They Say It’s Your Birthday

And they’d be right. Well, if you’re talking to me anyway.

Thank you all for the birthday love! 60 some posts on Facebook. Calls. Emails. Texts. Cards. Every one of them makes my birthday a very happy one!

This is how I prefer to look at all my birthdays  – laughing, a little (or a lot) drunk and enjoying life.

Cheers to 32!

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Viva La Fiesta!

This year we decided to combine B’s typical two parties into one and scale back the guest list. It was nice to enjoy the party and not be soooo partied out by the end of the week…which is really quite convienint since this year I’M having a party (more to come).

And as usual, when you have a June birthday in Arizona, your party needs to either be indoors or involve water. Baylor has had about the same party every year, but with a different theme. And this year was no exception! The Fifth Fiesta kicked off with two ladies making tacos on demand (best. idea. ever.), there was a kid car wash somewhere in the middle and a pinata and make-your-own sundaes to finish off the evening. It was a rave with the five year olds and the adults all walked out the door with to-go plates so I’m thinking it was a win in their books too.

Festive decor – even at 108 degrees

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There’s no way we were getting away without SOMETHING Frozen

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Our “west side” water slide is always a hit (sorry Ali)IMG_6561 IMG_6562 IMG_6563

Of course the Kid Car Wash was out. And looking better than ever.

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Cousins gotta splash

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Happy birthday girl

IMG_6598Patiently waiting for the pinata
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Family picture time!

(no sunglasses, please)

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And thank you to the lovely Stephanie for being guest photographer! I love that I hand her my camera and I don’t have to say a thing. She takes. She snaps. She hands back.

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WHOOOO’S READY FOR ICE CREAM??!!

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Happy birthday to youuuuuu

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Happy customers

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The evening ended with – you guessed it – Frozen!

(also, there had to have been margaritas involved for me to let these crazys eat ice cream on the couch….)

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Thanks to all of our lovely friends and family who braved the tipple digits to celebrate! Happy birthday Ms. B!!

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Ben’s Bells

I was so thrilled when a college friend posted to her FaceBook about spearheading a Phoenix chapter of Ben’s Bells. It’s an adorably simple concept: hang bells around town for people to find. Ask them to take the bell home and remember to practice kindness when they hear it ring.

The charity’s namesake, Ben, was a precious three year old living in Tucson. He awoke with croup like symptoms but seemed to be feeling ok. Like every mom would, his parents waited and watched his condition. In a flash, his airway swelled shut and they were unable to get him the help he needed in time. His parents began Ben’s Bells as a coping strategy that has blossomed into a beautiful tribute to his memory. And it has touched the lives of other tragedy victims including those in New Town Connecticut.

We were gifted 7 bells to distribute around town. We took them to our regular haunts and waited patiently  for them to be discovered and taken home. We realized later that people were a little confused as to whether they were supposed to take the bell, leave it for someone else or take it and then put it back out to be found by someone else. So after a few educational conversations with friends and aqaintences, all of our bells were found. We asked the friends that we knew to spread the word about the project. We’ve since bought a few more from the website as gifts and a few to leave for others to find too.

They make the cutest gifts for any occasion so order some up for you, friends and strangers: https://bensbells.org/shop

 

Leaving one at swim lessons – someone was not pleased about posing…

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I couldn’t tell that sweet little face that we weren’t allowed to “find” one, so it is hanging outside their bedroom door

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Task Master

My lovely little lady is what I would call a dawdler. When given a list of tasks to complete, rather than doing them, she meanders around, get distracted or downright ignores them. It gets a bit frustrating – especially when we’re trying to get out the door.

I went online to find a cute chore chart that I could tailor to our schedule. I found these adorable and really reasonably priced magnets. I made up a little white board with WET Erase (genius. They don’t rub off!) notes and now when I need her to get it together to get to school, get ready to nap, get ready for bed, whatever – I simply ask her to help me find the magnets. We load up the board and she dashes off to finish her tasks and move the magnets. It’s amazing. There’s dramatically less arguing about getting down for a nap and we don’t forget things when we leave because we’re not in a rush.

I know it could use some creative touches…but it’s getting the job done for the moment!

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Cute pictures and words

 

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I bought the stars too for a reward. I haven’t decided yet what the stars are for or how many she gets until she gets something…but she is thrilled to get them and gets very serious when they get taken away so I’m sticking with this for now!

