Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Calling

We've now been home from Costa Rica for a little over a month but I still find myself thinking about that trip a lot- laughing out loud at funny stories when I'm all by myself in the grocery store, remembering the beautiful sunsets, digesting even more lessons I learned.

This picture was taken on our canopy tour day. This is how I felt all trip! So fun!

Don't be jealous of the sexy helmet I got to wear.

So anyway, Lane was reading a book while we were there that got me thinking a lot, and I'm still thinking about it. It was called 'Handoff', and part of it talked about your calling versus your career.

Your calling is something that transcends everything; discovering your calling is so much bigger than just a job.

One year ago I would have said that my calling is something along the lines of
:: Educating teenagers in a relevant and loving way::

However, in the absence of a full-time teaching job, I found myself questioning my purpose and therefore my calling. And, in the future when I'm a mom, my calling will change again if I define it by the limited standards of simply what I do.

So right now I'm trying to listen to God and figure out what I my calling is. Who I am at my core. Then orient my life around that.

Educating people?
Informing them of my life through authentic living and instilling change through transparency?
Giving people a bigger picture of the world around them and helping discover their own ways to impact it for the good?
Is is something with using the creativity and power of words to change lives for the better?
Authentic, transparent living?
Loving others?
Living abundant life?

Hmmm. I'll be processing that a bit. Happy Wednesday to you all!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dentists and Fires

Goodmorning everyone. It's Monday morning and I am getting ready to go to the dentist this morning. I've never been one to hate going to the dentist so I'm not too worried about it.

I do remember being traumatized maybe 5 years ago or so when one of the hygienists working on me told me that I have "Very active salivary glands."

She politely told me that I drool a lot.

Hello embarrassment. I am always a little worried about that when I'm sitting in the chair. So then when they try to be all chatty and talking to me while 8 instruments are in my mouth I mostly just grunt, not wanting to try to move my tongue around too much which activates my already active salivary glands even more.

The rest of the day will consist of heading over to the gym, grocery shopping, LOTS of laundry, and camping out with my beloved Mac and getting some writing done.

Laundry needs to happen stat because our house currently smells like a campfire. We went camping this weekend with my family: 2 grandparents, 1 7-month-pregnant sister + husband, 1 sister still recovering from Disneyland + husband, 5 nieces and nephews, 5 dogs, and Lane and I. It was interesting. There was a lot of barking. But actually it was really fun. I have a pretty awesome family. And they love me even when I smell like a campfire. What more could you ask?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10 in 10

I mentioned last week that Gina over at The Shabby Chic Cottage threw out a gauntlet of a challenge to complete 10 tasks in 10 days. I have a secret obsession with lists, so this is right up my alley!

Mission accepted. Operation 10 Tasks is officially in session. Want to join me? Go check it out!

1) Re-do our guest bedroom
2) Put desk (and hopefully sell!) on Craig's List
3) Repaint trunk
4) Clean out garage
5) Weed garden
6) Paint molding in kitchen
7) Reorganize closets
8) Create necklaces
9) Post office packages
10) Work out 10 times

Yay! Is it weird how excited I get about this?!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday ramblings

Tuesday morning thoughts:

Slowly but surely I am becoming addicted to The Bachelorette. I had never seen any of the show until the last Bachelor with Jake. I don't like that I like it, but I just can't turn it off! Addicting, I tell you. Casey was weird, Justin I don't love, not sure how I feel about Frank, but I really like Chris L. and Ty. I'm kind of embarrassed I know all of those names. Any other Bachelorette watchers out there?

I wanted to wake up before 6 am this morning and go running before it got too hot. After hitting the snooze button for 45 minutes I just gave into the fact that running isn't going to happen and I might have to to a P90x cardio workout because I don't think I'll have enough time to do a whole gym outting today. That's probably a good thing after my self-imposed 2-a-day yesterday of spinning and then GroupPower (weightlifting class). My body is a bit tired.

I'm getting my haircut today. Probably nothing dramatic, but I am thinking about bangs. Not sure if they'll work for me, but I'm intrigued.

I had weird dreams last night.

I am going to go paint my guest bedroom now which I am super excited about. The big reveal will be coming soon; it's going to be cute!

Hope you guys have a great day!

