Happy 4th of July!! I hope everyone had a beautiful day, full of family, friends, fireworks, and feasts!

We made the flag cake for our potluck at Aunt Diane and Uncle Brad’s house in Oceanside. The kiddos and I made the cake part while rocking out to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” last night and then decorated it with a buttercream and cream cheese frosting, strawberries, and local Temecula blueberries.

Happy 4th of July from the McGaughs!

And we’re standing up now…

Playing with Boppa

Eric liked this

Swimming with our family and friends

Kd and Katie

Katie and Amie at the beach (we took a walk there)

Ashley and David

Eric fell asleep on our walk to the beach

There were thousands of sand crabs around today! I have never really seen them before or tried digging for them. This may be one of my new favorite beach activities!

My brother and I finding sand crabs. The really awesome part was when two little girls came over, and we had the chance to teach them how to find the sand crabs. Seriously, seriously—I could have explored the sand crabs all day. It is like this whole new world in the sand…I am captivated.

I thought the sand crabs were truly bodacious and basically awesome. Life is so full of wonder at every moment. I feel like I found treasure today (although I put them all back). Isn’t is AMAZING how many different creatures there are on this planet? Endlessly fascinating… We have enough beauty in this world to entertain each of us for hundreds of thousands of years, and in our short lifetimes we can barely scratch the surface of all this wonder. Humbles and awes a person at the same time…

Playing with Katie at the beach… This beach walk with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and family has become a tradition now. I think of Thanksgiving and Easter and all the memories we make here. One of life’s delights, I really believe, is having tradition and moments with special people that we can count on from season to season. Sometimes tradition gets a bad name in our more modern culture, but our traditions, I feel, give our lives a richness and a structure—something on which to hang our memories.

Eric and Amie toward the end of the party.

Tonight we came back to Temecula and drove over to the park that is part of our H.O.A.–a well-kept secret, this spot. You can see the Temecula fireworks almost perfectly and the H.O.A. hires a DJ to broadcast the radio program and actually holds activities all day for our neighborhood residents. It is a beautiful spot to watch the fireworks without heading into the throng at the Sports Park or at the high school. Parking is a cinch, and there are plenty of spots on the grass. My husband and my mom have pictures of the kiddos watching the fireworks, so I might have to post those later. Katie was dancing and enjoying herself and running on her inner generator—she fell asleep literally seconds after getting home to her bed. Eric was clapping and pointing—very cute! His first set of 4th fireworks!

I loved everything about today!