If Anyone Doesn’t Know What I’m Doing This Summer Then They Have Not Been Paying Attention

Hey, did you know that I’m going to Hilton Head, South Carolina in June? Oh no? Well then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Already one of my Finish the Sentence Friday’s was all about it, In My Mind I’m Going to Carolina. And then there was this week’s Twisted MixTape: Summer Vacation. So what to do when I saw this week’s Finish the Sentence Friday was: This Summer I plan to…..?

Instead of BORING you with more blah blah blahs about Hilton Head, South Carolina. I will regale you with the tales of my other summer exploit, The Fourth of July.

So here’s a piece of trivia for all of you Jen fans. I live in the town I grew up in. Yup. I left when I was 18, came back, left again, came back, moved to the Big City, then came back for good when my sister and I decided to buy a house together, because there’s no place like home. This is a pretty great town if you have to live in the suburbs of Chicago.  It’s safe, quaint, and everything important is walking/biking distance. Not that I do either.

When my sister and I lived together we didn’t even lock our house. Given we had 2 big dogs. When we sold our house due to my impending marriage, we realized we didn’t even have a key! Luckily the new buyers were kind enough to not make us pay for new locks.

Believe it or not, one of the reasons we moved back to…thought I’d tell you didn’t ya! Not! I just told you my car was unlocked in the driveway! We moved back because we love the Fourth of July.

It’s during our Fourth of July celebration that our town really shows you what a small town is all about. We may be a suburb, scrunched up between all of the other suburbs in a run-on suburb configuration. But it still feels like a small-town. And since a real-life small-town does not come with a Whole Foods AND a TJ Maxx, we’ll stay here for a while.

However it does come with a real-life small-town celebration of The Birth of Our Nation. So this is what happens after South Carolina this summer…

We have pony rides, carnival games, bouncy climbing walls. There’s crazy sisters, and family, cool husbands  and crazy husbands. Firetrucks and Sesame Street. Marching bands and bagpipes, stilt-walkers and more marching bands. There’s hot neon clowns, cowboys, old-time firetrucks and awesome dancers.

It’s a two-day celebration, complete with pancake breakfast and a doggy parade. And awesome fireworks we can see, un-obstructed from my parents back deck. The firemen let the kids climb all over the firetrucks before they protect the crowd from a Firey Death by Misfire. It’s the kind of celebration that everyone Comes Home For. We see friends we haven’t seen in years, and tye-dye vendors we look forward to seeing every-year. We talk about leaving our home-town for a “real” small-town. But if we ever wind up somewhere else, we will always miss the Fourth of July. And Whole Foods.

And because I can’t leave you without a song, here’s a gimme. If you need to own it, click here: My Hometown – Bruce Springsteen: Greatest Hits When your done might you clicky click click the banner below and send me into Top Mommydom?


Thank you to the Ladies of Finish The Sentence Friday Fame Kate, Janine, Dawn and Stephanie!

Finish the Sentence Friday

41 thoughts on “If Anyone Doesn’t Know What I’m Doing This Summer Then They Have Not Been Paying Attention

  1. Your town sounds amazing Jen and seriously loved hearing all about it, especially how the 4th of July is complete with pancakes. And the pictures were amazing, p;us thanks for including Bruce Springsteen, too (I am a huge fan!).

    • Thanks Janine. It is amazing, I’m lucky to live here. AND what post about a hometown would be complete without Bruce???

  2. I passed the quiz. I knew what you’re doing this summer before I read the post!
    I like that you highlighted the 4th celebrations. I tend to forget about it until it’s a week away. Something else to look forward to this summer.

  3. I LOVE the 4th of July! The only thing I don’t like about it is thta it means there are only 3-4 weeks left of summer, and I love the laid-back feeling that I get during summertime and never want it to end–even though I love fall even more. I also love that you’re leaving us with a song!

    • Shay! I love how many times you said love in your comment! Since I homeschool we get to enjoy summer for as long as its warm, and in the Midwest that can be well into October! So the 4th is only sweet, not bitter 🙂

  4. I did different hop through April, so I completely missed the FTSF one, thus was not up to speed on your Hilton Head happiness. I have been there a few times, and will be again this summer. I have a sister, cousin, and aunt who live there. I don’t tell you this to make you jealous, but to give you hope that it does happen. None of them grew up there, all moved there independently, and all very much enjoy it. It can happen for you, too!
    I do love a 4th of July myself. We go back home each year for my dad’s big party. No hometown parades or anything, but lots of fun, nonetheless.

