Happy Memorial Day!
My beautiful friend Alisha and I took our little girls down to a local park where they have set up a really great Memorial Day tribute. My mom met us down there and had fun dancing and playing with Ella.
When we first got there, it was pretty chilly, so Ella had her coat on. But then the sun came out and it warmed up pretty nicely. I love this sunny squinty little smile. It cracks me up.
She really doesn't like her hairbows anymore. But, oh, isn't that face so cute!?
Alisha's little sweetheart, Kyla, was a little camera shy. Most of the pictures I have of her look like this. Isn't she such a beautiful little girl?
I love those big dark eyes, thick dark lashes, and sweet little curls!
Can you see Ella in the background?
One thing I know for sure is that I want to raise Ella with a respect and reverence for our country, our flag, and for those who have fought so valiantly to protect them.
My family has a rich military history that I am so proud of.
My grandfather is one of the very best, most kindhearted, respectful, funny, and smart men I know. He fought as a Marine in Korea and I couldn't be prouder of him.
My lovely grandma has been the best example of support and love to my grandpa, and she honors and advocates for our country every single day.
Forget the actors, ball players, or others with inflated importance;
these are true heroes-- my heroes.
My grandpa, from the time I was a small child, has always talked to me about how important it is to "be a good citizen." It has always been important to me to live my life in a way that honors my grandparents while contributing as a valuable member of society.
I want Ella to know how blessed she is to live in this beautiful land of freedom.
I want for her to never feel a sense of mere entitlement to the freedoms she enjoys, but a reverent respect and a sacred responsibility.
I want for her to know that there has been a significant price paid on her behalf.
I want her to know the words of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegience.
I want her to see how they bring tears to my eyes every time I hear them.
I want to someday pass on to her the stories my grandfather has told to me.
I want her to know and be proud of her Grandpa (my husband's father) for his Marine service in Vietnam. He sacrificed so much for his country and I respect and love him.
My husband told me that ever since he was a small child, he would sneak peeks at his dad's medals and would look at them in awe.
My father in law is such a kind and humble man, and he would never portray himself to others as the hero he truly is.
But, Ella will know that he is.
For today, we will kiss these sweet cheeks and send up a prayer of thanks for the blessing of living in this land of freedom.
To all of the men and women who are currently serving, or who have served in our armed forces I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I promise to you that I will pass on a legacy of gratitude for the sacrifices you make and have made.
Happy Memorial Day everyone!