SPARKLE AND SHINE - HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

THIS YEAR, AS EVERY YEAR, WE CELEBRATED OUR 4TH OF JULY AT TOPSAIL BEACH, NC. THIS HAS BEEN A TRADITION FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER NOW..... LONG BEFORE THE BOYS WERE EVEN A SPARKLE IN OUR EYES.

EVERY YEAR WE GO DOWN TO THE "TRAILER BEACH" AS MY BOYS HAVE NAMED IT AND MY PARENTS HOST A HUGE HOLIDAY COOKOUT FOR ALL OF OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

OUR WEEKEND STARTED WITH A NICE DINNER ON THE BEACH AT ONE OF OUR FAVORITE LOCAL SPOTS, DADDY MAC'S. THIS PLACE IS GREAT BECAUSE WE CAN SIT ON THE PORCH AND THE BOYS CAN RUN AROUND AND WATCH THE WAVES..... WHICH MEANS MOMMY AND DADDY CAN RELAX WITH A GLASS OF WINE AND CATCH UP. 

DINNER WAS FOLLOWED UP FRIDAY NIGHT WITH SOME GOOD 'OLE RACING..... THE 4 WHEELER VERSUS THE GATOR. DON'T LET THAT 2 YEAR OLD FOOL YOU, HE CAN DRIVE THAT THING!

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NEXT IT WAS ONTO SATURDAY AND THE BIG COOKOUT. NO 4TH OF JULY IS COMPLETE WITHOUT THE BLOW UP WATERSLIDE. LIAM HAS FINALLY GOTTEN TO THE AGE THAT A LITTLE WATER IN HIS FACE DOES NOT BOTHER HIM. HE WAS ALL IN THIS YEAR.

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JACK IS NOT YET IMPRESSED WITH THE SLIDE SO HE STAYED INSIDE WHERE IT WAS COOL AND HUNG OUT WITH HIS TWIN COUSINS.

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MY ADORABLE HUSBAND WHO ALWAYS COOPERATES WHEN I TRY TO TAKE PICTURES AND DOCUMENT MEMORIES. (SERVES HIM RIGHT)

AND OF COURSE THE BEST PART OF THE WHOLE DAY...... ICE CREAM! YES THAT IS HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND YES THAT IS 6 GALLONS OF IT - PLUS THE ONE THAT ISN'T IN THE PICTURE. A FLAVOR FOR EVERYONE: STRAWBERRY, VANILLA, PEACH, CHOCOLATE AND MY VERY FAVORITE: OREO (MADE WITH CRUSHED UP OREOS)....YUMMY.

SATURDAY INCLUDED A DAY AT THE BEACH AND I LEFT MY CAMERA BEHIND SO WE COULD ALL JUST PLAY AND HAVE FUN. BUT I WAS ABLE TO CAPTURE A FEW OF THESE AS WE ENDED THE DAY WITH ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS. THE RAIN PREVENTED US FROM DOING IT OUTSIDE SO GRANDDADDY FIGURED OUT A WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. 

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE. I HOPE YOU MADE SOME WONDERFUL MEMORIES AND CAPTURED SOME AMAZINGLY REAL IMAGES TO LOOK BACK ON.