Monday, June 21, 2010


I saw a news piece the other day (and by other day I, of course, mean 3 months ago... ) and it has got me thinking.

Have you guys heard of UnSchooling? It falls under Home Schooling, but is not at all the same thing. It is learning without boundaries, textbooks, classrooms, or formal education of any sort. It's about process, not content ( if you want more). Unschooling parents believe that their kids will learn better by setting the rhythms of their own day and learning what they choose to learn rather than by what someone is telling them to learn. I can totally see benefits to Home Schooling... but this isn't that.

I personally just don't get it. My apologies to anyone reading this if they are an Unschooler... maybe you could give me your perspective and the benefits of it. As an educator though, obviously I deeply believe in the purpose, advantages, and transforming power of formal education. The social skills as well as the ABC's. The problem solving abilities as well as the deductive reasoning. The conflict management as well as the memorization. Discipline, work ethic, and yes, fun!

The extra crazy thing to me is that the radical Unschooling parents let their philosophy merge into their parenting style. Laissez Faire to the extreme. The mom in the piece said that there is no judgement in their home. They don't punish because they don't have rules. There are no chores. The kids eat whatever they want, go to bed when they want, do what they want. The kids are responsible for setting the rhythms of their own days.


Now, I know I'm not a parent yet or anything, but it seems to me that that is the whole role of the parent. Instruct your child in the way they should go... because you're the PARENT. You just might know what they need more than they do. Discipline, mold, teach, instruct, guide. Let there be consequences if they are needed. Set them up for success for the rest of their life. Do what you can to turn your child into a loving, responsible, aware, compassionate individual.

Okay. I'm going to stop now. This whole movement just doesn't make much sense to me. There are over 150,000 families in the U.S. who it does make sense to though. Pretty interesting stuff.

Here is a link to the news piece I saw if you want to check it out yourself.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Friday!

It will be a good weekend on my home front. As opposed to last weekend, which was pretty much a tsunami All Weekend Long, this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous. So you know what that means: Garage Sales!!!

I'm spending my Friday morning assisting my sister do her garage sale and I'm going to keep her two little ones occupied while she is busy making Boku Bucks. Maybe having a garage sale isn't the best way to get rich, so maybe we should define success by the amount of junk we get rid of.

Then. Saturday equals community garage sale galore. It will be epic.

Two fun things I want to share with you today.

1) Do you guys know The Shabby Chic Cottage? She's just the greatest. She put up a post saying that starting on the 23rd she's giving her readers a challenge: The 10 tasks in 10 days Challenge. Hers is a decorating blog so she might be going more for things around the house, but the way I'm defining it for me is that it could be home related, work related, organizing, working out... anything I've been procrastinating on that I might need a little shove and motivation to get it going. If you need the same, this is it! Go check her out and read what the challenge is all about to see if you want to join me in getting things done!

2) Kelly over at Between the Lines has been doing something fun she calls Fabulous Food Fridays where she highlights different bloggers and recipes they've created and this week she's featuring me! She's an awesome momma, a writer, and a great girl so you should jump on over and check out her blog and see the recipe of mine she put up! :)

Between the Lines

Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Feeling excited and slightly guilty

I wasn't going to do a post today because... well, no reason. I just wasn't feeling brilliant.

BUT, one of the to-do's on my list today was take my big ol' box of clothes that has been sitting in our bedroom since the day we moved in (8 months ago!) over to Goodwill.

Let me rewind a little bit.

Anytime before Lane leaves for time away we ask each other what is something that we're most looking forward to about this next {enter time frame here} apart and something we're not excited about. For this 3 week stint. For 2 week trainings he used to have to do at Fort Campbell. For a weekend trip. And yes, even for deployments we would ask what is something good you anticipate and something that might not be so fun.

It might seem like a nerdy little exercise for any who are not external processors like myself, but it helps us (read: me) to process what's coming up, but also for us to acknowledge that we're going to miss each other like crazy but to recognize that life does go on without the other. I can't sit here pining away for him otherwise my days would be miserable and go so slowly, and he can't be moping around missing his wife otherwise he might not perform his job as well as he should. So we ask about sunshine/rainclouds aka highs/lows aka rose/thorns. I like it.

Anyway. The point of this post.

