Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Bloodiest Day of the Civil War Remembered

Another battle remembered. 150 years ago the battle of Antietam was fought which has been marked as the bloodiest day of the civil war. More men were wounded/died in this single day battle than in any other battle. It was crucial for the north to win this fight as it became a turnign point politically for Lincoln. President Lincoln needed a Union victory to be able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The price was heavy for both armies but the Union was able to win this battle.

My roommate AnnaLisa and friend Anne came with me to watch this historic event be reenacted. It was a beautiful day out. The temperature was equal to how it was during the battle 150 years ago. We were able to walk around the living history camp where there were musicians playing, Doctors showing us what field hospitals were like (please don't take me to a field hospital if I'm injured), naval displays, Generals tents, I even saw Lincoln talking to the Sanitary Commission.

We spent some time shopping in the Suttlery which is a tent that carries goods. They were selling clothing, jewelry, guns, dolls, quilts, dishes, anything that you would have found during the Civil War days or related to the civil war. We bought ourselves snoods to help pull our hair up in Civil War fashion.

Time for the battle to begin. We watched the Union and Confederate armies come together to reenact the fighting that occured at the Sunken Road. After the battle this has been known as the fighting at bloody lane. The Confederates held their stand in Sunken road but after 4 advances from the Union Army the Confederates had to retreat leaving behind piles of men. The did not seem so sunken after the battle as the pile of bodies filled the sunken road to become almost level.

Watching the battle be reenacted, I could envision the bravery of the men who fought here and was moved to almost tears. I have not been asked to stand up and fight like these men were but I fully appreciate the sacrifice they gave. I am very proud of my Civil War heritage and the blessing it is to live in America where all mens freedoms have been fought for so bravely. Thank you to all you brave soldiers both past and present.

Bull Run 150

150 Years ago young men marched through the woods and fields of a quiet country side just a little over 20 miles outside of DC. Those brave young men bravely fought in late summer heat for what they believed in. For some it was country, others it was honor, many joined looking for adventure.Whatever the reason both armies fought bravely and I love going to battlefields and remembering those who fought there for a cause they believed in. I have family that served on both sides so I'm a lover of all.

The Second Battle of Bull Run (if your from the North) or Second Battle of Manassas (if your from the South) happened almost exactly one year apart from each other in the same place. While the first battle was attracted people from DC to come and watch with picnic baskets as a great entertainment, the second battle was not viewed in the same way. By this time it became obvious that this was a war that was not going away soon. There were no spectators this time that came to watch the fighting.

I was fortunate enough to spend the day walking around with my roommate AnnaLisa who had never been to visit this battlefield before. The weather was gorgeous. Just a beautiful day for a stroll around.

This is something cool. 150 years ago two soldiers from a NY regiment were taken to this stone home with injuries. They carved their names into the floorboards to say that they were there. They dated this Aug. 30th. They moved out a few days later but I love how their legacy lives in the walls of this home. It tells of young men longing for home and the hope that they will be remembered for what they did. Well let me assure you Eugene P. Geer and Charles I. Brehm, you are remembered 150 years later and will continue to be remembered in our hearts. Well done soldiers! Well done.

This is one of my favorite places to go in Manassas. The old stone bridge which the Union army used to leave Manassas. It had been burned down during the retreat and has been rebuilt after the war. Its quiet, peaceful, and full of stories to be shared.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Road that Leads to the Temple

I have been so completely occupied at work lately. I've been spending anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a day working on this project and it is wearing me out. I wasn't able to work at the temple last week because I had so much work to do I couldn't take off. I felt horrible about having to miss the temple as I look forward to being there every week. Being in the temple is a huge blessing in my life.

I didn't think I was going to be able to work this week either which really had me upset. I felt like I was putting work before my love of the Lord. Every Sunday I'm supposed to let our shift leader know if I will be working that week. I didn't want to have to say I couldn't go this week again but I just couldn't see me being able to take off that evening. So much work to do and I was supposed to have a review downtown that I was completely stressed about.

I was so completely nervous about this review this week. It was keeping me up at night and it was all I could think about.

I truly believe now that Heavenly Father watches out for His children and will make things work out. He knew that I wanted to be in the temple and helped to make it happen. First the meeting on Wednesday was cancelled. Then, I was able to get as much of the work done as I could. I was able to contact my shift leader at the temple and they were short workers so I was able to go to the temple. I loved being in the temple with my ward and serving my Heavenly Father.

Well the review today went better than expected. Like 100 times better. I was far more prepared than expected as I was taking a wild guess at to what the client wanted (and they didn't even know what they wanted). I cannot explain how grateful I am that this worked out so well.

I know that Heavenly Father made this happen so that I could go to the temple and have a great review at work. As was said in our prayer meeting last night "If you are not on the road that leads to the temple, change roads."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beautiful Day

Today was a gorgeous day. I love that fall is starting to peak its head in because the weather is absolutely amazing! Megan Arnett and I couldn't stand being inside today so we made our way to the C&O Canal to walk along the Potomac River. The Great Falls are beautiful from this side of the river and it was a perfect day to go for a little nature walk.

