photo (1) When my sister moved back to India two years ago, i hated it all. I would beg her to move back every time i would talk to her. During one such random conversation, she said: “you never visit us anyways … you might as well visit us when you come to India”. I told myself that if they ever move back, i will visit them atleast twice a year. My niece Aarna, was going to turn one in March and i was missing my nephew Arjun way too much off late . So got myself a ticket to Delaware for the weekend. By the time i got here, i managed to just about miss the snow storm and the rain. But it still feels like winter. (I am from Arizona.) DSCF0318

We had been talking about her birthday for weeks. Akka has been looking at pinterest and etsy for props and dresses. And i have been excited to play with Arjun again. We did some painting in India during my last visit and he remembers me as  the “Archana pinni” who paints with him. Just the fact that he remembers me is heartwarming … May i present, her birthday outfit: IMG_1296 This was one of the tutus we got. We sat down to make some pink floral paper flowers courtesy of Martha Steward. Akka’s friend made us a beautiful cupcake and it was bloody awsome ! Between the jetlag, work, mandatory naps, eating amazing food made by pedamma, we moved the party to the evening.  Note to self: take some responsibility and work around to use the daylight when pictures are important.

IMG_1251 Going to the tempe attire. The embroidery on this dress was handmade by my aunt and is absolutely gorgeous. Pedamma and Co took her to the temple in the morning. But not before we all took turns and played doll with her. IMG_1271-Edit-4 We are experiencing Arjun and Aarna show some major sibling rivalry. He got used to being overly pampered and getting lots of attention, in India. And he has to share his limelight with the little one. I dont think he likes it too much. But then, for a brief moment before the fighting starts, they embrace and steal a kiss.IMG_1288 She came back with a huge red dot on her forehead and a long red talisman from the priest. She hasnt started walking yet, but this was a two second stance before she dropped to the floor. Notice the beautiful hand embroidery done by my aunt. And the cuteness overload ! IMG_1392 IMG_1391 She was such a good sport while we put her in the huge tutu. She was a little afraid of the candle when lit. And the big bro Arjun comes in and blows it for her. She did do a good job smashing her cupcake. And smearing it on her surroundings, all the while looking this innocent. IMG_1405 When you have aunts and grandmas who get you cute outfits, it only fair to accept them and play dress up with the adults. This is her (4/7)th outfit for the day. I think she liked it the best and so did we. Pedamma picked it out for her. IMG_1445 IMG_1464-2 IMG_1464 This is how she looks at her dad when she wants to be picked up. Who can resist that? Also, she doesnt crawl on her fours but does it like a crab, one hand, one leg sideways (watch). I predict she will be super athletic and a tomboy.

Some of the most beautiful moments out here are the non glamorous ones during the downtime.

DSCF0344 DSCF0362 This is how love looks.

Other places to find me:  Pinterest //  Instagram // Tumblr