Starting of a post with my little little martini olive, who is now a whopping 3 months old. Gracious.
First of all, wow… Almost 3 solid months without a single post? I guess that’s what happens when you have a baby, your husband graduates grad school, secures a new job, and relocates your family to another state in an 8 week time period (more on all of that later).
So here we are- a family of 3, settling into life in Wichita, Kansas. Yes, Wichita. From New York City to Wichita in a little over 2 years… Talk about a sea change. Here’s a question for you- what do people in Kansas say when they’re trying to make the point that the situation they’re currently in is so much different than what they are used to? Because I keep saying to myself “We’re not in Kansas anymore…” but the thing is – we ARE in Kansas. So what am I supposed to do with that? But I will say this- I am absolutely loving every minute of it here so far. And this 4th of July really helped underscore that.
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. My grandpa was born on the 4th of July, so my mom would always tell me that as a kid she thought all the fireworks were being shot off in his honor. Her dad used to spend all day on the 4th emptying the gunpowder out of fire crackers into a coffee can, so she and her brothers could orchestrate little explosions of ant hills and things in front yard all day. I had some fun 4th of July celebrations growing up as a child myself, but I always longed to relive some of the exciting celebrations my mom would recount. My high expectations for the holiday always made sure the day inevitably fell a little short.
The 4th of July here in Wichita was like that nostalgic, sparkly holiday I remember longing for in childhood, only honestly a bit better. There was something so exciting about driving around these little old tree lined streets, seeing house after house decorated with American flags and bunting. The Mr’s coworker and wife had us over for a barbecue, which was so friendly of them since they hardly know us (a typical nicety we’ve experienced in Wichita so far). We spent the late afternoon in back of their picturesque old white colonial located on a brick paved street. It was almost too perfect.
We couldn’t stay too long as the baby had an EPIC meltdown, bless her heart. I was a little sad to leave the party so early, and honestly a little embarrassed by the colossal fit she threw amidst total strangers (I know, I know, she’s a 3 MONTH OLD BABY. I get it. She just never does this kind of thing.). I figured that this would be where the night turned, making it yet another 4th of July that just fell short. I’m happy the little lass pitched the fit she did, because the rest of the evening turned out pretty amazing.
As we drove home, we quickly realized that at least 1 in every 4 houses on each block had a group of people milling around out front, shooting off fireworks in the middle of the street. Block after block went by, with huge sprays of sparks shooting up in all directions. It almost looked like tiny, sparkly Bellagio fountains going off up and down the streets. It was just fantastic. By the time we made it to our street, almost all our neighbors were out on the curb, observing fireworks or shooting off some of their own. And we’re not talking sparklers here- we’re talking big whistling fountains, huge masses of firecrackers, and even actual shoot-into-the-sky, Crack-Boom-Hiss fireworks that rain down over your head. Since I’ve lived for at least 11 years in cities where fireworks are either basically or legitimately illegal, we felt like absolute children.
As soon as we got the baby to sleep, I put her in the baby Bjorn and the Mr went to work depleting our newly acquired cache of fireworks. The baby can sleep through anything, so with one hand strategically placed over 1 of her ears and the other pressed against my chest, I stood in the yard as he lit cone after cone in the street. There were a few relatively tame cones in the pack, but we were also blessed with some 10 foot tall streams of whistle-y, scream-y sparks. There was even one the size of a cantaloupe that was decorated like a frog- his little open mouth flashed red like he was croaking while it went off.
I think we’re going to be pretty happy here.