OBX - Part 1

We just got back from a 3-day trip to the Outer Banks of NC. Not many people knew we were leaving, mostly because we're so worried that someone will know we're gone and break into our house or somethin. You never know in this day and age, sadly. But it was also kinda neat to be gone for 3 days and have few people know where we were. Our parents knew, my best friend knew, our bosses/coworkers knew, and some of DH's customers knew, but that's it. In fact, another friend of mine texted me Friday and asked if I had lunch plans. I texted back that I did - we were eating lunch in Manteo! hehe

This was kind of a last-minute trip. We normally take a vacation in February to celebrate our anniversary, but there were some family things going on during that month, so we postponed our trip. And then every month the weekends were just too full of commitments for us to go anywhere. Finally, maybe 2 weeks ago, we decided to pick a weekend in June and just go. As it turned out, I got an invitation to a baby shower just a few days after we set the date for our trip, but our minds were made up by that point.

We didn't book a hotel room until last Monday (just 4 days before we needed a place to stay), so the pickings were slim. We knew we wanted to stay on Roanoke Island or maybe Nags Head, but neither of us had ever been to that area before. I spent hours last Sunday night researching places to stay and things to do in that area. We got lucky and were able to book a room at The Elizabethan Inn in Manteo. Way more expensive than we like to pay for a hotel room, but we didn't have a choice. Everything else in the area was booked, and our only option was staying an hour or so away in Plymouth, and we didn't want to have to drive an hour every day just to see what we wanted to see.
C in her "cage" at the hotel, haha
The hotel was pretty nice. We've definitely stayed in worse before. As long as a place is clean, I don't really care about much else. In our room, I felt comfortable walking around barefoot, which says a lot for me. It was in a nice location - in Manteo, but not in the busiest part of the town (though this weekend there were surprisingly few tourists there), and only a few minutes' drive away from everything we wanted to see. I'd stay there again.

In fact, I can't wait to go back to Roanoke Island again. I had no idea we'd enjoy staying in NC so much. We normally go to Charleston, SC, on our trips (or the mountains of NC and TN in the fall with DH's family). There were so many things to see once we got there! We definitely didn't see everything. Three things we know we want to do next time: see The Lost Colony drama and spend more time at Fort Raleigh, go on a dolphin watching boat tour, and go on a wild horse tour. And next time we want to drive down the OBX to Cape Hatteras. We almost did that this weekend, but its a long drive down Highway 12 (with a 2.5 year old), so we decided not to.

I plan to break this into several posts, so this doesn't get too long. I don't want to forget the little details of our trip, like I normally do. I have the worst memory ever. This will be a kind of general post, then I'll do separate posts for different things we did. 

The drive up to Roanoke Island was a little more stressful than we'd hoped. We missed a turn somewhere and ended up going way out of our way. Luckily, with the help of several maps and my best friend, we were able to get on the right track again. We also had to make several pit stops so C could potty. The trip should have taken us 3.5 hours. We pulled out of our driveway at 8:30 Friday morning and arrived at Manteo after noon. Oh well. We were just happy to be there safe and sound.

We carried a ton of snacks with us, as we always do. One thing is for sure, we will NEVER be hungry on a trip! I made an attempt to be healthy by buying apples, grapes, bananas, apple sauce, diced peaches, almonds, and peanuts. But it was hard to eat the "good" stuff when DH had provided us with so many yummier things - like Sweet Tarts, chips, chocolate....haha. Sadly, the apple sauce and peaches didn't even get opened. Oh well, on vacation you're supposed to eat whatever you want, right? ( :

Speaking of food, we ate some good meals this weekend, too. There is a restaurant in the hotel we stayed at, La Dolce Vita Manteo, where had delicious lasagna and chicken Parmesan. There was a lady playing the piano while we were there, so it felt really fancy, though it wasn't at all. Oh, and they served Italian bread with oil for dipping - yum!

Both Saturday and Sunday morning we ate at the same restaurant in Nags Head - Grits Grill. We just happened to stumble across it Saturday morning while we were driving around starving. It was packed, so we figured it must be good. We did have to wait a few minutes for a table, but it was well worth the wait. DH and I are both big breakfast eaters - we could probably eat breakfast 3 times a day. So we loved the huge plates of pancakes, bacon, eggs, grits, and toast. Simple, but oh-so-good!

Saturday for lunch we ate at the Nags Head Pier Restaurant. It was pretty good. We had to wait forever for someone to take our order, though. I think they forgot about us. DH had a basket of shrimp, C got some mac n' cheese, and I had a plate of fried trout. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a table with a view. It would have been cool to watch the ocean while we ate.

Saturday night we just went to Applebee's at Nags Head. I'm not sure why we decided to go there, when we can eat there any time back home, but it was good. I love their Fiesta Chicken. The restaurant was under staffed that night so it was a little stressful, but at least the food was good.

Yesterday on the way home we decided we weren't going to cook supper, so we stopped to pick up some Bojangles chicken. I feel so sorry for people who live in states or countries where Bojangles don't exist. Seriously. Sorry, folks. You're really missing out, and if you ever come down South, Bojangles is a must.

I guess this post has turned into a food post. That's okay. Food is important on vacation. Am I right??

I seriously feel like I need some sort of detox after everything I've ingested over the past 3 days. I only drank water, so that's good, but I just feel so bleh. I'm not used to eating so much junk! Well worth it, though. And yes, I'll do it again come October, when we take our annual trip with DH's family.

Stay tuned for more details on the trip! ( :


Playing Pro

Once we made it through VBS last week, I expected the weekend to be relaxed and carefree. Well, now that its over I can't quite say that was the case, but it was fun nevertheless!

I got up early Saturday morning and did a ton of cleaning. My house had been basically neglected all week last week, so I had a lot of catching up to do. C helped me (or kept me company, haha) with most of the chores, but thank goodness for Sesame Street on Netflix when it was time for me to vacuum and mop!

We ate an early lunch and played outside some more. C had been acting tired all morning, so I decided to put her down for a nap early. By 1:15 she was out on my bed, and I was able to get up and leave her there! This is such a big deal to me. Remember for months now she has to be held for the entire nap. I prefer her to nap in her crib (so I can change my sheets if need be), but I'll take what I can get at this point. While C napped, I scrubbed the bathrooms and finished up the laundry, then I settled down on the couch to transfer videos from the Flip camera to the computer and flash drive. Of course, then I got wrapped up watching old videos, like C's birth and some of her "firsts" moments. Bittersweet!!

