Friday, November 11, 2011

One of the Few, the Proud...

Me:  He really said that to you?

My Husband:  Yeah.  He asked me if I had ever killed anyone.  

Me:  What did you do?

My Husband:  I just shook my head.  Told him it was a screwed up thing to do.

It's just not what you talk about.  It's just not what you say.  Why didn't this guy get it?  This guy has romanticized being a Marine.  One of the few.  One of the proud.  He wishes he were one.  That's why he'd say something that stupid, that thoughtless, that  foolish.  

A Marine.  

My husband is a Marine.  Proud.  Tall.  One of the few.  Stood guard on the Panama Canal.  Veteran of the first Gulf War.  Fought.  Protected.  Saved.  

He and his Marine buddies get together every few years.  Share news on Facebook.  Rejoice.  Reflect.  Recalling the memories.  It's difficult to keep pace with the conversations.  The jargon. The nicknames.  The camaraderie. It's unspoken and almost impenetrable.  You can tell they survived together, risked together, grew into men together.  It's an honor to be in their company.  To know that dedication.  That bravery.  That truth.  

I'm so proud of my husband.  His honor.  His courage.  He risked his life for our country, our freedoms, our virtues.  

Just don't ever, ever, ever asked if he has killed anyone.  It's a really screwed up thing to do.  

Happy Marine Corps birthday!  (yesterday)

And, Happy Veteran's Day!  

Today, more than ever, I honor you...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gratitude--Building a Thanksgiving Tree

the empty gratitude tree branches

Start with a branch.

I guess you can say that life can always be that simple.  To simply start with a branch.  But that's really all you need.
A gratitude tree.
A Thanksgiving Tree.
A mindset.  A tradition.  A memory.

It is important to me to build family traditions.  I didn't have many growing up, (unless you count family dysfunction as one?) so I always knew it would be a priority of mine around the holidays.  It is such a festive time of year, and well, I'm crafty, so it gets more of those creative energies going.

When I stumbled upon this idea a few years ago, I knew it would be one of our traditions.  With our relocation, this is the first year we are attempting it, and I am very excited and feel very blessed to have the opportunity to share it here.

The idea is simple.  A way to practice gratitude.  To honor Thanksgiving.

Build a gratitude tree.

bare tree (tree branch, construction paper/felt cut out, lighted twigs)
leaves (artificial garland leaves, construction paper/felt cut out)
adhesive (glue gun, super glue, tape, wire, etc)
sharpie pen
other decorator pieces (optional)

Over the month of November, take a moment to write down, on the leaves, at least one thing that you are grateful for each day.   
Attach the leaves onto the tree.

By the Thanksgiving holiday, you have a tree full of gratitude leaves.  Memories to look back on, to remember, to cherish.  A different mindset as you approach the busy holiday season.

So, here is our beginning...

Our chosen decor and accent pieces:

Our gratitude leaves:

The base of the tree branch is anchored with this Angel, and the decor.

 And, this, is the true beginnings of our Gratitude Thanksgiving Tree:  

All we have to do now is be attach our leaves...and to enjoy.

Won't you all join us and build your own Gratitude Thanksgiving Trees?  Be sure to share your pictures on Embracing This Moment's facebook page.