4th of July

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday! I love it so much! 

We started out this years festivities going to the Eaglewood fireworks show in our area. I remember these fireworks kind of sucking back when I was a teenager, but they've gotten very good since then. And popular! The sunset was pretty:
 And Kennedy had fun playing with cousins and aunts.
 Aren't we such a cute family? Too bad Kennedy wouldn't smile!
I was kind of worried about keeping Kennedy up that late since I'm neurotic and irrational when it comes to depriving anyone under our roof of sleep, but she did great. She totally died in the car about 1.2 minutes away from home and went straight to bed. We needed her to sleep well because the next morning we were heading to the ranch!! An almost 3 hour car ride with a cranky toddler was not something we were relishing having to do.

So the morning of the 4th we packed and headed to the ranch. Once we got there we rode the four wheelers for a bit (at the request of Kennedy) and then played with fireworks. All of us.
 Of course, we only let her play with ones that were already lit or that she couldn't possibly light herself.
 Sneaking into the firecracker box.
 For some reason, I love this shot of her. She just looks so cute in her grungy pj's and so much older than she is. Even with Elmo on her pj's.
 Even with messy hair, she's still gorgeous.
 Friday we headed to Bear Lake to swim and play. I expected it to be lots of fun but for some reason, Kennedy HATED the water and took a long time to warm up to walking in the sand. I had anticipated this being the highlight of her weekend but it was kind of sad at first. Eventually we had fun. Never mind my awkward pose. Cory isn't the best picture-taker.
 It was wall-to-wall people at North Shore. Seriously, it was a joke!!
 Trying to teach her how to make a sandcastle. She didn't care.

 This is Kennedy's touch-me-and-I'll-kill-you look
 And we had a fun ride back to the ranch.
Later that night a huge storm blew in. I mean literally BLEW IN! The winds were flipping insane! Cory and his mom almost blew away trying to rescue the dogs tied up outside. Since our options were stay inside or get blown away, we opted to stay indoors playing cards.

 And the sunset poking through the storm clouds was pretty cool.
 Saturday morning I woke up early and went for a run. I was actually really excited for this because it's so beautiful and deserted up there. Plus the temps were in the high 40's because of the rain so it was prime running weather. I had gorgeous views during the entire run.
 Love the fog.
 One of the main reasons we went up to the ranch this weekend (besides doing repairs on the house) was to go to Afton, Wyoming and watch the parade and rodeo. I had never been to a rodeo before so we thought this was the perfect chance. We left around 11 and made it in time for the parade. It was brief and there weren't any floats, but it wasn't without entertainment. Or candy. There was lots and lots of candy. The man pictured below is 102 years old and still works his farm every day.
 There was a teeny truck which many people discussed how two adults got inside.
 And  these guys held that same position of hoisting the flag for the entire parade. Pretty impressive.
 We kept telling Braden so go out further in the street so they would throw more candy in our direction. After he said no, Grandpa Hunter decided to take matters into his own hands. He moved his chair out in the middle of the street and put Kennedy's hat on his head and just sat there. I was cracking up so hard, as well as anyone else who could see him. It was so funny. And it worked because we filled a grocery sack full of candy.
 A giant motorized shopping cart was the closest thing they had to a float.
 A patriotic unicorn!
 Along with candy we got two aerobies and some clothing.
 My little parade watchers
 We had quite a bit of time to kill so we hung out at a park for several hours and ate lunch and played games. Grandpa Hunter sure loves Kennedy. I had to get a picture of them together.
 Then it was RODEO TIME!! We didn't notice that it was actually a ranch rodeo, which isn't the same as the big rodeo circuits like the Day's of 47 or anything. But it was still highly entertaining!! They started the fun with bronco riding, which I could watch all night. That was awesome!! Then it was another 2.5 hours of different ways that they could get their horses ready and a cow roped and tied. It was still fun, but kind of got repetitive after a while and Kennedy started to get really bored and tired. After 2.5 hours, we decided to leave early. There were still 3 more events and a fireworks show to be had, but we knew Kennedy would never have lasted that long. It was awesome to go and see it all though.
 Kennedy would NOT sit still on our laps for anything, but as soon as we handed her to grandma, she sat down and was glued to the action.
I was nervous about the drive home being in the dark and through a wooded canyon. I'm always afraid of hitting a dear. And for good reason, we saw 7 of them either in the road or just on the shoulder waiting to run across. We were on high alert the entire drive. We even almost hit a skunk! That would have been awful. But everyone made it home safe and sound without hitting anything and promptly went to bed. Kennedy slept right next to our bed in a pack and play which she loved. I kind of liked it to because anytime she woke up, I just reached in a patted her or just said "I'm here Kennedy" and she would go back to sleep. I can see why people co-sleep now. It's not for me, but it was kind of nice for a few days.

