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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Kind of Prayer.

I feel perplexed and wordless. But I'd rather say the wrong thing than say nothing.

As a person with panic disorder, I live in great fear every day. I dread what many or most barely notice. And I know how fear cripples my ability to love.

Fear coupled with hate breeds cruelty, violence, and evil. This can splatter far beyond the actual objects of the fear and hate. It can cover everything.

Every person needs to acknowledge his or her fear. His or her hate.

Love has got to be stronger than hate.

Love has got to be bigger than fear.

Love coupled with kindness creates hope.

We need hope desperately.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What I Can Look Forward To.

I'm not feeling my best. Actually, my feelings are ominous. I only know a few ways to combat that, and one is happy anticipation. So what can I look forward to?
  • The mail. It comes almost every day, and even though it's mostly bills and EOBs, I look forward to it. I just recently got a surprise gift in the mail!
  • Time with Josh on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Josh doesn't go to the office every day in the summer, and Oliver goes to ABA (for autism treatment). We might run errands, exercise together, or just nap.
  • The next book. I have so many great books waiting for me. Of course, I have to finish the current book.
  • Seeing family. I try to see my family once a month or so. I can always look forward to so much laughter.
  • Putting on makeup. I do this almost every day, and as long as I'm not too rushed, it's fun. I play around with colors and mix older products with newer ones. I still have samples I've not yet tried.
  • Using my current favorite pen. It's soft and black with a gold clip and a white end that makes it look like a magician's wand. The tip is almost needle thin. I write with it daily.
What do you look forward to when you're in a thick gloom or worse?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Beauty Wish List.

Since I was 16 (half my life!), I've always had a big beauty wish list. I don't know if any shopping is as fun as shopping for makeup. I love it alone and with a companion. I love it in a bright Ulta or a shadowy Sephora. I love the colors and sparks that catch my eye. I love swatching the colors on my wrist, seeing which ones really sparkle like they do in the pan and which ones last on my skin. I'm not doing much shopping these days, but these items are at the top of my wish list.

1. Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Eye Shadow Trio in Peace. These sea glass shades stun me, and they all glitter or glimmer. I have trouble finding blues that shimmer and suit me. But these are perfect. I received a sample of Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink, and I've been paying attention to Bobbi Brown ever since. Funny, I used to think she was too grown-up for me! But I'm suddenly 32, and she has a lot of the glitter I love.

2. Too Faced Glitter Bomb Eyeshadow Collection. I like every color! When does that happen? The palette has plenty of pinks, which I'm loving right now, and the sea foam shade with the blue glitter is gorgeous. I'm so glad to see that sparkles are coming back. I can't wait to play with this at Ulta or our mini Sephora in J. C. Penny's. By the way, Too Faced is my second favorite beauty brand (after Urban Decay).

3. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Cruel. This shimmery red will complete my Snow White look! And I love the shiny metal tube. I love UB for continuing with shimmers and metallics despite the matte trend (though UD certainly does matte too!).

4. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Bloom. This is a newish pink shade I want to try. Sugar Lip is amazing--the perfect blend of lip balm and lipstick. I've gotten Mom hooked on it too. I think we both discovered it when two mini balms were the birthday gift from Sephora. The rosy metal tubes are so fancy. At $24, though, I won't be buying Sugar any time soon!

5. Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow in Frannie 408 (white shimmer),
6. Shoshanna 414 (teal shimmer), and
7. On the Verge 412 (grape shimmer). I fell hard for Marc Jacobs Beauty when I tested his Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in (Luna)Tic 64 on my wrist. The color, shimmer, and texture were just perfect. I think I thought I wasn't good enough for Marc Jacobs. Psssh. And right now, I'm so into crayon or stick eyeshadow, so these are dreamy.

8. Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eye Shadow in Silver Lilac,
9. Ballet Pink, and
10. Sunlight. I have a custom Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette with space for six shadows. The palette currently holds one! It's a pretty purple shimmer, and I'd love to give it some sparkly friends.

11. LORAC's Beauty and the Beast Cheek Palette and
12. Beauty and the Beast PRO Eyeshadow Palette. I don't need to tell you why these are so awesome. I was so happy to see them; I'm still mourning the death of the Disney-Sephora collaboration. The packaging here is lovely, and I love the variety. If I had to choose between these two, surprisingly, I would pick the cheek palette. I'd use the colors for blush and for eyeshadow. I've never had anything by LORAC.

13. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Spandex (dark blue),
14. AMP (light blue), and
15. Junkshow (hot pink). I have this in ACDC (purple). It's fun to use on its own but also looks good over a matte black eyeliner. I love the Cinderella blue (AMP) especially.

Those top the list! What kinds of wish lists are you hiding?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Loving What I Have.

For much of our marriage, Josh and I have been broke. I have plenty of memories of more prosperous points. One of my favorites is of eating take-out Panera every Sunday on our huge balcony in Charlotte. I remember the fun of shopping for work clothes at Loft with my mom and of buying journals wherever I found special ones. Right now, we're leveled because I'm too sick (or would quickly become too sick) to work, Josh can't find supplementary work (and he's working hard already), we all have hundreds of dollars in prescription and doctor copays, Oliver is starting new autism treatment, and more.

