May 22, 2012

And Then It Was Good

Before:



After:


WHEW.

That was a close one, Peeps. Thanks to FOUR HOURS in a new stylist's chair, I have been returned to *close* to my natural color. It will take a couple more months to dial it in perfectly - and I am very worried about hair health just now - but I feel remarkably better.

I even recognized myself this morning in the mirror.

May 20, 2012

In Case You Haven't Realized, I'm a Brunette In Denial

A little more than a year ago, I dyed my hair red in the Great Red Hair Caper of 2011. That did not go so well, nor did I... embrace the change. It took only a week (gosh, not even) for me to venture back to my natural cool brunette. Once she dyed me back I felt alive within my own skin again.

I continued as a demipermanent brunette, covering up the red each month for a year. Oh yes, I changed it up with some pink highlights (you bet your ass) in January of this year but I remained a cool brunette while my hair grew. Husband LOVES me as a brunette for what it's worth, though he has commented multiple times that he loves the freedom with which I change my hair style and color. Thanks for that, Dear.

What he calls freedom, I call stupidity sometimes. The red, for example.

Nobody can ever fault me for being afraid to try something new, I reckon.

Last month I asked my hair gal for blonde highlights. I took tons of pictures with me - both of things I wanted and things I did not. I got *close* to the look I was after. Just as I began to get used to it, it was time for touch up. I fretted a little about the amount of highlights she put in, but I tried to relax and just go with it. So, just last week I returned for her to do my roots and left the salon looking not unlike a bottle blonde. She went WAY overboard. It wasn't the same. It wasn't even close. I am so blonde that I stun myself in the mirror. And not in such a good way. [And I am purposefully omitting the comments I could make about her chopping off an extra 1.5 inches of length without asking because I'm trying not to wound the woman.]

I have tried for over a week to embrace the change. I cannot get there. My Lord I am a pain in the ass sometimes. And you know? I ALWAYS wander back to my roots. Somebody remind me of this if I get a bug in my ass to change it up again, could you?









All images are Pinned.

May 18, 2012

Whatever You're Doing









It's time for healing, time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender
Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly
Time for a milestone, time to begin again
Revaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will?
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills...
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender
Time to face up and clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears
Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life, something heavenly

May 16, 2012

Weddennessday

You know what I've noticed, Peeps? Less time for projects on my blog. I do mostly talking about nonsense and sharing photos with Nana. That's okay I suppose, but I loved how my blog pushed me to be accountable to projects I was dreaming of before. The truth is, my work changed midway through the year last year and it's been much different since. I don't have the time in the evenings anymore to sit and write out projects. I'm working on changing that. I ask that you hang in there, if you aren't horribly annoyed at my drivel between now and whenever I finally get around to posting about new projects. Like:
- summer lap quilting
- new pillows!
- hand embroidery
- paint projects in the bedroom and bathroom
- finishing the lower level of our home
- framed lyrics with vintage frames
- sourcing and then painting desks for both boys' rooms while they're away
As you can see, my brains haven't stopped twitterpating about new projects. I just haven't spent the time to track them. I promise I will try to improve on this. And I'll be honest, this is just as much for me as it is for anyone else. I rely on the blog constantly to look up something I've posted in the past. It's really less about narcissism and more about organization, see. 
My 3 head east with their dad next Saturday for the summer. We have 10 days left until we say goodbye for 2 months. And yes we will keep busy while they are gone, but we will be counting down the days until July 28, when they come back. I know they'll have a great time and for that, I truly am very excited for them! Little Moo has gone on and on and on about seeing her daddy this week. She is also excited to see her toy horse.
Can I just briefly say that the past two episodes of Grey's Anatomy have been riveting? I don't watch on Thursday evenings usually. Oh, we are running Hayley back to her mom's or going for a run right around that time, so I've been letting the DVR take care of it for me. Then I catch back up on Saturday sometime. This past weekend I caught up on two episodes in a row. I know it was fretting Mindy that she couldn't spill to me because LAWSIE that show is just ahhhhsome. Oh I can't wait for the finale?! Will they get off the moutain before the last minute? 
When I free up a brain cell this weekend, I must remember to write down the dates of our favorite live music in town on the chalkboard wall. If we have it right there in front of us, we can go more often!
So the other night on the way home my husband says to me, "What do you think about going for a run when we get home?" My very lazy and looking-for-excuse self was shocked at the hour: 8:45. He insisted it would be fine and... it was. It was beautiful! Fully light when we began but dark when we arrived home, we ran about 2.5 miles around our lake and winding through a part of the neighborhood I've never seen. We remarked on landscaping, paint colors, and coworkers along the way. Discussed God's plan for us while watching him dim the lights on the world for the day. Love it.
This week, Bryon picked the boys up from school 15 minutes early. [Their last day is Friday.] Then the three of them headed to the big and fancy theatres to see The Avengers. They've been plotting and discussing and, "Oooh did you hear..?" -ing for weeks. Awesome boy time was had.
We are planning a big grill out this weekend to send the kids off in style. It will be the last weekend for all 4 littles together until August. The weather is supposed to be 80, with only a slight chance for a shower. There will definitely be showers if we get out the sprinker! Friends and family plan to stop by. Maybe I'll get off my ass and haul the big camera out this time.

