what it's all about

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Charlotte, NC, United States
I am on a journey -like you, I'm sure. A personal journey, a spiritual journey. A journey about passions, growth, and living. I don't have a good memory, but I value my experiences. It's very strange when you realize that you are being shaped constantly, but ultimately only remember some of the reasons why you are the person you're becoming. I find that when things resonate within me, writing about them helps me to better develop my opinions about them, and to remember them. Sometimes, it's the simple act of looking back and reminding myself where I've been that is all I need to move forward with confidence. That's why I write. Thank you for joining me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

take a look

This is what my freshly washed and conditioned locs look like. Kinda crazy, huh?

I got this hat at Off 5th a couple weekends ago. My mom has one too, only slightly different. I took this picture because I noticed that my nails matched my hat. Lol. Silliness.

Ok, that's all for now folks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

.what an incredible gift.

On Good Friday, to prepare for the celebratory mood of approaching Easter Sunday, I like to spend time in thought. It is sometimes impossible for me to comprehend the love that was shown on this day so many years ago. So, I have to stop and reflect on what happened, who I am, and who God is. Have you ever watched The Passion of the Christ and then thought to yourself, "wow, the discomfort that I just felt for the last two hours has nothing on what Jesus had to endure for an entire day." And aside from the physical pain, how much sadness and hurt He must have felt after being betrayed, and while being mocked by people that He loves so much. Not to mention fear. Well....maybe not fear exactly, but anxiousness at the knowledge that, as a man, a human man with blood, skin, sweat, emotion, and tears, He was going to be tortured and killed. I can't even imagine.

And why does He subject himself to this? Because of love for us. That's crazy. I mean, whoa. God loves us so much that He conquered death for us. And not in any light, easy, run of the mill way. He suffered. I mean really suffered. He suffered and died, and then rose from the dead, so that we might live. Seriously?? I mean, who are we, that God would save us? That is some powerful stuff.

Let's talk forgiveness. Let's talk Grace. Let's talk love. This is where the introspection begins. Ask yourself these questions:

In what ways have I really tried to show anyone real love? How?

When was the last time I admitted that I need saving?
Am I holding a grudge? Is there a hurt that I can't let go of? Why not let it go?
When did I last forgive someone that I loved?
Has anyone betrayed, mocked, or hurt me? How did I show them love?
Think of the best gift you've ever received, or a time you wanted to do something wonderful for someone you thought the world of. What was it?
We are not perfect. But when you think about what God did so that we might be connected with Him, how can you not strive to be someone who shares the Good News in their life and in their (re)actions? I know that I am guilty of being (very) human. I am quick to anger, but also quick to forgive. I am idle, and much less devoted than I want to be.  How can I be more like Him? Through patience, and practice, and love. And time in the Word, learning His ways, and practice and then more practice.

So, that's the goal. To aim to live a life like His. A life He would be proud of. I will never reach that goal, I know that. But it's still my aim. I will start by remembering what He did for me, and for us. I will reflect on the magnitude of his gift. His perfect life was crushed, and He overcame death, because He loves me. I mean really loves me, in a wonderful, powerful, unbelievable way. And He loves you, in that same marvelous way. Now, that's what I'm talking about- a savior. There is no other word that sums this weekend up for me. He is my savior. He can move mountains.

Happy Good Friday, everybody! And come Easter, rejoice!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

you LIKE me! You really LIKE me!! {sniff.} :D

Well, at least, Thandi does. ;)
Where do I begin?

First of all, many thanks, Thandi, for bestowing this award on me. I am really honored that you think so highly of me and my little blog. I hardly feel stylish (right now I am in workout clothes, and still have yesterday's make-up on), and I don't think my blog has much pizazz either. But, I do what I can, and am humbled and giddy that someone appreciates it. Especially someone that I admire and love. And I do love you.l I love that you're not perfect, and don't pretend to be. I love that you are honest and real, and that you have deep empathy and are unashamed to share your feelings. Keep doing what you're doing, lady. You inspire me to strive to be a better wife, Christian woman, and someday, mother. You inspire me to love, to write, and to acknowledge my feelings. Even though we've only connected over the magical waves of the internet, I feel like you have made a difference in my life and my way of thinking. I cherish your blog, and I thank you for opening yourself up to the world, and to me.