After C had been asleep about 2 hours, she woke up and called me. I told her I was on the couch, so she walked in there and climbed up into my lap and laid her head against my chest. I thought she was watching videos with me, but when I looked at her again, she was sound asleep! I held her until I was done transferring the videos, then I eased her down onto the couch, and she did not wake up. It was amazing (lol). She slept about another hour there. I wasn't being quiet at all, but I didn't want to wake her up because I knew she'd be ill if I did that. So she slept a total of 3 hours Saturday! Which of course meant she stayed up way too late that night.

Saturday evening, I left C with her daddy and I headed to the local college to take my niece's senior pictures. That was so much fun! I shot almost entirely in Manual mode, and I was so proud of myself. My sister helped me with poses and props, and she did a great job. My niece was crowned homecoming queen and prom queen, plus she's a very talented soccer player (she got a scholarship to play soccer this fall!), so we had an interesting array of props to work with. I was absolutely exhausted when I got home, but it was worth it. I haven't had a chance to edit any of the pictures yet. Most of them I will be able to leave as-is, but some need some lighting work. If I had one of those light bouncer things or an external flash, things would have been a little easier...! But I'll save up for photography accessories. ( :
is she beautiful or what??
I was also having a weird problem with my camera that was really slowing me down. I'd get the exposure settings just right, take a gorgeous picture, and then the settings would get out of wack. There has got to be a way to lock the settings until I move them again, but I haven't been able to figure it out yet. :/ And I've asked 2 professional photographers that I know, and neither one knew how to fix my problem. So the quest continues.

Anyway, late that night, I posted some sneak peaks of the session to facebook and got a lot of compliments. My sister and niece were really happy with what they saw. I just hope they like the rest of the shots as much!

Yesterday was of course Father's Day. I gave DH his present Saturday nice since I knew Sunday would be busy. We gave him a nice electric razor and he loved it. Men are so hard to buy for, so I am thrilled when I actually get him something he likes! haha

We went to Sunday School, and C went to the nursery class by herself for the first time. It was weird (but nice) not to have her in our class, distracting us. She enjoyed her class and the teacher said she was very well-behaved. We left after that because we had a family reunion to attend. The reunion was fun and we ate some really good food there. And C made friends with one of her cousins, who she nicknamed Pecan for some reason. It was hilarious! (By the way, around here, we say "Pecan" like PEE-can, not pe-CAHN.)

C's inner demon escaped when we got home, haha. She napped part of the way home, and I had hoped she'd go back to sleep on my bed, but that didn't happen. She was wide awake, and of course DH and I were exhausted and just wanted a quick nap. C was overtired so she was being kinda bad and driving us insane. We can laugh about it now, but yesterday afternoon we definitely were not laughing!!

Finally, I decided to play Just Dace on the Wii with C. That made her stop whining and she had fun. Plus I got in a good workout. ( :  After that, we headed to my other sister's house for a Father's Day cookout. We don't see my sisters and their kids often, but I always enjoy spending time with them. My other niece is pregnant with her first child, so its an exciting time. And I'll be doing her maternity pictures and her newborn session, so I'm looking forward to those challenges!

We got home after 8 and we had to feed the animals, so it was close to 9 by the time we were getting our baths and getting ready for bed. I could tell C was exhausted but she was holding up well. She was out in her crib before 10, which was wonderful. Then DH went to bed because he had a headache. I should have gone to bed, too, but I stayed up doing research for our upcoming trip to the Outer Banks of NC. By the time I decided to call it quits for the night, I still had to wash my face and all, and after that I was wide awake, so I read for a while in bed. Like until 1am. (Bad Nikki!!) Not long after I finally drifted off to sleep, C woke up crying. I brought her to bed with us and she kept us up pretty much the rest of the night. I think she was just overtired and couldn't sleep well because of that. Toddlers are so finicky!! So I feel like I've been hit by a truck this morning. Hopefully tonight I can get to bed earlier. And hopefully C will sleep better, in her own bed!

DH's cousin is bringing her newborn baby down to visit everyone today, so I'll finally get to meet that baby. I'm excited about that, even though I know its gonna send my baby fever into overdrive, haha. Everyone keeps asking me and DH when we're gonna have #2, and its hard to know what to say. We want another child, but we're not sure when. Both of us are pretty much just open to God's timing, though. That's how we were when we conceived C. We were cool with having a baby right away or having to wait a while. We'll see what happens. ( :

This is random, but I don't want to forget: Saturday morning me and C had been in and out of the house a lot. I was hanging out clothes on the line and she'd go with me, then we'd play on the swing set for a while before coming back in so I could get more cleaning done. At point point she asked me if we could go back outside, and I told her we could in a little while. She said, "but Jesus is outside!" I love that kid. <3

VBS Night 5

Well, we made it through a week of Bible School! Thankfully, nothing major happened and we have a nice, peaceful end to the week. C had quite a fan club show up: DH, my parents, DH's parents, and one of his sisters. Which of course made C really ham it up during the program. ( :
After the program, we went over to the fellowship hall for hot dogs. I love spending time with my parents and DH's at the same time. I don't know why, it just feels complete to have everyone there, I guess. We had a good time, anyway.

When we got back home from Bible School, we went home and had a relaxing evening, just the 3 of us. Actually, me and C played my new Wii game, Just Dance 4. I've been wanting that game for years, and I finally decided to treat myself. I'm so glad I did! We danced to 4 or 5 songs and let me tell you, that is a work out!! I was sweaty and out of breath by the time we were done. It was so much fun though. I am a terrible dancer, but I love to let loose when its just us at home, so this was perfect for me. We played it again yesterday afternoon. I don't know if this'll help me get in shape, but it can't hurt!


VBS Days 3-4

Didn't get a chance to blog yesterday. This week has been insane!! And normally Fridays are my chill days at work, but not today. But its cool. Crazy makes the day go by faster. ( :

First up, I got my ring back from the jeweler's yesterday! DH picked it up for me. I had dropped it off last Saturday to be sized down. Now I can wear my set on the correct finger!!
It feels so weird to have rings on that finger again. Its been over 2 years!! And actually, its still too big. I only had my engagement band sized, thinking it could hold down the wedding band. That way, if I go through another pregnancy and my fingers swell, I will be able to wear at least one of my rings. I had the engagement ring sized down to a 6. (I used to be a 7, woah!) And its still kinda floppy on my finger, and it doesn't take much effort at all to get it off. I'm gonna try it for a while before I decide if I need to get it sized down some more. I'm waitin for my fingers to swell like they normally do in the heat, but for some reason this week they haven't. Go figure - when I want my fingers to swell, they don't!

