Life

Columbia Mall Shooting

Ugh. I don’t understand why people do the crazy things they do…

Columbia is my home. It is my happy place. It is where I grew up. It is where I went to school. It is where I bought my first house. It’s where we’ve met some of our best friends. It’s where we will have babies. It. Is. My. Home.

It could have been me at that mall. Or my husband. Or my sister, brother, mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad or mother-in-law. It could have been my best friend or my neighbors. It could have been someone I loved. It really saddens me that such a senseless act of violence took place in our mall, leaving three people dead. Three families are mourning the loss of their loved ones and I feel for them. I feel for them and at the same time am so eternally grateful that my sister and I weren’t shopping at the mall. Or that my hubby and I hadn’t just ran in to get food like we’d done two nights prior to the shooting. Or that my mom couldn’t get her manicure appointment until Sunday. So grateful that my loved ones are safe and didn’t have to endure the terror that filled the mall on Saturday.

I am also so grateful to live in such a great community with fantastic first responders. The Howard County police and all of the other first responders who attended to the mall shooting had the situation under control minutes after they received the distress call. I truly appreciate the professionalism and courage they displayed on Saturday and know that they do everything in their power to keep our community safe.

Here’s hoping the families that lost loved ones will find peace and this tragedy in Columbia will help inspire a change. No family and no community should have to suffer a loss like this.

Hug your loved ones tightly.

#HoCoBlogs

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday, Life

Hope Ornament: #BloggersforSandyHook

A week ago today, 26 lives were cut short by a senseless act of violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Today we blog for Sandy Hook.

As part of the #BloggersforSandyHook tribute I wanted to share an ornament I made for our tree this week.

In honor of the grieving community and the 26 people who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday in Newtown, CT., I made a “hope”ornament for our tree.

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I really like the idea of having this on my tree each year to remind me to hug my loved ones extra tight, especially at Christmas.

If you want to make one too, here is what you’ll need:

  • Gold paint
  • Thin paint brush
  • Crystal beads or gems (26)
  • White ribbon
  • Christmas ball ornament (it can be any color)

Using Martha Stewart gold metallic paint and a thin paint brush, I painted the word “Hope” onto an ordinary glass Christmas ball. I chose to write the word in basic handwriting versus anything fancier — I like that it looks like something a kid could have written, plus I don’t trust my ability to paint in cursive. I then added 26 small dots all around the word “hope” to symbolize those who passed away at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lastly, I painted one gold star as a tribute the bravery exhibited that day.

After the paint was dry, I carefully went over it all a second time so it really popped on the ornament and on our tree.

Next, I removed the silver top of the ornament and placed 26 crystal beads inside, again, one for each life lost. They are super sparkly and look really pretty inside the ornament. The beads I picked are plastic and sort of chunky, and I’d imagine that little girls would have loved to make necklaces out of them.

As a last step, I put the silver cap back on and tied a white ribbon to the top of the ornament. I added a bow where the ribbon meets the ornament as the final touch.

hope

I was having a heck of a time taking a decent picture of the ornament and didn’t do the best job. It is beautiful and because of all of the gold paint, crystals and white ribbon it looks rather ethereal — which seems very fitting.

 

To all those grieving in Connecticut: May your lives be filled with hope for a better future and your hearts be filled with the happiest of memories of the loved ones lost. You are in our thoughts this holiday season and inspire us each day to hug our loved ones a little bit tighter. 

I am truly sorry for your loss.

Jess