We don't really have a tradition for how to celebrate the 4th around here - unlike my youth. I have great memories of an early morning breakfast with friends and neighbors in Boulder, Colorado at some park and my mom always made the same egg casserole every year. I love that stuff. I should start making it for us every Independence Day. But what ends up happening for us now is that we kind of hang around all day waiting for the night to come. Sometimes we do yard work.
This year we decided that we needed to do a better job planning and celebrating the day. We decided that it would be great to get out of the heat (it has been CRAZY hot here for the last several days) and head up a canyon for an early hike/walk. We knew we were facing a big challenge - any place that was cool and not hard for kids was obviously going to be very crowded. We were right. But I think that just knowing that going in helped us handle the crowds.
Our hike/walk of choice was Donut Falls up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I am embarrassed to say that I believe that was my first trip there. And yes, the road, parking lot and trail were packed with people. But we had fun anyway. It was so nice and cool - the kids were even sorry they didn't have sweatshirts when we first got there.
I was expecting to have to carry Bundle a lot but surprisingly she did most of the walking herself, evening throwing in some running and skipping. We loved the smells of the forest, the sounds of the different bird calls (Stomper tells me he is sure he heard the call of the Indigo Bunting - a bird he studied in school this year.) (He was probably right; I have no idea) and just being up out of the city. We definitely need to go back on a quieter day.
After our little hike we spent the afternoon relaxing and getting ready to do some grilling on our back porch. It was so nice that the day ended up not being as hot as it has been for a week or so, so the porch was pretty comfortable and it was fun to sit and chat with friends and eat good burgers and watch the kids try to kill each other in our little pool.
So I think it has been several years since I have attended a big fireworks show. Definitely not since Bundle was born, so that makes at least five years. And I maybe took Bitty to one...I really don't remember. My little kids are not big on fireworks. They plug their ears when other kids are holding sparklers, for heaven sakes. But....we decided to try it this year. The whole family, headed to fireworks. I dread, and I know my husband does even more than I do, heading to large events just packed with people. Crowds ruin things for me most of the time. But luckily we are very blessed when it comes to the fireworks at Sugarhouse Park. First of all, my dear friend lives two blocks away from the park and she lets us park in her driveway which makes life so easy. We don't have to leave hours early to get to the park and get a good spot and jostle around people. The other blessing is having my friend Emily teach us the BEST spot to watch the show. I am hesitant to tell you where it is. It is NOT in Sugarhouse Park itself; it is on Highland High property. A big field with plenty of space. People are definitely there but there was a ton of room. And you would be surprised at how perfect the view of the show is.
So we decided to go for it. Bundle is in the thick of the I-do-not-tolerate-loud-noises phase and so I brought along a pair of head phones Troy bought for Stomper. Bundle wanted them on the minute we got out of the parked car near Sugarhouse Park. She was very happy to have them on. We made our way to the field and had a nice half hour or so to hang out and relax on the grass. My sister even found us and hung out - I loved watching my daughters see her from a dozen yards away and run to her with cheers and open arms. It was such nice weather and such a nice spot that I think next year we should go earlier to enjoy playing in the grass longer.
Then the show started. Bundle was glued to every inch of my skin she could touch from the moment the first firework was sparkling through the night sky. She had her hands clamped over her headphones as hard as she could and her eyes screwed shut. I eventually convinced her to at least open her eyes and watch the fireworks and she did so, nervously at first, but eventually seeming to enjoy them though she insisted on me clamping my hands on her headphones as well. She cheered for all the purple ones and even did a little oohing and ahhing. I would call it a major success. Well, mostly. When it was done she relaxed, let me take my hands off her ears, and turned to me with a big proud smile. And promptly burst into tears. Clearly she had been brave for as long as she could handle and even though she said she loved seeing the fireworks she was pretty overwhelmed. She fell asleep in my arms as we walked back to the car, her hands still pushing on her headphones even after she had lost consciousness.
|Love this pic of the boys keeping busy on DSs before the show got started|
Good night. Late night. We had some TIRED kids today.