And that picture made me realize how weird-lookin my fingers are. What is up with those 2 that kind of twist in??! haha

So, VBS. Night 3 was uneventful. I didn't get any pictures because C was running around the church during music time instead of standing up front with the other kids. For some reason, she decided it was a really grand idea to take all the hymn books out of the shelves and place them onto the pews. I had to go behind her and put them all back up. Fun times.

I've still been unsatisfied with the lack of Jesus-teachin goin on durin VBS, but I keep remindin myself that we are in the nursery class, so teaching them anything is a challenge. A friend told me that the kids were probably picking up things during craft times, but our class is not doing anything related to Jesus or the Bible. Every night, we decorate a different object with stickers. We've done a hat, a bag, and a bucket. I guess I was just expecting at least crosses or fish symbols or "J is for Jesus" or something. But oh well. C is havin a blast, and I like that she's around other kids and in a church setting. So its all good. Next year she'll be in the preschool class, I hope, so maybe she'll learn somethin.

VBS Night 4 was pretty interesting. We had some storms roll through last night, and we lost power very early during bible school. VBS starts at 6:30, and sometime around then the lights went out and came back on a few times. We were eating in the fellowship hall at that point. Around 6:45, the power to the fellowship hall went out and didn't come back on. They checked the church and the front half of it had power but the back (where the classrooms are) was out. Us adults voted to just stay, since a lot of kids had been dropped off and their parents were already gone.

So we finished supper in the half dark, then headed to the church. The storm hadn't even hit at that point. It was really windy and was raining a little, but nothing major. We started our songs and not long into the first one, the power went out. We sang it a capela - luckily we've sang that song enough this week that we all know it by heart! Then we proceeded to go through our normal routine. The youngest kids (including our class) were dismissed to crafts, and that was interesting. The fellowship was getting pretty dark by then. Me and another mama in our class had flashlight apps on our iPhones, so we held those up so our kids could see their stickers.

Next, we went to our regular classroom. It wasn't too dark since there's a window in there and the room is pretty small. We tried to tell the kids a bible story, but they were more interested in playing, as usual. At that point, my phone died since I'd been using the flashlight so much. It normally doesn't bother me not to have a phone on me, but I felt extremely weird not havin one when the power was out and the weather was bad. Anyway, last we went to another classroom that had extra windows to sing a few more songs. We played them on a laptop but the volume wasn't able to be as loud as the little kids liked, so they weren't into it. Oh well.

Me and C came home to a dark house. DH had called me earlier to say the power was out. Even though the storm never really got bad around our house (thank God!), a transformer went out up the road and knocked us all out. DH's brother works for the power company, and he was texting back and forth all night letting us know it would be longer than they thought. DH got out all our oil lamps so we weren't in the dark at all. C wasn't too sure about it, though! She kept askin us to turn the TV on so we could see, haha.

Luckily, I have a car charger for my phone, so I plugged that in so I could look at the radar. All day yesterday we had been told to watch out, that the storms were severe and could spawn tornadoes. We kept waitin for it to get bad, but it never did. At 10pm one more storm rolled through, but it wasn't close to us. It just sounded that way since we didn't have power!

It was uncomfortable not havin A/C last night, but not unbearable. We set up a battery-powered fan to blow on me and C as I rocked her to sleep. Instead of watching TV like I normally do while I rock her, I read a book by candlelight (well, oil lamp light, but that doesn't sound as good!). I kinda liked that. When I got into our hot bed (we closed all the windows just in case it rained some more, so it got stuffy fast), I read some more by the light. That soft light hurt my eyes a lot less than regular lamps do, that's for sure!

At 2:15am I awoke to some strange noises in the house - the power had come back on so everything was humming again, plus the TV had came on. I was so grateful for those guys who worked half the night to get power to us again!!

So far, its been a pretty eventful week overall at VBS. No power last night, DH got struck by lightening earlier this week...jeez. Makes me wonder what will happen tonight??! Will tonight be calm and anti-climactic, or will we end VBS with a bang? I vote for calm and low key. ( :

In other news, I went to my eye doctor yesterday. It was my yearly appointment, but I told him I've been having some major eye issues lately. They hurt all the time and I can't wear contacts anymore. Which makes me extremely sad/angry. I think I've already blogged about this. Anyway, he told me I have severely dry eyes. Huh. They feel dry with my contacts on, but they don't feel dry with my glasses, though they always hurt no matter what. And wearing contacts makes them really red, too. He gave me a different brand of contacts to try and gave me some eye drops to use every hour liberally. Well, at first I loved the contacts, but after an hour they were feelin dry, so I put some drops in my eyes. And then my vision was blurry for 5-10 minutes after. Wonderful. It cleared up, so I figured I just had to get used to all the new stuff. Next hour, same thing, but worse. It finally got the point I couldn't take it anymore and just threw the contact out and put my glasses back on. I told the dr and stopped by after work to get a different brand of contacts to try. But my eyes hurt this morning so I haven't put them in yet. Gonna try them tomorrow. I hope they feel better to me! He said I'll probably end up on a prescription eye drop. Yay. I just hope I can get to where I can wear contacts again!!

One more thing: I've been researching natural remedies for allergies, since C's have been so bad this week. She takes Children's Claritin every day, and Nasonex nose spray. This week, I added Children's Zyrtec at night, and after a few days that really helped. Now she's much better. But I hate her havin to be on so many medications. I'm gonna try to get us some local honey (for us both to eat, since my allergies get worse every year now), and then I read up on essential oils. Apparently a combination of lavender, lemon, and peppermint is great for allergies. I got all three yesterday but didn't get a chance to try them out with all the drama last night. I'm hoping tonight to try them on myself first, just to make sure nothing crazy happens, then on C tomorrow. Either way, I'll blog about it after I try it! If nothing else, I'm gonna get a diffuser and use some of these in the house - that lemon oil smells so good to me!! ( :
All the EOs said to use a carrier oil when applying directly to skin, so I got this Almond oil to mix in. We'll see how it works out!



So I think I posted a while back that I decided I was gonna start gettin up earlier on week days to do yoga before work. That has actually gone much better than I anticipated. I used to wake up at 7:30 on week days. Which gave me 50 minutes to eat breakfast and get myself and C ready for the day. I don't need much time for my hair and makeup, and I don't have to think about my outfit for the day (khakis and a work shirt every day, simple!), so 50 minutes was plenty of time. But it wasn't enough time to work out at all, and I always felt a little guilty waking up so late, since DH leaves the house at 7:15 or earlier. He fed the horses for me every morning, too - he started doing that towards the end of my pregnancy when I got to the point where my hips couldn't tolerate lifting the pitchfork loaded with hay. Anyway, I guess I felt more than "a little" guilty over all that!