Ok, so, back to the award. I couldn't track down the origin of it, but this chain letter type award is passed on from blogger to blogger. I think it has moved on from being an award given to those who are "stylish" to being given those who's contributions affect us. And if that is the case, I will take it! There are some rules that come with the award, and they are:

1. Thank and link back to the person that awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

Now to share about myself. I was trying to think of fun, interesting things that you don't already know. I think I will have succeeded in surprising many if you, but if not, oh well. No big deal.

First things first. I'm a Harry Potter fan. And not just any Harry Potter fan. I'm one of those Harry Potter fans. Yes, I get dressed up and go to all the premiers- including the book premiers. So what?? I can't get enough. And my cloak is so awesome that kids always ask me where I bought my costume. Haha. I wish I had some pictures to share. Maybe after the next (and last!) movie....
I love anime. That was one of the first things that my husband and I found we had in common. My all time favorite anime is an old, slightly girly one, called Saber Marionette. (My favorite character is Bloodberry. She is awesome.) I have an autographed box set of the entire series. :) I also am current on the longest running anime series of all time- Naruto. It is so good. And just the other night, we found the first episode of a brand new series, Ao No Exorcist. Usually it takes a few episodes to get into a new anime, but this one grabbed my interest from the first one. I'm eager to see more. It has so much potential- I just hope the animators and investors stick around. Yes, I am a dork.
To reveal even more of my inner dork, I will tell you that I love sci-fi. My cat and (parent's) puppy are named after Star Wars characters. I actually played a character in a no budget, online series that ran for 7 seasons, The House Between. I loved the cast and crew of that show, and though it was grueling work, I miss it and wouldn't hesitate to go back.
I love event planning. From swanky parties to casual dinners, Christmas parties, to my own wedding, I love all the details that go into making an event special. I love planning the menu, picking out decorations, and even finding the right napkins. My wedding was a perfect combination of me and my husband, and it was perfect. The only glitch was that nobody could see the fortune cookies where the event staff placed them at the exit. Other than that, the centerpieces (which Chris and I designed and assembled ourselves the week of the wedding) and bouquets (which my mom, sister in law, and grandma assembled), and the flavor of cake (which we paid for. lol) were perfect. The wedding went off without a hitch, in part because of our careful planning, but also with the help of the staff. I want to do it again! That was definitely the most fun party to plan, cuz there are so many details.:)
I am a serial hobbyist. Ok, maybe that's a little extreme. I go through phases where I have no desire to do anything, but when I do, it takes up much of my time, energy, and sometimes money. I seem to be in a circular pattern where I'll drop one hobby for the next, and the next, and then come back to the first hobby. It was jewelry making, then knitting, crocheting, scrap booking. One of our scrapbooks (yes, Chris actually scrap booked with me) is what helped us win first place in a competition we did here in Charlotte, called the Amazing Race. No, not that Amazing Race, but a scaled down, cheaper version. I've been knitting again, though now that the weather is warming up, I've been out in the dirt putting plants in the ground. I have to stop that, though, since we are moving away and I won't get to enjoy their beauty. So, I also spend lots of time looking at homes and designing the furniture layouts, etc in my head. And of course I write. It used to be poetry (maaaany moons ago), and now it's a blog. Don't worry, I don't think this is just a phase, and hope to be blogging away for a long time.
I love dessert. So much. I could eat it for every meal, ha ha.When Chris and I first met and joined the Amazing Race, our team name was Love and Dessert. Our motto was "All you need in life is Love and Dessert." Corny- yes. Us- very much so. :) My favorite dessert is Tres Leches, a dense, moist wet cake that is sweet and sinfully Delicious. But I love desserts of all kinds, from puddings and custards, to cakes and pies, to ice creams and sorbets. Yum!
The seventh and final of these fun facts about me is that I have always, and will always, love Michael Jackson. When I was a kid, my classmates used to call me Alicia Jackson. Then I grew up and married someone who can dance much like the man. I saw him live at the taping for American Bandstand's 50th anniversary show, and the man was such a perfectionist, that he performed twice. I got to see him twice. And I swear he pointed at me... in a sea of faces that I'm sure he couldn't see into. I will miss the man, but his music will live on in my soul!

