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4th of july

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4th of July was lovely as usual.  The weather was perfect, the food was good, and the festivities were fun.  Couldn't ask for more than that.




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I like taking pictures of food, don't know why.


Extreme close-up pictures of food.




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Chatting away....



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Playing games.....



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Cheese.....




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These pictures were SO unbelievably typical....they cracked me up.




Mariah is being a smart-ass cause I told her to smile bigger, and Mallory is annoyed that I had to take a second picture because Nana wasn't looking at the camera.



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Then Mariah started crying because Arissa yelled at her.





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Then I asked Jesse to take the camera so I could get in the picture too.  And this is what happened.




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Then FINALLY, he got it together and everyone looked at the camera and smiled and all was good.




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Then we went to Nina's to watch fireworks.....it was sooooo cold!  Much colder (in July, mind you) than it is now (October).  Weird.




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Arissa turned 12

Even though I thought for SURE that mallory & mariah were too old for pin the ___ on the __ type games at their parties, and then they told me afterward how disappointed they were that they didn't get to play them, I figured for REALLY sure that Arissa and her friends had out-grown my little parties so we threw a big girl one instead.


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She picked a couple friends and we went to Belmont Park.





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This ride was her favorite:





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Arissa couldn't wait to get on this ride:





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Then changed her mind at the last second:





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So Olivia took her place:




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And while they did that, Arissa did more of this:





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Then we dined:




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She'd already had two other cakes so I didn't buy a cake for this outing, but she HAD to blow out a candle...........so we made do with a GIGANTIC sno-cone.



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And the only proper way to end the night would be.....




more of this:




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fair

Once again, the Del Mar Fair fell on Father's Day....and it also happened to be Arissa's birthday!


Which meant she got a special shout-out from the emcee, yay for her.  :)


I love the fair but these are a few things I do not love about it:



* the insane amount of people
* the aggressive booth people
* the backdrops for the stage where the girls perform.  It's always something random and unflattering that taints all my lovely pictures.  Why can't it just be black.  Or say Del Mar Fair.  Why, this year, did it have to have planets on it, which makes it look ridiculous and like the girls were perfuming between Saturn and Jupiter?



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Birthday girl, doing what she does.....winning stuff, performing, shining like a star:





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Last minute pep-talk:





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Stealing the show:




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Ever since I got my new lens, I take a ton more pictures (if that's possible).....if it's sweet or lovely, I want a picture of it.  Even if it's not my family or someone I know.








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Don't know them from Adam, but I sure do have a sweet picture of a girl and her Nana which I will treasure.  :)  Too bad they don't know it.



After the performance, there were rides to be ridden:





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Contemplating....."do I really want to go on that???".




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The girls are so much braver now than they were before.  They like fast rides, they just don't like super high up or upside down rides.  I think that must be encoded in my DNA and I passed it down to them.





Tons of fun!






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Not anymore (for Mallory):





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Aaaaaaand it's fun again!





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We didn't stay long because:

* we were out of money
* I developed blisters on my heels (I've never had blisters before in my entire life) and I had to walk around Disneyland the very next day
* it was Arissa's bday so we were going out to dinner
* we needed to have cake and blow out candles
* Mallory's friend was spending the night


But the girls had fun and we escaped without spending too much money so that's gotta equal a successful day.  :)




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