May 14, 2012

About That Hickey

And so it was on a Saturday evening that we headed to a friend's home for a barbeque when I noticed that I could see a little something.

It was the same something that his coworker had found earlier that morning while he stood and bossed. He turned to B with a shocked look on his face and asked in a hushed but urgent tone, "Uh... is that a hickey on your neck there?"

It had been dark. He hadn't noticed before leaving the house (in fact, I don't think he showered first) before dawn and all. And I hadn't noticed when I kissed him goodbye in the blue light of morning either.

But yes, there it was. Rosy and reddish purple, there on the right side of his neck.





So not sorry about that.

May 11, 2012

When He Grows Up

[picture of Trevor's end-of-week routine, earned DS time after a hard week of readin' and writin']


The other day Trevor mentioned to me a little wish that he's said at LEAST a dozen times. He said it to me first when we drove out here in July of 2008, when he met baby Jonas for the first time. He said it repeatedly when we lived with Aunt Mindy and Uncle Roger, and more since they've moved away. Every time I show him the latest Instagram from Aunt Mindy, usually. When he wishes his wish he says, "I hope I have a baby just like Jonas when I'm a dad." 

Oh be still my heart. As most of you know, Aunt Mindy's son Jonas has Down Syndrome. Many of you also know that Trevor has a little sister in Heaven who also had Down Syndrome. To many parents, this diagnosis is tragic. To some it means a death sentence for their baby. But to Trevor, who absolutely knows that there exists this different thing called 'Down Syndrome' and 'so what, they learn a little differently'... my son is wishing to his Heavenly Father for a child exactly like that. 

THAT does a mama's heart good, let me tell you what!

I think that all of this is because Trevor is different himself. Unique. Trevor is emotional. He is empathetic. He is very clever and understands more reasoning than many adults I know. He is far more mature than he should be at age 11, and so tall he's at my shoulders already. He loves Jesus and said so with water baptism a few years ago in front of our entire congregation. He does not embarrass easily. He asks the hard questions that many children (especially those of divorced parents) are afraid to ask.

Of his father.

Of me, and of Bryon.

Trevor talks about being an architect when he grows up because it would be a cool and manly thing to do. But if you want my honest opinion, I think Trevor would make a terrific therapist, counselor, or special needs teacher. He's been asking me more and more about those sorts of careers now as well. It's exciting to watch how the Holy Spirit lays something on your child's heart. I can't wait to see what he chooses to do with it and how God will weave this into his life. Oh what a beautiful heart he built inside of my little boy. 

I am so, so proud.

