The 4th of July AKA: Christmas for Donovan

For some crazy reason, the 4th of July is a HUGE holiday for Donovan and his family. It’s almost like Christmas to them. Last week, leading up to the 4th, Donovan had such a hard time going to sleep and kept talking about fireworks. Like, this is a for real obsession. For years, he and his high school buddies have done a firework show at his parents’ house in Missouri — so we decided to take a last minute trip up there for the holiday.

On our way up, Donovan was SO excited to get there. He made me get up at 7am to leave by 8am! That is early- especially on our first day of vacation! I did, however, make him stop at one of the Amish Stores in Oklahoma for some fudge for his step-dad/me.


Man, that stuff was delicious, even if it was on the no-no list.

The weather in Missouri was slated to be nothing less but awesome. We were excited for some cooler weather since it has been so hot in Dallas lately.


We got to Missouri Thursday afternoon, and got to fireworks shopping around 6pm. This was an incredibly boring task for me, but I know Dono and his friend, David, LOVED it. I tagged along like a good wife, and got rewarded with Andy’s Frozen Custard for not complaining on the shopping trip. That works for me!

Friday morning Dono woke up early and headed out to the garage/shed to start building his fireworks display. I walked out around lunchtime and saw this:


um…WHAT! Yes, that is a row of bottle rockets tied together. The idea was to light the rope (fuse) on one end so it would set them off one at a time. It ended up working pretty well for the first handful of bottle rockets, but towards the end they started flying everywhere. It was crazy!

A few hours later, I came outside and saw my handsome husband sweating over a pile of firework tubes. I don’t even know what those things are.

fireworks stand

One thing I love about going to Donovan’s parents’ house is the scenic landscape. Their home is on top of a hill surrounded by fields. It is absolutely beautiful and peaceful. It’s also a great getaway for when the city becomes too stressful.

Ozark Missouri landscape

We decided to do the fireworks celebration on the 5th (Friday) since a lot of people had to work Friday and celebrating on the 4th would be bad – people would be hungover going to work and wouldn’t be able to stay out too late. Having it on Friday turned out pretty awesome. About 50-60 of Donovan’s friends and his parent’s friends came to celebrate. We grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs and everyone brought a side dish and a lawn chair. We all sat around talking and hanging out until the fireworks started.

On our way up to Missouri, Dono and I got this great idea to make t-shirts for our family. I had originally seen the shirt idea on Pinterest, but did not want to pay $30+ for each t-shirt when we could just make them ourselves for that total amount.

star spangled hammered

They only took about an hour to make all 4 of them, and we got a lot of compliments! They were pretty hilarious — and totally sums up the 4th of July experience.

group photo

I will admit, my husband puts on a damn good fireworks show! It seriously lasted about 2 hours, and they had fireworks of all kinds. I mean, they did spend $1,000+ on fireworks! It was definitely a show to remember. About halfway through, one of the firework embers landed in the open box of artillery shells which ended up lighting the whole box on fire. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my entire life. I literally ran from my lawn chair to the house with a bunch of other people. It was freaking scary! If you follow me on Facebook, I just re-posted the  video. Yikes!

On Saturday, we decided to take it easy and head out to the creek with Dono’s family friends. Even Maggie (the dog) was excited!



The creek was SO relaxing. Apparently it was on private property so not many people know about it. We literally just sat our lawn chairs in the water, popped open some beers, and just hung out all afternoon. One of the little boys with us went fishing and kept showing us all the perches he kept catching. Gross.



Later that night, Donovan and I went on our usual Ozark date night. There’s not much to do since its a small town, but we stopped by the county fair to see what was happening.

ozark tractor pull


We spent a bit of time hanging out in the stadium watching the Tractor Pull. This is not my favorite sporting competition, but it is interesting to see. I learned a lot about tractors and how much weight they can pull. My Uncle Buck would be proud.

rabbit toss


Then we found my FAVORITE carnival game — Rabbit Toss! If you don’t know me- all you need to know is that I LOVE rabbits! They are so cuddly and sweet!!! Ok, anyways. Donovan and I put in $5 and had 12 tries to get a ping pong ball into one of those floating bowls. Donovan ALMOST got a ball in the bowl. SO CLOSE! We could have won a bunny! But we didn’t. We almost put in another $5 to try again, but then the more I thought about it, we might as well just buy a rabbit from a breeder or something — it would cost about the same. Oh well. the bunnies were definitely cute!

Now we’re back at work this week. It was really tough to get out of bed and get moving today. My boss is in Hawaii for the week which makes me feel even more unproductive. Dono and I are back on the fitness train after a few days off. We biked 7 miles tonight, and I almost died. I think I’m still recovering.

What did y’all do for the 4th?


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