We now have a spot that we call our spot along the trail. When we come here together we like to sit here on this ledge and talk. We have kind of deemed it our spot.

 While we were sitting there on this side of the river we were watching these two hikers trying to scale right along the river bed the wall. We could the trail they were headed towards and knew what they were getting themselves into. At certain points we were saying they need to go up higher or lower. We compared us in a way being to leaders or God looking down and seeing us in our lives and the paths we are going. He wants to yell down at us and tell us how to get back and warn us of danger. Instead, He allows us to try it on our own so we can make our own decisions. When we need to get direction from Him there are ways for us to hear Him. Kind of an interesting thought. 

I love spending time with Megan. We have such a good time together and I love our Sunday strolls.  
Megans favorite thing to do is take the Mormon Pose Picture.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Medieval Times

I finally made it to a Renaissance Festival. This weekend I went with my good friends Lynn and Jessica to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. It was a lot of fun. People dressed in costumes all over the place. The theme this year was a wedding of the kings daughter.

We went to see the sword swallower. Oh my gosh that was so gross. I have no idea how he can have so much control of your throat muscles to be able to put something 2 feet long down your esophagus.

We then went and watched an archery tournament where we learned all about how they would compete like Robin Hood.

Then we went to see a jousting tournament. That looks really hard and I'm glad that I don't ever have to do something like that. I don't think that the armor they wear really helps them from getting hurt all that much. Go Knights Tale!

When then went to hear the Rogue's perform who are a pretty well known Celtic group that sound amazing. Doug, the guy playing the bagpipes looks super cute and the kilt really helps too. No ring either :)

Oh Hamlet! We went to watch Shakespeare's Scum who were able to perform Hamlet in under 20 minutes. It was pretty amazing and quite funny.

Only Lynn could get me to wear a sign that says my crime is Bawd. I was told to look expensive in here.

So I at my way through the festival. No lie. I ate chocolate dipped cheesecake, a croissant sundae, fried macaroni and cheese, the huntsman baked potato (which had turkey, cheese and butter on top), a dreamsickle smoothie, suicide chocolate cake. Am I forgetting something? And the thing is there was so much more I could have eaten. I felt like I could have been a Gilmore Girl at this festival. So good.

Thanks Lynn and Jessica for coming with me this week for my first Renn Festival experience. It was a great time and I had a blast.

Hey Batter, Batter, Batter

Well my man Bryce Harper has done it again. Him and the rest of the Nationals Team. They played an amazing game against the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday night. I have to admit I was a little bit conflicted as to who to cheer for in the stands but when its a home game for the Nationals I need to cheer for them. I did wear my St. Louis Cardinals hat that my sister bought me last year since I so rarely get to wear it. But I also made sure I wore my Nationals shirt. Such a conundrum but let's face it. I am probably more of a Nats girl now than I am a St. Louis fan.

The Nationals did not disappoint me that's for sure. In the first inning, Bryce Harper helped to get the Nationals 2 runs. I have to say they Nationals looked pretty good out there. I don't know what the Cardinals were playing but it didn't look like baseball. The Nationals ended with a fabulous 10-0 win over the Cardinals. Great job Nationals! They have a real shot at winning the whole Championship this year. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Girl Power Rocks!

I love Kelly Clarkson. Whenever I need a pick me up with some major girl power in it I pull out my Kelly Clarkson music. With songs like Miss Independent, Breakaway, Stronger, My Life Would Suck Without You, Darkside, I mean my goodness, I get all powered up inside. So I was pretty excited when I found out she was going to be performing with the Fray at the Jiffy Lube Stadium. The strong girl inside of me just leaps out and has to dance and sing with her. Thank goodness I was able to find someone to go with me.

I am not ashamed to admit that I was on my feet the entire time with my arms waving in the air, singing along to some of my favorite songs with Kelly. I love how she is a real woman who has curves and is comfortable with who she is in her own skin. Plus she has an amazing vocal range.

She performed songs from every one of her albums including some that were not her songs. For example, I love that she performed Scrubs by TLC. Classic girl power song.

I also loved that she performed a duet with the lead from the Fray. Melts my heart.

Yes I may have lost my voice by the end of the night but I loved every minute of the concert and was so sad it had to end. Rock on Kelly. All the more power to you.

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes til' I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish, Take a chance
Make a change, And breakaway.
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget all the ones that I loved
I'll take a risk, Take a chance
Make a change, And breakaway.

 What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller. Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone. 

Everybody's got a darkside, can you love me? Can you love mine?

But Since U Been Gone
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get
What I want
Since U Been Gone

If I can't have you then I don't want anyone, If I can't have you then all the damage has been done.
I will not make, The same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself, 'Cause my heart so much misery

I will not break... I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk. Because of you, I learned to play on the safe side, So I don't get hurt

Because of you, I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you, I am afraid.

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.

 Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes