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Posted Jul 02 2010 5:58am

Good morning!

I’m thrilled to say, TGIF – finally! Right? AND, Ben just officially declared it the start of my weekend (my birthday is on Monday). Wheeee!! 8)

Well, last night’s festivities couldn’t have taken place on a more picture perfect evening.

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The sun was shining, the sky was cloudless, and there was a great turnout at the capital for the Yankee Doodle Pops symphony concert and fireworks display!

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This is Iowa’s capital building, ICYWW. ;)

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It’s a beaut!

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Ben met me and my parents directly from work, but not before picking up some goodies for the group…

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Cookies!!

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Ohhh, this man knows me so well. Exactly what I was craving!

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I also sipped on a cold Diet Mt. Dew. Fun Fact: Ben and I call Diet Mt. Dew "always more" – as in, "hey grab me an always more at the store, will you?" Because, well, we always want more Diet Mt. Dew. It is so good. I know.

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Everyone was in a cheerful mood.

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I think I’m going to let my hair grow back out. What do you think?

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Family!

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There was a jazz band that warmed up the crowd for about an hour, then the Yankee Doodle Pops took the stage around 8:30.

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They played for about an hour, and even did a few numbers with Iowa’s own Simon Estes. He performed a couple of songs, including one that he’ll be singing at the finals of the World Cup in South Africa!

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As the sun dipped below the horizon, the symphony pulled out all the stops.

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They proudly played the classic 4th of July tunes like the 1812 Overture, Yankee Doodle and Hooray for the Red, White & Blue as the dazzling display of fireworks exploded overhead.

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Goosebumps, I’m tellin’ ya’!

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This was my parent’s 24th year in a row of going to the Yankee Doodle Pops concert and fireworks at the capital, and I’m close behind. It’s a wonderful tradition that we look forward to every year. Proud to be an American! :D  

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I didn’t climb into bed until nearly 11:00, so I slept in a bit this morning and whipped up a quick, on-the-go breakfast. 

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 Multigrain Cheerios. Perhaps my favorite type of Cheerios.

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Creamy almond butter.

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And a Pink Lady Apple.

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To be sliced and dunked! 

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Lunch is some leftover Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles.

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I seriously, seriously love this dish!

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It would be really good to take to a picnic, or perhaps, a 4th of July BBQ?! ;)

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In other news, there is ONE thing good about getting older…free stuff on your birthday!

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Free cookie dough from Papa Murphy’s, to be exact! I got this coupon in an email yesterday and I think I’m going to use the dough to make theeeeeeese . That link WILL change your life. I’m warning you.

Ok, time to get this party started!

OH! Locals – Larabars and Chobani are both on sale at HyVee this weekend. Make sure to stock up – but save some for me!!! ;)

If this is your last time to check in before the long Holiday weekend, enjoy it to the fullest! See ya’!

~~~~~

Let’s play MASH. Where’s your dream home location - a roomy mansion in the suburbs, a trendy loft apartment in the city, a cozy cabin in the mountains or a breezy house on the beach?

I’m going to say…cozy cabin in the mountains! Only because I’m terrified of tsunamis….

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