The first few days, I woke up at 7, which was pretty hard for me, I won't lie. But I was able to get my yoga time in (15 minutes at first) and still have plenty of time to get me and C ready. Then I decided I should really get up even earlier and feed the horses. They're mostly mine, anyway, and I know DH was tired of having to feed them every morning. So I pushed my wake-up time back to 6:30. That first morning was tough! But I did it, and I kept it up. Its been over a month now, and I still get up at 6:30. I've been pretty proud of myself. Usually by 7:10 or so I'm getting started on my yoga and strength training. I do it with my Wii Fit Plus, which I absolutely love. I only do about 22 minutes, but I have been able to tell a big difference in my body since I began.

(I really need to do some cardio a few times a week, because even though my muscles are coming back, I am still extremely out of shape. But I'm not down with sweating in the mornings. Which is why I love yoga. I ordered Wii Dance the other day and should have it sooner. The plan is to do that some evenings with C. I think it will be fun and I know she'll love it since she loves to dance and likes to imitate me when I do yoga [if she's awake when I do it!]. We can also do a dance workout on the weekends. We already normally have dance time on Saturdays, so now it can be a little more structured.)

I promise there is a reason for me sayin all this about my morning routine. If I have learned anything during my motherhood journey (and I have learned a ton), its to listen to my gut, trust my instincts, whatever you want to say. 9 times out of 10, my instincts are right. Probably because I began always always putting someone else (C) ahead of myself. I assume this happens to all mothers...?

Anyway, this morning I had plenty of time to do my yoga, but something told me not to. C was still asleep, so I decided to enjoy a quiet bowl of cereal on the couch. I of course brought my phone with me so I could scan facebook while I ate (can't miss anything, you know!). And then I got a text from our cousin who just had her baby on Monday. She had some breastfeeding concerns and was getting a little panicky. I remember being like that in the beginning. And I remember how helpful it was to have someone be a voice of reason and assure me I was doing fine.

Nothing major happened, but we ended up texting back and forth for a while. If I had started my yoga, I wouldn't have read her text until much later, and then I wouldn't have been able to respond to her as much as I needed to. So I am grateful that I've learned to listen to that little voice in my head, whatever it is. I was able to reassure her and give her some tips, which she said made her feel better.

Then she made me feel good! She texted me later and said her doctor had stopped by and told her the exact same things I had already said! I knew I was giving her sound advice and support, but it felt great to be backed up by a doctor. (Especially because it was almost opposite of what a nurse had told her earlier this morning.)

This experience reminded me of my desire to become a Lactation Consultant. I don't know if it'll ever happen, since there are a lot of requirements to meet before you can sit for the exam to be certified. There are 14 (I think) classes you have to have (including anatomy, child development, stuff like that) in addition to many, many hours of clinical hours. I'll be paying off the student loans for my BA and MBA degrees forever, so I won't be going back to school any time soon. Maybe this is something I can do down the road, who knows.

Last year, I talked to the Leader of my local La Leche League (LLL) about becoming a Leader. She thinks I'd be great at it, and it would be a good way for me to reach out and help other breastfeeding mothers. The problem is, I can never make the monthly meetings. I was able to attend a handful before C turned 1, and since then I've been maybe twice. They're always on Monday nights at 7. And they're here in town, so its super hard for me to get home, then turn right back around and come back to town and be here by 7. Plus, I have found that Monday nights tend to be the crazy nights. I guess because its the first day/night after the weekend, but things normally go wrong on Mondays and any plans I make never work out.

I have thought about starting my own group and holding monthly meetings at a more convenient time and place (our local group meets at the pediatrician's office, which I hate because every time I took C she got a virus!), but in order to be a Leader you have to attend so many meetings first. At some point I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and get it done. I have a passion for breastfeeding, breastfeeding advocacy, and helping other breastfeeding mothers.

I wish I had realized years ago that this would become a passion of mine. I would have gone to school to be a Registered Nurse and went on to get certified as a Lactation Consultant. Then I could work in a hospital on the maternity floor. But I never would have guessed even 3 years ago that I'd be this passionate about this topic. Life sure is funny.

For a while now I've been composing a blog post in my head about my experience with breastfeeding. Hopefully soon I'll get it actually typed up. Its one of those topics that most people feel strongly about - either they really think breastfeeding is weird and don't like to talk or hear about it, or they are like me and really support it. I have run into more than my fair share of people who were almost against it. I've even been told before that breastfeeding was pornographic. :(

So I try to be sensitive to other people and not talk about breastfeeding too much. But you know what? This is my blog and this is one of my passions. I'm gonna talk about it here. ( : I know I've only breastfed one child, and we really haven't had any issues at all, so I don't have experience with difficulties. But I feel like its important to share positive breastfeeding stories. When I was pregnant, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. All I heard was negative stories and how hard it was. Well, breastfeeding has never been hard for me. I like to tell people that. People need to see that it doesn't have to be difficult. Stay tuned. ( :

VBS Day 2

Last night at Vacation Bible School went much more smoothly than the first night did! And nothing major happened to DH while C and I were gone, either, so that was a plus!

I felt much more relaxed after work yesterday, since I knew I didn't have to fix supper before leaving. C and I got to church a little bit early, so I was able to get her started eating before too many other kids arrived. Which was nice since they served spaghetti! I even managed to eat a small bowl.

During craft time, the kids were supposed to make fish picture frames that will have magnets added to the back for use on the fridge. The fish were foam and the kids were supposed to glue all the stripes and eyes on the fish. Of course, they had a pattern for us to follow. All the other helpers/mothers in our class helped their kids put the stripes in the right places, but I decided to let C be creative and do it her way. Her fish doesn't look like anyone else's, that's for sure! I forgot to take a pic. But they had someone going around taking pictures of all the kinds, and hopefully they will print out the pictures and put them into their frames by Friday. That'll be a nice keepsake.

Classroom time was a little better last night. Our class' teacher tried her best to tell the kids the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet, but I don't think any of the toddlers were listening. One funny thing: the teacher asked all the tots to say "Peter" and of course some of them couldn't do it. I asked C if she could say it and her response was, "sure I can!" I said "well, let's hear it!" And then she started saying "Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter-Peter...!" It was hilarious. (I guess you had to be there, haha.)

