Wreaths, Holiday Festival and a National Christmas Tree

So, the time of year of traditions has arrived, and we welcomed the season in a big way yesterday.  As I previously mentioned, we started our Saturday morning off bright and early and headed down to Arlington to do the annual wreath laying.  This year, we brought my sister/brother in law, Linds and Kevin, so it was great to have more people!  We also had my uncle Mike’s side of the family join us, so we were quite the crowd.

We all gathered at Ft. Myer and made our way into the cemetery on foot where we found the first 18-wheeler filled with wreaths.  The driver who had driven the truck all the way from Maine was incredibly nice, and my aunt got to talking with him and we learned that he lost his son who was serving in Iraq in 2006.  He said it was an honor to be able to drive a truck in memory of his son and it was incredible to hear him talk with such proudness.  I remembered the date he said his son died (for some reason,the way he said it stuck with me “4/06 of 2006”) so I looked him up when I got home to find out his story.  After reading how young he was and how he died, it made the wreath laying all the more important and I’m so glad we participated.

The gang!

Helicopter flyover.

Kevin and dad handing out wreaths.

Aunt Brenda laying a wreath.

Lindsay and a wreath.

Once we finished our section, we split off from the big group and made our way throughout the cemetary to lay wreaths on my friends dads grave and my dads friends grave.  We had a nice walk, and it was nice to see all of the other volunteers out and about paying their respects.  Here was our path:

We took this picture at stop #2:

Linds, Dad, me, Chris and Kev honoring David Trundy.

…and this picture from stop #3:

Dad remembering Kip Taylor.

The wreaths were a great way to start the morning, especially since we had a holiday concert later in the night to look forward to.

My uncle hosted “Pershings Own Holiday Festival” at D.A.R Constitution Hall last night and it was awesome!  We were invited to a reception before the show which was held adjacent to the old concert hall (which is now a beautiful library) and it was super fun.  The show was great and defintely got everyone into the holiday spirit.

Pretty architechture! Those are the old boxes from the old concert hall which is now the library.

Fam in the library.


After the awesomely festive show, we decided to walk over to the National Christmas Tree for our 3rd annual Christmas date.  :)   This time, we brought Linds and Kev which made it even more fun.  The tree is new this year which was…interesting.

In February of this year, the tree was damaged and was beyond repair (it had been there since 1978), so they decided to replace it with a smaller (24 foot) tree which will grow as it ages.  I’m not going to lie, it looks kind of sad.  The top is all kinds of a mess and they even had to fix the lights to attempt to give it a pretty effect.  Hopefully in the coming years it will fill out and become really pretty.  Either way, we had fun checking it out and taking pictures.

White House from the tree.

3rd annual tree picture. :) Love this tradition!

Love this.

I loved this weekend.  It was so fun and festive and filled with family, and it was just the best.  We had such a great time that we’re now planning on visiting the Christmas Lights at the National Zoo next weekend!  The fun just continues – happy holidays!!

Change of Command

What an awesome week.  We started it off with an amazing Memorial Day, I finished out my last three days at Hilton, and today, we attended my uncles Change of Command at Ft. Myer in Arlington.

Growing up military, I’ve attended a few Change of Commands, but nothing on the scale of today.  I wish that I could articulate it like I felt it, but that’s just impossible.  As Chris put it, “I get mad cised for the tradition, pomp and circumstance.”

We got to Arlington about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony and I was excited immediately.  The Old Guard was already lined up and prepping nearby, and just being near them was exciting.  The precision and technique that these soldiers display is nothing short of incredible.  The smallest details are accounted for and every move they make is calculated and beautiful.  If you’re not familiar with the history of the Old Guard, you should learn about it because it’s fascinating.

The Old Guard before the ceremony.

We took our seats about 15 minutes before the ceremony was set to begin, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.  The skies were blue, the humidity was gone, and it was a perfect 78 degrees.  At 10am on the dot, the Change of Command was underway.


Walking to review the soldiers.


Uncle Mike officially taking command. The transfer of the flag represents the transfer of command.

I just loved everything about the entire morning.  I love how coordinated every little thing is and how everyone does the same thing at the same time, flawlessly.  I love the movement of the swords and the clicking of the heels.  The snaps to attention and the rigid focus.  It’s so very cool to me and I wish sometimes that I could watch it in slow motion so that I don’t miss anything.  Call me silly, I just think it’s super awesome.

Congratulations to my Uncle Mike – job well done!  I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures he has while in command for the next two years!

This afternoon, I planned on taking a N-A-P, but the air conditioning guy was at our house waiting when we got home.  Hooray for A/C!  He was here for nearly three hours, but it’s working!  It turns out, our motor was shot (no wonder it smelled like something was burning), the previous renters/owners never cleaned out the filters, so they clogged the intake with dust and grossness, and it was low on coolant.  Thank goodness for our home warranty!  This past week our bedroom has literally been 20 degrees warmer than the rest of the house and last night, the air stopped working completely.  Now that it’s been fixed, the air is blasting throughout the house, and the upstairs is the perfect temp.  I’m so happy and relieved.
Happy weekend!