14 January 2012

Adventures in Mary Kay: The Rookie

And thus begin my adventures as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant:

It's not that I've never worn makeup before, it's just that I never really got a full on professional lesson.  Yes, there was that time in high school when I bashfully asked my mom to take me makeup shopping and she complied, but I never really got the down low on when volumizing mascara is necessary and what colors should be applied where and when and things like no, you can't just apply dark brown eyeliner but no mascara to speak of when you have blond eyelashes (a glamour sin that still haunts me...no wonder I didn't have a boyfriend through most of high school, sheesh!).  So as I sat down with my Senior Consultant, Vicki, to do a "color consultation", it was with a level of confidence somewhere between "I'm America's Next Top Model" and "I look like Bozo the Clown".

Well, until we started, that is.

"It's really good that you're not wearing any makeup today, that way we have a fresh canvas" she said as she sat down at her kitchen table with a glass of water.  I didn't tell her that I'd spent ten minutes longer than usual that morning on my makeup.  
"Uh, yeah, that's what I was thinking too."  (And the confidence meter tips toward Bozo the Clown.)
"Okay, well let's get started!" 

An hour and several embarrassing moments later (for example, the moment in which I, having never used concealer before in my life, looked up from the mirror and all Vicki could say was, "See, that's a lot..." before coming to my aid with some face wipes and a more practiced hand), I was a vision.  I memorized the techniques Vicki had taught me and headed out into the world, ready to make it more beautiful.

03 January 2012

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Things That Made Me Smile Since I Last Posted a Ten Things Tuesday (let's be honest here...)
1.  On Christmas, my dad gave Ainslie a new outfit and she, without any prompting, turned around and gave him a hug and a kiss and said "Thank you" in her little Ainslie way.  It was probably the best present he got, too.
2.  The cookbook that my sister gave me:  "Cooking from the Farmer's Market".  It has amazing recipes, descriptions of different produce, even rare ones, instructions on how to pick out and use aforementioned produce, and photos so beautiful that it has now replaced my first edition of "The Art of French Cooking" on the countertop display stand.
3.  My new project!  I was down in the dumps one night and decided that I need something that's Mine.  Something that has nothing to do with being a mom or being a wife or being a student.  Something that I can do regularly, that's fun and makes me giggle.  Something I've been wanting to do for awhile.  So, I am now an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics.  It might sound out of character or tacky, but it's really neither; I've said for years that in an alternate life I'd love to be a makeup artist, and this is something fun and girly that will also help me feel like I'm contributing financially to our family, which has been driving me nuts lately.  I'm SO excited, and I already made my first sale, thanks to my fabulous sister!
4.  Speaking of my fabulous sister, our family Christmas last Friday was AWESOME.  Alli and Ainslie were really cute together, following each other around and playing.  Gifts were exchanged, cookies were baked, nieces were cuddled.  It was everything a family Christmas should be and totally made up for being so sick on real Christmas.
5.  Kip scheduled Lasik surgery for himself on February 3rd, which means that he can move to the next step of becoming a state trooper!  All I want for my birthday is him to move here, so I'm crossing my fingers that they'll hire him for April.
6.  Before he starts a new job, though, we've got a date to keep; Mom and Dad gave us an all expenses paid trip to a resort in Texas for Christmas!  They'll watch Ainslie for a couple days so we can go away and not have to be serving sippy cups and singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" all day.
7.  Speaking of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", Ainslie sings a super cute version, including hand movements.
8.  And speaking of Super Cute, you haven't seen Super Cute until you've seen my daughter playing with two kittens.  Seriously, it was an overload of cuteness.  I can't even describe how cute it was.  If you are Facebook friends with me, you're privileged enough to see the photo I posted for posterity.
9.  The box of Christmas cheer and letters that I got from Kasey.
10.  I'm still psyched about my car and the car starter that it now contains.  Still.

01 January 2012

The River House New Year's Eve

Shannon greeted me at the door jumping up and down as if I were the one in charge of bringing the party instead of just myself and a mumbled excuse that I couldn't find a liquor store on the way.  
"Yay!!! You're here!!!"  
"Yeah, sorry I'm early, my parents wanted me to get on the road before the sun set and the temperatures dropped, but the roads are actually fine" I told her as I dropped my overnight bag and took off my shoes, surveying her parents' log cabin in the middle of Nowhere.  
"No problem, Paul's here too.  Want a breadstick?"
After what was possibly the worst Christmas on record (read: HORRIBLE stomach flu), I was ready for a New Year's Eve that was worthy of all the hype.  Mom and Dad were kind enough to take Ainslie for the night so I could actually go out and feel my age.  For years I've read Facebook invitations to my friend Shannon's New Year's Eve parties, and for years I've been unable to attend due to traveling or having just had a baby or some other good, but still disappointing excuse.  But this year was different; this year I was finally going and I. was. psyched.

I walked into the living room and plopped down on the couch next to our friend Paul, who I've known just as long as Shannon:  13 years.  The people making their way up to the cabin, affectionately referred to as The River House, were my oldest friends, a quality that makes my affection for them grow every time I see them simply because of their duration in my life.  They also have the benefit of being extremely cool people whose coolness did not peak in high school, unlike most of the people who we all envied at the time.  Blame it on moving so much growing up, but having friends that I've known for more than half my life is a REALLY big deal to me.  I couldn't wait to see them.

Within a few hours, the breadsticks were replaced by pizza, a significant dent was starting to appear in the stack of Coors Light cans in the fridge, and The River House was full of friends who, apart from having known each other for so long, had relatively little else in common; Paul is an environmental engineering consultant based in New York City while Stacey is in Boston working the only job she could find after finishing Teach for America, Shannon is in medical school in Australia while Janie is getting ready for her wedding and reevaluating whether she wants to be a teacher, a small business owner or a baker.  And then there's me:  in grad school for Theology and a full time mom with a husband still in Alaska.  We made a motley crew, but over the course about five hours, one raging game of Thumper, lots of commentary on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve, and a two hour-long dance party starting at midnight, those differences mattered even less than they did to begin with.  We were simply oldest friends, dancing to N'SYNC songs that we still knew every word to (even the guys) and reminiscing about old teachers and acquaintances from middle school.  

Somewhere in between "Since U Been Gone" and "Backstreet's Back", I lost my voice from singing so loud, got tired, and sat on the couch next to Stacey, one of the four girls who asked me to sit with them at lunch on my very first day of school in New Hampshire.  We leaned against each other to stay awake and watched our friends' terrible dancing skills across the living room, probably both thinking the same exact thing:  "I'm exhausted, but my friends rule."