The 4th of July 2012

The 4th in Fort Bragg is always fun. For small business owners it’s not the best day for sales, as most shops in town close, and everyone heads to Mendocino for the parade. This year it fell in the middle of the week, so closing Pippi’s wasn’t a terrible decision.

Jeremy and Danielle came into town for a visit and we had a blast. There was less nudity in the parade compared to years past, but watching people who have never seen the event before is thoroughly entertaining.

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Just one example of the strange floats in the parade. The dog lifts its leg and pees on the guy dressed as a fire hydrant.

When I started packing up beer and wine for the parade, Danielle was concerned. When we got there, and she saw that everyone was drinking on the street, I promptly poured her a glass of wine. Nothing like having a drink with great friends, on the street watching insanely off-the-wall floats pass by. End the day with a small barbeque at our house rounded out an amazing holiday.

Happy 4th everyone!

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I seem to have a Star Wars shirt for every occasion.

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The newly engaged, and his best man.

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Every fire house within a 50 mile radius is represented in the parade. Hope there’s never a fire on the 4th!

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Rowan making fruit kabobs for the BBQ.

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This guy yells “Root Beer” at the top of his lungs while helpers pass it out behind him. He sings too. Be thankful you didn’t hear it.

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This is about as scandalous as it got this year.

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This “pigeon” shows up for every parade without signing up. The white stuff on the street is the “poop” it leaves behind. WTF?

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Grubbing on some Q.

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The kids love Jeremy of course

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No idea he could even read!:)

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Apparently size matters.

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Your guess is as good as mine.

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Just one of many protest floats

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Painting in the yard on the 5th. An artist just like her mom.

Busy, Busy – Part One: Jeremy’s Engagement Party

Me, the girls, and the eclipse.

Those who know me well enough, know that I would do anything for my friends and family. Sure, I’ve missed a few events, and a few get-togethers, but I’ve made the ones that matter most to them…I think.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. As the school year ends everything becomes at least twice as stressful. My patience with my kids, my wife, and my students becomes shorter the closer I get to graduation. Other things go by the wayside as well. My ability to write for TORWars consistently was the most frustrating. This week I hope to carve chunks of writing time each day. Not only to keep up with the game I love, and the website that I love writing for, but also to get back to what I’m doing now.

With my second batch of seniors graduating and venturing into the great wide world beyond, I finally have to time to share with you a few of the things I was somehow able to do with my friends and family despite the chaos that is teaching seniors at the end of the school year.

Part 1: The Engagement Party

One of my best friends got engaged a few months ago. I couldn’t be happier for him and his fiance Danielle. When he asked me to be his best man, honored is only one of the feelings I had. I’m so proud of him, and can’t wait to stand at his side on his big day.

The wife and I were of course invited to their engagement party and ventured out of Fort Bragg the night before and stayed with my parents. My mom doesn’t get to see her grandkids very often considering we live about four and a half hours away. My mom, dad and brother, were more than happy to hang out with the girls while we helped Jeremy and Danielle set up for their big day.

Not having to be parents at the party was weird. Not only was I able to have conversations with amazing new people, but I could actually look them in the eye, and truly connect rather than constantly darting my eyes around the yard hoping my girls are okay, not getting into trouble, and all of the other dad-on-duty tasks.

We had a blast with the wedding party giving Jeremy a hard time, and laughing constantly with Danielle’s family. Kate and I haven’t had that much fun childless in a long time. I love my girls, but I think every couple needs that reconnect time with their spouse. This means a break from the parenting norm, having a few drinks with good friends, and doing those little things like holding hands, and putting our arms around each other, that happen so rarely when the kids are there.

Halfway through writing this I realized that I took no pictures during the party. I was clearly having to much fun. Instead, I stole most of these from Jeremy’s Facebook page. There are dozens and dozens more there if you want to check it out. Enjoy, and Part 2: Zoey’s 1st Birthday, is on the way soon.

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Jeremy and the groomsmen.

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The recently engaged couple.

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As good as it looks, we weren’t done setting up yet.

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Can you go wrong with a cupcake tower?

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I’m trying to train Jeremy in the delicate art of listening to your woman:)

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Me hoping what she’s looking for is actually in that bag!

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Nearing the end of a great party…for us anyway. Had to go to back to being parents at some point.

If the engagement party is any indicator, the wedding’s going to be amazing. Congrats guys!

Congrats and thanks for a great day Jeremy and Danielle! Let’s fast forward to the bachelor party!