The Fourth of July is my FAVORITE holiday! Parades, matchy clothes, my dad's homemade rootbeer, watermelon, bbq, water activities, and fireworks!!!!! So I was pretty bummed to not be home in Utah this year. Last year I was able to be there, so I think I've only missed it in Utah once or twice before (and excited that I already know I'll be there next year for it!). The other downside of this year is that Sterling was still set on studying the majority of the day, so I knew I'd be flying solo. With a newborn, there wasn't much we could do outside anyway because it is just SOOO hot.
LUCKILY, my kids are awesome and our new neighborhood is awesome, and our new ward is awesome, so we had a SPECTACULAR holiday!
We started the day out at the ward breakfast. I bought the kids these shirts a good three months ago, knowing I'd have a newborn. The kids were SOOOOOOO excited to pull them out! It was so much fun! And then I convinced Molly to let me do her hair, and Ruthie picked out a hairstyle of an insta account we follow :). After snapping two pictures, it started to POUR so we ran inside and my camera has been having some weird issues I haven't figured out yet, so sorry the pictures are terrible.
|I love Russ right here!!|
|Will and Ruthie are ALL about using my camera lately. Which is probably why its on some weird setting that I have to figure out. I swear I watch them and they only click the button!|
|Russ is almost not even in this picture---but HE IS SOOOOO ADORABLE RIGHT THERE!!!!!!|
|Kisses for the baby.|
And of course, a post wouldn't be complete without baby pictures:
|This picture reminds me SO STRONGLY of one of my baby pictures. But I haven't unpacked books--so sometime I'll pull out my baby book and compare.|
|LOOK AT HIS DOUBLE CHIN!!!! I weighed him a couple days ago and he was NINE POUNDS! He gained two pounds in a week and a half! No wonder I feel like I am constantly nursing!|
|I love this one.|
|Sweetest angel baby.|
|GAH he is SOOOO HANDSOME!!!|
|Wide open eyes!|
After our ward breakfast we just headed home. The kids played and then we had lunch and naps. I watched Parent Trap (the original GOOD one) because it was on Netflix and nursed the baby. When Will woke up from his nap and the movie finished, I filled up the blow up pool again--look to previous post. I actually didn't pull my camera out at all while they were playing, but I should have!
They jumped in the pool, splashed around, then jumped on their bikes and rode around, then ran back to the pool, then colored with chalk, and basically were entertained in our front lawn for a couple hours. It was soooo nice. The baby mostly slept inside while I sat on the porch and watched them. Our friends Jeff and Diana came over and let the kids trace them with chalk, ran around with them on bikes, and just generally had a low-key, wonderful afternoon in the sun and water. Perfect July 4th.
That evening we walked over to our community pool where we had got a flyer saying our HOA does a July 4th celebration. It was so fun! They had food and music and a blow-up slide with water going down it and a big pool of water at the bottom. We hadn't brought swimsuits, but luckily Sterling was willing to go grab them and come back. (Sterling came to the ward breakfast with us, which was nice to meet more people together. We moved in and went one week and then had the baby, so we've never gone to church together since. Then he went and studied all day and came home at 630 to go to the HOA party with us.) The party didn't start until 7pm and that is the kids' bedtime. But they ate and then pulled on swimsuits at 8pm and had the TIME OF THEIR LIVES! Will climbed up the blow-up slide, got to the top...then climbed back down. Haha! But then he tried again and Ruthie convinced him to go down the slide. After one time he was hooked! They went up and down over and over and over again. Finally, at about 930, when fireworks had already been going on, I convinced them to go so we could get in some fireworks!!!
|Hats and party paraphernalia courtesy of our HOA. The kids LOVED them and have lugged them around everywhere since.|
We had bought a little thing of fireworks and the kids and Sterling and Jeff and Diana set them off by the lake (as required by the HOA. You can see the lake in the background of the pic of Jeff and DIana.). The kids had such a GREAT time! The noise bothered the babe, so I sat in the van parked beside them and fed him so I could watch the fireworks go off. It was stunning. The fireworks our little complex was setting off looked SO COOL because they reflected off the lake. Then there were two BIG firework shows going on off to our left and right---so it felt like we were surrounded by them! I love fireworks so much! I wanted to go to a big show, but sitting there in the van, holding my beautiful, beautiful newborn baby--it was a perfect time to reflect. We have been so grateful lately with the apartment we were able to be approved for, in the school zone we wanted for the kids. For moving to a much SMALLER city. For our happy little family that I love so much. I love Independence Day. I love our country. I love family. Its such a wonderful day to be able to spend together focused on gratitude--and a whole lotta fun!
And...google is telling me I'm out of space to load more pics?!?! I'll have to figure that out and finish the 4th another post!