June 27, 2012

Chicken Fried Hair

The foray into super blonde went by so fast that I didn't even have time to post the pictures that were taken of my chicken fried hair. Wanna see?

Yeah, I knew you'd say yes.



This is BEFORE the super blonde. Just, medium blonde. Even before I went and fried the crap out of it, it was still chicken fried. Dry. The ends were sickly and that, I did NOT appreciate, my friends.


And so I had those sticky ends lopped off.




The cut, I love. I wasn't sure I would after spending so long growing it out. And the truth is, it was already sort of fried from the red of last year being covered up by the brown. Right. And so this cut lobbed off most of the damage.

But as you all know, I went and did this. I looked like... not me. And so I had to have it fixed.




Ahhh.... me.

Yes, I still have damage. But I'm treating it with Kerastase treatments and it's so soft and strong now.

Anyway. Chicken Fried Hair circa 2012. You're welcome.

June 26, 2012

The One Where We Finally Got Houseplants

For MONTHS I have been stalking photos of houseplants all over the interwebs. With a husband who has a horticultural background it wasn't a matter of if, but when.

And, um. My thumbs are not green, yo. They is pink. So I need to have marital involvement is what I'm telling you.

We decided to start with succulents. Specifically succulents that would not kill the cat, who loves to eat plants and grass.

Meet our 4 new little ones:





Now I'm praying not to kill them.

June 25, 2012

June 22, 2012

Father's Day for the Homeboy

For weeks he's been saying that he wanted to take in a live game. We'd planned a Pheasants baseball game but when Uncle Dennis called with free tickets to a Storm game instead, we were thrilled. This was my first arena football game and it was awesome!




We will definitely do it again as a family of 6. But it was a terrific start to Father's Day weekend. Homeboy chilled with Dennis and his peeps the whole night.




Hayley ate cotton candy and popcorn, and I took tons of pictures. We also won - slammed the crap out of the Omaha Beef actually. 




I'd planned Bryon's Father's Day present with Uncle Shannon for months. MONTHS. Bryon's been staring at, picking up, and lusting after this TaylorMade Burner 2.0 for over a year. Sure I could have gotten him the newest model, but this was the bad boy he swung every chance he got. When Uncle Shannon and I found it for a relative steal - the actual exact 10.5 stiff left he wanted, I had to snap it up. And so it sat hidden, until Father's Day.

As I already shared, Grandma Sharon, Hayley, and I went shopping on Saturday for Bryon as well. It was so nice to spoil him some! He spied a golf bag during our last visit to the store [his old bag was over 12 years old] so the bag was a definite as well. I mean, with the new club... well, would you park a Ferrari in a tool shed? I think not. 

And so the plans began to swirl through my brains, scheming up the best way to surprise him. I wanted the gifts from me to be given separately from the gifts given by Hayley and the kids. 

And so on Father's Day morning at about 6:30, my husband rolled over toward me in the bed. There was just enough light to see his handsome face. When he opened his eyes he saw me... and a beautiful white driver on his pillow. He was THRILLED.

And then he got up to make me 'thank you' coffee and stumbled over his new golf bag in the kitchen. Dude RAN back to the bedroom to scoop me up into a thank you hug. He was bowled over. So worth it.





All of this meant that of course, we would golf on that day. "Church at the golf course," declared Dad.




Even the kids' clubs were washed.







After we'd returned the golf cart and packed up to come home, the phone rang. Andrew and Mabel called to wish Bryon a Happy Father's Day, too [Trevor was occupied.]. I am so thankful for that phone call. 

And I am so thankful for this man in our lives. He is a Godly man and a Godly husband, who rises to His expectations all the time. He leads us and loves us and gives for us every day. I pray for his continued courage and bravery to be in this world and not of it, I pray for his heart and his mind and his soul. I pray for him to keep on loving Jesus because the benefit is getting greater and greater. I am proud that he is ours. He is a gift... not only to me, but to each of our four. 


June 20, 2012

Weddennessday

Taking a break from the vacay photos to spill my guts this week.  

The missing is hard.

The other morning while brushing my teeth, I wondered if Trevor has been reading. Maybe he's saving it up for when he gets home but I love how much he loves to read. I have some plans for a library in his room. I can't wait to tell him about it.

On my drive in last week I thought of Andy's freckles. I wondered how long his hair is getting and how many spots were on his face from the sunshine kisses he's been getting. I hope everyone is being kind to his tender heart. I miss that heart. He hung on us for weeks before they left; I hope he stocked up enough hugs from mommy. I suspect I will spend a weekend with him on the couch, cuddled into a lump, when they get back. I am 100% okay with that.

