Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Bachelorette Party (from 10 months ago)

Since I was taking a blogging break epically failing at being a blogger last year, I have never shared wedding photos with you all...before I could do that, I had to update you on how I met, fell in love with, and got engaged to my husband. But I can't just jump ahead to wedding photos without first posting photos from my Bachelorette Party.

My Bachelorette Party was planned by my two long-time best friends and my sister-in-law (who is also, unfortunately for her lucky for me, a professional photographer). Between the three of them, they were able to plan THE perfect bachelorette party for me--it's like they know me or something...

The afternoon started with me being blindfolded and delivered to a random studio in downtown OKC. Turns out this random studio was a pole dancing studio--something I have ALWAYS wanted to do! To say I was excited was an understatement!!

The delicious cake pops and cookies Kelly made

Since it was a Tiffany & Co. themed party, they made shirts that said "Alana & Co.")

Surprisingly, I was actually able to get myself up on the pole and do a few spins; however, since I'm a white girl with no rhythm, my dance routine was subpar. haha

Next, we changed clothes and met the rest of the girls at a Blow Dry Bar down the street. Again, something I have always wanted to do!

I'm a great model, can't you tell?! I kid...
My gorgeous sister-in-law who is always behind the camera
The whole gang all dolled up and ready for dinner!
We then finished the night at a brick oven pizza place (my FAVORITE) and managed to liven up their patio...

What's a party without a congo line?!
I will spare you the photos of me opening my "personal gifts," but I would like you to notice how flat my hair was by this point in the night. haha
Since I'm not a partier, a heavy drinker, or a bar hopper, I wasn't sure how much fun a Bachelorette Party would be, but I was rudely mistaken! In fact, after looking at these photos, I kind of want another Bachelorette party--perhaps a You're Married Now, But Still Fun party? 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

About that holiday coming up this weekend...

As I see blog posts and Instagrams about "the perfect gift for dad," or "what he really wants on Father's Day," or "my dad is so great because...", I am reminded that my most dreaded day of the year is quickly approaching; that day that I try so hard to ignore.

As many of you may know, my "dad" is not in my life nor has he been for over a decade; instead, I have an amazing mother who did/does a pretty dang good job of filling both parental roles.

Father's Day may bring joy to a lot of people and make them reminisce about good times with their dads; but for me, it usually just brings up painful memories about what could have been but never was.

This year feels different, though...

Underneath all the anxiety and dread that Father's Day brings me, I feel a glimmer of hope--hope for what will be. Hope for Jacob to become the amazing father that I have no doubt he will be. Hope for the plans that God has in store for us. Hope for the future. (and no, I'm not pregnant)

If you will be celebrating with your dad this weekend, I hope you realize just how blessed you are to have someone who earned the right to be called "dad." If you are in the same boat as me (whether it be because your father has passed or because of other reasons), I hope you are able to see past the pain that this weekend brings and find hope.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

That Time I Cut Off All My Hair...

Last week, I told you about the time that my hair turned green on my honeymoon and a lot of you commented about how you were surprised I didn't just cut it off and I have to confess that while I didn't immediately cut it off, I did get an extreme chop shortly thereafter....

You see, I haven't cut my hair since 8th grade (over a decade)...I would get the mandatory trim with the minimum amount cut off each time. Occasionally when I was feeling wild I would throw in some side bangs, then I would remember how much I hate them and grow them out. I always said that when I graduated college, I would chop it all off and donate it, but when that day rolled around I couldn't bring myself to do it. The deadline then became when I graduated with my MBA, but that didn't happen either. My hair had become my identity--my security blanket, if you will. At that point, I feared that I would never be able to cut it off.

Once I survived the green hair debacle and realized that going out in public with green hair wasn't the absolute end of the world, I knew I was ready to cut my hair off. I waited until the green FINALLY went away then started researching places to donate my hair and pinning short hairstyles for possible options. Because my hair had been highlighted in the past and was damaged a bit from being green, my donation options were, unfortunately, limited. I ended up finding Children with Hair Loss and decided to donate my hair to them!

