Happy Birthday USA

Independence day is summer's signature holiday.  It usually marks the half-way point of summer vacation.  We acknowlege our freedom, independence and liberties and reflect on the history of our great nation.  We gather with friends for All-American traditions of food and fireworks.  We sit in driveways with a cold beer and watch the gleam in our children's eyes as they light a fuse and run away.  We applaud the ones that shoot high in the air and explode in brilliant colors, and especially the ones that end in crackles.  We cover the ears of the clingy little one who can't decide if she wants to peek or just bury her head in the safety of her mama's shoulder. 

Today as we celebrate, we also remember to pray for our country's leaders, those who fight and have fought to protect our freedom, and the blessings we are fortuneate enough to have because we live in the United States.

July 4, 2010 began with thunder...and not from fireworks.  At 5 am, it was raining.  At 6 am, when five of us left Lincoln to drive to Seward, it was raining.  At 7 am when the Freedom Run 10K began, it was raining, and it continued sprinkling, raining, pouring through the entire race which by the way was mostly on gravel turned muddy roads.  We were soaking wet, but it was still fun.  We thought about opting for breakfast and coffee instead of running, but since we'd already registered, we decided to go ahead and get wet.  Here we are post-race in semi-dry clothing, most of the mud removed. 
And, let's not forget the red, white, and blue.  How much fun is it to incorporate these colors into everything we do the entire day?

Breakfast was festive with martini glasses rimmed in blue sugar, filled with Hawaiian Punch and blueberries and watermelon topped with cream...fresh cream of course!

I'm not sure why we even have martini glasses...we don't drink martinis.  They're fun though, and they look pretty in my cupboard!

Mattie and I painted our nails to celebrate the holiday.  (I can't wait to get mine back to all the same color!)

What fun when we can just sit back and enjoy what summer offers us with friends.  Our kids played in the driveway and street until we finally said it's time to go.  They would have played longer I'm sure.  There were fireworks to light, scooters and bikes to be ridden, dessert to be sampled again and again, and of course we musn't forget the frogs and the toads that were waiting to be found by eager little amphibian hunters equipped with flashlights and pockets!  I wish we didn't wait for official calendar holidays to make a point to do this.  In the summer it should be a weekly occurance.  Maybe I'll add that to my "list".  :)

Can't get more "All-American" than corn on the cob! 

The rain finally gave way and the sun even came out to produce the most perfect evening for fireworks and playing outside.
Swimming and baseball have been set aside, but at least a splint doesn't hinder one's ability to light fireworks.

The sky was lit up for hours all around us.  We had a great show from the edge of the driveway to the edge of the horizon.

Part of the evenings amphibian collection.

Happy birthday USA!!!