May 9, 2012

Weddennessday

  
Have I told you that we're addicted to Swamp People? Well, we are. We can't DVR it because it conflicts with Grey's and The Office, both. Priorities, People. But we catch all the reruns and marathons on History Channel. We's swamp nerds like that.
Gymnastics is going great for numbers 3 and 4. They're learning lots and Mabel can do a cartwheel now, while most of her teammates are still cart-hopping. They have just a couple more weeks before the winter/spring session is over and we are incredibly proud of their progress. 
I had my hair done last night - just refreshened at the roots and a trim. Well, that was the plan. My stylist (same one for a year now) got a little crazy with the bleach, however, and I ended up much more blonde than I intended. Much. As in, I may have to go back and have her add lowlights a bit early. Also, when I said, "Take off 3/4 of an inch," she heard, "please cut 2 inches off of my hair." I am not pleased. It could have been worse, yes, but I have reached my point of no return with this stylist. I know I am a difficult client because I tell a stylist exactly what I want them to do. I give them more than enough information, pictures, the lot of it. I ask about product, texture of my wave, and so on because I know that it affects the outcome of color and cut. So, I am incredibly irritated when I give them the exact description of what I'd like and they nod and say they understand. And then they do not do what I ask them to do. I am a bit uptight and very detail oriented; of course I tell them that my hair lifts warm and needs a bit of ash. I tell them what product I'm using and ask if I am doing something wrong, working against the cut and so on. But this girl, God love her. This girl needs an update in her training. I asked her to point-cut my hair to remove some bulk (cannot razor, texturize or thin my hair, I've learned the hard way). She nodded and said okay. Then she razored the ends. And I'm not such a bitch that I would stop her and yell at her. No, I just sat there, knowing what the riiiiip-riiiiiip-riiiiiip noises were and knowing that when I try to wear my hair curly - LOOK OUT. Sigh. 
Also, due to the aforementioned hair 'trim', I very much doubt I will be rocking that messy bun up there anytime again soon. DANG IT.
Two nights after my stylist took me blonde I met a waitress at our favorite sports bar and obtained HER stylist's name and phone number. She had beautiful hair. I have full plans to utilize this information next month. 
A few additional houseplants would be a wonderful addition to our home. We have two already that Bryon brought home from his father's funeral, as well as a pothos in the bathroom (oh how I love thier love for low light). I would like a couple in the kitchen and living room as well. Problem is: kittypottamus. I have isolated a few that are cat-friendly and sent the list (along with photos just in case) to my husband in an email entitled MOTHER'S DAY. Ahem.
I am incredibly sad that I cannot spend Mother's Day with my own mother. That's all there is to say about that.
Andrew has always been odd. Nana could tell you that Andy is always after a laugh, once tying his very large, stuffed Easter bunny in knots behind his neck, and riding it around the house in his underwear. Therefore it was not a surprise when I came out of the kitchen this past week and found Andrew wearing horse Lucy upon his head. He snickered. He has such a darling snicker.
Yes, those are Mabel's gynmastics shorts on his head.

May 7, 2012

Playing Mommy

 
"I'm playing Mommy," she said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The jury's still out on the wig, but I positively adore her green knickers and purple high heels. Girl can rock it.
 

May 3, 2012

Weddennessday



Our Friday date was awesome. We met up with Plowman and his wife for dinner at our favorite restaurant. It was the same restaurant that we went to on our first date, the same restaurant where we went after our Plowman pre-marital sessions, and the same restaurant we went to for our non-rehearsal dinner. The food is phenomenal and they make a killer martini. Of which I would know nothing about. Ahem. As usual the food was fabulous and the company was even better. I teared up when I saw Plowman's brown mop in the parking lot and I hugged him so tight. Bryon did a lot of hugging, too. That man is very much like a father to both of us. The point of telling you all of this has nothing to do with Plowman, but it has to do with the sitter who kept the littles on that night. Our pastor's daughter, Lana, has been a sitter of mine since we moved to Da Plains almost 4 years ago. She's watched Moo since Moo wasn't even 1! The unwalking Moo even! So Lana Banana left me some notes on our chalkboard wall on Friday night that made my heart go pitter-pat. I loves me a great sitteh.

'Polar bear ears' are a frequent hair request in our house from the littlest little. Similar to 'lamb ears' that my mom used to give me with braids that are looped back into the elastic, 'polar bear ears' are pony tails that are half-tied back into the elastic on the last go-round. She loves how they hop and flop during gymnastics and Spongebob-watching. They are awfully cute. Especially when paired with purple sequined skirt, gymnastics tank, and yellow flip flops. 

Kristian Stanfill's song Always has been on my mind so much lately. One particular lyric gets me all gooky when I hear it: I will not fear the war; my help comes from the Lord... Oh my Lord, my refuge and strength always.

Would you believe that I boiled up 18 pink eggs on Sunday for breakfast [more office ovulating] and snacking and so forth and this morning, I watched Andy grab 2 of the last 4 for breakfast? Say what?!  Less than 48 hours and (aside from my 2 yesterday) my children have consumed 14 eggs? WOW. I supposed having boiled eggs as a favorite snack is a wonderful thing, but let's pause a moment as I write that on my grocery list. WOW.

