Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today is My Birthday

Today is my birthday.
In about 15 minutes, my phone will ring.
At exactly 11:28am Eastern.
It will be my mom, to re-live the experience that brought me onto the scene, and made her a Mom.
I love that little tradition.

I feel a little off this birthday, because I'm in Vegas for work.  And I'm in this funky time zone.  I'm not a big fan of other time zones.  When I'm in Pacific time, I still pretend that I'm in Eastern time.

So, technically, I turned 32 in a press filing center outside of the Western GOP Debate.  That's pretty cool.  It was a great debate.  I love covering this stuff! I'm a 32 year old nerd. 

I will celebrate with Michael, when I get home. 
But, this year, I want the birthday celebrations to continue way after my birthday!

I have been profoundly impacted by our recent visit to and contact with my brother's friend who is recovering at Walter Reed.  Michael and I really feel like God is stirring in us something He wants us to do to help families who are standing by their soldiers in these difficult times.

I can't bring my brother or anyone else home from Afghanistan.  I can't patch up war wounds.
But, I can chop vegetables...
I can put a chicken breast in a pot...
I can saute' stuff...
I can cook.  In fact, I LOVE to cook!
And, I can package food up like any good church lady can...
And, I can provide good, healthy, home cooked meals to the moms, girlfriends, brothers and sisters, and/or kids of these soldiers who are in the hospital at Walter Reed - only about 40 minutes from my house - who are essentially deployed right now.  Helping their wounded warriors recover, as they face hospitalizations that are months long.

In some cases, they can't leave that bedside at all.  So, what? They exist on hospital food or vending machines or McDonald's?  Not that there's anything wrong with McDonald's, I love me some McDonald's.

But, the point is, there is a lot they are missing.  There is a lot that they simply can't do right now as they acclimate to the role of caregiver.  I want to help!  This is just the first way.  I'm praying that there will be ways that Michael and I can be used to reach out to these families, especially couples who are new to disability.  It can be a lot to bear in a marriage, but it's not impossible.

So, if you'd like to wish me a Happy Birthday, thank you!  I ask you to think about what you can do to join me in this project.  One very practical way is sending gift cards to grocery stores.  Michael and I have the heart to do this, but just being honest, on a practical level - we live on one income.  There isn't a lot of room in the grocery budget if you know what I mean.

Here are the stores in our area:
Harris Teeter
Trader Joe's

I also welcome any meal ideas you may have, or recipes you want me to make with the gift card that you provide! 
If you live in the DC area, you could make meals and drop them off with us.  We have a big freezer. :)  We can pack them up and take them to Walter Reed.

Thanks so much y'all.  It is a Happy Birthday indeed.
I have everything I need.
Pretty much everything I want.
The best husband in the world.
A job that doesn't feel like a job.
And a family that I love and that loves me so much.
This is definitely a time to give instead of get.


Erin said...

Awesome idea! I also think you could do a great job counseling couples that are new to disability. I am sure it is much needed.

I would love to support with a gift card, how should I contact you for the address?

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Thanks, Erin! Email me:

Kristen Maddux said...

I am so on this. I'll email you for your address too. Great idea.
I also love the way your mother calls you at your exact time of birth. Sweet! Very Lorelai/Rory-esque. :) I just may have to start doing that with my little one.

Cam | Bibs and Baubles said...

Awesome idea. What a great way to celebrate your birthday. :)