Turns out that Utah Valley is a really fun place to live on the 4th of July. There were so many activities associated with Provo's annual Freedom Festival that I was beside myself knowing we couldn't do it all. (Especially watching the hot air balloons inflate at 6:30 am. with 25,000 other people. Whoa! That does NOT coincide with our summer schedule.)
We missed it all and spent Saturday at Seven Peaks water park, our first time this year, and the kids had a blast. It was super hot, so it really was the best thing we could have done. That night, I managed to get some half off tickets to the infamous "Stadium of Fire" at BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium. (I think I'm the only person in this valley who has never been.) What a patriotic event! Loved it all, from the jets overhead, to the hang gliders landing in the stadium, to the Stadium of Fire dancers:
Poor Brandon was on call the whole weekend, including Monday, and it was a beast of a weekend for him! His brother, Damon, and his wife Angie were in town, so we went to dinner together before the show, but then Brandon had to leave to do a procedure on someone, missing everything but the end of Brad Paisley and the fireworks. Here we are after the show:
Monday wasn't any better, with Brandon spending the majority of the day at the hospital, not getting home until about 3pm. The good news is that was right about the time everyone was planning to come over, the bad news is that meant I spent the day cooking and getting the house ready with four bored children underfoot who thought they were going swimming with Dad:
Salad recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites:
Cutie patooties (bubble recipe here--use the ones with corn syrup unless you want to buy glycerin):
After dinner we all played outside on the bikes and boards until dark:a cake for him, but the fridge was packed a little too tight, so this is what happened to his cake when he opened the door to get something else out:
The kids made a treasure hunt for Brandon to find his birthday present (a new driver) and (with the help of their mother) got pretty creative with the clues. Here he is reading the clue that had been frozen in a cup of water in the freezer:
Right near the end of the treasure hunt, people in the neighborhood started doing their fireworks, so I don't think the little kids even saw what was at the end. (Because, you know, they would have been so thrilled to see that golf club, right?) This year in Utah, they legalized the big fireworks for any old Joe Shmoe to do in front of their house. That's what I like about the Wild West, as opposed to the politically correct and overly litigious West:
Luckily, someone else on our street and most of the nearby "Cul-de-Sacs of Fire" had the big ones. We could see all the firework displays in the valley down to Provo from our neighbor's deck across the street:
So once again, due to the colossal cake debacle, Brandon shares his birthday with America:
Ty: (flopped on the ground)
Rachael: "Happy heart" (she says this every time no matter who it is)
Paige: (I can't remember now!)
Elizabeth: He always plays with me and takes care of me.
Will: He goes skateboarding with me.
Kate: He never stops working.
Brent: He's adaptable. He can talk to people of all ages.
Damon: He's a great big brother. Always a good example to all his younger brothers. (It was much more eloquent and sweet.)
Me: Even after a long day of work, he comes home happy and ready to help with the kids or around the house.
Angie: Admires how he works at having fun little hobbies and outside interests, and how much he loves his kids.
Right when Brandon and I finally flopped into bed around midnight, his phone rang and--you guessed it!--he had to go back in to the hospital for a woman with a kidney stone that was leaving on a plane for Hawaii at 6am the next morning. (Kate really got it right this year . . . ) At least he got to be there for his party!
Happy Birthday Brandon and America!