Last post of 2017!

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Happy New Year everybody! I thought I’d pop in and share a few things.

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Remember that photoshoot we did back in November? I loved all the photos so much I wanted to just put them here. If you got our holiday card you probably recognize our outfits. The girls picked out their dresses and I was so pleased. I think this is probably the last year they are going to look like little girls anymore. So bittersweet.

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They like each other these days which makes my heart want to explode. Bug’s freckles! Sploosh! There it goes, all gooey and dripping down my rib cage.

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And Joon’s smile! She always does that tongue thing when it’s a real smile.

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It has been the year of braids for Bug. I’m not complaining. You know how she is about things. When she likes something she really likes it. I hope braids always remind me of this year.

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I’ve been trying to savor this year so hard (with the girls, politics not so much). I think I accomplished it.

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And lastly, a silly photo because nothing breaks up a photoshoot better than prickly grass on your bare legs and a chance to be your real self.

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Sigh…

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What else has been going on? Oh, you know, Christmas, New Years, funny clouds in the sky that made us think the atmosphere was cracking open and aliens were visiting. We have a party coming up for New Years that I’m afraid nobody is coming to. What else is new right? I think I worry about that every year.

The Nutcracker with the girls was really nice, even though all of us had royally bad attitudes before going in. Then the music started, we saw some fake snow and everyone felt happy again.

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I made a bunch of candy-cane cookies and toffee for the first time. They were yummy. I got my hair cut. It’s just okay. I kinda miss my old very-long hair but I know it will get better as soon as my bangs grow out a bit from wanna-be-school-girl to I-can’t-really-see-through-them-but-they-look-cool.

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Bug is still in Hawaii. We miss her. We managed through Christmas without getting very sad by being very untraditional and having a huge Persian feast catered via our local middle-eastern market’s food court! Who knew! It was the best. I didn’t cook and everything was delicious. I think I might make it our new tradition, with Bug included though, of course.

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Oh! And this happened! But before you start looking into wedding guest dress rental (Because how awesome would that wedding be?) and china registries (Don’t, we don’t need any.), let me tell you that he didn’t really *ask* me to marry him and we aren’t getting *married* anytime soon. I know. I’m sorry. Everyone loves a good love story and I have no good explanations right now. I’m just wearing a really pretty ring that he gave me for Christmas and I’m really happy because it means everything to me.

I also have an updated calendar for you! Happy Printing! Cheers to 2018!

The Seven Magic Mountains

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Probably every Friday night that we don’t have kids, Payam looks at me with a gleam in his eye and says, “Wanna go to Vegas?” I usually roll my eyes because everybody knows I hate Las Vegas and everything it stands for. The nightlife, the gambling, the soul-sucking depressing-ness of old people sitting at slot machines watching their pennies dwindle to nothing by computerized dinging machines. The smoke, the drunk frat guys, the too-young girls dressed like prostitutes, the drugs, the poverty…all of it. I’d just rather stay in my bubble in California.

BUT I hate being that un-fun girlfriend, you know? I am so un-fun on a regular basis.  I can’t even stay awake to watch a tv show past nine pm. So I thought about it and remembering the last trip to Vegas that actually wasn’t that bad because we stayed in this really cool hotel called the Cosmopolitan said, “Yeah, maybe.” with a big fat IF we can find someone to watch our dogs AND we can stay at the Cosmo. Because I am a spoiled princess like that.

Pshaw! You already know what Payam said.

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He whipped out his phone, called the local vet, got our dogs boarded, with a bath even AND reserved a room at the Cosmo. Only one night but we figured we’d live on the edge and find another hotel for the next night so we didn’t have to bust our butt home and only stay one day.

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So yeah. We drove to Vegas at 7pm on a Friday night for “date night.” Not too shabby right? We also got McDonald’s for dinner because it’s kind of a romantic tradition and we didn’t want to waste too much time off the road. I slept most of the drive because I’m magical like that and when we arrived I was rested and ready to gamble! Or watch Payam gamble because I actually hate gambling because of my aversion to math and losing money. I hate it when Payam loses money too so I only let him play blackjack because at least it takes longer to lose money that way and you can sort of justify it as entertainment.

See what I mean by un-fun? But Payam loves me anyway.

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We stayed in my favorite hotel and I enjoyed the view on the balcony just as much as last time. Then the next night we switched to Vdara, the hotel next door for the next night. It wasn’t anything special but it did smell nice and clean because it is just a hotel and spa and they don’t have a smokey casino inside. So that was nice. AND Payam sent me off to the spa for a massage because I told him it was a better way to waste his money. Boy was it ever! It was soooo nice. Everything was “Miss Ponnay” this and “Miss Ponnay” that. I really really felt like a spoiled rotten princess.

I’m probably making everyone sick with how romantic and sweet Payam is but you remember the hard years… I’m so glad I went through everything I did so that I can really appreciate my life now. If I had met Payam right out of high school and married him and had fifty kids I would have been so awful, expecting this kind of life like it’s normal. I’m already probably getting awful. I have to check myself now and then.

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So yeah, it was super great! After we were already in Vegas, Payam decided to book a special dinner at Paris and we called it our “four year anniversary dinner” even though the day we decided was our anniversary (we aren’t really sure since we never really kept track) is the 30th. But nothing is set in stone. It’s been about four years, give or take a few days.

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Then on our way out of town we stopped off to see the Seven Magic Mountains and I took a zillion pictures because that’s what I love to do! That’s my kind of fun. Payam humors me.

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The magic mountains themselves are not really that big of a deal. You park, you walk along a dusty path and there they are. Just a bunch of brightly colored rocks stacked on top of each other. It won’t take you more than ten minutes to really look at them. What is amazing though is their contrast to the vast desert on all sides. The desert is so beautiful. Dust devils whirl in the distance and hills fade into gauzy purples and blues.

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I love it. I told Payam I’ll go to Vegas anytime he likes as long as I get a little photo trip out into the desert because it is good for my soul. I need it to offset all the bells and whistles and electronic circus that is the Vegas strip itself. I’ll always be a desert girl.