Friday, March 23, 2012

It's A Beautiful Day In This Neighborhood

Yes, kids, I am quoting Mister Rogers'. And honestly? Today could not be a more perfect day for it. It is absolutely GORGEOUS. Not a cloud in the sky - both literally and metaphorically.

To make sure we took full advantage of this glorious day, Ryan decided to pick me up from work and take me on a picnic for lunch. He stopped by Subway and picked up our favorites (an Italian for him, a veggie for me) and took me to a quiet little park, tucked back in a remote, tree-filled area.

 Just the two of us and nature. Nothing but each others voices and the birds to fill the air. It was pure bliss.

Sadly, it was also the quickest hour of my life. ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Mind

One's mind is a complicated thing. The further I get into my current Psychology class, the more I realize that. But I don’t need a textbook to prove it. Today, my mind took over for a moment and suddenly things were happening I had no control over.

Let me back up. Four days from today will be March 16th; a day that will forever have a different meaning for me. I’ve blogged about this before. On March 16th, 2003, one of my very best friends, Emett, was killed in a motorcycle accident. This Friday will be NINE years since the day he died. Nine years and one day since the last time I spoke to him. And I still miss him terribly. He was the big brother I never had, even though Frankie did his darndest to be that, he is still my little brother. He was a special person in my life…and even though I have married the man of my dreams and even though I have the most amazing best friends a girl could ask for, there will always be a little place in my heart that won’t ever be filled again. I think that happens when someone who was a GIANT part of your life dies. I know I’ve felt that with my grandparents, too. Just like this little part inside you changes forever.

But, back to my mind. We have a new girl at work. Her name is Emily and she is cute, young and petite. She is figuring things out around here pretty quickly, so today, my boss was praising her for a job well done and she yelled “Good job Li'l Em!” down the hallway. My body froze. All my muscles tensed up. I think I stopped breathing. And before I even had a chance to process what she’d said, there were tears running down my cheeks. Emett’s family (and many of his coaches and friends) called him “Li'l Em”. I have not heard those two words said together since he died. And four days before March 16th, I hear them. I was crying HARD, before I even realized what was going on. My mind heard those words and before I could react on my own - my sub-conscious reacted for me.

March 16th is always a hard day for me. Those closest to me know that I’m a little extra fragile that day. I feel sad in the days leading up to it…and even sadder on the day itself. People say “it will get easier”, and sometimes that’s true. But once a year, it hurts just as much as the day it happened. I miss you Em.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


If you are an active member of Facebook, Twitter or virtually any social network, chances are you may have already heard about this cause - if so, I hope it opened your eyes as it did mine. If not, please keep reading.

As I've gotten older, I am finding the things that fill my soul and nourish my spirit. Helping youth is one of those things. Through the Denton Women's Collective, and our work with Finding Kind, we have been able to reach out to young women and expose the issue that is female bullying. And through YOuth TOday (YOTO), I am working to mentor homeless youth right here in my community. But this problem is bigger than me, or my community. It needs the voices of ALL of the world's people to stand TOGETHER and say - This. Must. Stop.

I realize this may be viewed as political by some. But it isn't. It matters not if you are Republican or Democrat or nothing at all. This email is about helping children halfway across the world - because no one else can help them like we can. Regardless of how you feel about the celebrities, politicians and public figures featured in this video, focus on how you feel about these children who are being ripped from their homes and forced into absolutely revolting things. 

This is Joseph Kony. He is what evil looks like. He is a heinous human being who MUST be stopped. I realize this name might mean nothing to you, so I ask you to please, make time for this 30 minute video. Learn who this evil person is, and what YOU can do to help stop him. We can't all give money, but we can pick up our phones and share this video with everyone we know.

I care... I hope you will too. I will be participating on April 20th to spread the word. Who is with me?

Edit (3/8): In the past 24 hours (give or take), the internet has blow up with both positive and negative things about the “Kony 2012” movement.  Here is where I stand. I realize that just killing Kony would not solve this problem…but he AND the entire LRA ring do need to be brought to justice for the malicious things they are doing, not just in Uganda. I am NOT pro-war, I'm all about peace, but something has to be done. I am aware that some will view me as naive for appearing to jump on this “band wagon”, but I’d rather be viewed as naive then go against my instincts to do whatever I can to help bring this issue to light. I WILL be participating on April 20th, and I will NOT think “mission accomplished” if Kony is captured tomorrow. I know that there are many, many more just like him that will gladly step into his shoes, but that is unacceptable – and THAT is why I am throwing my support behind this. The fact that it happens, and will continue to happen in so many regions of Africa, is not okay.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Saving Face

I love a fresh, clean face. I love the way my skin feels after I cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized. I love washing the day away and seeing the colors from my make-up circle the drain. After my post about my new favorite facial cleanser and exfoliant, I had a few ladies reach out and ask what the rest of my "routine" consisted of.
"Fresh faced" after my nightly cleansing routine. Yes, I am putting yet another picture of myself on the internet with no make-up. My darling husband lovingly gets onto me for being too hard on this is me, trying to be better to myself. I have on NO makeup, and I don't hate this picture. What a revelation!
First and foremost, I try not to NOT sleep in my make-up...but I totally do like once a week. Not on purpose, but it happens. (Just being honest.) But for the OTHER nights of the week it goes a little somethings like this:
Cleanse - Neutrogena Naturals removes my make-up and cleanses away a day's worth of dirt without being too harsh for my super sensitive skin. It's super silky.

Exfoliate - Neutrogena Naturals Pore Scrub is SO gentle, but does a great job scrubbing away the dead skin.

Treat - Breakouts happen... more often than I'd like to admit these days. Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment is the only Proactiv product I can use...and it's also the best blemish treatment I've ever used. You can't buy it separately, so I don't know what I'll do when I run out!

Moisturize - This is where it gets a bit more complicated. I have 3 different moisturizers that I use (not all at once) from Clinique. I LOVE Clinique and have used their products for as long as I've been wearing make-up. Plus, they are cruelty free! YAY! In the spring/summer, I use Dramatically Different lotion because it is light enough to keep me from looking too...greasy. I have recently added Youth Surge with SPF 15 into my morning routine. I haven't been using it very long, but should I decide I don't love it, I'll let you know. In the fall/winter I use Super Rescue antioxidant night moisturizer (at night, obviously) and Dramatically Different in the mornings.

Prevent - Repairwear intensive eye cream. Dark circles and "bags" under the eyes are hereditary for me, and while I have no qualms with getting older, my biggest issue is how dry the skin around my eyes get. Repairwear helps keep my under-eye "baggage" check and leaves the skin around my eyes feeling SO soft and smooth.

I realize that was a lot of products thrown out there at once, but that's the reality of my routine. :) Do you have products you can't live without?