As a child, every Memorial Day I celebrated with my parents and sisters was the same.  My Dad, who had immigrated from Portugal as a child, would get up early and proudly hang the American flag outside our house.  Becoming an American citizen as a 12 year old gave him deep appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made for our country and he openly shared how blessed he felt to be an American.  Mom and Dad would always make a big breakfast, with Dad’s famous breakfast potatoes being the highlight of the meal.  The rest of the day would be spent lazily by the pool, the smell of sweet jasmine in the air, with a barbecued dinner to follow.

As an adult, I spent the first 5 years of my marriage in the military lifestyle.  Mark was a Nuclear Engineer on the USS Pittsburgh (a Naval submarine) and his submarine was the first to shoot missiles from the Red Sea when President Bush declared war shortly after 9/11.  Mark and I spent a lot of time apart our first few years of marriage as he served our country.  I am so proud of his 9 year service and so proud of all those who serve our country.  I am especially grateful to those who make the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to sustain our freedom.
Oh….and I just had to….a few old school pics of Mark and I from his Navy days. :)  The top two were taken when we were dating, 2001. The bottom was taken after we were married, 2002, when Mark returned from his first deployment (which he left for a month after we got married).  So happy those days are behind us.  Although great memories were made, I made a terrible “Navy wife”.  I hated being away from him!
Happy Memorial Day!!