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The start of the second act of fireworks.

When I think back to Independence Day 2015, I’m going to remember:

Lighting a few of our fireworks after the big show.
I Survived!
Getting started with sparklers!

A little over a month ago, we took a quick trip back to Nebraska–the first since Christmas–and were able to see some family and friends while there. Of course, “quick trip” is relative. It’s a solid nine and a half hour drive from Indiana back home and that’s with only one stop to refuel and use the restroom. Oh, and being grossly pregnant doesn’t help things either. By the end of the drive and through the weekend, my ankles and feet resembled sausages from the swelling and I walked around barefoot as much as possible since I could barely bring myself to squish my feet into shoes.

We always start out so optimistic and excited for a road trip…

The highlight of any Forth of July is the massive fireworks show at my in-law’s house. This year, was no exception. While the “pros” were setting up dozens and dozens of artillery shells in anticipation of the show they’d be putting on, a trio of teenage boys managed to shoot a bottle rocket right into a box of fireworks. The resulting explosion was pretty amazing–it sent men, women and children scrambling for safety. My niece, in sheer terror, almost hightailed it across half the state, I rescued Claire from a front row viewing where she was happily catching tissue paper parachutes when it all began and was too shocked to move (never say a pregnant woman can’t sprint when she needs to!), Jack tried his best to douse the fire before running, friends were protecting children they didn’t know and my brother-in-law leaped from his seat and ran off with his plate of food.

The girls enjoying the fireworks. Kaylee especially.

My sister, Jenny, had to firmly remind him to go back and get their daughter, who was stuck in a portable crib. When all was said and done, most of the fireworks had gone off or were doused with water. Everyone was in agreement that there had never been a show quite like that before. Fortunately, no one was harmed (beyond singed hair) and once the boys were thoroughly chastised for their lack of common sense (I may have thrown out my thoughts on the matter a couple of times), we surveyed the damage. For starters, Evelyn was incredibly upset at the idea of not being able to stay up late, thinking there wouldn’t be any more fireworks. Mercifully, there were a few artillery shells left and though the show was not up to its usual par, I don’t think anything could top the initial explosion that left everyone in awe.

We didn’t bring our swimming suits so when Grandma Eliker pulled out an inflatable water slide, they had to borrow shirts!

All too soon, we had to head back home. Again, we endured long hours in the car, a dog who is terrified of noisy, booming fireworks and probably tried to hold her bladder an entire holiday weekend (except when she was so surprised at the crackle of a firework that she ran back inside and relieved herself on my parents’ carpet…sorry!), sweating instantly once we stepped foot from the car, listening to a set of cute but obnoxious chicks that my mom sent home with us who chirped constantly from the back of the car, whiny children who understandably couldn’t stand the trip home, and so on.

Anything to make the trip home more fun…

The weekend was incredibly fun but sometimes, fun requires a lot of work. But I’ll always remember, I survived!

I survived Claire requesting a million and one times to bring a kitten home.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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