The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays–coming in at a close second to Christmas. My family always heads up to Montana to the small town of Red Lodge where we have an old cabin. For as long as I can remember, we have celebrated here. I don't know if it's the mountains or the small town patriotism, but there is nothing like celebrating Independence Day in Red Lodge Montana. This year was extra special because the group was so large! This year we celebrated with 18 friends and family members. With 18 people (and one adorable golden retriever) in one cabin, it made for a crazy chaotic but crazy awesome time! Here is a bit of a photo diary of our time. I hope you enjoy!

Independence Day is not only a special day for me as an American, it's an extra special anniversary for our family because that handsome man below. This time last year, my mom and mother-in-law were in Montana doing our annual merry Red Lodge celebrations until we got the call. My dad phoned from Arizona with the results of some tests he had weeks before, and they were not what we had been praying for. My dad is an engineer so he focused his words on numbers and the plan with upcoming appointments but all that echoed in my head is "my dad has cancer." How is that possible? He is so healthy! 

With the help of my remarkable mother-in-law, within 48 hours, we flew my dad and my brother up to Montana. We flew from coast to coast to come together as a sort of rally against this nasty disease. It was one of the most memorable weekends of my life. In our small family cabin as we laughed, cried, and prayed together. The most remarkable thing was how my dad was so at peace with his diagnosis. His exact words were "honestly, I'm good!"

The trip came to an end and my parents drove me to the airport, my dad said goodbye and gave me a big hug. As he hugged me he whispered a promise in my ear. He whispered "Don't you worry, I am going to be alright, I will be there to watch your (future) daughter walk down the isle." My dad is a man of his word and I am holding him to that! Now, one year later, by God's kindness he stands in this picture cancer free!! This holiday is not only a celebration of our beautiful country's independence; it is a time of victorious celebration for my family. 

Happy Independence Day 'yall!