• Lindsay Stewart

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

I'll never forget my first 4th of July as a parent, well, pregnant with Maxwell. We were living in a beautiful one-bedroom apartment that felt just like a home on Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills and, being four months pregnant, all I wanted was a hot dog. Josh and I drove to five different grocery stores that afternoon, and were met with bare, empty shelves and refrigerators anywhere remotely near where hot dogs and buns would have been stocked.

That was not an amazing 4th of July.

This year, 15 years later, was.

We left New York City for the west coast - to the small, quaint town, halfway between Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon, where Josh and I grew up together. Where the trucks are big, the supermarkets vast, the country roads both winding and long and fireworks are sold by every charitable organization around, all fund-raising for their good.

And hot dogs. Lots of hot dogs.

This small town celebrates the 4th of July with as much anticipation and enthusiasm today as it did when I was a little girl. There's a fun-run sponsored by the local police department in the morning - they call it "Run from the Cops." A festival takes places in the park with hay rides, a free pancake breakfast, contests, talent shows and historical military displays. The locals line the downtown streets to watch a pretty good-sized parade and in the evening there's a substantial fireworks show at the fairgrounds and a destruction derby.

This was the first year none of my family participated in any of it.

And we still had the best 4th of July, ever.

I even ran into Jim, our family friend, buying his watermelon that he's been bringing to my parents' party every 4th, for as long as I can remember.

It was a day of 18 boxes of rainbow sparklers, waterballoon launching, watergun fighting, visiting, laughing, posing for pictures, the quest for the perfect stick, reminiscing and celebrating. I hope you and your family had a beautiful 4th of July this year, too.

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  • Lindsay Stewart

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

Three years ago when I was visiting my family in Washington State for the summer, I discovered two things: Spotify, and a song that grabbed me by my throat and filled my stomach with butterflies. I texted Josh, telling him about the song and asking him, "Will we ever get married again? Will we ever actually really do it?"

"Of course!" he texted back.

I smiled to myself and wiped the tears from my eyes and began to, in my spare time, dream up the details of a day I knew would come, but had no idea when.

And then life just has a way of happening! We found out our building was going to be torn down and replaced with a larger-than-life luxury high-rise, forcing us to find a new apartment after nine years. We had many family, medical-related expenses. Max had the amazing opportunities to travel abroad. And we also began to experience the ultimate of life's tests. Dearest friends, close to our hearts were dealing with disease, divorce, sickness, cancer and death.

We realized in living the real life, that monumental joy will undoubtedly accompany unimaginable pain. We decided to do it before any more time passes. Looking at the calendar, and the year, we decided on this August because it will mark our 19 years of marriage, but our 25 years of love.

A lot happens to one couple in 25 years. And we can't wait to celebrate it ALL.

What would an I Do Renew be without wedding dress shopping!? I tried on several at a salon in TriBeCa and a few in midtown and ended up with something so perfect for this occasion, perfect for this party we're planning and as my friends say, "So LINDSAY." I can't show you the one I landed on, so keep checking back for a post later in August!

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