This year I got to go home for the 4th of July - back to the home where I grew up in Missouri! We enjoyed a delicious brunch out on the front porch with extended family - aunts, uncles, lots of little cousins, grandparents, and even my kids' great-grandmother! We started the gathering by singing the National Anthem and saying the Pledge of Allegiance together, and it was sweet to see all the little grandkids with their hands over their hearts in honor of the flag and country we love so much.
That afternoon we got a surprise call from my Grandpa, whose flight plans were changed en route, landing him in nearby Kansas City! He invited us to drive down with him to Branson, Missouri that night (where his original flight plans were) to see my cousins, the Brett Family, and their morning music show. We did a whirlwind packing job, enjoyed a tasty BBQ dinner all together, then hopped in the car and drove about 3.5 hours south. I loved the time with my grandpa, and as a bonus we got to watch fireworks the last two hours of the drive down!
Now I have to insert a quick story about another surprise that happened prior to the 4th. While I was still in California, before we left for Missouri, my cousin Brydon called me from Branson. Their family's show regularly has a stunning patriotic section, but he told me about a special Fourth of July program they were planning and asked if they could use my Star-Spangled Banner video in it. I was just as honored that they wanted to use it as I was surprised by it! We didn't have time to talk much about it, but I asked him to please let me know how it went.
I had no idea during that conversation that I would see the Bretts the same night of their special program, and get to hear about it in person! Oh, how I wish I could have been there to experience it myself. I could tell that it was a very stirring, powerful event and one that brought great honor to our country's veterans. (I always cry at things like that!) I just read an article reviewing the show that captures the details and spirit of it very well. The full newspaper article can be found here.
Here's a picture of us with my cousins, the Brett Family, after their show that we attended the following day. They deliver an amazing performance and we were lucky enough to see it twice! This will be a 4th of July we will fondly remember for a very long time. Thank you to our country's servicemen and women, past and present, who make such great celebrations possible.