I don’t tend to be a summer person much. I’m happy when the sesason starts, get excited to pull out the summer wardrobe, and look forward to seeing a lot more sunshine (or we would hope, here in Pittsburgh). I pretty much only look forward to freckles, fireworks, and the Fourth of July. I’ve got the freckles (thanks to the Colorado sun – see the pictures below), today is the 4th, and that means fireworks tonight! So after today, my summer is complete. I’ll take jackets, scarves, and pumpkin spice lattes now.
All jokes aside, this day is holds so much weight and importance for all of us and certaintly not just in our history books, but today too. So in honor of our freedom and those who have taken it on as their profession, I want to share one of the most important moments of my year so far – my little brother’s graduation from the United States Air Force Academy. He made it through so much in an intense four years in Colorado and this is just the start of the rest of his life and his military service. He’s headed to pilot school after this. I’m so proud.
And, in defiance of the fact that I have two more months of hot weather in front of me, I will also be posting pictures of snow.
A parade the day before with so much significance of commisioning the class of 2014 in exact opposite formation as they were received into the ranks four years ago. We hadn’t even gotten to the main graduation and I was already tearing up.
The graduation ceremony. The graduates came into the stadium shoulder to shoulder as a perfect unit. Everything was so impressive from start to finish.
The cadets turned around to thank and acknowledge the family and friends that supported them through the academy.
The Thunderbirds timing over the graduates throwing their hats was perfect and they followed up with a half hour airshow. In a final moment before it ended, they climbed into the sky together as notes of America The Beautiful played over us and they nearly disappeared into the sun.
A few siblings couldn’t make it for the photo (two of them were hanging out in the shade with two toddlers).
We spent the rest of the week sight-seeing in the Garden of the Gods and Rocky Mountain National State Park. There was snow in June. I couldn’t have been happier.
Since there were so many of us, we resorted to renting the same vehicle we had all grown up with – a 15-seater van. We then left it up to my dad to drive us into the mountains in a bus.
What some of those roads looked like…
Some of my favorite photos from this trip were the moments I caught my parents through my lens, hiking through the mountains holding hands, standing at 12,000 ft above sea level, or walking hand and hand with their grandkids as they explored the Rockies.
I think if 38 years of marriage could be put in a photograph, it might look something like this.
The only brother who remembered to wear long pants was the one that has lived here for the last four years. The other three brothers wore shorts even when they were told ahead of time we’d be hiking through snow.