{Proud to be an American}

I always say that my blog is my happy place, and it really, truly is. I love to write. Writing is therapeutic to me, and there is something so special about getting these thoughts out of my head and off of my heart...Typing them out in my sacred place, so I can go back and read them as often as I'd like.
What's heavy on my heart today (probably heavier than it has ever been in the 15 years since it happened) is September 11th. For those who don't know me, I'm a super emotional person. And those who DO know me will totally understand when I say I've already cried about five times today just thinking about 9/11/01. Every time I watch a memorial video, hear a father tell the story of his last conversations with his sons who died (one NYPD and one NYFD), see a wife sob as she describes the phone call she got from her husband as his floor collapsed around him, watch as the last know 9/11 rescue dog is saluted as she makes her way to her final resting place...I bawl. I just can't help it, and my heart physically hurts so badly for everyone.

It is weighing so heavy on my heart this year, and I know why. Motherhood. Motherhood is a tricky, wonderful, scary, amazing thing, and it's hard to put into words how it has changed me when it comes to events such as 9/11. Although every second of that day is still so fresh on my mind, I feel like the impact of it all is hitting me even more now that I have kids than it did when we were actually living through it. Because now, I can imagine how these parents are feeling, and I can almost FEEL hurt in my heart for their loss.

On September 11, 2001, I was a college junior, glued to the TV in my dorm room in South Tower at USC, surrounded by all of my sorority sisters, one who we lost just a few weeks ago (seeing her in my 9/11 memory makes me cry, too).

Today, I'm a 35 year-old mom of two...I've matured, I've grown, I've aged, I've struggled, I've strived, I've succeeded, I've learned....I have learned so, so, so very much about life. Life is so precious, and I have found that I live each day wanting to protect my kids....Protect them from everything...The bully at school, the scary things happening in our world, the negativity plastered throughout the media, and the cruelty that has unfortunately seemed to have taken over lately.

This morning in church, my husband and I taught the children what it means to be a good Servant of God, and today and everyday, my goal is to be a good Servant of God and to teach my kids to do the same. I pray every day that I can raise my kids as wonderfully as my parents raised me, and today, I'm wishing I could snap my fingers and be on one of the amazing Army bases on which we lived with the most amazing Lieutenant Colonel Dad there has ever been...I wish my kids could truly experience it like I did, but thank God they have all of us to instill in them the values, morals, and respect that I learned growing up. My dad has always said if we want to see change, we have to stand up for what we believe in.

So today, I'm flying our flag so high, I'm standing at attention and placing my hand over my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, I'm praying with my kids, and I'm playing God Bless the USA as many times as I need to.

Here are some of the 9/11 videos that touched my heart:

** One last thing...I'm over the NFL and all those players who feel so entitled to turn their backs on our flag. Let me tell you something...If you turn your back on our flag, you are turning your back on this great nation that gives you the right to play that sport for millions of dollars. You are turning your back on the service men and women who are fighting a war to protect your freedoms, you are turning your back on the policemen, the firefighters, all who protect our streets every day, and you are turning your back on all those before you who paved the way. So, until the NFL starts teaching some RESPECT AND HONOR of the flag and our great nation to these players, I'll be happily boycotting.

God Bless America,

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