In typical Florida fashion, we spent a good part of my second-favorite holiday inside due to torrential downpour. We managed to grill hot dogs for lunch and feta burgers for dinner despite the rain, and we broke in our new blender with margaritas before heading to a neighborhood firework show.
I didn't take a single picture with our dSLR, but I'm glad I got my little American in a few iPhone pictures (all of the pictures in this post were taken with the VSCOcam app). I made Aaron and Shepherd stand outside for about 15 minutes; baby guy loved waving his little flag, and we took pictures just in time.
Independence Day is just the best. Red, white and blue, Americana, hot dogs, fireworks, family and friends honoring those who have served and died to protect our freedoms here. America is a wonderful place, and we are blessed to live here. I don't want to wash and store our flag bunting quite yet—would it be silly to keep it on our porch for the rest of the summer?
I really didn't want to miss fireworks this year, even though they started two hours past Shepherd's bedtime. Although we are really vigilant about keeping Shepherd's bedtime routine, this night was an exception. I woke him up and we headed out to the Southwood fireworks display; instead of him sleeping through it, he sat on my lap with wide eyes and mouth agape as the sky lit up in gold dust. It is still mesmerizing to me; I imagine for him it must be even more so to see it for the first time, his little mind seeing the beauty across the skies and not really understanding why and not really having to understand.
I remember being newly pregnant last Fourth of July and sitting out on the lawn—scared and excited—wondering what it would be like to have a baby at this time next year. I wondered where we would be living and what our lives would be like. Though much has changed, much remains the same from then; I am surprised to say I am thankful for that.
Instead of watching the explosions down on the green space this year, we stayed in our car at the top of hill. We weren't sure if the fireworks would scare Shepherd, and we wanted to be able to have a quick getaway if he started to cry. I was so happy to see Shepherd's amazement at the fireworks. He didn't cry, sat unusually still in my lap, and startled only at the very end, when all of the lesser fireworks were set off at the same time and there were lots of cracks and booms. Aaron made sure Shepherd's ears were protected, of course. I ate my ice cream cone, held my baby in my arms, swatted tiny bugs away, and drank in the memories we were making of Shepherd's first Fourth of July. I love so much that I get to raise this baby boy, and that I get to raise him with my best friend.
P.S. Happy birthday to my amazing dad! I wish we could be there to celebrate you today, but we can't wait to see you soon!