Thursday, June 23, 2011

A happy heart.

Ah, sweet summertime. It is here! I hope yours is going as well as mine.

It was a perfect start to my summer break to head home to OK, which welcomed me with the familiar arms of the Midwest heat. And what an occasion to make it home for . . . nothin' better than the wedding of an old friend! My kindergarten friend and college roommate, Julia, got married last weekend! I had the honor of being a bridesmaid and loved being a part of her special day. My dear friend looked just beautiful and it makes my heart smile to see her so happy. :) Another bonus: mbf, Mrs. Brown made it to town for the wedding! I wish I had a picture of the 3 of us from 1st grade when we all became friends, but I suppose this one from the wedding will have to do.

Blessed to have known these girls so long, and for many years to come!

The rest of my time in OK was spent just seeing all the people I love the most. When I headed back to MD, I brought along a couple of stragglers with me. Nick and his friend Mikey joined me and we spent a few days exploring DC. I can say that I spent my 24th birthday in Washington, D.C. I'll add it to the list of other places I've spent some birthdays: 17th-France, 18th-Cozumel (with Julia, actually), 24th-Washington, D.C. I'm sure there have been some other fun places along the way too, but I won't reminisce too much for now. Nick, Mikey and I walked our poor feet all over DC on Thursday and Friday, and managed to see so much! We made the monument tour and hit 4 of the Smithsonians. Unfortunately, we missed seeing the Obamas when we visited the White House, though.
The 2 best-lookin' boys in DC. Way to represent, OK, boys!

Of course, for my birthday dinner, we had Mexican! On the Border doesn't quite compare with Compadres or Lindo or some of the places from back home, but it will have to do for now.
Handsome husband... btw, anniversary is comin' up! How is that almost here already?


Since then, I have taken to spending my week attempting to be productive: working out, cooking, running errands, and watching Food Network and SVU! The usual trophy wife stuff. ;) Ha.

Another pastime . . . I am officially addicted. If you haven't checked it out yet, it's a site where you can "pin" ideas and photos you find on the web and want to come back to later. You can pin anything . . . recipes, projects, fashion, quotes, anything at all! You should head on over there right this minute! Seriously. You have to be "invited" to join (not sure why, because you just request an invitation), and so if you want to join, send me a message or comment and I'll invite you! It's super fun, I can't lie. But you may end up spending [way] more time on it than you planned. Consider yourself warned. :)

And, that brings me to tonight. My sweet husband is out of town on business so I am making good use of my evening alone. Eating leftover stuffed portobella mushrooms (a new recipe I tried this week, absolutely delicious!) and currently watching The Sound of Music. This movie has been favorite of mine for so long (Mrs. B knows what I mean!) and I haven't watched it in forever! Dad always says, "Isn't that movie, like 5 hours long?" Nah, just 3. :) It's a good thing Brent isn't here to witness my quoting and singing of every line. Ooops. But it makes my heart happy.

"When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window." -Maria, The Sound of Music

What makes your heart happy?


Monday, June 6, 2011

Home of the Brave.

Last weekend, Brent and I had the privilege and honor of attending the U.S. Naval Academy's graduation ceremony in Annapolis, to watch our dear friend Josh Teeman graduate. The graduation speaker was the Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, who announced that it would be his last commencement speech from his position. What an honor to listen as he imparted words of advice to the thousand young men and women offering up their lives in service to our great country. He even got a bit teary and emotional at the end of his speech, as he was discussing the burden of sending young people, like those he was speaking to, off to fight for our country. I got a bit teary myself, just looking across the football field at the crisply uniformed graduates, taking an oath to honor and protect our country in service to the Navy. Not only am I so grateful to all of those graduates and all service men and women, but also to their families. We sat with the Teemans during the ceremony, and it couldn't help but think about how much they are giving up as well: long months between seeing their son, brother, and boyfriend and worries when he is on deployment. I have a friend from church whose husband is in Afghanistan, so she goes many months without seeing him. Coming from a long distance relationship, I empathize with their pain, but also have no idea what it would be like to worry about a loved one in danger daily. I can't thank the families of our military men and women enough for their sacrifice either. I consider these people, these families, those I was surrounded by on that Friday, to be the most patriotic and brave of us all. I was honored to be among them.

I love that the graduation coincided with the weekend of Memorial Day, another chance to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and freedom of all Americans. Again, the families of those men and women are heroes as well.

I also love that, on that Sunday, our preacher spoke of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us as well. On Memorial Day, I hope that we all remember that we are forgiven and able to go to heaven because of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus paid for us.Though we didn't deserve it, nor were we even born yet, Jesus loved us and died so that we could live.

 How could we not be eternally grateful, literally?

We truly live in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.