This is always one of my most favorite weekends of the year, and I owe a lot of my admiration to my dear friend, Lindsey.
You may remember Lindsey from my wedding last year (more on that within the next week... ;)), as she was my Matron of Honor. Lindsey and I have been friends since middle school and now teach high school English in the same county.
Lindsey has always loved the 4th of July. The glitter, the fireworks, the family time, all those happy details have always been very appealing to her. A few years ago, when she declared she was going to be married on 4th of July weekend (7-7-07), no one was particularly surprised, but I took a moment to try to see the sparkle of this particular holiday through her eyes.
It was probably the first time I saw the beauty in this holiday that an entire nation celebrates. I saw how it brought people together in the hottest of days to picnic, laugh, and relax. I saw how it really made people proud of our country and thank men and women in the service. Little things like that really touch me, you know? I'm grateful that Lindsey's love of this holiday inspired me to take a step back and figure it all out.
With that being said, I try to make sure that each 4th of July weekend I surround myself with family and friends in a relaxing atmosphere.
Three 4th of July's ago (2008), Cory and I went to New York City to visit Lisa. We had the best time seeing how the city celebrates the 4th. The Empire State building was lit up like a rocketpop and the crowd was so fun and relaxed! It made me really fall in love with the city in the summer. There is nothing like it.
The year after that, 2009, Cory and I celebrated the 4th in Nashville, TN as we began our Tour de South roadtrip. It was fun seeing the south celebrate the 4th, even though Nashville was downright crazy that day (Steve McNair, of the Balitmore Ravens and Tennessee Titans was murdered that day). In fact, on that special 4th of July, Cory decided to have his tattoo worked on at a downtown tattoo shop, and of course, passed out because we hadn't eaten yet that day (and it was around 3p.m.). After that we started making much more mature decisions, I swear!
Sadly, last year, 2010, I do not have any 4th of July photos to share. I remember it was the weekend before our wedding and we spent the day with Cory's family playing wiffle ball and going over last minute wedding details. It was a magical weekend, full of hope, nerves, and fun.
This year, Cory and I are beginning our celebration today by spending the afternoon out at our pool. We will probably pay a visit to the icecream truck that frequents our neighborhood (I know, right?!).
Tomorrow, I am sure we will tour downtown Frederick for first Saturday and then enjoy a few festivities leading us to friends and a bonfire. The rest of the weekend, whatever it holds for us, I just hope it is safe, fun, and reminds me of how important it is to respect the people who protect, serve, and keep our country going.
Happy 4th to you, my friend. I hope you take a moment to enjoy it.