It's kind of ridiculous that it tooke me five separate posts to share all of our 4th of July pictures.
But (as much as I dislike the saying) it is what it is...
We all slept in since we had been up so late the night before.
And then we ate breakfast.
And then the kids goofed off while Josh and I packed up.
And then we rode our bikes down to the store.
And Annie pitched the biggest fit she'd pitched in years (because her dad wouldn't let her spend her money on junkfood.)
And then we took the boat out for one last spin around the lake before heading home.
And that's (finally) it.
This 4th was kind of an important one for me.
It actually marked the one-year anniversary of what has been to date, the hardest time Josh Downs and I have ever gone through in our marriage.
In fact, it was during our last 4th of July trip that I actually threw out the 'D' word. (The first and hopefully the last time.)
It was just weeks before he was scheduled to deploy and for months it felt like every time we started to recoup from one hard thing that had been thrown our way, we were hit with another.
It was all stuff that is unique to blended-families and in general, Josh and I handle that stuff pretty well because we recognize and accept that it's all a part of the natural consequences related to divorce.
But this stuff was harder than normal and combined with the stress of him leaving, it felt insurmountable.
And looking back, I realize how ridiculous it was to even bring up the 'D' word, but at the time, it felt like it was the only way out of all the hard stuff that was going on.
And my poor sister (who may never go on a family vacation with us again) was there for all of it.
Thankfully, when the kids overhead me talking to my mom just a couple of weeks ago about how hard that 4th of July trip was, they all said, "We didn't know you and dad were fighting - that was like the funnest 4th of July ever."
And in a way, I guess that means we did our job as parents well.
But this 4th of July?...This one was a beautiful one (and completely D-word free.)