    • Christine ~ Thanks for the good thoughts! I sure hope we will be there someday! Sounds like you’ll have a great 4th!

  5. You know, Carolina will be undoubtedly amazing, but the whole summer festival thing is pretty awesome too. I love that stuff in our particular ‘burb, and now that you mention it, I’m looking forward to it! So glad to have you with us for FTSF again!

  6. that is wonderful that you are back in your hometown and what a town it is…love how fierce and wonderfully they celebrate. You are going to have an awesome 4th!

  7. So where are you going again this summer? 😛

    I would LOVE to live in a town like that. I used to watch Gilmore Girls and fantasize about attending a town meeting. Actually it was more the coffee shops and quaint little caffes that appealed to me. The celebrations look awesome. I have 4 Year Old sitting next to me as I am reading your post and his attention was immediately drawn to the colourful pictures and he started asking “who is that, and who is that, and who is that” without me answering the first who is that.

    Also, can’t remember if I told you, but I really like your blog’s new look. The header is so Mad Men! 🙂

    • Thanks Katia! It’s taking me some getting used to, but it’s growing on me 🙂 I love how the little ones are so captivated by pictures of other people. We do have a really quaint breakfast place, but our cutest coffee shop sadly, is Starbucks.

  8. Your fourth of July celebration looks wonderful! Amazing! I love the photos. Oh and did you know that Tucker’s birthday is on the fourth of July? Just one more reason to love it. Jealous of the firetrucks.

    • Hey Kristi, It is amazing! And even more so because it’s Tucker’s birthday! I had no idea, I would love to be born on our Country’s Birthday!!!

  9. Wow, I want to spend July 4 out your way. The celebration sounds fantastic! People always assume that I am a big city girl because I lived mostly in Los Angeles and now San Francisco; however, I have an inner small town girl.

  10. I love Hilton Head! July 4th is a great holiday! I live in a small town and would never want to live in a city, except for Paris. I absolutely love Paris, so I could give up small town life for Paris.

    • I know Betty, it’s wonderful. Tried to think of a city I would live in….can’t. But Paris sounds wonderful, especially with an unlimited budget!

  11. I love that I’m not the only one who still lives in the town they were born in. I hope I get to stay here forever, too. It doesn’t sound as awesome as your town though.

    • Well Considerer – I think living in the same town you grew up in never seems attractive when your young, but as you get older it is very comforting. Not that I’m old, or that you are.

  12. It will be nice to have something to look forward to after your vacation – wait a minute – you are going to CAROLINA? No way – I hadn’t heard! 😉

  13. Great photos… love the idea of a an outlying quaint town. Not in the middle of nowhere with nothing but what is in the yard and not in the city with nowhere that doesn’t have people in it, on it or behind it. Nice concept.

    Not such a fan of parades (want to get the all the rogers in one place? hold a parade! not that everyone one at parade is a roger, but parades have everything they like lots of people, orderly progress of activities, exhibition of firefighting equipment along with firefighters( as scotts are to the police, rogers are to the fire department)…and scheduled fun… rogerian heaven. But as a characteristic of a lifestyle it is very cool.

    …except for the clowns… I hate clowns they totally creep me out lol

    • Yeah, it’s kinda the perfect place, even though I imagine I’d like to live on a farm. The parade thing is for my sister and my son. My sister is the crazy one in the pic, she’s ALWAYS like that. My son LOVES the pomp. I’d be happy sitting on my porch with a Margarita 🙂

  14. I’m digging your new site. Your town sounds awesome for the 4th. I should stop by. Our town has a thing, but the bigger par-tay is later in the month. I’m excited for your trip to SC because I can totally sense your excitement. 🙂

    • Hey Kate! You guys should come up! It’s a blast! If you want to let me know, we save our parade seats the night before, and there’s always room for more 🙂 Just heard for the millionth time, as Isaiah woke up, how many days until Hilton Head?

  15. You have an awesome hometown! I totally missed this week’s FTSF but love reading everyone’s :). I’m from a big city and moved out to TX 3 years ago. I sometimes miss the bright lights (Las Vegas), but nothing can’t compare to a nice small town to grow the kids! Stop by and blog hop with me if you have a chance. It’s happening all weekend long 🙂

    The Wondering Brain

    • Thanks Jessica! One of our musings has been moving to Texas. But of course still a small town. But we would miss this one so much our plans always peter out 🙂

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