Since June brought nothing but buckets of rain our way, we were forced to cancel our annual trip to the cabin for the 4th of July. Instead, we took advantage of the extra time off work and spent the weekend back home with my side of the family. Early Friday morning, we loaded up the tot and my nieces and nephew and headed to the Lake of the Ozarks to spend the day splashing around at Big Surf. We frequented the water park often when I was younger, but it had been a solid decade since I had been down a water slide so even I was excited to go.
The girls had a blast playing in the kiddie area while my older niece and nephew attempted every available water slide. I spent most of my day wading around the kiddie area with the little ones, but I did manage to get a solid 30 minutes to myself to float around the wave pool which was glorious. I love it when Tay is able to spend an entire day laughing and playing with her cousins, something they don't get to do nearly enough.
After a long day in the sun we were all wiped, but somehow we managed to stay awake long enough to attend the firework show that evening. We had been practicing our "ooh's" and "aah's" with Taylor all week, so it was no surprise when she let out a giant "OOH!" as soon as the fireworks began. I'm telling you, this kid is hilarious. She loved seeing the fireworks, but the show was a little long for her attention span which led to a rousing game of musical chairs about halfway through the show.
Saturday the weather was perfect, so we borrowed my cousins's Rangers and spent the day riding gravel roads and playing in the creeks. When we stopped to have lunch on a gravel bar, the tot took full advantage and plopped her entire body into the water - clothes and all. She had a great time throwing rocks and splashing around in the water despite having droopy drawers.
The photo below absolutely melts me. I can't count the number of afternoons I've spent skipping rocks with my dad throughout my life, so watching him do the same thing with Taylor was priceless.
And, of course, no gravel road trip would be complete without a quick stop at the farm to see Papa's cows.
It was a perfect way to end the long weekend and reminded me just how lucky I am to have such amazing friends and family in my life. We are so very fortunate to live the life we lead, and I'm forever grateful to all of those who sacrifice in order for us to be able to do so. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. God bless!