Memorial Day weekend in and around St. Louis is something I look forward to each year because to me, it feels like summer is officially kicking off (despite the fact that no one in our house is currently in school). Now that my kids are 4 and 2, I have started to feel the pull to explain to them the importance of why we celebrate certain holidays. A day like Memorial Day feels especially important because as they saying goes, freedom isn’t free. Someone pays the price to give us our freedoms we enjoy every single day.
This Memorial Day weekend, I decided to kick it off with an explanation to Zoe and Finn about why this weekend is special and why we celebrate it. We don’t have any books in the house regarding Memorial Day, so I pulled up a couple age appropriate videos for us to watch together. We started with a Memorial Day Flag Song and then watched a Memorial Day Book reading I particularly liked this video because it went into an explanation about the sacrifices our military makes for us and how we’re remembering those who died in the line of duty fighting various wars for the United States. After explaining things a little more in depth to the kids and choking back tears (I’ll blame my Dad for making me such a softy at life ha ha. And maybe I’ll blame my pregnancy hormones a little bit too.)
After we finished watching that, I received a text from one of my sisters with a picture of small American Flags her husband had put up to pay tribute to an old neighbor of ours, Mr. Seibert who just passed away recently. Every patriotic holiday, Mr. Seibert (who mostly got around by way of motorized scooter in his later years) would line the sidewalk with small American Flags at every house on my parent’s entire city block. It was his little way of showing patriotism which I thought was very cool considering he had also served our country at one point long ago. It was then that I looked outside to see one of my own neighbors had lined the circle in our cul de sac with the very same type of flags Mr. Seibert always had. It was humbling to be reminded of the sacrifice the soldiers gave as well as to think Mr. Seibert was still around us all.
With that, the kids and I gathered up the mini flags we have and brought them outside to decorate our front walkway and finally we hung the large American Flag we own. The kids were pretty pumped about our decor and ran to tell Tony all about it when he finally woke from sleeping in til 8am. Promise, when you have kids, 8am is hardcore sleeping in. Ha!
We also celebrated Memorial Day with a couple get togethers following the typical American traditions surrounding these types of holidays. Of course that also meant making some super
healthy delicious recipes for this pregnant lady!
We spent lunch on Saturday out with friends before the weather turned. We finished out Saturday with a little Memorial Day party at Tony’s parents with some of their friends despite the crummy weather. Sunday we ventured down to my Grandparent’s lake house about an hour south of St. Louis and enjoyed some time with my family. It started out a bit questionable with the weather and wound up being really enjoyable. We put swimsuits on and the kids all relished in getting to play in the water. I put my feet in, but decided that was as far as I was getting once I felt how brisk it was. Sometimes I swear kids are totally oblivious to the water temperature despite their blue lips. I remember those endless days as kids, though. Between my brothers and sisters as well as cousins, we were in the water no matter what. It wasn’t about the water temperature. It was about hanging out with your buddies and it makes me so happy to see the next generation of kids doing just that.
(iPhone photo thanks to my sister, Jill Armentrout)
We rounded out Memorial Day Monday with our regular week day workouts, only this time Tony did the Murph Challenge (the following information is from this website). The Murph Challenge is an extremely grueling self paced workout which includes a mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and it finishes with another one mile run. Lt. Michael P Murphy, “despite being severely wounded, relayed the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, and the recovery of the remains of the three other SEAls who were killed in a 2005 battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the Murph Foundation website.” The workout is meant to honor Lt. Murphy and raise money for scholarships in his name. We both partook in it last year, but since I’m 32 weeks pregnant this year, I opted to stick to my maternity workout. Tony did the entire challenge and the kids decided to sneak in a few moves here and there with Daddy before heading out to semi-accompany him on his last mile of running. And because it just wouldn’t be family fun without somebody getting banged up, Finn earned a good knee scraping for himself.
Today I feel fortunate to be a part of the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Without the sacrifices made by our wonderful service men and women, we wouldn’t be able to do the little things like spending time at BBQs, family parties, hanging out in swimsuits, and working out whenever and however we please. So thank you to those who’ve gone before us and given the ultimate sacrifice so that people like us in St. Louis, Missouri can enjoy this free day off work and spend it with the ones who mean the most to us.
St. Louis Documentary Photography | Showing Our Patriotism on Memorial Day 2017