V is for: Valentines, Vows, and Vaccinations

by jenlovallo

I woke up this morning with a bit of shell shock. I woke up in New Haven, not DC (nowhere near as fun). Instead of advocating for global vaccination, I was getting my own (typhoid fever and a Hep A booster). I walked fifteen minutes to a cushy clinic, waited five minutes, and walked out another five minutes later. My trip totaled under an hour.

I woke up this morning grumbling about my early AM appointment and the 10’L, 5’W snow dome that apparently contains my car. Something stood out. I woke up this morning with a choice. Imagine a world without that choice. That’s what we’re fighting everyday with Shot@Life. We don’t live in a world where we walk two days to stand in line for hours to provide a simple, lifesaving solution for our children. I’d be surprised if I walked two miles.

It’s challenging to come away from such an incredible week and reintegrate into daily life. My mind’s reeling with ideas and inspiration. I want to pour every ounce of my heart and soul into this–but, at least for today (and maybe a few days), I need to catch up on what I’ve neglected here at home.

In the meantime, I’m making a simple V-Day vow: to provide one more child protection against polio everyday in 2013. I turned my late four-mile morning run into one more polio vaccine through the Charity Miles mobile app, and I plan to do so every single day moving forward–that’s another 320 children protected against polio. It’s what we like to call stupid-easy: turn your daily deeds into something significant. Log your morning run, walk to work, or puppy’s potty break with Charity Miles and Shot@Life. Every child deserves a shot @ first grade and first kisses, at tiny envelopes full of bright paper hearts and sparkles. I’m lucky enough to have a Valentine tonight, and to remember years of candy hearts and broken hearts. Take today (and everyday) to give a child that chance. It truly is stupid-easy.

If you happen to find yourself in need of a new cookie recipe, or are scrambling at the last minute, I just made these for my valentine:

Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies

2 sticks butter

1 cup vanilla-infused white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 vanilla bean (mine are bourbon-soaked), scraped

Cream the above together.

2 eggs

1 tablespoon espresso

Beat in the eggs and espresso.

2 cups AP flour

2 cups whole-grain oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup sweetened coconut

1/2 cup roasted, salted pecans.

Fold in the fun stuff, bake at 325F until golden, and share with someone you love.


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