So. Much. Going. On.

Be Happy

So here’s a quick flick through my camera stream lately. First a photo taken by Rapunzel of her own hand. She’s not afraid to grab the camera and get in there with the interesting shots. I love that.

upshot

Another one of my old saguaro. She can’t believe that I never took this shot myself. Nope, I didn’t. Too prickly!

R & M

We had a little tiff at dinner so I’m feeling a bit sentimental as I post these photos. Teenagers are so complicated!

tagger in another life

I spray-painted an old wooden chair my mom had laying around. I wanted to give the chair its own post but it’s not like I’m really a DIY home-decorator blog or anything so I’m just going to smash it in here instead.

spray on

Spray, spray, spray. Don’t you love it when you forget to change the ISO setting on your camera and the last thing you shot was a product shot inside at 3200 and then you go outside and over-expose everything so bad that your backyard looks like heaven from the 70’s?

nicely done

Maybe that’s just my version of heaven from the 70’s.

at home in it's habitat

Anyway, the chair looks fantastic! It went from country bumpkin to eclectic mess which is sort of good except I hate eclectic mess. I love the chair though. I just need to de-clutter my house a little so it can shine on its own.

meeting

It’s already a favorite for family meetings.

me and my new/old chair

And vain self-portraits.

what's this?

Speaking of, I need some better self-portraits because I’m A PUBLISHED AUTHOR NOW!!!! And I had to put some dumb hand-held frumpy mom shot in the back of my book. I know I could pay someone to take a real portrait but I like to keep it real (or cheap). I am self-published after all, it’s not like I have a big book-contract deal. But I do have an awesome agent/publisher friend who is hooking it all up. I’m so excited. This is really a dream come true for me.

It dropped on Amazon yesterday for my birthday! This is just a soft launch. I have two more books to illustrate and then we’re going to launch a blog tour with giveaways and prints and a book party (squee!) and I’ll probably talk about it so much you will all get sick of me. But until then check it out! $2.99 yo! It’s only on the Kindle right now I think but you can get a free kindle ap for your mac or ipad. I’ll share more when I get the hang of it. I’m new at this still. (Also available in the UK and Germany)

In the meantime I have two books still to illustrate! (And many more after that I hope) I’m so behind. If you see me goofing off, feel free to kick me in the butt. I’ve got work to do!!! It’s always feast or famine around here.

what's left of my birthday cake wearing her cake and eating it too

Yes, my birthday was fantabulous. Thank you for asking. We kept it low-key with a night out with my best beach gal pal DMA and a new friend on Friday and then a family dinner with the niece-com-poops and my Aunt Keren and Grandma on the day itself. My grandma made me my favorite birthday dinner (peanut encrusted Thai chicken—soooooooooo yummy you could die) and Rapunzel made my cake. How can I be mad at her when she’s so sweet like that. Teenagers! She kills me.

birthday cake under wraps! R dishes it out

Anyway, it was super sweet and fun and the kids had a blastola swimming in Grandma’s community pool.

learning to swim

summer

I love summer.

peach pie

Why yes, I did make a peach pie. I know! All this fun going on when I have work to do!!! This is what I’m talking about. I should be shackled to my laptop but no, I’m in the kitchen pretending to be Martha Stewart or something. It’s just that it’s summer and the fruit is going bananas (or more correctly, peaches) and it’s such a wonderful new thing to me that I just can’t bear to let it rot! It’s me and the fruit flies and I’m not about to let them win.

Farmer Bug

Peaches, zucchinis, apricots, plums, sugar snap peas and soon tomatoes. I can’t even keep up with my camera. Life does not stop for the weary!

The Niece-com-poops are here!

swinging toes

Rapunzel 13

My nieces are here! They’re here for the whole summer! I’m so happy to have them. Of course it means we are running out of food every other day and there are clothes left on the bathroom floor regularly but they are a such a lovely sight for sore eyes. We’ve really missed them.

Bug
(photo taken by Rapunzel)

I was planning on keeping Bug in preschool all summer so I could keep to my work schedule but now that they are all playing so happily every day outside all the live long day, I decided to keep her out for the summer. It’s saving me quite a bit of money which is nice.

Princess Super Chic

It’s going to be a summer to remember.

out to dinner with Uncle Toby

So far we’ve taken them into Orange County for Bug’s gymnastics/ballet class, dinner with Toby and a trip to the beach even though the sun was already down.

bittersweet

They had missed the beach. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are that we see it regularly. Super Chic wanted to go swimming right away of course. I think that girl is immune to cold.

running

They ran around crazy until it was dark.

sunset

Just like old times.

traipsing

On Memorial Day my mom thought it would be nice to visit my grandma’s grave and put Grandpa’s flowers from the memorial service on her grave. He’s going to be buried there too as soon as the morgues do whatever it is that they do. I’d never been there so it was nice to see the gravestone and look at all the flags for the soldiers.

flags

Grandma's grave

I wish Bug could have known my grandma. They were kindred spirits in their love of pink.

family take 1

We attempted a family portrait but the sun was bright and harsh.

memorial day swinging

Then the park on the way home. Even my dad got in on the swinging.

chore charts

It’s going to be one long fun memorable summer I know already. So I’m prepared with chore charts to keep things under control so I don’t go crazy. I’m thinking we might go somewhere special if they can fill these up with a lot of stars. I’m pretty sure they can. :)

everybody from secretagentjo on Vimeo.

I love my niece-com-poops.