We had a wonderful Fourth of July. Miss Pink had been waiting for it for months, literally; she calls it "America Day" or just "July" when she can't remember the Fourth part. She had her red-white-and-blue outfit laid out since Sunday, when my mom had given it to her. (And then spent most of the day back in her pink pajamas, which just goes to show you can't predict your children's whims.)
We started the day by getting up at the normal time and driving over to my parents' house, where my mom had breakfast for us, consisting of sausage balls (ground sausage, cheese, and Bisquick mixed together and baked) and cream gravy, monkey bread (bread dough soaked in butter, cinnamon, and sugar before baking), and as the lone concession to our arteries, fresh fruit. I drank a Diet Dr. Pepper. I'm sure that helped. *rolling eyes at self*
After we hauled ourselves up from the table, we got ready for the neighborhood parade. Anyone can be in it, so there were a lot of kids on bikes, decorated strollers, dogs, and a few vehicles flying flags. Our kids rode bikes. I was surprised that Mr. Blue rode his bike the whole way--about five or six long blocks--without making my dad carry his bike or him. I shouldn't have been surprised, since Mr. Blue can ride his bike in circles for a long time--he'd probably do it for hours, if we'd let him. Both kids loved being in the parade. It will definitely continue to be our tradition.
Justin and I rode in our 1930 Model A Ford, which used to belong to his late uncle. You get so much attention when you're in an antique car. I was starting to feel like a movie star, with all the comments, waves, and cameras directed our way. Then I got over it, but it was still fun.
Then about four we had the BEST meal ever. I am sorry that you missed it. I'm sure your meal was very nice, but really, it COULD NOT have been as good as this was. (I'm kidding, but...it really was exceptional.) Baby back ribs, cooked by my brother until they were so tender they FELL into your mouth as soon as your lips touched them, grilled chicken (very good but the ribs were the star), fresh corn on the cob, perfect baked beans topped by bacon because we needed more pork fat (ha), a just-tangy-enough marinated bean salad, and rolls. Then later in case we were not in a coma already, we had decadent chocolate brownies with ice cream and hot fudge sauce. We eschewed the whipped cream, feeling it would be "too much." Then we sat on the couch like knots on a log, except the kids, who had of course eaten much less than us gluttonous adults.
Finally, after my dad, the best grandpa ever, played with the kids in the heat for a LONG time, we came back to our house in time for the fireworks show our town does. We can see it from our front yard, so it's perfect to escape the crowd and preventing kids from getting lost and all that. Mr. Blue didn't know what fireworks are, so he was a little worried about the "fire" part, but once he saw that they weren't going to hurt him, he thought they were great. And I think they were just as wonderful to Miss P as she'd hoped they'd be.
Happy (belated) birthday, America. Thank you for giving us the freedom to enjoy the day the way we did.