We've had a busy few days - baby showers, birthday parties, fireworks and more! Matt was scheduled to teach on Sunday - check out this post from Stuff Christians Like for the reason he was teaching over the Fourth of July. Anyway that just added to an already busy weekend.
Typically over a holiday weekend we don't have as much going on because we don't have extended family nearby like most of the people we hang out with, so in a way it was a nice change of pace to have a lot going on. The kids didn't seem to mind the late nights out (11pm one night, for girls usually in bed around 8pm) and we certainly didn't mind a few mornings of sleeping in.
We decided this was the year for the girls to watch fireworks. Last year we were going to but it was rainy and dreary all day so we opted out and stayed home. This year was different only in that we told them ahead of time about the fireworks, making staying home not an option. We had been at a party during the afternoon and came home around six to rest and regroup. While we were there is started raining. After looking online at the weather radar (gotta love that) we realized that, although it was a light drizzle, it would most likely last off and on all night. We got out our raincoats and headed out to meet up with some friends. This was around 8pm. Again - usually our bedtime. We hung around, hoping that Ella could be convinced to just stay there and watch the mini firework show their backyard. I think she was a bit turned off by the word "mini" and insisted we see the real thing.
Meanwhile we are driving the Honda because the van's inspection was up and our regular mechanic was on vacation. We piled four adults (Joe and Rachael in the front and me in the back) and two kids and drove a mile closer to the elementary school where we planned on watching the fireworks and then walked rest of the way. I was actually pushing everyone to get going, because the show was supposed to start at dusk and I thought that 8:45 was getting close.
At this point the rain had pretty much stopped and it was warm out so everyone was in good spirits. As soon as we found a spot on the field (basically the only ones in the middle of this big field - everyone else was huddled around the edges) I heard in the distance some music start playing. I remembered that a band was scheduled to play before the fireworks (we weren't .at the main site b/c we wanted to avoid the crowds, so it was hard to know what was going on). I also remembered that it was scheduled to start at 7pm. Hmmmm. And then it started raining a bit harder. We waited for almost an hour and half for the fireworks to start. Thankfully the kids were entertained by Joe and Rachael and a couple of our favorite Young Life kids - everyone (except me, I was dead set on keeping my spot on the tarp dry) ran around and dance and acted silly. The girls were entertained and running and having fun, but as we got closer to 10pm, Ella started to fade. Right before the fireworks started she was just flopped over on Matt's shoulder with her eyes closed. I felt like such a bad mom, out there in the rain with no umbrellas. I did have a flashlight, so I redeemed myself just a tiny bit.
Finally the show started and the kids were awed by the bright lights and big booms. Predictably, Catherine thought it was too loud and was ready to go home right away, but Joe and Rachael helped get her excited by naming the colors and the different patterns. Ella started out strong, but again, was fading fast with fatigue and cold. Before the finale I sent Matt back to get the car and drive it as close as possible. Joe held Ella and tucked her legs under his shirt to keep her warm (she was wearing a sundress! Mom points go waaaaay down for that one.) - very sweet!
All in all it was a great, albiet drenching, experience. Here are a few pictures I stole from Rachael's facebook album. They're all a bit blurry because....surprise, it was raining!
Us walking to the show - look how happy everyone is! The guy behind is Brendan, with his girlfriend Lisa (hidden behind Matt). Sorry that Ella is a bit cut out of the picture - trust me, she's happy at this point!
In closing, I hope you all enjoyed your Independence Days and were able to celebrate with friends and/or family.