Friday, April 27, 2012

Hair past shoulders with layers & long bangs

I've lived in Williamsburg, VA for nearly 2 years now & have never had a haircut in town. Too scared. I had my bangs cut last summer by a trendy-looking salon/spa type place & I wasn't a fan.

I found my last beloved hairstylist in Texas by stopping a stranger at the mall with a great cut. I tried that here a few times over the year & each time they had it cut out of town. I, too, have been making an appointment with a girl in my mom's hometown every time we head to NY.

Last month I asked a lady checking out at Target where she gets her hair cut & made an appointment with her stylist.
Because time without kids is precious & hair cuts aren't cheap, I came prepared.

Pinterest, you are more than a place to compile photos of the kitchen, wardrobe, and crafts of my dreams!
Thanks to the handy iPhone app, I showed the stylist this board, telling her I didn't want bangs, to lose much length, but I like layers. I was aiming for the one top right of Rachel McAdams.
Realizing I never got around to taking a photo yesterday after the cut, I snapped this one this morning.
I love it! (well the photo makes me laugh because it shows every bit how akward I felt taking this photo knowing I planned to share it here.)  
So here's me trying again. Less serious this time.
Oh, forget it.
I'm skipping the gym this morning to have breakfast with my handsome husband. Just need to grab some lip gloss & mascara. Yay for finding a good stylist! Pin It

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

And if you don't hope, then what?

I like it better when I get what I want. How I want it. When I want it. 
Don't you? (Of course you do. I'll answer that for you.)

I didn't want to settle, so I waited.
I was trusting that if it wasn't meant for me, the door would close.
But I was hoping that it would end up mine.
Now the door is officially closed.
And I dont like any remaining options.

Why is it easier to believe the promises of prosperity for others than it is to believe for yourself?
I'm thinking it has to do with hope.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Right? The rest of that Proverb is:
But a longing fufilled is the tree of life.
So I figure I have to decide it's worth the risk for the thrill of a longing-fulfilled.

Of course, someone reached out to me in need of hope this morning.
For them, I found this encouragement and this promise.
Somewhere along the way while believing for them I started to consider the alternatives myself.
If you don't ask...
If you don't try...
If you don't believe...
I'm choosing to hope that something better-suited for me will come my way just in time.
You know I'll be back to report the good news! He never fails me. Pin It

Monday, April 23, 2012

Share what you have

Do you remember this post I wrote about doing what I can, with what I have, where I am?

My New Year's Resolution post: to offer what I have when I'd otherwise pass on offering at all because what I can give seems trite; limited by my responsibilities to my family & home.
I have to encourage you to try getting creative with the ways you can make someone's day a little brighter or easier.
It's just as rewarding for me as I imagine it is for the other person.

Let me give you some of my favorite moments from that past month:
  • I overheard the pregnant Asian lady that does nails at the salon where I get manicures saying she nearly fainted from dehydration the night before. She said she barely ever drinks water. I was hospitalized for dehydration with my first baby so I know how important it is & how hard it is to start the habit of drinking water. When my nails were done, I drove down to Trader Joes & bought her a big bottle of water, enhanced w/electrolytes & dropped it off to her before heading home. She was shocked. I smiled for hours afterward.
  • Noticing a sleeping baby in the car when a mom pulled in for after school pick up, I offered to stand at the car while she went inside so that the baby wouldn't wake up. I don't know her name, but I know what it means to keep a sleeping baby sleeping! 
  • Here's my old reliable & so easy:  rejoicing with those who rejoice, mourning with those who mourn by setting alarms in my iPhone when a friend tells me something important is coming up so I can send a supportive text. Easy. Effective. Free!
Share what you have! It doesn't have to be big to make an impact.
Anybody have any creative ways to share?
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Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm afraid


I'm afraid I won't be able to run again. The moments before I hit the treadmill and select my 'running' playlist are filled with doubt. I'm afraid I won't get past 1/2 mile. I ran a 10K, with limited walking & have run 2-3 miles every other day for a while now but still, I'm afraid each time that I won't be able to do it.

I'm afraid that we are losing precious time while our kids are young that could be shared with cousins and family.

I'm afraid that if we go back to live near family, our kids will have the same trouble we've had finding opportunity that maximizes their potential nearby & will end up moving away, like we have.

I'm afraid that if we don't strike the perfect balance, our kids won't be as grateful as we are for the blessings we have. We grew up with much less than we have now; they're growing up privileged (ex: pics above: room service at the hotel this weekend).

I'm afraid that if I don't keep relevant with my skills in some way while I'm in the stay-at-home-mom stage, I'll have less opportunity when it's time to pick up where I left off.

I'm afraid that if I don't check the back door before bed, it will be the night that Dan forgot & an intruder enters.

I'm afraid that if my daughter doesn't start obeying the first time she's asked, she could get hit by a car or kidnapped. 

I'm afraid that if we buy a home based on our current financial situation, we could end up wanting to send our kids to private school and not have the money to do it. 

I'm afraid that my son will get fed up with being told to "hold on" while I feed his baby sister or clean up after the middle sister and no longer ask me to read his library book or show me the draft for the roller coaster he's designing, called "the Lion".

