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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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Life Lessons learned in ADVENTURE

15 Aug

There is a book that I tried reading (couldn’t finish) and I thought it was so boring… the main character hitchhikes through the U.S. and essentially leaves towns after he’s broken enough hearts, cheated enough people, done enough drugs and drank himself silly.  Hardly a character that I admire.  I could never really put my finger on why I didn’t like it, outside of the obvious moral issues, until I was accused of not understanding the true meaning of the book, which I have been told is: “adventure” I just went and read a few reviews to refresh my memory to make sure I didn’t miss something… here is a piece of a review that I feel sums up the book pretty well: 

“…the outlet of a generation’s desire and inner need to get out, break its confinement, and find freedom, liberated from any higher belief, notion, or ideology. The desperation and the lack of fulfillment made these youths feel that ‘the only thing to do was go’, searching for their personal freedom, and finding pleasure in sex, drugs, and jazz.”

wow.  real exciting.  and that’s written by someone that actually LIKED the book. 

So it’s taken me a couple of years, and I am finally able to pinpoint why this book doesn’t sit well with me – I live in an adventure.  To me this fictional story is 100x less exciting than my actual life, and especially the lives of my friends!  I’ll give you their numbers and you can grab a drink with them… or at the very least, read their blogs 😉  In the meantime – you are stuck with me and my blog (sucka!!!).  So that’s my motivation – here’s my list:

Life adventures leading up to The Year of 25:

The more obvious ones that other people would call an adventure include:

  • Study abroad in Oxford encompasses a lot – the biggest thing I learned is that the most breathtaking things that you’ll ever see can’t be captured by a camera (in the deep thoughtful way.. but typically just because the security guards won’t let you!) Highlights include:
    • Eating dinner at “The Bird and Babe” in the same booth where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien frequently met
    • Walking through the field where Alice and Wonderland was created
    • Stonehenge
    • Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower
    • Celebrating the 500 year anniversary of William Wallace… in Scotland
    • Sitting next to the director of the Sound of Music on a train to Salzburg
    • Vatican City
    • Taking pictures with the leaning tower of Pisa
    • Getting lost in Rome.. separated from my group.. with no cell phones (much less smart phones – these weren’t invented yet, kids)
    • The David
    • Buying art in Florence from a 75 year-old pirate/PE teacher
    • The Mona Lisa (and getting lost in the Louvre for 4 hours…)
    • The Pantheon
    • Eating in the first gelato shop
  • Moving to Boston on a one way ticket not knowing a soul, with two duffel bags and an air mattress – where my first night I was befriended by two guys looking for a roommate who let me crash on their sofa… for two weeks (saints I tell you!)
  • Traveling solo to Cairo to visit my best friend that lived there for a year (now HERS is an exciting life – Ashole, Brynn and Meggi: please start blogging), where I was questioned by airport security police who bought my ticket and why I was traveling alone.  Can’t a single girl buy a plane ticket and take a trip these days?!
  • Riding a camel named Moses, with my best friend, around a pyramid, guided by an Egyptian man named Mohammed, on a donkey called Charlie Brown (can’t make this stuff up)
  • Hiking Mt. Sinai by moonlight and watching the sun rise over the desert from the top of the mountain
  • Roadtrips.  Ironically enough the book involves roadtrips, but I guarantee mine were way more fun.
  • Tp’ing the wrong house – cops/ambulances/pepper spray… a story for another day.

The smaller, but equally (if not more) awesome ones that might go unnoticed are as follows:

  • Laying on the Skyline HS football field and watching the meteor shower of a LIFETIME – we witnessed hundreds of stars fly from one end of the sky to the other.  I still have yet to see anything that compares to that
  • Mentoring 20+ high school students in So. Cal from The Valley (literally where the term “Valley Girl” originated) where we spent an entire summer on our razor scooters…
  • Sitting on a porch in Montana and watching storms roll in over the mountains
  • Going to work at my firm’s office in Times Square – where I was put up at the Hilton… in Times Square.  BALLER!!! (I still get nervous when I come into the office and my badge doesn’t work on the first try – have they figured out I don’t belong yet?!?!)
  • Camping at Crater Lake, Oregon
  • 4th of July (favorite holiday) in Boston (favorite city) scootering (favorite past time) down Storrow Drive (favorite stretch of “highway”) to go see Neil Diamond (favorite singer/songwriter) for free (I’m cheap).  BEST. DAY. EVER.
  • My first job out of college working on the financial statements of people ranked on the Forbes Top 500 richest people in the world.  Horrendous work environment.  Lots of life lessons.  At one point had Tom Brady’s cell number (had = stole from my client’s lunch appointment schedule)
  • Catching my first fish with my grandfather (circa 1991) and keeping it alive in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag for 4 days while feeding it only one worm.
  • Moving: San Diego – Seattle (’96).  Seattle – Abilene, TX (’04 – relive the trip here).   Abilene, TX – Thousand Oaks, CA (’08).  Thousand Oaks, CA – Frisco, TX (’08).  Frisco, TX – Boston (’08).
  • Playing volleyball year-round on a national team in high school (technically international if you count that one 3 hour drive to Canada.. haha)
  • Keeping pace with a crew of dolphins while walking on the beach in Malibu at sunset.
  • Canoeing in Lake Tahoe and jumping overboard thinking we were in shallow water because I could see the bottom… then looking and realizing the bottom was in actuality 20-30ft down.  The water is THAT clear.
  • Living in view of Mount Rainier… where we’ve learned that it is the last place the sun sets in the contiguous 48 states… and that when you ride a ferry, the numbers of the lanes are painted very large on the lanes themselves 😉
  • Spending Thanksgiving Day next to the Mayflower eating turkey sandwiches and drinking sparkling cider from a brown paper bag.
  • Everyday, communicating with our staff in India.  Yes, that is a huge adventure… and if you don’t think so, come shadow me for an afternoon.

So to someone that tells me that I don’t understand “adventure” … I do – that’s a noninclusive, bulleted list which doesn’t even include all the stories that go along with the adventures themselves.  And ya know what… not a single one of those adventures involved “sex, drugs, and jazz” – go figure.

I could write a laundry list of people in my life that have done the most awesome/adventurous things… I gaurantee it will be better than anything I have written about up there.  The truth of the matter is.. we’ve ALL done some pretty awesome things.  You’re probably reading my list thinking to yourself… my life is WAY cooler than that – well GOOD!  I expect nothing less of you and it 100% doesn’t surprise me 🙂  Please put your list together and send it to me!! I’m always in need of some more adventure in my life and you just might be my inspiration… more so than that book ever could be.

If I’ve learned anything about “adventure,” I’ve learned that there are seasons of it, you can create your own, sometimes it’s best alone but most of the time it’s best when shared with close friends (or even strangers!), and if you’re lucky you can even find adventure in your daily routine. Having adventure just takes a little faith in knowing that there is “Someone” out there with a plan and a desire for you to live your life as an adventure(r).  Ask me about that – I’d love to share.