Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wild Woman

So I did it!  Well, mostly did it.  I'm in the process of changing my hair.  I was going to wait to do it as a reward to getting back in shape, but then I realized that my hair was going to take quite some time "getting in shape" and what better time than do both together.  And so I upped and did it.  Not by myself though.  That would have been tough.  Sooooo before I go on to share what I did let me give you some background so you may understand a bit better.

Growing up I was like most kids, wanting to fit in.  However, when I got to highschool I was fed up with all of the cliques.  You needed to look like this to be popular, you needed to that to fit in, you had to do, do, do.  I hated it.  But, I am also the person who wants to do right (and might I add be right....ahem), so I never strayed too far from normal.  But I did ever so slightly skip to a different beat.  I hesitate to say that I was an artist.  I had the talent, but never really embraced being *me*.  Case in point, in an art class in college I was working on a project assigned by the teacher, she said she loved it, keep doing what I was doing.  Then when it came back graded, I got a C.  What?  How can that be?  I talked with her about it, and let's just say she definitely had her favorites in the class, I wasn't one of them.  I think the fear of 'making it', of doing a good job, interfered with the artful process.  That creative spirit though lived on.

Fast forward a handful of years and I become a mother.  Oh, I had dreams for my children.  I envisioned a wonderful life of simplistic living.  Natural products, food, and open ended toys.  Lots of exploring, outside time and learning.  I wanted to open up that artistic flow and join my children in the process to become creative beings.  Instead I was met with a lot of "this is how things are", this is the way everyone else does things, that is not doable, etc.  And so my dreams faded, though they left a mark on my heart, to never be forgotten.

A few more years into the future, with growing children and still a new creature in Christ, wanting desperately to do the right thing by my children.  Many wrong turns made, wanting to undo the damage, and yet we found ourselves in a place that in the end made matters worse.  For some time, though I do not doubt my salvation, I have to say we played religion.  We had the best of intentions.  This religion was full of do's and do nots.  I needed to act like, 'this', wear 'that', believe 'such and such'.  Now PLEASE do NOT misunderstand me here.  There ARE absolutes, but those reside in the gospel.  There are plenty of other truths throughout scripture that help us to govern our lives.  But there are plenty of other things that are gray areas.  People should not be making rules out of the gray areas.  This is the trap we found ourselves in.

We came out of that time of our lives.  It was a recovery.  And I really mean that. For some of my friends who followed the same path. they will all say it's been a recovery.  Learning to *Know* God's LOVE, GRACE and MERCY.  That has been so refreshing and so freeing.  And, might I add, scary all at the same time.  I like lines in the sand, they make me feel safe.  I like a list of rules that I can check off, knowing that I did everything right.  Ahhh how silly it all seems now.  Living life without a list.  A crazy notion.

So, what does this have to do with my hair?  I mean, it's just hair.  Yes, yes it is.  But you see, I've done something a bit unconventional with mine.  Something that others may think goes against being Godly even (it may be considered crossing the line of modesty for some).  But for me, it is an outward expression of my freedom.  It is something I've wanted to do for many years.  Too afraid to do so.  It's not what a 'proper' Christian does with their hair.  But now I am free to do so.  I am free to love God with crazy hair.  I am free to want to live simplistically with my children (though that will take a lot longer to work out).  It's ok to dress modestly, but maybe a bit unconventionally.  It's ok to be creative.  It's ok to BE ME!  God made me who I am, I don't have to be like Miss Suzzie Q, or Jenny Jones, or anyone else.  I can like or enjoy things that others don't.

So I came to the above conclusions and told my husband what I wanted to do.  And he was ok with it.  He was more than ok with it, he asked if he could help!  He actually didn't want me to wait.  So this past Monday he sat behind me and helped me with my hair.  He helped my start my dreadlocks. He did all the sectioning!  Moira has been helping me to twist and rip each section.  I'm not sure if we are 'doing it right', but seeing as how you can actually do nothing with your hair to let dreadlocks form, than I suppose we can't really mess it up.  And a mess it is!  Ha, ha.

