Pre Prego Pants!

This morning I managed to squeeze into my size 9 pre-prego Levi's and button them. Hooooooray!

Very, very good!


I guess I was wrong when I said no sappy posts about how great my husband is...

Today I thought a lot about how I ended up marrying Danny, the love of my life. Before getting married, I didn't even know that dimensions of love like this could exist. There is no way I could have predicted having feelings like this. I will think I have reached maximum love capacity, but then the next day I find that I love him even more. A blog post cannot do my feelings justice.

And now, the same is true for our kids. Before we had Jane, I was worried that I wouldn't love her enough. Danny always laughed about this. He knew that the love I would have for her would be infinite. Then, when I was pregnant again, I worried that I would love Jane more than baby Dan, because I couldn't possibly imagine loving any child as much as my daughter. But that also turned out to be untrue.

For a long time I felt discouraged about my dating choices while Danny was on his mission. I still have regrets, but I have come to terms with them. I know that marrying Danny was the best thing I ever did. I know that Heavenly Father must have also known this, because the people I dated while he was gone, although great people, were not right for me at all (and vice versa).

In most of my pre-Danny relationships, I felt like there were problems with power. The person with the least amount of commitment has all the power, and I was always, always the Queen of Cling. It's an issue when you're dating because there is doubt. You haven't committed your lives to each other, not to mention eternity! Either one could possibly break things off at any time, and there would be no consequences beyond some temporary pain.

Marriage is a total commitment. Cling is good. We both cling. I think that's what marriage means: each party putting in as much effort as possible to the relationship. Honestly, my marriage means everything to me. Sure, I have other interests, too many to list here, but if you were to strip my life of everything nonessential, what would remain would be my faith, my children, and my husband.

It's hard for me to imagine what it must be like for people who have a sexual relationship with somebody before they are married, before there is an equal promise of commitment by both parties. It was painful enough to be rejected without any physical relationship.

But I really think that things turned out for the best, for everybody involved, including our sweet children. I can't imagine life without them. I can't imagine living without Danny.

Hahaha! This made us laugh!

Another funny face!

Dan has the funniest faces!


Style Self Consciousness

There have been several times in my life when I went into (and then back out of) fashion/style-consciousness.

Seventh Grade - Eighth Grade - Ninth Grade - a giant whirlwind of crappiness wherein I went from using as many skin/hair products from Seventeen Magazine that I could afford to a realization that I was much happier being a work-a-holic student that "didn't have time" for those things.

Transformation in France (junior year): at the end of the year, they played a video with clips from the whole year. And there was one clip of me from the first few weeks we were there. Everybody in the room gasped in astonishment because I looked nearly nothing like I had just nine months earlier. From long, frizzy, very light strawberry blonde hair, no makeup, a very gawky looking teenager --> I had changed to a super short auburn (the one and only time I have ever dyed my hair was in France) bob, lots of makeup, totally French-ified clothes (scarves, coat, I even had my ears pierced in France...). Everyone turned from the movie and looked at me, many mouths were open. It was a very embarrassing moment. I wanted to hide.

There was the time I left for Jordan and then came home again, much, much, much skinnier. Okay, it was probably only like...15 pounds maximum. But suddenly the guy who I liked before, who had always really ignored me, started to pay more attention to me. This was both exciting and depressing/embarrassing. I wondered how bad he thought I looked before I had left.

Anyway, there are probably other experiences, but I'll get to the point. Every other time in my life when I have made a big change in my looks, usually going from slob to stylish, it's been very hard for me to not be embarrassed by it.

But this time, since it's totally out of my control, I will just suck it up and not be embarrassed. It's not worth wasting my time feeling that way. Every single person who gets pregnant goes through a huge body-changing process. And so who cares if suddenly I look a lot better than I did before. That's normal. I'm just adding some additional things to the mix (like caring about my hair and face) besides the typical wardrobe/body changes that every postpartum woman must endure.

One reason why I love Danny so much is because he loves me no matter how I look. Ha, the first date we ever went on, I looked horrible. My roommate Cindy basically dragged me out of bed where I was wallowing in misery after having my wisdom teeth removed. She forced me to go roller skating with some friends. I remember wearing a huge baggy t-shirt, bandana to cover my unshowered hair, and my glasses and no makeup. And even though it wasn't an official "date" date, Danny spent the whole night paying attention to me, and talking to me.

Not only that, though; Danny always thinks I'm beautiful. And I always feel beautiful around him.

