July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday America.

Fourth of July is one of the best holidays.  Everyone in the community is invited to celebrate.  It doesn't matter what religion or ethnicity you are.  It's all about celebrating freedom and equality and being grateful for the opportunities presented to us and saying thank you to those who fought for these freedoms throughout our past.  We celebrated all weekend in the blistering heat.

 Team "Run Fo-est" kicked off July with the Warrior Dash at Afton Alps.  Justin and the girls made it in 56 minutes and crossed the finish line together.  The weather was extremely hot and humid that day.  Their race was in the morning, but it was already nasty out.  There were quite a few hills throughout the race, but Justin seemed pretty prepared for the obstacles and didn't struggle as much during the race.  He was very proud of his accomplishments and after a few showers and a nap, he was ready to go on the next adventure.  Congrats to the whole team.  I have a feeling this will not be their last adventure race.  Looking forward to watching them attack Go Commando and possibly even the Tough Mudder next year.  I'm not so sure that I will be joining them, but I could at least be at the next one to cheer them on from the sidelines.

While they were running, I was celebrating my sister-in-law's upcoming nuptials at her wedding shower.  We enjoyed mimosas and cheesy potatoes.  I spent some much needed time with my three favorite girls in the entire world.

They just kept saying cheese and it was hard to resist.  After the morning's activities, we all had to get ready our Haunted History Tour of St. Paul.  It probably was not a good idea to sign up for an evening event after those three have raced.  The temperature was still near 100 degrees and the tour was completely ridiculous.  Our tour guide only talked about ghosts and possibly could have been one herself... I know, that's inappropriate, but we were not happy with the $40 and 2.5 hours we had given this company.  Going into it, I was the only one with any energy...

Annika didn't seem very happy that I was snapping pictures of her cooling off in the fountain.  Justin & Katie weren't even paying attention to me.  The smile on my face was quickly wiped away and matched everyone else once I realized what kind of "adventure" would have signed up for.

The most exciting things we learned in the 2.5 hours:

1. Nina had a brothel and that's who the coffee shop is named after by Katie & Annika's apartment
2. There is a $10 million Scientology church in St. Paul
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in St. Paul (Oh yeah, I ALREADY knew that.)

It was super lame and I do not recommend it to anyone.  Groupon is bound to fail us every once in a while.  That should mean that the next couple we purchase will be awesome.

On the 4th, we took the drive to the Northern suburbs to celebrate with both friends & family.  Before we left, we took the annual pictures with the dogs:

That hat kills me.  I brought out my inner Martha Stewart and brought a fruit flag.  Thank goodness I took a picture before we left the house because the bananas didn't look so great after 3 hours.  I even added some mini marshmallows as "stars."

The party at the Simon's did not disappoint.  Even though it was unbearable outside, we managed to make it all work and have a blast doing it.  They had a puppy pool, a big kid pool and a slip & slide.

Nothing like a few grown men slipping and sliding on the $8.00 version made for children.  Needless to say, the slip & slide only lasted about 2 hours before it popped and could not be repaired.  We were lucky enough to meet the newest addition to the Simon family, Gauge.  He is a 7 week old red lab that has the biggest paws and a wrinkly face and he really enjoyed chewing on the patriotic necklaces we brought.

It's also totally normal for the boys to put a Go Pro on and push all the girls into the pool.  Real cool boys.

We stopped in Champlin for dinner and a swim at Justin's mom & dad's house.  We played with Tyler (J's cousin's little boy) and he lit his first sparkler.  The amusement and excitement that little kids have the first time they see a sparkler or firework up close is one of my favorite parts of this holiday.  We were a little too tired to head anywhere for fireworks, so we rushed home to take care of the baby.

Sorry for the long post.  Hopefully I won't wait as long in between posts next time.  Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July and enjoy the hot sweaty weekend coming up.  Cheers to Gauge (you found a great home for yourself), sparklers and Bahama Mama's (Justin's drink of choice for the holiday.)

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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.