Wednesday, July 09, 2008

All-American Holiday

FINALLY, the moment you've ALL been waiting for.... (drum roll, please)

Whitney's BACK from her period of blog neglect for another exciting post!

I sincerely apologize to all my fans who have been eagerly checking this blog for an update other than my no cavity update. I certainly didn't plan to leave that post at the top for over a month, but things just kept coming up and then feeling overwhelmed by how backed up I am, the task just seemed daunting. So I'll just pick up here... on Independence Day.

The celebration of my country's birth began Thursday, July 3rd with one of America's favorite past times... baseball. Justin was working late, so I went with my mom and dad to watch the Birmingham Barons play the Mobile Bay Bears. There was a great turnout to watch this minor league show-down, and the atmosphere was great! We walked up to the line for the ticket booth and a man approached me and asked if we needed tickets. Yes, 3. He showed me 3 tickets and after verifying they were in the reserved seats with backs and arms, we said we'd take them. I asked him how much, and he said not to worry about it. Turns out, these seats were on the first base line just past the dugout. We were on the 3rd row, but because of the dugout, I could prop by legs right up on top... very comfy. We had some of the best seats in the house.
Look closely at the photo above... right at the center, you will see a dog... Jake, the Diamond Dog. This dog is minor league baseball's version of a bat boy! He retrieves the bats after each hit and carries them back to where the bats are kept. When the innings change, this dog takes a basket full of water bottles to each of the umpires so they can get a little refreshment on the warm summer nights. He also entertains with amazing frisbee catching and personality. Click on Jake's name and you can watch a short promotional video about him!
I took this photo of Mom and me during the game (serious skills). We were super happy because the Barons were winning... and because Dad was going to get us some ice cream! :-)
Mom, me and Dad after the game. See how close our seats were?! Barons ended up winning 3-2... a clean sweep against the Bay Bears.

The night ended with a magnificent display of fireworks. I took a million pictures, but I think these do the show as much justice as my measly little camera can show!
This was the perfect kickoff to a great week end!

Friday morning, the 4th of July, was just as patriotic and truly "American" as the baseball game the night before. Our community, Ross Bridge, is known for it's celebration of every holiday. This holiday was no different.
Just before 10:00 young and old alike gathered at a designated street corner to kick of the 4th with a parade.
Meghan (age 10) and Caitlin (age 4), our nieces from Mobile, were visiting and joined in the parade fun!
Led by drummers and a trumpet (or was it a flugelhorn) player, the parade of well over 100 people marched down the street decked out in red, white and blue. We passed friendly neighbors who chose to watch the parade from their porch! Hi Sparacio family!
And everyone was excited to see the Pattersons take their vintage car out for a holiday spin.
We ended up in the park where popsicles, bouncy fun things and a firetruck were waiting.

It was great to see so many of our neighborhood friends there!

Once the heat got to us, we decided it was time to take a swim. While we waited on our sister-in-law to get Meghan and Caitlin's bathing suits (she left them at her brother's house not far from ours), the girls and I made haystacks... well, I mixed everything up and let the girls do their thing.
What a mess!Aunt Whitney even let them lick their fingers clean!
When the bathing suits finally arrived, we washed up and headed to the pool for hours of fun.
Justin was the main attraction at the pool. He tossed every little girl and boy into the air for hours while I sad on the steps and in the baby pool with Caitlin, who is a little apprehensive about the big pool. Around 3:00, we headed back to the house.
Justin and I went to Mom and Dad's for a 4th of July dinner... ribs, baked beans (my fave), apple pie and more! It was fun to hang out with Mimi and Daddy Bill, Matt and Amanda, and Mom and Dad. It was just our family, but it was wonderful. I should also mentioned that between the last photo and now, my camera battery died, so I have no photo documentation of the rest of the day.
After dinner, Justin and I headed to our friends house. Keith and Kim Tidwell have been friends with Justin for-EVER! Justin and Keith lived across from each other in Gulf Shores from 2nd grade on, and when Justin and I first started dating, they lived together here in Birmingham. They recently bought a home in Homewood (where I grew up), and had a get-together. We hung out for a while before the big fireworks show began over Vulcan, atop Red Mountain. If the trees weren't so big, we would have had a perfect spot, but it seems like we just caught the very high ones because we were so close. Oh well, we'll know next year. We shot our own fireworks in the parking lot of a church before heading home.
We were exhausted after a busy day of play, but couldn't go to bed without reflecting on how thankful we are to live in a free country! God Bless America!