Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tacos for Thanksgiving

So blogging, I have a love/hate relationship with you.

I enjoy it so much and find the journaling important for our future family. Lately finding the time or making the time to keep it up has been challenging. The pressure to post right after a big event is definitely palpable, and the discouragement when I don't is--discouraging? But that's not the point right? Blogging is about documenting thoughts and moments that are worth remembering. Therefore, forgive my strolls down memory lane the next bit and probably forever. Thanks. 

Thanksgiving this year was unique. We spent 10 days in Cabo with Cameron's family and it was too fun. If you like street tacos, sunshine, reading, and beaches, then I highly recommend you start searching for deals on flights (that's what we do) and head on down to Mexico as soon as possible. I am definitely missing the weather and relaxation. 

Some of our favorite moments from the trip:
  • Having the nieces and nephew to chase around and throw around in the pool
  • Eating tacos at the delicious Guacamayas on Thanksgiving, instead of a turkey and sweet potatoes
  • Playing sand softball in place of a turkey bowl
  • Convincing the massage place to make a home stop and giving everyone massages (including my 5 year old niece, Kate) on the back deck while listening to the waves crash on the beach
  • My first visit to Lovers Beach, hiking a treacherous rocky cliff (kinda) with a local who was a bit loco, just to find out we could have spared ourselves the bribery to park and intense hike and grazed the beautiful beaches on the North side. (but our way made for a better adventure)
  • Jumping contests on the beach
  • Game nights with the family when the kiddos went to bed. We learned quick who has lucky fingers and would be a wise partner in Vegas (and who would not... Mother-in-law).
  • Dancing to live music at the restaurants
  • Getting the birthday song more than enough times and a surprise breakfast in bed, planned by my sweet. 
  • And spending time with my hunk husband and laughing til our stomachs hurt late at night. 
Twas the Thanksgiving to remember. 

 {Sorry 4 the PDA, it's called Lover's Beach}

My cute sissy-in-law put together the funnest video of our trip. She also runs a darling blog. Check her out!

 Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the life my Heavenly Father has blessed me with. It isn't perfect but I have far far more to smile and be happy about, which helps the struggles to be forgotten. As my sweet Granny Goose would say, "Live life with an attitude of gratitude". I think you would agree that there is no better way to live.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vivint Gives Back - Detroit

This summer, Vivint gave all of the summer employees the opportunity to donate some of their commission to the charity foundation they have established, Vivint Gives Back. Over the course of this 2013 season, Vivint raised over 2 million dollars to donate to local and international charities. Another perk, they gave us the opportunity to perform the services needed. Cam and I were lucky enough to venture off to Detroit and help out at the Boys and Girls Club of America.

I am beyond impressed by the organization and have been humbled by the good they do there. I had no idea what a necessity this organization is, especially in Southeast Michigan. Some things you may not know about the BGCA is:
  • They provide a place for children to go after school 'til about 8pm and all day during the summer.
  • Most children have their first drug, alcohol or sexual experience between the hours of 3 and 8 pm. 
  •  90% of Boys & Girls Club members graduate from high school as compared to 58% in Detroit.
  • The Boys & Girls Club is ranked number 12 of nonprofit organizations in the nation. 
  • They serve nearly 4 million kids every year and are found in all 50 states.
One thing that stuck out to me, among many great qualities of the BGCA, was that it only costs $50 to enroll each child in the program for a YEAR. That is less than $1 a week. This is 10% of the actual cost for them to provide the programs and services to that same child. I was touched when I also heard that they have a policy to never turn down any child needing or wanting to come. They provide them with a scholarship or they welcome them with open arms when the scholarship money is dry. This program truly is incredible and I feel so blessed to have experienced it for a short week.

If you find $50 is an amount you wouldn't miss from your bank account, I would encourage you to give a child a safe and uplifting place to go for a year: DONATE.

We worked long days and worked hard, but it was very rewarding. We cleaned up the place by repainting bathrooms, refinishing gym floors, removing lockers from an old locker-room, landscaping and more. I would be speaking for many of us by saying our favorite part was hanging with the kids. They stole our hearts and it would've been easy for us to take a handful of them home. The pictures and video I captured don't give the trip justice, but at least they will help us remember.

It's incredible, the love that follows service. Gordan B. Hinckley said, “The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” This proved to be true in Detroit, and any other time you lose yourself in the service of others. I am grateful for the reminder.

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