The Fourth of July has always been one of my absolute FAVORITE holidays of the year.
When I was younger, it was a family tradition to wake up at the crack of dawn to go watch the hot air balloons and then hike to the Y that same morning with some family friends. During the day we would endure the heat by swimming at Seven Peaks Waterpark. During the evening, we would pack up tons of candy, drinks, blankets, glow sticks, and poppers and head to the hospital field to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks. Going to the Stadium of Fire was always my fondest memory because I love the sights, sounds, smells, being surrounded by family, and of course -- the biggest fireworks in Utah County!!
However, another fond memory has been added to the Fourth of July mix. Clayton, being the perceptive man he is, knew how much I loved fireworks and secretly devised a plan to propose to me on the Fourth of July underneath the fireworks.
It went a little like this!
We went to our usual Stadium of Fire spot, which was the field by the hospital, and set up camp. Most of my family was there along with our good friends Alex and Sharlene. We were about halfway through watching the fireworks, and then Clayton said, "I love lamp". I thought nothing of it because we had been saying that phrase to each other all day, and then all of a sudden he was on his knee, flowers in hand, and Alex and Sharlene were holding up two huge signs that read, "Malae, will you marry me?"
I was caught COMPLETELY off guard -- I couldn't figure out where those posters had come from! Then it hit me --I realized that I was being proposed to -- and amid all of the firework commotion, hundreds of onlookers, and my own personal shock, I managed to croak out a "YES".
That was definitely one of my more memorable fourth of Julys. :)
This year, 2011, we were able to create more memories and celebrated the Fourth of July FOR FOURish DAYS IN A ROW! It was kind of a big deal.
Day #1 - July 1st, Friday
The Talley's arrived from their long and highly anticipated journey from Colorado this night. It must have been around midnight when they arrived, but we stayed up talking for a few hours after they arrived. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep before we had to wake up and celebrate Day #2!
Day #2 - July 2nd, Saturday
This morning I woke up bright and early, and much to my excitement, there were hot air balloons in my backyard! I could see at least 9 of them. What a way to start a day.
That morning we went to the Jordan River Temple with Clayton's parents to do a session with some people from my father-in-law's mission. It was beautiful and was so great to see the temple where my parents were married and sealed for all time and eternity.
After the temple, we drove back to Provo to pick up the rest of the 9 Talley kids. We headed back up north to attend Papa Talley's mission reunion. He served in Chile, so we were entertained by Chilean music, dancing, and of course...FOOD! It was super delish. We had a great time there.
Then around dusk we headed to my dad's office building on BYU campus to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks!! We met up with my family, Ty and Leslie's family, and the Conrad family. It was a big crowd but it was fun to see everyone all together. We played with glow sticks, watched neighboring fireworks go off, and took lots of pictures until the show began. The fireworks were AWESOME. (And, might I add, way bigger than the fireworks in New Mexico that we saw last year).
Day #3 - July 3rd, Sunday
Today we went to church and enjoyed a rousing testimony meeting. Even ask Papa and Mama Talley - they were awake and attentive the whole time. Our Primary class was ocho-ed (quadrupled twice, multiplied by 8, eightupled, take your pick) considering we usually only have 1 or 2 kids - mostly due to the Talley family. We had a lesson about missionaries and they all got to wear cute little "future missionary" name tags.
That evening we went over to my family's house and had a huge BBQ. There was a total of 18 of us! We had a great time visiting and playing games. Once it got dark, we decided to light some fireworks.
Apparently, the law that allowed aerial fireworks this year, also meant that fireworks which aren't meant to be aerial fireworks, can join in on the aerial fun, too. Needless to say, our night was full of kids (Nick) running around like crazy WHILE holding not one, but TWO fireworks in their hands. Also, there were many experimentations with bottle rockets. Shooting them from the lawn didn't work, so we tried buckets, jars, and of course, our own bare hands. That all went fine and dandy until one bottle rocket decided to go against the norm.
We were all sitting on the lawn and suddenly, the bottle rocket that was tossed into the air was coming back down very fast. It hadn't gone off yet. It bounced off of the road, and almost in slow-motion, bounced right at everyone that sitting on the lawn. As it came towards us, we pushed ourselves out of the way, screaming hysterically (this is still in slo-mo, by the way), pushing kids out of the way, and grabbed kids for protection. The bottle rocket then shot directly up my sister Kambrie's skirt, still yet to go off. Kambrie screeched and we screeched as she tried to shake it out of her skirt. But, alas, it was too late. The bottle rocket went off whilst still in Kambrie's skirt and she exploded into a billion smoldering bits.
Well...that almost happened.
Luckily, Kambrie shook out the rocket just in the nick of time and the bottle rocket exploded onto the pavement. Needless to say, after a few moments of shock, mass hysteria ensued.
I wish I had a video camera.
Day #4 - July 4th, Monday
Today we woke up bright and early again and went to the Provo City Parade to see Angela. She was on the LDS Orem Institute float. The parade was pretty entertaining (to me, at least). I love parades because how often does half of the city shut down just to watch each other?? I love people watching, so I thought it was fun. Angela's float happened to be at the very end of the parade, so we got to see the whole 2 and a half hours worth of parading. I also got to see one of my very best friends Caleb from high school that I hadn't seen for years!! That was super exciting.
After the parade and after lunch the Talley's had to leave for Colorado. :( It is always sad when they leave. Our apartment feels so empty after they are gone. We wish they lived closer so that we could see them all the time. We are so very blessed that at least one of our families live close by.
Later that night we went over to our very good friends Chris and Jocelyn's new place. They just moved from Wymount to the basement of their relative's super nice mountain home. We got spoiled by Jocelyn's mom with a delicious dinner of ribs and a super festive dessert.
After dessert, it was dark and so Jocelyn and I decided to go out onto the balcony to watch all of the fireworks across Utah Valley. It was SO COOL!! The view was spectacular and there must have been twenty different aerial fireworks going on at once all the time all over the valley. It was such an unforgettable night and such a unique opportunity.
What a successful four day Fourth of July - can't wait for next year!!!