As soon as we got into Chicago, we pretty much hit the ground running.
Fourth of July is the weekend that our hometown is at its finest. Everyone we grew up with tries to be back in town, we have the "fest" that rolls into town with rides, music, good food and a beer garden, fireworks on the lake and about 47 BBQs to pop around to.
On Thursday, my parents had friends from the neighborhood walk over. We sat outside and caught up and then ordered pizzas before everyone left.
It's always so fun to catch up with everyone that I don't get to see as much as I wish I did. Every time I leave Crystal Lake after a weekend like this, I pretty much want to cancel my flight and move home.
On Friday my dad and I got in a long walk which was great because it's basically been a food binge since the moment I landed.
Friday night we spent with Joel's family. It was his brother's birthday so we had a BBQ and got a chance to hang with all of the nieces and nephews that came in from San Diego and Iowa. It's crazy to think back to BBQs just five years ago and see how much they've changed in that house. Now it's full of noise and toys and cute little kids....it's pretty wild.
After the BBQ, we left the kids with their grandparents and went to the fest to meet up with friends that we hadn't seen in way too long. Of course, I only snagged pics with my sis-in-law and sister Nellie, but we had a ton of fun running into everyone.
Saturday morning we met up with Joel's family at the park to play with the kids and sneak in a little visiting before their nap time. It can get really hard to split time with both families on the same busy weekend, but this weekend just seemed to flow effortlessly. We got really, really lucky and I think Joel and I both will leave feeling like we got a lot of quality time spent with both sides.
After the park, we headed back to my parents to load up the boat and enjoy the water.
When we got off the boat we walked back home to freshen up and get ready for a night of BBQ hopping.
Fireworks in our town weren't until Sunday, July 5th, so on the 4th we brought out some of our own....
plus s'mores and cans of Old Style and I think we did it up right...
Sunday morning before we had a brunch at Joel's parents house, my dad fulfilled my 26 week craving of blueberry cake donuts from Country Donuts. They were every bit as good as I dreamed they would be.
Before the parade started in town, we snuck in a few more minutes with the kids and Joel's parents.
When we got home the "traffic" was a bit much, so we went the classic way and took our beach cruisers over to my uncles house to watch the parade and see some of my cousins.
The parade was long and hot...and sitting in the sun totally zonked me...but it was fun and a good chance to visit with my extended family, and we also got to celebrate my cousin Riley who is going to Illinois State in the fall.
We had an easy dinner at the country club that night and then sat on the boat on the dock to watch the fireworks (which were incredible). By the time we walked home from boat, everyone pretty much fell into their beds.
It was a long, busy, and fun filled weekend that I didn't want to end. The weather was perfect, all of our family was in one place, everyone is happy and healthy....it was so, so good.
I'm home for another week...filling my time with more family, a wedding shower, and capping it off with a bachelorette party this weekend.