Friday, December 19, 2014

Foto Friday: Wreaths Across America

 soooo, it's been awhile... again. I can't say I've been to busy to post but rather too distracted and a little bit of ennui stuck again, especaially because I planned a rather intricate/long post that just never solidified.  But now I'm back. For how long? who knows!

Today's Foto Friday comes courtesy of Wreaths Across America, a volunteer organization that uses donations and volunteers to place a Christmas wreath at every grave marker (minus the Jewish ones demonimated with a star of David because we want to respect their religion aside: we should get little menorahs for them too) (I don't know if any Muslim graves were marked or how, but they likely got wreaths)) in Arlington Cemetery.  This year was the first year they accomplished this goal, on the 150th anniversary of Arlington Cemetary opening. 

I participated with my sisters and a sister's boyfriend, who is in the Air Force and who plays on a military softball team called NotForgotten honoring those KIA or MIA. There's a lot of cool history about the cemetery but I think the most powerful aspect about the cemetery is the imagery. There are SOOOO many grave markers it is humbling to think of the big picture and then to lay a wreath on an individual marker and think of their sacrifice was awe-inspiring, but what really brought it home was a visit to the most recent grave markers, where family members of the fallen decorating trees, markers and visiting with one another made the whole experience all too real. 

THANK YOU to every soldier who took the oath to defend our nation and constitution and no expression of gratitude can encompass the debt owed to those who lost their lives doing so.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Foto Friday: Playing DC Tourist

So some friends from Richmond came to visit last weekend, and we wanted around the memorials and museums. I decided to pretend to be artsy with my iPhone and grab some pictures. I love living just outside this photogenic city!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Foto Friday: Octoberful.

So no real theme for this week, just showing off what's been going on the past two weeks in mi vida, but first...

25,000 views y'all! (mini-milestone celebration time)
as of today, this lil blog has passed the 25,000 view mark! The views are almost all from this one concert-recap post and I can't be sure how many of these views are actual people and not just bots, but since I can't tell, I'm counting them all!

Now back to our regularly scheduled post:
The first weekend in October was filled with soccer and friends, starting with a very rainy DC United game (which they tied to clinch a spot in the playoffs)...
Yay for friends who love soccer enough to stand getting soaked in the rain with me!
...Then continued on Saturday at the RFK Auxiliary field for my coed league's All Star game #gopink! 
(we won, even if the blue team was much better at the whole organized-picture thing)
The representatives from our team also got to accept the trophy for having won our division last spring, chyeeaaah SSFC!

I also don't have any photos of it (which I guess defeats the purpose of FotoFriday) but I had my first performance on stage playing acoustic/rhythm guitar with the worship band at my church and it was great, everyone was so encouraging! And I also participated in a Chili Cook-Off with a Pumpkin Chicken Chili (recipe here)
Picture via original recipe (is this FotoFriday cheating if it's a professional picture? Imma say no, my blog, my theme,  my rules)
This past holiday weekend started out with some more soccer spectating (and another tie) with a group viewing of Landon Donovan's last game with Team USA

Saturday was spent resting up to attack the Army Ten-Miler with the family (minus 2OB, plus a Katie, who ROCKED the race with 12 hours notice) on Sunday.
The course was different this year but it was amazing as always and was the third Army Ten Miler for me and the third with AMAZING weather!

My sister and I also always run in matching shirts with HOO and AAH written on our backs. For anyone who doesn't know, in the Army, HOOAAH is kind of an all-encompassing/catch-all cheer, encouragement, response. We always get comments and cheers mid race and the best is when someone tells us it encourages them! We even had a gentlemen this year tell us around mile 8 that this was the third year he's seen us, that makes him 3 for 3!

The rest of the weekend was spent mainly recovering off my feet with #notsosecretproject14
bulky yarn = my favorite!
A (not very social) weekend's progress #bananaforscale:

My final activity this past weekend involved scoping out my soon to be new room (if all goes well)!!! 
Soon to be new room?!?!?
Lastly, yesterday I received the AMAZING news that a friend and former club and college teammate who is battling brain cancer had her first post-chemo scan return TUMOR FREE! She's not completely done with treatment but this is a HUGE positive step towards beating this disease! She is a fighter and we're all behind her, I can't wait to visit her in a little over a week! #KickAsh!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Foto Friday: For Natalie

So today's Foto Friday honors an angel's birthday. Natalie would be 25 today. Two weeks ago, following a memorial ceremony honoring Natalie Lewis and Ginny Doyle and their contributions to the University of Richmond family, I was privileged to accompany those who knew her so much better to her favorite spot in Richmond.

I had been to Maymont Park before. but I had never seen it the way she saw it.  There was a whole part of the park I had not even known existed and it was immediately clear what made it so special to her.

This gazebo is where her fiance proposed, with the help of her sister and some of her best friends. Watching the proposal videos on facebook this past February was so wonderful.  The park looks completely different from that winter wonderland now.

Dear Natalie,

You are such a gift to everyone blessed enough to know you. Your genuine enthusiastic love for your friends and teammates and even for strangers was inspiring.  You took such care to welcome everyone and make them feel special and you took time to create and share so much more kindness in almost 25 years than most people can hope conjure up in 75. You used God's gifts and lived almost every day with joy, even on the hard days. The legacy you leave is a solid mark of hope and kindness in this word (made with glittery hand-made cards and home-made cookies).
I am blessed to know your spirit. You welcomed me to the swim team family with open arms and home-made posters. I wish we got to spend more time together, there's so much I could learn about friendship from you. There's so much I could learn about how to comfort those in whose hearts your loss left the greatest holes. Know that you are missed. You are loved, you are remembered, and oh so deeply missed.