Wednesday, March 28, 2012


My hair and I are having a moment. It's a good moment. That hasn't happened for a while.

You might remember that I can always think of something I'd rather do than fuss with my hair. Blow dryers are hot. Curling makes my arms tired. Professional styling services are expensive. My hair naturally bends in funny directions. I am going gray. I'm uncoordinated and generally don't care that much.

Good news, though. I have found a friend who does a lovely job on color. Right now we have a light-to-medium chestnut brown thing going on with some coppery highlights. Next month we go for bolder blond ombre highlights, which will be fun for summer, and low-maintenance which is very important for me. My friend does a nice job keeping my now-long layers in line and cutting long, sideswept bangs so at least I have something going on that points your attention away from my enormous cheeks. Bonus, I can bring Z along to her house to play with her kids while I get prettied up.

The length - now a good few inches below my shoulders - means my hair goes wavy instead of bending weird and flipping funny. That's good. Wavy is the Thing now, you know. So I have good color, a good cut, and the Thing.

I let my hair air dry without combing it. Then smooth on a little of this stuff - Sally Hershberger Wreck & Roll Texturizing Cream. Just a dot, maybe the size of a Cheerio or smaller. I rub it all over my hands and then just run my hands over my hair. It smells like roses, calms frizz and makes waves that look like I've spent the day at the beach. Good stuff.

If the waves need more help curling up - you know, if it's a dry day or whatever, which is almost always in Montana, I use a wave enhancing spray and then scrunch. Sometimes even with a blow dryer on low heat. KMS makes a nice spray, linked above. A cheaper alternative, still good, is this wave-enhancing spray from Garnier Fructis. I also have some Aussie Sprunch Spray for stubborn spots in my hair, but beware, it will take you right back to the days of spiral perms and the bangs style known as The Claw. Yes indeed, crunchy hair. Use sparingly, right.

For days when I do actually feel like doing my hair, I was lucky recently to get an InStyler as a gift from my friend Victoria. It's stinkin' cool. Sometimes I use it on my whole head for a really polished look (all right, that's almost never - when do I need to be polished these days?) but more often I just use it to straighten my bangs and make them go the way I want, to imitate an Emma Stone look with sleek bangs and waves in the rest of my hair. I love it that that's a really current look with absolutely minimal effort.

So, yay for me and my hair moment. It's all in the waves.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have been a little in the dumps, no lie. The end of winter is tough around here. Spring is a tease. But eventually it can't resist and then it's like fun comes back into the world.

I'm going to follow Ms. Marta's lead and do a purposeful, positive post. Marta wrote about things she's looking forward to. Here are mine.

  • Staying home all weekend this weekend, making yummy food, spreading out the Legos on the floor, coloring, chilling, listening.
  • Visiting my family in Utah for Easter. I haven't seen them since October. That's a long time. I miss them. I will be meeting my new nephew, who so far seems to have the largest eyes of any human ever before seen. Super cute.
  • My birthday, sort of? Turning 38 next month. I don't know, I'm pretty ambivalent about pushing 40. But I do like birthdays and parties, so, what the heck.
  • Getting my oldest son's school situation sorted out. I think they finally get it. Tomorrow we start some stuff that I asked for a year ago when I signed him up to go back to public school. Here we go.
  • Gardening. We are not going on any really long trips this summer, so I am determined to make it good!
  • Summer vacation to Utah, then off to Montreal for a few days with just Dr. G and me (thanks to my gracious parents) and then back to Utah for massive family reunioning. I'll be seeing people I haven't seen in years and I am so excited and happy about that.
  • Possibly getting up to Glacier National Park for a few days in August. We've been in Montana all this time and haven't gone up there yet. That's disgraceful, and we have to fix it!
  • My little chica starting kindergarten this fall. Life is about to change.

Friday, March 23, 2012


My witness is that this is not OK.

I've been perilously near losing someone dear to me in an all-too-similar story. It's not all right that we make our young people feel this way. I believe we need to do better.

Men are that they might have joy. Gay men (and women) too. God wants you to live and be happy. Grab a tissue before you click "play" on this video.

If you would like to learn more, I really recommend Carol Lynn Pearson's book No More Goodbyes as a starting point.

If you would like to start talking to your kids about what it means to be gay and protecting them against the forces - internal and external - that take down a lot of young, gay Mormons, you could maybe start here. (It's been a few years since I wrote that FHE plan and some of my thoughts have changed but I still think it's a good beginning framework for most Mormon families.)

If you need a safe person to talk to about being gay or a member of your family being gay (or lesbian or transgendered or fill-in-the-blank) I would like to be that person for you if I can. Or for someone you know. Especially if you're Mormon and trying to navigate all of that. I am not a professional or really an expert but I am quite sure I can listen and love and not judge, and I think that sometimes that's what some people need the most. I have given this a lot of thought and I feel like it is what I can do right now to start to heal some wounds I've caused in the past.

Thanks to my friend Veronica for the song, and Reese Dixon for the news link. Thanks to my new friend Lorian for helping me see the importance of my witness. And thanks to my brothers for surviving, being brave and strong, and helping me learn.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


In the Bad Bad Dark Dark Winter of Sickness and Depression, which is my name for December 2001 - March 2002, my toddler got kicked out of the daycare at the gym for hitting. It was my only respite from mothering a difficult toddler and a perpetually sick infant (he had ear issues) and I thought I might die. We went to a child psychiatrist. He watched us interact. I did a lot of crying. One outburst I particularly remember bawling out was, "I can't even read a book for half an hour!" I was 27. Having a hard time accepting that my life was sort of not mine anymore.

After a few sessions he told me he thought my toddler was basically normal (HA! Shows what he knew) and that I was depressed (well, he got that right; I think it was SAD because March rolled around and I suddenly, magically felt better). Then he said something to me that I've never forgotten:

"Does anyone at your church know you're in this kind of pain?"

The answer was, of course, no. For church we put on our perfect clothes and our perfect hair and makeup and our perfect smiles. When we have problems, and we all do, we do not tell. This is the code.

I still do not take all my issues to church. For one thing, I am more aware than ever before that everybody has their own issues. Many people have a lot more than I do to deal with. I am not really well equipped to offer a lot to others right now, and I am not expecting a lot of help. After all, everything I've got, I signed up for. Literally. That's something fun only adoptive parents can say.

But I do not pretend to be perfect anymore.

I have a special needs kid whose issues are almost invisible and really, really hard to define and treat. I am doing everything I feel like I can do to help, and it's never enough. It's never going to be fixed. It affects everything. Absolutely everything. I feel the loss of the normal family life I looked forward to in my younger years. I mourn for that a lot. I struggle with the fact, and it is a fact, that if I had been able to gestate and give birth to this child, the issues would probably not be there. Or maybe his issues would just be different. They would almost certainly be less. I try really hard to accept it, and some days I do all right. Other days I am frustrated and embarrassed and angry and I feel like giving up. Some days I think if I could exchange this child I might do it. It is hard, really hard. I am hurting from it today.

And today I am telling. At least this one little thing. So if someone wants to know what kind of pain I am in, they can know. It's a rough one, today.