Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Honest Truth about my Hair Extensions

This is a major subject shift from my last post. (Thanks for all your kindness and support, by the way. I was so overwhelmed this weekend with it).

We are going straight for the jugular of vanity.

I was lamenting to my hairdresser about how long my hair was taking to grow out. I am not getting any younger, if you know what I mean. I don't have many years of 'long hair eligibility' left.  She was scrubbing my head with her delicious smelling shampoo (which is when you are in their trance) and said, "let's just put in extensions."

Really? Just like that?
Check it out.

So she gave me this tip. You can buy hair online, at great prices.
Make sure it's REAL human hair, we shopped for Remy hair, and buy from a seller you trust.
You can get it for a fraction of what your salon will charge you. (usually $35.00-$65.00)  I got mine off Ebay. It took less than 3 weeks to make it's way from China to my excited American hands.

Find a hairdresser that will put in the hair.  Just ask at the salon you go to if anyone will do it. Try to get a referral. You know why.
My hairdresser loves to let people find their own hair, it just saves her so much time, but I know a lot of salons that would be pretty adamant about you using 'their' hair (which they probably ordered from China in the first place.) Find someone who will work with you.

If you want to know the process of actually getting them in please go here to Little Miss Momma's Blog.
The process is EXACTLY what we did.

Now, here is the honesty part I am going to share that NO ONE ELSE ever does. (Why is it such a big secret). Here is the truth about getting them in.

It doesn't hurt THAT bad. If you have ever let your kids brush your snarly hair you are probably ready.  The area just back from my temples was the most sensitive, but come on, really, I thought it would be so excruciating I took pain pills with me. I never needed them.

It took almost 2 hours. If your hair is smooth and a color match (check and check for me) it easier to get right to business. The two corn rows felt tight instantly, like a slight tug.  Not too bad.

It takes me much longer to do my hair.  I mean.... MUCH MUCH MUCH longer.  And I use a lot more product on it, as well. Only make this commitment if you can spend time getting your hair right.  I have 3 times the hair now, and I have to style it almost separately, drying and curling it in chunks. I used to do my hair in 15 minutes. Now it takes about an hour. Just be prepared.

It sort of feels like headbands are around your head all day. It can feel itchy at times, especially if it isn't fully dry along the weft attachment.  It's not a big deal, but this is new to me. I took a Tylenol PM the first two nights to sleep, because I was literally freaked out about my hair and it was still pretty tight.  It's been a week now, and I can snooze with no problems. I don't even think about it most of the day.

 Be prepared to feel different. I have hair that is pretty thin naturally, so even in it's longer years it was never shiny or glamorous.  It is weird to see my reflection in the mirror- it just feels different. I wasn't expecting that. I had to buy new hair clips and rubber bands, and they make a special looped brush that lets you brush through your hair without catching the attachment.

Also, if your hair had a blunt cut or bob like mine, it might take some patience when you style the back. I had taken a nap before I took these pictures, but here is what mine looks like typically. I might spend more time blending the curls before I head out.

I will be excited when my own hair has a bit more length, but honestly, it surprises me how natural it looks and feels.  Needless to say, my hubby, who loves long hair, seems to like it..... :-)

It is a drastic change, but it has been so fun.
I still adore cute funky bobs and short, stylish cuts...but for a while I just going to be that girl with long hair, and that's kind of fun.

BEFORE and AFTER my makeover.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Post That Has Taken a Year To Write

Honestly, this experience was part of my decline in blogging.  I had to shut the world off.
I had to create a space of faith.  I had to hide from the world and rely on God. Blogs and stauts updates and online life felt superficial and wrong.

One year ago, my newly driving son took his brothers for a little drive. They had some chore money burning a hole in their pockets, and off they went to buy some goodies. I loved that they were being brothers, together.

Just a few minutes after they left, the phone rang. My husband answered and left like a tornado.
 My son had hit a man on a motorcycle.


As I drove to the scene, I tried to calm myself. Be calm. Breathe. Don't get mad. Don't let my husband get too mad.  But being mad would have been a dream.
As I got closer I saw people everywhere. Cops everywhere. Ambulance. Firetruck. I wanted to tell them to go home, go back inside. This is no big deal.
But I saw then.... the helicopter.
A body.

My worst nightmare.
My son came to me, crying. "I didn't do anything wrong, Mom, I promise."
I remember  his thin body shaking in my arms.  Witnesses vouched for him. They saw him stop, they saw him look, no goofing off or texting, but stopping and looking doesn't help when a motorcycle is in your blind spot.

