In all the places we have lived in our 9 years of marriage, we have had the privileged of living in two houses where 4th of July fireworks could be viewed from the yard!  I've always enjoyed a good fireworks show and I've seen them in many places around the country, but I never knew how nice it would be to see them without the huge crowds and traffic (especially when young kids are involved!).  So this year, we invited some of our family to a little cookout and we enjoyed the company of some good friends as well for the fireworks later in the evening.  I originally had grand plans of whipping out the tripod and capturing award-winning fireworks pictures, but that was before I had a clear picture in my mind of what having 10 adults, 4 kids, and 3 newborns in the backyard was really going to be like!  The real version of what transpired, however, was much more exciting and interesting than me pressing the shutter on my tripodded (new word) camera.  Here are some of my favorite images from the evening (well, except that the first image is from earlier in the day - I couldn't resist). July 4-1

Of course, we had to bust out the sparklers!

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July 4-4

Aunt Charlotte, the entertainer, wowed us with her ability to hula hoop around her neck while waving a sparkler!

July 4-2

Our friends, the Eckerts, brought their kids over and the boys gave the sparklers a try.

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July 4-6

Once our girls realized that the fireworks were not coming towards them and they were safe, they loved the show!

July 4-7

I obviously didn't have my tripod out there and I didn't have time to get my strobe or setup off-camera lighting, so I have a ton of shots like this.  The pop-up flash on my camera is decent in a severe pinch, but I don't use it that often.  But this is the great thing about photography.  Even an underexposed, blurry shot like this is special to me because it documents our first July 4th as a family of five.  I love this moment (even if I don't particularly love the technical aspects of the photo!).

July 4-8

Once the show was over, we had to get a photo of the three newborns together.  Two of our friends from church had babies one week on either side of Zach!  Getting three babies under one-month old to cooperate is a bit challenging so we did the best we could.  Notice Zach on the left is spending the evening in the same manner he spends most of his days!

July 4-9

The really good news is that the house we're moving into at the end of this month is less than 1/2 a mile from where these fireworks happen so next year we should have a front-row seat to the action!  Let us know if you want to come over and hang out!  We're taking reservations starting now.