Fourth of July Party!

One of my all time favorite holidays is the 4th of July, it brings back so many fond memories of home. I grew up in suburban Minnesota and often try to make it back there specifically for the 4th of July holiday. In my hometown 4th of July starts with a quick trip to Central Park to lay out a blanket and a couple lawn chairs to reserve your space for the show later on, followed by an early BBQ in the backyard with family and friends (brats and potato salad are served, of course!) and a lazy afternoon of swimming and snacking before heading off to see the fireworks.

I love that when we get to Central Park we see kids running around with glow sticks, the band is playing patriotic numbers in the bandstand, even the smell of bug spray makes me feel like home. My dad was in the Army for a long time, and so I always feel a swell of pride when the bandleader asks members of the military to stand and be recognized as they play themes on each branch of the military's songs.  My favorite part is definitely the cheesiest, when the band plays the National Anthem and the fireworks start at "the rockets red glare..."  I'm not going to lie, I'm a little misty-eyed thinking about it.  I miss my home, and I'm really going to miss being there for the 4th.

(Balloon Fireworks from Martha Stewart, Sparklers in Stand from, Streamers and Lights from Style Me Pretty)

So this year, we'll be throwing a Midwestern 4th of July Backyard BBQ in honor of my sorely missed home. I'm thinking balloons! And sparklers! And streamers! Of course I'll be serving bratwurst, I mean obviously, and bomb pops!  As well as iced tea and lemonade with a splash of bourbon, for those partaking.  We'll squint real hard and pretend the colored fog fireworks of the Bay Area are really the small town displays of suburban Minnesota.  I'll have my brothers nearby, my own little daughter running around with glow sticks, and the nostalgia will be flowing. 

1. Berries in Paper Cups from here // 2.  Bomb Pops photo from here // 3. Glass Teardrop Tank from World Market // 4. Red White and Blue Star Paper Straws from Etsy seller Bin There Designs // 5. Ikea Elly and Tekla Kitchen Towels (as napkins) // 6. Navy Gingham Tablecloth from // 7. Vintage Sparkler Packaging from Etsy seller nbdg

Oh, you're planning a little soirĂ©e of your own?  Well, then please feel free to use this free printable 4th of July invitation I've whipped up for you.

Lastly, a little off topic, but I just have to mention one other thing making my tear glands tingle today: the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.  It makes me feel truly patriotic indeed! Equality, isn't that what being American is all about?!  Makes my heart wave a little American flag in celebration.  Hooray!

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