I’ve lived in Arizona for all my life (minus 7 years in Nor Cal) and I’ve never seen a lizard that was this big. It’s hard to get a feel for how giant he was because he was wary of me and my camera. So sticking my hand on the tree would have made this a picture of just my hand on a tree and a place where a lizard USED to be sitting! Ara pointed him out, otherwise I would have walked on by, absorbed in my thoughts. Maybe it’s because this year’s monsoon season has been awesome. He’s had so many bugs to fill his scaly lizard belly?
Speaking of the monsoon season, it’s been lighting up the summer sky with the most ridiculously awesome sunsets. Pictures can’t do it any justice at all (my pictures anyway, especially through a dirty windshield).
I just thought I’d throw in a colorful apology note from Ara… LOL. Her face will show you exactly what she’s thinking. If looks could kill..
Katie’s Birthday is a few days before Ara’s. This was her heart and peace sign cake. I was tempted to use color and make a more traditional cake. She wanted Tinkerbelle at first. But then we settled on hearts and peace signs that I could easily add with fruit on top of homemade whipped cream. It was light and delicious, perfect for August in the desert.
We had Ara’s birthday dinner at The Trail Dust Town the very same evening as KT’s party. It was a long day but still a fun one. Ara had a great time with Alex’s family, who spoil her rotten!
She’s at the age where she really appreciates all the fashion accessories and clothes her aunts shower her with. Which is mutually delightful for all involved!
The day started out blazing hot and then cooled with a massive storm in the evening. Cooling things off so we could ride the train and explore.
More spoiling happened as we checked out the shops and candy store. Right after we boarded the little train my camera battery died!
The next day she modeled all 7 or 8 outfits and I took photos. She hated it, as you can see… lol.
The night before her actual birthday I hung balloons outside her door with a penny in each to hold them down. I thought I was so clever, using this little trick from Pinterest.. until the balloons started popping on their own, and with money shrapnel inside! Luckily she didn’t wake up from the loud POPs! She adored the surprise the next morning. Waking to find balloons all over the house.
There were a couple canine guests invited so we made ‘doggie’ bags!
Ara’s cupcakes had strawberry hearts and Trader Joe’s Coco Balls on top of whipped cream. They were sort of a strawberry shortcake-ish.
Unfortunately this is the best picture I got of our T-Rex watermelon. I did the carving and Ara put his ‘teeth’ in. The teeth made getting watermelon a challenge, which some people seemed to like. So it all worked out! You can see the TV on in the background. I moved the TV probably 6 months ago and never bothered to hook up the antenna because no one here watches TV. But then, I’ve been DYING to watch the Olympics and my Dad tells me now that they’re on regular old TV channels! So Alex hooked it up! Too bad they were pretty much over, oh well next time. That giant bubble TV might just last another 4 years!
After presents were opened Ara took her new stuff to the street! We got her a scooter and all the protective equipment you can strap onto a kid. Then, the shed was opened and the other bikes came out and all of the sudden my whole family is out in the street. Riding bikes, scootering, laughing, falling, and generally having an awesome time. The summer sun hid under a cooling cloud cover to make for a perfect evening. One that Ara will remember happily!
And that’s what happened while I wasn’t blogging! More to come soon, it’s been quite a while!