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A Thank You To The Patriots

16 Apr

If you’ve held a conversation with me for more than 43 seconds it’s likely you’ve heard me talk about how much I love the city of Boston.

Sox Games

Sox Games

Singing Sweet Caroline at Sox games

Singing Sweet Caroline at Sox games

Pats Games

Pats Games

Celtics Games

Celtics Games

Ducklings

Ducklings

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July with Neil Diamond

4th of July with Neil Diamond

FALL!

FALL!

I could go on forever… feel free catch up on some of my previous posts that are dedicated to my city:

Visito[u]r Guide: Boston, MA

Burb Dwellers vs. City Slickers – My soap box about people thinking Boston is a rude city

Top Ten Moments in the History of (my Experience with) Boston Sports! (aka the time I Arsenio Hall’d Ray Allen)

The Month That Was – aka the best month of my LIIIIIIFE

Definitely can’t forget about the available bachelors!! (LOVE YOU WOLFIE!) An Opportunity to Date Boston’s Most Eligible Bachelor

And even finding a portrait of grace via the MBTA… Grace: As Learned from the Boston Metro

I’m telling you… I love this city.office view

Patriots Day is tied for first on my Favorite Day in Boston List… St. Paddy’s Day, 4th of July are tough to pass up (honorable mention to Opening Day at Fenway and the Santa Speedo Run).  Who would have thought, right??  Patriots Day???

Last Patriots Day I somehow managed to guilt three of my friends into leaving my apartment at 4:45a to watch the Battle of Lexington and Concord reenactment on the Lexington Green… WHERE THE ACTUAL BATTLE TOOK PLACE!!!

They love me, I swear...

They love me, I swear…

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was one of the first battles fought of the Revolutionary War and the Patriots were the guys that fought it.  Who were the Patriots?  Nobodys.  Just a few rough and tough guys that believed in their cause, that believed in freedom, that did not back down and that stood their ground for something that was right.

Anyone that has sat with me at a sporting event has seen me get teary eyed when the National Anthem is sung (because it happens EVERY TIME), and anyone that has watched 4th of July fireworks with me has witnessed the same teary eyed Sarah… America, the freedoms we have, and the people that defend our freedoms get me emotional.  Sue me.

The battle reenactment on Patriots Day was no exception.  I got a liiiiiiiiiittle emotional and have been intending to write this post ever since.

I was standing at the edge of the Lexington Green at 5:00a waiting for the reenactment.  I was trying to contain my excitement as I stood amidst the 200 year old houses surrounding the green that were there when the battle took place and it could just not be done.

AMERICA!!!

AMERICA!!!

Silence came over the crowd as we heard the British Troops marching through Lexington.  Men wearing scrappy colonial clothes started running out of houses armed with one shot rifles and stood in the middle of the green…. And we were standing right there watching!  The British soldiers marched perfectly in sync to the drummer’s beat and approached the green in their perfectly matched, prestine uniforms.  Our ‘troops’ gathered themselves together in the middle of the green, forming a single line the length of the green to express to the British soldiers that they were not welcome… this was going to be AMERICA.

As the British soldiers approached the scraggly Patriot soldiers some of the Patriots fled… after all, death was imminent.  The British soldiers were now just a few yards away and the remaining men stood their ground, trembling in fear.  Rather than shooting the ten or so Patriots blocking their path, the Bristh leader called his troops to stopped marching, stopping within five feet of the faces of the Patriots.  The leader of the British troops yelled at the Patriots to move.  The Patriots stood their ground.

The British soldier yelled two then three more times.  More men fled from the danger of the line into the surrounding woods.  No one knows who fired the first shot, but it appeared to come from one of the houses and thus the battle began, killing most of the Patriots.  The British soldiers continued marching and would later make it to the North Bridge in Concord where “the shot heard ‘round the world” was fired.

There were so many thoughts going through my head at this reenactment that brought me to tears… as I saw the Patriots standing in the line, trembling as the uniformed British soldiers approached, I thought of my friends and [some former] loved ones that are currently serving our country.  I thought of my father and grandfather who served as Marines.  I prayed a prayer of gratitude for the people that have believed so much in freedom that they have fought to protect it.  It led me to ask myself… what do I believe in so much that I would stand in the face of the enemy and be willing to sacrifice my life for? 

As a Christian, the obvious answer should be Christ.  Which led me to ask… am I really willing to sacrifice my life for Christ?  Would I die, or even face danger for that matter, for the cause of Christ?  Ok forget death and danger… would I even be willing to give up my earthly pleasures for the sake of Christ, because often times I don’t.  Do I truly understand the statement I so frequently hear, “Christ died for me?”  Wow. Christ died for me.  These soldiers died for me.  These soldiers died for the cause of freedom, so that we could speak and worship and play and educate and live in a world that is free.  Christ is the true source of freedom and the true source of peace and He endured the wrath of God and died to give it to us.  Saying ‘I was moved’ is quite the understatement… I was completely awestruck.