Mabel. Is she practicing her cartwheels and front flips for everyone? Is she being safe near the water while swimming? How long is her hair growing. Will she look 16 when she comes back. Of all of the children, she is the most like me. She looks the most like her father of our 3 but she acts just like her mama. Loud. Silly. Stubborn as hell. I miss her so much.

Husband and I have had such a wonderful time over the past couple of weeks. Marriage upkeep and all. Oh how I love him. He is absolutely my best friend and I cannot lie; I absolutely beg God to give me 50 more years with that man on this earth. He makes me a better person, a better me. He makes the effort to learn who I am and to keep UP with me. He lets me freak out on him and then he picks me up and dusts me off. I ask that once we get to Heaven, please God let me see him there. Let me continue to love him there, to see his beautiful green eyes. I don't know exactly what Heaven will look like, but that's my Heaven right there: worshipping God Almighty beside the love of my earthly life. And the children there, too. Sigh.

I am so grateful to witness my husband's growth in Christ. I am grateful that he shares it with me. It's hard for all of us to trust in something we cannot see, you know. It's hard to have faith as an adult when you already think you have everything under control. And I imagine its even harder for a man who already considers himself responsible for his family. I get that. And my husband is a tremendous family leader. I couldn't be prouder of how he leads us and prays for us and moves for us, for all of the kids, and for me. But I have watched him grow in faith over the past several months in ways I've never witnessed before. It's amazing and so fruitful for us. I thank God for allowing me to see that and be excited by it. And being a Godly MAN is different from being a Christian BOY - there are a whole slew of additional requirements. It is HARD. I think that when someone sees something tangible that God is doing for them, THAT is what grows faith even more. HOPE. You ask Him, you are obedient, and then BOOM... He answers. You just have to open your eyes to see it. It's in His way and in His time, of course, but that answer is deliciously sweet because He gives you the perspective to see it for what it is. Love from God above to his beloved child. And when we put ourselves completely out there to God, He takes us over. COMPLETELY. That is exactly what I want for us, both of us. It is his greatest gift.

One day this week, I had a hard time leaving the bed. Bryon got up and went to work early. My fingers were spun up in his chest hair when he rolled to sit, and then stand, leaving me sprawled across the entire bed. Out here in Da Plains it is fully light by 5:30am in the summer time, which is how I knew it was earlier than that: still blue in the bedroom. I love when it's blue in the bedroom. Rain slapped the window and thunder cracked outside. It was glorious. It's a sedative, that noise. I'd like to play hookie with him on those days and do nothing but kiss and giggle beneath the covers.

My hide is chapped today and I will tell you why. MESSY, CRAZY HAIR. Specifically: embracing it. This is manifesting itself to me in a few ways:
1. Myself. I love smooth, sleek hair. But I especially love hair that was smooth and sleek that has become messy from bedhead, working out, whatever. Sloppy all whichway with a headband. And I adore the headbands that are less Charlotte Rosenblatt and more Carrie Bradshaw - you know, pulled forward on the forehead. And despite all of this hair lust, I have not yet embraced this look. I have a pile of darling headbands at home that stare at me all the time. I am working on this messy, crazy hair with lengthening the time between washing (also good to keep color you know) and doing the messy bun. But there will be more here. If I could go back to my 20 year old self and say something, it would be this: embrace your hair color and wave. Leave it long and just strap it up. Headband it up. Get used to something on your head and then wear the hell out of it!

2. My daughter. She has wavier hair than I do and I fully admit to making certain she embraces messy, crazy hair now because Girlfriend is gonna have it! She could care less as long as she feels pretty and it's clean (that one is my rule). She loves to wear headbands and stocking caps and barrettes. I gave her bangs once when she was little. BANGS ARE A MISTAKE ON MABEL. The hair curls because she has a colick on each side of her forhead. That plus curls = ridiculousness. Mabel's hair looks best long and tucked behind her pixie ears, I think. With straps across her forehead.

3. My stepdaughter. I don't want Hayley to be afraid of the hair God gave her and always rely on 45 minutes in the bathroom to make her feel pretty. Sometimes you gotta just let it be funky and go with it. Unless it's a wedding or a play or the President's a-comin' [and even then] I just don't see a reason to curl a child's hair myself. I'm old-fashioned like that.

Father's Day was ridiculously awesome. Bryon NEVER spends money on himself. For this reason Father's Day was high on my priority list this year as a way to spoil him up. He deserves some good spoiling. He had to work Saturday morning, so his mother, Hayley and I took off for a day of shopping. It was a success! On Sunday morning, Bryon woke up next to a TaylorMade driver (one that he's been eyeing for over a year) on his pillow. He was out of his head excited! And then he went out into the kitchen to make me coffee and stumbled over his new Nike golf bag. It's wicked: bright green and gray. He came running back into the bedroom to scoop me up and hug and kiss me. THAT was the best - seeing his happy face. Hales gifted him with a ton of Nebraska goodies, too. And we put that club and that bag to good use on Sunday, which was awesome. Hollah to the daddies out there!  A special thanks to Shoes for making a phone call to Bryon possible from Andrew and Mabel. It made Bryon's day even brighter.

