We started Friday with an early trip to downtown Provo to see the Freedom Festival parade. The girls were decked out in their patriotic clothes, and to top it off, I added red, white and blue ribbons to the handlebars of their scooters. With the streets all closed down for the parade, the girls zipped and scooted all over in celebration. This is only the second July 4th I've spent in Utah (I moved up to Utah in 2003), I had never been to the parade and loved the small town feel of it all. There is nothing like seeing the flag pass us and watching the girls put their hands over their hearts. When the veterans came by, it took about 2 seconds for me to start crying. We stood and cheered and then explained to the girls how proud we are of the men and women who made a huge sacrifice for the freedoms we have. I was so impressed with how many politicians rode and marched along in the parade, from the local City Council and Mayor, to Congressmen, Senators and even the Governor. The girls were super impressed with the baton twirlers and the beauty pageant girls waving from floats...and the mini horses. I knew as soon as we saw them that they'd be #1 on their list of next pets to get. The girls have big plans to find a way into the parade next year.
We made a dash from the parade to Matthew's Mom's house where we ate a huge breakfast with cousins. The second plates were emptied it was on to the pool. Maddie found a raft (or a "surfboard" as she called it) and decided it was the best thing to ever happen to the pool. She could float, or be pushed around the pool and be right in the action, without having to deal with the whole swimming thing. Gracie gets more and more comfortable with swimming each time she's in the pool. She braved the diving board and swam from one side to the other. Clearly, all her breath holding practice has been paying off (while I do her hair, and about 12 other times through out the day, she spends a few minutes practicing holding her breath so she can swim under water longer. She is more like Matthew everyday!:), I was so impressed!
We bounced from the pool to home for a quick change of clothes and then off to a bbq at Matthew's sister's house. We enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers and homemade ice cream and a bit of trampoline fun before skipping out to hit the Stadium of Fire. After a day of non-stop action we were sure the girls would crash and take a quick snooze somewhere along the way, but thanks to their fear of missing out, they didn't skip a beat! We got to the Stadium, found parking and made the long trek in. We got to our seats just in time to see the parachuters land with the flag. I cried again. And then the whole stadium got up and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and seeing Gracie with her hand over her heart saying it word for word made me proud, and so grateful that at only 4 she's learning about our country and history. Carrie Underwood hit the stage and kept the party going. She was amazing live, I was so, so impressed with her voice! And as far as we could see from nearly the top of the stadium, she looked incredible too (it'll be my motivation for my xtend barre classes this week!). Maddie danced and danced to the music, periodically stopping to look around to see if everyone was looking at her. She didn't quite understand that all the people behind us we're watching the concert, to her it seemed like they were watching her. We didn't tell her any different. By the time the fireworks were about to start the girls started winding down. Gracie wanted to sit on our laps, Maddie's dancing slowed to a subtle rock back and forth. We got them comfy as the first firework was lit. It was a solid 15 minutes of excitement with them. We picked our favorite fireworks out and danced to the music. And just like that, they both passed out. They had not a single ounce of energy left, and despite the sonic booms of the fireworks, they just crashed. We thought for a minute that we'd get up and dash out of the stadium and miss all the traffic, but a quick glance in both directions showed us that we'd be crawling over dozens of people to get out. So we sat and watched the rest of the show with snoring girls and sore backs. We let the stadium clear out before starting our trek back to the car. With Matthew's back still injured, I carried Gracie the nearly mile and a half. By the time we got to the car we were laughing and out of breath, and of course, both girls woke up! They drifted back to sleep as we slowly inched along in the traffic. By midnight we were home and sad our day was over.
We weren't ready for the party to be over, so after getting some chores done on Saturday, we took the girls and Lucy swimming for the day. It was just as much fun as the day before- I honestly think the girls would happily swim every single day of the week! Matthew played endless games of horse with his brother, Maddie squirted everyone with her water shooter and Gracie and Lucy never stopped swimming. I loved seeing Lucy swim right behind Gracie, and was surprised that Lucy didn't even mind when Gracie would hang on to her to take a quick breath. For as much trouble as that dog causes, she really is pretty great. Gracie also worked on perfecting her dive. It starts with perfect form and ends with a classic belly flop, and she thinks she nails it every single time! After eating our weight in Otter Pops, we made it home, tired and exhausted and ready for bed. We thought we'd let the girls fall asleep watching a movie in the basement and carry them up to bed. I found the movie "The Croods" on Netflix and figured they'd be out within the first 15 minutes. Little did I know we'd all make it through the movie- I have never heard the girls belly laugh so much in a movie! By 10pm we were tucking girls into bed. Their "but we're not tired!"s lasted 45 seconds before getting, what I'm assuming, was one of their best nights sleep.
Matthew and I laid in bed last night and talked about how much fun the girls are to be with lately. They have such unique personalities and interests, but they compliment each other and get along so well. Everything is exciting to them, and everything is funny. Listening to them giggle and talk and play is my favorite way to spend the day...or the whole weekend!:)
Gracie's striped maxi dress
Maddie's floral dress
All the girls Peek Kids outfits are on major sale...they're great to get on sale for next year!
|| Moo holding up her beloved hippo-mos-poto-mas. I will never get tired of hearing her say that! ||
|| Happy parade girls...except they want to be in it next year! ||
|| Just scooting along! ||
|| Stadium of Fire selfie ||
|| Maddie wasn't going to let Matthew miss a single thing! ||
|| After the long walk into the stadium. We needed a little rest! ||
|| The prettiest setting! ||
|| This dive...||
|| And the end result. ||
|| My favorite picture of the 4 of them! ||