I love the Fourth of July.
And this was one of my favorites yet. The girls and I drove down to California on Wednesday afternoon to stay with Merrick's family. Bart drove in from Arizona, and the next afternoon, my parents arrived too.
We did it all - two trips to the beach (where I got sunburned for the first time in probably five years, and cursed myself all weekend for it), a parade, an outdoor dinner, a walk through downtown and to the pier, and a late-night trip to the beach with sleepy children to watch fireworks over the ocean.
I also took two naps and read a book and a half.
It was, basically, a perfect weekend.
(Except for the creepy opossum that kept slinking around Merrick's back patio in the evenings while we were visiting after all the children were in bed. I could have done without him).
(An hour before dinner, my mom and I whipped up a set of these stars and had my dad hang them above the table. They are one of my favorite super-cheap, super-impressive decorations).
Ella was the only child brave enough to try out a sparkler. I think she liked it.