Ok, that's definitely enough about me. Now for those that I nominate to be recipients of this award. There is no way I'm naming 15 bloggers. That is a lot of work, half have probably gotten this award already, and that large of a number just seems impersonal. I don't want to just pass them out to every blogger out there. So, I will award a handful.

For some loc love, I check out Beautiful Me's blog. She started her locs just before me, so I can travel on over there and see that I am in fact, pretty much where I'm supposed to be, even when I feel like I'm not. Plus she puts up pretty photos for inspiration, and shows off her styles.

I love reading Sara's blog. It is always littered with beautiful pictures. She captures awesome moments, and usually speaks straight to my heart.

I love the life that Bonnie leads, and the love she shares. Her thoughts make me think. Check her out at Bonnie's Luminous Thoughts.

I get house inspiration (and encouragement) from the Chic Little House blog. Even though their house, and much of their style is different from my own, I love seeing the DIY projects, and following their journey. I can appreciate their style and their finds for around the home. I love keeping up with this one.

I adore the Expanding Beauty blog. I love the positive vibe, the adventurousness, and the drive behind this amazing and beautiful woman. And her locs are gorgeous, which is how I found, (and instantly got hooked on) her blog.

Ok. That's enough for now. I am pooped! Thank you to all of you that have been keeping up with me. It means more to me than you could ever know.

In peace, and with love,

Friday, April 15, 2011

one step forward...

900 bazillion steps back. I am freaking out. The original title of this post was going to be "LOC EMERGENCY!!!!"

{big sigh.} So. I had planned to wash my hair today. You already know how apprehensive I was about doing that since my hair gets so frizzy and it is now so short. But I was ready for it, so I decided to do it today. No big deal.

Then, I saw something... I can't even remember exactly what I saw or where I saw it. I guess I have blacked out from the trauma. I can probably claim temporary insanity. So. That something was the "towel rub method". I've heard of it before and never really paid it any attention. Until today. I watched videos and read their comments and threads. I looked up and read articles. It seemed pretty awesome for a couple of reasons. One- dries your hair faster :) And two, it tightens your locs up super fast and super tight. The videos looked simple, and showed that the method worked, so... I mean, I was going to wash my head anyway, right?

{Another big sigh.}
Oh my gosh, I could cry. I HATED this experience. First, I started rubbing the wrong direction. :'( I don't think there's any going back after that, though I did try. In the video where I got the most information about this method, the guy rubbed his locs in the shower with the shampoo in it, and again when he stepped out. My hair felt so weird after I rubbed it in the shower. Kinda crunchy, and definitely thick! I conditioned it, which may be one of the reasons my hair... well, we'll get to that.

So I started rubbing the opposite direction, hoping I could still pull it off. I looked down at the shower floor for the hair that the guy warned would be everywhere, but was not prepared for it. Aside from random strands, there were little balls of hair, small knots and clumps... all over the shower and the towel. Some were clinging to their brothers and sisters, but their grip was slipping...It was so sad to see. I mean, the whole point of locking hair is to keep it all together, right?? Hence the LOCK part. Anyway.