We had a blast and it was hard to come home. I love being away from internet and cell phones and just being with those we love. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend!


Kennedy's Second Birthday

Our crazy little muffin turned 2!!! We had a small party this year, away from home. I learned my lesson from last year's party to make it easy and low key, and to ensure I won't have to clean my house several times. I was so glad we took the easy route! I felt like I actually got to enjoy her party. My sister was awesome enough to reserve her clubhouse and pool to have the party in.  And both my parents swam, which means it was quite a success!

We planned on swimming, getting pizza, and having cake and ice cream. It wasn't until the day before that I realized I didn't do anything cute or festive so I decided to make these Elmo cupcakes. They were easier than I expected and Kennedy sure loved them! Never mind that these were the only two that actually turned out or didn't look like Elmo had been toking...
 The morning of her birthday we surprised her with some of the gifts we bought her. It was 4 thousand degrees that day so we didn't stay outside long but she had fun.
 She loves her swing!

 I kept saying "anything goes for the birthday girl!" all day. If she wanted popcorn for breakfast, she got it. If she wanted to throw things down the stairs, I looked the other way. If she wanted to color all day, we let her. But this was not what I had in mind though...
 Thank heavens for magic erasers. Anyway, moving on, we opened presents...

 Getting her to put one exciting present down to open another one was a little difficult.

 Then we sang happy birthday...
Then devoured the cake.

 I think everyone had a lot of fun swimming and just playing with the birthday girl.

A couple days later we had a BBQ with our close friends and celebrated Kennedy and Zeke's birthdays since they're a week apart. It was 103 that day so they look just a tad hot. And upset that their cupcakes are on fire...
But they had fun, and we barely survived the heat.

I can't believe Kennedy is 2 already. It is unreal!! She is so much fun. For my own personal records I want to jot down a few things she's doing now...

*In the bottom 5% for weight and not even on the charts for weight to height ratio. She is in the 50% for height and for her head circumference.
*Throwing MAJOR tantrums. They started the day after her birthday and have been kind of intense.
*Eats about every other day.
*Has 8 teeth and three more coming in.
*Talks a lot! My favorite is when she tells us when she's poopy. She pats her bum and runs to go get changed. There's a lot that she says that I have trouble understanding but each day more things become clearer.
*She tries to dress herself and loves to have her shoes on.
*Loves to play pretend with Elmo and her doll.
*LOVES toilet paper and wipes. She will wipe her own nose or pretend to wash herself and then throw it in the potty and watch it flush down. The other day she even tried to wipe MY bum...
*Doesn't nap for a consistent long period of time. It varies between 1-3 hours. I hate the 1 hour days sometimes.
*Hates having water in her face but is learned to love swimming.
*Cleans up after herself and thinks stray hairs on the carpet is "ew" just like her mommy.
*Loves brushing her teeth and always wants to do it herself.
*Has her daddy wrapped around her finger. She's definitely a different person when he's not around. She misses him a lot.
*Still just so funny and spunky and brings sunshine and happiness into our lives.