Over the weekend, I went shopping with my adorable spouse. He loves Kohl's and lucks out more often than not, and this trip was all about his cutie patoot booty. My man needed shorts. Golf shorts, weekend shorts, just... shorts. He tried on about a dozen pairs and found a few that made his butt delicious. SCORE. While he was in the dressing room, Mabel and I practiced the ASL alphabet. She can sign her own name by letter now!

Did I ever tell you good people that when we lived in the small town, one of my babysitters was deaf? He was one of the best sitters I've ever had, acutely aware of every vibration in the house and fully trained in... everything (child CPR, etc). At 15, he'd earned his reputation in town (through church) of being a great sitter, so I was pleased when I found out he was the son of a brother of a friend (small town, yo). I was also pleased that he would leave me notes to tattle on the kids, such as: "Trevor said a bunch of cuss words because he knew I couldn't hear him," and "Andy told a naughty joke that I might have to tell my dad."  The kids will tell you that they got away with NOTHING with that kid in the house, including throwing toys or such after bedtime. He was upstairs in a flash to yell at them. And, to have him yell at you was a sight. Embarrassing, too. They didn't like it. Sigh. I miss that sitter; he's my Facebook friend now and almost off to college. Again, I've lost my point, People. So sorry. My point was that when the boys were little I taught them the American Sign Language alphabet. It was something fun and interesting and it valued me at the pool one summer when I was about 8 and my little friend was deaf. It took me 10 minutes to tell her something, but she appreciate my trying. And so when this babysitter would come, he smiled each time Trevor hauled his grubby hands out and signed, so very s-l-o-w-l-y a sentence. For brevity, the sitter taught them more ASL and signed with them. Now that I'm teaching Mabel, Trevor has decided to help. He practices with her. It's just darling. #1 is just sort of special that way.
Only 3 weeks left of school here in Da Plains. Look out!

Large project I was working on isn't going to materialize. I am restored knowing that Jesus must have something even better planned for my life. And I am thankful.

May 1, 2012

On Finding Church

 
 
 
 
I am thrilled to tell you that yesterday, I found church in the cement.
 
As I complained previously, it's been a very long time since I've put on my gear and gone running. Months. Husband and I used to run a few times a week - nothing competitive, but certainly something needed. He runs much longer distances much faster than me. It used to bother me that I couldn't keep up with him, but it doesn't anymore. I find my own rhythm and push my own limits. I like a nice pace that doesn't want to kill me and I interrupt sometimes to walk. I'd like to be back at 3 miles, 3x a week. If I could run 40 miles in a month, oh my goodness I'd be so excited.
 
But let's just start with a single step again, shall we?
 
I've really felt the push lately to put my health first again. It's been so long with so many distractions from work and life that I'm out of practice. Back to eating lots of protein (especially for breakfast and snacks) and drinking water. Aside from a handful of times, I haven't had soda pop in MONTHS. That was primarily motivated by my IBS, but it is an accomplishment nonetheless. My body feels better without that sludge in it. Now to eliminate the useless carbs and refined sugars, the dyes and enriched crap. Again, trying to start with a single step.
 
Last night I arrived home to quiet. Balmy and 73 degrees outside, with very little wind. My husband was called to stay at work, so I was pissy. Running is a good cure for that. In my distress, I was finally motivated enough to put on my Mizunos and plug in my iPod > Christian playlist. I walked first for a while to reacquaint my muscles with the process. My left ankle smarted a little. After 30 feet or so, I took off running. I felt like a gangly teenager at first, with limbs flailing all around unevenly. But as the houses went by and David Crowder got louder, I found it. The rhythm I had missed for months.
 
I thought.
 
I prayed.
 
I cried.
 
I ran.
 
Instead of my usual path, I turned right and ran around our lake. I looked up into the sun and I lifted my hands when God told me to; every anthem He selected perfectly for my heart. I know I passed 2 miles, but I couldn't tell you what distance I actually ran. I stopped to take a couple shots along the way when I couldn't stop smiling. The sun was bright on my head and Gungor's Beautiful Things reminded me that out of dust, God makes greatness.
 
Oh yes.
 
Church in the cement, see?