So I stepped out of the shower and looked in the mirror and was shocked at the havoc I had wreaked on my hair. There was a whole patch in the front of my head that the locks had come out! COME OUT! un-twisted and unlocked. I just had a little puffy fro! Right in the middle of my head. And yes, as anticipated the frizz was a mess. More so than I could have imagined. The rubbing had caused the beds to creep... {Big sigh again} If I were to leave it alone, oh, I don't know. I'm so bummed devastated. I tried to seperate that little fro into a couple of twists, but I don't know if there were only two locs there, or if there were more. And the fact that they are going to have to start from scratch again upsets me so much! {deep breath. Keep breathing...} Oh well... Not much I can do about it. I don't see April again for another 3-4 weeks, and I am not making an emergency visit. The hair, itself, might be able to be pulled off as some kind of semi loced, natural hair thing. It could be cute, I'm sure, I just don't have the eyes to see it right now.

:( I guess this is where the patience part comes in, but I'm so sad!

Here is a glimpse, after I tried to salvage what I could.


So, the back and sides don't look so bad from the pictures. I guess cuz I had been seperating the beds and twisting what I could. But I don't have any clips, so I didn't really retwist. And I can probably handle the front some, so maybe my initial reaction was a bit much... Hmmm. Things are looking up already, lol. Guess I will have that organic look for a while, whether I want it or not!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

found some more! :)

I found a few more hair ornaments in my drawer. I can't believe I forgot about these. They are so cool! I will probably wait until my hair grows a bit before wearing them again.

I washed just the bottom half of my hair today. Is that weird? That's the spot that is flaky from my irritated spot. And that's the part that gets the most sweaty when I workout. I know it's strange, but I really am afraid of the halo of frizzies I know I will have when I wash my whole head. Maybe in another week or so.... I retwisted them just to keep them seperated. I didn't take the time or effort to make them look that neat. I don't have any clips, so they wouldn't hold anyway. I used bobby pins as best I could. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

I forgot to tell you!

I got my first complement on my hair the other day! I was in Trader Joe's with my mom- who also said she liked my hair, but it doesn't count! lol- and this lady who was there with her man, smiled at me and told me she loved my hair. :)

I know it's not that big of a deal, but it was to me! :) I texted my husband about it beofe I made it to the next aisle.

Ok. That's all. Just wanted to share.


I love headbands! These are such a fun way to girlie up my boy haircut. :) The spotted one, and the silver leaf were already in my drawer; the other two I bought this weekend. Don't you love them? I had to take a close up of the small black bow, because it kinda blends in with my hair. By the middle of summer, though, I'm thinking it will stand out against my sun bleached hair.  I generally don't think of myself as a girlie girl, but sometimes the need for pretty comes out.

It has been a week since my haircut, and this is what my head is looking like right now, sans headband.

front and center

And the back... (looks so different now, from when I had the twists!)

Dang! I am kinda flaky considering it's only been one week! 

Left Side- with a bead I add and remove probably once a month. I don't think I ever showed you all of the cool loc accessories I bought since I started this process. I'm gonna snap a picture of some others right now!

Ok, I took some pictures. Heehee. :)
In the picture on the right, it is the same bead as the above picture, only in pinkish red. I have this on my right side and somewhere in the back. Pretty sure the hubs bought me those beads during our last trip to Asheville. That's right, he wanted to go into every bead store and find me something.. Beads can be pricey, though, and finding the right sized hole to fit my locs isn't easy. I had to rein him in a bit. The cool thing about these simple beads is that when they aren't in my hair, they can slide right onto my Pandora bracelet. Lol. :)

So in the picture below, there are three loc ornaments that are not currently in my hair. Unlike the simple beads above, these three have a lot more going on, and don't always suit me. The top left, up close, has intricate etchings on the stones, which are a deep maroon. And I rarely wear brass or yellow gold tones, so that one stays out most of the time.  Beneath that is the one I wear the least often, mostly because I don't want to break it. (When I got it in the mail, it was in two pieces. Luckily I used to make jewelry, so could repair it quick like.) And lastly, the long one to the right is amazing. My husband bought it for me when we went to the Renaissance Fair. The swirly part on top wraps itself around your loc, and the two beaded parts dangle. It looked great when I had my twisits, but I will have to wait until my hair is a bit longer before it will look right again.

