Happy Birthday, America!

"Happy Birthday, America!", we would say, and he would answer, "Americaaaaaa!!!"

It was pretty darn cute.

And it didn't get old, hearing him say it. All day long.

Our 4th of July felt like the perfect staycation. Last year it poured rain and we were house hunting on this holiday (best realtor ever is all I have to say about that), but this year we really wanted to savor the sweet 3-day weekend. We stayed home and actually enjoyed this little town of ours! We went to a friend's lake for the day, and then just cruised around on our golf cart, eating popsicles and, of course, wishing America a very happy birthday. Everett even sang his version of the birthday song while we drove - iits very hard to decipher, I just know that's what he's getting at. Our suburb has more golf cart path mileage than actual road mileage, so we can get anywhere we need on our little "g-ride" (that's what we call it). It's such a fun, eco-friendly way to live, and it also turns every little errand into an activity. Because Everett loves loves loves going on a g-ride.

I've celebrated the 4th of July is a lot of different cities, and I have to admit that my hometown is the most wildly festive place to do the 4th of July. It's almost insane how much American pride and celebratory spirit is looming on this special day. It feels like an eventful birthday party that everyone in town is invited to! This community does such a wonderful job of rallying together and getting silly and dressing up and decorating and I have to admit - it's just a ridiculous lot of fun. I'm discovering really special things about this place all the time, things I never realized were so special until I moved away for years. Now that I live here again, especially with my own family, it's really amazing to enjoy and appreciate those things. Like the crazy 4th of July hoopla.

For yesterday's 4th of July festivities, we went to the parade across town and camped out along the side of the road with some dear friends and family. Our friends staked out the perfect location at 5:00am (yes, you read that right), and then provided the crew with coffee and breakfast burritos (and homemade salsa!) Thank you, sweet Koontz family! We enjoyed our morning eats and cheered as the floats and vintage cars passed us by, while Everett caught candy and eagerly stuffed it into his bucket. He had some help from the big kids, so he ended up with more candy than we could ever need in this household. I need to throw it out, because I will be the only one tempted to eat it.

 Kid tried to steal my pearls.

Kid tried to steal my pearls.

 Our decorated golf cart! I just had to snap a pic of it all decked out.

Our decorated golf cart! I just had to snap a pic of it all decked out.

 Everyone came in their patriotic wear! I love how festive our community is.

Everyone came in their patriotic wear! I love how festive our community is.

 Kid stole my drink. Man he's lucky he's cute.

Kid stole my drink. Man he's lucky he's cute.

 Everett and a handful of his cousins :)

Everett and a handful of his cousins :)

 ^ She likes to photobomb, so I figured she wanted to be featured. You win, Kelley!

^ She likes to photobomb, so I figured she wanted to be featured. You win, Kelley!

 This makes me laugh because Everett looks so bored. While being tossed in the air?!

This makes me laugh because Everett looks so bored. While being tossed in the air?!

 Kid stole my hat. He's starting to take this, "What's mine is yours" philosophy a bit too seriously.

Kid stole my hat. He's starting to take this, "What's mine is yours" philosophy a bit too seriously.

 My little family of three. Slash four. #whoanelly

My little family of three. Slash four. #whoanelly

After the parade was over, we went over to my sis-in-laws (thanks for taking some of these photos, Lauren!) and swam at her pool. Everett fell asleep in the golf cart on the way home from her house because, hello, sensory overload. And I just couldn't help but snap a few sleepy baby photos. He's getting so big, but he's still my little baby when he sleeps. Any other moms know what I mean?? Also, babies in tank tops forever please.

 Don't let Stevie fool you. He was LOVING this moment. He's a softy when it comes to Everett :)

Don't let Stevie fool you. He was LOVING this moment. He's a softy when it comes to Everett :)

We attempted the fireworks later on in the evening, and my little guy liked them for about 60 seconds before he suddenly didn't. He looked at me and said, "No fireworks, Mom! I go home!" And then he scurried up onto the seat of our golf cart and commanded that we join him. Stevie and I just looked at each other and laughed. We weren't too sad though, because any excuse to go home and get extra sleep is welcomed in this family. I expect to have many years ahead to stay up late watching the fireworks, but this year wasn't one of them.

Happy birthday to you, dear America!


I hope you had the happiest holiday celebrating with your people. What is your absolutely favorite 4th of July tradition?

P.S. - I have to admit - I did have an epic fail on this day. I dropped my gorgeous homemade flag cake on the kitchen floor and it wasn't redeemable. I had to mourn that loss for a minute. #theresalwaysnextyear

P.P.S. - My dress is from Target (here), my hat is from J. Crew (old, but similar here), my shoes are Keds (here) and Everett's shirt is from Old Navy (here).