So we let all the toddlers play for the remainder of our class. Even though I'm pretty sure C is not learning Bible stories like I had hoped, she is getting valuable time with children close to her age. She's learning how to share and cooperate, and help clean up even when she didn't make all the mess. Its good for her!
Music time was a hit again. C loosened up a little more and danced some. Still not like she does at home, but I bet by Friday she'll get there!
Not entirely sure what C was doing when I got that picture...haha. Everyone else was dancing, and she just got down on the step like that and looked at me. I was cracking up. As long as she's not being destructive or causing any harm to anyone else, I try to let her just be herself. If she wants to lay on the church steps instead of standing up and dancing, so be it. Creative freedom, I guess. ( :

Speaking of that, C is more and more starting to voice an opinion on things like her clothes and hair. She never used to care about stuff like that, but lately, she will protest if she doesn't want her hair in a ponytail, or tell me she wants it in "2 ponytails" (pigtails). And Lord help me if I pick out the wrong shirt for her in the morning! Just today I picked out a perfectly nice yellow shirt with fish on it. "I don't want to wear that shirt!!" she screamed at me. She wanted to wear the same pink shirt she wore to VBS last night. Whatever. It wasn't dirty, so I just let her. She's also been very vocal about which shoes she wears with which outfits. I had no idea this type of thing started so early! (And actually, she's been picking out her shoes for several months now, I just hadn't thought about it much.)


VBS - Day 1

Last night was the first night of Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church. Man, was it chaotic!

I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who thought that. Let's hope that tonight things go a little smoother.

Yesterday I rushed after work and made it home with C by 5:30. We immediately jumped into the bath tub, then I got ready while she splashed around some more. I had planned to heat up a frozen dinner and fix some mashed potatoes for supper, but I realized I'd never have time for that. So I fixed C a PB&J sandwich and I ate a few handfuls of chips (healthy, I know!), and then we were out the door. We got there at exactly 6:30 and were pretty much the last ones to arrive. Everyone else was already in the fellowship hall eating supper! No one had told me that food would be provided. I figured they'd have snacks, but not a meal. C of course wasn't hungry so I ate her bowl of chicken and rice.

At least now I know that the rest of the week I don't have to rush to fix supper. As long as C gets a good meal, I will feel fine. Me and DH will just wing it for ourselves this week.

After everyone ate, we headed to the church for the real start to VBS. It was extremely loud! We sang some songs, recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible, then there was a short puppet act, which no one could hear because the kids were so loud. C was pretty overwhelmed and didn't know what to think for a while. This was the point where I discovered I had been designated a teacher of C's class, the toddlers. Luckily, the other teacher actually knew about her role beforehand and was somewhat prepared!
It was so crazy in there that all the kids were running around and being wild. This is my child. Who knows why she was doing that! lol
Next, we took the 7 toddlers in our class back to the fellowship hall for craft time. They loved that. They made little owl masks and decorated hats with stickers. C covered every square inch of her hat with fish stickers, and as soon as we got home, she promptly removed every single one! Next up was lesson time. Which did not happen.
Our classroom was the church nursery, which is where people take their babies and toddlers during church so they can play. So they're all used to just playing in that room. And what did they want to do as soon as we walked through the door? PLAY! We managed to get 3 of them (C included) to sit down at the table, but none of them payed attention to the lesson. I don't even think the other teacher finished reading it; she saw how pointless it was. Eventually we both gave up and decided to let the kids do whatever they wanted.
After what seemed like an eternity (this was after 8pm, which is almost bedtime for most toddlers, so they were getting cranky...), it was finally our time for music. We went back to the church sanctuary and they cranked up the music and we sang and danced for a while. The babies loved that. I kept waitin for C to bust out her dance moves like she does at home to her VBS CD, but she held back, haha.

DH texted me while we were doing our craft time and said that he and our dog, Roscoe, had been struck by lightening!! I of course freaked out until I got him on the phone and was assured that they were both okay. He told me later that the lightening didn't actually strike him or Roscoe, but something nearby and they felt it. It knocked the power out to our house, though it came right back on. DH said he was putting out the last pile of hay for the horses and had the pitchfork in his hand when it hit. He said he couldn't let go of the pitchfork and poor Roscoe didn't know what to think! When it was over, Roscoe ran to the house and it took DH a while to calm him down. DH felt bad the rest of the night, and this morning he said his arms felt weak. I was just grateful that he was okay!!

Exciting start to VBS week, huh? I pray that the rest of the week is uneventful!!


Weekend Recap

We have been having some seriously great weekends lately! We've had places to be and things to do but nothing too stressful. Mostly I've just tried to really enjoy spending time with C. I've really loosened up on my house cleaning obsession, haha. Not that I've ever had a spic-n-span house, but I have finally learned that a little dust on the furniture is okay. As long as the bathrooms are cleaned, floors are swept, dishes are washed, and we have clean clothes, I'm good.

The floors being swept are kinda my issue, though. I'm a little obsessed with it! Well, my husband would probably say I'm extremely obsessed, lol. I sweep at least 2 times a day. I hate dirt on my floor!!! Luckily our house is not very big so sweeping doesn't take long at all. ( :

Anyway! Like I said, this weekend was pretty great. Very relaxing, and I didn't get anything done that I planned. But that's okay. Me and C had some fun!

Saturday morning we went to my brother's house. His girlfriend has a 3 year old boy (K), and C likes playing with him. They played inside for a while, then jumped on the trampoline outside. C loved that. We may have to purchase one in the near future...haha. After that, we headed to the jewelry store. I am finally having my ring sized down. Turns out my finger is a lot smaller than I thought! I'm only getting my engagement band sized down. The wedding band will still be loose, but it'll be held in place by the other ring. I wanted to make sure I could at least wear one of my rings if I go through another pregnancy! We also dropped off a bracelet that my husband bought for C on her birthday last year. Yes, it was in December, and yes, its taken me 6 months to get it sized. Whoops. Its a silver charm bracelet and he got her a beautiful charm with a "C" on it to start.

After lunch (which we ate on a beach towel in the living room - C thought that idea was genius!), me, C, and my mama headed to my sister's house for my niece's graduation party. We got there before most of the younger people, so we went swimming in the pool. C had a blast! She has absolutely no fear of the water. I can't decide if that's good or bad! I didn't have a float for her, so I was just holding her while she kicked her little feet (so cute!), and she kept sayin "let me go, Mama!" Uh, yeah, that didn't happen! Then she wanted to climb up the ladder and jump into the pool. She was having so much fun but it was kinda stressful for me. I was so worried that she'd slip through my hands or something. I am definitely getting her some of those little arm floats. I can see a lot of pool time in our future this summer!

