Focus PT - July 2018

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July 2018

Independence Day Reflections LIFE, LIBERTY, AND STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Every Fourth of July, my family and I grab a few lawn chairs and head over to the big fireworks display on Lake Mission Viejo. It’s a fantastic event packed with the best fireworks we see each year, and luckily, it’s just down the road from our house. We walk over to a nearby hilltop and post up at the very top, which gives us a beautiful view of the lake and the incredible display — a really cool, nearly eye-level perspective on the celebration. But before that, of course, we have our annual Independence Day barbecue. It may not be a big affair, but we definitely enjoy it. This year, I’m thinking it’ll be a good respite from the loose Whole30 diet we’ve been on lately. We’ll have all the staples — burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon — the things that make summer taste like summer. And I could never forget the red, white, and blue shortcakes we always prepare for the holiday, with strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream. I have to say, Whole30 has been driving me a little crazy lately, having to constantly keep an eye out for what we can and can’t eat. And while it’s all in the service of better health, which I’m all about, a nice big bite into a ketchup- and relish-covered hot dog will do me good. It’s a fantastic excuse to get the family together, enjoy some quality time with one another, and of course indulge in some fatty foods for an evening — but it’s also the perfect moment to reflect on the abundant opportunities we’re afforded here in America. Obviously, people are celebrating Independence Day on the fourth, but I think it’s just as important to consider all that happens every single

giving up everything in order to support the structures that make our lives here possible. I’m always moved as I watch the fireworks spread across the sky, thinking how lucky I truly am to be here with my family. When I immigrated to America from Argentina at four years old, I had no concept of the gravity of the move, nor the way this new place would make room for me and my family as I got older and built a business from the ground up. Argentina is what you would call “a free country,” but I know that it’s often been plagued by military intervention and problems that give it an entirely different feel than my home in America. I’m just grateful that this place has given me and my family so much abundance and happiness, and that so many others are willing to step forward so that we can live in peace and prosperity. Alongside those delicious strawberry shortcakes, that’s what I’ll be thinking about this Fourth of July.

other day that allows us to maintain our liberty. People are putting their lives on the line for our well-being far overseas,

-Julian Manrique

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