The Price of Freedom

I used to view Memorial Day as just another holiday. The BBQ's, the parties; another day to have fun with family and friends. I've always felt blessed to live in the United States, but I would have never considered myself the overly patriotic type. That all changed whenever I lost my dad to esophageal cancer (caused by exposure to agent orange in the Vietnam War) back in 2012. Sadly, it took me losing him to become more aware of the sacrifices that were made for my freedom in this country.

It's hard to believe that June 13th will mark 3 years that he's been gone. The time has helped heal the emotional wounds of his passing, but it will never fully take away the emptiness that remains in our lives. Even though he didn't lose his life on the front lines, his time overseas ultimately lead to the disease that killed him. I wish we could have visited his grave over the weekend. I would've loved to participate in the Memorial Day ceremony that took place at Florida National Cemetery.

Freedom isn't free. It never has been, it never will be. Blood shed, lives relinquished, families left shattered in the wake of wars past and present. This is reality; a sad truth. Those are the things that should never be taken lightly; the things that we should not fail to remember. To the countless individuals who laid down their lives so that I could freely live mine, thank you.

I'd also like to take this time to give my gratitude to the soldiers who have been severely injured while in the line of duty. There are so many men and women who are fortunate enough to make it out alive, but still need lots of help once returning home. My husband and I decided to start supporting a nonprofit organization the year before last that helps veterans and aids in their recovery when they come back from war. It feels good to know we're giving back.


A Different Direction

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not the type of blogger who feels the need to share all of my life's details with the world. If it's mundane mumbo jumbo, you can count me out. I've tried to keep you guys updated the best I can. I've tried to share the little details numerous times in the past. Catching you guys up on the little stuff just isn't for me anymore. I used to feel like I had to share about what's been happening in my life, but I don't see the point. If it's not inspiring, encouraging or informative, then I really have no desire to share it. What on earth will you all gain from knowing how my work week went or what I ate for dinner last night (I'll just save that for Instagram)? You guessed it! Absolutely nothing. Basically, you guys don't have to know everything I've been up to, just the important stuff. I'm choosing to be more selective about what I write here.

I've been blogging for 3 years now and I could slap myself for not realizing it sooner. I've finally figured out what I should be writing about as opposed to what I felt I needed to be sharing. Let's be real. No one wants to hear about my crazy work schedules or why I've been MIA all the time. I'm not in this for money and I'm definitely not in this for internet fame. I'm simply here to leave a legacy of sorts. To share my heart with all who will listen (or read in this case). I'll still share about trips that we've taken or cool things that we've done, but as far as sharing updates about life lately, that's a no-go. Life has and will continue to be busy. That's all you need to know. Anything else would just bore you and that's not something I want to do. I may continue to share my 'currently' posts from time to time, so there's that.

I do understand that I haven't even shared a post about my life lately in quite some time. However, that's what I began to type up whenever I sat down to blog earlier this evening. The same old words swirled around each paragraph, "catch-up, busy, work, crazy, time flies". I was really struggling with what I should actually share about because I felt nothing was interesting enough. Finally, I decided to pick up a paper + a pencil instead and this is what bled onto the page.

As well as not sharing life updates when I've been away for awhile (well, the boring ones at least), I have no intention of ever following a blogging schedule. Again, I've tried it in the past and it's not my cup of tea. Props to all you peeps who actually manage to keep the good content rolling out on a daily basis, but I'm not that dedicated (or disciplined). Here's my game plan: if I have something to say, I'll say it. If not, I'll remain silent instead of dishing out a bunch of fluff. I'll be focusing more on content quality rather than quantity. So, cheers to venturing in a different direction. If you've stuck around, your presence and unwavering support is appreciated. If you no longer feel like you'll enjoy reading what I have to say, feel free to unfollow. I promise that you won't hurt my feelings by doing so. It's late and I'm probably rambling now, so I'll call this a wrap.


Currently ( May )

READING • Lately I've been trying my best to stick with one book at a time instead of reading multiple. After finishing up Safe Haven and The Antelope in the Living Room, I jumped into Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen. I'm only a few chapters in, but it's really hitting home and I've gotten a lot out of it already.

WATCHING • Don't laugh, but I really like this new iZombie show on The CW. It's loosely based off of a comic book series. The main character, Olivia "Liv" Moore turns into a zombie after being attacked at a party she attended. She then starts working at a morgue in order to get her fill of brains (yum). Whenever she eats the brains of murder victims, she experiences flashbacks that give her clues to how they were killed. Sounds a bit morbid, I know. Then again, zombies are pretty grim to begin with. Besides that, I've been catching up on my guilty pleasure, Teen Mom. I've been binge-watching thanks to Hulu.

LISTENING TO • Mostly NEEDTOBREATHE (I really wish I could see them in concert next Wednesday night) + the soundtrack from The Theory of Everything. I didn't have the desire to see the movie, but I find the soundtrack to be extremely calming.

DISCOVERING • That the anxiety I've been dealing with over the past few weeks is totally avoidable. I have the ability to choose which thoughts to entertain and which thoughts to refrain from dwelling on. Our minds are like battlefields and every time a negative thought tries to invade, I have the power to make it leave. Coming to that realization has helped me cope with life + stress better. I decide what stays in my mind and I will no longer allow negativity, fear and depression to reign.

PLANNING • Our anniversary celebration. We'll both be working (together) on our actual anniversary, but I have something special all planned out once we get a free day. I'm hoping it all works out! 5 years is kind of a big deal (these days).

CRAVING • A toasted Cuban sandwich + stuffed potato ball from Coco's Sandwich Shop. Whenever we're working in the port (importing/exporting orange juice), we visit this shop regularly on account of it being right down the street. We haven't had an OJ ship in since March so I haven't had my fix. But, there's a ship coming in tomorrow, so I'll get both soon enough.

WISHING • I had a little extra money to work with at the moment. There are a handful of things I'd like to buy and some places I would love to go, but I'd rather be responsible with the money we have and use it on things we actually need.

FEELING • Expectant. I'm excited to see what the future holds for my family and I. There are big things on the horizon.

PRAYING FOR • God's guidance and peace as I'm in this season of transitioning (with work + trying to figure out the best plan for going back to school and all that jazz).