The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays! Here are the top reasons why I go crazy for Independence Day:
Celebration. Casey and I celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary on July 1st. It's so nice having our anniversary by the 4th because there is always a guaranteed day off of work and so many fun things to do. And our anniversary always ends in fireworks! I love Casey very much. He is so good to me and I'm very grateful for him in my life. Happy 3-year anniversary kid!
Concerts. Casey surprised me with tickets to watch the firework spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl. I was super excited because I have always wanted to go ever since watching Bette Midler perform there on "Beaches". It was inspiring to sit in the hills of Hollywood and listen to the great patriotic songs of our nation played by the LA philharmonic. The production ended with an incredible firework show right behind the Bowl. We loved every minute of it. Casey did a great job of planning a romantic and fun anniversary weekend for us!
Competition. This year I was excited for the annual 4th of July Huntington Beach 5K race and breakfast. I made it to the race but I had crazy shin splints from preparing for the run all week, so I biked the 5K on my beach cruiser. I'm pathetic, but still patriotic!
BBQ's. Casey was out of town for a beach volleyball tournament on the 4th, so I went with the Morphy's to a ward BBQ. It was so fun to sit around and talk to the ward members and eat all day long. Then I came back from that BBQ and my apartment complex was having another BBQ, so I sat around with them and enjoyed it all over again! My neighbor, Diana West, sang us the most beautiful a cappella version of "God Bless America". It was the perfect theme to a perfect day.
Parades. The HB parade ran down main street where we were having our BBQ, so we sat on the lawn and watched the parade as it passed by. It was so fun and inspiring to see the little kids perform and the veterans walk with pride. The parade was so fun, all 3 hours of it!!
Patriotism. Everywhere I went and everywhere I looked in HB there were flags, banners, and the bold freedom colors of red, white, and blue declaring our independence. As members of the armed forces passed by, there was silence and thanksgiving. This holiday reminds me what it is to be a citizen of the United States of America. We are so blessed and fortunate.
Relaxing in the Sun. One of the best things about this holiday is that there is a lot of sitting, talking, relaxing, and enjoying the beautiful weather. I went to the beach with some of the families from my apartment complex and it was so fun to just sit there in the sun and talk. My whole weekend was spent hanging out with family and friends in the sun. That for me is the best time there is.
Music. What's a 4th of July without a stake church production? The Huntington Beach Stake put on a patriotic production that was filled with families all singing and dancing to our Nation's favorite songs. Watching the little children sing about peace, love, and freedom brought tears to my eyes. They were so bright-eyed and ready for the future. And we all stood with our hands on our hearts as we listened to "The Star Spangled Banner" and watched the men and women of the armed forces in our stake conduct the American Flag ceremony. I love our flag; what it represents, and what it has witnessed.
Fireworks! I ended my Independence Day celebration with the Morphy's at the HB pier where we watched another incredible firework show. The fireworks were shot off the pier and it was magical to see the lights dance across the ocean. It felt like you could reach out and touch them!
Remember that there is no time like the present to share memories and laughter with those you love. It was beautiful to sit and watch the simple joy of a child's first firework show. The 4th of July is such a happy occasion. I feel like a little girl full of wonder and awe each time it comes.