A Festive Fourth

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Fun traditions, food, family, friends, and none of the obligations of over-the-top, fussy meals or expensive gifts!  This year followed suit and delivered in the same big way.  Even though our immediate families are way too far away for our liking, Nate and I always feel so blessed to have a close net of family and friends here in the desert.  Em has been welcomed into this group with open arms and this holiday was no exception!

I love the casualness of Fourth of July celebrations.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of birthdays, Christmas, and any occasion that allows for happy gatherings and good food.  But there is just something about a mid-summer holiday (especially a mid-week mid-summer holiday!) that strips away the pageantry to allow for real fellowship.  And explosives…

Yes, I was good and stayed calm while Uncle Ryan hammed it up and introduced my Little to her first firework!  She was a trooper when it was lit (out of her hands, of course) and didn’t even flinch.  Looks like all of those months of hearing barking dogs are doing her good!

This is our village.  As in, the one it takes to raise a child.  And, man, are they good people.

Baby Girl even managed to cause a minor Facebook scandal with a little game of “Whose baby is this?!”!…

(She’s ours, but you guys can borrow her!)

In other baby news this week, we switched out the Little’s baby swing for her high chair after catching her in the process of launching herself over the side of the swing.  She isn’t quite sure how she feels about the highchair yet.  She looks tiny in it, bringing up images of Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann (will anyone get that reference?).  It is crazy that she will be using it to start eating solids in just a few months!

Her favorite place to hang out (and even nap) is still on our ottoman, which she is quickly outgrowing.  We are on the hunt for something bigger!

And of course, Friday was weekly picture day!  This was the first week for us to try incorporating a prop – an appropriate American flag.  Em had a ball waving that flag around, making for a difficult picture to capture.  As usual, we had a fair number of outtakes…

And Emmy’s official 16 week picture!  We will call it “The Sweet Taste of Freedom”…

Daddy even helped with the picture this week!…

This week has also brought slightly more tolerance for tummy time.  We are making progress!…

And tonight brings boys around my dining room table, partaking of a rousing (and long) game of Settlers of Catan and my specialty homemade pasta sauce currently cooking away in the crock pot.

Em and I opted to hang out in the living room, playing with toys and blogging, respectively.

I hope everyone was able to spend this casual and low-obligation holiday with their village, in whatever form that might take. Whether it is multiple generations of close family, a loving spouse, or even just a cuddly puppy, take the time to look around and appreciate the fellowship (and an extra helping of dessert – it is a holiday, after all).

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