This year the Fourth of July fell on a Monday so we were able to extend the "birthday celebrations" over several days and activities. The kids don't really understand the significance behind the holiday, but when we tell them that the festivities are our way to say Happy Birthday America, they are more than happy to join the party.
I started Friday morning off with an early run - 13 miles. At several points along the way I could see the hot air balloons that are launched each morning during the Freedom Festival. They are one of my favorite sights and definitely worth taking a walk break to really appreciate.
Saturday night we went to the Stadium of Fire. The last time we went was about five years ago and I usually think it is too big of a hassle to bother. But when we heard the entertainment was Tim McGraw, all inconveniences were quickly forgotten. It also helped that our kids are old enough to think it is fun. I don't know if I have turned into a patriotic sap or what, but I really just loved the whole thing and spent most of the night thinking that going to the Stadium needs to be our new yearly tradition. The funny thing is that Tim felt the exact opposite - way too much work for something he could watch on TV. Hopefully the entertainment next year will be as exciting as it was this year so that it will be easy to change his mind.....
The kids loved being at the stadium and were in amazed by the staging before the show even began.
One of my very favorite parts was when the skydivers came in with the large flags. The kids couldn't believe that people were coming down from the sky - and carrying a flag - even better. Kind of strange for me, but I didn't get any pictures once the show started - no Tim McGraw, no fireworks, no party. I was so wrapped up enjoying the moment with my people that I didn't want to worry about my camera or anything else. Don't worry, I have plenty of images stored in my memory - sometimes the very best kinds of pics.
We started some new traditions this year which I guess helps make up for the fact that we skipped almost all of our normal traditions. No Freedom 10k, no parade, no movie, etc. By the time Sunday night came around, the kids were cranky and completely off schedule, and Tim and I were so tired that going anywhere the next day just sounded like too much work. So, we all slept and then spent most of the day hanging out and catching up on little projects. Luckily Tim did get a few great shots to start the day
Monday night we did meet up with my family for burgers and "fireworks", really just poppers and sparklers but they still brought plenty of excitement. I may be permanently banned from ever bringing fireworks again....the sparklers I brought were a little too much like firesticks and most of the kids were a little terrified. Unfortunately, the sparklers would drop pieces of hot ash and both Calvin and Luke ended up getting burned (clearly I should have made sure Luke put on his shoes since he actually stepped on some of the hot ashes). There was a lot of screaming, and a lot of laughing, and even though we skipped a lot of traditions, it was definitely a Fourth of July to remember.