>America is a pretty great place. Clearly this will be a “duh” statement to many of you, but as I was trying to sit and write something today, it was basically the only thought I had that was clear. To say that I’m grateful for this country, and the life it’s given me would be a massive understatement. I started posting this blog almost two years ago, basically on a whim, and almost two years later it’s given me what I would consider the absolute best job in the world. I’ve been able to travel to places I never thought I’d see, meet some of the best people on earth, and share my passion in a way that few people ever have the freedom to do.
Speaking of freedom—I don’t want to come off like a corny politician, or a dumb bumper sticker, but I feel truly blessed to have the freedom that this country has given me. For those of you who know me well, you know I am a little bit of a teary-eyed schoolgirl when it comes to the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces. At this year’s Regionals I had the opportunity to meet Casey Arriaga (who is an officer herself) and Chris Pfeiffer, who are the wives of Ruben Arriaga (who just returned from Afghanistan), and Matthew Pfeiffer (who is currently in Afghanistan). Both gentlemen are with a “group” that I personally respect very much. Ruben and Matthew are followers of the site, and when I met Chris at the Central East Regional I had the opportunity to record a little video to send over to Matthew to thank him for his service, and let him know how good it feels to have men and women like him out there looking out for us.
I was insanely happy to have the opportunity to communicate with and thank Matthew for what he does, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone else who didn’t have a wife who happened to be at the same regional as me. To Ruben Arriaga, Nick Wall, Cameron Currie, Christine Drankiewicz and all the other men and women whose names we don’t know, who are out there—somewhere—putting their lives on the line so we can live our lives under the umbrella of freedom, I simply want to say thank you. You are the ones who allow us to celebrate our country’s Independence Day.