Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mommy Makeover #3

Well, it's the post you have all been waiting for. At least 3 of you! And me for sure.

I love a good makeover. Seriously, it's one of my favorite things ever. (kind of weird, I know that)

It has been a long time since I posted a makeover so I was anxious to get started.

There is an added feature to this makeover. I am "practicing" my photography skills. I borrowed a lens from my brother Rob. Thanks Rob. And now I must purchase the lens for sure! I used my basic editing skills on the pics as well.

My Mommy Makeover victim this time is . . . Jennifer Jenkins!

She is my neighbor and our kids love to play together. She has three precious boys that my boys (especially Bo) just love. Her Shep and my Bo are two peas in a pod. They love to laugh, play the Wii, wrestle and laugh some more.

Another interesting fact is that Jenn and I actually went to high school together! Go Cats. I am a year older than Jenn but we knew each other--more like we knew of each other. Rob probably knew her better than I did.

In fact, I thought it would be fun to take a look at both of us back when we met. Let me set the scene. I was driving a baby blue, stick shift Nissan Pulsar. I had a variety of musical interests: Guns N Roses, Information Society, U2, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode. I owned acid washed jeans, shoulder pads, navy blue eyeliner, Keds, and lots of obnoxiously large and sparkly earrings. Fashion was about wearing over sized tops, pleated pants with tapered legs (super flattering), and lots of makeup.

And hair? The bigger the better. Bangs had to be high. Perms had to be scrunched. Hair was damaged. Hot Sticks, spiral curling irons, sponge rollers, hot rollers, Aussie spray, Stiff Stuff, teased and highlighted.

Jenn and I were no exception. We had some awesome 80's hair. I have proof below!

Missy circa 1990
Nice shoulder pads and brooch. I never ever wore that brooch -- except for that picture! You have to admit, that was some awesome hair. And such a natural pose. I often lay like that to watch television or read to the children.

Jenn circa 1991
Jenn sort of reminds me of Cindy Mancini in this pic. She just needs a white leather outfit she borrowed from her mom to impress the other kids that then gets stained at a party which means she has to date Dr. McDreamy to be able to pay for it. You look awesome Jenn!

Back to the makeover.

Let me make something very clear. Jenn did NOT need a makeover. I needed a someone to play dress up with. She is a beautiful girl. She has her own style. She likes to shop and knows her body and what looks good on her. This was more like me playing dress up with Jenn. She let me do her hair and makeup and pick out her clothes.

Here are the official BEFORE pics.

Here are the AFTER pics!

The Skinny cargo pant is a good purchase for the spring. I ran to Target the morning of our "shoot" and picked up this pair for Jenn. She has a great figure. She has small hips and great legs. Shopping for her was super easy. I just picked anything that was cute and would look awful on me--knowing it would look fabulous on Jenn! Actually, pretty much anything would look great on Jenn.

I like this shot. The metal sheeting draws your eye right to Jenn's face.

I wasn't able to get a good shot of Jenn's shoes. But they are super cute. Definitely go to TJ Maxx to look for some affordable and fashionable shoes.

The cream colored crocheted dress was a resale shop find of Jenn's. The outfit below is a great representation of Jenn's style. Her favorite leather jacket (steel gray), the dress and her cowboy boots. Casual, eclectic and cool. I coined a phrase for her style. Rocker Granola Chic.

I am pretty sure Stacy and Clinton will use that phrase any day now.

Easy breezy smiling Jenn.

Did I mention the nicest thing Jenn ever did for me? I moved into the neighborhood when I was pregnant with Hank. Jenn had just had her son Shaw. She offered to loan me her nice pair of maternity jeans for the rest of my pregnancy. Isn't that so sweet? Like I could ever fit into her maternity jeans--even not pregnant. Seriously. But she offered anyway.

I knew I was going to like being friends with Jenn.

Thank you for being a fun makeover Jenn.

Stay tuned. I do have plans for another makeover soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Pops!

I don't want to brag or anything, but my Dad (Pops) is awesome. He is kind, encouraging, generous and giving. He is the biggest believer in me and my kids. My children adore him. All of his grandchildren adore him. Hank specifically is obsessed with him. Thank you Dad for loving me and my family so well. It is one of our greatest blessings for sure.

(thanks Rob for making the video)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Desert Storm: A Love Story?

It was exactly 20 years ago that our country sent troops to Iraq. Remember?

As I was packing up my suitcases, getting a perm and preparing to leave home for my first semester at UT, President Bush sent a bunch of our troops to Iraq because of some crazy guy named Saddam Hussein.

I lived in a large dorm (SRD) in Austin. A girl in our dorm had a friend in the military and asked a bunch of us to write a letter to the troops.

