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As a ridiculous amount of luck and love would have it, I had the opportunity to jet-set to DC on a whim this weekend.  For free.  Just me and my hubby.  WHAAAT.

Oh, America.  Sweet, sweet land of liberty.

As my brain is swirling with reflections from two days in our nation's capital, I find myself both excited to share some newly-budding ideas and also leaning towards quiet contemplation.

Given that you're bound to be inundated with lots of charged political opinions today, I want this post to serve as a haven amongst the noise.  That's why I'm including a few unrelated impromptu photos I recently took of my cherished friend's two sweet sons.  Are their smiles not intoxicating?

Before jumping back to the political commentary of the moment, let's just pause, take a few deep breaths, and appreciate the restorative effect of happy souls, eh?  [Happy sigh.]

My two grandfathers (one who risked his life in Iwo Jima to defend this country, the other who immigrated to America for the liberties afforded us) would want me to remind you to vote today.

While, yes, I do believe that casting an educated vote is an important birthright and national responsibility, personally, I feel more inclined to remind you to consider the votes you make (maybe unconsciously) every day.

For example:  if you're voting for the candidate who you think will make the better decisions for our environment, then--please--tell me you you don't ask for the extra styrofoam cup to keep your iced coffee cold when you go to Dunkin Donuts.  Tell me you use a refillable water bottle instead of the disposable ones.  Tell me you--at least occasionally--buy organic.

(Otherwise, please think twice before you claim on Facebook that you are concerned with the opposing party's decisions regarding the environment.)

If you're voting, today, against the power of big businesses, then please be conscious that every dollar you spend at big businesses is a vote against your cause.  To support small businesses, cast your vote DAILY by shopping locally whenever possible.  (That's as much a reminder to myself as it is to you.)

You get my point.  The argument can be extended to whatever your hot topic is for this election.

I do not claim to know which candidate is better for you or for our country.

What seems blazingly obvious to me, though, is that if we took half the amount of passion we are using to defend our candidates in this election and applied that energy to conscious decisions in our own lives, we could do a hell of a lot more for our nation (and our world) than one president could ever do on his own.

Voting in an election is important but--please--let's not confuse ourselves into thinking we've done our part if that's all we've done for our causes.

Together, let's take a few more restorative happy-soul breaths in this safe haven and then let's charge forward while we rock the omnipotent everyday vote.

Let freedom ring, Light-Catchers.  For the children.

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