Friday, July 20, 2012

Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg. A place where thousands died. And once again as we stepped out of the van onto that ground. the very same ground that fathers, brothers, uncles, sons were killed. I was overwhelmed by the sacrifice. Men died for what they believed in. And being a girl I put myself in the shoes of a southern girl...what it would have been like to send my brothers off knowing that the chances of them return were slim at best?

We meandered through the museum, some spending more time than others reading the plaques. I do like history, but I can only read and look at so much...and some of our group took their dear sweet time reading. haha. but it was good. However, there was one section that especially caught my attention. Off by itself in a corner were glass cases containing hand written notes; it was entitled "Letters Home."

I poured over the letters. Some were so worn that they couldn't be deciphered. Others were written with such a beautiful script that I couldn't make it out. Thankfully, beside the original copy there were printed copies. Notes from fathers to their little boys, asking them to be strong and carry on. Men writing home to their sweethearts, urging them not to worry. Women keeping their husbands updated on the status of their homes. It was so real and so unhistory-bookish. Forbidden tears slipped down my cheeks as I read a letter written by girl to her special man; her hero, who she would never see again. 

The subject of a tour guide was debated and after a quick discussion, my mother's vote won out. He was hired. And a better decision was never made. We picked him up and he hopped into the drivers seat and proceeded to give us a 2 1/2 hour tour all over the grounds and battlefields. He would point out the different regiment monuments by name all along the way--we were highly impressed.

Frequent stops were made to get a closer view of a monument or particular field. And he would always point out where exactly we were to get us re-oriented. History came alive from this man as he recounted tales and stories from both the North and South. He knew the little details about the general/soldiers lives that made them seem like real men, not just statues and people you read about.

Monument for the 20th Maine--lead by Laurence Chamberlain

We strode along the same path that Chamberlain and his men stood and took their stand. We walked up Pickett's charge. The very route that such brave men ran across. And our tour guide {and I can't remember his name} continued to give us details that made it so real. The amount of food, horses, gunsmoke, ammunition...etc.

Each of the three days that were fought at Gettysburg were carefully laid out in detail for us to hear, see and remember. By the end of the day my head was swimming with so much information. And I felt fully versed in the intricacies of that battle. 

My father has always been passionate about the Civil War, and Gettysburg in particular and so to finally come here with the family fulfilled a long-time dream of his.

The boys!

We were in the fields/museum from when they opened at 9am to when they closed at 10pm. So torwards the end some of us got a little 

"The LORD is my light and my salvation-- 
whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life--
 of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:1

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bloom Bunch

Hamburgers. Fresh lettuce from the garden. A beautiful summer evening. Volleyball.

What else could you want/need?

I've been trying to get these people {The Bloom's} to move to NE. It would be so much easier to stay connected and in touch if they weren't half the nation away.

Gotta love the facial expressions in volleyball.


Sometimes when you meet a person there is an instant connection and you just know that you'll become good friends...right away. That's what happened with Kristina and I. We worked one day together and found that we had so much in common. I was anxious to have her meet my sister and hoped that they would get along well!

When I was living out in VA I spent some time with her family. Her little brothers made me laugh and reminded me so much of my own. And I'm not sure if they helped or made missing my family worse. :)

But we had a fabulous evening of fellowship...and would love to return the favor here in NE *hint, hint*

Thank you so much, Blooms, for the wonderful evening!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Warrior Dash

It was hot. It was tough. It was muddy. It was fun.

This picture was taken before the race...

...this was taken after the race.

Yes, I do realize that my bro here looks "clean" compared to me. But you do have to understand that he came through the finish line a substantial time before me...and he dumped water on himself {l'il stinker}.

Emile and I were running partners! Doing something with a friend makes the fun that much better:) She stuck with me, even though I think I slowed her down a bit.

The Warrior Dash is a mud/obsticle run. So in addition to running a 5k you also climb over old cars, step/run your way through tires, climb ropes/rope ladders, crawl under barbed wire...and my personal favorite...jump over fire and swim through a mud pit. :P It was crazy and fun. The only thing was that our wave was at 3:30 in the afternoon, right in the the dead heat. But instead of making excuses I'll just leave you to imagine what it would have been like.

And just to brag on my brothers real quick I will add that they placed 1st and 2nd in our wave of 500 people. And Phillip got 5th overall, and 3rd in his age group, there were 7,700 people that participated. Yeah, my bros are amazing that way! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

Texting. Hmm. Interesting technology. It has it's ups and downs. But here's a definate up...
sending random messages to unsuspecting friends:)
{granted most my friends are probably not "unsuspecting" anymore ;)}

So right now I thought I'd let ya'll in on some good 'ole Sunday afternoon randomness.  

There are two things that I want to learn how to do;
a handspring.
raise one eyebrow.

Why does getting covered in mud sometimes seem just the perfect thing to do?

New favorite quote of the month;
"Wow! That guy in those skinny jeans looks super manly." says no one ever

If only there was something that could squish and widden the hips at any given moment...depending on the skirt that I wish to fit into...just sayin'

I think faster than my phone. It's another reason why my want for an iPhone has now become a need.

Sometimes I wish I was a fish. Sometimes I wish I was a bird. But in the end I'm so glad I'm human!

Have a lovely rest of your Sunday!

Oh, the picture up there? With my brother.  It's just one that makes me smile. For no given reason. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Love a beautiful thing.

It was a beautiful day.

Two became one.

It was a memorable day.

Lots of pictures were taken.

It was a happy day.

I have a new sister.

It was a day to cherish and remember. forever.

Arlington Cemetary

 A place of valor. A place of honor. A place of rememberance.

 Words can't describe what went on in my heart as I stepped through the entrance to these sacred hills, where thousands of hero's rest. And this wouldn't be the last time I experienced emotion like this. Some of the very reasons we planned this trip were to visit Arlington, Gettysburg and other historical grounds. It was sobering, but very good.

We also just "happened" to be in the cemetary on it's 150th birthday. To honor that special day they had 100 buglers stationed admidst the grounds, and when the clock struck twelve the hills sang with the mornful call of Taps. It was a reflective moment.



With no time commitments, places to be or schedules to follow it was quite refreshing to wander throughout the grounds and enjoy each others company. This was our first stop in DC and we spent the majority of our morning here. And let me tell ya folks, nothing can replace time/talks spent with family.

{Joe was not able to make this trip east...and his presence was sorely missed. And in lieu of the busy schedule that we planned for the weekend Bethany [and of course Arianna] opted to sit out on DC so she could enjoy other sites not so frequently visited.}


To those who gave...thank you!