Yesterday was my husband's family reunion. He and his dad were in charge of cooking the pig this year, so DH was out of the house by 3am to get it started. So C and I went to Sunday School alone. Before it started, C told one of the women in our church that I wouldn't give her any Cheerios (she has turned into a tattler lately, lol), and the woman said "well, if you come to our class today you can have Goldfish!" That was all it took for C to want to go, haha. She normally comes to our class during Sunday School. She eats Cheerios and is actually very good about being quiet, so we've never taken her to the toddler class. But she liked it! I stayed the whole time just to make sure she'd be okay. Hopefully next week I can just leave her in there and go on up to my class.

(This reminds me: last Sunday during church, C walked down the aisle to the front all by herself for Children's Moment! She is growing up way too fast!!!)

The reunion went well. We had it in the church fellowship hall this year, which was wonderful because of the A/C! (We normally have it outside at my in-laws' house.) The food was delicious, C went to the potty several times (yay!!), and everyone had a good time. It made my baby fever intensify, though! There were a few pregnant women there (one of which went into labor last night and had her baby earlier today!), and a few new babies. Made my uterus ache, lol.

After the reunion, C passed out on our bed. And for the first time in months, she napped without being held!!! It was glorious to be able to get up while she was sleeping and do stuff. I did cheat, though: I nursed her to sleep, then eased off the bed. Hey, whatever works, right? This was huge. I can't remember the last time she took a nap without being held. If you try to lay her down for a nap she wakes up screaming. So we've all just been going with it. Its hard to complain when she sleeps so well at night.

During her nap, DH and I actually had whole conversations. Doesn't sound impressive, I know, but it is hard to have a real conversation with him when C is around! She's good as gold when we go out, but at home she likes the spotlight to be on her, haha. (She comes by it naturally, me and DH are both kinda like that!) And she's so stinkin cute its hard not to let her have the spotlight! I'm hoping that this nap-by-herself thing is gonna become the norm.

I also made her shirts for Bible School while she was asleep yesterday. Bible School starts tonight, and I am so excited! This will be C's first one, and I think she'll love it. I'll be staying with her, but it'll give me a chance to hang out with one of my friends, since her little boy will be in C's class. It'll be a fun week, but a rushed one. Bible School starts at 6:30. I usually get home between 5:30-5:45, so that doesn't give us much time to get cleaned up and get some supper in us. I told DH we'd probably be eating a lot of sandwiches and microwave dinners this week. (I should have prepared by making some freezer meals for this week. Hindsight is 20/20!) I'm going to the grocery store later to stock up on things that are super quick to cook/prepare.

Wish us luck this week as we rush around to get to church every night! It will be a busy week all around for me. I've got an eye doctor appointment later this week, and I'm curious to see what he says about my eyes. I've been having a lot of pain in them for a while now, and I can no longer wear my contacts, which makes me super sad. I despise wearing glasses. I'm also going back to the chiropractor again this week. He's been working on my TMJ, and he thinks that's what caused my trigeminal neuralgia a few weeks ago (did I blog about that? I can't remember!).

This coming Saturday I'm shooting my niece's senior pictures. That should be fun. I've got a ton of ideas for her. Oh, and that reminds me! Last week I purchased a tripod for my camera! I'm super excited about that. I've been wanting one for a while now. This baby goes up to 5', maybe a little more. I didn't use it much this weekend, but I did snap a quick picture of me and C with it...
Sunday is Father's Day, which will be another busy day. After that, our weekends should calm down a little. Let's hope so, cause I need a beach day STAT!! ( :


Riding: Then & Now

I just spent a while looking at my old blog (sorry, folks, it is now private!). I started blogging in 2004, and I didn't have much of an objective other than to record my life. Eventually it turned into a bit of a horse training blog, where I documented my horses' progress and my own progress with lessons. I blogged quite frequently, and most posts were just random thoughts. I enjoy reading my old posts. But there are things on that blog that I don't want random people reading now (I have changed a lot over the years), so no one can see it now but me (and I rarely update it anymore). Reading all that old stuff reminded me how much I love to blog, so maybe now I'll do it more often. And it reminded me that I don't have to stress over what to post - I can just write what I feel. ( :

But looking back over all my old posts did make me a little sad. Horses used to be such a huge part of my life. They still are, but in a different way now. It used to be my dream to own my own horse farm, where I could train and teach lessons and board. I would still love to do that, but I realize that will probably never happen. It takes a lot of money to start a farm. So while I realize my dream of a big horse farm probably won't ever come to be, horses will always remain a part of my life. I hope one day C will share my passion for horses and we can ride together. Which is why I introduced her to horses very early on, and she goes out there with me every evening to feed them.

I used to keep track of every time that I rode my horses. I wanted to keep them in good shape in hopes that we'd be able to go to a show (which basically never happened). But I rode them 4-6 times a week unless I was sick or they were injured. I made a lot of progress with them, and I'm proud of what I accomplished. 

When I was in college, I worked at several horse farms and absolutely loved it. I got to ride a lot of different types of horses, in several disciplines. I learned a lot and became a really good rider. Thankfully, I haven't forgotten anything and when I get back on a horse now, its like I haven't missed a beat. (Though my muscles may protest the next day!)
This was when we were both at our best. I was training her heavily in dressage and she was doing really well!
I got Sunshine in 2006, and she came to me with very minimal training. I worked with her and bonded with her, and before long she had turned into an awesome mount. Its amazing to think in 2006 she didn't understand what I wanted when I told her to stop and go, and now I trust her with small children in lessons!

These days, I'm really lucky if I get to ride once or twice a month. Its just not easy to find someone to watch C for a few hours on the weekends so I can play with my horses, especially when there are so many things I have to get done. I know it won't be like this forever, so I'm okay with it. One day, C will have her own life and she'll be spending the weekends with friends or her grandma, and I'll be lonely and will be free to ride again. Until then, I'll take the far-and-few-between rides I do get to take, and just enjoy seeing my horses every day (since they're right beside my house) and getting to interact with them. And I love seeing C interact with them. She has decided this week that she loves Sunshine. C stands by the fence when Sunshine eats and watches her, its so cute.

One day, I'll get her to be that soft again with a loose rein like this...
When I do get to ride these days, most of the time I just hop on bareback. I may take Sunshine out on a quick trial ride, or I may do a little work in the arena (not too much, since we're both out of shape). I don't ride Wiley bareback, though - he is super uncomfortable without a saddle! When I ride him, I basically just walk/trot and reinforce the training he received before I got pregnant. He hasn't regressed, he just hasn't moved forward since then. And that's okay. He's 8 now, which means he should be trained and totally rideable, but I'm not stressed over it. He'll be mine until he dies, and I don't need to prove anything with him (or prove anything else, I should say - I already proved to myself with him that I can break a young horse by myself!). One day, I'll get him back into regular training - I still have dreams of him being an adorable hunter pony.
me and Wiley in 2009
earlier this year. can you say fat pony?? haha
I don't have many pictures of me riding Sunshine bareback like I do most of the time now. But here's what it normally looks like:
And I love it. ( :

C likes to "go fast" - which is just a very slow jog, haha. I'm glad that she enjoys being on a horse. I love being able to share something so special to me with her. I can't wait for the day when she can ride by herself!