I had little rubber bands for each section, and after sleeping on those for one night I made sure they were NOT there the following night.  OUCH!  So I put in loose braids.  That was days ago, and I have a whole lot of loose hairs flying around.  So I will not have nice, clean baby dreads.  Mine are going to be messy.  But you know what?  My life is messy.  I have 8 children and a gob of animals.  Life. Is. Messy.

I had to go to Walmart the other day for our regular shopping.  Yes, I went out, without a headband or anything. I got quite a few smiles from people.  I am sure they they got a kick out of the mop on my head.  Ha, ha.  My girls however told me that they really like them.  They suite me, they said.  I'll take that :-)  Below you can see the process so far.  My goal is to get at least five sections done each day.  I think it will take me a week from now to be done if I can get five in each day.  My ends keep coming undone.  My ends are layered and are not up to being pulled up.  Hopefully over time they will do so.

My before picture.

The side.  A note, I did love my hair as it was.  My friend gave me an awesome haircut.  It had grown out, and I figured it was time for the change.

Let the sectioning begin!  I wish we could have gotten it done all in one day.  Everything was pretty neat and tidy.  Now?  Not so much.

 Octomom :-)

The back.

And here they are....some of them.  My ends do not want to mat up.  So I have whispy ends, which I really like.  You can see all the braids in the back.  Merida loves the braids, more specifically the colored rubber bands.

Just call me Mrs. Fuzzy.

Today, all pulled back.  When they are back, you really can't notice much since the ends are wispy.

Look at that naughty baby dread trying to escape from the top (in the back).  The ones I am doing in the back don't always fall the right way.  I have Moira start it out for me so they aren't too uncontrollable.

The back.  I have a small row at the top done.  Most people work from the bottom up, but it seems easier for me to work my way down.

And who can resist a picture with baby in it?  She was coveting my camera remote :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baby Cakes

Wow, what a remiss mommy I am.  Totally lacking in the photography department of baby Merida.  I mean, she's seven months old now (WOW, time flies), and I have personally taken about 20 pictures of the child.  Oy.  Now, to my defense, this has been for safety reasons.  "Safety?",  you may ask.  Yes, safety.  Merida does have two very active brothers ahead of her.  Brothers who want to hold her, share their small Legos with her, play wrestle with her, try to carry her.....dangerous, dangerous indeed.  It is difficult to take pictures of a baby in your arms, when that baby is a wiggle worm, and when you have to be taking the picture as well.  Merida spends 75% of her waking time in my arms.  The rest of the time she is either in someone else's arms, in her exersaucer, or on the ground.  But usually, if she is in someone else's arms I am making a mad dash around the house trying to get things done.  She is still not sleeping well for naps leaving me with little time, with two hands, to get things done.

As a matter of fact I only made Aubrey and I breakfast, started typing and she is awake from her nap!  Ugh!  Today, before she went down for her nap, with only Aubrey up and occupied, I grabbed my camera.  I was able to get a few pictures of sweet Merida.

Merida was intrigued by my camera.  A new toy!

Too funny.  I love her facial expressions.

A sweet smile.

She has so many shared traits with different children.  She is strong willed like Isabella, but quiet like Moira, and here you can see she can be very studious and serious, like Aubrey.

But, that changes quickly :-)

Being seven months old means there won't be too many toothless smiles left.  I have to say I always miss that part of babyhood.  I am sad to say I do not have but a few pictures to document this stage :-(

Look at that girlie!  She is able to get up on hands and knees.  She can't crawl yet, but she knows how to get up, like above, and 'fall' forward, to inch her way around.  So she is semi mobile right now!  Yikes. I was able to get a decent shot of her sweet cheeks.  I love how round her cheeks are....soooo squishy and cute!
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