the 4th.

Sometimes holidays are stressful... but usually not ones like the 4th of July. I like holidays like that -- the ones that involve get-togethers with family and friends with good food and good times and even FIREWORKS! -- well, I guess most holidays do include all that stuff (maybe not fireworks) but somehow always seem to be a little more stressful.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the 4th this year was perfect. Unlike last year.

We started off the 4th with a trip to the lake at the family farm with the boys (Tobey & Kosmo.)

lake view

I love going there.. it's so pretty and peaceful and a nice little escape from the city, even though it's only 20 minutes away.

Tobey usually loves it too, but this time he staked himself out a nice little shady spot under the truck.

20100704-20100704-IMG_5042

Save for one walk around the lake, I am pretty sure he was there all day.

Kosmo, on the other hand, was like a little fishy! Not at first though. As usual, when we'd throw a stick for him he'd get in the water to get it, but wouldn't get off the little ledge where he could safely stand.

20100704-20100704-IMG_4993

Instead he lets Jake do all the hard work and then takes the stick from him after he gets it.

20100704-20100704-IMG_5047

But this time, Josh decided it was time to have little Kosmo swim lessons so he could learn to get his own stick.

swim lessons

It seemed to work out pretty well. He finally got comfortable in the water and his big eyes would get even bigger when he saw the stick. It was like he was so proud that he could finally do it and didn't need big Uncle Jake to do it for him.

kosmo swimming

swimming

Little baby Kosmo is growing up!

....and then he and Jake would go after the stick at the same time. Not sure if they were helping each other or fighting over it, but it was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

kosmo and jake swimming

We spent the afternoon hanging out with Josh's parents, cooking hot dogs over the fire, playing with the dogs, going 4 wheeling and canoeing...

20100704-20100704-IMG_5091

20100704-20100704-IMG_5093

20100704-20100704-IMG_5031

20100704-20100704-IMG_5033

20100704-20100704-IMG_5037

20100704-20100704-IMG_5024

20100704-20100704-IMG_5011

20100704-20100704-IMG_5020

20100704-20100704-IMG_5067-3

20100704-20100704-IMG_5081

20100704-20100704-IMG_5016

20100704-20100704-IMG_5041

20100704-20100704-IMG_5050

20100704-20100704-IMG_5066-2

It was the essence of summer and I loved every minute of it.

Especially canoeing...

20100704-20100704-IMG_5071

I think I was 12 the last time I went canoeing... and it must have been pretty obvious since Josh's dad said, "She can't steer that canoe!" when I went to sit in the back seat. Apparently that's where you steer the canoe. Who knew?! ;-)

I must have been that bad at canoeing since Josh was about to hit me with his oar and knock me overboard...

20100704-20100704-IMG_5070-3

And look how oblivious I am!

Just kidding! He would never do that.... right Josh?!?!? Josh...???

20100704-20100704-IMG_5073

20100704-20100704-IMG_5077

20100704-20100704-IMG_5079

We even took Kosmo for a ride!

And our wonderful afternoon ended with a great evening at our neighbors' party.

20100704-20100704-IMG_5118

We had fireworks upon fireworks upon fireworks... and even more fireworks.

fireworks

Including a monkey that I decided we just had to have for only 49 cents.

It was kind of a dud.

20100704-20100704-IMG_5119

I'm thankful that the guys didn't do a repeat of last year. I hear there was a Roman Candle war that ended with Josh getting caught on fire!

20100704-20100704-IMG_5111

20100704-20100704-IMG_5156

20100704-20100704-IMG_5128

Nikki and I later graduated to Roman Candles and then the sparklers seemed kind of lame in comparison.. but they take me back to my childhood and I still love them. plus they were good for some light painting! :)

20100704-20100704-IMG_5132

20100704-20100704-IMG_5175

185/365

A lovely little holiday, indeed. Hope your's was as well!

Oh, and in case you were wondering... as part of my birthday week celebration we went to see Toy Story 3. Two thumbs up, 5 stars, great movie... go see it!