The Fourth of July is a big deal in my life. Like HUGE. When it comes to favorite holidays, the Fourth of July takes the cake. (And partly because yeah, cake is involved.) This started at an early age, my love for all things Fourth of July: grilling out, fireworks, family & friends, Bags (or Corn Hole, depending on where you’re from), patriotism, cocktails, swimming suits, a classic summer playlist, late nights, and did I mention fireworks? My mom said that when she and my dad took me to my first fireworks show when I was little, they could barely keep me seated because I just kept walking closer and closer to the fireworks, my face fixated on the glittery sky above. It’s still that way for me 😉 In my mind, summer is pretty much over after the 4th, so I like to go out with a bang. (Get it?!)
I’ve had some pretty epic Fourth of Julys in the last 5 years, probably because they were spent with Christian and he’s pretty much a guaranteed epic time, no matter what we’re doing. Our first Fourth spent together is one of my all time faves: we spent the entire day together, exploring my Chicago neighborhood (I lived in Boystown at the time), stopping at different bars for drinks, and then watched the fireworks both on Lake Shore Drive – over the water and while it lightly rained – and then on the rooftop of my condo building – 49 floors up. It was seriously magical, watching all of the fireworks shows for miles and miles and miles… there was just something about being able to see so many people celebrating together. We spent a late night that night on my balcony and could still see and hear the fireworks from people who just couldn’t stop.
Another epic Fourth together was when Christian was still playing with Night Ranger and just so happened to be playing in Chicago that year (which was nice because for once we wouldn’t have to spend a holiday apart). I grabbed some friends and we spent the evening with hundreds of other NR fans, and I felt so proud to be cheering on my man as he rocked the keys. No one except my friends knew that X and I were dating at the time, so when a woman standing next to me began to profess her love for “the hot keyboard player,” I smiled and quietly nodded along as she explained that if only she were a bit younger she’d “for sure go after him.” I think I said something like, “Oh girl, I know. I hear you. Me too.” All was cool until my friend said to the woman, “This is that guy’s girlfriend, you know!!!!” Game over. This woman begged me for the rest of the show if I could get her backstage to get his autograph. So funny.
Christian and I spent another Chicago Fourth in the rain when he played with friend Jim Peterik and it was – to date – one of the most amazing fireworks shows we’ve ever seen together. Maybe rain just brings us good luck??
The year after that we traveled to Indiana to celebrate the Fourth in my hometown – this time NOT in the rain! It was so nice to celebrate with both my parents and my bro and his soon-to-be-wife. My brother is one of the most hilarious people I know, always seeking a thrill. (I’m not sure this is what he had in mind this particular year though.)
Last year was another favorite Fourth of mine – my parents came to Nashville and we celebrated together – in the rain, of course! haha. Are you sensing a theme here?! As Christian and my mom napped (day drinking is not for everyone, mkay?), my dad and I sat outside underneath the umbrella and sang Katy Perry’s Firework at the top of our lungs. And it does not get much better than that.
This year, Christian and I will be going back to my hometown in Indiana to celebrate once again with my parents and brother and SIL, and watch the fireworks from a park I grew up in. It’s a small town which means small town festivities like a live band and face painting and food trucks and I’ve only been counting down the days for the last month. And I’ll probably get choked up as the fireworks go off, just like I do every year, because my heart just feels so grateful to be alive and free, with so many moments to celebrate with my favorite people – glitter exploding in the sky.
Wishing you all a FABULOUS Fourth of July spent with fabulous people! xx
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