October 29, 2011

unfinished

I posted a few months ago on my search for my biological father (you can read the details here) and promised I'd update you on what my efforts resulted in. 

Long story short, I emailed him. I even included a picture of me and Chikezie and the boys. I gave him a link to the blog. Maybe that was too much, too easy for him. I told him I turned out ok, told him the things I was good at and the kind of person I am. I just wanted a confirmation that I'd found the right person, that my years of curiosity could be put to rest. I sent the email out into the universe hoping for something, anything. I waited. A couple of months later, I sent one more email just for good measure, hoping it at least got there. 

I've never received a response. 

Who knows, maybe the email never got to him. Maybe it was the wrong person and I freaked them out. Maybe he just doesn't want anything to do with me. Maybe he has a family and a wife he never told about me. Any questions I've had will probably never be answered. It's hard to accept. 

Now that I'm a parent, I really struggle to understand how someone wouldn't wonder. How someone wouldn't wonder how a child they created turned out. And, as said child, I believe I have the right to know where I come from. I didn't do anything wrong. If you made a person you didn't raise, you'd have to know they might come looking for you some day. 

Of all the stages I've been through, and now that I'm an adult and have children of my own, I've entered a new stage of this whole thing. A stage where I think I'd rather not know this guy. A stage where I think it's kind of bullshit he can't man up. How hard is it to freaking respond? To say, "Yes, I'm the correct person". Whatever the circumstances were between he and my mom, I'm not part of it. I feel I have the right to a response, I feel like it's the decent thing to do, to respond. I feel like if I made a kid I didn't raise and one day they contacted me to see if I was their biological parent, I'd have the obligation to respond. 

I'm learning that have these feelings of anger, annoyance, curiosity, confusion and even sympathy. However, I'm beginning to realize that I also have this small hole that I've been longing to fill that I'm trying to accept will probably never be filled. This might be one chapter of my life that will always remain open. An unfinished book. 

I have that picture, though. And it helps. I feel like it's him but without a confirmation, I'll never know for sure. It sucks to have gotten so close and then left to hang. 

October 28, 2011

Puppy and Panda Bear


Just in case you thought you could handle the cuteness...it got even CUTER. Seriously! Where did these babies come from?? 


halloween flashback

Today I'm linking up with the Fall Follower Fest and want to say hello to any new faces here today! If you'd like to know a little more about us, check out the Mama page to meet my curly haired family. Leave a comment so I know you came and I'll come say hi at your bloggy house!

Photobucket
 

Last year Halloween was purely for our entertainment purposes, we put the boys in a couple of made up costumes and took a bunch of pictures to mark the occasion. This year will probably be much of the same although I put a little more effort into the costumes this time around.

Here are the dudes last year:
Tom Cruise from Risky Business and a baby Tibetan Monk (wrapped in one of my scarves)

AND we had these costumes as hand-me-downs that I put the boys in August of last year before they outgrew them. Probably some of the cutest pictures EVER:

Look at my cute and squishy little babies! Oh I miss when they were so little. So sweet and smiley. It feels like forever ago. Way back when they wouldn't push away my snuggles. Oh well. As they get older I expect each Halloween to be more fun as they get into it and can pick out costumes and make memories.

I threw together their costumes last minute (a.k.a. yesterday) and Julian will be a puppy, Isaiah a panda bear. Here's a little peek at Julian's ears...let's hope he leaves them on.
Gosh he looks old. 



October 27, 2011

fall, sort of

baby leaves
Julian left, Isaiah right.
why are kids so damn cute when they sleep? and why do my children look so freaking long?
They go everywhere together.

We enjoyed the beautiful 70 degree fall weather yesterday. I will never get used to this always warm weather. I can't wait to move. I don't hate it here but still after 2 years it doesn't feel like home. I get extra homesick around this time of year when the seasons change and we don't really get to experience it the same way we always have. 

But I really do appreciate being able to be comfortably outside year round. When things get cramped in our apartment I know I can easily and quickly take all of us outside and get some fresh air without bundling up.

We played at the complex playground for a little bit until both boys climbed up into the stroller and sat down. I took this as them telling me they want to go for a walk...so we did! I pushed their heavy butts 2.39 miles, without my proper running shoes, and as always, in the hills. They fell asleep after the first mile and I had a chance to get lost in my thoughts for an hour. 

