Home for the Holidays

After a busy year of traveling to four countries and up and down the east and west coast of the U.S., it has been really nice spending quality time at home in Virginia. The holidays are my favorite time of the year and we have been so lucky to have had such beautiful weather so far! These past few days have been filled with festive holiday events, despite also being my final exams week, I have been able to enjoy them.

This past Thursday I was invited to attend a beautiful event hosted by a non-profit organization I used to intern for called Freedom Alliance.The event was a Defender of Freedom dinner and it was a night dedicated to honoring heroes, fallen and injured, as well as their families. It took place at a stunning venue–the Army Navy Country Club.

They recognized three students who had lost a parent in the war. Freedom Alliance grants college scholarships to students all over the country. They said about 6,000 kids have lost a parent to war and their goal is to provide college money to all of them. They also honored several heros throughout the night who had been so brave in horrific situations trying to save their fellow service members. I felt very grateful sitting in this beautiful place and thinking to myself how lucky we are that so many brave men and women risk their lives to keep us safe and free.

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Army Navy Country Club

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Injured soldier from war–burns on 75% of his body and missing hand

Saturday night my family hosted a Christmas party at our house. I think my favorite part was setting up for the party because we went all out! We set up a bonfire in the backyard, a gingerbread house decorating station, and Christmas decorations, drinks, and food all over the house. We found some really cute appetizer ideas on Pinterest for things like a cheese and grape christmas tree and a broccoli and tomato dip wreath. I also made a homemade sangria that everyone seemed to enjoy. The house was filled with friends, family and laughter the whole night.

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Our festive food table
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Holiday Sangria

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My family

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Testing out the bonfire

The next day, my friend Marisa and her family hosted a Christmas party as well. Sunday afternoon I went to her house for their annual Christmas party and I finally got to meet her adorable baby boy.

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It was a busy weekend, but in the best possible way. I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday and great rest of their week!

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Erin founded the Wonderlost Travel blog in February of 2015 after her experience of studying abroad in Europe. Erin has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of South America and Asia. She enjoys writing about and photographing her travel experiences in order to inspire others to get out and follow their travel dreams. She has collaborated with tourism departments, restaurants, and other travel bloggers to share reviews and travel advice with readers in over 100 countries. Erin has a passion for traveling the world to experience other cultures and explore nature!

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