Remember kids, don’t play with fireworks. Have the adults who have been drinking all day set them off instead.

Red gingham, denim short shorts, BBQ pork carnitas in the crockpot…must be Fourth of July!  Happy 4th, low-key Kirkland style…

Um…parades aren’t really my thing anyway, but the one we went to in our downtown…I think maybe it was lame on purpose?  I don’t know, we decided to only stay for half of it.  But I still love our town!

A quick pic of the Shark and I giggling, as usual.  This pic of my face is the WORST (I was laughing and just took a drink at the same time), but the rest is cute, so…

4th of July was more of a big dealio when we lived in Cali, but here, not so much. Here are links to some of our past celebrations when we lived in Huntington Beach.


there, i guess king george will be able to read that.

we had such a happy 4th! in the morning we went to the parade with some good friends from our old neighborhood, and then spent the afternoon in our newly decked-out backyard with 6 of our pals (one with a delicious baby in tow!) who came down from LA.

badminton! in the backyard! we are sooo 4th of july.

we also played bocce ball, which was so much fun.

the best round was when all the balls ended up in the kiddie pool. we were all laughing sooo hard!  I have no idea why.

this little lovely had a blast running around the yard…precious!

the newlyweds, jill and michael.

miriam and michael.

everyone eating and chillin’ at the new outdoor coffee table that pants literally whipped up in a day.

miss jill gettin’ her game on!

mikey cooked the bulk of our insanely yummy independence day feast, and the rest of us contributed some sides and desserts.

the evening was spent around the firepit eating mikey’s grilled chili-rubbed corn on the cob, trying not to get killed by our neighbor’s fireworks, and posing jill as our own little neon frieda.


here’s what was on the menu…

main dishes (these were all made by michael)

* boerewors, a south african sausage, served with pap en sous (a tomato/onion sauce)* spicy and teriyaki style chicken wings

* bacon blue cheese burgers


* baked beans (made by jill)

* cheesy potatoes (requested by pants, made by me) recipe below* grape leaves served with a mint yogurt sauce (made by mariam)* wasabi arugula salad with michael’s homemade peppercorn ranch dressing

* kicked-up coleslaw (made by me)

* chili-rubbed corn on the cob (we actually forgot to make this, so michael fired up the grill around 6pm-ish and we all had it for a pre-firework evening snack. totally hit the spot and soooo good!)


* s’more cheesecake (made by marissa)* strawberry cream pie (made by jill and i) have you made this yet? you MUST!* snickerdoodles (made by me)

* ice cream


i whipped up some pina coladas (recipe coming soon) and pomegranate iced tea (recipe coming soon), mikey did some cocktails, and we also had vino on hand for the evening. hey, it’s the 4th of july!

the quattro and some scissors

the fourth of july is kind of a big deal around here. so we did the usual parade watching/picnic with friends, but after that i was kind of done, so i came home and concocted a huge dessert and then laid on the couch for a few hours while pants entertained the kiddos outside with the neighbors.

oh, and then i decided to give sky a haircut.

which seemed like a good idea at the time, but since i was doing it while his hair was dry and dirty and he was jumping around like a crazy person, it quickly became a very bad idea. pants was like, no, it’s fine, it’s a total nineties cut…but unfortunately he meant eighteen nineties. so i had to salvage the cut somehow. i went online and actually found an awesome tutorial for cutting boys’ longish hair, complete with pictures, which was a nice little present from God, although i think He was probably just also embarrassed by sky’s new sir lancelot look. so after bathtime when his hair was still wet, i sat sky down proper and shirtless and went to it once again. and somehow it turned out ok! and now its actually really cute. and even modern. i’ll try to put a pix up tomorrow, if i remember.

i won’t mention how i tried to cut sharkey’s hair while he was sleeping…i know, i know, i never learn.

anyway, after the hair drama, pants and sky watched the fireworks with the neighbors, and i stayed inside cleaning. am i the only one who doesn’t like fireworks? i don’t mind the noise, i just really don’t care at all about fireworks. i do love me a good all-american parade, though…

of course sharkey had to dress in full batman costume to watch the parade. it was really funny because he got SO much attention wearing it – even people on the parade floats would hop off and come over to high-five him when they went by. he was LOVING it. it’s probably why he wore the suit in the first place.

this way too intense army dude was one of the ones who left the parade to come over and say hello. yikes.

yes, i cut my bangs. and yes, i regret it. NO.MORE.SCISSORS.

even though we do it every year, i think this year was probably my favorite time at the parade. probably because sharkey was finally old enough to really enjoy it and sky had his whole neighborhood posse to run around with, which made it so much easier for me to just hang out with our friends and have a good time. it was a pretty good day, after all.

let us swear allegiance

as i mentioned before, the 4th of july is a big-time celebration here in huntington beach, complete with a huge parade, all day parties, and fireworks shot off the end of the pier at night. everyone is crowded downtown and in high spirits. usually we attend the parade with a group of friends (staking out our spot the night before), then have a get-together back at our place. this year we kicked it up with pants running the pre-parade 5k stroller run (with sharkey in the jogger stroller), and sky and i walking in the parade with our mom’s club. afterwards, we had our annual party, with friends and neighbors over for lots of eating and swimming. And merry-making!

sky and i went early to help gather our parade group together and pass out t-shirts.
sky’s wagon-seat breakfast: eggs and toast brought from home.
balcony parties start early in this town.
sky and i…parade walkers!it was so much fun. there were announcers throughout the parade route, and  got my name announced when we walked by. so i was famous…for a minute. oh, and i also got interviewed on tv! of course, it was by our local channel that no one except literally senior citizens ever watch, but still!
our mom’s club – the huntington beach mother’s club.
we even had a group of dads walk with us, too, which was great (and not just cuz they could carry the sign and help pull the wagons!).

after the parade, it was back to our place for party time!  aaand…here is a totally gratuitous picture of my front porch roses:
as usual, i totally forgot to take pictures of all the yummy food at the party.
and of all our yummy friends.
i did however, manage to snap a shot of these two jokers in their matching outfits.
on to the pool!
sharkey is a little obsessed with ‘swinging’ lately.
(note the cute orange bag pants is holding. he’s so stylish!)

pants shows his mighty strength by carrying sky and a friend around in the pool. back home again, indiana jones and one of his many sidekicks search for clues.
once it gets dark, we usually just drag a few chairs out into our back alley and watch the fireworks with the neighbors. i opted out this year (by accidentally falling asleep on the couch), so i don’t have any pictures. but pants and the boys saw the display, and sharkey (who fell asleep in the middle of them) told me all about it this morning.

we had a great time yesterday. but now i’m exhausted. off to recuperate by eating left-over dessert for breakfast!