Ok, that's enough uploading for now. You get the gyst. I like the short do. I think it's cute and fun, and it's so easy to take care of. I am going to rub some Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine on my scalp, (haven't done that in a long time), and will probably wash my hair tomorrow, though I am scared. I think the frizzy new growth will be outta control. We shall see. If I do it, you will see the results right here.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I should have written about this sooner, but I didn't really know how. You know how sometimes you're not sure how much of your life you really want out there, especially when it involves other people. But, I don't think this post will hurt anybody. If anything, it will help. You guys have never been anything but supportive.

A week ago, we got some bad news. My husband's grandma was hospitalized the night before. It was a tough day, because we didn't really know what happened. Here's the gist of it- She wasn't feeling well for a few days but didn't want to go to the doctor. (She's stubborn and doesn't like to be poked. Can you blame her?) Finally, Thursday night, she called the aunt that lives down the road and had her take her to the hospital. While she was there, she flat lined and had to be resuscitated. When we got the call on Friday, she was in Urgent care, heavily sedated. We had so much going on Friday, and it was hard to make decisions. Chris' family lives about three hours away, and he needed to be there with them. I wasn't sure if I should go with him or stay. I didn't want to be in the way, but more so, I wanted to provide support for my new family, and especially for my husband. He and his grandma are very close. Chris family told us to do what we had to do, and come afterward; that she wouldn't be awake anyway. So that's what we did.

We spent the weekend in a waiting room. Long story short, Chris' grandmother made nothing short of a miraculous recovery. It turns out she had congestive heart failure and double pneumonia.On Friday, everybody feared the worst, but she stabilized and was moved to ICU. Saturday, she was awake, but not really "with it" or recognizing people. Sunday, she was able to recognize us all and tell us she loves us. With her seeming to be out of the woods, we came back home on Sunday night, promising to return this weekend.

On Monday, Chris family provided updates, and they have continued to do so every day. They are hard to receive, but sometimes I wonder if it would have been harder to experience. For example, On Monday, Chris' family was visiting her, and she asked why Chris hadn't come to see her... They told her that he had to go back to Charlotte but that he would be back, and realized she didn't remember anything about the day before. She didn't even know we had been there. She's had some minor recognition problems too. And yesterday they had to put in a small pace maker because her heart rate had dropped to 30 BPM. But she was fine after the surgery, and apparently talking up a storm. :)

On a side note, Chris' family keeps growing! lol. And I don't mean because of births. Last weekend I met extended family I've never met before. Some cousins drove down from school in other states. And Chris' grandma has 4 siblings that are still with us, and I enjoyed meeting them very much. They are wonderful people, even in a difficult situation. And it was a difficult situation. I've never had anyone close to me go through anything like that. The only time I've ever spent in hospitals was for minor surgeries or new babies. It was so hard to see Chris' grandma laying there with all kinds of tubes sticking out of her- especially when she was non responsive. But I swear, she looked better every time I went back to see her, and I hope it continues.

Chris is heading back down this afternoon. I have some things to take care of here, so I will be here by myself. I like my alone time, and am not afraid to be without him this weekend, but I have been having bouts of sadness lately, so hopefully I can keep those at bay.

So, I ask that you keep our family in your prayers. We've seen what the power of prayer can do, and I selfishly hope that we can keep her around a bit longer. Yes, she has had health problems that will continue to be bothersome. And yes, she's a believer who says she's ready to "go home." But she is kind of the glue that holds their family together... Also, Chris' sister is getting married in June, and if we could have her with us for that... (sigh.) That's really all I'm asking for. I know it seems audacious that I should specifically ask the Lord for something like that, but if we don't ask, then what? Besides a recovery, of course, I am praying for strength and comfort for the family. I pray for my husband's safety while he's driving down and back, and I pray for my own comfort in solitude, and that I can be productive during this weekend on my own.

Will you pray with me?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I sent my husband pictures, and he said I was beautiful. Phew! I mean, he knows better than to tell me otherwise (wink) but he was sincere. Then he asked if he could forward the pictures to our friend he works with, so that makes me feel good too. If he hated the look, he wouldn't want to show people.

