The tradition has continued. We celebrated 4th of July with our chosen family and best friends in East Texas. Traveling with a teething toddler can be interesting and being gone for 4 days can be tiring. But it was hands down the best 4th of July that we’ve had. Celebrating this holiday in these dividing times of the world can be difficult. In these times I find it best to put aside the politics, the negativity, and the corruption to celebrate unity and freedom. We have overcome many obstacles as a country, but we still have a long way to go. Celebrating the 4th of July with my family reminded me that hope and courage are extremely important in difficult times. Teaching Jermaine diversity but showing him to push through is challenging. Having Jacob by my side guiding our son to a brighter, hopeful, but conscious future is truly a blessing. Not forgetting what we have and also where we stand in this country is both grateful and troubling. But together, we push forward and pray for a brighter future and a united country.

Celebrating with our chosen family on the Fourth of July is always a joy. It is a nice reminder that even when life gets busy, or you feel like you can’t catch a break, you have these people that always bring you back. Johnathan and Kristine are both of our friends. We have been through many life changing experiences with each other. Kristine and I were friends first, and then our significant others met through us. We’ve been friends for about 8 years, and I am confident to say she is my person. It is hard to find friendships that make it through long distance, marriage, kids, and just life altogether. Through and through, we managed to stay close and include each other in everything. There are many reasons why she was chosen to be Jermaine’s Godmother, but a few of the main reasons are for her unmeasurable amount of love she emanates from and to God, her open mind for people and their actions, and her loyalty. Seeing her grow and change into the woman she is now, I could not be prouder of where she is and where she’s going. Her husband Johnathan has become a close friend to both Jacob and I. When we get these two together, it’s as if they are teenagers all over again. Together we are a chosen family that bickers, and laughs, and still loves throughout the entire lifelong journey.

This 4th of July we all chimed in for the big meal. While the men were working the grill, Kristine and I focused on the sides and deserts. All this while making sure three dogs and a wandering toddler did not get hurt or snipped at. It was definitely challenging at times. But in the end it turned out pretty good I would say. Together we made BBQ chicken, sausage, ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, and broccoli salad. We finished it off with a fruit tray, watermelon and berries, and a delicious pie topped with Blue Bell of course!

We had a magical weekend filled with love and laughter. I hope everyone enjoyed their time this weekend and had a great 4th of July!