The Fourth of July is one of Chris’s favorite holidays. And with all the grilling, swimming, and firework action, who wouldn’t love it? We had a fun time with friends and – bonus! – my new camera came in on Wednesday, so I have pretty pictures again! Yay! Unfortunately, I didn’t take as many pictures during the party, so you’ll just have to trust me that we had a great time!
We have started putting a sign on our door during parties and having people walk around to our back gate to enter instead. Makes parking easier because there is more room over there, and people get right out to the backyard without having to wander through the house to find us. We always mark the back gate with balloons or flags so they can find the gate easier.
Here is the view from just inside the gate. (Look, with my new camera lens, you can see the entire backyard now in one picture!) We had corn hole set up on one side of the yard. For all you non-Southern folks, corn hole is a game you play where you try to throw corn bean bags into the hole on the board on the other side of the yard. It’s really hard, but lots of fun. I know they play it in other regions of the country, but I think it’s sometimes called something else?
On the other side of the yard, we set up croquet, which has become our Fourth of July tradition somehow. The Fourth just isn’t the same without it! It’s kind of hard to see it in the pictures, but you can sort of make out the little white hooks in the ground around the turtle sandbox and in front of the swingset.
Chris outdid himself on twinkle lights across the pool this year. We borrowed them from a friend who owns a party supply rental company, but I am trying to convince Chris to just buy them from the guy because those suckers are hard to find! Chris had to shimmy up our super tall palm trees and attach one end up there. Then, he strung the lights across the pool and attached them to the corner of our deck.
(Watch out for the pokey palm!)
I thought they came out so cute! You should see them at night, though. Pictures just don’t do it justice. So festive!
Someone asked me last week to do an official “deck tour” of the finished deck. These pictures were as good as a deck tour gets, I think. This is the top deck that you walk out on from inside our house. We have a little sitting area up here and, of course, the grill. We are looking for a little cafe table and chairs to put up here. I’m hoping I’ll find a set at the end of summer sales.
This is Bean.
If you look from the top deck down onto the lower deck, you’ll see the built-in benches along the house and the big patio table and chairs. We also added that big deck box next to the bench this summer. It holds all our pool floats.
To the left on the lower deck is the kids water table. I also keep plastic baskets that hold their pool toys like goggles, dive sticks, and buckets.
If you look from the patio table back up to the top deck, you can see our hooks for hanging towels and swimsuits to dry. Chris also has installed a really great sound system in the backyard that lets up play the music loud but the speakers keep it from bothering the neighbors.
Our theme for the day (if you can call it a theme, really?) was all-American. For dinner, we served chili dogs, pasta salad, and watermelon. Dessert was an ice cream sundae bar, with patriotic cookies and cake that friends brought.
(Thank you, Pinterest!)
We also had homemade sangria that was lethal, but oh so good! I’m about 110% certain that this is was reason Saturday morning was so painful for me!
After playing out in the backyard all afternoon in the pool and with the yard games, we headed to the front yard to watch fireworks when the sun started to go down. We usually have people over on the fourth because our neighborhood does FANTASTIC fireworks. But this year, we decided to have our own little show, too.
This is Maddie (below to the right). She is a 3rd grade teacher, and her voice was MADE for the classroom. It is so lovely and smooth. I could listen to her talk for days! She is engaged to Drik (not pictured because he was off buying more bottle rockets for the cause), and they are getting married this fall at a Sandals resort in JAMAICA. So exotic! I’m jealous. My next wedding will be at a Sandals resort in Jamaica…
This is Steve, hiding behind his hat for protection from the fireworks. As you can tell, his partner, Jeremy, was VERY concerned for him. They crack me up. Steve was terrified!
If you’ve been around here for long at all, you’ll recognize, Tray, one for Chris’s best friends from undergrad. He and Chris turned into little boys with the fireworks this year. They had enough bottle rockets to start a small militant attack, and they were prone to randomly throwing them in the air and just “seeing where they went,” which often resulted in our party guests having to duck and cover at random points in the night.
As you can probably tell, I am sitting in the very back of the group, hiding my terrified children underneath me in a Fisher Price wagon. This probably explains why I didn’t get too many pictures. I was busy SAVING BEAN AND GRACIE FROM THEIR FATHER AND UNCLE TRAY.
All in all, it was a really great holiday. I love being at home, and I love our home being filled with people. Hosting parties is a wonderful way for homebodies to be social. If we never had people over, Chris might go his entire life without ever seeing anyone outside of his office! Ha!
But not really…