If you had told me 5 years ago that I wouldn't get to ride very often, and that my horses would all be fat and out of shape, I'd laugh in your face. And then swear that would never happen. Its funny how things change, huh? I haven't lost that part of who I am, I've just added on to what is important me, and had to adjust everything else accordingly. And that's nice to know. I like knowing that my passion for horses is still there, and that I still remember everything I learned in all those lessons I took and experiences I had.

Who knows? In a few years maybe I'll be with C at a fun show, cheering her on from the sidelines. ( :

Dream Big

You know what I think would be the coolest job ever? Being a photographer. You get to play with your camera and be creative every day, and capture special moments in people's lives. But then you are in charge of capturing special moments in people's lives! Which means if you screw up, those people hate you. Yeah, that would be pretty stressful. And I have seen first-hand how challenging being a photographer is. Picture a whiny 2 year old who does not feel like having her picture made that day. Or the newborn who does nothing but scream because he doesn't want to be naked right then. Or the bratty 5 year old who decides she won't be smiling for any reason that day. Yeah, stressful...

So maybe being a photographer wouldn't be the best job ever. I bet if it wasn't your full-time job, your man gig that pays the bills, it would stay enjoyable. If it was just a paying hobby, you could be selective of your clients and your appointments. Plus, you wouldn't have to do weddings every Saturday just to keep your lights on.

Why do I bring this up? Because I love taking pictures and learning new photography techniques, and I have a cool camera (Nikon d5100). I got it last May, and its the best thing I ever bought myself (well, I had help from my family - hello, birthday money!). Before I got this camera, I was shooting with my husband's little point-and-shoot Nikon, which was fine but didn't allow me to be very creative. I had to use that camera because my last nice camera died. I can't even remember now what it was, a Kodak I think. It was a point-and-shooter, but it looked like a DSLR, which I loved. And it took great pictures until it died. In fact, I took C's newborn pics myself using that camera.

Considering the camera I was working with, I think these turned out awesomely. (And considering how this was 2 days after we got home from the hospital and I was exhausted and still fat and all that, haha.) I would love to see what I could do now with my fancy camera.

Anyway, I've always thought it would be awesome to have a photography business on the side. No, I'm not sure I'm good enough to do that. Yes, I know there are a ton of really talented photographers out there. And yes, I know that just having a nice camera doesn't make me a professional. However, I think I have a good eye and with some more education and practice I could consistently produce wonderful images. Besides, I have shot for other people before: I was the sole photographer for both of my cousins weddings (which I swore I would never do again for free, lol), and I've done a few sessions for special occasions like my sister-in-law's college graduation and portraits of my friend and her baby. I've had people ask me to do sessions for them later this year, too.

Of course, so far I haven't been paid for any of this, and mostly its been for my family. But I figure its good to build my portfolio before I start trying to attract paying clients, right?

I've been toying with this idea for a while now. I have a lot to learn, and I'd love to take a photography class, but its hard to find one locally (and that I can afford). In the meantime, I'm reading all I can and practicing whenever I can (mostly taking pictures of C and the animals on our farm). And hopefully I'll get some more people interested to help me build my portfolio and eventually grow a business. Maybe it'll work out.

Or maybe I'm dreaming dreams that are too big. Maybe I'm too confident in myself. I don't know. The way I see it, you have to have dreams. Even if those dreams don't become reality. This morning I was going through some pics I took yesterday evening of C (I let her jump in mud puddles!), and one stuck out to me and I just had to add a caption to it. And then I decided to take my own advice. We'll see what happens. ( :


A Little Bit of Everything!

So. Lots been going on around here lately. Which is why I haven't written anything here in a week. Sorry. I have a crazy busy, amazing life! And really, I don't do anything - go to work, come home and take care of my child and our slew of farm animals, go to bed, and start over again the next day. But somehow, my days manage to fly by and every night I'm left wondering, where did today go??!

I've said it before, though, and I'll say it again - I love my life. I really do. Sure, if I had it my way some things would change - like me working a job outside the home, for instance. Clearly, though, that is not in God's plan for me at this time, so I'm cool with it. My point is, I'm in an incredibly happy period of my life right now, so forgive me while I bask in it.  ( :

Here are some super exciting things that have been going on lately (brace yourselves, this is gonna be legend....wait for it....dary! (LOL Yes I love How I Met Your Mother!)

My college friend MM came down last Saturday and spent the day with me and C. We had so much fun. I haven't seen MM much since she got married in 2010 (I was her Matron of Honor when I was 7 months pregnant!) cause she lives 2 hours away now, but every time we're together its like we've never been apart (and how corny does that sound??).

We ended up taking C to my mama's so we could ride the horses. Which is when I finally admitted that something is goin on with Sunshine. The last time I rode her (several weeks ago) she was struggling at the canter and seemed pretty off. I hoped she'd injured herself in the pasture, and decided to let her rest until I did anything about it. (She was totally sound at the walk and trot.) Well, MM couldn't get Sunshine to canter more than a few steps. I hopped on her, thinking she was just bein a brat, but I could barely get her to canter either. And this horse is never a brat with me. I've started Sunshine on a joint supplement in hopes that this is the beginnings of arthritis and the meds will help her feel better. I'm tryin to avoid a huge vet bill. Especially since she's only lame at the canter and seems totally happy otherwise. And its not like she's in regular work anymore (I don't currently have any lesson students and I get to ride so little its pathetic).

I also don't currently have a vet. Mine quit a few months ago, went back to working with small animals. Bummer, cause I really liked her. I have 2 in mind to try. I think they're each about an hour away, just in opposite directions. So I'm sure I'll get hit with a hefty farm call. But I don't have a choice. Large animal vets are far and few between around here. My horses are due for their spring shots (I usually do them in June), so I gotta get on the ball about finding a vet. And I will definitely be mentioning Sunshine's canter issues with the new vet, whoever I choose.

This past Saturday, I made something I've never even tasted before - zucchini bread! I love zucchini and I've heard about the bread, but had never even seen it. Saturday I decided to try it out. I have to say, it was delicious! Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pics. Its not very tasty looking, anyway. C absolutely loved it. DH wouldn't try it, of course. haha.

