Category Archives: #throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday: Adventures with Self Tanner

‘Tis the season, friends: summer is nearly upon us. But not quite. Our shorts beg to be worn, but our legs, in all their pasty white glory, scream, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” (To my brown-skinned friends: just read on and laugh, mmkay?) To remedy the issue, self tanners beckon from the shelves, promising, “You, too, can DIY your way to perfectly sun(less)-kissed skin!”

I went for it last spring. And yes, I too had *ahem* astounding results.

Let us remember. #tbt #neverforget

Originally published on May 11, 2015.

Looking forward to summer fun, I bought 3 bottles of sunless tanner last week. If summer, self tanner - or funny fails - are your thing, you want to read this right now. Spoiler alert: don’t come to me for your sunless tanning tips.I have a complicated history with at-home beauty treatments. So, naturally, I decided to buy 3 bottles of sunless tanner last week. (It was buy 2, get 1 free. How could I not?)

For my first application, I’m a bit tentative. I exfoliate. I moisturize my knees, elbows, and ankles. Then, just a bit of self-tanner on the arms, a smidge on the legs. It’s clear I’ve learned my lesson about aggressive product application. (You probably want to read about that here.)

Unfortunately, my extreme caution results in… not much of anything. So, I proceed with what I deem the next appropriate step:

Re-apply With Reckless Abandon.

I use approximately half the bottle, “just to see what this stuff can really do.”

Well, “what this stuff can really do” is quite remarkable.

I admire my ravishing reflection for a few moments, quite pleased with my sun-kissed self. Waiting for the lotion to dry, I peruse the back of the bottle.

“This luxurious sunless tanning lotion is a real treasure that will give you a perfect tan…” Don’t I know it! I look amazing.

“Apply a rich moisturizer to elbows, knees, and ankles to keep these areas from getting too dark.” I TOTALLY DID THAT. Holy crap, I’m like a professional self-tanner.

“Your tan will achieve its maximum darkness in 4 hours.” This color is perf – wait, what? Maximum darkness in what? Um…

It’s already 8:30 pm, and there’s no way I’m staying awake for 4 more hours. (Who am I kidding – I’m lucky if I’m awake 30 more minutes.) Looks like somebody’s waking up a SUN GODDESSSSS.

The next morning. You guys.

I LOOK LIKE I ACTUALLY JUST GOT HOME FROM THE BEACH!

If that beach was in Florida.

And while in Florida I went to an orange grove and rubbed them all over my body.

So that I would look tan. But also kind of orange.

And.

I am shimmering.

Like. a. unicorn.

NOWHERE ON THE BOTTLE DOES IT MENTION ANY FORM OF SHIMMER.

WHERE WAS THE SHIMMER DISCLOSURE?!

So really, the moral of the story is: beauty products hate me All Things in Moderation. Also, don’t come to me for your self tanning tips.

Your turn – spill it. What are your worst (best?) beauty product fails?

Throwback Thursday: And now you know.

As of next week, I will have two children in elementary school. That is ALL OF MY CHILDREN. As in, THERE WILL BE NO CHILDREN AT MY HOUSE ALL DAY.

Part of me (okay, a LOT of me) is just trying to keep my excitement at a civilized level.

Another part of me is simply stunned at how quickly we’ve reached this season. And if I linger too long over it, my heart feels that familiar squeeze all over again.

Here’s what I wrote the first time around, with Owen. (It all seemed a bit more intense with him. He’s my first. So, I guess that makes sense.)

But she’s my last. I’m finding that brings an ache of its own.

Originally published on August 18, 2014.

I cried the Ugly Cry today. Sometimes it seems my kids are just growing up so fast. So much that I cried the Ugly Cry about it today. Am I the only one who’s thought "WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” Whether your children are babies or grown, find encouragement in this short must-read.

My firstborn, my baby boy, that sweet boy who made me a mama, that bundle of life who waited so long and then came so fast I hardly knew what hit me…

He starts school in one week.

