Barbie World + [summer]

God Bless America

Kyle and I had a great, low-key Fourth of July weekend.

We had some good friends over on Friday night and went out for dinner and drinks at the Shiloh Grill, an adorable spot with a big deck out front and delicious, strong drinks. I enjoyed one two strawberry lemonade martinis (not really martinis, actually, more like enormous mugs) with real muddled strawberries at the bottom! Heaven. Oh, I also indulged in a big plate of mac and cheese that was glorious, and the envy of the table. That dish and I will meet again. We finished up the night with a few games of liar's dice, which is a hilarious exercise in memorization if you've had a few cocktails.

Saturday was mostly spent cleaning, giving Bailey a bath, and cooking. I die...

Sunday we went out to my parent's house to feast on lobster, black bean corn salad, baked potatoes, blueberry pie and spice cake (if that doesn't say America, I don't know what does). It was so much fun to sit out on the back deck with candles burning and listen to the fireworks and chat.

And Monday, the actual Fourth, was a whole lot of nothing. I actually had some work work to do (I know, right?) so we stayed in while our street turned into a war zone of illegal fireworks, smoke, barking dogs and crying babies. Fun holiday. The weekend as a whole was great, but it's not always puppies and rainbows and I don't think blogs should make it seem that way - it was annoying and a little scary to have drunken neighbors setting off fireworks when our houses are all 100 years old and approximately one foot apart. Still, we made it through in one piece:)

I'm not a rah-rah sort of patriotic person, in the sense of proclaiming that America is always the very best and other countries don't even compare and, well, tea party messaging in general - I tend to find that particular type of "patriotism" a little off-putting. But I do think we are a great country, and we're all very blessed to live here. I've always thought I'd like to live someplace different for a few years (Ireland, anybody?), just to get more of a sense of the world and our place in it - but this is home, and that sense is irreplaceable. So in honor of America...

Our hearts where they rocked our cradle,
Our love where we spent our toil,
And our faith, our hope, our honor,
We pledge to our native soil.
God gave men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each one spot should prove
Beloved over all.

-Rudyard Kipling

Happy belated Fourth of July! Watch with tissues...