Friday, July 19, 2013

Texas and the Great American Fourth of July

I wouldn't really consider myself super patriotic, but I really love celebrating any and every holiday, so as a result of that, I love to celebrate the Fourth of July. It's the only holiday we really get after St. Patrick's Day to hold us over until Christmas, you know? 

We planned to get to Texas in time to celebrate Independence Day with the Gerhardts and I am so glad we did. It was great. I've had some pretty great Fourth's and many-a-pool-parties, but Texas does it better. And bigger, of course. 

photo credit: Jenn Gerhardt

It started off, just like it should, with tiny voices yelping "wake up, it's the fourth of July, you guys!" three inches away from your face. We put on as much red, white and blue as we could (hard to do with my primarily gray wardrobe) and loaded up our arms with camping chairs and water bottles and walked up the street to the Round Rock Parade. 

It was definitely the most exciting and patriotic small-town parade I've ever seen (and when you've spent around five summers in the small town of Lebanon, Oregon you definitely have something to compare it to). We joked that half the town was in the parade and the other half of the town was watching (at least I thought we were joking).

As Matt and I settled into our seats, London approached us with her hands on her hips. "Alright, here's the deal. The people on the floats are going to throw out candy. Now, you might not get the kind of candy you want. And adults don't usually get candy, but you can definitely try. Oh, and don't throw rocks at the floats." Not her first rodeo, my friends. 

 photo credit: Jenn Gerhardt

They also handed out root beer and plastic American flags because, what else are you suppose to hold during a parade?

After the parade, in true small-town fashion, we walked up the street to Justin & Jenn's friend's house for a party. We ate all the appropriate Fourth of July foods and sat around the yard with plates of cherry pie on our laps watching the kids play on the slip 'n slide, wondering whose idea it was to hand out squirt guns. It was perfect. 

Justin and Matt collaborated in the kitchen and we had an amazing feast of brisket tacos and corn & blueberry salad. It was good. Jenn's guacamole practically stole the show; we were all politely fighting over the last few bites of it!

After dinner we packed up dessert and some blankets and headed out to see some fireworks. We drove up on some traffic so we changed plans and headed over to Justin and Jenn's future church land and parked the truck in a huge, beautiful, overgrown corn field. With a wide open sky above us, we could see two different firework shows going on. We listened to Tom Petty and ate fluffy, still-warm gluten free biscuits drizzled with freshly made blueberry sauce and piled high with homemade whip cream. 


Wonderful people, great food, and the adorable renditions of a Katy Perry song from a certain 4 year old all contributed to what is easily the highlight of our summer. And easily the best gluten free dessert.


  1. Gorgeous pictures Carly! Looks like a wonderful 4th of July!

  2. it all just sounds perfect. they know you so well and have a beautiful family. i am so grateful they are in matt (and now your) life! the picture of eve lying down on the back of the truck is just too stinkin' adorable. :)