Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Post About Hair...

Lately, the girls and I have been into trying new things with our hair.  This past week I've braided my girls hair into about 12 sections after their nightly shower and they've kept them in to dry overnight.  When they wake the next morning, we slide all the braids loose to find their hair full of little waves.  They love being able to get a little curl to their hair.  Their intentions are to let their hair grow back out so that they can do the sock bun curls that I've found easy to do to mine.


I left a link above that I found which includes many photos of the sock bun process and two short instructional videos also.  However, the video below is the original one I viewed and I followed her advice and I really love the results.

I tried taking a couple of shots in the bathroom this morning to at least give an idea of the results I achieved.   My bathroom is an icky-to-photograph-yellow and my hair is so dark, it's hard to get the details to show through, but this gives a little idea of how the curls turned out.  It was super simple to put into the bun and I pulled the bun out as soon as I woke up and the curls were perfect.

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They've held up perfectly all day long today as well.  I'd definitely say that if you'd like to add some soft curl to your long hair, this is a great way to do it.  My hair is naturally curly anyway, but this method gives a softer curl than I normally have and requires no hair products to achieve.  This was washed, blown dry most of the way, and then put into the sock bun.  Nothing else.  I let it out this morning, ran my fingers through a few times and that was it.  Done. Easy peasy!

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Now I'm off to search Pinterest for even more hair ideas to pin to my simply : beauty board.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


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  • A random post for many random thoughts lately
  • Days have been full and busy - my mind as well
  • So much to do, so many thoughts to organize lately
  • Hubby's temporarily rearranged work schedule always interrupts my normal groove
  • I'm working toward getting back into my better eating habits. {read: leave the sugar alone!!}
  • My house needs some serious de-cluttering before I lose my mind
  • I need some serious time to myself and am feeling totally burned out lately
  • The laundry stays piled, dust is collecting, the floors need mopping...
  • And, I honestly, at this point, don't even care.  Burned out.  The end.
  • And, how ironic is that?  Especially with the photo I have above of my newest book One Thousand Gifts and my journal that I'm using to fill in all the gifts I see everyday.
  • Some days are like this though...
  • Just a temporary need for a little quiet time, a little time spent off-duty to recharge my mom-battery, that's all.
  • I'm still seeing the blessings, writing them down, taking notice of the details...
  • The days have been quite beautiful lately, many spring-like.  It's been a mild winter so far and I'm feeling okay with that.
  • Music has been playing much of the time - I love Pandora radio.  
  • Watching movies has slipped into the top spot for things I love to spend time doing lately.  Romantic comedies have fit the bill.
  • I took a few self portraits the other day...almost posted one, but didn't.
  • My film camera has been neglected these past several months.
  • I've finally taken time to discover Tumblr.  I really like it now that I've given it a chance.  It's mostly a collection of images that speak to me and maybe some quotes, but basically a place that looks the way my heart feels.  It's nice.
  • I'm looking forward to tomorrow's Mom's Night Out with a few friends that I haven't seen in a long time.  A dinner out and some conversation with a few people that share my heart is a good thing.  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This Year, No Resolutions...

A new year.

That usually brings about lots of new resolutions and new ideas to beat ourselves up over when they begin shift in importance.  This year, I don't want to make resolutions.  This year I feel like I'm finally at the stage of life where the value of wisdom and contentment has fully revealed itself as being so much more important than naming resolutions, making stress-inducing bucket lists, and worrying about being anywhere other than in this very immediate, present moment that I've been given.

Believe me, I've made lists about visiting Italy, losing a million pounds, running a thousand miles, traveling to the places of my dreams, starting businesses, going back to school, finding retreats for my tired mind, etc.  When I look back on those lists I made, which were so popularly traveling around the internet and still are, they were full of dreams written out in ink on paper, nearly tangible, but yet they felt so very incomplete.  I believe it is because the things on that list focused on all the wild, near-impossibilities and all the things that would take me away from the present moment that I have so graciously been given.  I have begun to feel that the most important things to focus on, not only this new year, but every day of the year, are the moments that make up every one of my days.  Instead of putting a trip to Italy high on my list of  "things to do before...," maybe I'd be happier if I focused on things like:  go on a date with my husband, take the kids to a movie, have a manicure party with the girls, listen to the boys' stories about hunting and football, and enjoy those fleeting moments of togetherness that change so often over the course of childhood before they are gone.

