I think this year, even more then ever, everyone is really taking the time to think about their freedom(s). Because, even though we do have so much more freedom then a lot of people in the world, it seems those freedoms are slowly being taken away or changed slowly but surely. After years of war, losing so many precious lives....we as Americans are starting to value our freedom more and more. Our pastor spoke an amazing Freedom message at church yesterday....Really thought provoking and encouraging. Yesterday I celebrated my freedom with even more heart felt gratitude then usual! And my eyes started to well up yesterday singing America, The Beautiful at church yesterday - there is a sense of belonging and pride that I don't know that I've ever really taken the time to appreciate before.
We spent Saturday evening at the local Forest City festival - it really isn't much of a festival. There are some bounce houses for the kids, some of the local restaurants set up stands where you can buy food less then a mile from where you normally buy it, bands come and play (mostly various churches trying to entice you to come to their church!) and then a small but decent fireworks show around 10pm. I go just to look at people and see people I know who won't speak to me in public! Lol! It's really just somewhere to go really.
Yesterday was great! We went to church and had a really great service. After that we grilled out with my family - chicken and burgers, grilled corn, home made french fries and home made jelly drop cookies! Plus swimming.....Gianna swam herself silly with her daddy yesterday! She loves nothing more then spending time with him. It's so sweet to see how much she adores him. After that me, Dad, Beej and D headed up to Asheville. We left Gi at home with Mom because we knew it would be a lot of walking, fighting crowds and getting home really late. Next year I want to find a fireworks show that's a little closer so that Gianna can go see them. But she's still at the age where she doesn't really know she's missed them. I don't think she'll be like that next year though, she's going to be SO much more grown up next year......but we spent a couple of hours walking around amongst the crowds down town and looking at the various, colorful assortment of people that Asheville draws. Heard a cool like indie folk band called Now You See Them! Really neat band. Beej bought a funnel cake - D and I won't eat them because we've gotten sick off them before but Dad ate some. We went by Starbucks twice - once we got stuff, the second time was just for a bathroom stop. We did TONS of walking. Which was good but my legs were tired by the end of the night. Trying to keep up with everyone else's long legs! We went by a sandwhich shop called Jimmy John's and I've heard they are great - we didn't want anything but drinks before the fireworks but they told us they'd be open till 11pm and we said we'd come back to eat after the fireworks. Where we parked to watch the fireworks and where Jimmy John's was located was a good 3 miles probably. The fireworks were awesome as always - towards the end something went wrong and they just ended. No grand finale or anything.....we waited for awhile and then finally loads of people started leaving. But we kept waiting thinking something had just gone wrong and sure enough about 15 mins. later they started back up! And the grand finale was AMAZING! D took a lot of pictures so hopefully we'll go through those today and I'll post some later! After that we sprinted over to Jimmy John's, fighting crazy traffic and crowds and got there around 10:30pm and they were CLOSED!!!! We were livid! Called someone over and she was pretty rude and told us they closed at 10pm. Sorry. Needless to say, I probably won't ever go back to that Jimmy John's and probably won't bother to ever give them my business. We tried to stop and eat at IHOP on the way home but half the restaurant was closed and the lines were out the door. We finally decided to just head home, call it a night and go to bed which I was more the willing to do!!! All in all, a great fourth!!! How was your 4th?!