In Which We Reclaim the Fourth of July Just to Spite the Weather

I don’t know if it came across in yesterday’s post, but I was a teensy bit grumpy about the weather situation and the fact that Iowa dared to rain on my parade. It’s possible I was actually a big pouty whiner about it, and it’s also possible that the fact that today is gorgeous and sunny and everything, in fact, that Independence Day should be is making me a little crazy. But oh well.

Last night, after the rain stopped, we went to a free Fourth of July concert by the Artisans in Brass. This is a very talented group of five men who brought out their horns to play some awesome American music. The deal was that if the boys behaved themselves reasonably well we would reward them by taking them to the fireworks. Their behavior wasn’t perfect, in fact, I’m pretty sure that the people around us were getting a little tired of seeing Sam’s Beanie Baby chihuahua (named, aptly enough, Chihuahua, or sometimes Chi-woo-woo), flying through the air. But it was an outdoor concert and we sat apart from everyone for a reason.Honestly, the people who set up their chairs near us probably could have figured out for themselves that we weren’t going to be channeling the artsy symphony crowd if they had been paying any sort of attention at all. I mean, the presence of two young boys clearly hopped up on sugar should have given it away, don’t you think?

Wow. What a long and pointless paragraph.

Anyway, my lovely sons remembered my dire threats regarding the fireworks for about ten minutes of the hour-long concert, which means that for ten minutes they sat on the blanket, looked cute, and listened to the music. Then they spent about ten minutes dancing around and tossing Chihuahua in time to the music, and the remaining forty minutes making me twitch by means of throwing grass, playing with their gum, rolling around on the ground, seeing how far they could throw Chihuahua, clapping at inappropriate times, asking (loud) cringe-worthy questions, and climbing on their parents. Add this to the fact that Gracie loves brass music, but only if she’s sleeping through it or being bounced to it, and life on our patchwork quilt was, um, less than peaceful.

Believe it or not, this is actually what we in the Together household consider a “successful” outing. As one of the people we were talking to last night said, this is a busy age. And he should know. He has six kids between the ages of eleven and six. His wife is a candidate for sainthood, I’m sure of it.

These pictures are from the first ten minutes, while the boys were still on their best behavior, before our little family outing devolved into monkey-house chaos.

Here’s Gracie rocking the layers. It was pretty chilly last night, and cloudy of course, so I dug out an old too-small white sleeper of Sam’s and put it under her fab Fourth of July outfit. The layered look is a style that truly transcends age boundaries, don’t you think?


You can tell Ryan really wanted to go to the fireworks by the fact that he cooperated when I wanted to take his picture. Sure, he looks a little smug, but that’s better than the psycho-wild-eyed crazy child look he was sporting earlier in the day.


Listening to the music, possibly for the last time during the entire concert.


The boys even willingly posed for a couple of pictures together. Mom, I posted this one just for you. I thought you’d like the wad of gum in the corner of Ryan’s mouth. He is my kid, can you tell?


Oh, yeah, and there was music too. I’m pretty sure that Artisans in Brass won’t be using this as their new publicity shot.


We were there too, Art and I, in spite of the small amount of photographic evidence.


If this picture gives you the impression that the boys are about to lose all their inhibitions and morph from cute munchkins to demon monkey children, you are very right.


Yeah, she’s cute. And heavy. As I can attest to thanks to the fact that I spent half the concert bouncing her to keep her from screaming.


Anyway, somehow the children (and their parents) made it through a whole bunch of songs, plus some patriotic readings, and the very last song they played was “Stars and Stripes Forever.” And just so you can really feel what it was like to spend time on that quilt with our family, I am proud to presentย  Together Family Home Movies, Independence Day Concert Edition.

A few disclaimers first, though.

By this point the boys had been warned that if they strayed away from the blanket again they would be in Big Going-to-Bed-without-Fireworks Trouble, so you really don’t get to see some of the most outrageous of their antics. Second, while at times it may look like I am about to bounce the life right out of poor Gracie, please blame at least 50% of the shaking on my husband’s amazing videography (apparently I just made that word up; I’m okay with that) skills. Third, I apologize in advance for my singing. I can’t helpย  myself.

We did go to the fireworks, and didn’t take a single picture. But that’s a post for another day.

It was a good, albeit hyperactive and twitch-inducing, end to a bummer day.

Love this crazy family.


10 thoughts on “In Which We Reclaim the Fourth of July Just to Spite the Weather

  1. Erin, she’s adorable, the boys are adorable and it was fun to hear your actual voice on the video ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hey I was bouncing the camera on purpose. It’s called “artsy-camera-shaking-thing-like-in-that-Cloverfield-movie” video photography.

    aka the “Vomit Cam”!!!

  3. Ok-so I watched the little video with the kids on my lap. Thought you might enjoy some of the commentary, which included, “That baby is so bouncy!” And, “I wanna go see THOSE friends. Who are those friends again, Mommy?” And, “Play it again!! I wanna see that CUTE BABY!”
    I, on the other hand, am quite dizzy thanks to Art’s videography skills. (I could swear that should be a word–what’s up with that??)

  4. Erin that was great! Gracie is a champion bouncer. If that was my little guy I would have seen some serious up-chuck!

    Glad you made it the fireworks!

  5. Well, the video proves that Gracie doesn’t suffer from motion sickness!!! The pictures and video were wonderful. Glad we were able to share some of the holiday!! The boys are really getting big, too!!

  6. Love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ The random, ‘ews’ and ‘ows’ in the background are so funny. ๐Ÿ™‚ And Gracie is So CUTE!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you were able to enjoy your evening. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Just to put all your fears to rest, I’m pretty sure that videography is a word. When you hire someone to film something, like a wedding, they’re called videographers, so I think we can all rest easy on that score. I also liked getting to see and hear everyone. I like the way your boys seem to keep popping up in the most unexpected places – you have a fun, lively, and never boring family ๐Ÿ™‚

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