Posts Tagged With: celebrations

On being a citizen

* Originally posted July 3, 2013.

* * *

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote? Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from this grateful citizen.

**This is my 12th Independence Day as a new citizen. I’ll celebrate the holiday with flair, independently, of course!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

That feeling ~ New Year’s 2019

December 31, 2019 ~ I woke to a darkened house, blanketed in quiet from the snow swirling down.  It’s New Year’s Eve ~ and here we are on the cusp of a new month, a new year, a new decade.

Just like that.

When asked my resolutions for 2020 and I answered quickly – it’s simple, really. All I have to do is look back at the past 11 days off,  and therein lives my answer.

In 2020 I’ll try my best to recreate that ~

  1. That feeling, as winter winds roar outside the windows and you lift your head up from reading for 4 hours straight, plowing through magazines and books without a care or a distraction, a deadline or a phone call.
  2. That feeling, stretching and waking gently, without the glaring jolt of an alarm.
  3. That feeling, when you listen to your body and move it a little more, haul the boxes and work up a sweat taking down and packing up and catch yourself smiling because it’s only 9:30 a.m. and you’ve been up for 3 hours already.
  4. That feeling, between two major holidays, when you’re not sure which day it is – is it a work day? is it a week day?   And you have to consult the calendar to confirm.  And laugh about it.
  5. That feeling when your sustenance consists of coffee, bacon, eggs, cheese, pickles and clementines.

Nope, no New Year/New You for me. Not this year. I’m gonna focus on finding more of that feeling denoted above.

Your turn:

  1. How are you ringing in the new year?
  2. Do you resolve to do things differently?
  3. Do you want more of what you already have?

 

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” —Shauna Niequist

Happy * New * Year *

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why I ate the cake

My birthday’s come & gone. What lingers are the kind wishes, the sweet notes, the hilarious cards and the thoughtful presents.

Hubbs hosted a party for family & friends; some showed, a few didn’t.   But the ones who did came to have fun and boy was it ever fun!  We visited, we laughed, we teared up and we sang along. We ate, we drank, and we danced till our feet were sore and our faces hurt from laughing.

We enjoyed a meal together and later, there was cake. A huge cake. The kind of cake I like, the kind with the whipped frosting that’s more creamy than it is sweet.   The kind of cake the old guys giggled over and ladies were heard saying “oh I really shouldn’t” as they did.  The one that serves 90 but was decimated by 50.

the very big cake

the very big cake

I ate the cake because even though I don’t do that every day I’ve also grown to realize there are times in life when we should just stop all the fussin’ and enjoy what’s right in front of us.

Would you agree?

A slice of cake never made anyone fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what is served on the happiest days of your life.” ― Jeanne Ray, Eat Cake

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Happy Birthday, Amer-wica!!

that's me & our boys at my citizenship party; the one who did the cheering is in white.

That’s what our 4 year old shouted during a pause in the Fireworks that year.  The crowd responded with a collective, “aww” after hearing his squeaky little voice express his heartfelt sincerity.

There we were, the four of us, taking in the Ft. Bend County 4th of July festivities in Sugarland, Texas.  Cotton candy, snow cones, BBQ pork, turkey legs, pickles and crowds.  June bugs, carnival rides, and country music blaring in the background.  Hot summer sun, slices of watermelon and try-your-luck-here games of chance and skill.  Spreading a blanket out over the dusty ground, passing the bug spray, and leaning back to watch the dazzling fireworks fill the sky. Pure summer bliss.

I’ve always loved our holidays, but Independence Day might be my favorite.  Why?  Because I’m a new citizen; in May, 2008, I stood with 78 other individuals from 34 different countries to take my Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

image from photos.igougo.com

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

I’m a new citizen and today is Independence Day.

A day of parades and tributes, picnics and boat rides. A day for family, for visiting, for cheering and for reflection.  A day off work for many, and a day at work for some (thank you to our military, police, fire, rescue and other “essential” workers who keep us all safe).   It’s a day to slather on the sunscreen and take in a ball game,  dish up some potato salad and enjoy a cold drink and later, spread out the blankets and camp chairs to take in the fireworks.  It’s a day to remember that there are still many around the world who do not have the basic freedoms Americans enjoy every day.

It’s a day for gratitude.

I’m a new citizen; God Bless America … my home, sweet home.

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

You say it’s your birthday …

This is how old I feel today (that's me in about grade 4); an emjayandthem photo

and it is! It’s my birthday today! Whee!

And, at 48, I still love birthdays.  Mine & everyone else’s!

I know, I know. It seems childish but .. isn’t that the best part?

Last night, our youngest boy asked, “So Mom, when you’re older, do you still get excited about birthdays?” And I thought for a second, laughed and replied, “Of course!”   He countered with “Yeah that phone’s gonna ring all night long!”

And is that a bad thing?

I think not.

We went on to speculate how sad it would be to be all alone, to have no one who remembered, or cared enough to say so. The look on his face told me he couldn’t agree more.

Growing up, birthdays were a time to gather the family, have a wienie roast, a handful of chips, maybe a pop, and a big slab of home-made cake with iced cream on top.  Having a summer birthday meant a party near the end of school (we didn’t finish up until around now at my Canadian school).  It meant longer days and nice weather and Grandma and Grandpa visiting, he in a buttoned down shirt and she in a pretty pantsuit and jewelry. It meant Aunts and Uncles, cousins and friends and a $5 spot in a card. It meant three legged races, running through the sprinkler and opening presents wrapped in tissue paper.

You say it’s your birthday … and it is. 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

So .. tell me…

Categories: Friendship, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Random, Share, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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Renee Johnson Writes

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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