Monday, April 21, 2014

A Fresh Cut!

When I was a Junior in High School, I cut my hair pretty drastically. It was about ear length and I loved it. It framed my face so nicely and I was thrilled to no longer have to deal with long, unmanageable hair. All through college I don't think my hair grew to my shoulders before I would cut it again, if I let it grow that long!

Enter Gene. There is just something about men and long hair, right? I grew my hair out for about a year and a half I suppose before our wedding, knowing I wanted a pretty up-do. As soon as the wedding was over and Gene deployed, I cut it back short. Every time Gene deploys I go crazy and cut my hair, and it always grows back to an "acceptable" length before he gets home.

Lately, my long hair has been the longest I think it has been in my entire life. It was unmanageable, heavy, always in a pony tail, and getting to the point where washing it was more hassle than I wanted. I kept threatening Gene that I was going to share it all off. During our road trip it was even more miserable! Horrible water pressure mixed with different climates (AND HUMIDITY!) and by the time we were in South Carolina I was looking for the first hair cuttery I could find!

I waited until we got home though, woke up Friday morning, and called Ulta, asking if they had any openings later in the afternoon, and they did. SOLD.

I was even more pleased to learn they took care of the donation for you for Locks of Love (and that the haircut is free if you've been growing it out to donate)! So she measured it, put a few bands on it, and BOOM- chopped off my 12 inch donation before cleaning it up with some layering! So now I have a short 'do and feel FABULOUS!

My only regret is not really researching hair donation better before hand. I had never heard anything bad about Locks of Love, and they were really the only donation program I had ever heard of! Later in the day I saw a few different comments about Locks of Love, so I took to their website to get some information for you all!

"Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge of on a sliding scale, based on financial need.
The hair prosthetics Locks of Love provides are custom-made from donated ponytails for each child's head. They retail between $3,500 to $6,000. The hairpiece forms a vacuum seal, like a suction cup, and does not require the use of tape of glue. Only the wearer of the hairpiece may remove it, by breaking the vacuum seal at the temples. Children can dismiss insecurities about classmates pulling off their hairpiece, or losing it at recess. They can swim, shower, and do gymnastics- in short, they can be kids again. Each hairpiece is made from real human hair, and arrives long, so the recipient may style it to fit their face..." -Lock of Love
So doing something awesome for a great cause was part of it, but also, I kind of think it's going to be perfect for the weather in Okinawa!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning A Cross Country Road Trip

Gene and I have traveled across the country twice before, back in the summer of 2010. It was hot, we were miserable, and we just wanted to get to our destination. I wrote about it briefly here. If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you'll know we recently drove back east to drop the doggies off with their grandma and grandpa to foster while we are gone, to visit Nan one more time before we head to Okinawa, and then turned back to make a stop at the PaleoFx Symposium in Austin, TX.

Planning this trip was been no easy task. We "google mapped" from Fallbrook, to South Carolina: family stop one. We looked for an interesting way to break that down: What if we went from Fallbrook to Phoenix, to Albuquerque, to Oklahoma City... no Clarksville maybe? ... No, Oklahoma City, to Birmingham, to South Carolina? ... No, Look here, how about Olive Branch, Mississippi? Wait, what if we went from Fallbrook to Winslow, to Amarillo, to Conway, to Talledega, to South Carolina? That works, right?

We'd stay a few days in South Carolina and then make our way north to Virginia to stay with Nan for a few days. From there, we would need to make it to Austin, TX for PaleoFx. We thought about going from Norfolk to Knoxville to Memphis to Austin, but then we thought "Hey, let's drive from Norfolk to Nashville, spend a day in Nashville, then drive from Nashville to Austin!" Each of those two days on the road would have been about 13 hours, without stopping! Back to the drawing board: let's get Florida in (since I've never been) and New Orleans (never been there either)! Both would have made for long days on the road!

We decided on Virginia, to Atlanta, to New Orleans, to Austin.

Then it was a matter of getting home! Could we get from Austin to Fallbrook in 2 days? Should we make it three? We decided we would go from Austin to Albuquerque, NM to Flagstaff, AZ then home.

We've almost made it! It was a whirlwind of a month and I have so much to share with you all! #TYRFarewellAmericaTour has almost ended... first we just have to get in The Grand Canyon and Sedona, then I think I'm sleeping for a week!   

Friday, April 11, 2014

Everyone’s Competing For A Love They Won't Receive

I guess it's a sign of the times that I'm not as young as I used to be, friends. A few months ago, I heard the magical voice of Lorde singing "Royals" and I fell in love. Remember that post? I bought the EP "The Love Club" and listened about once through, not overly impressed.