Yesterday I brought myself back to that moment when I was standing on the Lexington Green and I attempted to sort through my thoughts after the explosions.  I could do nothing but sit at my desk with my head in my hands and cry.  The Boston Marathon has, for the past four years, been my little glimpse of heaven (as I have so proudly expressed) and was shattered by Evil.  By hatred.  By selfishness.  I was brutally reminded that we live in the world and that Satan’s presence exists.  I had to stomach people around me saying things like “the media is making a bigger deal of this than it really is… just two people died.”  Just.  I’m beginning to hate that word.  Say that to the mother of the eight year old boy.  Say that to his second grade classmates and explain to them why there is an empty desk in their classroom.  Say that to the families impacted by the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut… after all, it was “just” one classroom.  Ugh.  I wanted to vomit.

The only thing we can do is remember the pain of this sorrow and move forward.  How do we move forward?  In my attempt to stand for what is right, I have to express that we move forward when we pursue Christ.  We pursue and fight for what is right.  We love those that don’t love us back.  We reset our hearts and minds to the things not of this world, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  We set our hearts on things above and eagerly await His kingdom come.  We open our eyes and accept that God is a God that loves us and by knowing His love we will better learn to love each other and by loving each other, we change the world.  We have faith that the darkness has been overcome.

To the people in my favorite city and the place my heart calls home – I love you and pray blessings and peace in this time of sorrow.  Let us be reminded of the love that has been shown to us by our Creator and let us spread His love to the people of this world.

Love that dirty water...

Love that dirty water…

Love that dirty water...

Boston you’re my home

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A True Texas Thanksgiving… In Pictures

27 Nov

To set the record straight, I am not a Texan.  I grew up on the west coast — my extended family has always lived somewhere in Texas so I guess you could say there are some roots there, but it’s not what I would ever really call home.  I decided to go to college in Abilene, TX and loved every minute of it, but it has provided some confusion among my friends as to where I’m from – I’ll say it again, I’m not from Texas.  Even though I don’t claim Texas as my own, I love my goofy Texas family and will absolutely claim them a hundred times over.  They tend to be about as far from “politically correct” as possible, so please extend the benefit of the doubt that they are the sweetest people you will ever meet that just happen to say some goofy things… bless their hearts.  

So under the assumption that a picture will say a thousand words, I feel like it might be a better way to share about my Thanksgiving in Abilene, TX and the hilarity that is my family rather than try and write it all out – but don’t worry, there are some moments that a picture could never capture and I’ll include those too.  ENJOY! 

Birds eye view of campus flying into Abilene... it's a happening place, can't you tell!?

After getting settled we went to Aunt Trisha's and this was the scene... DJ, Kyle, Uncle Ray, Grady and Uncle Jimmy - bellies out watching football. LOVE THEM

Denver, the eldest grandson who lives in Arkansas with his family called Uncle Jimmy on Facetime to say hello to the fam.  We Texans are always so impressed with technology these days, we passed the phone around and each said yelled hello to Denver’s face and then he put his precious 4-year old daughter on Facetime.  Norah fits in the family well because she is never at a loss for words; she started talking away to Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Ray and white-haired Uncle Jimmy leans over to deaf Uncle Ray and says “what’d she say??” as if Norah couldn’t see them.  Uncle Ray responds “I have no idea” but they continue to smile and make goofy grandpa faces into the phone.  Uncle Ray leans in with his ‘good ear’ to try to hear her better… simulating the use of a normal telephone while poor Norah gets a view of her Pa-Paw’s ear.  I look over, feel sympathy for the poor little girl staring at her grandpa’s ear and remind Uncle Ray – “it’s called Facetime, not ear time!”  Kyle then grabs the remote control to Uncle Ray’s hearing aids (yes – his hearing aids have a remote control) and tries to turn up the volume.  Only my family. 

Granny's house was decorated for fall to max. This decor pretty much sums up our weekend.

Our very southern Thanksgiving meal 🙂 "If you go home hungry, it's your own fault"

Grady sat at the end of the table and I talked him into taking a group picture... now... Grady is not known for his enthusiams towards traditional family things... family pictures included. So when we heard him yell "Mom!! Get in here!! Group photo!!" we all died laughing... captured here. In case you can't see my face in this.. let's go ahead and zoom in, shall we?

Here ya go. This got passed around the table. Everyone was in tears and I now have a new nickname in my family that I will not repeat, because it happens to be extremely NON-pc... this was the topic of our entire Thanksgiving dinner conversation.

