The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Second only to Thanksgiving. There’s something about the hot weather, cold salads and grilled food shared with those we hold dear that truly captures the essence of what a holiday means to me.

This year we added a re-enactment of the Battle of Ft. McHenry (with a paddle boat full of water balloons and handsome guys representing the British and squirt gun toting ladies representing the Americans).

There was much trash talking, laughter and a lot of soggy people at the battles end. Upon review it was decided that the Americans won (of course could there be any other outcome?!)

Basking in the joy, surrounded by friends and loved ones I could not help but feel a bittersweet kind of happiness. It’s been a year and a day since I returned home. I’m so much farther than I thought I’d be in some respects and not as far along in others. But I guess that’s anyone’s life.

What surprised me the most was the contentment I feel at this moment. So often in my life I feel like I need to be working towards something, a degree, a career, relationship goals. But right this moment, I am perfectly happy. Even with some things undone, some goals with little progress. And that is a blessing I can truly be thankful for.

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