Monday, July 15, 2013

stars and stripes

Last weekend, we were blessed with a long weekend off of work to celebrate the Fourth of July.  On is the Fourth itself, we headed downtown for our tradition - attending an Indianapolis Indians game and then watching the downtown fireworks from the stadium.  We had a great time with Steve's brother and his girlfriend.  I really enjoyed getting in some quality time with them - since we all have busy work schedules, we don't get to hang out half as much as I would like.  And we had great seats at the sold-out game!
Rowdy kept trying to get people to stand up and get...well, rowdy.  It didn't work on us, but this lady in front looooved it.  So awesome. 
On Friday, we drove up to Gannie's house to spend the weekend with my extended family.  It was the first time to see many of them since our wedding last year, so it was great to catch up and reconnect.  I spent many Fourth of Julys at Gannie's as a kid, so it was fun to re-live those memories and share them with Steve. Here's one of my many memories - this cute little playhouse lies "hidden" in the backyard.  The grandkids spent countless hours out here over the years and it still makes me smile to see it, even if I don't comfortably fit into it anymore :)
Dune Acres officially celebrated the Fourth on Saturday the Sixth.  The town had an entire day of festivities planned, started with a 5K run through the dunes.  Check out our matching t-shirts!

Next up was the annual 4th of July Parade.  My grandparents have owned this antique army jeep for years and it is a staple in the parade.  When we were little, all six of us grandkids would squeeze our way into the backseat waving American flags like crazy. Nowadays, only three of us fit comfortably - Steve, my cousin Talia, and me - plus Lyla.  Her first puppy parade!
After the reading of the Declaration of Independence...
...we were ready to begin!
The parade's grand finale was a hot dog cookout at the beach. 
That evening, the town set off fireworks on the beach.  That's the best way to watch fireworks, let me tell ya - with your feet in the sand!
On Sunday, we spent the afternoon looking through old memories that my grandma is sorting through.  There is something so special to me about reading old letters and cards from family members.  The love letters that Pops wrote to my grandma brought tears to my eyes.  And I couldn't help but smile at pictures of my mom as a little kid.
Of all the momentos, I found a few precious gems - my grandparents' engagement announcement - isn't Gannie a beauty?
A sweet card from Pops to Gannie while he was working in Kansas City.
The start of my mom's swimming career...
...and all of her swimming ribbons.  She was a swimming champ!  Swimming definitely runs in our family :)

All in all, it was a lovely weekend and a great way to spend the holiday.  Hope you had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July! 

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