Our first 4th of July together in 2006
If there's one thing that comes with military life, it's instability, which isn't exactly conducive to building lasting traditions. Even though we've been married for almost 7 years now, I don't think we've ever done the same thing two years in a row for any holiday. Sometimes Todd is home, sometimes he's deployed. And because we live so far from our closest friends and family, we always seem to be traveling over some holiday. This is probably one of the hardest aspects of military life, because I like to have established traditions, preferably in our own home now that we have children.
July 4, 2011
Grilling his 4th of July hamburger in 2011
Our very favorite holiday is the 4th of July. There's a lot to love about it, but what we love the most is how carefree it can be. There is nothing worse than an over-programmed 4th. By the end of the day, you're hot and cranky and hate everyone around you.
I learned a long time ago that flexibility is key to military life (please note: me = notoriously inflexible and hates change). We can't get too attached to very specific activities with this lifestyle, but we have certainly been able to create our own holiday traditions by sticking to two rules: 1) lower our expectations, and 2) create traditions that can be done anywhere. We may not be able to go to a specific parade or watch a certain city's fireworks display, but the activities we love the most for the 4th of July are simple and easy to find anywhere we go.
Scarlett's first 4th of July in 2012
Two weeks old
Todd and I grew up doing different things for the 4th of July, so we are nostalgic for different aspects of the holiday. We've pared down our requirements for the day to what makes both of us happy -- Todd has to have a hamburger, I have to go to the pool, and we must see fireworks. And SOMEHOW, the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has made it's way into the annual plan. I have no idea how it happened, but over the years it has become must see TV and I set my DVR every year so we don't miss it.
July 4, 2013
This will be our first 4th of July spent here at Altus AFB (even though we lived here a year ago, we were travelling). It's somewhat daunting to make plans when you have no idea what to expect (again, me = notoriously inflexible and also a serious planner). But I know we will participate in our traditions that we can do anywhere. We'll put out our flag, don our patriotic clothing, and enjoy the celebrations at church and on base. We will eat a hamburger at the pool and watch fireworks later that night. And just like that, we've done everything we want to do!
Happy 4th of July!