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Hey all – Lauren here again! I asked Vijay if I could write his blog this week before I go away for my wedding and honeymoon. Plus, the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays! I’ll tell you a few reasons why…

As you may recall from my last post, I enjoy reading history and fun facts. Did you know that although Congress made July 4th a federal holiday in 1870, it wasn’t until 1941 that it became a paid holiday to all federal employees?! Here are some personal fun facts: Betsy Ross, famous for making the first American flag, just happens to be my ancestor by marriage (as I have been told). She married my ancestor, Timothy Matlack, (one of four husbands) and later divorced (does that still count?!) 😊. Timothy Matlack actually wrote the Declaration of Independence. When I say “wrote,” what I really mean is scribed… he had good handwriting! 😊

As I said earlier, I love the Fourth of July. I love the history and traditions of the day and how we celebrate it.  When I was little, my dad took me to a 4th of July parade every year. It was always something I looked forward to. In addition to that, every year my parents have a pool party at their house and invite both sides of my family, along with whoever else wants to come. We enjoy the usual barbequing, swimming, music, drinks, fireworks, laughter, and fun. This year, it just so happens to be the week before my wedding, so my parents recently decided not to have it. (I was not happy!) Silver lining– they will have a “4th of July” party sometime in August. Although it is so close to my wedding and I will have to “postpone” my traditions, I plan on taking some time this weekend to just relax, enjoy family time, food and laughter. Sometimes we need to remember, it’s all about the little things.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

“Traditions touch us, they connect us, and they expand us.” – Rita Barreto Craig

How will you celebrate America this weekend?

-Lauren

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