Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Our First Fourth of July in Missouri!

Our first Fourth of July weekend in our new home was extremely...wet. :) I don't think there was a single minute here when it wasn't raining, sprinkling, misting, fogging, drizzling, or whatever...it was as if God turned on a sprinkler system and said, "Oh, you needed rain? Well here ya go!" While our trees and lawn said "Thank you!" we definitely had to miss out on a few activities because of our soggy surroundings. Instead of heading out to the festival to enjoy carnival rides and funnel cakes, we had to settle for checking out local pizza places and taking trips to Ikea, haha.

On Saturday evening we drove past the fairgrounds and saw through the trees the faintest blinking lights of a ferris wheel but hardly any people at all. There was a constant drizzle that reminded me very much of afternoons at Disney. On vacation that would mean throwing on a poncho and making the best of it, but back home we decided to check out Monical's Pizza instead. The kids weren't that heartbroken, as you can see. (We told them the carnival must have been canceled, haha.)

There's nothing that a good thin crust, a drive around, and trip to Target can't solve! 

On Sunday we were able to visit our potential new church for the first time, and we really enjoyed it. They have an awesome children's ministry, and the kids had SO much fun. I was shocked that each of them went skipping off to their respective classes with no fear at all, while Eric and I were able to sit through the first full church service we've been to in years without interruption. A miracle! Thank goodness for children's church, haha. I think we hit a bullseye with this one...no "church shopping" for us. One and done! We met so many nice families, some eerily similar to our own. Even met another boy Reagan, which was shocking to both our family and their's. That never happens. :)

That afternoon would have been another attempt at the carnival, but again...rain rain rain. (I felt so bad for the coordinators of the event all weekend. What a bummer!) Instead, we made a run to Ikea and then spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening at the home of some friends of ours for a yummy bbq. The Stockdales are wonderful hosts, and we are so thankful for their friendship in our new community!  

One thing we learned about living in the state of Missouri: they take the Fourth of July extremely seriously here, haha. That might have something to do with the fact that fireworks are still legal, and they are EVERYWHERE!! Each night we could open up our bedroom windows and just watch the show. Fireworks as far as the eye could see on the horizon. And the nights leading up to the 4th were nothing compared to last night...but I'm getting ahead of myself!

We made the drive back to Red Bud yesterday to spend time with family and get our first reprieve from the rain in days.

There were lots of little cousins running around, and lots of puddle jumping going on. :)

As usual, we weren't just celebrating the holiday but also my brother Justin's July 3rd birthday. 

There have been a lot of happy birthdays around that table!

I'm so thankful that we were able to spend the day with family. The kids do miss being so close to grandparents, but it's nice that we're still just about an hour away! To them, it's just a better excuse to have sleepovers. :)

We said our goodbyes and made our way back across the mighty Mississippi towards home, just as the sun was setting. That's when it really hit us that Missouri is truly explosive on the 4th! This place definitely earned it's reputation as the "Show Me" state. It was as if the grand ole USA itself asked, "Just how excited are you that we are a free and independent nation?" and every single neighborhood responded back with, "We'll SHOW you!" 

I mean, we were laughing so hard as we drove down the highway and to our house. The fireworks were the equivalent of surround sound, just blowing up all around us. As we pulled into our subdivision we saw many of our neighbors were lighting up the sky, and we ran back to our deck to check out the show. It was surreal just listening to it. I have never, in all my days, heard so many pops and booms and bangs, both close to home and far off in the distance. If I didn't know better, I'd say we had been transported right in the middle of the Battle of Yorktown. Haha. It was CRAZY.

We tried to take a video to truly encapsulate the craziness, but I'm not sure we were able to do it justice. Still, it was too much fun running around the neighborhood last night taking it all in, meeting neighbors, and watching the youngest Robert member (for now) be in awe at all of the pretty lights. Here's our spliced together video of the festivities - starting with our drive into town!

We ended up having a very memorable Fourth of July! We will never forget this first year when we came home to a jubilant war zone of exploding lights and ran around the neighborhood like fools. :) Maybe next year we should host...and no one would have to spend a dime, we could just watch other people blow up their money, haha. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday, too! 

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