Sparkler 4th of July

I’m incredibly grateful for the freedoms we have as Americans. And, especially after one more politically charged week, I appreciate a day when we can set aside our differences and celebrate the country we’re blessed to live in. But most of all, I’m thankful for the men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. My grandfathers, my brother-in-law, and my friend Cory – these men and so many more have done what I never could have to protect what I take for granted and would never want to live without. Thank you.

All that being said, I’m even more grateful for the freedom we have in Jesus.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36

And now that I’ve said those things? Well, I suppose it’s okay for me to admit that when I hear the word, “freedom,” I almost always hear it yelled in Mel Gibson’s Scottish accent from Braveheart – or sung by George Michael.

Because I’m deep . . . and spiritual . . . and patriotic like that.

*sigh*

Anyway. What are YOU doing for the 4th of July? Most years we go to my cousin’s house for a BBQ. She got married on the 4th of July and they’ve been throwing a party ever since. In recent years, we’ve gone to my cousin’s house while hoping my parents would offer to take Annalyn home with them. (Because we’re awesome parents . . . and sneaky like that.)

But this year we’re taking a road trip. I’m excited to tell you about it on Monday. For now, I’ve got to pack – bags and the car. We’ll only be gone overnight, so the bags part of it isn’t that hard (although, good grief I’d forgotten how babies require packing ALL OF THE THINGS when we go ANYWHERE). But cramming all four people, plus a stroller, a suitcase and various bags, into my pretty small car that we bought when we thought we weren’t going to get pregnant so we didn’t need an SUV after all? Yep. It’s a challenge.

So, I’m going to leave you with a few recipe links in case you have a patriotic potluck to go to today and need some ideas. And because, even though I’m excited for our road trip, I’m a little bummed to not have an excuse to fix any of these yummy dishes – so I hope some of YOU can enjoy them!

Mini Fruit Pizzas
Flag-Shaped Fruit Kebabs
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Bacon Burgers with Bacon Jam

(Because what says ‘Merica more than bacon?)

And don’t forget the s’mores (please, please read this list in your best Forrest Gump shrimp voice):

S’mores Rice Krispy Treats
S’mores Pops
S’mores Cupcakes
S’mores Brownies
Cookie Dough S’mores Bars
S’mores Cookies
Crispy S’mores Bars

All right, that’s all I’ve got today. No more putting off packing. It must be done so we can hit the road! What are YOUR plans for the 4th?

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