Our 4th of July and not taking the little things for granted

“Red, White, Blue’s in the sky. Summer’s in the air baby heaven’s in your eyes.”

I know that Lana Del Rey Album is so 2012, but you bet that I still blasted it all day on the fourth of July.

There are a few things that I need to make the fourth feel like a successful one:

  • Lana Del Rey’s Paradise Album
  • Friends & Family
  • Some type of water (lake, pool, river)
  • BBQ food
  • Fireworks

Derek and I both worked the weekend before the fourth, so we didn’t really get a chance to celebrate over a span of a few days in a row, (You know me, that’s how I celebrate holidays) but we made it work. We both had Sunday off, worked Monday, and then luckily both had the fourth off.
On Sunday, we made our way out to the new Ivins Reservoir for our first time. Alyssa joined us. We were the only ones there for a while, and Harvey sure enjoyed himself in the water.



On the fourth of July, we spent the morning swimming with Whitney and the girls at grandma’s pool since they were in town for the week. We saw them for a little bit on Sunday, but didn’t get a chance to see them on Monday, so it was fun to catch up with Whit and spend quality time with the girls.

We spent our afternoon taking a nap, and then going to one of our favorite parks. We got snow cones on the way, and played fetch with Harvey for about a hour. It felt like the perfect summer day. All I needed was some BBQ food and fireworks to make it complete.


Thankfully, Demi invited us to her family’s BBQ later that evening, and of course I didn’t turn down the offer. We had fun playing croquet with her grandma Jackie, spending time with her family, and laughing at Noelle’s nephews funny stories. And of course, enjoying Jeff’s wonderful BBQ.


When it finally got dark, we all gathered on the grass to watch fireworks. As I sat there, I realized that this is the last holiday that we will spend in America this year until Christmas. With our family, with our friends, with our Harvey boy. I know that we won’t be gone very long, but I also know that a lot can change in five months and Christmas seems like a long time away. I became conscious of my surroundings, and extremely grateful that I have such a long list of things that I will miss while we’re gone.
On Wednesday night, we met up with Whitney and mom to take the three dogs to the river. Whitney was leaving town Thursday morning, so we wanted to spend a little more time with them before the left. The dogs had a blast and got their energy out, and the girls decided to even get in. They got so dirty in the mud, and thought it was the funniest thing. It felt like the perfect summer night and it was the perfect ending to our holiday celebrations.

So here’s to summer! So far, I love it. I am over this heat, but China has a very high percentage of humidity, so I just keep telling myself that somehow, I will miss this dry heat and to just enjoy it.

In fact, since the fourth,  I have been making mental notes of all the little things that I will miss while we’re in China. And I’ve been thinking to myself, “I wish I looked at every day like this.” I know that would be mentally exhausting to live every single day and moment like I’m leaving it all behind in a month, but it has felt so good to be present and to remind myself to be thankful for the smallest things.

I hope you all become more present and conscious of your surroundings, whether you’re celebrating a holiday or not. Do not take a single day for granted. Look around you, and notice the little things every single day. Your grandpa’s hugs, your nieces’ and nephews’ tiny fingers, your best friends’ laughs, the smell of your clean house, the natural beauty that surrounds your town, etc.

Enjoy it all, life moves too quickly and those smallest things change and become memories faster than we are aware of. So be present, be conscious, be aware and don’t take any of it for granted.

Onto the next adventure, Wren

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