Monday, July 07, 2008

world war 3, i mean... 4th of july in evanston!

if you've never experienced a 4th of july in evanston, (or i suppose anywhere where ALL fireworks are legal and people don't mind literally burning up hundreds and hundreds of dollars over a 2 day period) well then, you've never lived. it really does feel like world war 3.
we have been to evanston on 4th of july every year since clint and i met. in fact, it was 4 years ago this weekend that i first went to evanston and met the fam. (awwwww....) this year, we weren't really planning on going since the last drive out there was not exactly pleasant (remember how owey hates the car?), but tradition beckoned us and we found ourselves making a plan last minute and packing up thursday afternoon to leave that night.
in our plan, we were to leave between 7 and 8 pm so owey would just go to sleep in the car for the night and sleep the whole time and when we rolled in to clint's parents, we would just put him straight to bed. sounded good in theory. really o did very well comparatively. and he did sleep for almost 2 hours, which is waaaaay longer than he would normally sleep in the car. am i boring you yet with all these details? anyhow - the drive was BEAUTIFUL - we have discovered a backway that is breathtaking - and we made it in pretty good time (4 hours). of course grandma and grandpa waited up to see their little owey and we finally went to bed around midnight. and for the first time ever at their house he slept through the night (usually we sleep in the same room as him and he thinks its ok to wake up every 2 hours. we finally got smart and brought out an air mattress into the family room!)
the weekend was full of fun and relaxation - and lots of firsts for o (mostly revolving around fireworks). o did witness his first parade in randolph, utah- really the most pathetic parade i ever saw (a few rodeo queens, lots of horse poop, down the block and back - oh yeah - they throw candy, i guess that's why everyone goes?!?) the rest of the day was spent counting down the seconds until dark to see the sky turn from black to sparkly red, white, blue and every other color in the rainbow. most of the owey's cousins do not like the loud fireworks and a few of them were terrified of them, but our little guy didn't seem to mind. he was pretty awestruck, and maybe just tired - but the noise didn't bother him at all. and considering clint's brother was lighting the big huge ones right in front of us (the kind that you can feel in your chest when they explode), that's saying a lot. we just hoped owey didn't leave the weekend with permanent hearing loss (don't worry- i covered his ears.)
we also had tons of fun playing with water - i swear the kid would be content for hours with a bucket of water. now that i know how much o loves it, we'll definitely be getting more use out of our little plastic pool this summer.
we left late saturday night to head back home and crashed, exhausted from a full weekend.
i must be honest, with all the explosives around us, i hadn't really stopped to think about the reason for the celebration until we were driving through that gorgeous canyon. i sat in the backseat trying to get owey to sleep and gently sang him songs. with the majestic mountains and a setting sun that painted the sky right in front of me i started to sing "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain..." i felt a reverence for this land that we live in and a deep gratitude for the freedom i enjoy that definitely does not come free. we are so blessed and i am thankful for the opportunity to reflect on those blessings. i hope you also had a wonderful independence day!


Holly said...

We went up to Washington State one year and really enjoyed the fireworks:) What a fun tradition you have with your family!

Tracie said...

Man, I miss 4th of July in Evanston. Nothing matches up to it!


Angelina, John, Mason, Elise McKenna said...

I love the pictures, I can't believe how mobile Owen is.

Madsen Family said...

Happy 4th, Owey!!! He just gets cuter and cuter. When do I get to meet him??? I'm jealous you got, they don't even allow sparklers or POP rocks! Geez...