Friday, July 5, 2013

Land that I Love!

The holiday coming up on the calendar, doesn't matter which one, is usually deemed as being Eliza's favorite. She enjoys the anticipation of holidays very much and is able to articulate the pretty picture she has painted in her head of how fantastic the day will be. The spirit of her enthusiasm is contagious. Sometimes I am slow to realize that she is mirroring me. As she outlines the excitement of things to come to her younger siblings, I can see that she's taken over my job. In fact, she has magnified it with her 7 year old sized magic. This creates, at times, undeserved pressure for the parents who pull the strings on making the celebrations come to pass.

The night before the fourth of July, I found myself sticking a pin in her balloon of expectation as I overheard her say the following to Henry.

"Hurry, Henry. It's time for us to go to bed. The Statue of Liberty fairy will be here soon to deliver something special to us." Not wanting to play along for a second, I quickly stamped out that dream! She's a smart girl. I could see the smile on her face as she said it. She was trying to plant an idea into my head. With fingers crossed, she hoped that I might fall for it.

Looking back at our day, despite the death of the Statue of Liberty fairy, I don't feel a spec of guilt. We had a great day; a day which began quite early for the parents of a newborn babe.

 We were on the road by 7:30 a.m. Keeping up with family tradition, we drove down to our childhood stomping grounds to take in the Millcreek parade with family. Andrew told the kids how he used to decorate and ride his bike in this same parade. I joked that in honor of his future wife who would one day spend all his money, I must have been the spectator that he threw all his candy too.
 Thanks to Nana Marie, we had a prime spot in the shade. Isn't she cute and festive?
Our cousins arrived and the parade began!

 It was another first for young Forrest.

He really is a good baby. I just love him! It was fun to recycle Henry's fourth of July outfit. Why do Mom's care about little things like that?
 The kids cheered and waved their flags as the parade progressed. In return, they were showered with candy. And I quote,

"It's like Halloween, only better." Andrew said, "Except, we don't have to go door to door to get the candy!"
Sometimes parades are loud. Lottie remedied her problem with loud sirens by covering her ears.

After packing up the car, we made a spontaneous decision to take the kids to a dollar showing of, "The Croods." The close to empty theater was the perfect place to go. It was another first for both Lottie and Forrest. The baby slept through the movie. As for the rest of us, we loved it! We don't go to movies often which made this a fun little treat.
Naptime and lunch at Nanna Teresa's came next.  
Well, hello gorgeous sister in law who loves my baby.

With Forrest in good hands, I excused myself to nap with my Lottie. After reading a charming new book, Sailor Moo, Lottie and I laid down. Promises of fireworks were made to those who took a good rest. It proved somewhat difficult as we had some interruptions.

A highlight of the parade had been when the Chik-Fil-A cow personally delivered a cow stuffed animal to Lottie. This cute cow had been invited to take a nap with us. As we settled into the quiet, Lottie suddenly yells,

"MOOOOOO!!!" Before I can reprimand her, she begins to whisper in an urgent tone.

"Quiet Cow! You have to take a nap so you can see your fireworks!" It was totally the cow's fault. And I was totally laughing my head off.  
Eliza and Henry stayed occupied as they made pictures with their piles of candy. When Nanna offered to turn on a movie for them, they requested 'The Grinch.' Nothing says, 'God Bless America' like a viewing of the Grinch.

For dinner we headed up to my Mom's where we enjoyed visiting with my Aunts and Uncles and family. Having been reunited with the Chamberlain chicks, the kids had their fill of pop-its/snaps.

I've neglected to report how Andrew spent his afternoon. Having heard his favorite words, say it with me kids, "FREE!!!!!!!!!!" he helped his Dad move a swing set from his cousin's yard into theirs. Left behind was a playhouse type structure. This kind cousin said it was up for grabs as it would not be making the move with them to Idaho.

With Uncle Brent and Bubba's man muscle, the three of them took it apart and threw the massive structure into a trailer for us to pull home. To say it slowed us down would be an understatement. Even though I was excited for the new playset, I could see the promises I'd made for fireworks break as we slowly and safely drove home... beverly hill-billy style.

Still, as we drove, the valley was alive with firework shows. I tried my best to be Eliza as I enthusiastically pointed them out to the kids as we drove past. I even went so far as to sing my children a medley of patriotic songs. Andrew joined in. I kind of loved that moment. My kids still appreciate cheesy gestures. Someday, soon I fear, it will fill pain them with embarrassment.

With two minutes to spare, we arrived at a park where we had a prime (but distant) seat to a firework show at Davis High. It was the right spot for us as it was far enough from the loud BOOMS of the fireworks but close enough to still feel apart of the show.

We rolled into our place around 10:45. Our neighbors were wrapping up a street firework display. It was fun to catch the tail end of that despite the fact that my exhausted kids emotionally fell apart. The proximity to these fireworks scared them silly. Thus our day ended with our own kind of (tantrum) show!

We love our country! Despite the horror, sorrows and challenges that have spread across the land, we remain free to choose optimism. We are free to believe and worship how we choose. We are free to work hard and carve out the life we want for our family. God bless America and those who have and still fight to preserve these freedoms.

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