One week from today, I will drive him to a sweet old elementary school and entrust him to the care of an exceptional staff for SEVEN HOURS. And I will do this FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

He will be just three miles away. He will have the time of his life.

And I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest.

I remember the first night I laid that baby boy to sleep in his crib in his own room. He was three steps away. But he was SO SMALL. And that crib seemed SO BIG.

Post-partum hormones crashed like a wave, and I hiccup-sobbed to my mom, “I just LOVE. HIM… SO… MUCH…”

She held me close (stifling a giggle at my snotty-hiccuppy-Ugly-Cry) and said, “And now you know.”

She pulled back so she could look in my eyes and said with all the fervor in her heart, “I still feel that way about you.”

Oh, God.

“WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” I cry to Heaven, now over six years later.

And I don’t mean sending my child to school. I mean BECOMING A MOTHER.

God, how do our hearts survive this?

The cry gets uglier as I picture my aunt sending her twin boys to COLLEGE over the weekend. It seems just yesterday that THEY were babies.

In twelve years, I’ll be doing the same thing. In twelve short years, we’ll help this boy, this precious boy who laid so small in a great big crib, move into a dorm and then out in the world, and he just seems so little, and the world is just so big, and GOD, MY HEART CANNOT BEAR THIS.

Maybe next year I’ll be the mom at the end of the summer saying, “Please! Teachers! Take him back! I’m dying here!”

But this is not that year. This year, our first year sending our son to school, I hold him close. I marvel at how he’s grown, how tall he is, how funny, how altogether incredible to me.

And I marvel still more that of all the little boys in all of time, this boy calls me Mom.

My mom was right. Now I know. Oh, how I know. This ache. This blessed ache of a mother’s heart… It started with you, son. You’ve ruined me. In the most sacred of ways, you’ve ruined me.

And God, You have the audacity to say you love this child EVEN MORE THAN I DO? That claim would really piss me off, except that I know it’s true. Oh thank You, Jesus, it’s true.

Fresh tears roll as He draws me near, whispering with all the fervor in His heart:

“And now you know…

I feel that way about you.”

1John419**Hey, mama! Are you feeling a lot more “WOOHOO!!” than “Boohoo” about your kid going to school? Do you want to vomit if one more person tells you to savor every moment? Then, you probably want to read this OTHER post I wrote. 😉

There is room at the table for all of us.

 

Throwback Thursday: A simple plan for your worst! race! ever! (I do dumb things.)

I recently began training for my second marathon, and I’m pretty pumped about it. While there’s much to do in preparation, I can largely capture what NOT to do in this little post from last year.

Happy Throwback Thursday, people. Enjoy the laughs.

Originally published on March 10, 2014.

I did something really stupid.If you’re looking for how to run your BEST RACE EVER - this is totally NOT IT. (But if you want to feel better about yourself - or just need a really good laugh - you want to read this right now.)

I ran a half marathon.

For which I had not trained.

I don’t mean I just didn’t get in any tempo runs or mile repeats or whatever. I mean my longest “long run” was 5 miles. Also, my average weekly mileage was 5 miles. So basically I’d been going for a 5-mile run once a week for the past 8 weeks. That means this half marathon was 13.1 miles of Pure Crazy, people.

Back when I registered, the plan had been to give myself something to train for and set myself up to feel like complete awesomeness on my 35th birthday.

As described above, that didn’t really pan out, but my competitive nature still kicked in and said, “Do it. You can gut this out. Get out there. This thing CAN’T HOLD YOU DOWN. YOU’RE ARUNNERDAMMIT.”

That kind of self-talk can only lead to good things, right?

Fast forward to race morning. My alarm goes off. I don’t remember why my alarm is going off so early on a Saturday morning. I hit snooze, drowsily hoping I’ll know what’s going on when it goes off again.

Alarm goes off again. I bolt upright in bed, remembering: RACE. This thought is not met with joy.

Stumbling into the bathroom, I find a note from my husband written in shaving cream across the bathroom mirror. “Good luck. Love u.” My first thought is, “Seriously, I JUST cleaned that damn mirror. I am not cleaning that up.” Then I decide it was thoughtful and I’m a jerk.

