My husband Dan and I are die hard Spartans, as in Michigan State University Spartans. We met at MSU when we were sophomores and fell in love there so I tend to think it is where our family started. MSU means a lot to us.
About 12 years ago we began attending MSU football games with some of our friends. Together we have literally weathered pounding sun, pouring rain, and sideways falling sleet to cheer on our team. We have sat shivering in Spartan Stadium filled with dismay as we watched MSU lose in the final seconds of a "big" game and endured the frustration of hearing the opposing team's fans drown our stadium with their cheers. We might have been bitter once or twice along the way... So, when MSU won the 2013 B1G Championship game against Ohio State to secure a spot in the Rose Bowl, we were over the moon with excitement. It felt like our time!
All that said, the football is secondary to my love for seeing my hard working husband let loose at the games and have a riot with his friends. My zest for the win pales in comparison to my enjoyment of spending that game time together as a couple with our friends, and now that our kids are getting older as a family.
Unlike a lot of kids in America, I didn't grow up with an attachment to a sports team. None whatsoever. I don't remember my parents ever watching sports until Dan came into our family. Making the decision to follow the team to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl game came easy for Dan. When the question arose of whether we would also attend the Rose Parade, I couldn't believe it was even in question. Of course we would attend the parade! How could we not attend the parade? We may have watched not a single second of college football in my home as a child, but we watched all the parades. We LOVED parades!
I can remember sitting in front of our small television completely in awe of the floats, the flowers, the beautiful people, the sparkling trombones, and all of it. I don't really have a bucket list, but I think if I did attending the Rose Parade would definitely be on it. Along with attending the game with a group of some of our favorite Spartans, attending the parade seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity.
As I sat, filled with excitement, remembering my awe as a child and feeling it multiply there as an adult face to face with all of it, I was surprised by what I saw there...
The first float - all flowers! Unbelievable.
I will admit there was a part of me wondering about the purpose of it all. It seemed way over the top and even wasteful to put on such a spectacle. It was so beautiful though and this was the 125th Rose Parade. The parade is an American pastime and the magnitude of this one in particular was not lost on me. I let go of doubt and tried to soak it all in. I even took a few deep breaths to smell the roses...
This year's theme was DREAMS COME TRUE so many of the floats followed this theme with little sub-plots of their own...
I absolutely LOVED this one... WE CAN DO IT! Complete with Rosie the Riveter!?!
The floats seemed to be telling a story. A story of hope. Perhaps the hope that inspires a dream?
BRIDGING CHILDREN'S DREAMS...
I thought "Yes!" That is my job and all of our jobs - to bridge our children's dreams.
And to GROW SOMETHING GREATER...
|The back of GROW SOMETHING GREATER|
I was in love with the butterflies!
Even the sky had a message: CHOOSE GOOD.
CONNECTING CULTURES - DELIVERING DREAMS...
Yes again! Connection is the key to making our dreams come true. Connecting to each other despite our differences. Connecting to our own inner guide, following our very own inner compass, and using our own unique True North as our guide.
DREAMS COME TRUE WITH MUSIC...
All the drums wore this cover. With each boom we were reminded of the limitless potential of music - to inspire, to heal, to help, to cheer, to celebrate, and even to help make our dreams come true.
So, why not? LET'S BE NEIGHBORS... Let's do this together, shall we?
Let's LIGHT UP THE WORLD...
Isn't that scary though? To light up the world? To pursue a dream? To follow your heart? A little, but you know what?
LOVE IS THE BEST PROTECTION from our fears.
It may even sound trite at this point, but I know it is true that love wins, love trumps, all, and when in doubt or darkness, it is LOVE TO THE RESCUE...
RELISH YOUR DREAMS... Hold them tightly. Keep them close to your heart. Don't. Let. Go.
|Get it? RELISH, like a relish tray! Clever Trader Joe's|
I am forever grateful for my beautiful book bearing, pen holding, paper yielding band of teachers. They fill their paintbrush artillery with Mod Podge and acrylics and use blank canvases as shields. They wear gauzy clothing and flowers in their hair. They are dripping with rings and beads and cuffs and medicine pouches. They speak straight to my heart, inspire me, encourage me, and help me to see that my dreams do come true because as they teach they are also TURNING HOPE AND DREAMS INTO REALITY for themselves, their families, and for you - for all of us.
So, there you have it. DREAMS COME TRUE.
I never expected that when I woke at 5:00 a.m. to make my way to the Rose Parade. A call to dream. It makes sense though - that among some of God's most gorgeous creations, the bold, beautiful, delicious blooming roses, I would be inspired to share with you what I found there on a highway in Pasadena... That dreams DO come true.
Dreams are so frequently likened to flowers... you start with a seed, you plant it, you water it, you give it light, you watch as it grows from a bud to a blossom. It's no wonder the roses whispered to me: dream. It's no wonder that together the roses said: EVERYONE, please. Dream. From your backyard to across the country, and all the way to the moon...just dream.
|Me and the man of my dreams.|
|Happy New Year! xoxoxo|