I gathered up my  kids, and we sat, crying, praying, clinging to each other, as my husband talked to police and filled out papers.  We watched from this corner, sitting at the fence. (there was no snow last year, but I couldn't go back to take pictures until now) It was an orchestra of emergency workers and medical helpers.

A kind couple helped me with the kids, I remember the wife saying "just keep praying", and being told that her husband had joined with another man in laying their hands on the victim's head and calling upon the Lord to bless this man. ( Yes, I love my religion)

His condition was unstable. They thought they would lose him at any moment. It was an hour or two before they were cleared to put him in the copter to be life-flighted. We waited until that point, and then we went home and sat.

What do you do next?
We cried and prayed and sat numb, and finally loaded up to go to the hospital. We decided to go, just to say sorry...just to show them we were real people and we hurt too and we wanted to help. I couldn't think beyond that.

Well this man's family was sitting stunned, they were in shock, They were in pain.
But as we entered the lobby and through tears said who we were guess what they did....
his wife and his mother (who had lost her husband, this man's father only 6 months earlier) embraced my son. They held him, they told him not to worry, they told him it wasn't his fault...and all this as their loved one lay dying in the other room.  The strength they had to forgive us was beyond words. I hope I could do the same in their situation.

I can not express the anguish that took over my soul.  In the Book of Mormon we read of Enos, who literally wrestled all night with pain and intensity in prayer as he sought the Lord. I had an Enos night.
I wrestled all night, pleading to understand and begging for faith. The minutes were like an eternity.

He survived the night. He survived a few days.  He survived the weeks...his bones shifted and began to heal with out surgery.
The Doctors declared miracles.

Our family had much to work through- so much to process, so much to face, but rest assured we were not alone.
God was there every minute.
Every breath, every movement.
We kept going. We were supported. We felt loved. 

 At times my throat would close, my legs would give out and I would fall to the floor, thinking of the possibility that my had son killed a man in a motorcycle accident.  It seemed too much to wrap my brain around. I was sure I would die of a broken heart.

But in an instant it would stop. It was as if I was lifted, held, guided.
It was then that something much bigger, much better gave me strength. And I went on.

There  are so many things I can't express, so many things I can't put here now, but I had to share some of  this story because I am now a much more keen witness of the power of prayer, and God's mercy.
I wish I could shout it.  I wish I could tell of all the miracles I have seen in my lifetime.
Truth be told, people tell me I am different. Good. I should be.
I have experienced the unbelievable.

The man still lives, and a chance encounter found me meeting up with his mother yesterday.  We cried together and she gave me a bit of an update. He has his struggles (if you are reading this please pray for us in March, as he is seeking more intense medical treatment), but he has changed as well. His life has shifted, he is growing, and his mother feels it all happened for a reason.  Imagine the faith it takes for her to even say that. There are still kind, beautiful, forgiving people in this world.

Why I am writing this now, after a year?
I can't say. The year that has passed still swirls in my brain. But there it is.

Please, please, please, wherever you are and whatever mountain you have to climb know do not have to climb it alone. Surrender to God and his ever beloved Son.
Don't listen to the world when they try to tell you He isn't real.

I am telling you.
He is.

(photo from rememberyourfirstlove - pinterest)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stockpile Challenge, Week 2

Quick post continuing with the Moms By Heart Stockpile Challenge.

Here's a quick recap: use your clipped coupons, store deals, and clearance items to slowly build a stockpile of good in your home, spending 10 dollars at a time.  The goal is to have enough goods that  will last until the next sale or great deal, so you end up multiplying your supplies while spending less.

Here is my photo of this weeks 10 buck grab. ( I was a little excited about this)

Before I break it down I must say this- my boys LOVE the AXE body wash, but it is usually around 6 bucks a pop, so I don't get it unless I can find a sale. Two of those alone usually break $10.  I was excited about this find!

Shopped at Fresh Market (This includes a $5.00 rebate at checkout on Unilever products)
AXE body wash $2.99 ea : Coupon, buy two get one free (scanned minused $3.49) spent $5.48
Degree deodorant $1.99 ea  ($.75 off coupon) spent $2.48 on two
Ragu Spaghetti Sauce $.89 ea - (no coupon used) spent $2.67

grand total $10.63 (remember, I had some change left over from last week)

Now because there were several really good deals in the store I bought more then what's pictured above, but I went in the mindset to see how far I could make 10 bucks go, and did a few great sets like what's pictured above. 

Keep clipping those coupons and go for the extra stash above and beyond what you are buying to get you through the week.  It adds up!