I love July. It's full of Fireworks and community and love and excitement. I love the memories. So many memories. Spent with family and friends. Snuggled up watching fireworks. Laughing so hard all night long. BBQ's and eating all the food. Fishing with Grandpa and feeling like I was the favorite, even though he had more than enough love to give to everyone around him. Watching Fireworks with the Idaho Falls Temple in the background. Celebrating July 3rd with friends and fireworks at Eaglewood golf course. Spending time in Park City at the parades and at the Canyons with some of the people that mattered most to me in the whole world. Small town Morgan fireworks and roasting starbursts in the backyard of my parents. Most recently taking my perfect little family of my own to the rooftop of Jason's school and watching the fireworks all around the City of Fort Worth. It was never really organized but all of our med school friends would eventually end up there. On top of that roof of the place that brought us all together and gave us something in common. I loved that. It is also the time of year that I tend to get homesick for family and friends the most. I remember struggling in New York knowing that everyone I cared about was celebrating a fabulous holiday with out me. In Michigan feeling like the state just didn't know how to compete with excitement that Utah brings on the Fourth.
This year, Jason has just started residency and we are seeing very very little of him. That familiar homesick feeling has definitely crept back in knowing we aren't going to see Jason until well past the 4th. We got invited to a ward member's Independence Day Party on the 3rd. I braved it and took the boys. They had a blast on the bounce houses and slip 'n slides. I'll be honest I felt a little lost. Not really seeing very many familiar faces and realizing that my two littles who use to be afraid to leave my side were not so little and timid anymore as they ran off and played almost immediately leaving me alone to fend for myself. I couldn't help but grin watching Ashton try the slip 'n slide all on his own with out any encouragement from me. And my heart almost burst watching my once terrified-of-every-noise little boy slowly inch his way up closer and closer to the front of the driveway where the rest of the kids were all watching the mini firework show in the street. He still kept his hands up protecting his ears but he loved the fireworks! I ended up back inside the house with Julian, unfortunately these fireworks were a little to close for comfort for him. On the way home Ashton kept saying "oh Mom I just wish you could have seen them they were so cool!" My heart was full. As I tucked them in bed that night I was overcome with emotion. I was so proud of both of them. They have taken this move and change in lifestyle with out any hesitation (oh to be a kid again). Ashton has amazed me everyday with his new found courage, determination, and independence. I turned some familiar background music on to drown out the noise of the neighborhood fireworks so they could get to sleep. I wanted so badly to just climb in bed with them and hold on tight in hopes that they might not grow up during the night. We may have celebrated the Fourth of July a little differently this year, my heart may be a little homesick for Fourth of July pasts. But I'm so grateful for the blessings of the here and now and the country that allows us to sleep safely in our homes and celebrate our independence and freedom with out fear. Here's to many many more Fourth of July memories.