I couldn't admit this to Lane when we were talking, so it is still my little secret, but one of the main things that I was excited about doing while he's gone right now is going through his closet and getting rid of t-shirts that he has had for 10+ YEARS. Seriously. He's still wearing shirts he wore in high school. And he wears them with pride. Despite the faded colors. Despite the gaping holes. It kills me.

I've threatened to do this before but I never could just pull the trigger when he's been gone in the past.

Back to the Goodwill trip today.

I spent last night going through our closet one final time and added quite a few of his t-shirts. Don't feel too sorry for the boy. His t-shirt collection has now gone from 2,572 to 2,540. He has so many t-shirts. FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Any other husbands out there do this or just mine?

I was so excited pulling up to the Goodwill today. I felt lighter already. But then, when I put the bag containing his clothes in I felt this huge stab of guilt. It was done. I actually started laughing out loud at what I just did and probably looked pretty weird to anyone driving by. Crazy lady donating clothes again! Irreversible. I couldn't take them back; they had gone into the abyss of the huge clothing donation window.

Hmmm. I don't know if I'll tell him. Maybe I'll just let him figure it out on his own.

I do feel slightly guiltly.

But it was WORTH IT.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bedtime buddies

I really never love any of the time that Lane is gone, but nights are the most not fun of it all. Once the sun goes down and it's dark sometimes gets me a little scared, especially when I'm in bed trying to fall asleep and hearing noises or seeing shadows of trees that I'm SURE weren't there just the night before!

To help me get enjoy these nights a little bit more, I always keep a handy arsenal of books and such in case I need them at a given moments' notice:

I sleep on the right side of the bed and L is on the left, so to take his place I have:

* The remote, in case I can't fall asleep and need Jerry Seinfeld or late-night infomercials to keep me company
* My bible; actually most nights I put my hand on it and fall asleep touching it. I'm a nerd. But it helps
* Relevant magazine; do you guys know Relevant? Very cool mag. Very witty, very thought-provoking, very... Relevant.
* A book called "We the People", a study on the political history of the U.S. Again: Me=Nerd. I love all things history.
* A book called Good News for those Trying Harder written by my pastor
* A book of Celtic prayers
and lastly
* The Catcher in the Rye because I'm trying to catch up on my classics.

This might be a weird thing that I do when the boy is gone, but every time, on that first night I'm walking back to the bedroom prepared with an armful of reading material and entertainment and it stays there until he walks back in the door. Maybe it's to fill space on the bed to it doesn't seem so empty. Maybe it's to keep my mind occupied in the quiet so I don't get lonely. Who knows? Weird coping mechanisms.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My weekend project

Lane is off playing Army pretty much for the month of June so that equals a lot of movie watching and craft projects for me.

This weekend my movies included It's Complicated (liked, not hilarious, but cute. Good renter), Extraordinary Measures (just could not get into; had to turn it off halfway through and it's driving me crazy not knowing how it ended, but I just did not love this one), and Crazy Heart (Really Liked. Really really liked. Jeff Bridges does great in it and I just think Maggie Gyllenhaal is the cutest). Wow; that is a lot of movies for one weekend. And if I'm honest I watched Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore this weeked too because I was curious about it.

I swear I have real life friends too, and I spent time with them and out of my house this weekend but two reasons for the movie watching: 1) It was pretty much a hurricane here this weekend, all weekend. Movies called my name. 2) I just hate a quiet house while Lane is gone. Music or the TV is on pretty much all the time even if I'm not watching it and just need background noise to cleaning or something. Anyone else out there hate quiet homes while your man is gone?

So anyway, did I tell you about these lamps I found at a garage sale? Despite their retro-fabulousness they stole my heart for a cheap price. The orange though. I just could not handle the orange.

So I went to Lowe's and picked out a sample of yellow paint for 3 bucks and painted them. It's not a crazy life-changing difference, but enough to make me love them that much more. How cool are they!?

Then I got some burlap and cute green polka-dot ribbon for 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby and so non-perfectly glued them onto my lamp. That might take some more work, but they work for me for now! Off to my guest bedroom they go. Which needs a serious transformation. These will help.

