Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

As today is Earth Day, I thought I would share with you a couple pictures I took of nature in my yard this afternoon. I love the signs of spring... rebirth, growth, change, and hope are just a few worlds that come to mind. Our planet is very important and we all need to do our part to protect it. Whether it is something as small as picking up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, changing light bulbs in your home, recycling or planting trees, there is something for everyone to do! Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless! We must each do our part if we want future generations to view the wonders and mysteries Earth has to offer. A thought to leave with: How many more species of animals will go instinct, acres of rain forests will be destroyed and miles of glaciers melt before all of human-kind joins forces to reverse this tragedy? It's time for a change... let it start with you and your family! Happy Earth Day everyone!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beautifully Strong

For Spring Break I had the opportunity to travel with my family to Ft. Jackson, SC to watch my cousin graduate from Army Basic Training. It was the first time we saw him in 13 weeks and I could not believe how much he changed over that short amount of time.

Physically... he received a buzz hair cut courtesy of the Army, lost 15 pounds and 5 inches, however that wasn't what caught my attention. Emotionally, he was a different person. He was still Alan, but he was more mature, aware of his surroundings and those around him. He held himself differently, and confidence radiated from him, it was almost tangible. He respected the uniform and kept his professional manner at all times. I believe this is what shocked me most, having grown up with a cousin that would pull my hair or wrestle me to the ground just because he could.

On Thursday, the base had family day so the soldiers could give their families some idea of what they had to endure every day to get to this important step of graduation. While we walked around base, he shared stories of his friends, officers and schemes. It was amazing to watch as he became animated and engrossed in the stories, as if he were reliving them.

The entire time we were with Alan, I had my camera at the ready. Upon returning home, I discovered I had taken 464 pictures in 4 days! Out of all the pictures I took, this is my favorite… and I feel I have titled it appropriately.

As soon as graduation was over Friday morning, we drove from SC to VA… 6 ½ hours! We spent all Saturday at a local Go-Cart and Putt-Putt course. We had a lot of fun racing each other in the cars and playing mini-golf boys vs. girls. (Sadly, the boys won, but not by much!) It was bittersweet leaving him at his new base in VA Saturday Night. But we are all so proud of him and his determination and devotion to the Army and his country. He is on his way to greatness and it makes me proud to say that I am his cousin.