Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Joys of Summer

Here is a short list of Jack's little life this summer. If he were to tell you the joys of his summer, he might list....

Riding a carousel with my best friend

Learning valuable lessons at the water park

Watching my first fireworks show

Hearing the crack of the bat against the thump of the ball on a homegrown ball field

Goofing around with my daddy

Being mesmerized by a campfire

Growing my own tomatoes

Discovering all the cool things God made

Watching the people I love best spread their wings

But really, who can lie? This summer has been all about love, happiness.....and water!

So what's on your list of summer joys?

Monday, July 5, 2010

26th 4th

Whenever I'm asked the question, "What is your favorite holiday?", I always say it's a tie between Christmas and Independence Day. But whenever each respective holiday rolls around, I'm determined that that one is my favorite. Hence, I am now rolling in the post-4th glow of fireworks, full children, decades-old decorations and a renewed appreciation for all things American.

I've been to 10 countries now on 4 continents, and I have to say I haven't found a better place to live than right where I was raised. Creswell is getting far too big for its britches in my opionion, but man, does this small town know how to throw a party!

Though I would dig watching the parade no matter what, I've decided you develop a new love for its simplistic entries when watching the kids stare in wonder at the hokey floats going by:

This is the first time in several years Nick's been around for the 4th of July (he's usually TDY or deployed), so he savored every moment. Can you tell?

What is it about this holiday that makes you draw your little ones closer to you? Could it be their matching outfits, dirty faces, happy smiles from ingesting far too much sugar....or maybe a deep sense of "Thank you Lord that my children know freedom"?

4th of July is the essence of everything that's right in America!

As I held Jack in my arms for his first fireworks show, I thought about the world. I thought about how scared I can get in these current times, with terrorists and politicians lurking in every corner. I wondered what the world would look like for Jack when he starts questioning everything Nick and I are raising him to believe.

I thought about all the mothers out there wondering about their own sons and daughters on foreign shores, hearing the same sounds I was....with a life-and-death difference. I marveled that anyone would be willing to die for my freedom, the staggering amounts of humanity that have paid the ultimate sacrifice so I could sit on a blanket with the ones I love most and be bedazzled by some loud noises and lights.

I fell in love with my country all over again and prayed fervently for its future. I ran a race in the morning with thousands of others, watched a parade with thousands of others, barbecued and ate and watched our yearly softball game knowing that millions of others were doing the same thing as me at the same time.

The 4th never gets old, and neither do the freedoms and values it embodies.