We planted our garden a few weeks ago, but its gonna be a while before we see any produce. We usually plant much sooner than this, but we've had so much going on. So for now we're getting our produce from a local farm. In fact, on Saturday, DH borrowed their produce trailer and set it up at his business for the day.
C loved that trailer - she said it was her house. She'd get in there and tell me to go around to the side, then say "what do you need?" A little saleswoman! Takes after her daddy, I guess.

DH will have the produce trailer again next Saturday. He really enjoys doing stuff like that. If he knew it would work financially, I think he'd quit his job and be a full-time farmer/small business owner. I pray one day he can do just that.

I have unofficially been dubbed as the social media person for DH's business. So far, I've just created a facebook page, but I'm hoping to do a website/blog eventually (not that I know anything about creating a website, or successfully running a blog, for that matter!). His business is so small, so I'm tryin to do what I can to help him advertise. You gotta do what you can to help your man achieve his dreams. ( :

In case anyone was interested, I have been keeping up with my yoga. I've been surprised (and proud of)  myself! I've started getting up earlier every day (except weekends, haha) to feed the horses and then do some yoga and strength training. I feel so good, too. And I've gained like 3 pounds of muscle! Woohoo!

This past week, I have discovered 2 beauty products that have been pretty amazing so far. The first is coconut oil. Now, I've used coconut oil for a few years now - as a diaper cream for C. Its great for cloth diapers, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, and it really helps when she used to get a little red occasionally. Since she's been potty trained, the jar of coconut oil has just been sitting there. I've always had clean hands when I used it, so I wasn't worried about it being gross - I wanted to find a use for it.

And then a blog I follow had a post last week about washing your face with coconut oil. What??! Sounded crazy to me. But I know this girl has sensitive skin (like me) and doesn't use anything outrageous on her face or her hair. After reading her post, I looked further into it. Turns out, lots of people know about washing your face with coconut oil. Where have I been??

That night, I tried it. Uh, I was pretty amazed. I have super dry skin (like I seriously don't think my body produces oil at all, which is not as nice as it sounds, trust me), and the coconut oil really moisturizes my face. I can't tell you how it works to wash your face with oil, but trust me, it does.

I've said before that I am a Mary Kay rep. I love my Mary Kay products and am super loyal to them. I will probably never use another foundation, eye color, or mascara. But I've never been quite satisfied with the skin care products I've tried. Everything just dries my skin out even more. To the point where I'll get literal scales - ew. For a while now, I've been washing my face in the Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser for Normal/Dry skin, and it did a great job of cleaning my face and exfoliating it. I was using the matching Timewise moisturizer, but earlier this year I discovered an all-natural line at a local shop (its also made locally), and fell in love with their facial cream (which actually contains coconut oil), and it has really helped my dryness. (They don't actually have a cleanser or I'd already be using that, I'm sure! Well, they make soap and have a facial soap, but I'm not about to put soap on my face!!)

Anyway, the coconut oil really works. I just rub a good amount onto my face (sometimes I wet it first, sometimes not), then take a rag that's wet and hot, hold that on my face for 30 seconds or so, then gently wipe everything off. I don't wear a ton of makeup, so its not like "wow! Look at all the makeup that came off!" But I can tell everything comes off. My skin feels very soft and moisturized after washing now, but I follow up with my cream anyway, since I am so dry. So far, so good.

I read that coconut oil is also great for other things beauty-wise. I've used it on my cheekbones to highlight them. It looks really pretty for a few hours, then the oil absorbs into my skin and the effect is gone. Maybe for someone with less dry skin it would last longer?

I also tried using coconut oil to take off my eye makeup. I wasn't crazy about that one. I had to work extra hard to get it off (and again, I don't wear much), and then my eyes felt greasy for a while after, and I had a hard time seeing that night. I'll be sticking with my Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, for sure. I've tried a lot of other brands in the past, and they all bother my sensitive eyes. Mary Kay's doesn't.

Finally, I've been using coconut oil as a body moisturizer. I just slather it on right after I get out of the tub or shower, and it doesn't take long to absorb into my dry skin. I have noticed that I stay a little greasy for a while, but I actually like that feeling, since I am so dry normally. Unfortunately, the coconut oil doesn't last all day like I'd hope, or even over night. I still have to apply twice a day. But its cheaper than regular lotion, and until I find a better solution, I'll stick with it. Last night, I even rubbed C down with the coconut oil after our bath, even though her skin's not particularly dry right now. She wasn't greasy at all afterwards. I think its one of those things that works differently on different people. I know my friend Jessica over at Moving Mountains didn't care for using coconut oil as a body moisturizer.

Next, I want to use coconut oil as a hair conditioner. My hair is like the rest of me - super dry. Most people when they condition their hair just condition the ends, right? Well, I rub that junk into my scalp and let it sit a while. Every single time. I've tried lots of different brands of shampoos and conditioners and have yet to find one that handles my dryness (without making my hair limp and lifeless). So this week I'll try coconut oil. We'll see how it goes.

Oh yeah, I also tried it as a shaving cream for my legs. It worked great, but I'm concerned about it gunking up in my razor. So the jury's still out on that one.

The other day I went to Target and found this adorable little container to house my coconut oil, since the bottle it came in was ugly (I got it at the grocery store, FYI, in the section with the other cooking oils).
The lid doesn't screw on or anything, so its probably not great for traveling, but I like it. Plus its easy to reach in and get the oil out (which is solid at room temp but quickly melts to a liquid with a little heat, by the way). I also picked up that cute little tray. I figured it would be nice to house the stuff that I normally have to move individually to clean under.
And this brings me to my newest beauty discovery. See that white and blue spray bottle? Its called Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturing Sea Salt Spray. (Say that 5 times fast.) My sister-in-law works at a beauty supply store and gets a good discount on their products. She told me about this spray and let me try hers. Wow. It was love at first spray, haha. If you have any natural texture to your hair at all, I think this spray will work for you. My hair is naturally (dry and) slightly wavy, but not enough that I can let it go all by itself. I normally straighten it, but every summer I try to just let it be natural (since the frizz/dryness conquers the straightness eventually). This spray brings out my natural texture and kind of amps it up. It really does look like I've been at the beach that day, which is a look I love.

It does dry my hair out, but I've been counteracting that with some extra serum while its still wet. This spray I have found works best when I let my hair air dry over night and just spray it on the next morning. I've been so happy with my hair the past few days! No pictures though, sorry. DH even likes it, so its a win-win. ( :

Alright, this post is long enough! Until next time.

Oh, wait. I'll leave you with a comparison pic of C. To the left is her in June of last year, and the right picture was taken this weekend. Time flies! *sniff, sniff*