We had such a great July 4th weekend. Mike, the kids, and I, along with my cousins Leah and Ted, went to Palm Desert to visit our Aunt Terry and Uncle John. Terry and John pulled out all the stops to make us feel so welcomed and at home, including pulling out old toys for the kids to play with.

old toys!

Although, this toy was played primarily by the adults.


There were some serious fishing tournaments, with a lot of trash talk.

Annabel looooved hanging out with my aunt’s enormous cat:

fat cat

James could ride that guy.

The temperature was about 111°F (about 44°C) during the day, so we stayed cool inside by either going to restaurants, watching movies, or playing Scrabble.

playing scrabble

I tricked them into playing my turn.

At night, when the weather dropped to a “cool” 100 degrees, we hit the pool. It was amazing swimming under the pink and purple cotton candy sky:

cotton candy sky

boys swim

swimming with my girl

Annabel got to ride in a golf cart for the first time. I was about her age the first time I ever rode in one, and I still remember it.

look out, world

in the golf cart

I wonder if she’ll remember this in 31 years?

We wore our patriotic best whenever possible:


all dressed up

usa! usa!

And of course, we watched fireworks! I loved sitting on the deck of my aunt’s neighbor’s house, Annabel snuggled up against me, while we watched the lights in the sky. We were close enough to the show to see the explosions, but far enough away that they weren’t loud. Both kids were ooohing and ahhhing the whole time and it was just perfect.

It was an ideal way to spend a long weekend. Normally on the Sunday of a weekend away, I’m anxious to get back home and get settled in before the week starts, but yesterday we all lingered, sad we had to leave. I cherish these easy, simple weekends with my family, especially as we all get older. I hope my kids will value these memories as they grow, too.