coming home

Tuesday, July 26

As of a week ago, we are officially homeowners. Wait a second, I just have to say it once more, except yelling this time. WE ARE HOMEOWNERSSSSS!! WE HAVE A PLACE TO LIIIIIIVE AND A PLACE TO PUT ALL OUR CRAP THAT IS NOT A STORAGE UNIT. I cannot tell you how much joy those words bring to my soul. After the past two nomadic years, I would honestly be happy to live anywhere at all as long as it had four walls and it was our own. But somehow we ended up with a home that feels a little something like a dream to us. Most of our belongings are still being stored in Virginia, so Tyson will be heading out there to haul everything back home within the next little bit. I often mentally run through the boxes of that storage unit and everything that I left inside of them, thinking at the time that it was only going to be a quick 6 months before I unpacked them again. Like, I'm pretty sure there's still a plethora of spices in there. And shampoo bottles that I am genuinely concerned about. And my rocking chair!! OH HOW I HAVE DREAMED OF THAT ROCKING CHAIR.
But until that happy day around the corner when he pulls up in the moving truck, we are here in our empty house plus an antique piano and a plethora of toys, enjoying its emptiness and the doing of whatever we want throughout. In fact, I'm quite sure the kids prefer it this way. Last night Tyson was putting the kids to bed and I was in the backyard messing around with the sprinkler settings and watering a few patches of grass with our new garden hose, of which I already love so dearly, and I just stood and watched them through the windows. They moved from the kitchen, through the living room, up and down the stairs, and into the bedroom. Tyson with a wad of jammies and toothbrushes in his hand, chasing our naked babes in a fit of giggles throughout their very own space, completely unimpeded. It was the happiest.

And I swear I'll never stop crying, I'm just so so grateful that we're home.

put a flannel on it

Monday, June 27

Shoes: Keds, Dress: Ross, Flannel: thrifted, Hat: F21 

I need most of the outfits I wear during these summer days to be swimsuit friendly. Swimsuit friendly meaning, something that looks not stupid with a flannel tied around my waist to cover up those unfortunate wet butt marks. 

But I ask you. Is there anything that doesn't look good with a flannel tied around it?
Nothing's coming to mind. I have a problem.

a brief history of the hair on my head w/ Dove #LoveYourHair

Thursday, June 23

This is me in one of my very earliest moments of learning to be experimental with my hair. As you can see, my mom is rolling my bangs in sponge curlers. Or perhaps, taking my bangs OUT of sponge curlers, which was the first step before the back-ratting and then the hair-spraying. From these, my formative years, I learned that the hair on top of your head was for fun. It was for experimentation and self-expression, and was never ever to be taken too seriously, or too permanently. Step with me, for a moment, into my time machine, for a brief history of hair and also of wearing pink on picture day. First stop: 1994.

These were my five year old pictures, and I remember this photoshoot so clearly. I had a Sunday bow in my hair, and it was not a Sunday, you know what I mean? I was in my favorite dress, my prop flowers were on point, my hair was fluffed and I was 100% BRINGING. IT.

This is another photo from that same 5-year-old photoshoot, just to really illustrate the versatility of my hair vibes that year. This style is definitely more “me, at home with a rose.” I actually have no idea how my mom made the miraculous transition from a soft wave look to the high pinned curls that day, but I remember holding the pose, and her coming up to me with a brush in her hand to place the final hairs into place and I honestly felt like the most beautiful person in the world right then. Which makes me happy for 5-year-old me.
 
One year later in 1995, Dinglehoppers were my go-to look throughout first grade. Oh have you absolutely no idea what Dinglehoppers are? They would be those plastic balls in my hair. It’s what we called them, I don’t know why.

Fast forward to 7th grade and we can see that middle school is kind to no one. But here’s the thing. I loved the way I looked in this very picture at that very moment. Look at the painstaking efforts that I put into my hair that morning. I had no make-up at my disposal, and my teeth were covered in braces, but I DID have my hair. You can see the comb marks left where I had brushed it back and secured it tightly, leaving a little bit of hair out to deliberately drape over the top of my head. And then the Nancy Drew flip, topped off with, I don’t know, 18 spritzes of hair spray. I mean, I knew it was picture day, and this was ME.

The next year in 8th grade, I gave a perm a shot and also started plucking my eyebrows. I was confident that these were the best choices for my life.

Then at 16, I was finally given permission to both, wear mascara and dye my hair. (And also continue plucking my eyebrows.) This opened up a whole new world of fun for my DIY spirit. My first box of dark chocolate brown was a total hit in my book. I was a super dark brunette (sometimes black) for the rest of my entire high school career, and felt that I had discovered the color that I was always born to have.

THEN I discovered blonde. Or more accurately, I discovered roots. And that no matter what you do, light brown roots are neverrr gonna look good coming in against dark brown hair. Blonde on the other hand…. I could be a little bit more lazy with blonde. And for some reason, I also felt that I could more easily embrace my natural wavy texture with lighter strands.

