For the last seven years, I've celebrated my birthday/4th of July weekend the exact same way- with the family on Lake Shetek in Slayton, Minnesota. It was a strange feeling to not be there, surrounded by family and two little friends, who were only a third my age, that shared the same birthday as me; but we always celebrated our big day together.

This year I got to spend the long weekend with new friends and family and let me just say, I think we totally rocked it. I know a lot of people say there isn't much to do here but I managed to have the most Rockford weekend, ever.

What does that even mean? Rockford weekends are filled with any and everything that makes Rockford awesome like:

1. Going to City Market on Friday nights.

2. Taking the family to Davis Park for Friday Night Flix.

3. Spending a day at Pearl Lake.

4. Watching the races at the Rockford Speedway.

5. The grand finale - Rockford fireworks.

You might notice that I'm not in any of these photos, but truth be told- I was too busy having fun that I forgot to take pictures.

I did manage to take these, however.