Do I ever have news!
Well, I’m back from mini-vacation #1, and I have lots to talk about!
First of all, the biggest news – I’m engaged! Adam proposed on Wednesday night, and we are both so happy and excited. It was very unexpected, totally sweet, and completely “us.” Now I get to start thinking about planning a wedding that it (hopefully!) frugal, not an environmental disaster, and most of all – FUN!
On Thursday morning we hopped on a plane for Ottawa for the weekend. We spent Friday with Caitlin and Dave, exploring some of the touristy parts of Ottawa and getting caught up. Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at my aunt’s house, which included Adam meeting the rest of my extended family, and LOTS of hugs and “congratulations!” After the dinner, all the cousins went to a bar downtown and spent time getting caught up and drinking far, far too much. Saturday morning, Adam and I had breakfast with my cousin Laura (hi L!) and her boyfriend, who is absolutely delightful, and then spent the rest of the morning relaxing. The remainder of Saturday was spent celebrating my eldest cousin’s wedding, which was beautiful and a heckuva lot of fun. Sunday was spent in Byward Market exploring, and then flying back to Vancouver.
It was a total whirlwind, but I’m so glad we went. It was the first time in 4 or 5 years that all our extended family had been together, and it was so much fun. It was also a real pleasure to be able to share the news of our engagement in person and celebrate that, too!
In completely different news, I received a really interesting piece of mail today. I’ve been a reader of TomatoNation for years, and in the fall, I participated in the Fall Contest with Donors Choose. (DC is sadly only available for American schools, but it does great things!) Now, at the end of the contest, DC gave TN participants $100 gift certificates to donate as they chose. I donated to a great little project in Rhode Island that was going to provide jump ropes and other “at home” fitness equipment for low income kids. Now, if you donate $100 or more to a DC project, you get a letter and pictures from the teacher upon completion of the project. I had forgotten about that, and today I got a package from the PE teacher whose projected I helped fund.
I cried my eyes out.
There was a letter from DC detailing how the project had been carried out, and a letter from the teacher talking about how passionate she is about the project and how happy she was to be able to do it. But the best part? A huge stack of letters, drawings and photos from the kids. Their letters were so touching – talking about getting stronger, playing with their parents and siblings, how they’re happy to have the things donated because they’re poor, and so on. One of the girls drew a picture of herself jumping rope with “me”, and wrote “YOU ROCK” beside it in big letters. One of the boys was talking about being stronger and jumping rope with his mum after school.
This is why I give, and why I work in the not-for-profit sector. This feeling I get when I can be involved in something simple, fun, and life-changing… nothing can compare. I have lead a lucky, privileged and blessed life, and to be able to help out in whatever small way I can now (my original DC donation was only $15!) seems the least I can do to thank my parents and God and the universe.
Filed under: awareness, beginnings&endings, faith, family, inspiration, lifestyle, The Happiness Project, who i am | 4 Comments