This fourth of July was the first fourth of July holiday in a LONG time that no one in our family was working, pregnant, having surgery, etc (knocking on every piece of wood in sight). We were home with a beautiful, relaxing long weekend ahead of us and decided to celebrate with a BBQ for our big family. Even the weather was in our favor, gracing us Louisianians with some VERY abnormal July temperatures in the 80's, cool breeze and all. Shawn and I made a big meal using the overabundance of veggies we've harvested from our garden this week: quinoa pasta salad with fresh basil and broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers with a lemon and white vinegar dressing, veggie shish kabobs with peppers, squash, and zucchini, and, of course, good ole' fashioned hamburgers and hot dogs. There was cantaloupe and watermelon for dessert and a red velvet birthday cake for my sweet aunt. It was such a delicious summer meal out on the back patio, everyone talking and eating and relaxing. I feel so very proud when I am able to serve such good food right from my backyard. There is nothing more satisfying than spending a day in the kitchen and creating such a healthy, hard earned feast.
The kids swam and played the way that kids do in the late summer evenings. My girls basically live in their swimsuits these days. The babies crawled around in the grass and I was so thankful to get some good quality time in with my cousins. We set up our chairs as soon as the sun went down and prepared for an epic fireworks display courtesy of Shawn and my uncle. They completely outdid themselves this year, shooting off one beautiful firework after another as we all cheered. The girls all danced through the yard with sparklers, Isabelle screaming, "Mom, we look like fairies!!!". We ended the night with a game of darts that lasted until well after midnight, old country songs blasting on the stereo and my stomach hurting from laughing so hard. It was a good time with good people, the kind of gathering that makes my heart happy and full.