Giving Back Karaoke Style

Image Courtesy of hhdwallpapes.com

Image Courtesy of hhdwallpapes.com

Morning everyone. Tuesday was a lucky day for me.I first won a gift card from Allen Tate Insurance just for going to my morning meeting, and then…wait for it, my karaoke team won the karaoke league I joined a few weeks ago. While I wasn’t there for the unveiling of the winners, my friend who I met through the league Maddie called me to tell me the great news. I was first shell-shocked. While my team was (in my opinion) spectacular, I had no clue that we would win. There were so many other teams that I truly thought would be winning last night. But I am thankful for the experience just the same. Here are a few shots of me from the competition, just for reference.

I had wonderful team mates, Dee and John. They made me feel at home and I truly enjoyed working with them. The friends that I made along the way were well worth it, as well. The most important change from joining the league was learning to not take myself so seriously. I actually got up, danced, sang songs I was not used to performing, and made fun of myself. In return, I won one third of the $450 prize pot.

Tuesday, I got home and was about to snuggle in for the night. When I got the phone call, I truly thought that I was one lucky girl. And I began to think about it. I have been given so much this year. I get to have my family with me for Christmas. For some crazy reason, Tim loves me, but I am not going to argue with a good thing. We will not have to worry about food this year. I am pretty sure we will have presents under our tree Christmas morning. The next day, we will wake up as we always do the day after Christmas and shop the sale racks, because we can. There are so many people close by who will not be able to have that experience for Christmas, especially the families of the children lost in the CT shooting last week. I wanted to honor the families of the children by sponsoring a family for Christmas.

The need was overwhelming; a family of a single mom and 9 foster children, ages ranging 18 months to 15 years. The second was a newly single mom and her son, who were going to forgo Christmas dinner this year, because she wanted to have something under the tree for her six year old.

Yesterday, Mom and I got out into the cold, cold world (dude, what’s up with the weather?) and went grocery shopping. The mom of the first family only needed something sweet for the kids and the second a meal. Mom and I had a ton of fun shopping for these families, and, we gathered up the loot to take over to the houses.

The first house is located in a neighborhood near downtown, so it’s a little older than most homes. But as soon as Bee (her alias) came to the door, she welcomed us in and the smell of food cooking and the sight of the single-most pristine looking home filled my senses. Bee had set up a tree for her family and the community had brought over a few gifts for all the kids. A little toddler came up to me and I squatted down to say “hello.” She climbed up on my knee and I fell in love. Bee talked about how the little girl had been moved from foster home to foster home over the past few months, and that her medical condition had made it difficult for the families. There are multiple doctor’s appointments, the little girl has seizures, and a brain disorder. But the sheer emotion in Bee’s eyes whenever she talked about her family, bringing home the little one’s two older sisters just so the family could be together was so beautiful. It’s easy this time of year to get sidetracked with the gifts and the parties. But being there in Bee’s loving home really reminded me of what Christmas is all about: being with the ones you love. As we were leaving, Bee had told us about the wonderful support from the community for her family. Someone had caught wind that she liked poinsettias and left two on the porch to decorate her home. Sadly, they froze overnight and wilted. “But it’s the thought that counts,” she said with a smile.

Next, Mom and I went to visit Em, a friend of mine who has a son that was recently diagnosed with PDD (pervasive development disorder), the highest functioning form of autism. The boy is a joy to be around, and I have known him since he was 4. Last year, when my sister was in the hospital with blood clots, Em didn’t hesitate to contact us and offer to bring us a meal. This year, things have been a little tight for her and it only seemed right and fair to return the favor. Her little boy greeted us at the door, and before I could get the bag of groceries on the table, he was pulling me into Em’s room to show me his shopping carts. Now, at first I really thought they were the kid-sized shopping carts. But I soon found out, nope, there were two full-sized shopping carts from the newly closed K-Mart down the road. The little boy was so proud of them. I thought it was pretty sweet; made me want a shopping cart for Christmas. As a gift, the little boy gave mom and I each a balloon from his birthday. Em told me that he only does that for the “in” group. So, I felt really special, especially since I got TWO balloons. Oh yeah, I am cranked on the coolness scale right now. Em told me that her son’s big thing right now is signs, and he actually wanted to take a sign of mom’s out of a yard of a house we had recently listed. Em, of course, told him that wasn’t happening, but it got the wheels turning in Mom’s and my heads. Santa may be paying a visit with an Amy Overcash sign for the little boy to have (and a balloon, because I want him to now that he is “in” with Santa, as well). Oh, and I had to chase down a cat. Mom was on her way out the door and the family cat got loose. Being an experienced cat wrangler, I had to chase him into the neighbors flower bed (sorry neighbors) and retrieve him. Would have been my luck…doing something nice and then the cat ends up dead. Why can’t I have nice things?!

This year has been amazing, though. I have been so thankful to be in a position to give back to some really great people. I am off to be with my family. Melanie came in last night, so I think I am going to bug her out of bed. Merry Christmas, everyone. I will talk to you all on Wednesday.

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