Growing up, my extended family made a huge deal of Independence Day.  We would head over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house, which was within walking distance of the town’s parade route, and spend the day grilling by the pool and visiting with family.  You never knew who might show up for the 4th of July at that big white house, but it was always a good time.  Some of my favorite childhood memories are of July 4th with my cousins, friends and family.

We haven’t really established any 4th of July traditions for our little family yet.  Since moving to Houston, we’ve spent the holiday hanging around the house while I under cook chicken on the grill and give Scott his annual dose of salmonella.  This year, we received an invitation to attend a party on Galveston Island.  I was excited because we’ve never been to Galveston and Scott was thrilled to be spared a bout of food poisoning.

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I was a bit nervous about attending this particular gathering because I would be totally out of my comfort zone.  This was a group of Scott’s hockey friends, most of whom I have never met.  It turned out to be a fantastic – though HOT – day.  Everyone was very friendly and even my anti-social little Addison warmed up quickly though I think that had a lot to do with the three dogs running around.

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Ollie impostor.

We knew there would be a pool at this home, so we prepared by making sure Addison had the proper flotation devices.  This was Addison’s first time around a big pool and we wanted to make sure that she was safe.  In addition to the pool, the house is flanked by water on two sides.  All of these large bodies of water made us nervous.  Scott did try unsuccessfully to put her in her full life vest once or twice but the arms floaties worked just fine.

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As expected, Addie spent most of the afternoon in the pool with her Dad stopping only for diaper checks and sunblock applications.

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It was 100 degrees on July 4th.  This is, perhaps, why we’ve been okay with hanging around the house for the past few years.  It was HOT out there.  Being on the water didn’t make a huge difference; 100 degrees is 100 degrees.  We had to coax Addison out of the pool to eat dinner and spend some downtime in the air conditioning.

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We left Galveston long before the fireworks began, but we did get home in time to see them from our neighborhood.  Before we left, we trespassed on private property for some photo ops.

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We’re both reaching for my hat, though I don’t quite remember why it was suspended in mid-air.

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I usually don’t post pictures that are nearly identical , but I’m posting both of these because they make my heart sing.  These two are my whole world.  The only thing missing here is a little black dog in the bottom right corner with his tongue hanging out.  The look on their faces in these photos is exactly the way they look at each other at 5:15 every weekday afternoon.  I can only hope that Addison always smiles this big when she’s in her Daddy’s arms.

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