land that i love.

{sydney and her best pal, carter. thank you kel for capturing this priceless moment}


nope, i haven't melted into the pavement or anything like that.

just doing my best to enjoy every good thing summer has to offer.

and yes, we have consumed more than our share of sno-cones, thankyouverymuch.

is there a prize for ingesting the most artificial food coloring in a single week?

because, if so, mitchell and his chronically blue-stained tongue 
would most certainly take home the trophy for first place.

over the long holiday weekend, we successfully carried out our inaugural road trip as a family of five!

that baby is an angel, i tell you. 
not sure how i got so lucky.
but she's about as sweet as they come.

and the other two...

the verdict's still out.

i kid.

they're pretty good too.
they just need a piece of masking tape to divide their territory in the backseat.
at least i'm pretty sure that would alleviate some of the arguments over property lines.
and the whole,"i'm-not-touching-you-nonsense" wasn't cute when my brother did it back then,
and it's not cute now. 

i'm talking to you, mitchell.

shut. it. down.

so, our fourth of july was eventful.

it began at 6:15am, thanks to my tiny alarm clock :)
and started off pretty well.

we were all ready somewhat on time, clothes ironed and everything.
but, i must have gotten a little cocky, because from there on out...
things progressively deteriorated. 

on our way up to the breakfast/parade, the bottle of warmish water i had in the diaper bag {which was on my lap} leaked. like to the point where i'm certain people thought i had wet my pants.

not ideal, but not a deal breaker.

we unloaded the motorized vehicle the kids were to ride in the parade 
only to discover its top speed was .5 miles an hour.

add two disappointed kids.

we line up for breakfast and tiny conveniently decides she's hungry too.
there's just one problem, i left a critical piece of her bottle back at home, rendering it useless.
and she is ticked.

so, if you're keeping track...
wet shorts, bummed out kids and screaming baby.
and it's only 9am.

after an unsuccessful attempt to eat breakfast with a crying baby in tow,
i decide to bag it and take her back home where i can feed her and let her snooze.

meanwhile, the parade was getting underway.

fortunately, my cute sis had a functional vehicle and made room for my two stowaways.
they were thrilled.

i wasn't there, but i hear there was much waving and throwing of candy.
oh, and a very large man on a unicycle who did a face plant on the pavement.

once the parade was over, i heard there was a mini carnival with all that you would expect.
face painting, balloons, rides...

and one thing you wouldn't...
an amber alert.

amidst all the chaos, mitchell wandered off.
i had no idea.
i was home with tiny and got a phone call telling me he was gone.
everyone was searching for him.

my family was running around frantically asking strangers 
if they had seen a little boy in a red shirt and plaid shorts.
it's the fourth of july, that pretty much describes every little boy within a 10 mile radius.

finally, after an unnerving 45 minutes and a lot of prayers, 
he was discovered all the way back where the parade began.
safe, but a little shaken.

thank goodness.

i felt so bad my family had to go through that traumatizing experience.
and i really was so grateful he was found safe.

after that, things started to look up.

we spent the rest of the day with family and that evening, 
celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday with a surprise party.
born on the fourth of july and still going strong!

love you gram.
i hope to be half as awesome as you are at ninety!

all in all, it was a great weekend.
despite the missing child episode.

i do love this country.
i appreciate my freedom,
and i give thanks to those who have fought and still fight to defend it.

God bless the U.S.A.