Five years laterrrrr … I went brunette again. I had recently had Everett and the changes brought about by my first baby made me want to go back to the dark brown I knew from my teen years, so that maybe, in a way, I could start to feel more like myself again. It did work, and I loved it at the time. I was so glad that I had it there as something I could control and change and use as a tool to identify more with myself again.

When the ombre trend showed up, I used the opportunity to become every hairstylist's worst nightmare, and try the trend at home, with a DIY box of color like the olden days. I was actually pretty dang pleased with how it turned out for a first go!

And THIS is what a DIY dark hair + ombre dye job looks like after about 8 months of fading out. It took on a reddish hue, and also some giant humidity waves that I came to embrace after a liiiiiittle taming haha

After a while, my hair grew out and I ended up trimming the ombré out, but the reddish hue stayed. Maybe it was my second pregnancy?? But my usual cool-toned roots didn't show up for quite some time after that. Observing my hair during my pregnancy made me consider trying an ACTUAL red for the first time ever. But then I had a newborn and had to stick with something more low maintenance

And this, as we know, is what my hair color looks like now. My reddish pregnancy hair went away so I grew my cool-toned roots out and bayalaged the ends. It's a look I think I'm going to keep around until I'm AT LEAST 70. It feels like me. Plus I've got two kids and no time for roots, but always time for a little blonde! 

Dove Hair recently put out this really great video (which you can watch here) in an attempt to broaden the definition of beautiful hair, break down beauty standards, and encourage the idea that nobody but you decides what makes you feel beautiful. 

To spread the love across social media, they’ve started #Loveyourhair so that everyone can participate with photos of their own beautiful hair and break down these expectations/barriers together. Dove Hair also launched a community board on Pinterest as a place to gather diversity and inspire each other. 

While delving back into my personal hair archives, at times I feel tempted to cringe. Maybe it’s just me or maybe that’s a natural reaction to going back and reliving your own evolution. Or maybe it’s just middle school. But I’m also hit with huge waves of nostalgia and fond memories. For every time I cut, colored, permed, and experimented with my hair, I was being myself in that moment. I have a fully documented series of me’s, with each look representative of a very specific time in my life. I appreciate being given that freedom to experiment at a relatively young age, and now, over a decade of hair experimentation later, I feel happy and weirdly grounded to have settled on a color that feels like it’s going to stick around for a looooong time. 

This post has been in partnership with Dove Hair and the #LoveYourHair campaign. To learn more, visit here!

sometimes a bridesmaid

Monday, June 20

Shoes: Target, Dress: ASOS

My littlest sister is getting married next month (!!) and this is my bridesmaid dress. There's gotta be some sort of fortune-cookie bad luck attached to this, but yes, I'm wearing it now, four weeks out, and will probably also roll up to my nursing home in it someday because it was a daggum accomplishment to find.  This thing that was, first and foremost, in the correct color family, second, easy to breastfeed in, third, the right length, fourth, has sleeves, and fifth, did not cost five hundred dollars. But by george I did it! And BY GEORGE IT HAS POCKETS TOO.

Twenty bucks my kids spill something on it on the big day. Tweeeeeeeenty bucks.

not today, summer!

Thursday, June 16

 Shoes: ASOS, Jeans shorts: Old Navy, Tee: Vans, but actually my sisters, Sunglasses: Old Navy

I know that as far as media is concerned, the central theme of summer tends to lean towards being your "best self everrrrrr" but this year, my personal theme seems to be falling somewhere between counting my soda intake as a cleanse and considering a dip in the lake as good as a shower. So don't let these pictures fool you. This is my fourth day wearing this shirt. NO RAGRETS

idiots in the wild

Wednesday, June 15

Fair warning: herein lies a series of idiotic pictures taken by two sisters whose sense of humor is deeply rooted in sarcasm and who also, as luck would have it, had a few hours to themselves without their children. The evening first started out with a dutiful trip to drop off a return at the old movie rental store (surprisingly still in existence), which was followed by a less dutiful but equally as important trip to Swig, home of the dirty dr. pepper. Which was then followed by a decision to spend the rest of our time bounding through the red rocked hills of dixie, and taking stupid pictures while drunk on the kind of freedom that can only be experienced by those who have gone hiking with children before.
Try not to be intimidated by the level of skills you are about to witness.

i.e. zen skills ...

... senior portrait posing skills ...

...whatever those were ... You get what I'm saying.

When looking at the above photo, you may be thinking to yourself, "wow that is inspirational" and we don't blame you.

And I believe this is what would be described as a power pose. Which power is mainly derived from holding said pose while laughing, yet exercising extreme levels of post pregnancy bladder control.

Amazingly, this was shot from across a ravine after Caytlyn had muscled her way to the top of a sheer cliff. Sorry if you thought this was merely a posed photo taken while held only a few inches off the ground.

Bad-A.

Listen, we know that the most appropriate place to do handstands is on Instagram. But I just feel like I need to make a case for the blog too. Just to be old fashioned.

We both are in full agreement on this.

This kind of thing just belongs on the internet.


 Parkour!

Including dr pepper in my photos feels natural to me. When it's right, it's right you know?

 I'm just so glad we like, get each other. 
That's it!
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