October 25, 2011

Curly Hair Part 2

So a few months ago I decided to share my curly hair secrets and techniques. I've gotten such a huge response that I was really encouraged to explore more ways to love on this curly hair of mine. There are too many women with curly hair who do everything in their power to get rid of it. When I was growing up, all the "cool girls" had stick straight hair that just always looked perfect. And I got this:

If you can take your eyes off of the slammin' ensemble I'm sporting, you'll notice the home permed poof on my head. Thanks, mom. After a few years of perms in my childhood, my hair went from wavy to all out curly. I'd brush my hair in attempts to make it straighter, which only added to my poof. Once I got to high school I discovered straighteners and well, I woke up extra early each morning just to iron out the kinks. So much wasted time.

What's so great about embracing your curly hair? Um, everything. Let's talk about WAY less time to get ready, not having to worry about whether it's going to rain or be humid out (when our laboriously straightened hair goes to crap), and much, MUCH less damage due to heat styling.

Healthy hair that takes less time to do? Winning.

I've decided to stop using my straightener completely. Maybe someday I'll get the urge to straighten again but right now I'm focusing on loving myself, hair included, the way I was made. I've been doing a lot of research and reading on different curly hair techniques and I've adjusted my own system a little. 

Time to share some magic with you.

This day I happened to rinse my hair under the faucet in the tub. I didn't wash, just rinsed and scrunched. I just wanted to start with a fresh base of wet hair. 


Dry your hair upside down with an old t-shirt or pillow case. Don't dry curly hair with a normal towel, it disturbs the curls and can cause frizz. I've found an old t-shirt works best. Dry hair by scrunching, not by rubbing. Again, we're trying to protect the curls in their natural formations. 


Next, load up on leave in conditioner. Don't apply to your roots, so stay about an inch away from your scalp. Your head will produce it's own oils to moisturize your roots. Adding conditioner at the roots will only make your scalp feel oily and totally kill root volume.  I comb a good amount of conditioner through my curls with my fingers, focusing on scrunching on the ends. 

After conditioner, I use some form of heat styling protective spray. And then finally I spray the crap out of my hair with spray gel. You can use regular gel but I don't feel like it distributes as evenly as spray gel. This is going to help keep your curls together. The products above are just what I use, and I'm constantly trying new brands to find what works best.


Then, I blow dry my hair upside down with a diffuser. I scrunch the ends of the curls into the diffuser to take the weight off of them. Gravity and the heaviness of the product can stretch the curl out, so taking weight off when you can really does help. You don't HAVE to blow dry but I like the extra volume I get from it, and my hair takes forever to air dry. About halfway through blowdrying I add more spray gel because it tends to dry out easily from the heat. 


And that's it! Flip your head over and love your crazy volume lion hair. Rearrange curls or do some twisting of hairs that are out of place. If your hair is still crunchy from the gel, gently scrunch your curls up and toward your head. This will break up the gel and still keep your hair from getting frizzy later on. Your hair may look huge at first but it starts to go down pretty quickly. 

Right now I have some annoying bangs that just kind of hang out on my forehead when they're curly so I twist them together and pin them back like this:
Use a bobby pin to grab some of the twist, push it toward the back of your head to catch some hair and then pivot the pin toward the front of your head and into the twist. This hides the pin and secures it pretty well.

Some things I've learned about curly hair:
  • Stop using shampoo/conditioner/product with sulfate. They dry out curls. Curls are naturally more dry than other hair types, and most shampoos and conditioners contain sulfate. So make sure you're looking at ingredient lists!
  • Don't wash your hair everyday. I can't stress this enough. I only wash every couple of days, if I need to clean anytime in between I rinse in the shower and apply more conditioner. Conditioner is the key. 
  • I sleep with my hair kind of loosely piled above my head, not to smash or flatten the curls overnight. Satin pillowcases are also good.
  • STOP STRAIGHTENING YOUR HAIR. Every time you do, you're setting your curls back. The  longer I've gone without straightening my hair, the better my curls look. 
  • If you have curly hair, you should not own a comb or a brush. The only time you should be going through your hair is when it's wet and full of conditioner, preferably in the shower. 
  • LOVE IT! The better you feel about your hair no matter what style it is, the better you'll look. Attitude is everything you guys. 
I hope you find this (and/or the old tutorial) helpful! If you have any questions let me know! I'm not a pro, and this system works on my hair because it's big wavy/curly. 

our bedroom

Our bedroom is the one place Chikezie has given me free will to do whatever I want. Sometimes I don't think he would even be able to tell you what color our sheets are. Our bedroom is full of a lot of handmade and very meaningful items to me. There are lots of colors and patterns and well, I think it's kind of a perfect reflection of me. I haven't even been really TRYING to decorate, just adding things here and there when I feel like it...and that is very much true to my personality. Very go-with-the-flow.