So being the patriotic 18 year old that I was, I immediately wrote a letter to a soldier. It was a generic letter of thanks--not addressed to anyone. I kind of forgot about it to be honest.

Until later on that fall, I received a letter from a soldier! I was so thrilled. I was just excited that someone had received my letter. Plus, this soldier was incredibly thankful for my letter--and all the letters to his buddies.

His name was Matt. He was in the very first group (platoon?) of Marines that were sent to Iraq. He was from California. He seemed very nice and grateful. Poor speller but nice.

So I wrote him back. (Remember, this is before email and texting) And then I decided to keep writing him--not just waiting for his letters. It would take at least 3 weeks to get letters back and forth. I thought he might need more encouragement than that. I sent some magazines. And gum. Anything that I could think of that would be interesting to him.

I looked forward to checking my mail everyday. It was fun to get letters from Matt. It was a light-hearted stuff. I learned a little bit about him. He learned a little bit about me.

I sent him a small care package to him. It had a disposable camera in it. I told him to take pictures and send it back so I could get it developed. (Remember--1991) However, he took the camera to Saudi Arabia and got it developed and then sent me the pictures.

He was tall and blonde and really cute. Well, news spread fast throughout our little world in SRD. Lots of girls had written letters to soldiers. But none were corresponding as frequently as Matt and I were. And I had pictures! And he was cute! Lots of girls were interested in my relationship with Matt.

Can't you see it now? A city girl in her freshman year at the University of Texas meets tall, blonde Marine who bravely defends our freedom in a foreign land. They meet, fall in love and . . . live happily ever after. We had all just watched Pretty Woman 73 times--my story seemed quite possible!

Did I mention that I was still dating my high school boyfriend? Yeah. I somehow never mentioned my soldier letters to my boyfriend. That's the beginning of a healthy relationship.

Wow--this is taking forever to tell the story.

Fast forward a little bit.

He sent a Christmas card and some small gifts. I got a collect call from Saudi Arabia on Valentine's evening at like 2 in the morning. I was on the other line with my boyfriend (almost ex-boyfriend). And then had to tell him I had to click to the other line because it was a soldier from Iraq that he didn't know about. (Wow. I had some great relationship skills back then)

Anyway, if you remember correctly. We invaded Iraq the first week of March in 1991. It took just a few days for the war to end. I knew Matt would be the first to invade. I watched the TV coverage constantly. We all did. My whole dorm was invested in this soldier.

Then I heard nothing for 3 weeks. I knew the conflict was over. There had been a few casualties. But no names released. I was worried a little bit. But I still was able to manage going to class 2 hours a day and work on my tan at the dorm pool.

Then I got another phone call. It was Matt! He was safe. Actually, he was also the first group sent home! He called from California.

I can't remember too many details. One memory I have is laying out by the pool with a bunch of girls and talking all about Matt. He told me he was going to come to Texas in the summer. We could meet. He wanted to take me out.

We talked a couple of times. He seemed nice on the phone as well. I was looking forward to meeting him.

Then one time I called him. I know, I know--I should have listened to my parents. Never call a boy.

I called the base. That's the number he gave me. I now realize that is a little strange. He didn't live at the base exactly. But I didn't know that so I called.

The conversation went something like this:

"Is Matt ____ there?"
"Matt ____?"
"Yes. Matt told me I should call him at this number."
"Oh, Matt isn't here right now. Have you tried him at home?"
"No, I don't have his number."
"I can give it to you. He lives in Married Housing."

What did he say? Why would Matt live in Married housing?

Once again, I'm 18. Naive. Confused.

So with the help of one of my friends, I called that number. Well, she called that number. A woman answered! I can't remember what my friend said but she got the woman to confirm that she was Matt's wife!!!

We hung up. We prayed that they didn't have the new call return phone feature *69! (they didn't)

Well, that's how it ended. Well, that and I did talk to Matt once and let him have it. He didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. So he had forgotten to mention that he was married. No biggie. So he had said he wanted to come to Texas to take me out. To say thanks. No biggie.

I might have been 18 and naive. But not stupid. That was the last time I ever talked to him.

Not quite the love story people dream about.

The End.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spa Day for Mommy

What a great day I had today!

I got my hair colored today. A warm chocolate brown that deliciously covers my gray hair.

Then a hair cut-- a trim really. And a deep conditioning treatment. (Can you say split ends?) And then a blow out.

And a deep cleansing facial followed by a make up application.

Oh, and a manicure.

And lunch with people I love!

I am not super girly--but I love a day of beauty. Seriously love it.

You know what? After reading back this post, I realize that I might have misled you.

I did all those things listed above. But. . . I never left my house.

Thanks to Nice N Easy #6 and some protective gloves, my hair is colored. I trimmed my own hair. Bangs and the ends and a little off the layers. And the blow out was me too. I even got out my hot rollers and added a bit of volume.

