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Happy 4th of July

July 4, 2010

Seven years ago today I came home.  I had been living and working in Moscow for a year and on the 4th of July I left my Russian adventure behind and came back to the States.  Just like any adventure there were some wonderful amazing experiences and some life changing difficult ones.  My year abroad had ended much much worse than it had started.  I came home alone and afraid.  Unsure of my future.  (Without going into details, don’t assume it was a WORST case scenario.  But at the time I was totally overwhelmed.  Just thought I’d be clear.)  And on July 4th 2003, as I flew into New York City, and over the Statue of Liberty I started to cry.

[ image by jmd41280 on flickr ]

I still had hours before I’d be all the way home.  But I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of HOME that flooded my heart that afternoon.  It was already a bright day, but I finally felt sunlight breaking through the clouds that had been hovering over me.   I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, which was replaced by an overwhelming sense of freedom, love and peace.   I am so thankful for all the men and women and their families who have sacrificed in ways I can’t imagine to preserve those freedoms for me and my family.  My daughter.  I know words aren’t enough, but Thank You.

*     *     *     *     *

On a lighter note…. would you check out this cake!  It was made up and baked and photographed by a seventeen year old in Seattle last year.

[ more pics and how to from Elissa (age 17!) here ]

I know.  I am dying.  It beats the heck out of the cupcakes I’m going to make.  But next year… I think next year I’ll try it. (And I think 17 and Baking might be my new favorite food blog.)

However you celebrate your Sunday, and whatever place you call home, I hope that you take a moment to think about what you are truly grateful for.  Family.  Love.  Freedom.  Home.  My mom. (Well, YOUR Mom.)  Walking outside without your passport and visa strapped to your leg.  Your towel soft and warm from the dryer.  (I didn’t have a clothes dryer in Russia.  And during that cold cold winter my clothes would take three or more days to drip dry.  And then they were crunchy.  And cold.  Cold and crunchy socks/towels/underwear is SOOO not cool.) And then when you are done, go see if you can make something as cool as this guy.

[ image found via weheartit ]

My last attempts at sparkler light painting ended in a very sloppy looking mash of letters and a psycho smiley face.  I clearly need more work.  Happy 4th to you!

*Also, I’d like to point out that I still cherish the time spent in Moscow, the friends I made, the people I met and the incredible experiences I had.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Except for that whole bit about washing my jeans by hand and the missing dryer.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Liz Merrell permalink
    July 4, 2010 12:20 pm

    I felt the same way when I came home from a year in the Netherlands. I wanted to kiss the ground! It was like an overwhelming desire! But, of course, not cool, so I didn’t, but I couldn’t believe that just being in a place could evoke such emotion! I love America!

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