Of all fruit, cherries are the most difficult to eat at your desk. I mean, did you know? Aren't you so glad I've warned you? Right. Be prepared for the pits and the slurps and the drips on your dress pants. I'm just sayin'.

It would appear that summertime has hit Da Plains. Holy hotness, Batman! I love it. I'll continue to love it for a few more weeks and then I'll be ready for football season. It's been in the 90's. When we golfed for Father's Day it was 92 outside, with 40 mph winds. Talk about a hard swing! My little pink ball actually blew off of the tee a few times.

Verse on my mind lately:
OBADIAH 1:15  For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.

I peeked at the football gear this week. Trevor is signed up to play again this fall; it will be his fourth year. The kid is gonna BRING IT this season. He's leaning out and eating more. Still thin, but he is so much more coordinated than he was even a year ago. It amazes me and makes me proud. Can't wait to take him to pick out some [green of course] gear: practice shirts, gloves, and knee socks. Bryon is really looking forward to helping him with another season. It's their thing. My thing is shouting praise and taking pictures of his amazing talent while wearing cute sweaters and scarves on the sidelines.

BelVita blueberry breakfast biscuits are my favorite.  

The new JCrew catalog caused me to pass the freak out when I opened it. Gosh even the cover had me salivating. I love me some good fashion. Going to have to babysit the sales BIG time to scoop some of the yumminess up when it becomes affordable. Also, looking through the catalog always gives me great ideas on things to look for at the thrift store and at Target. Just because the look starts on Pinterest or in the JCrew catalog doesn't mean you have to buy it all from there and give up your left leg. No thank you. So... awesome looks for this fall is what I'm saying. 


Lastly, I did some crafting that I can't wait to share with you! Soon!

June 19, 2012

The Hills, Part 3: Needles Highway

Our final day in the Hills was our favorite, by far. We started out that morning with a visit to The Chapel In The Hills and then drove southwest through Custer and then back up to Needles Highway. They call it needles highway because the mountains are shaped like needles.

And the road is a bit, um... treacherous.




Once you wind your way up 7,000 feet, your husband nearly passes out from the beauty of Sylvan Lake. He camped there with his family when he was little. It was definitely somewhere we'll visit again. Like, with sleeping bags and a cabin rental (you don't want to go without the cabin these days; mountain lions and such).








Needles.






Also on Needles Highway, a variety of tunnels that were almost exactly as tall and wide as the Suburban. With water dripping from the snow above. Really. SO COOL.




Because at the top? Well, the oxygen was low. But also, it was like God sitting up there Himself.




On the way back down the mountains, we went through Custer State Park.




Raise your hand if you knew that wild donkeys roamed in Custer State Park to keep the mountain lions away.





And then it was back UP the mountains again as we approached Keystone.




Let me tell you something. I had some mental imagery of what I thought seeing Mount Rushmore would be like. All National Treasures, Part 2 and stuff. I suppose if we'd taken the regular road up into the park and then paid admission to get out, if THAT had been my first glimpse I would have thought it beautiful.

But that is not what we did. Husband drove up through the mountains again, along another 20 mph road that wound around and around [where we never did see any wild goats] and then suddenly, he stopped the truck. "Look!" he pointed across me, as we both peeked through the trees.

Well, hello Forefathers! It wasn't beautiful; it was BREATHTAKING.




Once we drove back down into Keystone, visited the Wax Museum and taffy shop, we did finally make it to the actual park. We listened to the presentation and we hiked all the way up to the guys. It was truly amazing.





Thank you, my love, for the best vacation. I can't wait to do it again!

The Chapel In The Hills

The Chapel In The Hills is a quaint little place nestled in the trees in Rapid City. It's an exact duplicate of a Norwegian chapel in Europe, built within 1/4" of its master. It's also the same chapel where Bryon's father was remarried and the same chapel that we considered for our ceremony.

We visited it early in the morning. The air was crisp and cool but the sun shone bright and heavy.






So, so beautiful. And old... regal.







They hold church every Sunday and have lists of folks waiting to be married within these wooden walls. It's a chapel in every non-Vegas sense of the word. So simple and beautiful.






Behind the chapel is a nature walk with statues and scripture. We needed that on this day.










Beside the chapel is a gift shop that they built at the same time. Because the mountain goats come down for food in Norway, they sod the roof. I LOVE that.





God was in this place. Larry, too. It was amazing. One of our most favorite parts of the trip.