Oddly, this year we found ourselves rolling up on the Fourth of July with no big plans for how to spend the day. Friends we had celebrated with in past years had other plans, and we realized too late that maybe WE should have taken the initiative to host something special. A patriotic brunch after catching a parade? Fireworks? Picnic lunch out at a park? But I need not have worried about our day being full of fun.
The night before the 4th, we took Gigi to a Princess Party for our 4-year old friend Aleah. Back in February I found a scrap of pretty seersucker fabric at the Durham Scrap Exchange (a huge warehouse full of scraps and used junk), and after more than a year of eying a tutorial online I decided to roll up my sleeves and make Gigi a skirt for the Fourth of July. So, all that to say, Gigi went to the party as "Princess America". I know it was a stretch, but all she had to do was yell "I am Princess America!" a few times around the house and it felt real. I was crossing my fingers that we wouldn't show up at the party with every girl and boy in royal garb more reminiscent of a Disney movie, and we were in luck. It was a pretty good mix of royalty, and normal everyday clothes. Gigi fit right in.
And then, because I was channeling the holiday vibe, and we all know that my brain became more holiday oriented after my first child was born, I decided to make some treats to take to the party. They were YUM and fun to take, although they were quite a labor of love and I may not ever make them again. Who knew that having sticky webs of melted marshmallows and rice crispies stretching from your fingers could be so traumatizing? But right when it looked like a losing battle I finally beat them into submission.
After a great birthday party, and a late night to bed for Gigi, we woke up early on the Fourth of July to play American football at the park with friends. Marcos and I played for a solid hour and a half, while Gigi caused general mayhem on the sidelines with abandoned shoes and hats.
From football we rushed home to prepare sandwiches, and took a picnic lunch over to our friends the Bush's house to share for a holiday celebration. My mom came with brownies and watermelon, and it was so nice to eat lunch with our friends and family. We don't get to see the Bush family as often as we used to, and we were reminded how much we love them. And Gigi played so seamlessly with their kiddos... it was dreamy to be able to be present with the adults without having our attention somewhere in the next room monitoring her social interactions.
From lunch, it was home for long afternoon naps, and a break from the heat of the day. Then up for an early dinner, to Tutu's pool for fun swimming time in the evening, and then to UNC hospital decks to watch the fireworks at night. Our chosen location for fireworks wasn't great, since most of the fireworks didn't actually clear the tops of the hospital roofs and we only saw maybe a quarter of the total show, but it fit Gigi's attention span perfectly, and we were able to enjoy shows over in Carrboro from our vantage point.
And really? After hearing about what happened over in San Diego this year, I felt like our fireworks show was just. right.