I'm afraid that if my husband sees me peeing or wearing the same tank & ponytail too many times he'll start thinking of me as a relative.

I'm afraid that if we don't disconnect from our iPhones at some point each night, we'll be less connected.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

thankful for...healthy cherry pie bars, Colonial Williamburg

I'm thankful for....1. babysitter for regular date nights 2. all 3 kids at breakfast with daddy when he realizes Lilah has emptied his wallet into her purse, which is at home with me
3. Muppet movie soundtrack for family dancing (listen here on my Spotify playlist4. outgrown & out-of-season clothes in labeled bins & stored 5. driving through Colonial Williamsburg each morning to drop off at school
"Oh, how sweet the light of day, and how wonderful to live in the sunshine!" Eccl. 11:7 (MSG)
6. BOB stroller (seriously, get one), bare feet, morning walk
6. knockoff Cherry Pie Lara bars (dates, dried cherries, & almonds)
I followed this recipe, adding a splash of almond extract because as a rule, I add it to cherry anything. They're sweet, they're chewy with just a tad bit of crunch. Healthy snack for kids after school & mom's craving something sweet. Took just a few minutes.

Why the list? Pin It

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The trouble with Easter

Easter. I've discovered I have animosity toward it. Well, let me explain...
My kids woke up before the sun; even earlier than I remember it being on Christmas morning. They hunted and found their Easter baskets & eggs and were noshing on the loot before I even came to terms with the fact that I was awake. Here they are dressed in their new Easter duds before we headed off to a celebration of our Risen Savior at church. Afterward we had a low key family day.

Now, all of that is just dandy.
The Easter egg hunts started well before Sunday: each school, with friends, & community.
As I loaded my cart at the dollar store with plastic eggs, I was punishing myself for tossing last year's eggs. I honestly racked my brain for why I didn't save them for this year. So unlike me.
It didn't take long before I remembered exactly why.
It's this:
I've been bending down picking these things up for weeks now!
They separate & multiply. 
I find them under furniture, around the potty, in the laundry, they're EVERYWHERE!
I've collected them & put them into ziploc bags many times in those weeks to store for next year.
But these two find the bag & before I realize it they're all over the floor again. Little sister has her eye on one right now:
And one more thing: would it be wrong for me to toss out all the remaining candy?
And can I lie when they ask what happened to it?
It's just what kind of gift is the one that I have to tell them they can't have? 
Easter day was full, mostly uninhibited access. But there's more.
They ask for it when they wake up, they want it after every meal & in between.
I'm considering letting them binge on all they can tonight & tossing what's left.
So wasteful though.
So there you have it: my Easter chagrin.
Rich, American problems, I know. Pin It

Friday, April 6, 2012

2 Peter 2:22-24 | Good Friday

I read this scripture over on this blog today.
Thank you, Jesus. Thank you. Pin It

Thursday, April 5, 2012

thankful for...



1. two front teeth, hidden by full, rosy lips  2. kids giggling & playing together  3. visits with childhood friends & their families  4. cheering friends on the sidelines near the finish line  5. Bed Head shampoo after too many days of hopping in & out of the shower without enough time to wash my hair  6. faith-empowering message at church; loaded with scripture, lean on fluff  7. ranunculus
8. frozen yogurt bar, perfectly cold & creamy with or without all the yummy toppings
9. old clothes too loose  10. $8 off coupon worked on the last day! all these diapers for under $30
11.Carter read the whole book to Clara. His proud & surprised face 12. Lilah's dialogue to herself while washing baby. her copying my exact moves. 13. ego-boosting for my man 14. Clara's chubby little body crawling in reverse 15. Lamentations 3:22 &23 (NIV) 25-27 (MSG)
Why the list?
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Running & Roller Coasters

Well it was a big weekend of 1sts for the Poulsens.
I ran in my 1st 10K. I full on vomited before the event, in a port 'o potty. It was longer than I imagined it would be, but I hardly walked other than to grab a drink for the sideline supporters. As hard as it was, I'm already looking at another run. It's a healthy way to spend a morning & motivation to stay on top of regular exercise.
 For all 6.2 miles, Monument Ave was lined with people holding signs & cheering! To the lady holding the sign that read "you look so skinny": thank you, that was perfect!
Thanks to every one of my family & friends for your encouragement. I recommend making a commitment that you can see yourself trying to get out of public-for the support & the accountability.
Special thanks to my husband for childcare & for the good advice on pacing myself; couldn't have done it without you!

Carter got to ride his first roller coaster!
You can read more about what this means to him here. At first height check he nearly wasn't able, since he is exactly 48" (which is the requirement to ride). Daddy went to bat for him. And for that, I didn't fight him to be able to ride with Carter for the first time.

It was everything he'd hoped it would be. He would have kept getting back in line til they closed if we let him.
Another benefit to riding with daddy: he bought a commemorative photo & frame. Mommy is far too cheap frugal for that.

Speaking of roller coaster photos.
Here's the one Dan (right) bought last summer from his 1st coaster ride in 8 years:

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