Whenever the calendar flips over from June to July, I almost immediately start hearing my Mom’s voice singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” She loved Fourth of July and every year we talk about how she used to make us parade around waving flags and sparklers and singing. Since it was a holiday she enjoyed so much, it meant the world to me to host family and friends at our new house for July 4. Also, I got to pick out a cute outfit for Kate with popsicles 🙂
We started prepping a few days before, but we really should have begun earlier since we had outdoor goals (planting, mowing, deck cleaning) and indoor tasks (routine cleaning, food prep, etc.). Chris worked hard on the outside, including spiffing up a little corner of the front walk near the driveway. He pulled weeds, planted two new flowers and added dark mulch. I scrubbed our siding, which had an accumulation of algae and dirt. It only took about half an hour to do the whole area facing the deck, which was where everyone would be hanging out anyway.
I also added a few patriotic touches: a new door mat, some citronella candles, metal lanterns and a fun banner. Of course, our paper goods had to be red, white and blue, too!
We had a ton of food thanks to everyone bringing delicious contributions! I couldn’t make every food item patriotic, but I had fun making red, white and blue-skinned potato salad and a colorful fruit pizza 🙂
I think everyone had a good time and we definitely loved having a small crowd. When people were simultaneously playing corn hole, discussing the yard/garden, chatting and eating, it made all the prep worthwhile and validated our house choice in some ways. We have wondered (and still do at times!) if we bit off more than we can chew with such a large yard and a house full of projects, but having the space to visit with family, friends and neighbors makes it totally worth it!
Lastly, Kate got to try her first sparkler and see her first (backyard) fireworks! She did really well — no burns! — and made it up waaaay past her bedtime without getting cranky. My favorite part was the way she’d announce to the crowd each time she got a new sparkler (“I got another one, e’rybody!”) and everyone would cheer. The. Best.