The radio picked up her next big hit "The Team" from her album "Pure Heroine." I heard it once or twice and didn't even bat an eye at it. I knew it was destined to be nowhere near as good as "Royals" was. Yet, I couldn't escape it! Every single station was playing it multiple times a day, almost hourly! This young girl was catchy, and soon I fell in love.

My first thought was "Golly, where is she from? She sings about no postcode envy in "Royals" and here she is singing about cities you'll never see on tv, living in ruins! She must be from the New Zealand equivalent of Detroit!" Gene just laughs, but I wonder!

My next thought is "What in the heck is she repeating a million times at the end of that first verse? The Courthouse Inn? The club I was in? The cult I was in?" No, she's singing "send the call out" about 10 times. 

It's catchy, right? I've officially been converted, bought the album, and listen to it all the time. I'm not yet sick of throwing my hands up in the air and rocking out to it when it comes through the speakers in the car. I don't think I'll ever get sick of this kid, no matter what ghetto she grew up in!

What do you think of Lorde? I'm not saying I'll be at her concert, but gosh, in the privacy of my car, I sure do belt her songs out!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting My Birth Certificate...

When Gene got orders to Okinawa, one of the first things that I knew needed to be done was getting a passport. Not too long ago, going through boxes, we saw my birth certificate. We thought that we would be heading to Okinawa so we set it aside, somewhere safe where we wouldn't lose it. Somewhere that when the orders came through, I would be able to go to the post office and apply for my passport. Somewhere we now can't find it.

No big deal, right? We'll just right off and order a few copies! So I found the Virginia Department of Vital Records information online and printed up my application to get it. I filled it out, put it in an envelope, and mailed it off.

As I was sitting in the house a few hours after putting it in the mailbox, it hit me! I'd been putting it off, and putting it off, and decided "NO MORE!" and mailed it without thinking that the reason I'd been putting it off was because I needed a photo copy of my ID to send with it! NO! Just as I was putting on my shoes to go get it, the mail man pulled up and drove away with it.

So I called them to see what to do and find out if I could just resubmit it. So the next day we made a copy of my ID, filled out another application, and mailed it off once more. A few short weeks later, I had two envelopes in the mail from the DVR!

One, of course, was my birth certificates! I can now apply for my passport! Hopefully I get it in time!

The other one was HYSTERICAL! Not only was it a letter explaining that I needed a copy of my ID, with a list of the acceptable IDs, but also that I needed to write my address on my check. We move every few years. We never write checks, so we just have our names and phone number on them, as to not waste them once we do move. Awkwardly enough, they sure cashed the check with the proper paperwork without an address on it. Doesn't matter now though! Once more thing is crossed off the list :D

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We Danced All Night In The Best Dream Ever!

A few weeks ago I had one of the most vivid dreams I've had in a long time. One of those dreams that seems to go on all night long. I was at a camp type thing, but it was more like the food court of every mall in America. I had one of my girlfriends with me, but if you asked me I couldn't tell you who it was! There were a few people in the cast of this dream though, and I do know the others: Harry, Zayn, Niall, Liam, and Louis... of One Direction. Don't even think for a minute I didn't have to Google their names, but in my dream I knew them, they knew me, we were... friends!


They were performing, I guess at this food court camp place, and my friend and I were in the front row. We were singing and dancing and having a grand old time. When the show was done my friend and I went over and were having lunch, when Liam came over, bear hugged me, and sat down with us.

I remembered the feeling when I woke up! It was an overwhelming friendship, like we knew each other all of our lives and had pictures of us running in the backyard in diapers or something. You know, the friendships movies are made about? That was us! We sat there talking until the other guys came over. We ended up running through the mall (kind of like in The New Radicals music video for "You Get What You Give"... Did I just COMPLETELY age myself?).

Also: As if "Best Song Ever" wasn't one of my favorite songs at the moment, I REALLY love the music video for the song. Those crazy kids... They even pull off the synchronized dance moved towards the end without looking like a bunch of toolboxes.

I'm a grown woman, but it was maybe the best dream ever... Then I looked these KIDS up on wikipedia. Seriously- Harry is TEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME. Liam is only nine years younger.

Cougs for life? I don't mind it. Also, we saw the c.d. at Walgreens on Valentine's Eve, and I seriously told Gene he could get it for me for Valentine's Day (do people still buy actual discs?) and he laughed like I was joking... I wasn't. I then promptly downloaded the album and loaded it into the iPod for the road trip.

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