Look at sweet Sophie. She just went swimming in the lake. She loves her life here even though I think it is the most annoying thing ever that she can never go outside without chasing the pelicans in the water. Oh, the life of a dog.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Goodmorning, friends! I love the mornings- the chill that's still in the air, the quiet outside, the prospect of a new day and not knowing what it will hold.

Maybe I just woke up on the right side of the bed; I don't think I'm this chipper each morning. Either way, this is a beautiful morning!

This morning I wanted to share with you something that has revolutionized my week. I only discovered it a few days ago, but I foresee it having lasting power in my life.

It's from the Flat Belly Diet plan. I'm not on it, but they have a drink called Sassy Water. I'd drink it just for the name- how fun! It's supposed to be a drink that kind of kick-starts your diet, reducing bloat, aiding digestion, yada yada yada. I just think it's yummy.

It actually is really pretty and summerish too. If you're hosting a shower or party of any sort, it'd be perfect!

I have to tell you, I was even more inspired to make it after finding this:

Yes, that is mint. In my backyard. I was doing some yardwork the other day weeding and such and came across this. I thought 'Whoa! Those weeds are crazy overgrown, that'll take awhile!' Then, I stepped closer, smelled the beautiful smell, and realized they were not weeds, but were, in fact, mint.

In my backyard. All I could ever want. And that picture doesn't even capture all of it. It is Everywhere. Fine by me. Sassy Water and then some mojitos coming up!

Sassy Water:

2 liters water (about 8 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors blend overnight.

Drink entire pitcher by the end of each day.

Hope you guys have a great Friday and have some fun weekend plans ahead of you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Things I am good at:

* Planning
* Dreaming
* Organizing

Things I am not good at:

* Letting things be out of my control
* Trusting
* Waiting

I am soo not good at waiting. Zero patience for this girl.

I have a lot of dreams for my life right now. My eyes have been opened up into this whole new world that I so desire to be a part of, and I have been doing everything in my power to enter into it.

And I have... little... by... little. That's what writing for CinCHouse is about. And probably trying to write for more things like that. I love writing. It nourishes me.

So there's this book... that I wrote... and it has my heart and soul behind it. And I deeply believe in it and so badly want it to be published.

And that is what this Spring entailed for me- querying agents, sending in proposals, sample chapters, outlines, and one-sentence-summaries.

Mostly I get rejected. Which is fine. It's part of the business. All of the great authors have "I got rejected 30 times before my book became an international bestseller!" stories. Maybe that will be my fate too? Probably not. But maybe?

However, in early May I got my first non-rejection! They were so interested that this agent (who was my dream agent BTW) asked to see the full manuscript. Which was a big deal in my brain and dream world. Then Lane and I went off to Costa Rica and Every Single Day I thought about that agent reading my book and what she thought. The Second that I could check e-mail, I most certainly did, and.... there it was. The non-rejection had become a rejection. She gave me the whole "we loved your work, gave it great consideration in full-staff meetings, and while I do believe that it is a worthwhile and significant project I don't ultimately feel we are the ones to represent your work"... or something like that. Not like I've memorized that e-mail or anything.

So I was super bummed. BUT- I knew that I had prayed like crazy over this whole process and entrusted it to God when I sent my manuscript off to her over e-mail. So, she just wasn't the one. I'm okay with that. I trust Him.

Then. The Very Next Day, this other agent I had contacted like, 2 months ago, e-mailed to ask for my full manuscript. Seriously? Excitement mixed with hesitation. Excitement. Hesitation again. Maybe some doubt. Wonder.

And he still has it and I haven't heard back. So I'm still querying my little heart away trying to get in touch with other agents out there who just maybe possibly could believe in this as much as I do and see a place for it in our world.

In the meantime I try to sit back and be patient. Believe that there is a plan for me and that this desire and dream won't be wasted. And not chart this process out on my own schedule with a month-by-month checklist of when my Life Plan will come to fruition.

I'm trying to learn the meaning of Abide. Dwell. Just trust, let things happen, and sit on the promises I have been given. Hasn't the rest of my life all pointed to the fact that God really does have my best in mind and things ALWAYS work out better than I ever could have planned them, even if there was some heartache involved in the mix?

There is a Plan. I'm trying to trust that. Believe it, and cling to it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

His secret ingredient

I have to admit that I am a health-food addict. I'm not crazy psycho about it, but I do love it.