I go through an abbreviated version of my race-morning routine. The abbreviated version because, typically, hitting snooze is not included in the routine and I’m suddenly panicked because I don’t know how to get to where I need to park uptown and why did I hit snooze I NEED THOSE NINE MINUTES BAAAAACK.

I grab my race bib & a cup of coffee, and run out the door.

I get three minutes away from my house and realize I’m starving and about to run a half marathon on a glass of water and a cup of coffee.

So, naturally, I go through the McDonald’s Drive Thru. Yes, really.

I eat a Bacon, Egg, & Cheese. ON MY WAY TO THE RACE. Like a boss.

My ninja-like navigation skillz lead me successfully around the correct parking garage three times and then into a different parking garage and then straight to the (3/4-mile-long) line of women waiting to use the bathroom.

Next stop: the starting line. This race doesn’t have designated pacing groups, and the half-marathon start is combined with the 5K start. So determining similarly-paced runners can be tricky. Left to my own devices, I resort to a tried and true method: look at people and make judgements about their fitness level based on their appearance.

The man with the teeny shorts, spindly legs, and Garmin the size of his head?
Too fast for me.

The woman in the compression socks and double braids with ice in her veins?
Too fast for me.

I wisely choose to start near the big man wearing jeans.

The gun goes off. Eleven minutes later, I cross the starting line.

The next 5 miles are quite delightful. Of course they are. I run 5 miles every week.

Miles 6, 7, & 8 are less delightful, but I’m still moving, spurred along by the cheers and homemade signs of my fans the people who know the people around me.

SIDE NOTE: In the “Homemade Signs That Made Me Smile Through the Pain” Contest, an adorable pair of little boys win 1st place with:
HURRY MOMMY! DAD DIDN’T FEED US.

Second place goes to:
SMILE IF YOU’RE NOT WEARING UNDERWEAR
(Although I actually am wearing underwear, so I quickly turn my smile into a frown for the sake of accuracy.)

Third place belongs to:
RUN YOUR BUTT OFF!!! Oh wait, you don’t have one.

And honorable mention goes to:
GOOD JOB YOU’RE BEATING ALL THE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU

The reason the last one only receives an honorable mention is I can only smile for a moment before I’m paranoid that THERE IS NO ONE BEHIND ME. I am in last place, aren’t I?

But I reach mile 9, and something wonderful happens. My legs go numb.

I run the next mile or so in a zombie-like state, thinking, “Just get to 10 before you walk.”

I pass the 10-mile mark, the numbness fades, and the pain rolls in with a vengeance. My competitive side suddenly barks, “Suck it up! You DON’T WALK IN A RACE!”

My realistic side says, “Excuse me. You are not, in fact, racing. You had a Bacon, Egg, & Cheese for breakfast, and you are shuffling. You can walk faster than you are currently running.”

I walk.

Fellow competitors shuffle past (I wasn’t in last place!), and through miles 10-12, I intersperse 3-4 walk breaks amid my shuffle-running.

With one (POINT ONE) mile to go, I find new strength. (Due in small part to my strong desire for the whole thing to be over already, and in large part to the woman on the sidewalk holding the neon green sign declaring, “YOU CAN.”)

I make the last turn, and the final quarter mile lies before me. At that very moment, heaven opens and the angels start singing “Can’t Hold Us.” Okay, maybe it’s Macklemore on my playlist, but whatevs. It’s a gift from the good Lord, and I receive it.

I truck it across the finish line like the man in jeans is chasing me. (Kind of fast, but not really.) Before I even know what has happened, I’m holding a finisher’s medal and a bottle of PowerAde.

I wish I had a huge spiritual epiphany to share about this experience. But sometimes the only epiphany He gives me is, “It’s really stupid to not train for a half marathon and then run it anyway. But good job. Kind of.”

Well, amen to that. Here’s to learning lessons the hard way. And Advil. Lots and lots of Advil.