Memorial Day/Welcome Summer, We Love America Celebration

Happy Tuesday and Hello Summer!!  I hope you all had fabulous Memorial Day Weekends — I know I sure did!  So good in fact, that all I did yesterday was clean up around the house and catch up on a LOT of some really good T.V. {Mrs. Eastwood and Company, Ice Loves Coco, Game of Thrones, The Bachelorette, some NBA Basketball and ESPN – ugh not my choice, and 1/2 of The Iron Lady…told you it was a lot}.  We didn’t have to leave the house all day since we were {and still are} all stocked up on leftovers from our weekend festivities.  Oh, and we had the day off work. 

I forgot how quickly fun stuff starts to pick up this time of year, and completely failed to mention our annual “Welcome Summer, We Love America” celebration at Beautiful Lake Bowen in Inman {and Campobello, and Fingerville}, SC. We LOVE summertime on Lake Bowen, and there’s no better way to kick off this wonderful season than with friends {and aqua girls} who love it too.  

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Let’s begin with last Friday, since after work is really when we started getting into the details of our weekend celebration.  


We didn’t want to leave the house once our friends arrived, so we had to figure out what all we needed from the store{s} so we could relax and enjoy the weekend once it officially began.  We made several lists {meals, boat snacks, drinks, housework, decorations, desserts, etc.} and went to several stores {Costco, Ingles, Wal-Mart, Trader Joe’s, Oasis, etc.} between Friday evening and early Saturday morning.  I was so busy organizing and preparing, I didn’t even take a single picture to capture our evening.  It wasn’t that exciting, it just took me a long time to figure out exactly what I wanted to make, and when I wanted to make it.  

My breakfast that morning, however…pretty exciting. 

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Cereal with flaxseed and protein powder…yeahhhh. 


Since I knew I had to stay focused for my last-minute shopping trip, I made myself a delicious “egg mcmuffin” to eat on-the-go.

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Our friends {Bryan, Sarah, Heath, Jimmy, Claire and Nick} arrived right after lunch, bearing cocktails, and ready for a boat ride.  

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So that’s what we did. We sipped and we took the first long, slow boat ride of the summer around Beautiful Lake Bowen. 

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And enjoyed it.  Then our friends Bryan and Sarah treated us all to cheeseburgers and slaw and I forgot to take pictures.  Although that’s not surprising seeing as though I conked out around 8:30pm…  Early morning shopping took it out of me, I guess.  I did wake back up around midnight, but I missed the most climatic events of the evening.  Oh well — the nap helped me stay up with John while he started the butt {had to smoke for like 15 hours} for Sunday’s bbq feast, so it was worth it. 

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I absolutely loved waking up in our house with bedrooms full of our friends {and family since my sissy was there}.  It’s the first time we’ve had people spend the night since I’ve moved in and, although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the normal peace and quiet, it was AWESOME to have a house full of energy, laughter, and happiness.  Plus, it got me excited to fix us a brunch to munch to cure what ailed us. 

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Complete with Bojangles sausage biscuits as appetizers, this brunch included: a full bloody mary bar {un-pictured}, fresh fruit, granola, cinnamon rolls {Sister Shubert’s – they are the BEST, go try them if you haven’t – in the freezer section at the grocery}, bacon, sausage patties, chicken sausage, and Summer Veggie Strata {which I will share the recipe for soon, but was inspired by Sarah Copeland’s Egg and Cheese Strata recipe seen on Leite’s Culinaria…it was DELICIOUS}. 

I enjoyed a bite of everything, along with an oh-so-spicy glass of goodness.

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I also ate a bite of just about every piece of meat before we sat down to eat, so that’s why none made it to the table for the photo-op. It was all good though, fo sho. 

After bloating our bellies a little bit more, we filled our red cups and headed from shore.  We boated around until it was time to take off the butt and get ready for our cookout.  In addition the 8 of us that had already started celebrating, our party was joined by some fellow Lake-Bowenites {Ben and Lucy}, their sweet and awesome babes {Reece, Louise and Charlie}, their siblings/siblings in law {Phillip and Laney + baby Nix}, and couple of Phillip’s buddies {so sorry I’m bad with names when kegs are involved!}.

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We enjoyed several snacks {un-pictured} before the real feast began.  Our Memorial Day/Welcome Summer, We Love America Cookout included: Big Green Egg BBQ {good job, John…it was PERFECT!!!}, baked beans, watermelon salad, fresh fruit, pasta salad {recipe coming soon, adapted from the Neeley’s Lemon Pasta Salad}, and fresh homemade coleslaw {recipe coming when I make it over again and measure exact ingredients}.

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Scrumdidliumptious. I walked over to sit with these folks,

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and enjoyed my plate in good company. 

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By the time we were done eating it was already time for the babes to get back to their house and go night-night, so we sadly said our goodbyes.  However, the 6 {Heath and Jimmy left before dinner} of us didn’t say our goodnights.  We enjoyed dessert, a pseudo wedding ceremony, a late night dunk-a-roo, and took a few pics I don’t think I’m allowed to share with the world.  What happens in Fingerville, stays in Fingerville.


Side-note: I’m only half-way joking about Fingerville.  Our home address is officially Inman, but when we were on one of our boat rides, Sarah tagged a picture on Facebook and it clearly identified our location as Fingerville, SC.  Hahaha. 


We woke up yesterday morning, picked up trash, had some coffee, reminisced about the weekend, and said goodbye to our friends around 10:30am.  After they left, John and I enjoyed leftover brunch from Sunday,

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{I had strata instead of bacon and sausage, but did go back for some cinnamon rolls since I couldn’t resist}

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and watched T.V. and cleaned up for the majority of official Memorial Day.  I did enjoy the weather with an evening jog around 6:00pm — after it cooled down a bit. Speaking of weather, it was blazing hot yesterday.

Anyway…I already told you all of the things we watched, so that about wraps it up for the Memorial Day/Welcome Summer, We Love America Celebration!

We had an absolute blast with some of our very best friends, and I could not dream of a better way to ring in our first summer as married peeps.  I’m officially pumped. 


And now I’m back to reality.  I made breakfast this morning,

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watched the beginning of GMA, and headed to the office.  I was actually glad for the clouds and rain this morning because it made leaving the lake a lot less painful… 

I’ve caught up at work all day today and now am on my way to fit in a workout since I probably put on 5 lbs over the past 3 days {not exaggerating}. 

Have an awesome evening, and enjoy your Tuesdays!  Toots!