Just because Danny sees me as beautiful no matter how I might actually look does not give me an excuse to look like a slob, though. I'm sure he likes it better when I look pretty. Besides, it's definitely not embarrassing to look pretty around him, and he's the main person that matters, anyway.


Triple Take

Several wards meet in our church building. I guess the other ward has new missionaries, because there were two I had never seen sitting in the hallway. And I did a double (and then triple) take because one of them looked almost exactly like the last person I dated before Danny. Which would be entirely possible, because he hadn't yet gone on a mission, and I have no idea if he ever did/is.

When I told this to Danny, he thought it was hilarious.

Me: "What would you do if it was him?"
Danny: "You mean, after I stopped laughing?"
Me: "Yeah?"
Danny: "Well, I wouldn't invite him over for dinner."

BTW it wasn't him.


My Thoughts on the "Utah Poof"

When I was a sophomore at BYU, the trendy hairstyle was big back-combed bobbi-pinned hair. I have heard it called the "Utah Poof", though I'm sure it was and maybe still is popular in other states. Here are a few choice examples.

(Why, Hilary, why!?)

I remember having strong hateful feelings against this hairstyle. I swore to myself, "I will never, ever, ever wear my hair in a Utah Poof!"

That was in 2006.

I asked my sisters in law for their beauty secrets. One of them was, "Don't use a bump it." I had to do a google search to find out what that was. Lo and behold, you can use a little plastic thingy to get this hairstyle. What!? Whoah.

When I was talking about this with my MIL, she said, "Oh yeah, that's like a really old technology." She then told me about how Victorian women used to save the hair from their brushes and make "hair rats" out of them, and put them underneath their hair to form the big, poofy styles of the day. Here is an example:

Whoah. That's pretty insane to think about.

My personal opinion now in 2010 is that a little bit of poof is not necessarily a bad thing. My hair looks horrible if it's parted straight down the middle and just hangs down the sides. Not to mention, it's so annoying because my bangs are always in my way. But if I pin the bangs up in a very, very slight poof, I think it looks great. I never would have thought that four years ago. Maybe I'm wrong. I will run it by my sisters/sisters in law to see what they think. I'm a little shy with asking the blogging world their opinion of my looks.

But yeah, my SIL is right. To be in style, avoid bump its. And hair rats...even though they technically are made of your own hair, somehow it just seems so...gross. Maybe four years from now, that will be the "big thing".

Tomorrow: thoughts about being self-conscious about trying to be in style. (Sorry I didn't post this sooner, the research on hair rats and bump its just got really interesting. Besides, yesterday Danny and I got kinda caught up in an interesting debate on our friend's facebook wall with somebody who ended up being a descendant of Korihor. What a waste).


Dot's Top 10 Beauty Secrets

Dot is my youngest sister. She is one of the most beautiful people in the world. She looks like Jessica Simpson so much that people have asked her if she is Jessica Simpson. Which she is not.

With her permission, I am posting her Style Secrets.

Dot's Top 10 Beauty Secrets
10. Skincare! If NOTHING else, at least cleanse/moisturise 2x/day and use 30 SPF daily
9. Don't overdo heat on your hair. Master 3-5 hairstyles...repeat weekly
8. Wear what's comfortable, wear what fits. Too big, too tight, NO GOOD.
7. Mineral Makeup rocks. Invest in a light foundation. Even skin complexion is so important.
6. Eyebrows frame the face. Wax 2x/year to get shape. Tweeze between wax jobs. Pencil in brows for extra bonus!
5. Exercise = best investment. Park far away, walk up staris, 30 mins cardio/day. Your skin, body, and mind will thank you.
4. Keep nails clean and filed. Polish not required but I like neutrals for hands. Brights are good with certain outfits.
3. On a daily basis, keep jewellery minimal but classic. A simple watch, pendant necklace, stud earrings never go out of style
2. For soft skin all over, exfoliate in teh shower 2x/week, and moisturise daily!
1. Smile! Brush your teeth 2x/day, floss 1x/day. White strips optional (1x/week).

Thanks, Dot!