Here is a snapshot of my (first) plate. Incredible. In case you can't tell... we have smoked turkey AND ham... also, I have no problem loading up - the turkey wasn't the only thing that was stuffed! As food was passed we did what I like to call the 'baseball yell' which mimics how the vendors at the baseball stadium call out their food... "Sarah, will you pass the cranberry salad" my baseball vendor response: "CRANBERRY SALAD!!" At one point during the meal, Grady surveyed the table and yelled "Squash casserole takes the lead!!!" He was totally right.

No family gathering is complete without a friendly (read: ferocious) game of Scrabble, so after everything was cleaned up and put away, we decided to start a game.

Now don't let this sweet 80 year-old Granny face holding her Scrabble apron with her grandkids' names on it fool you... she gets a little sassy when we start beating her 😉

sometimes she lets me cheat...

... but typically this is the sassy face we get from her during our Scrabble games

Everything was pretty normal in our Scrabble game... until I discovered this play. Take a look at that sassy Granny face and now imagine it with her eyes bulging from her head and smoke coming from her ears. My Granny is an extremely sweet, traditional, conservative Christian little old lady and we all try to be extremely respectful of her. But as I looked at my letters, "PENIS" was just glaring at me and I couldn't see anything else. What to do. If I play this, will I be removed from the will??

I decide to consult my opponent via text from across the table. He looks up from his phone... stares me straight in the eyes and says "A THOUSAND DOLLARS. ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS"

Needless to say... I played it. I won (duh!) and Granny's response was: Well it IS a word. Win, win and win.

 Let’s take a break from pictures for a minute and read some noteworthy comments/conversations from the weekend:
 
Grady: Mom – does dad’s voicemail really say “Hi!  This is Jim, Jimmy or James Kimbrell…”
 
Me: *sneeze*
Uncle Ray responding to my sneeze: PAPAYA
Aunt Lea: Oh! Jimmy has a papya tree!!
 
DJ: Get a space helmet and make it Boba Fett The Bargain Hunter
 
Granny: We need to lock up that unicorn
 
Aunt Lea (on Black Friday shopping): Jimmy you’ll be so proud of how much I didn’t spend today
Aunt Trisha: Well HE’S the one that goes to get light bulbs and comes out with a refrigerator!
 
Grady: I mean… I’ll learn taxidermy
  
Grady:  Bacon tastes good with everything.  Name one item of food that doesn’t taste good with bacon.
Me: Cake.  Bacon and cake… gross
Kyle: Actually, I just had a cupcake with bacon the other day and it was incredible
…………10 minutes of this conversation…… we all offer up something, Grady denies us (lasagna, cereal, ice-cream, etc etc etc)
Me (out of silence): GRAPE POPSICLES!!!!! Bacon would NOT be good in a Kool-Aid Grape popsicle!!
Grady: I think that’d be fantastic – you just replace the popsicle stick with some crispy bacon!
 
So the day after Thanksgiving we continued our family time:

Naturally the day after Thanksgiving calls for the day-after-Thanksgiving-sweater, seen above being worn by Aunt Lea

True to any family gathering in Texas, Grady and I look out the window and see Kyle and DJ shooting soda cans in a field from the back porch. Grady and I had a laugh after watching DJ miss a few times and he said "Sarah I bet you could hit that soda can before DJ does."

Challenge accepted. I NAILED it on my first try 😉

I was so surprised I busted out laughing... making for this primo photo op. Thanks Deej.

If you know anything about Texas you know that if one gun is shown, more will follow. This was no exception. Uncle Jimmy appeared from the master bedroom door with his gun.

Which then led to Grady pulling out his 40. IT. WAS. LOUD. I got to shoot all the guns, but the fun ended after I shot THIS gun... something about waving it around after the shock of the kickback causing everyone to duck and cover just didn't go over too well with the guys... whoops.

What Texas-day-after-Thanksgiving would be complete without stripping the house of the fall decorations and putting up the Christmas decor... isn't she adorable??

Have I mentioned that my Granny collects apples? They're eeeevvveeerrryyyywhere. She has a tree with all our names on it. She's had this for a number of years and it's become a staple to her kitchen decor. Do you see an apple on there that looks a little small porportionate to the others?

Let's get a little closer and see who's that is...

...aaaaaand it's Grady's. baaaahahahaha SUCKA!!! I make sure and point it out to him... he's not having it!! He puts Granny on the chopping block and we come to find out that his apple was lost - this was the best replacement she could find. Grady wasn't having it. He recruited me to go on a trip to Hobby Lobby to create a new apple for him that would outshine all the others...

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Can you tell he was a little bitter??

Let's not forget puzzle time

... or the obligitory game of Hearts...

and what family gathering is complete without finding some old family photos… “Awwww Sarah… the 6th grandson” – Grady
 
I hope you enjoyed a peek into our family and a true Texas Thanksgiving, and I hope you were able to share it with your friends and family 🙂
 
Y’all come back now, ya hear??