Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Imagine

She sat at the table yesterday and told me she can't wait to grow up. I looked into her innocent, 3 year-old face and told her not to wish her life away.

How well I remember wishing the exact same things just a few years ago. I felt the same way that she does, that once I was grown up, life would be easy, and I could do whatever I wanted to.

If only I knew.

I never imagined that my life would turn out to be what it is. I never imagined that growing up wouldn't be nearly as much fun as I thought it would.

If you would have asked me 6 months ago where I thought I would be today, I most certainly wouldn't have told you here.
If you would have asked me two years ago what I was going to study in college, I wouldn't have told you Exercise Science.
If you would have asked me 10 years ago if there were any benefits to being young, I probably would have laughed in your face.

When you are young, you sit around and imagine what life will be like when you are old enough to make your own decisions. (At least I did.)
You imagine that it will be pothole free.
Roadblock free.
Landslide free.
Practically perfect in every way.

You never imagine that potholes, roadblocks and landslides will be a daily part of live. But they are.

So please, little ones, don't wish your life away. Don't imagine your life away. Just enjoy being young.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


(The words below were written for the first blog post I ever did. The pictures were taken just a few days ago.) 

I read something the other day that made me stop and think. "Rainbows are made out of sun and rain." (Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot) In my opinion, rainbows are the most beautiful thing in the world. Since I was little, they have enthralled me. But I have never stopped to think about the fact that they wouldn't be there unless there was rain.

I have experienced some rain in my life. Rain comes in so many different forms. To some people, my rain may seem like a light drizzle. But the truth of the matter is, when you are in the storm, to you it feels like a tornado no matter what.  There have been so many times that I have wished the rain would just pass me by. That the sunshine would just come to stay. But if there was no rain, how would there be a rainbow?

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

27,000 words

On Memorial Day, my cousin Gretchen and her husband Merritt (who were also celebrating 7 years of marriage that day) had a passel of folks over for a BBQ. And despite the iffy weather, it was a good day full of ice cream, hamburgers, talking, laughing, and of course, lots of pictures. 

So without further ado, here they are. (Oh, and because I don't feel like going through and telling you what is happening in each of the pictures, I am going to let you use your brain/imagination to figure it out.) 

The End. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

the cost of freedom is buried in the ground

Today is Memorial Day. A day that most people think means BBQs and big get togethers and the beginning of summer.

But that is not the meaning of this day.

Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen heroes. A day to remember that dad who will never see his little girl get married. A day to remember that cousin who will never get to meet the newest member of the family. A day to remember that wife who will never get to kiss her husband again. A day to remember that sister who will never get to tease her brother again. A day to remember that mom who will never get to hug her son again.

All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some gave all

I hate to admit it, but I used to kind of ignore military stuff. I felt like it didn't affect me. Yeah, my Dad, Gramps, and Uncle had all been in the military, but it was a long time ago. But then my big brother/best friend told me he was going to join the United States Marine Corps. And suddenly it was all so close to my heart.
My brother Matthew and dad Eric at Matt's graduation
from Officer Candidate School, Quantico VA. summer 2012. 
Now? I can't see a picture of a homecoming or hear a song related to the military without tearing up. Now it is personal. No longer is it someone else's brother. It is my brother.

So I would like to make a simple request of you today. Please take a minute the whole day and remember why we celebrate Memorial Day. Forget about the hot dogs and the sunscreen and remember the wife who is without her husband today. Remember the children who have to say goodbye.

And make sure that you thank our service men, women and their families. If you don't see any today, make a phone call. Post on Facebook. Write about it on your blog. Do whatever you have to do to let those heroes know how much you appreciate their sacrifices.

Because while to you it may just be a casket with a flag draped over it, to the man holding the folded up flag it is his little boy.

The Sergeant hands him the flag
After the prayer
The Honor Guard fires 21 rounds 
Up in the air
The sound of Taps brings a tear to all of us
But his dad will always see him as he was

A little boy in a uniform
Five years old in the back yard 
Playing war
Dreaming of everything he could be
In this land of the free
Just like his old man
Did back in Vietnam
He was gonna be a hero for sure
That little boy in a uniform

To my father who served in the Navy, thank you. To my grandfather who served in the Army, thank you. To my brother who is joining the Marine Corps, thank you. To my uncle who served in the Navy, thank you. To Tom Mask, Gene Brazel, Derrick Staffenson, Mason Acheson and all the other military men and women out there, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the real superheroes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five Minute Friday: View

A few days before I left my hometown to come help my cousin several hundered miles away, I took this picture and posted it on Instagram. It is the view out my bedroom window. I love this view. It brings back so many happy memories. Long summer hours spent in the pool with cousins and friends. Summer mornings and evenings spent bucking hay in the field. Beautiful rides through the snow with my horse. And while I love this view so very much and can't wait to get back to it, I have started to really love another view.
I took this picture out my bedroom window a few days later. Different window, different town, different state, different bedroom, different memories, and yet it is still a beautiful view that I love. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

mostly pictures from our hike

On Sunday afternoon, some of us took a hike. Our destination was a cross at the top of one of the hills that overlook the town that my cousin lives near (confused yet?). It was a pretty good climb, and I was out of breath more than once. I was reminded how much I love hiking, and how much I dislike going downhill. But enough talk. Here are the pictures!  

The wildflowers were beautiful.

Destination reached!

 Most of the group.....three of us were taking pictures.

 The easy part of the non-existent trail. 

 You see those little red barns? Yeah. I wanna live right there. 

 Reading "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The End. (For now.) 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Armed Forces Day and Flower Pot Pudding

First off, since it is Armed Forces Day, I would like to say a great big huge thank you to all our military personnel past, present, and future. Thank you for all your sacrifices; for the ones that we know about and the ones we will never hear of. To my big brother, you are my hero. I know you aren't a Marine yet, but you will be very soon. Thank you for your willingness to serve. I am so incredibly proud of you.  

Now, on a little bit lighter of a note, here are couple of the pictures I have taken in the past three days. 
Wednesday was pretty relaxing. In the morning I went for a long, rambling walk along the railroad track. It was just what the doctor ordered for me to de-stress a little bit. 

 Random fact: I love taking animal pictures. 

 Daniel was pretty proud of himself for putting that barn on his tractor. I quickly took a picture and then told him to take it off :) 

We have been having quite a bit of rain and some thunder showers, and this was the sky after one such storm. (In case you are wondering, that is the clothesline that the raindrop is clinging to.)

The sun actually came out yesterday to dry some laundry for us!

Making Flower Pot Pudding with Aunt Marcy. 

 Daniel was more interested in watching tractor videos than helping make the pudding, however, he had no problem with eating it! 

That's all for now folks......have a wonderful day, and don't forget to thank our service men and women (today and every day).