Warrior Dresses

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I’m not trying to be a fashion blog. You’d think I was with all these pictures of dresses lately. It’s just that we were supposed to go to a wedding in New York this past March but it got rescheduled to this summer (hopefully) due to COVID 19 and the girls have been itching to wear their fancy dresses. So when we decided to finally go visit my parents in the desert this last Wednesday, I offered to let them wear their dresses in exchange for a fun photoshoot. I thought they would pass, in favor of endless days of Minecraft but they actually jumped at the idea. I was so happy.

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No, I didn’t let them wear their dresses all day while we hung out with my parents. That would be silly. They wore proper attire of cut-offs and doc martins of course. It was just a quick little trip to the nearby hills in their fancy dresses. They did get their tulle petticoats full of foxtails. It was a bear to pull them all out one by one but to me, it was worth it. I love playing dress-up with little girls and taking photos. It’s my favorite thing to do!

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For kicks, the girls borrowed Payam’s new bow and arrow because there are not sissies in fussy dresses. They are warriors in fancy dresses with combat boots on under all that tulle!

Why does Payam have a bow and arrow you might wonder? It’s a product of our apocalyptic end-of-the-world thinking…We both have been guilty of crazy late-night amazon purchases to while away this quarantine madness (mental illness alert) and while I end up with bags of dirt and gardening pots showing up in boxes… he ends up with a bow and arrow. To each their own. It’s funny what GIANT AIR QUOTE these uncertain times END GIANT AIR QUOTE have done to each of us. You never know, you might have to learn how to grow your own food or shoot it with an arrow! I jest. But I’m sure everyone is going through something similar.

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It was such a breath of fresh air to go out to the desert to visit my parents. It felt like a vacation. Not only were all the wildflowers popping, but it was also just so nice to see people again! I’m still feeling really uncertain and scared every time we add someone new to the mix though. I don’t even know where I draw the line anymore. The girls have asked one friend over so I do the math on that…Do I still wipe the groceries down before I put them away? Not all the time. I’ve been really lax. We wear masks but our conservative friends make fun of us. It’s just a lot of uncertainty and worrying. And Payam is having surgery on his neck next week so I’m really wound up right now. Wound up to do a lot of nothing.

I didn’t realize it was getting to me until I saw my psychiatrist this week and she asked me how I’m doing and I burst into tears. I’m actually not doing as well as I thought I was. (I prematurely decided to lower my meds when the weather turned spring-ish) and now I’m paying the piper. It’s been days of feeling like a pressing impending doom is weighing on my chest and I have no motivation to do any of my usual creative outlets. So not me. And then I start giving myself guilt trips for suffering a priviledged white girl disease and it just gets worse and worse until I’m laying down in the middle of the day trying to sleep the day away.

So it’s a good thing I saw my doctor. But enough about me. I will get better. I always do. I am kick-ass at getting better.

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The girls are great. We have two teenagers in the house now that June turned 13. I was so worried it would be a bummer birthday because she refused to make plans and turned down all of my ideas. I got a big no on the birthday parade idea. :(

In the end, Joon was the wise one because we had Payam’s mom and uncle over and she requested sushi (such a treat!) and it was the perfect way to spend a birthday. Then the girls made a giant snickerdoodle cookie and Payam scooped a mountain of ice cream on top of it, stuck a candle in it and we sang like it was a proper birthday cake. I put out zero effort. Who knew! Birthday parties can actually happen where I don’t do anything?!!! Cah-Razy.

Obviously it’s the end of the world.

Just kidding.

The Great 12th Birthday Bake Off

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It happened! Joon’s 12th Birthday Bake Off! It was just as crazy and fun as you can imagine.

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We had two teams of four girls each. Joon has been really into baking for a while and it turns out her friends are too. Who knew? I guess The Great British Baking Show has a big influence on a lot of us.  I had wanted to rent out a professional kitchen but that turned out to be very expensive (insurance was involved)  so we held the party at Payam’s mom’s house instead which worked out great because she has a large kitchen, two ovens and it was super fun for her to be right in the middle of all the activity.

A lot of things could have gone wrong but… they didn’t!

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It was a flurry of activity. All the girls got along famously.  Of course there were a few tense moments but nothing like the messes I’ve gotten myself into while baking over the years. These girls are pros.

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The parents were the judges and occasional helpers but we pretty much stayed out of the fray and tried to be fair to both teams. That was a little tricker than you’d think. I had to stop myself multiple times from wanting to help clean-up or influence their decisions… “Are you sure you want to mix sweetened condensed milk with strawberries and water to create a glaze?…” I bit my tongue.

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It was a crazy mess, naturally. But soooo much fun!

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I am really thankful to Payam’s family and how willing they are host my crazy whims. So far, so good!

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The last part of the competition was clean-up. A very important part. The floors were a bit sticky but for the most part they did a great job.

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The red team made a vanilla sponge cake with lemon filling and lemon frosting. It was my personal favorite but then I love tart things.

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The black team made a strawberry vanilla sponge cake with strawberry filling and strawberry frosting. It was delicious!

It was hard to pick a winner but in the end the black team scored just a smidge more points, which was awesome for the birthday girl. We gave them spray-painted golden spatula trophys as a prize. I think they could care less about the trophys it was very much more about the process than the end result. In fact, I think all the girls had tasted so much cake and frosting along the way they were sick of it by the end and didn’t even want to try a piece.

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We opened gifts and called it the best party ever!

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Happy Birthday Joon! You inspire the best kind of fun!

Here’s an eleven minute video of the whole thing if you want to see more. :) I apologize in advance for my laugh.