My cousin was absolutely shocked when I text her that week letting her know that I was finally ready to cut my hair and feared that I would chicken out, but I didn't!

This photo was taken about two months prior to the big chop. 
It was so crazy to see my hair (almost 13 inches) laying on the counter! 
The after shot!
This is where most haircut posts would end, but nothing is every easy in my life so the story goes on...

When she cut my hair, it apparently opened the cuticle and released the green color so it started spreading! She tried to disguise her terror while I was hysterically laughing. I kept reassuring her that it wasn't her fault and that it was fixable and just to dye it. So, she picked the closest color to my natural hair and started dying it, but it was getting worse! After consulting with a few other cosmetologists, they decided to put orange/red (I think?) in my hair to counteract the green and it worked! My hair ended up a little darker than my natural color but it faded to the exact shade (I won't lie, I was kind of bummed when it faded because I was actually digging the darker hair)!

This is what it looks like now
The whole process taught me a lot about myself and made me feel more comfortable in my own skin. After 8 months of having short hair, I think I have decided to grow my hair out again, but I would definitely love to cut it off and donate it again in the future! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

That Time I Unintentionally Rocked Mermaid Hair...

With the current popularity of “mermaid hair,” I am reminded of that time I unintentionally rocked it (before I even knew it was a thing). Since I still haven’t posted details or photos from our wedding (which was 9 months ago), I certainly haven’t gotten around to posting about our honeymoon which would have included this gem of a story…

I have always had healthy, relatively un-color-treated light blonde hair. I have had it highlighted from time to time (mainly home-dye jobs by my SIL), but nothing extreme or frequent. While on my honeymoon, I noticed that the bottom part of my hair was darker than normal…upon further investigation, I realized that it was DARK GREEN! I went ahead and partially dried it in hopes that it just appeared green because it was wet…nope, it was definitely still green. Five washes later and I still, unfortunately, looked like Katy Perry circa 2014.

 Once I could get a few words out between sobs, I decided to call the front desk of our hotel and ask what might have caused it/if they could fix it. They didn’t seem too shocked to learn that my hair had turned green, in fact they immediately knew what caused it—the hot tub. Apparently this wasn’t the first time they tried to turn their blonde hotel guests into punk rocker mermaids. They told me to call the on-site Salon and schedule an appointment (free of charge) to have my hair chemically stripped. I decided to schedule my appointment for the day before we left and suffer through the rest of the week with green hair (no point getting it done immediately then have to avoid pools/hot tubs for the entirety of my honeymoon).

To survive the week, I rocked a bun during the day, then did my best to disguise the green at dinner each night. The most difficult thing to do, however, was to not have a completely disgusted look on my face when people got brave/drunk enough to ask me if I did that to my hair intentionally. Some people might pay big money to look like this, but I am not one of them!

Ignore our stupid expressions in this photo and the horrible lighting--look at the hair
Luckily, the hotel staff was able to remove/lighten about 60% of the green, so I returned to Oklahoma with a light green ombre. My mom (who has ALWAYS been against me dying and/or cutting my hair) was horrified. We tried every home remedy we could find on google—I can’t even remember them all, but I do remember vinegar, baking soda, purple shampoo, and ketchup. It helped a little, but I still had to go to work the following Monday (and every day after that for the next month) with mermaid hair. I washed my hair constantly in hopes that it would magically disappear like that hair-color-changing Barbie I used to have, with no avail. I must say, considering that I usually only wash my hair once a week, that month was probably the cleanest my hair has ever been! Haha. At that point, the only thing that I could do to make myself feel better about the situation, was to be thankful that it happened AFTER our wedding.

Moral of the story? If you want mermaid hair, don’t pay a grip to your hairstylist only to sit in a chair with foil on your head—instead, go to an all-inclusive couples resort in Nassau and sit in an over-chlorinated hot tub with a frozen daiquiri in your hand while enjoying the beautiful ocean view. Just make sure to leave your hair cascading down your back so you can manage to get that “I accidentally dipped my hair in a bucket of green paint” look...