I know that not every moment of motherhood is perfect and wonderful.  I know that  most definitely.  There are absolutely moments that make me want to scream and pull my hair out and basically run away to a place of solitude where I can clear my head for just a few hours (or days, depending on the craziness of the situation).    And, if I'm being honest right here, right now, I'm in the middle of one of my cravings for a few days of solitude, sadly with no end in sight.  I do know that this will pass and I'll forget all about it and wonder what had me in such an uncomfortable mood.  There are absolutely moments that try me and make me wonder what is going on and make me wonder about some decisions I've made along the way.  Things are not perfect, nor will they ever be.  However, focusing on the good things in life and giving no more attention to the negative things than absolutely necessary is the only way I've found to shorten the duration of the effect they have on my everyday moments.

This very moment in my life and how I feel in it is so important. It is the building block for all the other moments (and moods) to come.  It is important to say what needs to be said about these very real, negative feelings, then give them wings to fly away and be replaced by an attitude of gratitude for what I do have and for all the things that matter so much more than my momentary bad mood.

By living in this very moment and finding contentment and gratitude in the dailiness I'm blessed to have, all those other wishes on my list have honestly lost their immediate luster. This is not to say that I no longer would love to tour Europe or see the beaches of Fiji or build a cabin deep in the mountains of the Northwest, but rather, I think it means that my priorities and streams of thought are lined up just the way they should be because without this present moment and being grateful for the life I have now, none of the other stuff will ever really matter and will surely end up being empty endeavors while my heart finds itself void of all the beautiful things it unknowingly overlooked as mundane, daily routine while it searched for "the meaning of life."

I don't want to wake up one day when the kids are all grown and in the middle of creating their own lives and realize that I allowed my mind to spend too much time in fantasy land and not nearly enough time absorbing the enormous amount of love contained in every moment of my days, right now.  I want to be here.  I want these moments to top my bucket list, to round out my "to do" list, and be the things I look back upon as my most treasured possessions.


I wrote this post about a week ago and this morning as I took time to actually sit down and publish it, I also ran across this video about The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison.  It blew me away.  It is so spot-on with what I was trying to express in this post.  If you have a moment, listen.  You won't regret it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 1, 2012

The first day of 2012 was spent taking it easy, as was the rest of the first week it seems.  :)

Things have moved along slowly with all of us enjoying the slower pace of no school work just yet and having Daddy home every day this week.

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Late, during the first afternoon of the year, we decided to drive down to the beach to watch the sunset and to take in the approaching cold front as it passed through.  The afternoon was perfect for beach walking and treasure hunting with Ethan's new metal detector.

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I, of course, played around with the cameras, watching the sunset.  The air changed quickly from very wet and humid to very dry with a north wind blowing in and making our walk back to the car quite chilly.

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Night approached quickly and the kids all had flashlights to play around with on our way back in.  We even stopped for a bit to let them play in the playground with their flashlights before we began heading home.

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If the first day of 2012 is any indication of the rest of the year to come, things should go along smoothly and simply, filled with beautiful moments.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 : In Review


for dinner tonight

A month of renewal, of cleansing, of eating better, of making plans for the coming year...




The garden was put in and an early spring arrived, lifting the usual February blues.

g i r l s



Antique shopping with my mom and playing with my film camera filled the moments of these beautiful spring days.





Dailiness and focusing on gratitude....I found true joy in the simple things.

every day.



learning to accept

I took an online Creativity Bootcamp course and enjoyed every second of the new-found creative sparks.  We took day trips with the kids enjoying every moment of the final cool days of spring. And, the first picking from the spring garden is always one of the highlights of this time of year.

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This was evidently the month of nearly no photo taking.  I never even posted to Flickr during the month of June! {This was a real down-season for me personally} Only about 10 shots for the month, most of which were taken at the local estuarium.  This little shot of some garden goodies was the only other.


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Birthday boys...thirteen years and a trip to the naval air station museum, not to mention  the beginnings of basketball.  Fun times all around.

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where I've been....

One of the most awesome vacations we've had the pleasure to take and it was basically at our back door.  Gulf Shores was amazingly beautiful and peaceful from our vantage point.

where i've been



Simple days leading into the much-anticipated cooler weather of autumn.


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The month of goldenrods, beautiful changing light and Halloween.

morning coffee

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November 1 - Habit

I really rediscovered my camera this month and took photos every day.  This month I found so much contentment and thankfulness for even the smallest details of my life.

November 7 - Habit

November 15 - Habit

Books filled the spare moments and a new bird found a home here with Isaac.

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November 21 - Habit


19 December

15 December

Handmade gifts, gingerbread houses and gingerbread men, parades and Christmas lights.....

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Waiting for Santa, wrapping paper scattered around, stockings stuffed...

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Sending wishes for a Merry Christmas to our family and friends....

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