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*stella's first year.

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*just desserts.

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*no reason whatsoever.

Just a little Tuesday pretty.
annalakeback


esalakeprofile

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*this kid.

was an impossibly bald, infinitely talkative, breathtakingly earnest baby when I met him.

akb and khb.


He's a bit quieter now, but just as whip-smart. He looks at you a little less with his eyeballs and a little more through his eyelashes, and the toes of his big-kid shoes knock together sometimes when he walks. He can pump so hard the swing set tips, these days, but just because he is the Big Brother and the Firstborn doesn't mean there can't still be some heartbreak when the insides of the sandwich hit the floor.

Alex has an affinity for too-small pajamas, thermal even in the dead of summer, and hair that won't sit down ever. He's just a little afraid of hair washing, but it's nothing that can't be cured by having a toilet-perched shower audience. He can't pay attention to his dinner plate for anything.

His "do you wanna see me"s have become "I wanna show you something"s, a sure sign that times, they are a changing. I'm not "Taydee" anymore, but that's OK by me.

Tomorrow, he goes to kindergarten, and I don't think kindergarten is going to know what hit it. Have fun, Alex. You're going to learn to read and tie, I promise.
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*do you trust this face?

stellawacky


Because this face will give you a stomach virus the likes of which you've never seen. For which she will not be forgiven until at least 10 minutes from now.
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*it's 109 degrees today.

This is precisely how excited I am not.

excited
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*the eyes have it.

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*trust me.

Would these eyes lie to you?

ole blue eyes.
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*listen, wednesday.

I'm running very low on patience with you.

half moon.
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*bear hugs.

They're a biological need.

bear hug.
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*it's 50 billion degrees outside.

Wear a hat.

bonnet.
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*pit bull smile.

I don't feel like he always looks true to his genetics, but this one's all bully breed to me.

pitbull.


Proof that not all pit bulls are dangerous and angry. Some are grinny and stupid, carry around a stuffed koala that they have been expressly forbidden from playing with like a baby, and are scared of thunder, doorway thresholds, and the convertible top going up and down but will lie prostrate and bored in front of an approaching lawnmower. (Stupid, did I mention?)

I heart that wonky-eared mutt.

P.S. Check out those Italian greyhound gams! (One year later, it's as good a time as any to revisit this batshit amazing craziness.)
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*wistfulness.

Remember when you were 11 going on 20, and your body was all arms and legs and metabolism, running furiously on 14 hours of sleep and three chili dogs and the energizing, screaming THRILL of dunking your dad in the water?

wistfulness.
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*monday free day.

Time to let it all hang out.

jake's on a boat 1.
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*happy 4th of july!

Get yer float on.

water baby 6.
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*lazy days.

The fact that I can't be a kid anymore kinda makes me want to have some.

Especially when they're this cool.

father's day 4.
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*it's friday.

heh.


Before a long weekend.

YAY.
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*do you have what it takes?

I'm introducing a new concept on the Woodside, and it's called "brevity."

I miss it around here, but I don't have the time I need to really share the particulars of another fabulous night spent curled into a chair in my holey pants, watching Who's the Boss and eating cottage cheese straight from the carton.

So it'll be one a day, short and sweet.

Or in the case of this one, very short and very sweet.

do you have what it takes?
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*summer of love.

It is difficult being such a busy star.

aw shucks.


There are public appearances to make,

stable mabel.


eyelashes to bat,

stella smilez.


and opinions to express.

raspberry.


There were Mother's Day baubles to procure.

mama's day.


And of course there has been much time spent performing on countertops.

face to face.


There was comedy!

happy faces.


And tragedy!

R&J10


And melodrama!

herm?


The paparazzi can be tiresome.

paparazzi.


But no worries!

yo.


Not when your bodyguard has your back.

got your back.
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*rundown.

As I write this, I am coming off the heels of three consecutive 12-hour workdays.

stella fling 5.


That means all of my meals have come out of my freezer, all of my free time has been spent staring dazedly and without comprehension at Who's the Boss? reruns (which we can agree aren't at the far end of the comprehension scale), and all of my energy has been focused on ignoring the fact that the dog has developed what is either a twitch born of neglect or an incurable itch born of stink.

stella fling 6.


BUT! Production on the July/August issue is rolling to a close.

stella fling 1.


I can see the holiday weekend there, on the horizon, just out of reach.

stella fling 2.


Three spectacular days of breathing unrecycled air, basking in non-fluorescent lights, and reading, not editing.

stella fling 4.


HAPPY DANCE!

stella fling 3.





Oh, and just because I liked it:

g&t.
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*conversational distance.

Oh, hai there.

bright eyes.


Wait. 'Scuse me one second.

consideration.


SHINY THINGS!

beer me.


Sorry, what's that you were saying?

mini me.
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*to have and to hold.

The 60th Anniversary Weekendstravaganza culminated in a beautiful church service, including a sweet blessing of the happy couple during which a keen observer noted that all seven children inadvertently stood in birth order, Von Trapp style, and a rockin' party that required the donning of necessary finery.

Some chose the dapper approach.

dapper.


Others, the studiously effortless look.

back lit.


Some put on their prettiest frocks and their most uncertain faces.

frownz.


And one wore sequins, the better to prove that she is both fabulous and gorgeous.

lovely ladies.


We gathered at the Elks Lodge, where there were fascinating things to behold.

redundancy.


History? From the past?

thinking cap.


Thassright.

easter tree.


A Christmas tree? Decorated for Easter?

werd.


Werd.

Family and friends mingled and greeted.

girlfriends.


They smiled and laughed put on their most gracious airs.

sprinkles.


They marveled at the moment, the 60 years of happy memories.

mama's baby.


Well, for the most part.

observe.


Oh dear. Some people just cannot be contained.

silly putty.


Some people just have to be the center of attention.

determined stare.


Some people just have to be the MOST charming and the MOST delightful and the MOST adorable.

naughty and niece.


It gets downright tiresome.

uncle matthew.


It's a good thing I'm obviously the favorite grandchild.

proudness.




And then, suddenly, it was "places, people!"

places, please.


We dined in the waning light, on lovely salads

peachy.


and steak dinners

steak dinner.


and sweet surprises to mark the occasion.

tom & doll.


We were all very impressed.

tiny hands.


No, really, we were.

grump.


Ahem. I said IMPRESSED.

sling babe.


There we go.

So we danced, and we sang, and we acted like fools. We made plans for the 70th anniversary, and thought perhaps we should do this more often than once a decade. But for now we'll take it easy. All that fun was absolutely exhausting.

sleepyhead.

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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