Friday, July 4, 2014

Looking Mighty Fine USA...Not a Day Over 237

Happy 238th Birthday America!!

So today's post is supposed to be all things America!  I have decided to give you a little summary of my holiday and a list of the things I love about America.

Here goes!

We always go to a parade in a local town.  It looks like my childhood :)  We have been going for 23 years!  Every year I hunt down the SnoCone man (dodge the balloon man) and feast on the most overpriced cup of shaved ice and sugar...I give you The SnoCone!

Hoooow Amazing Does This Look?!  
It was perfect if you're wondering!  We met up with my cousins and had a blast watching the parade!  It's so cool to see them get as excited as I was when I was their age!  Did I mention that this parade involves people throwing candy?!  Yup!  My little cousins followed in this girl's footsteps and chased down all the candy!  It is after all the older cousin's job to teach the little cousins the important things in don't let ANYBODY take your candy ;)

Get that candy!!

After the parade we went to my cousin's in-laws and had lunch.  It was fabulous as always.

Family selfie <3

When we left we came home and chillaxed for a bit.  Then we had some din din and watched the Phils!  Tomorrow we're going to see the Philly fireworks!  Can't wait!

Red, White, and Blue (and SnoCone)

Tomorrow we have another family party and I have tutoring and Pilates (yay) and running.

Now for why I love America!

I love my country tis of thee b-e-c-a-u-s-e

1.) All of our freedoms!  I love that I have the freedom to become whatever I want to be.  I love that I have the freedom to have an education.  I love that I have the freedom to paint my toe nails (maybe this is shallow, but it's still something that is denied to others).  I love that I can speak my mind without fear or imprisonment.  I love that I can practice my faith openly and freely.  I love that I can blog about whatever I want.  I love that I can be an active participant in my government.

PInk Jeep!?  Favorite part of the parade every year!

2.) The blending of cultures!  As I was walking around the parade today I took a minute to soak it all in.  There were people from every nationality, race, way of life, and lifestyle all watching this parade to celebrate America.  I love food, dancing, art, literature, and music.  All of these things are an amalgam of different cultures.  I love how in America you get any kind of food any time of day!  I love that I can listen to Latin music in Zumba, flip on country on the ride home, and then hear traditional European style music in church.  On the road my church is established, there is also a mosque and two different faiths' churches.  In other countries this wouldn't be allowed.  So I'm going to raise some Baklava and thank our founding fathers for their genius to blend cultures.

Look at all the happy people!

3.) I love our military and that we have people who are willing to fight for our freedoms!  My grandfather was a Captain in the USAF and we've always been a patriotic family.  I also feel qualified (as a 1.5 time military ex-girlfriend) to say that we have not only the best military but the hottest military.  Can I get an Amen for Navy Dress Mess?!

4.) We will start a U-S-A chant wherever appropriate or inappropriate!  I love the pride every American feels.  I go to a lot of country concerts (Jason and Luke in less than a month!) and without fail, every concert will include a fan-started U-S-A chant.  Everyone and I mean all 20,000 of us join in.  I don't think any other country can say that!  Not only do they not have a cool 3 letter chant that works easily with their country's name, but they don't have the kind of abrasively proud fan base.  People always criticize Americans as being too loud, too arrogant, too stupid...but you know what?  I'll take all of those things over being unpatriotic.  U-S-A-U-S-A-U-S-A!

The Mummers!  A Philly tradition<3

5.)  I love the social movements in America!  This goes back to number 1.  I love that we have people who in these tough economic times are willing to take a day off from work to protest something they believe in.  That to me is what being an American really is--speaking your mind and standing up for what yo believe in.

6.)  I love that we educate all people.  As a special education teacher, I know my students are deserving of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE); however, this is not true in all countries.  The things other countries do to people with disabilities is horrifying.  I'm proud to live in a country that educates everyone.

7.)  American culture!  Some people say America is devoid of culture, but I don't believe that to be true.    Give us a break, we're only 238 years young!  We don't have castles that date back to the 900s!  When I think of American culture I think of a Melting Pot (no, not theeeeee Melting Pot aka one of my fave places of all time) but a big, beautiful, boisterous melting pot where all the cultures blend together to become a super culture.  I love American food (potato salad I'm looking squarely at you big boy!), American music (herrro derr Carrie Underwood), American art (Georgia O'Keefe), and I love American movies.  I think we have a great culture.  Sure we're a little louder than the rest of the world but I'll take loud any day!

8.)  BASEBALL!  I love baseball!  I love how it's America's Pastime.  I love the food (Amen to Chickie's and Pete's!), the people (we can yell and scream at total strangers aka the players at 1 pm.), I love the clothes, hats, foam fingers.  All of it!  Come on Phils pull ahead of the Pirates!

9.)  I love the way Americans help each other out.  I was 10 years old when September 11th happened and I remember that on September 12th there was an American flag flying proudly from every flag post at every house in every town in every state.  I've heard it said that when tragedy strikes, don't look at the people running out, but look for the people running in.  Americans all over the world ran in.  We ran in by wearing red, white, and blue every day for months, we ran in by donating food, blankets, money, time, and energy to the survivors.  We ran in by being proud and acting as Americans always do.  We had to believe and we did believe.  We continued to live our lives openly and in the American way.  People became nicer.  Everyone stopped to smell the roses.  Everyone had a renewal of American pride.  It was a beautiful juxtaposition to the events of only one day before.

10.)  American history!  We are a complex country my friends.  But it makes for one fascinating study!  Thank you America for giving me something to read, research, and write about all throughout my 4 years of college and beyond.

I love you America!  Stay U!  Get it?  U like USA?  Cheesy?  Corny?  Toomuchnotenough?

Here are some of my favorite patriotic jams!  Don't we all love patriotic jams?!  They sound extra good on 4th of July!

But now, he's wrapped around her finger
She's the center of his whole world
And his heart belongs to that sweet, little, beautiful, wonderful, perfect

-Carrie Underwood All American Girl

And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free and I won't forget the ones who died who gave that right to me.
-Lee Greenwood God Bless the USA

Well, she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn't help thinkin'
That there was a little more to life somewhere else
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to

-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, American Girl

I thank God for my life, for the stars and stripes, may freedom forever fly, let it ring.  Salute the ones who died, the ones who gave their life, so we don't have to sacrifice the things we love
-ZBB Chicken Fried



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