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On Saturday, Arissa went to a 6-hour birthday party.


While she was at that, Grandma took M&M to the beach!


Then on Sunday we traded places.


M&M went to a Luau birthday party:



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And while they were doing that, Arissa & I hit the beach:




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It was SUCH a perfect day.


It was warm, but there was a light cloud-cover so the sun wasn't beating down on us. The clouds covered up only the beach....there was a very distinct beginning and end to them. You step on the boardwalk, it was sunny. Step onto the sand, cloudy. :o)



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Arissa did her best to make a sandcastle, even though neither of us had the foresight to bring a bucket or shovel or anything of the sort.



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The water was soooo cold but we did go in just a little bit.



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We found shells, and watched all the people. I laid on our towel and soaked up the sun....which I haven't done since I was probably 19! It was so nice.


Then Arissa kicked up some sand right by my face and I spent the next 15 minutes trying to get it all out of my mouth. :o)


She thought it was pretty funny.


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Such a fun time, and a beautiful day.

For me, relaxing at the beach (just laying there listening to the waves) is as rejuvinating as a 3-hour nap.

Not to underestimate the power of a 3-hour nap, cause I do love those too!


my girls

I finished my knitting project that looked like this while in progress:



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It's just another knitted dolly:


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Your average little blondie, holding a petite flower.

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And since she's blonde, blue-eyed, and pretty cute-lookin', I call her "Arissa".


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And just like in real life, Arissa is so sweet and so fun, you just want to have more people like her around:







And so she turns into a brunette, to represent my M&M:


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Yep, she's reversible.



I can't believe I finished it!

Working with double-pointed needles is a whole new thing, when it comes to knitting, and I didn't think I was capable.


But I did it, and I finished both of the girls and all their details, and successfully sewed them together to make one single reversible dolly.





Mariah thought it was pretty awesome:

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So of course now I'm imagining all the different kinds of things I could knit to reverse into eachother. The possibilities are endless...

A sad goodbye....

It's so easy to take things for granted when you still have them!


Then one day, all of a sudden, without warning, they're just gone.


And you think of all the times that they were there for you, and maybe you didn't appreciate them like you should have. Eventually you find someone/something new to replace the one you lost, but it's never the same.


Then you experience denial, convincing yourself that the one you love CAN'T be gone, and you can get them back, you can make it like it was before....



But as is always the case, it's impossible to do and it only prolongs the sadness of the loss.


My wonderful, trusty, amazing, expensive Chi Flatiron stopped working. {sniff, sniff}
One day the little red light was on and I was straightening and curling my hair with ease, the next day I plugged it in and.....nothing. :o(


I spent hours googling what could be wrong, how to fix it, how to bring it back to life without spending $150 to buy a new one.



Sweet Jesse, he tried to help me:


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He took it apart, screw by screw. He took out the computer chip thingy and tried to sodder it to bypass the defunct part so that maybe it could bless me with it's presence for another year, or even just another day!


But it was not meant to be.



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Someone else who is sweet let me borrow theirs for the meantime, which I appreciate very much. But I'm still mourning the loss of mine.


The sad part is I didn't even use it that much for the last year of it's life. I was too "busy" with other things. I convinced myself my hair looks just fine if I let it air-dry, or just blow-dry it, or just tie it back all together. So my poor flatiron sat on it's shelf for a long time, neglected, cause I assumed whenever I had the time or desire to do my hair, it would be there for me.


And I never realized what an awesome piece of machinery it is and how it's worth every single penny, until I bought a $12 from Target assuming it would do the exact same thing. What could be the difference?


There is a BIG difference, a night-and-day difference.


But my Chi is gone, and all I have left is the $12 immitation that doesn't even compare.

{Sigh}


R.I.P. my friend.




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(All kidding aside, I am actually very bummed about this!)

mini me





M&M think it's super cool how I wrap my hair up to dry it after I wash it.




So recently after their showers/baths, they've grabbed their blankies & walked around like this for the rest of the night:








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Mariah, with her finger in it's usual spot:




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at the moment.....



.....I am thanking the good Lord (and my Nana, who bought it for us) for this:

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I am drinking (and bullying my family into drinking) tons & tons of this:
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They prefer it sans (without) lemon....which, to me, is the very best part!


I am working on a knitting project....my first attempt at using 'double pointed needles'. It looks like this:

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For the past 3 years it's stressed me out and made me tired just to look at stuff like that and to imagine myself trying to work a pattern while doing it. But it turns out it's not as impossible as I'd thought.



