Sunday, July 12, 2009

What the 4th of July means to me....

Growing up, the 4th of July was nothing short of magical.  There was always the ward pancake breakfast, which when your 8 and all your best friends are in your ward, is pretty special.  Then it was off to the huge Provo parade, with the loud jets in the sky, and super loud cannon that passed by, and lots of covering my ears from the noise!   Next came the infamous nap.  My mom insisted on us kids taking a nap (which now that I'm a mom I totally understand....she's the one who really needed the nap!)  and I would just sit in my room, jittery with excitement for the fun that would follow.  In the evening we'd head out to our traditional spot on the Sidewalk of Fire.  Sure, you Utah folk might have only heard of the Stadium of Fire, but you see, out family was smart, and instead of paying the money to get inside the stadium, we'd just sit right outside and watch as the fireworks exploded right above our heads for free!  It was magic.  But before any of this happened, and the reason I got out of bed as early as possible on our country's Independence day was for these....047

If you were lucky, and woke up early enough, you could see the sky littered with hot air balloons.  And each year I wished I could be there as they all gently lifted off the ground.  It is a memory so vivid in my mind.

So needless to say, when I heard that there was a hot air balloon festival in Tigard, I simply had to be there.  So at the wee small hour of 4:00am, I woke my family, bundled them up, and headed out the door to fulfill a life long dream of mine.  And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

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Well, nowadays the 4th has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to my adorable little niece.  If ever there was a girl who needed fireworks on her birthday, it's Emily.  I had a blast celebrating with her this year.

The day kicked off with Heidi's annual birthday breakfast....crepes, waffles, fresh berries, and cream cheese frostings to name a few.  YUM!  Then to the birthday parade and fireworks.  We had a great turn out of neighbors watching this year which was fun.  Jake and I took the top of the jeep and decorated it, and stuck Sage in the front with a sash that said Little Miss Aloha.  Very cute.  Here's me and the birthday girl.

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     Heidi and I were so happy to have Heather with us this year.  She's usually off if Africa during the summer, but we got to keep her this time.038 044

For her cake Emily was very descriptive.  She wanted an American flag cake with watermelon cookies for everyone, and a Hello Kitty cookie just for her. 

Who am I to say no to such a request!025 028

That was an ice cream cake, and it was delish!  048

Then we got to go to Chuck E Cheese,  which is all Emily really wanted to do for her birthday,  049

and then off to Vernonia for a "parade" and fireworks.061

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Wow....that is some holiday!

10 comments:

mahina said...

if you love hot air balloons you need to visit albuquerque in october for the balloon festival! talk about amazing!!

sounds like you had a wonderful 4th!

Schmidt Happens... Portland Oregon Chapter said...

What an amazing holiday! I think we need to follow in your footsteps here. Hot air balloons, cakes, and parties. You can't get much better than that.

Heidi said...

Thanks for helping me relive all those happy memories-both old and new. I love them all! And thanks for helping me pull off such a fun birthday for Emily. It just isn't the same without you.

Sarah said...

Looks like you had sooo much fun!

Stace said...

Great rundown of the whole day. The hotair balloons sound really cool. 4am! Guess it really was incredible for getting up that early. Love those bangs still.

Kelsey said...

I tell everyone about the Sidewalk of Fire and no one wants to go with me. Of course I drag Spencer. But it's always just our little family because no one understands what they're missing. I used to still see Darlene. But no one else in your family ever remembered me. Darlene is so sweet. I haven't seen her for years. It's kinda nice just taking my girls. I really get to enjoy it as a "Just Us" thing which never happens because we live so close to our families. (Which is awesome!) I hope to have a 4th of July baby some day!

Scott and Stacia said...

What a fun 4th! I love the cake and cookies too. Your hair looks totally cute! :)

Becky said...

One of my favorite memories is the 4th of July from the summer I spent in Provo. My roommate and I got up early to run the city's 10K, and we were running early in the morning when the sky was filled with hot air balloons! It was awesome. Looks like you guys had a blast!

Danielle said...

So fun! You were busy, busy, busy on the 4th. Little Miss Emily is too cute!

Maegan said...

i love your hair. i love your cake. i love your cookies. i love that little girl's curly hair (just in case you were wondering) i love that your family woke up before functioning time to see hot air balloons and i really love that i will live by you in two months!