Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Long Independence Day weekend

I'm behind in my posts and a lot has happened over the last few weeks! We'll start off with the 4th of July. Since Independence Day was on a Tuesday, I took at PTO day on Monday and it essentially was a 4 day weekend from Saturday - Tuesday. Nice!

Saturday morning, we visited the downtown Farmer's Market for the first time this summer. We love the Farmer's Market, but haven't made it priority - due to traveling (we seem to be on the road or busy a lot!), it's all the way downtown and we live about 20 minutes away, or just due to the fact that it's hot outside! Either way, we decided to go that Saturday and we went and picked up MaSha and went downtown.

We met up with our friends Amanda, Trey and Jackson at the Farmer's Market. Then we were pleasantly surprised to see Carole, Beth and Marlowe down there as well. Then right before we left, I saw a friend of mine from high school, Suzanne, her mom and her kids. I love the small town feeling and running into people that we know.

Jackson, William and Stokes

Cruisin' the streets

My family :)

Playing in the water fountains downtown
Time to cool off!

After the market, we went to the Brewery 85 Great American Bash event. Thomas and I love it at Brewery 85, but have only been a few times and only once with the boys. We once again met up with Trey, Amanda and Jackson - it was a bit of a trend over the weekend and it's a trend that I fully support! The adults enjoyed a few cold ones (except Amanda since she's pregnant) and let all the kids play together.


Thomas and Trey

Ryan, me, Jackson and Amanda

After we left Brewery 85, we were considering going to The Community Tap, as they were also having an event on Saturday afternoon, but instead, we joined up with the Mays and the Youngs for an impromptu cookout at the Young's!

Ava Lane, Stokes and Caroline

Ry Ry

Adorable Caroline

Fun playing outside

Ava giving Ryan a hug
Look at these sweet kiddos playing "ring around the rosie"! They are so adorable! The mamas were just watching them, singing along and feeling our hearts grow with each passing second.

Sometimes the unplanned events end up being so fun because it's so last minute, pressure-free and awesome. We just love both of those families that we got to hang out with. 

Sunday morning the boys looked so cute for church, but I couldn't get a good picture because of how hot and sunny it was!

After church we went to the pool for a little while!

Snoozing boy
LOTS of pool snacks!

We left the pool and went over to Amanda and Trey's...because we needed to hang out with them even more! We kept laughing at having seen each other 3 times in one weekend. It's a new record for us! Anyway, Amanda's birthday is July 5th so Trey was having a birthday celebration for Amanda and America. We couldn't stay the whole time, but were excited to go spend a few hours with them and to celebrate my sweet friend Amanda.
Ryan with his mama

The kids wore swim suits and played with
this giant slip n slide!
The reason we couldn't stay longer is because Grandpa Stokes and Shanghai were on their way up from Jacksonville! They, unfortunately, had a rough drive getting up here and it took way longer than expected, but we were so glad to see them once they arrived!

Grandpa Stokes brought fresh crabs!

Checking out the crabs!


Check it out, boys!

So Sunday night, we cooked the crabs, which the boys had a lot of fun with, and then had a yummy grilled ribs dinner.

Thomas had to go back to work on Monday (bummer) but the rest of us went to the pool! We were the only ones there. I couldn't believe it. 

Then came home and Ryan had an EI appointment to make up for Tuesday being a holiday (his regular appointments are Tuesdays).

Ryan and Miss April
Later that evening, we had a great dinner on our deck, including picking delicious crab. MaSha came over and ate with us, too!

Loving their patriotic sunglasses

Shanghai and Barbara

Grilling teriyaki shrimp and bacon
kabob appetizers!

Picking crab and loving life

Making ice cream
After dinner we pulled out the ice cream ball and got the kids to roll it around and we made some fresh peach ice cream. It was delicious! The ice cream ball is lots of fun - although it requires 20 minutes of rolling and the kids are usually only interested for all of about 3 minutes and then the grown-ups have to finish the rest.

