The Fourth with the Niece-com-poops

My cute nieces.

My mom brought my nieces up to our “camp” for the fourth. It was so good to see them and my brother and sister-in-law. Kinda made me miss Bug more but still so wonderful to have family around.

Fandamily

Please forgive the blurry phone photo. My real camera is having some focusing issues (I’m going to have to send it in I’m afraid) so I’ve been opting to use the phone and it’s not really doing anybody any favors.

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Susan made us amazing food. I might have to tie her to her bed to make her stop working so hard.

My bro and niece.

My bro.

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The two Susans. Well one of them is spelled with a z but you get the idea.

Koda

Who invited the dog? Not me! But she won us over quickly with her sweetness.

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And fireworks! Who said Rapunzel could grow up to be so beautiful? Dang it!

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They make me wish I had a sister.

@heathermcconnaughy

Good thing I have a lot of sisterly friends and a few super duper sisters-in-law!

Happy Belated Fourth everybody!

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!