drove up north to spend a few days alone together. We have some photos from the trip, so we will probably write more about that later. My niece Zoe was also baptized today, and tonight we head over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for dinner. It’s a great day so far!

Over this past week, Shannon and I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of something to give back to our community. A friend of mine named Joe McGrew put together an event called “The Give” which was a free shopping and fun event for single parents in need and their kids. Shannon and I were able to find time in our schedule after a bridal consultation to help in the sorting and setup process on Thursday night. We arrived at the Collinsville Middle School gym around 7.30 and sorted through clothes, toys, and tons of other things. We did not have any clothes to donate (no kids’ stuff here yet!), but we were able to donate a couch, our old clothes washer, and two dryers. We were told that they were the very first things to go, which made us happy. We had planned to sell them in our yard sale this year, but it was nice to know that they went to someone who really needed them.

We knew that we would be a little late on Saturday morning because we had an engagement session scheduled. As we were getting ready to go, though, the couple called to ask if we could postpone. It was raining. A lot. Oh, and on Friday we had pretty serious tornadoes in the St. Louis area. It has been a year for crazy weather around here! Because the session was postponed, we ended up arriving earlier than expected. We had such a great time. About 1/2 of the stuff was all ready gone by the time we got there, so that was very encouraging. Even though we missed the main bulk of the crowd, we stayed around until it ended at 2 to help re-stock and organize. Shannon was manning the registration booth for a while, and I was assigned as standby hotdog chef in case we needed to cook some more. We did not end up needing any more, so I walked around doing odd jobs and helping where I could. I also did a run to deliver one of our dryers to one of the shoppers (with strict warnings from Shannon to be careful with my bad knee on the wet ground). And, since I had my camera, I shot some photos. Most of the kids were playing around on the big bouncy house things they had setup, and I had a lot of fun being goofy with them. One thing I can say for certain…those kids slept very well last night.

Joe and his wife Michelle will be starting a new church in our town that is centered around loving people and reaching out to those and need. It is always wonderful to have a chance to do a very little part to assisting a vision and project like this, and even though we cannot do it as often as we would like with our hectic and changing schedule, we are so thankful that we could be a small part of it.