A Fabulous First Fourth

When I think about the 4th of July, a few things come to mind: sunshine, swimming, food, friends and fireworks. Hudson's first Independence Day was filled with all of these things. We started our long weekend in downtown Florence, dining with friends on a sunny outdoor patio as the First Friday crowd hustled and bustled beside us, some darting to view handmade work by local artisans, others simply shuffling their feet along the sidewalk as they casually listened to the sound of live bluegrass music waft from the makeshift stage that had been erected on the old cobblestone street. As tradition with our First Friday Fiestas, we had such a great time laughing, talking, and people-watching.  On Saturday morning we woke up early so that we could join Hudson's grandmother Martha, his Uncle Sam, and their dog Betsy for their annual neighborhood parade. Scores of children, rode slowly down the tree lined streets on scooters, power wheels, bikes, and wagons festively decorated for the special day, draped in red, white, and blue. Hudson enjoyed watching all of the commotion from the cozy confines of his stroller. After the parade was finished, the three of us drove back to our house to enjoy a lazy day in the sun.....aren't those days the best? Hudson floated and swam in his kiddie pool for much of the day, while we took turns playing with him in the pool, reading good books and listened to Jimmy Buffett tunes in the backyard. By that evening we were drained by the sun, but looking forward to treating Hudson to his very first fireworks extravaganza....courtesy of our amateur stockpile of sparklers, buzzy ground spinners, parachutes, and thanks to our friends Josh and Lisa, quite a few sparkling fountains and even some great big multiple shot tubes that loudly emitted shimmers of purple and green comets, and giant red chrysanthemum bursts. After a dinner of grilled chicken with fresh steamed squash, the Newberns walked over from their home a few houses down, and while Josh and Will contemplated which fireworks to shoot first, Lisa, Landon, Hudson and I sat on a big quilt in the yard and prepared for the show. We had so much fun watching the colored sparks fly through the air, but we probably had the most fun with the sparklers....writing letters, drawing shapes, and laughing at our poor attempts to spell out our initials with the hand held fountains that beamed colored sparks from the burning tip.  Hudson didn't get scared at all of the unfamiliar phenomenon that was taking place in our own front yard. He stayed close to me, resting in my arms as he craned his neck to see the spectacular light show high above in the sky.  We enjoyed such a wonderful weekend. It was a weekend in which we, like most of America, ate too much and stood amazed at the beautifl firework displays. But the true reason we celebrate Independence Day was never far from mind. I am thankful to be an American, who lives a life of freedom when so many others in this world do not have that luxury. I am thankful for the many great men and women who have fought and died to ensure our freedom. I am thankful that God continues to bless America. I hope that Hudson will enjoy a hundred more fun Fourths-- filled with sunshine, swimming, food, friends and fireworks-- in this wonderful free country of ours.

{First Friday Fun!}

{"I'll have a bite..."}

{....of ice cream! It really helps cool me off on such a humid night!"}

{Lisa & Me}

{our traditional 1st Friday dinner companions, The Newberns}

{fun way to kick off the 4th of July weekend}

{happy baby + happy mommy}

{....and happy daddy, too!}

{hot fun in the summer sun}

{loving the water hose and his new floaty toys}

{"Thanks for the new toys....}

{....they sure do taste good!"}

{"Would anyone like to join me?"}

{"Come on in, the water's fine!"}

{silly Daddy}

{Happy Indepence Day, America!}

{Landon and Hudson checking out some tractors while they wait for the firework show}

{Will trying out the sparklers}

{Newbern Family Firework Fun}

{Whoo Hoo!}

{Glowing Josh}

{This is supposed to say "L" for Lisa and "A" for Ashley. Instead it says: "Jo". Who's Jo?}

{J/K? Just kidding!}

{Watching Mommy play with sparklers}

{Mommy & Hudson & a big heart!}

{Lisa, Landon, & hearts, too!}

{Josh & Will contemplating the big finale!}

{waiting for the big show}

{sweet family pic}

{Happy Fourth of July!}

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