Our 4th

This year, our fourth was far from ordinary.  We were stuck inside on Saturday and Sunday due to below-average temperatures and rainy, dreary weather.  But that wasn't even the weirdest of it!  Around midnight on Sunday (technically Monday), I awoke to Brantley crying.  I groggily made my way to his room and fumbled to turn on the hallway light.  It didn't take me long to realize, we had lost power and Brantley was crying because it was so dark and so quiet in his bedroom.  I brought him into our bed and proceeded to text Craig, who was having deck beers at a neighbor's house.  Come to find out, the entire neighborhood was without electricity.

I woke up overnight a few more times, hoping to hear the hum of our portable AC, but nothing.  Soon darkness turned to light and all I could think was "What are we going to do without power?!"  There would be no coffee (ugh), no flat iron (luckily, I had washed and dried my hair before going to bed), no dryer (I also started a load of laundry before bed), no oven (it's not 4th of July without my festive fruit pizzas!), and no way to charge my camera battery before all of the holiday festivities!  Clearly, I would not do well as a pioneer. ;)

After a quick run to the nearest gas station for coffee, donuts, ice, and milk, we readied ourselves as well as we could in the semi-darkness (it was still pretty dreary on Monday morning) and went about our normal holiday plans.

First up, the Lenexa Fourth of July parade with some neighbors.

These kids just really adore each other and we're going to be so sad to see four of them go next month. :(  But lucky for us, this isn't even half of all the kids in our little group.

My boys wouldn't cooperate for a photo together, so I had to take their photos with friends and alone.


We did our best to get a family photo...but 1) the parade was coming and 2) all the boys wanted to do was sit and play with their friends.

Both boys enjoyed the parade.  Brantley was more excited about every marching band he saw (like, 3) and both boys had enough suckers to last an entire month.


The only float worth photographing was this Moose Caboose.  Mike "Moose" Moustakas is the Royal's third baseman and the city has been beaming with pride since winning last year's World Series.  The rest of the parade included lots of political garb, but the kids sure loved all the free stickers!

Meanwhile, back at home, our neighborhood was still without power.  We grabbed some lunch (since no microwave) and headed home for naps.  Literally, that's all there was to do without electricity.  I did go to a co-worker's house for a couple of hours to use her oven and took any and all electronics with me to charge like crazy.  It was at that point that I could finally start Instagraming a few photos.  Life saver. ;)

Just before 5pm that evening, our power was restored!  And based on the girls' text chain, you would think we had gone without it for days!!  #surefeltlikeit

 All in all, we were without electricity for just over 17 hours.  Turns out, a car crashed into the power box near our neighborhood at 11:30pm on the 3rd causing 500+ customers to be without power for most of the day on the 4th.  Luckily, the temps on Monday were below average and being without AC during that time was bearable.  The weather has since climbed back in the high 90s and I can't imagine not having AC!!  We were also very thankful for the electricians who spent most of their holiday working to restore our power.  We felt sorry for ourselves for awhile, but we got to enjoy the holiday with our family and friends...they didn't. :(

On Monday evening, we headed back to hang with neighbor's for a delicious shrimp boil and more festive fun.  
(I screen shotted your picture, Ali.  Thanks!)

I tried one more attempt at a brothers photo.  In over 20 shots, these three are the best I got.  Sigh.

And the awkwardly hilarious headphones?!  Despite Brantley telling us for two weeks that he was not going to be scared of the fireworks this year, the minute that first neighborhood firework sounded, he was terrified.  These things never left his ears all. night. long.


However, later that evening he surprised us all and stomped on some poppers.  He even tried a sparkler...and enjoyed it...and kept coming back for more!

Holden also enjoyed the sparklers.  He wouldn't let me get too far from him so it was harder to take photos, but I managed a few!

We ended the evening with Olathe's firework display and Brantley telling us he actually liked them.

Until bedtime, of course, when neighbor's were shooting them off right outside his window.  Back to our bed he went for the second night in a row....headphones and all!  

And now, three days later,  we are all still trying to catch up on our sleep!

Everything about our 4th was amazing.  The weather turned out to be perfect and even the power outage was pretty comical...only because we were all in it together!  I have a feeling this won't be a 4th we will soon forget!  Until next year, happy birthday, America!


  1. Those headphones!! I love! What a weekend! I can't believe you guys were without power that long. Thankfully, the weather was below average. We had a really chilly 4th here, too. We went out for brunch, ate outside & both boys were in fleeces!

    And you are the cutest pregnant mama ever!

  2. Love that family photo. And no power on a holiday!! Not fun!

  3. That stinks about the power but sounds like you had a great 4th anyway! We used to lose power all the time in the winter (fingers crossed, knock on wood) and I'm not sure what I'd prefer - losing power in the cold or in the heat!

  4. This would make a good episode of Little House On The Prairie.

  5. The Moose truck had our neighbors on it!! What a fun part of the parade :) Glad you didn't die of heat stroke too - it was SO humid outside that Jimmy and I both said we felt like we were just sweating all day long. Brantley and Charlie are very similar about fireworks it seems too - haha. Charlie told us all day he wasn't going to be scared ---then they started right by our house and it was over!! Maybe next year!! And love the cute family shot!

  6. Ugh at losing power! Vanessa lost power too, I think. We just enjoyed the cooler temps over here. I never knew there was a parade in Lenexa! The photos are great. I like how Holden is holding on to Brantley while he stomps on a popper! The Moose-mobile thingy was in the Royals World Series parade!

  7. Oh so fun! Glad y'all had a great time and that your power came back on!

  8. You took some awesome pics! So glad your power came back on and that it wasn't too hot that day!

  9. Love the pictures of the boys at the parade, so fun!!

  10. Oh I'm so glad it all worked out! Sounds and looks like you guys had a great 4th despite the power outage and thankfully you were able to use your co-workers oven!
    I love that sign on the Moose Caboose that says "Hunter Pense doesn't like Lenexa!" LOL. That's too funny. And probably very true!

  11. Thank goodness the power was mostly out while you were sleeping and out for the day, I would have for sure had a pity party for myself if that was me though, ha ha. But you're right, the people working missed out on being with family/friends so they deserve a lot of credit! Your 4th looked so fun and I love looking at your pictures, they are all so good! (even if the kids don't cooperate!)

  12. You got so many great pictures!! I especially love all of the ones of the kids at the parade! And I'm cracking up...can't believe Brantley kept the headphones on all night long! That's pretty impressive! :)

  13. Minus the loss of power, your 4th sounds like it was a good one!
    And, I totally laughed at the 20 photos taken, and three were keepers. That sounds like me every. single. Sunday!

  14. Brantley & I could be BFF's as I too get really excited about the marching bands. I love them! Ha!

    You really captured some great moments. :)