Here's how I did today on those things:
10. Well, it's day two for me of moisturising my face. This is literally something I have not done since about 8th grade. I think my skin is pretty good, it's clear and soft and everything, but I think probably the main reason to moisturise has to do with collagen breaking down and causing wrinkles later in life? Maybe? Anybody know the answer to this? I mean, I believe Dot, and I'm taking her advice, but it would be interesting to know more about why it's a good idea. No sunscreen, though. Whoops.
9. No heat, check. Haha, that's easy enough since straightening takes forever.
8. I have ONE pair of jeans that fits the way it should right now, and maybe two or three tops. The past few...errrm....months....I've been wearing Danny's basketball shorts paired with an old t-shirt basically every day unless I'm going out. It felt good to dress up. Haha, except jeans and a casual top didn't used to be "dressing up" before.
7. Dot gave me a ton of her old Mary Kay stuff. I think it's mineral makeup? Well, today is day two of me wearing foundation, and this is not a "since" thing - I didn't ever do this before, not in the 8th grade, never. We found one that works really well for me. And I don't wear a lot, but I think that Dot is totally right about it making a difference. Again, any ideas on why this is?
6. Eyebrows - well, they're not terrible since Dot waxed them not too long ago...but...that's all I'll say for now.
5. Exercise: check.
4. Nails - well, I cleaned them yesterday but living with kids can be kinda more disgusting for my nails than you probably would care to know.
3. No jewellery today. Does that count as minimal?????
2. No...
1. Definitely brushed and flossed and brushed and will brush again. That is one of her style secrets that I have followed forever. I mean, the only people that don't really like to brush their teeth are 8 year olds. Even Jane likes to brush her teeth (i.e. suck the non-fluoride toothpaste off her light-up baby toothbrush).

All in all, not too bad for today! Tomorrow, my opinion on the "Utah Poof" hahaha I can't wait.


December is Style Month!

You know how they have a month, week, day, etc. for every single possible thing imaginable? National Save the Whales month, National Grow-A-Beard month...well, I'm not sure if those really exist, but I decided that December is my unofficial Be In Style month. It may not be national, but since nobody could possibly know all of the official ones, it doesn't matter at all.

I recently had a baby. Actually, I recently had two babies. This took an enormous toll on my body. Julia Child, my idol, says never to apologize for your cooking because you still have to eat it anyway, and apologies just make it taste worse than it already is. So I won't apologize for my looks these past two years, because you still have memories and pictures to look at. Let's just say, though, that I am totally ready to get back In Style.

Fortunately, I have a lot of things working to my advantage to help me with this goal. First, my sister is a stylist. So that right there is amazing. When she came a few months ago when baby Dan was born, I asked her for her top ten style tips, and she totally surprised me when she had them all written out for me at Thanksgiving. Now they are on my desk in a place where I can see them every day. I will write the list out later.

Second, my sister in law is also a stylist. Maybe I'll ask for her top ten style tips when I see her at Christmas...

Third, I work out every day. This is not a tongue-in-cheek comment about how motherhood is a workout (although carrying a carseat with a child in one hand and another child on my hip is basically like lifting weights!), I really do exercise every day. It's not a super intense workout, but every day Jane begs and begs for a stroller ride. Every day. No exceptions. So I take her, to the park, to the church, to the school, to the library, around the block...we walk. Low impact cardio. This month, I will start to *try* to do more, which I know I should, but if I don't, I won't feel too terrible.

Fourth, nursing burns a lot of calories. It did last time, although I didn't really have a long enough break between pregnancies to know exactly how fast I returned to my prepregnancy weight. I'm pretty sure I didn't, but we don't and never will own a scale. I seem to remember losing a ton of weight very quickly, and then retaining about ten-ish pounds.

Fifth, I have medium-long hair that is pretty much undamaged. Some split ends. But no heat damage or color damage, because I never straighten my hair anymore and Danny has said he would bawl his eyes out if I ever dyed my hair. Plus, I love my hair color. I'm super excited to learn how to do different things with my hair this month. I've mustered up the courage and motivation to move beyond half ponytails and french braids.

There are many factors working against me, but I will only choose to point out one of them: The majority of my clothes don't fit. I'm at that stage where my pants are either way too saggy to even have a belt hold them up effectively, or they're too tight and I can barely squeeze into them. But ::::drumroll::::: squeeze into my pre-prego pants today I did! Don't ask if I could button them, though.

So, here's how I did on day one:
  • I did my hair in a French Twist. It looked awesome. First time in my life that I have ever held my hair up with just bobby pins; they're way more effective than I thought possible!
  • I wore a skirt because it was the absolute only thing that fits me right now. Had to change my top three times because of spit up. Oh well.
  • I did my makeup. I don't usually put on makeup unless I'm going out of the house. I found that I was a lot happier all day. Weird, but not that weird I guess.
  • One of Dot's style secrets is to moisturize and wear SPF 30 every day. She stressed that point to me, so I did it.
  • Walked to the park and played there with Jane.
All in all, a good start to STYLE MONTH.

If you want, you can join me in this journey. I will post Dot's style secrets tomorrow.