We celebrated Independence Day in Manassas. We had decided to take in the fireworks close by, but then changed our minds and wanted a little drive. We got drenched in rain in the afternoon, came back home to get dry, went back to watch the fireworks, and got drenched while watching them. I have to say that it was totally worth it. Manassas knows how to do fireworks, and they thrilled me.

I packed a picnic and the crowds weren't too bad - maybe because of the intermittent rain - so we were able to find a great place to eat and talk and see the fireworrks. The boys played on the lawn with a bunch of other kids and did sparklers right before the show started.

What I loved most was sitting there with my boys and looking at their faces light up in flashes, mesmerized by the different colors and the boom boom crack boom. They are such good sports, too - sitting in the drizzle, enjoying the show.

There was hardly any traffic on the way out so we were home and all in bed at a decent time, too. Pretty much a perfect day.

The rest of July promises to be hectic, with a lot of to-do's and miscellaneous nagging tasks. Summer is flying by and I haven't caught up with it yet.

But now we're at the final countdown for our beach week at the beginning of August. I really do try not to wish time away, but there about a million reasons why I can not wait until we are soaking up the sun and playing in the sand in North Carolina. It has become a summer tradition and I live for it. There just are not very many other times or places when I can just be, and my little boys can just play and run and splash and dig in sand absolutely to their heart's content, and I can have uninterrupted conversations with people.

Twenty-six days.

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