I love shopping. To me, it's more like curating areas of my life. I love choosing writing tools and makeup especially. I'm not fixated on clothes or furniture or home goods right now, though I've certainly been there with manic intensity (literally bipolar).

So. I have to focus more on loving what I already have. Only when I'm in a blaze of mania am I likely to buy something I won't love forever. Even then, it's rare. I have a lot of objects, but they are specific to me, chosen for my life or treasured as gifts. They help me be who I am and want to be, or they remind me of that.

I have writing tools to last a lifetime. I have enough journals and pens to last, though special tools will still go on my wish lists. Some of the journals are incredibly beautiful, and most have pages I've adorned with stickers, an easy way to add a little personalized beauty and magic. I have a ton of pens, and I use them. I alternate colors and match them to the journal's cover art.

I also have a lot of makeup. I've loved eye makeup for many years, but I've more recently been interested in lipstick too. Applying makeup is a reliably fun part of my day. Right now, I'm trying to create a different look every time I wear makeup--it helps me rediscover and make good use of what I have. Still, I have a wish list for makeup too, of course! I may even share it with you.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

What Makes Me Feel Beautiful.

  • Jeans that fit. Even if I don't like the size I need.
  • Unexpected glitter on my skin, such as finding sparkles on my hands after using a glitter gel pen.
  • Dancing, even if I'm just playing around at home.
  • Jewelry. Earrings and necklaces are another way to express my style, and they make me feel confident. Out in the world, I get more compliments on my jewelry than anything else.
  • Displaying photos of myself when I was truly happy. I have one in my living room. It reminds me of how capable I am of happiness and how pretty that happiness can be. It's also just a great photo of Oliver and me, so I see it when I visit family too.
  • Being told I'm beautiful. As I've said, I get this from two men every day and on sweet rare occasions from others. People do need to be told they look great; I need to remember that.
  • Swimming. I feel fluid and bright in the water.
  • Hearing that I'm graceful. A few people have said this (when I was 12, 20...), and it's one of the best compliments.
  • Wearing pink. Pink seems to do what even makeup can't. I feel aglow when I wear certain shades of pink.
  • Wearing rings. Someone complimented my hands when I was 14, and I've never forgotten it. I love adding sparkle to my hands--rings catch the light and adorn my hands, which are precious tools without which I couldn't turn a page.
  • Writing by hand. The pose and movement feel lovely, and I know I must glimmer when I'm deep in one of the actions I love most.
  • Having Good Mother Moments. A good mother is always beautiful. I feel a little of that beauty when I know I'm effectively guiding Oliver or showing him love.
  • Getting eye contact from Oliver. Occasionally, he will smile, tilt his head, and gaze into my eyes for several seconds. I drop everything and feel like I must have wings.
  • Wearing lipstick. I went years without caring for lipstick, but now, I'm enjoying it, especially if it sparkles. I've even started using lip liner! I like having some control over the face I show each day.
  • Wearing eye makeup. I like my green eyes, and I like framing them. It's a way to play and express myself.
  • Good leave-in conditioner. My hair is naturally unruly and tangled. But if it's trimmed and shiny and dark, I feel like Snow White.
  • Embracing my skin. I'm quite pale, but I enjoy the contrast with my hair.
  • Complimenting others. When I notice and comment on others' appearance, for some reason, I feel pretty too.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Current Emergencies.

  • I'm nearly out of mermaid stickers.
  • I don't have enough store credit to buy the mermaid journals at 2nd and Charles.
  • My birthday has passed, and I must live without eating carrot cake twice a day.
  • I can't buy all the sparkly makeup in the world (especially this).
  • I'm not automatically getting thin.
  • I won't see Phantom until March.
  • My black eyeliner is transferring.
  • The Phantom refuses to sing to me through the mirror on my door.
  • Terrence Mann never wrote me back.
  • The Handmaid's Tale is over. Until NEXT YEAR.
  • Rain has soaked the ankles of my jeans. Shudder.
  • I can't find my Beauty and the Beast sweatshirt (edit: Josh found it).
  • I won't be going to Disney World any time soon.
  • Mail doesn't come on Sundays. Mail is the original Chick Fil-A.
  • I look forward to mail, and then, it's bills.
  • I'm terrible at painting my nails.
  • I can't say essential words like giraffe, kimono, and mischievous.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Last Day of 31.

Every year on the day before my birthday, I take some time to write about or at least ponder all that I've done in the previous year. I feel like I should earn the next year. Thirty-one has not been an easy year, so I'm going to do my best with this.
  • I've adjusted to being a stay-at-home mother--not the best one, but a functional one.
  • I spent the entire year trying to get Oliver set up in ABA therapy. And tomorrow, on my birthday, Oliver will meet his own ABA technician who will work with him one-on-one for 20 hours a week.
  • I got Oliver into pre-Kindergarten--much paperwork and plenty of meetings (with help from Mom).
  • I recovered from my first broken bone.
  • I embraced stability when I had it and didn't despair when I lost it. I'm scraping along.
  • I watched my blog exceed 100,000 views.
  • I read 39 books.
My list is usually much longer, but some of these are especially impactful or took an especially long time. So, do you think that's enough?