We were planning to go to a local neighborhood's fireworks display on Monday evening, but as you can see in the picture above, the skies opened up and it poured rain. We kept waiting for the rain to end so that we could still try to go, but I believe the fireworks were delayed (and we thought potentially cancelled at the time) so we had to bail on that plan. Instead we had an impromptu fireworks show with a few of our neighbors. Thomas had bought a few fireworks and he couldn't wait to set them off, so we had a few friends come over and join in the fun...and some of them had fireworks, too!

MaSha, Stokes and Thomas

Running around and waiting on the show!

Ryan and his Mama

Shanghai, Ryan and MaSha

MaSha with the boys and Shanghai

Gregory from next door - such a cutie!


So much fun!


Roman candles

Ryan loved the mortars!

Having fun in the neighborhood
Much like going to the Young's house on Saturday night, this was totally impromptu and so much fun. It was so awesome, in fact, that we all went back out on Tuesday to buy more fireworks so that we could do it all again on Tuesday night!

After the fireworks were over, it was well past the boys' bedtime, especially since it didn't get dark until around 9, which is when we started and the boys typically are in bed before 8:30. Late night!

Tuesday was July 4th, or as my dad will tell you, it's "Independence Day"! Holidays are the best! No work - all play. Awesome.

We've been waiting to take the boys the movies. We were never quite sure that they were ready. We didn't really want to spend a fortunate only to have them start acting up 5 minutes in and cause us to have to leave and not get to see the movie. But then we saw the previews for Cars 3. Cars and Lighting McQueen are all-time faves at our house (Cars 2 was meh...). Thomas and I immediately knew that Cars 3 would be their first movie at the theater, but of course we didn't want to go right when it opened. We wanted to wait a while so it wouldn't be quite so chaotic. The 4th of July was the perfect movie day. It wasn't crowded at all and it was so hot outside and nice to be in the AC.
Posing with the Despicable Me 3 set up at the theater

Ryan, William, Stokes and Gru :)

Yay! We found a Cars 3 logoed prop to pose with!

Ryan fell asleep towards the end
We got a large popcorn and passed it up and down the aisles constantly. We had one bathroom break during the movie, and the rest was golden. The boys did great and seemed to really love the movie. This was a big step for us! I really love going to the movies and I hope the boys follow in mama's footsteps with that!

After the movie, we came back home and hung out. Later on, Thomas grilled us some burgers and we had a great cookout and picked more crab!

Shanghai and the boys

4th of July cuties!

Thomas was very close by for these pictures...just in case...,
but I love that the boys will hold Ryan's hand
to help him stand! <3

Crab claw


William loving on his Daddy

Grandpa Stokes with Shanghai and his grandsons

For dessert we had these delicious red, white and blue strawberries
Shanghai helped me (and Stokes insisted on doing one or two)

I was seriously obsessed.
Pinterest win!
I mean, how great do they look?!?!?!
We got the boys bathed and in pjs so that they could enjoy Fireworks round 2, but needed them to basically be ready for bed so that we could put them down right after the fireworks were over since we had school and work the next day!

Snuggling with my boys in their pjs!

Sidewalk chalk while we waited for the sun to set

Gather 'round!

Everyone stepped up their game with
Tuesday's fireworks contributions!

Grandpa and Ryan

Huge sparklers!

Summer memories...

Enjoying the show

All the dads would get out there and light them at the same
time so that we could have a bunch of mortars at the same time!
It was very cool.

Fun neighbors!
We missed a few that had left a little earlier
It was once again a late night due to the all the fireworks, but once again so fun. The boys loved the fireworks and for the next few days they would ask if we could do some more! 

All in all, it was a great, fun, and exhausting long weekend. Happy birthday to America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! I'm glad and so thankful to have been lucky enough to be born American. I hope my boys feel the same way when they're old enough to understand!