Sunday, July 4, 2010

.....Happy Fourth of July.....

.....I have so many rich memories of the Fourth of July........I love it; as it marks summertime, hot and sticky blue skied days, gusty hot breezes and the smell of gun powder after a show of dazzling and glittery colorful bursts in the night sky.....

......it also marks independence, allows for moments of appreciation for our freedoms and I become more proud to celebrate our notable country each year as my perspective of our virtues becomes greater......

.....so to celebrate the Fourth this year, we decided after a 24 hour hiatus in Long Island, we would trek back to Manhattan and enjoy a desolate and quiet New York City.......it was just the four of us, a few locals and the tourists since most people leave for the shore......we made our way to Sheep Meadow for a good old fashioned day in Central Park .....






.....we are still thankful and savoring all of our moments with Daddy.......just a month after his CFA, I am continually pinching myself since he is 100% present for all the experiences......the girls are in Daddy mode and are quickly understanding what a weekend means.....it means Daddy wakes up with us, makes a delicious breakfast and spends ALL day with us.....



.......it's all so complete when he is around....

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.....we had a christening and reception party at the start of the weekend in Long Island......it was joyous, full of new friends, old friends; the celebration of blessings and hope.......and our girls were up until the wee hours of the night.....so the exhaustion of a fun filled party set in a few times today......


......like when Elsie decided she would not wear her July 4th dress anymore.....instead, she opted solely for the grey shorts she found in my handbag.......I said, NO SHURT, Maheeee.....and the ballet slippers she demanded on bringing to the park.....

.........I'm learning to pick my battles......I was content that at least we were still sporting the patriotic bow.....


......but those few moments today were worth the time we had on Friday.....Elsie and Callie relished in the celebration, the road trip and the excitement of something new on a family weekend......

........starting with long hallways at hotels that scream, run down me as fast as you can......


.......or hotel furniture that served as a jungle gym.....


.....or getting dressed up in fancy wear to shimmy and shake.......



.....or a chance to hit the art table designated for kids when the dancing and eating became old.....


......it was festive and wild for the girls.....Elsie loved the fact that we started the party at her bedtime....Callie went to sleep on the way to the party.....it was way out of whack with what they normally do, even when we have late summer nights.....which made it so much more sweet for all of us.......

........but Callie gave us the cue when she reached for her lovey, otherwise known as B....it was time to wind it down with Daddy and her soft and cozy blanket......


.....only to quickly pull on the PJs before our littles became too tired so we could do the car to bed transfer and then get an early start for our Saturday at Robert Moses Beach.....


......It elates me that my girls love the beach....I have tried to instill my Florida roots in them as much as possible since they were infants.....beach time, new swim suits for all occasions, water shoes, fun sun block sticks, seashell stickers, books about sea creatures.......I have even put them both to sleep since they were newborns to an ocean sound machine.....simply answering to visitors who ask, Why the ocean sounds?......well, because they are Florida girls at heart......and please know, Texas family members reading this, that I also instill the Lone Star roots too, but for this post; it's all about these girls loving the beach.....



......and Elsie cracking us up, as well as about a hundred other beach goers....because her new suit was a tad too big.....


.....and after ice cream blizzards at Wendy's that stemmed from a Maaahee, I have to go pee pee rewee, rewee bad....., we headed back to NYC to enjoy the rest of our holiday weekend.....

......the girls were so sun kissed, sandy, sticky and spent that Stefan and I actually had the chance to chat on our drive home.....


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......and as we have been loving our long holiday weekend, loving our conversations, loving the laziness; Stefan and I also loved our discussion that included all the food we would concoct to make our best Fourth of July meal......

.....so he hit the grocery store after we got home as I got the girls settled....he picked up the goods to fulfill our palatal wishes......

......Elsie helped with the home made fries sprinkled with olive oil, sea salt and parmesan cheese.......


......and even though Callie is a bit too young to be the helper in the kitchen, we gave her the job to shuck the corn with Mommy.....and as we went to check on her pulling the husks off one by one, we found she had accomplished that task just fine.....


........she had pulled off the husks alright......and thought raw corn on the cob, still covered in it's webbed and stringy membranes was delicious......


.....she was determined to tear off every kernel.....so we let her go for it..........

.......in the meantime, Stefan made oven broiled hot dogs with fresh chopped onion, shredded cheese and chili, potato salad, and Texas beans to accompany the parmesan fries.....the only thing missing from our wish list was the deviled eggs......which I was supposed to make, but got distracted....

.....either by bathing the girls from a dirty day at the park.....or from playing peekaboo with Callie behind my crisp and frothy Fourth of July beer......



......and as I have said in previous posts, my man loves to get his kitchen dirty.....after being married to him for 5 1/2 years, I have learned to control my type A, counter cleaning instincts when he is in the kitchen.....

.......now I look for morsel remnants on the floor, check for grease covered splatters all over the granite counters, and make sure there are crumbs stuck in the tile grout because that unquestionably means the food will be fabulous......and tonight was no exception....

......after the meal settles, I offer to clean the kitchen not only because Stef cooked, but because I can't take the mess anymore......and at this point in the evening, I always get two volunteers to help Momma with a big, worthy mess to clean.....


......and after two toddlers have helped in the kitchen as much as two toddlers can, we need a distraction........

.....so what does Stefan do with the girls to keep them from grabbing knives from our dishwasher and from walking all over my freshly mopped floor?........

......he asks them if they want to have a dance party to a Sheryl Crow concert he found on TV......


......and that idea sounds exceptionally groovy......


.......then we settled into the night......knowing that we still have one more day of togetherness......one more day to discuss and think about all that we are blessed with.....

.......one more day to end the festive holiday with our observance that we live in a country that affords us great benefits and advantages that many in the world do not know.....

.....In our country, we live in peace, not war.......we are safe from violence when we walk outside our doors, we have the freedoms to express our views and opinions......

.......God bless the men and women who have made that possible for us.......

......Happy Fourth of July......

......Happy sun kissed summer days......


    ........and speaking of sun kissed, special thanks to Bridgette at SunKissedFaces that made our precious outfits for the holiday......her fabulous work can be found here.......


.......God Bless America......

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