Then I sent pics to my mom. I didn't tell her I was cutting it, and was just going to surprise her this weekend, but I couldn't help myself. She quickly responded with

OMG!!!! You looked apprehensive in one of the pics, but looks like you’re happy with the end results. Looks cute; I think you will be happier w/o the weight/length.
So, YAY! :) So far, so good. I wonder what other reactions I'll get. What do you think of my new do??


I did it! I did it! Ok, April did it, but still- it's done! And I think it's cute. But first, for your viewing pleasure:

I kinda liked the craziness going on here.

(this is only half of the length you saw yesterday!)

 ta da!

Heehee.  No turning back now! So, when I sat down in April's chair, she was like, "This is all your hair..." Now that all the extensions are out and she could see the huge amount of hair still on my head, I think she was kind of in shock. And she liked it. I understand why, I mean, it was crazy, and massive, and long, and pretty. April said I looked like a Rasta. Haha.
I'm not sure if she thought I might have some doubts about the big change that was in store, but April reminded me that I don't have to rush and that, in time, I'd have locs like hers. But I am not dealing with this hair right now. She asked me if I was sure I wanted to cut it all off and started to tell me how I could transition in other ways, but quickly cut herself off. She could tell I was beyond ready.. Then she snapped her "before" picture, and the cutting began.

So, she cut off about half of the length first. Then she snipped the ends, loc by loc. Once she had cut them all, she smiled and said, "You know you're gonna have all that hair back. All of it." Lol. Yes, no matter how many times I chop it off, it all comes back. Every time. All of it...

A fabulous shampoo and condition, and back in the seat. After moisutizing my scalp with the salon's brand of oil, April trimmed a bit more, twisted, and sat me under the  dryer. The drying time was shorter, my head felt lighter... what a difference! After I was dry, she sat me in her seat one last time. Some ends were trimmed, but April left some of the somewhat loose ends, saying soemtimes they lock into the loc. That's fine with me. I don't want to look too manicured anyway. Before taking her "after" shot, she fluffed and patted, and tried to get some locs to do what she wanted. But, as all teenage locs do, they rebelled and did what they wanted. :) I'm lovin it. I'm excited to see what it will look like in a couple of days and weeks. I always do like my hair a few days after the visit, when the locs settle and loosen up a bit. We'll see how long I can keep the crazy frizziness in check. I don't know that that will work for me with this length.

So, as of now, I am very pleased. Happy that I didn't let my husband talk me out of it. I like seeing my face, and I like the fun, carefree look this do gives me. I'm excited to get to know my hair as it grows and matures.


Monday, April 4, 2011


Today is the eve of my haircut!! No, it's not The Big Chop, but it still going to be a big chop.
I took out all of the fake hair today, and look like this:

I bet these tresses would loc, even though they've been relaxed. I mean, look at them! They held the twist so well, I think it would only be a matter of time. I bet my husband is secretly hoping I freak out tomorrow and decide try to loc the old parts instead of cutting down to the new growth...

About that. He has not reacted well to me wanting to cut my hair. I've had short hair before; in fact, it was a pixie cut when we first met. But whenever I remind him of that, he says, "yeah, but it was straight." Grrr. Considering he was the one who suggested I loc my hair, you'd think he'd be more supportive. He kept making suggestions about cutting it shoulder length, chin length, etc. It got to the point where I had to tell him not to bring it up anymore. I was so bothered that I didn't even want to blog about it because I was so embarrassed and hurt. I seriously wanted to cry every time he mentioned anything about my hair. And I am NOT changing my mind. I told him each time, but he apparently didn't understand that my mind was made up, and was oblivious to how much it hurt my feelings. I know it's just hair and that I shouldn't have been that upset, but he's my husband. I want him to find me attractive and I want him to support me. I also want him to get that it's just hair. And hair grows. And I am not my hair.

Anyway. I started writing with the intent to share my excitement, but now I'm feeling down in the dumps about it. I'm done writing for today. Be back with a new do (and hopefully a better attitude) tomorrow.