I bought these cuties from Cucumber Lime on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/transaction/155939903?). They were a great price, nice quality and came super fast!

Peter the Carpenter

The carpenter is at it again…after visiting with friends who had made a wooden snowman family, PW was hooked. He couldn’t stop talking about, planning and designing his own snowman family. And once he start cutting, we didn’t see him for the rest of the weekend until it was done.

To be honest, I did not see his vision. It wasn’t until I was pulled from my nice warm bed to the cold patio to see his final creations that I got it. And they really did come out pretty cute!

I think Auggie’s top hat is my favorite!

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Art Walk

Scottsdale is great about art displays and art installations. I’m not going to sugar coat it – most of it is a little weird. But some of it is interesting and periodically, it’s downright pretty. But overall, I love living where art is all around us.

I love when they put stuff in the canal. I just think it’s cool. This installation is called “Message in a Boat”. Acording to the sign, at night you can download an app and if you stand in a particular spot, you can control the colors of the boats…

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Saran Wrap art…photo 1 (28)

 

Auggie was unimpressed

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Because Labs can’t run or even walk long distances until their hips develop, Mac gets to catch a ridephoto 2 (32)

Say Cheese

What do you do when your very favorite family pictures don’t include your newest addition? Why you recreate the exact same pictures. Down to the same clothes. Well, I wore the same thing anyway. Crazy? Maybe. But I’m so thrilled with the result, sign me up for a padded room and straight jacket.

Our good friends and sorority sister Gina and her husband Rene took the family pictures that have hung in our kitchen for the last 4 years. They were taken on our front patio and the colors of the teal bench and yellow flowers just so happened to coordinate with all of our decor.

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Since those pictures were taken, Gina and Rene have moved to Seattle. And in addition to missing their presence, we missed their photographic skills! Thankfully I have several talented friends so I asked Natalie, another sorority sister and my little sis from our Alpha Phi days to snap some new pics for us.  When she asked what I was wanted to do, I pointed to the wall and said “that. I want that. Exactly”. And so that’s what she did.

Now that I have finally gotten the right color frame, our new family photos are up! By the way – thank you Pottery Barn for changing the shade of white of your standard white frames and then not telling anyone. I bought it. Framed it. And then realized that once the sun goes down, it’s totally obvious that it’s a different color of white. Thankfully Pottery Barn knows they are nuts and happily found me the right shade of frame and exchanged the wrong color despite my lack of receipt and packaging.

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I couldn’t fit all of my favorites on the wall

So perfectly captures her funny 4 year old self

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Natalie’s website will be up and running in the next few weeks – I’ll be sure to post a link just as soon as it’s live. If you just can’t wait to book your session, comment below and I’ll make sure to get you in touch! Thank you Natalie for capturing such great memories for us!

God Bless America

There are few things that feel as patriotic as the 4th of July in Montana. There are purple mountains majesty, amber waves of, well grass, but still and all the cowboy hats too. Hubbard’s always puts on a cookout that screams holiday and Mike has a fireworks show that is second only to professional displays. Watching the kiddos run around in their red, white and blue is really the best.

Aunts Sarah and Nancy. Auggie is a big fan.
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Thank goodness we had a professional taking our picture. Vern (his real name is Eric. However the summer he worked at the ranch there were too many Erics so they started calling him Vern. Why? Because he’s just such a Vern) literally took 40 pictures and there were only FOUR where A) everyone is looking B) Peter’s eyes are open C) everyone is smiling and or not crying. I’ve realized also that Augg has inherited PW’s squint and head tilt.

206Seriously. Look at those eyes.

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Again, the cuteness.

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Cousin Madi, Sienna and Baylor with Madi’s patriotic press on nails.

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Pig roast! It always tastes delicious, I just don’t like knowing what my dinner’s face looked like so I make Peter get me a plate.

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This was the first year that B did sparklers and I didn’t have a heart attack. We were spelling out her name.
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It really is Big Sky Country

263 262There were friends and friends of friends at the lodge for dinner and they thought that the sparklers were the fireworks. They about lost their minds when they saw Mike’s AMAZING firework display. Peter is always the fireman at the docking station. I’ve asked him not to tell me what happens down there because I never like hearing about how he almost lost an eye or a finger or is now deaf. Baylor always watches with her hands over her ears and I was anxious to see what Augg thought. Thankfully he loved them – and by that I mean he didn’t scream so it goes down as a win in my book. Fireworks? Check!