I really don't know if I will finish the photo challenge...I'm stuck on the day that is a picture of something that has made a large impact on your life recently, or something along those lines. So while I get that figured out, the challenge is on hold.
My family celebrated 4th of July last night, because many of us have to be at work tomorrow and didn't want to stay up super late and be sleepy for work. This is the second year in a row that we haven't celebrated on the 4th; last year we had a tournament at the ball fields so my family celebrated on the 5th. Usually we start fireworks at dark, and they will last until almost midnight. For some reason, the fireworks didn't last that long this year. we were done by 9:45, which was perfect for me because I have become a morning person and don't enjoy staying up as late as I used to. Thanks big girl job. ha ha
This year, our celebration was different than normal. It was strictly a family thing, we didn't have friends of ours come over, and not any boyfriends/girlfriends either. Even mom's fiancee was with his family. It was the first holiday without Jared around, and Josh and I agreed that it just wasn't the same without him.
We did our usual; my uncle grilled hot dogs and brats, we had our usual sides, and I had my usual crackle balls that I love. Mimi had just returned home from her vacation in California. The Smiths (who might as well be our family members) joined us for the food and fireworks, minus a couple of them. Jared's girlfriend stopped by for a bit, but it wasn't even an hour. The family played kickball. I spent the entire afternoon before the celebration with Edith, MacKenzie, and their friend Hannah at the mall. It seemed to me like a typical Sunday, except there was added fireworks, cupcakes, and red, white, and blue strawberries.
I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer about the holiday because it's one of my most favorite ever. I guess because this is the third barbecue my family has had since I returned home, it was just like a special dinner. I really miss my brother, and I know it's selfish of me to wish he were here all the time. He'll be back before I know it, but it really isn't the same without him here.
I received my first letter from him on Saturday, and I know that he is probably doing better than he realizes. It was short and even had me laughing, but I really miss him. This is where my sappy-ness comes in...
Whatever you're doing in celebration of today's holiday, I hope you are enjoying the time spent with good food, good friends, and loving family! Be safe and have fun!