Silver Lining

a funny thing happened on the way to the library

December 15, 2014

So there I was on a Thursday evening. Baby girl was tucked in bed, dreaming sweet baby dreams of one day being able to shove mom's phone into her mouth without being discovered. Jason was sprawled on the living room floor, doing a German poster for school (Wo ist Madsen?). Sam was taking a pre-bedtime nap.

I slipped out to run some errands. First, I dropped off half a box of too-small diapers to a friend in the ward with a new baby. Second, I went to the library to pick up my books on hold. Incidentally, those books are Unbroken and Rose Under Fire, because apparently I make my days merry and bright by reading two heavy-hearted books about World War II??

And then, pulling into the library parking lot, it happened.

Taylor Swift came on the radio.

Specifically, "Blank Space."

I thought of Taylor Swift's fantastic haircut in that music video. That's not an opinion, by the way. That's a universal truth. Her haircut was perfect in that video. And then I thought of a few of my blog friends and my downstairs neighbor who had recently gotten that same haircut, and how gorgeous they looked. And then I thought about postpartum hair loss -

I have to interrupt this story to bring you a public service announcement about postpartum hair loss. It can strike when you least expect it! I was totally fine for the first four months after I had my baby, and then all of a sudden, right when I had been lulled into a false sense of hair-retention security - WHAM-O! - my hair was practically falling out by the chunk and clogging the shower drain (ew gross, she talked about the shower drain on her blog) and my hairline is all wispy now. So beware, mothers everywhere. You never know when it's coming for you. End of public service announcement.

So anyway, I decided right then and there to get a fairly drastic haircut. If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you know this is monumental. Last time I cut my hair, it took literally months of deliberation before I got up the guts to donate it to Locks of Love.

I called my favorite salon before I chickened out and I said "Do you have any appointments open for tonight?" And they said "Tonight?" and I said "Tonight!" and they said "Wait, yes we do! How about 8:00? Can you be here in twenty-five minutes?" and I said "I'll be there!"

And then I ran in to the library to get my books and then I drove to the salon. An hour later, I was walking out sans six inches of my hair. And now my hair feels like a head full of hair, and not a head partially full of long, dead hair. Hooray!

Plus, I had a great conversation with the sweet girl who cut my hair. You know how usually you end up chatting about things like cute pea coats with your hairdresser? Well, pea coats are great, but my hair dresser is getting a Business Administration degree so she can open her own salon, so we talked about business plans and education and other cool things the whole time. She was fantastic.

And that is the story of the funny thing that happened on the way to the library. Das ende.

P.S. These pictures are basically one big misadventure in self-timer. Sheesh. It's harder than it looks when you don't have a remote or a tripod!

Angel Day

December 13, 2014

You'd think, since Angel Day comes up every single December 13, I'd have something prepared and ready to say about it. But I don't. Well, here goes nothing. I guess I'll share a few things as my family celebrated the life of my mom today.

1. This is the year that it stopped feeling really personal to me that my mom died. It stopped feeling like the universe had personally done me a great injustice, like it was targeting me and me alone. Instead, it started to feel like just one hard thing in my life. Everyone has hard things they have to deal with, and this is one of mine. I guess it finally clicked that I'm one of trillions of human beings who have marched on without a parent, and not the only one who knows the pain of losing their mother too young.

2. Sometimes I have dreams that I get my mom back for one afternoon. We always do something casual together in my dreams - make cupcakes for my friend's bridal shower or go out to lunch. I always wake up from those dreams crying. If there was somehow a real "Go To Lunch Free" card with my mom, I would have definitely cashed it in this year. I would have cashed it in right after my baby was born. I wanted her to be there for the sweet times with a brand new baby. I would love to have a picture of the two of them together, would love to see the way my mom interacted with Claire. She was so wonderful with babies.

I also desperately needed her help this year to figure out how to be a mom. During those long nights right after Claire was born, when I was all by myself trying to figure out breastfeeding, which everyone said would be so easy and natural, and was so insurmountably difficult for me, I would have given anything to have my mom here. People just need their mothers.

3. Life comes and goes and comes again. People die, and we have to be apart from them for a little while. That's part of life. New people are born or come into your life, and those people fill up parts of your heart that you didn't even know were empty.

And when I look at my sweet baby, I think of my mom. I think of the fact that they share the same birthday, and their shared birthday feels like one of the sweetest gifts I could have ever received. And I realize my baby is young, and her eye color could still change, but from all the hazel, green and brown eyes in our family, my baby girl came out with the most gorgeous deep blue eyes that are just one tiny shade off from my mom's eyes. And it feels like I have come full circle, and it feels complete.

So here's to my angel mother. My amazing mom who read Charles Dickens, ate hot tamales, played April Fools jokes, and made us all bounce around in that big brown van of hers because she believed that life is too short to slow down for speed bumps. I love you, mom. Thank you for your incredible legacy.

Rice Krispie Snowmen

December 11, 2014

Today I wanted to share a super easy cute craft for the holidays. Perfect for a kids party, or to make at a school class party, or to decorate any holiday get-together! Honestly, it's so simple that I'll just let the picture do the talking :)

Extra points if you add pretzel arms! You really can use any candy for the eyes and buttons. I happened to have some candy pearls left over from a baby shower, so I used those, but you can use anything - m&ms, skittles, or even add food coloring to the left-over frosting and pipe it onto your snowmen! I've also seen different types of chocolate for the hat. One regular batch of Rice Krispies made five snowmen.

Happy Snowman Making!

How We Wore It: Fashion Collaboration

December 9, 2014

Here's the thing. I'm not a fashion blogger. Once, I ran into a girl at the grocery store who said "you're that Silver Lining fashion girl!" I looked down at my leggings and my husband's sweater and patted my non-Pinterest-worthy messy bun, and I was like "HAHAHA you are such a sweetheart, but no. Just no." 

While that encounter did leave me feeling kind of like a celebrity (a random person at Smith's knows me!), I definitely don't count myself among the upper echelons of fashion bloggers. Or any echelons of fashion bloggers, for that matter! It is fun for me to document my everyday style though, so I put together a little fashion collaboration with some of my favorite lifestyle bloggers.

For this collaboration, we all started with the same image. The challenge was to recreate our unique take on the image with what we already had in our closets.

The starting outfit is from Suburban Faux-Pas. You'd think, since I chose the photo this round, that I would choose something that I could easily replicate. But nope! I remember looking at the picture after I emailed it out and thinking "I don't have anything remotely resembling this!" 

I loved the colors in her outfit, so I copied the navy, tan, and burgundy in my own outfit. I also tried the cuffed jeans and the ankle boots. 

Here are the other bloggers who joined me in this challenge. They're some of my favorite (and stylish) lifestyle bloggers. Check out their versions of the outfit!

Kaycie at Redhead Memories
Meghan at King and Ford
Krystle at Krystle, Darling
Sierra at Sierra's View
Alexa at He and I
Deidre at Deidre Emme
Danica at Danican Skywalker
Kyla at Fordology
Bri at Breezy Days

PS I'm thinking about doing this challenge again in a few months. Anyone want to join me next time? Leave a comment, or tweet me, and I'll add you to the list!
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