Water balloons began the celebration with a splash as we raced across the yard, drenched in colorful rubber pieces.
A delicious buffet of home cooked food followed this refreshing amusement.
Then, bets were placed as cardboard “soldiers” were sent flying high in the air after being released from a small firework. Wind carried them off as people shouted in hope that their parachute would land nearest to the chalk marked X.
The sky was suddenly glittering with hundreds of patriotic fireworks that exploded in the night. My face lit up. I was so happy to be home.
This was the first 4th of July that I spent with my family in two years, so it was definitely a special treat to be home. The afternoon was absolutely spectacular, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Thank you so much, Mom & Dad! I love you both so much! 🙂
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”
(I loved this quote, despite my short stature.)
I am so thankful to have such a fantastic father… You have taught me so much and have made me the person I am today. It has been an incredible 16 years, and I am looking forward to all of the wonderful more to come. I love you so much, and I am proud to call you my dad. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
This big summer trip has officially ended, and it is very bittersweet to be back home. I missed my room. I missed my bed. I missed my birds. I missed dance! However, my family and I have made so many great memories together for the past month. We saw parts of the country that we may never get to see again. I saw landmarks that I never imagined I would ever see. This was a trip of a lifetime, and I am so blessed to have experienced such beautiful places. I recall:
being on the edge of my seat at that rodeo in Cody
taking a ride through Bear Country and seeing those wild animals stand inches away from our car in Rapid City
eating the best steak I have ever had at the Big Texan in Amarillo
a giant crow smacking into our car on the interstate in New Mexico
traveling through all of the Fly Over States (love this song!)
almost getting lost as we tried to find our way to Devils Kitchen in Wyoming
driving through Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs as pea sized snow hits our car in June
We are now back to reality. We are home! Thank you all for joining me on this fun adventure, and I really hope you enjoyed this series of posts. Which place are YOU most interested in traveling to after reading?
*An ocean of lush, green grassland extended farther than eyes could possibly see. The hills were rolling waves, and the grasses rippled as they swayed in the wind.
*Rock mountains towered above us as we gazed up in awe. I couldn’t help but wonder if my imagination was getting the best of me.
*Fertile farmlands blossomed with corn and wheat for miles as the endless land surrounded us from left to right…
Scenery ranged significantly in the breathtaking state of South Dakota. Experiencing Mount Rushmore outside of a history textbook is something that I will never forget. It is a massive monument that is absolutely flawless! The balance of each detail is unbelievable, and I am still astounded that the creation of the masterpiece was even possible! On that note, we also visited the Crazy Horse monument. While we were there, we went into a Native American museum and viewed the historic jewelry, dolls, chief headdresses, clothing, and pottery of the Indians that use to call the area their homeland. Not too long after, we visited a retired gold mine and learned about how the miners use to search for the precious material! It was very interesting, and I learned lots of neat facts. Our busy day ended with a walk through Rapid City and the mouth watering taste of homemade truffles from a chocolate shop. What an amazing journey through South Dakota!
A HUGE congrats to Sarah, Rose, Mandy, Christine, Grace, Sophia, Anna Jean, and Gwendolyn on graduation! Wishing you all the best as you begin this new, exciting chapter of your lives. I know that you will all accomplish great things, and I am thrilled for each of you… Congratulations! 🙂
Sweet 16 celebration. ‘End of the Year’ party. Graduation parties.
It was a great week, and I am so glad to have spent it with such an awesome group of people. I am so thankful for everyone who invited me to celebrate with them, because I had an absolute blast (and I even got to reunite with a really close friend!)
Thank you for all of the memories… Thank you for all of the smiles… Thank you for always being there for me… I love you all!
In exactly one week, my family will begin the journey through 13 states in 20 days. We are going to explore some of the major national parks and landmarks across the USA including: Mount Rushmore, Cadillac Ranch, Garden of the Gods, Yellowstone, Royal Gorge, and the Badlands. It is going to be such an incredible experience that I am so thankful to have… I am so blessed to be able to spend this summer with my family and make memories that will last a lifetime. I will be sure to keep you all “posted” while I am on this adventure, and I will take lots of photos to share. I hope that you join me!
*Photo Credits: Richard Jean-Louis
Vibrant feathers gracefully float to the bottom of the cage as Kiwi undergoes her springtime molt. She poses for a photo, and I quickly capture the moment for this Parakeet Post. I love this beautiful budgie. 🙂