Thursday, December 22, 2011

Operation Fill Slavik Freezer

I have awesome friends. Blog-reading, supportive, thoughtful friends. You may recall a couple of months ago, just after Will had been released from the hospital for prolonged seizures, I posted a list of things that we needed. I know that some probably felt that was inappropriate and odd, but for me at the time, it was the best place and opportunity to communicate to the masses. A lot of people ask you to let them know if you need anything in the middle of a crisis. Whether it be because of emotion, or fear, or exhaustion, it is usually difficult to tell someone what you need. For years I shrugged off help, saying that we were fine. I think I finally realized that there's nothing wrong with asking for, and getting help when you need it.

Fast forward to yesterday. My manager set up a meeting with me late in the day to discuss a new project. I asked her at one point if she wanted to schedule it earlier in the day - she had a quick, non-suspect answer so we kept the late meeting. About 10 minutes before our meeting, I walked by the conference room where she and I were to meet and saw my friends sitting there. They looked engrossed in conversation, and I hoped that it was nothing serious.

I showed up for my project meeting on time and prepared. But I wasn't actually prepared for the meeting that was truly scheduled. There around the table sat 7 of my friends, and behind them was a large white cooler, decorated with Christmas garland and a bow.

After reading the blog post that I mentioned above, my friends wanted to do something for us. They got a big group together, made trays of freezable food and collected gift cards to restaurants and supermarkets, and presented them to me - "to give me back some time in the day."

What an awesome, unexpected gift. We are so grateful!

I love a good surprise. But I am usually the one surprising someone else (just ask my husband about our 6 month wedding anniversary or his 29th birthday). Surprises just don't happen to me. And certainly not on this scale.

My friends proceeded to tell me how they love the blog, want me to write a book (funny!), and are amazed with how much Nate and I are able to do, how we inspire them, and how they wanted to do something to make our crazy days a little easier.

They certainly achieved that. Our freezer is now fully stocked with hamburger soup, white bean chili, and spaghetti and meatballs - all packaged in reheatable containers, covered in notes, and complete with reheating instructions. In times of craziness or need, this frozen food and the restaurant and supermarket gift cards will come in remarkably handy. I always want to make my family home-cooked, love-filled, inspired meals. With so little time in the day and with us going in so many directions, this goal often goes unfulfilled. I feel guilty for the nights when we eat left overs 3 nights in a row, for meals that center on chicken nuggets or hot dogs because they're the quickest thing to cook/defrost, and for all the frozen ready-to-eat manufactured meals with which we end up filling the void.

I feel very blessed today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Talya, Mary, Karen, Evelyn, Linda, Delores, Steve, Jean, Vickie, and Gail! You should see our freezer now!

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