We had such a busy and fun 4th of July this year spent with family and friends! This was in drastic contrast to last year, we had just brought Brynlee home from the hospital the week before and I was still recovering from the c-section. I remember being exhausted and cussing all the people in our neighborhood that were lighting off fireworks all night long because I had a newborn and I just wanted her to sleep!
Anyway, we kicked off the weekend by heading to the lake on Thursday with my family (well, Brynlee and I headed to the lake, unfortunately, Landon had to work). It was Brynlee’s first lake trip and she had so much fun!!! She loves being in the water and thought that splashing around in the lake was the best! She didn’t even mind her life jacket being on. And she loved being on the boat. Every time we would go for a ride, she would stick her face up into the wind and look out over the edge of the boat. That was until the rocking of the boat eventually lulled her into her midmorning nap. We spent most of the day playing under a shade tent that we had set up for the kids and eating snacks. Although I was able to get in a little wakeboarding, which was so much fun! It has been a few years since I was last able to and I’m not going to lie… I was a little worried about my ability to get up. Luckily I had nothing to worry about and it came right back to me, but after a few times I could definitely tell that I am out of shape! I will need to do something about that before our next lake trip!
After the day spent at the lake, we all headed up north to my in-laws house. I ended up going to bed early, worn out from the day at the lake. Friday morning we all got up early, got the kids dressed and head to Downtown Prescott where we entered the kids in the kiddie parade. We were running a little late, so our wagon decorating was extremely rushed, but the kids had fun, for the most part, there may have been a few melt downs… The kiddie parade was a lot bigger than we expected it to be and we’ve already decided that we will be doing things differently next year. Once the parade was over we stayed at the square for a little while, they hold a craft fair there every year so we wanted to look around at the booths. We weren’t able to look for too long though, Brynlee started fussing, she was tired and in need of a nap, plus it started sprinkling on us so we decided it was a good time to head back to my in-laws house.
A few Father’s Day’s ago my father in law got a smoker that he had yet to use, so since the entire family was in town we decided it was a good time to break it in. We (and by we I mean my father in law and brother in law) smoked ribs and a chicken and it was delish!!! I love when we are able to get the whole family together! We made sure to document all the cousins being together by doing a little photo shoot in the backyard. Somehow we managed to forget to take one of the whole family… guess we will have to get that next time! Isn’t it interesting how once you have kids you are always so focused on taking pictures of them that you sometimes forget to get pictures of everyone else, or is that just me?? I did get a couple of me, Landon and Brynlee, but I would have really liked to get one of all of us (I’m working on my gallery wall, remember?).
After a fabulous dinner and an early bedtime for a very exhausted Brynlee, we hung out on the back porch and enjoyed the wonderful weather of northern Arizona (is it sad that I am already so ready for summer to be over??? This 115* is killing me!!!). It was such a great ending to an amazing 4th of July! We were even able to see the fireworks from their porch. Of course, we stayed up way too late talking and catching up with all the going ons of the family. I always love being able to do that. I feel like too often we get too busy with our lives and before we know it it’s been a couple of weeks or even a month since the last time we talked.
The next morning we had a lazy start and slept in as long as Brynlee would allow. Around mid-morning we packed up and headed out to my mom’s house to have a family BBQ with my side of the family. This was a special occasion because brother was here with his family visiting from Missouri. We only get to see them every couple of years so it was nice to be able to spend some quality time with them before we had to head home. My mom was super excited to have all of her Grandkids together for the first time and so we had another photo shoot at her house. Unfortunately, due to lots of tired kiddos and the photos being taken when naptime was supposed to be it was not the easiest task. However, we got it done and we even remembered to get a picture of the whole family this time. We took the pictures on my mom’s camera, so I don’t have them yet (mom, if you are reading this, please email me those pics).
After a yummy BBQ and good times with family, we put a sleepy Brynlee in the car and headed home with hopes that she would sleep most of the way. We decided to go home on Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday to avoid some of the traffic. However, it really didn’t matter, about 30 minutes into our drive we came to a dead stop. After a little bit of googling we found out the due to an accident the highway was closed down with no estimated time of reopening. After sitting for a while, things finally started moving again, only to realize we were being forced to exit and head back to Prescott. After a little debate on what we should do, stay in Prescott or take one of the other, longer ways home, we decided that we just wanted to get home. This was about the time that Brynlee woke up so we made a stop for gas, to change Brynlee and to feed her dinner. Then we were off on a roundabout way back to Gilbert. Our little detour added about 4 hours on to our trip and we had to make a couple of stops for Brynlee, but for the most part she did really well. We decided that it was a good test run for our Montana trip later this month and took a few lessons learned from the experience.
We finished off the weekend by a relaxing Sunday spent at home recouping from our busy weekend and our eventful trip home. As much fun as I had this weekend, I was so happy to be home. Brynlee had some rough nights while we were gone, waking up a few times and not wanting to go back to bed, but Saturday night, as soon as we got home, she went to sleep in her crib and slept through the night and has continued to since we got home.
We had such an amazing long weekend, I loved spending so much time with our families. I wish we could do that more often. I am so thankful to all of the men, women and families that have made so many sacrifices for our freedom allowing us to have weekends like this. I hope you all had amazing weekends too! Happy belated 4th of July!