Here is a little peek:
An old window frame that used to be a heavy mirror. Now it holds lovelies I've made for my etsy shop and projects I'm working on.

a felt leaf garland I draped over our curtains for fall. I was inspired by THIS on Pinterest.

The lamp is lined with vintage buttons from my grandma's button collection.

This is where the magic happens, people. And by magic I mean, getting our sleep ON. None of our bedding matches, and we don't have a bed frame. Although I wish it was bigger than a queen, this bed is super comfortable. The banner was a cheap/easy way to add a little something in the empty space above our heads. I didn't want to hang anything too heavy because I'm paranoid we're going to have an earthquake and something will fall on our heads while we're sleeping. Yes, these things go through my mind.

The "E" above our dresser. $3 at JoAnne's, wrapped in yarn (stuck using spray glue). The old key is from an antique store in Orange. A crazy little old lady sold it to me.

A jewelry box I got in Iowa on an antiquing outing with my friend Taryn. I had such a fun time with her that day. This always reminds me of her and how much I miss getting into trouble with her.

This is one of my favorite things, it used to belong to my Great Grandma Georgia. 

Old placemat: Goodwill. The orange thingy was supposed to be a vase but I don't have any flowers for it at the moment. It's an old peanut jar wrapped in yarn. I use it for brooches and to stick hair clips into. You can also see the old frame in the background turned earring older from THIS tutorial.

I love giraffes, this one holds my rings, or A ring at the moment.

This pretty tea tin I got for $3 on a thrifting outing with Summer. I haven't decided what to put into it yet but it's too pretty not to display somewhere.

A full view of the dresser. This used to have handles instead of knobs and was all brown. I painted the drawers and filled the extra holes. I was going to paint the whole thing but it's SO heavy. I couldn't drag the whole dresser out to our patio on my own so I just gave up. I added different colored knobs (Anthropologie) mainly because I couldn't decide on just one theme. White paper lantern from Ikea.

October 24, 2011

27th Birthday Giveaway Party WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my 27th birthday giveaway and for all the b-day wishes. I had a great day complete with flowers, a hubby who brought home some Subway and fro-yo for lunch, and some peace and quiet for me get out of the house for about an hour and wander around Target. Quiet really is the best birthday gift these days. Oh, and I'll be getting an iphone in a couple of weeks. I'm counting that as my birthday present.

And on with the fun stuff, the winners of the giveaways! (To all the winners: I'll be getting you in contact with your respective shop owner today!)




Ruffle fabric Necklace by:
#34 Ashlen Cotterman
"I follow Stubborn Dog Blog"

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this Eat Local print from:
# 28 Kristin 
"My favorite way to indulge on my Birthday is an amazing meal paired with a lovely glass of wine. Of course there is always room in there for cake as well!"

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one pair of fall colors rose earrings from:
#22 Stephanie T.
"follow stubborn dog blog!"

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a $25 shop credit to:
#64 Calliemehaffey
"Following Yellow Me Daisy"

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a $30 shop credit to:
#84 Chelsea Thom
"I follow your blog! Happy happy birthday! Please oh please listen to The Beatles birthday song and dance around your living room with the kiddos. That's my birthday tradition... and it's kind of the best :) "

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a spot in the November Basics of Photography e-class 
#77 Stephanie Rager
"@sandandstarfish now follows @littlegraypixels on twitter :)"

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your choice of print from:
#29 Cindy Windsor
"Happy Birthday!!! I love celebrating mine by shopping for a gift for myself. This usually means a trip to TJMaxx or Marshalls or World Market. New sunglasses,a purse, or fun jewelry are great gifts, doncha think?"

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October 23, 2011

sleepy boys

It's hard to ever get a picture of the boys sleeping because they wake up whenever I open their door during nap time. There's always that one amplified squeak that just ruins the whole thing. Well, Saturday morning we all slept in. I got up around 9:30 and the boys were STILL asleep! I opened their bedroom door around 10 thinking they'd wake up but they were out. So we let them sleep. We're not ones to wake up sleeping kids, if they're sleeping, they're tired and they need it. 

And because they were so out, I was able to get a couple of quick pictures. There's something about sleeping kids. They're just so precious and sweet when they sleep. I want to crawl in their bed and snuggle up with them. That's not weird, right?

Isaiah.

I love his crossed ankles.

Julian. I find his feet through the railings most nights when I go in to cover them up.

Both boys are tummy sleepers just like their mama. 

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