Maddie headed to Wisconsin on July 4th with her friend to visit their family. She was gone all weekend. This is the first time that she's really been gone for any extended period of time. Not that she's a rebel rouser, but it was definitely quieter around these parts.
(Note: I didn't actually take these pictures, but was really in the habit of posting my watermark on everything.)
Before leaving, she requested a manicure and pedicure and we tried to get creative for the holiday weekend...
Maddie had agreed to run her first 5K with her friend's family. She started "seriously" training about 2 weeks before the race - having never run 3 miles before. She and I ran/walked to get her started and soon she was up to two miles (simply because she didn't have the luxury to take her time hitting the longer runs). I think it was by the 9th day of running that she ran her first full 3 miles. I tried to stress to her that this race wasn't about being the fastest, it was about NOT WALKING. She was pretty consumed by the idea of how slow she was running. She and her friend had a "practice run" a few days before leaving.
The day of the race, this was the text picture I received. Her friend told me that they had run it in 36 minutes, 36 seconds, which she was happy to report was 9 MINUTES(!) faster than their time four days prior. I don't know that Maddie is going to become a running fiend, but I think it was a pretty awesome accomplishment in a short period of time.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...Jake and I took on Rice Krispy Bars. Sadly - I've never been able to make these right. However, after talking with my mom, she suggested I increase my butter amount and that seemed to do the trick for us! We took an idea we saw on the Internet and completely made it our own...
We were pretty proud of these!
We headed to my brother's house for an evening of swimming and dinner followed by neighborhood fireworks in his front yard.
There were mostly noise-makers to begin with, but Dan warned us that his neighbors each traveled out of state to get the "good" fireworks.
Dan had done his part and traveled as far as Target to get the $10 specials. They did not disappoint, I assure you! Jake was having a BLAST with lighting these up - so, thanks, Dan, for giving my kid a happy Fourth!
As the evening progressed sparklers came out and the bigger show started.
At one point, there was a massive explosion (sound-wise) and Tracy decided heading in was a good idea. Later into the night, a couple of the "rockets" exploded inside their launching tube and Jake said he had fireworks passing right between his legs before he took off running. It was shortly after that that we decided we could probably head home too.
It was a very fun evening and a good time hanging with the 'fam!