Whole grains, black beans, quinoa, red peppers, and spinach speak to my heart. My mom calls my recipes 'weird' and 'different'. :) They're actually really yummy, but don't typically include cream of chicken soup. I try to limit eating dessert to once a week- I make myself EARN those suckers!

Most mornings I'll make a smoothie for breakfast- the ingredient list:

Organic, nonfat, plain yogurt
Pure orange juice
Frozen strawberries
And protein powder if I'm feeling extra wild

It has taken some time, but I have been able to teach Lane this very complicated recipe. I have entrusted my breakfast to him a little at a time, and some mornings he will take over the breakfast-creating responsibilities.

This morning I went out for a run and before I left he told me that he would make our smoothies while I was gone.

This is how it went down:

I come back in huffing and puffing, grab the waiting beauty of a smoothie out of the fridge excited to replenish my body with some healthy strong stuff.

I get about halfway through and look over at The Boy who is grinning ear to ear.

Me: That make me nervous... What?

L: How's your smoothie?

Me: Delicious...

L: I put a secret in there... ICE CREAM! A couple scoops of it! Isn't it great!

I have no words for this. Apparently we still need to work on what exactly does, and does not qualify as a health food.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seriously, it was THAT good

Hi, friends! Happy Monday to ya. Hope y'all had a relaxing, restoring, and fun weekend!

Mine was wonderful.

I don't really have anything of much consequence to share with you, but there were a few highlights that were so unbelievably epic that I feel I would be doing a disservice to not share them.

My Saturday morning had to, of course, include Garage Saleing. Is that a word? My spellchecker says no, but Saling is so wrong as well. You know what I mean. Garage Saling speaks to my heart. The thrill of the hunt. Turning another man's trash into your treasure. For CHEAP! Not knowing what the day will hold... I'm getting carried away just thinking about it.

So we hit up our first one (which was labeled an ESTATE sale, so I was THRILLED, but they deceived me- it was just a normal sale and I was mad at them) and they had okay stuff, but they had doors. As in closet doors. I'm semi-addicted to doors. I'll show you a picture of what I've done with one of them- she's beautiful. I needed more. But they were asking for 5 bucks a door and that was just too much for me because I wanted two of them. I was thinking more like 2 dollars. I'm cheap that way.

So I bypassed them with a broken heart not knowing when I would find a garage sale selling TWO of my beloved doors.

THEN! Last night we were driving back home and I passed by this same overpricing, lying house and the doors hadn't sold so they had them out front with a FREE! sign next to them! The stars aligned, heaven opened up and GAVE ME MY DOORS! I am beyond excited. I made Lane go home, get our bigger car and stuff those two doors in the back like there was no tomorrow.

At first he got annoyed with my FREE! sign loving shenanigans, but now he just accepts it. Many-a-thing have we taken from someone else's Free/trash pile. I'm not afraid.

That was awesome thing number 1.

Awesome thing number 2 was waking up early this morning and going on a long bike ride towards the mountains next to the river in the not-too-hot-early-chill with my hubster. It was gorgeous. I am in love with Colorado deeply.

And church was awesome too. Way awesome.

THEN. I made these:

Yes, my friends. You saw that right. Those are homemade bagels. They are life-changing.

And just to back up that point, read the note that I left on them for L to read when he came home.

It is a true statement.

Never again am I buying bagels from a store.

I made different toppings: parm, onion, garlic, sea salt. Next time I might experiment with the dough more. YUM!

And, the best part is how super easy they are. If you have a bread machine it's best, but a KitchenAid does the trick too.

Here's the recipe of the yummyness if you so dare to click. This is my warning. It WILL change your life.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

5 years!

Today is our 5 year anniversary!

Wow. What a fun, amazing, difficult, loaded, significant, adventurous, life-changing five years we have had together. It's been quite the journey!

In our still relatively young marriage, we have been through some major stuff. Looking at the marriage that we have today though, I am so thankful for the road that we have been on because of the strength that it has given us.

