"Land That I Love" {With a Late Mother's Day Hike}

The Memorial observance ceremony began with the choir singing each branch of the military's anthem. So fun to hear. Then I was caught by surprise when they began to sing "God Bless America." My eyes just started welling up behind my sunglasses. It seems to have been so long since I have heard this prayer for our country sung openly and publicly. It brought back many fond memories from elementary school years and sentimental feelings about our land.

It was a joy to celebrate with the community the brave, passionate ones that have given and do give so much of themselves to protect us and keep us from harm. We are undeniably fortunate to live in America. May our lives, our living make their sacrifices count.

This year, Mother's Day was a bit drizzly and cool; so we postponed my wish for a hike. Then we postponed again and again because of more drizzly or crazy-windy weekend weather. Finally, Memorial Day was absolutely perfect for our Mother's Day hike.

{Mother's Day 2012, the best of many attempts}
Beautiful Castlewood Canyon was our destination. We brought a picnic, then took off to hike as far as the kids had strength.

Round trip, we took on the trails for close to an hour and a half enjoying a very leisurely pace and greeting many, many people along the way. I had never seen Castlewood so packed and full of smiles.

The rest of the day included just relaxing at home, breaking from the sun, playing a serious game of Checkers and Operation,...

...finishing off a massive bowl of homemade "Cracker Jacks"--it wasn't pretty, but it was good. Also, the kids confettied up the yard and each other with half of our supply of cascarones. (We will save the other half to confetti cousins when they get back from their vacation very soon.)

Our special find of the weekend was new wheels for AD at just over $10. He (and his sisters) have been on it everyday since. I think we'll get our money's worth on this one.

God, bless America...
Stand beside her, and guide her
thru the night with a light from above.