When I say facial, I mean I used my ClariSonic cleaning brush to deep clean my face (while in the shower--so a "steam clean" as well).

I then applied a moisturizer and a fresh coat of make up.

And by manicure, I mean I took off a 2-week old coat of taupe nail polish that had chipped away.

Did I mention that all 4 of my kids were here the whole time? Hank took a good nap and the kids played upstairs together. And I worked really fast.

Plus, think of the money I saved! Literally, hundreds of dollars. $200 for a cut, color, condition and blow out. $100 for a facial and makeup application. $40 for a manicure. And about $50 for childcare. Plus tip for all those things.

Kyle, your welcome babe. I am such a thrifty wife. :)

Here is one of my lunch buddies from today! Me and the kids went to Picasso's for a pizza (I had a coupon!). Aunt Marian is so frustrated at my grammar right now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who Am I?

So I have been thinking about stuff lately.

Why do I have so much gray hair? When do you use "gray" and when do you spell it "grey?" What's the difference?

Back to my point.

I am quickly approaching the end of my 30's -- in about a year and a half. A lot has happened in my 30's. I had all of my children. I did 2 triathlons. I moved twice. I got lots of gray hair.

You know how people like to sum up decades of our lives with what we learned about ourself during that decade? Well, some people do I guess.

So I think my teens were pretty typical. I was transitioning from being a daughter and sister to being Missy. I was pretty achievement oriented. I was into sports--mainly soccer. I was into school. Making good grades was important to me. Pretty good self confidence. Thought I could do a lot things.

My twenties were all about really figuring out the kind of person I wanted to become. And then try to become that person. I did a lot of ministry with YoungLife. Lots of kids. Met most of my closest friends--including Kyle and Jenny.

Then I turned 30. I had my first baby. And then another and another and another. Did I mention the gray hair?

But another thing that I realized lately. My 30s is also about figuring out what I am NOT. Evidently, I am not a lot of things I thought I was.

I am not as athletic as I thought. Or maybe I should say I am not the athlete that I thought I was. I gotta be honest, when I think back to my teens--I thought I was one of the most athletic girls in school. I was no Karen Warner or anything but I did play varsity soccer as a sophomore. Which means exactly nothing as a 38 year old woman with 4 children and desire to not do anything too physically strenuous.

I am not a "get things done" kind of girl. You know the person I am talking about. When their name is attached to something, you know it will be done well, on time, with no mistakes. The kind of person other people like to put in charge of things. I am usually that person only by default at times or if it involves hair styling skills. I have a few friends like this (Sarah & Rebecca to name of couple) and I am in awe of them. I can blame the kids (which I do at times) but who are we kidding--it's not the kids. The only funny thing is. . .I thought at some point in my life, I WAS the "get things done" girl. Now, if by "get things done" you mean two things, then I might qualify.

Now that I am getting closer to forty, I can not just eat whatever I want and let my fabulous metabolism do its magic--like when I was younger.

Just kidding. I was never that girl with the great metabolism. Not at 23. Not at 18. Not even at 13.

Evidently, I am not a reader, I am not competitive, I am not a great cook, I have no marketable skills (unless a business degree from UT from 1994 when Al Gore had just invented the internet counts).

I am interested in a few things (hair, make up, photography, design--you know, the deep things in life) but master of none.

Don't misunderstand, I am not down on myself. The realization of these things has just hit me lately. The Lord is good. He let me believe for most of my life that I could do almost anything. My Dad helped in that area too. But I can't. Never could. I don't need to be great at everything. I can be awful at somethings. Just not the important things.

Wife and mother and friend. I just need to focus on those things. (But wait, that's more than two things!)

Did I mention that my skin is aging like crazy since Hank was born? That's another whole boring post.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lily. Age 7.

Lily. Age 7. by missyandkyle
Lily. Age 7. a photo by missyandkyle on Flickr.

Happy Birthday Lily!

I remember the day you were born. It rained a lot. And American Idol was on. We were so glad to meet you that day!

We love you!

Gracie and Rhody

Gracie and Rhody by missyandkyle
Gracie and Rhody a photo by missyandkyle on Flickr.

I am working on linking my Flickr account to my blog. Let's see if this works.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A New Lens on Life

Rob let me borrow his lens for my camera. Well, it's officially my dad's camera.

So thanks to both of you for letting me use all your nice photography equipment!

Here are a few pics of Hank that I took today. I will have more photos to post soon I hope.

Also, a Mommy Makeover is making a come back!! Should be able to post soon.

Chances are that Hank is opening his mouth to either a) eat anything or b) say "Momma!" for the 537th time that day. Precious.

The next two photos have been edited with Pioneer Woman actions in photoshop.