In honor of today, I am going to take you guys on a little picture tour of our relationship:

We met in October of our freshman year of college, almost 9 years ago. I was immediately in love but thought he was way out of my league, so it took 5 months of him chasing after to me to prove that it was me he wanted. Once we started dating, we were done for. Pretty much on our first date we told each other we wanted to marry each other- at 18 years old! We were crazy. It was really fun being able to share our college experience together; we had such an amazing community of friends, were Young Life leaders together, and did all sorts of fun Colorado stuff like tubing rivers, rock-climbing, back-packing, and camping together.

Here we are building our team work on a camping trip at the ripe ol' age of 19!

Fast-forward a couple years. The boy proposed.

He knelt on his knee and said he talked to my dad so I could go pick out a white dress. It's our love story so I just said yes.

I'm quoting T Swift for those of you not tracking... that is pretty much how it went though.

Engagement Pic:

The Big Day: June 3, 2005

After said Big Day, we enjoyed about 2 months of traveling and hanging out before Lane had to report for 5 months of training at Fort Sill, OK. Officer Basic Course is calling our name in this picture. Our entire life was packed into the back of his blazer, and we were hitting the road entering into Army Life. Oh man, I had NO IDEA what I was in for!

The youth. The innocence. The SKINNY people we were back then! So much has changed!

After OBC, we headed off to Fort Benning, in Columbus, GA. I taught high school social studies while Lane did his Army Thing and did it good.

Here's my man after graduating Ranger School. I'm pinning the coveted Ranger Tab on his shoulder. He lost nearly 30 pounds in his 12 weeks there. It was crazy.

Here we are enjoying an EXTRAVAGANT meal before Deployment #2. Maybe 1. Maybe 3? We definitely did not hold back on any of our final meals before deployments. They all blend together. That's what the Army does to ya.

And here we are in the backyard of our house in Georgia for our final day there. Moving to Colorado was the best decision we've ever made. We were very clearly called out of the Active Duty Army... but I do miss Georgia, the Army, our friends, our church, my work...

But... this new life together in Colorado has been good. In the deepest, most significant, fun, sacred sense of the word good.

These five years have held so much for us, it's hard to imagine what the next 5, 20, or 30 might hold! I wouldn't want to journey through any of it with anyone else in this world though- Happy Anniversary, Baby! :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Memorial Day?

Today is June 1st. 2010 is now almost half over. Is that weird to anyone else?

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day yesterday. Lane and I spent the day (which was B-E-A-utiful) at a park with my whole family:

I have two great older sisters who married awesome guys and they have awesome kids. L and I are the only ones who have not procreated yet which we sometimes feel sad and left out about. Just kidding. But seriously. Maybe we'll have to do something about that one of these days. Or months.

It was a beautiful, great day.

But after devoting so much of our life and our marriage to the military, it definitely was not lost on Lane & I what the true meaning of the day was. We have countless friends who are overseas right now, and we were home laughing, running, and playing with our family.

In fact, Lane spent our last Memorial Day in Afghanistan.

We know the significance of Memorial Day.

We got in the car and L told me that it was hard for him to hear people at the park exclaim 'Happy Memorial Day!' It's not like Christmas, Easter, or the 4th of July. We celebrate today because of the people who have gone before us, and given their lives on our behalf.

Lane's life was rocked last summer, much like it had been on previous deployments, when one of his buddies lost his life because of a combat mission. He has since exchanged some very meaningful e-mails and face-to-face conversations with that soldiers' mother who has handled that life-changing blow with such grace and dignity. Lane thinks of Ben's mom on Memorial Day... it's not a 'Happy' day for her.

I listened to Lane share his heart... and then I had to confess what I put as my facebook status update yesterday morning:

Happy Memorial Day friends! As we're enjoying family, parks, and bbqs, let us not forget the purpose behind this day and the sacrifices of so many. Thank You!

My heart behind it was right. I didn't want the significance and the purpose of the day to be lost in the ice cream, the hamburgers, and the day off of work. But, hearing a soldier's perspective on the day, my own husband's perspective on the day, helped open my eyes to how easy it is to throw around words without thinking of their impact.

With all of that said, I do hope you all enjoyed your day yesterday. If the meaning was lost in the chaos, that's okay. Take a moment today to recognize the gift that we have been given. It's just like Valentine's Day- showing love isn't limited to only that one day a year. So it is with Memorial Day. Recognize our country, the military, the families, the pride and the sacrifice any moment of any day.