I'm listening to this:

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and this:
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in my car, over and over and over. Which is kinda funny cause they're pretty much polar opposites as far as music goes. But maybe that's why I haven't gotten sick of either of them yet.



I am in the process of scrapbooking photos like this of our trip to the park last weekend:

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I am trying to catch up on missed episodes of this:

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...and the epsidoes I've "missed" would be all but the very last 3 of them, cause I just got into it on Sunday and the show ended forever on Tuesday. :o( Plus it's one I can only watch when the girls are asleep or not around, which makes it hard.



I am loving these little guys:

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Jesse picked me up some Coronas at the store the other day, and since he knows that I usually open them, take 3 sips, then leave them out for him to come along and finish off 3 days later (I know: ew! he does it with soda too), he got me these mini Coronas. They're like 1/2 or 3/4 of the size of normal ones...they're so cute.
And we just noticed yesterday, as we were eating dinner and looking at the bottle on the kitchen table which I had emptied out and used as a vase for a flower, that they say "Coronita" instead of "Corona". I do believe that "Coronita" would translate into "small Corona" in english. :o) And that made us laugh for some reason.



I am paging through this over and over again, loving all the pictures and making recipe lists for allllll the yummy stuff I want to make:

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My only critique would be: why's it gotta have so many meat recipes. :o) How can you raise and care for cows & chickens (like the author's family does) and then cook 'em up for dinner? Gross. Plus each recipe shows step-by-step photos, and seeing the meat in the raw stages makes my stomach turn. But luckily the pictures of the finished products are enough to keep me reading and get me cooking!

love (and lemonade) for sale!

Mallory is still on her little entrepreneurial kick, and has been dying to set up a lemonade stand on the street.


So we all hit the streets as a family and set up a stand:




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I worked in the kitchen, creating our "product". We had regular & cherry lemonade for our customers to choose from.


Jesse did "customer service" and poured the drinks and chatted up everyone who stopped by.


The girls took care of marketing.

They made lots of signs:


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And they sat out by the street holding them, jumping up and down and shouting each time a car passed. Like this:





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(I painted the sign she's holding. Of course the girls' signs were much cuter, but I figured there should at least be one sign that wasn't written in pencil/ballpoint pen so people could read it from afar.)



We were shocked when our first customer bought one cup of lemonade (.25) and gave us a generous tip:



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We could have quit right then but we kept at it for another hour or so. It was fun to see the girls working to earn money, and also to see the customers' reactions to them. It's hard to pass by cute little girls selling lemonade on a summer day. :o)

down this road again.....

The girls & I took a trip to the animal shelter the other day, just to take a look around.



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And one pretty cat, with a sad story, connected with us and....



.....we brought her home.


She didn't need to be potty trained, she's sweet and she purrs a lot. She's low maintenance and keeps to herself (for the time being). And the girls love her.


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I don't really want a cat. And lord knows I don't want to have a litter box in my house again (or ever). But all I know is this cat didn't belong in that place (and she certainly doesn't belong on the street). She's classier and sweeter and she belongs in a home. That's how we were drawn to her, really. The girls oo'd & ahh'd over every kitty there, but this one stuck out because she just didn't fit in with the rest of the scraggly, mutty-looking felines. And yada yada yada.......she's a Howard now. :o)



We took her to the vet, where they gave her a clean bill of health:


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The vet's office was a field trip in itself, so many little guys (puppies mostly) coming and going....so much to look at.



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Missy (the cat) probably didn't have as much fun as the girls did, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.




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I wonder how long the girls will keep up their promise to change the litter so I never have to touch it???


8 days and counting so far....

surprise trip to...

We surprised the girls with a trip the Fair on Saturday.


The first stop, of course, was the animals.


Gotta love this guy, all decked out for the 4th of July:


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Then on to the rides!


My little daredevil (Mallory) was uncharacteristically timid and only went on one ride. Arissa & Mariah happily used up the rest of her tickets:



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They played a game & were so happy with their little prizes:

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They each brought their wallets so they chose and paid for their own souvenirs.


Mallory chose the inflatable dolphin pictured above. Mariah & Arissa chose cute little animal puppets. Then all 3 girls got one of these:


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Little hand-painted umbrellas with their names painted on.


And, for $1 each, they all got little tiny hand-painted fans too:



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The theme of the fair is 'taste the fun'.....and so we did. :)


We had a delicious dinner and an even more delicious dessert on our way out:

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And right before we left, the girls asked to go on one more "ride":



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They consider the foot massager thing a 'ride' and had as much fun on it as they did on the rides that cost us $30. :o)




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