Growing up, July 4th was a big day for our family. My Grandpa and my Uncle Mel both have birthdays on the 4th so we always had a big family picnic to celebrate. It has continued as a family tradition and whenever we are home over the holiday, we get to go, too. Ribs, potato salad, beans, burgers, hot dogs, chips, cake, games for the kids (and a few brave adults), flags, pistachios and a big backyard makes for a pretty fun day!
This is my wonderful Grandpa. And baby Lola. Grandpa turned 88 today and Lola is 5 weeks old. The oldest and the youngest in the family.
As we were leaving, Tony and I went over to say goodbye to my grandparents and Grandpa was waxing a little nostalgic. He was looking over the backyard full of great-grandkids (28 to be exact) and he asked my Grandma, "Could you ever have imagined this?" She turned to him and said, "Well, that's what happens when you don't stay on your side of the bed." Classic Grandma.
And crazy Joshua. Flag in one hand and a piece of chocolate cake in the other. Doesn't get much better than that.
After we got home, my mom and I drove out to the cemetery and changed the flowers for my dad and put a flag by his marker. Although it was so nice to be with family for the day, it was a little hard to be there without my dad. And everywhere I looked, I seemed to catch a glimpse of him. In the kids, in his brother. We miss him just a little bit extra today.