Life

My Simplicity: (Mostly) Bare Face

Honey Bee Natural MakeupDisclaimer: No where in this post do I imply that makeup is bad, that women who wear it are dumb, that I’m somehow superior because I’ve downsized, or anything else that might be perceived by me saying I got rid of all of my makeup.

Makeup is so much fun. I started wearing it when I was in 6th grade, when my parents stopped at a Bath and Body Works on our way to visit family and bought me the essentials. Remember when B&B Works used to carry makeup?!

In high school I wore it because I was terribly insecure. In college I wore it because I wanted to, and because it was fun to experiment/get all hott looking to go out dancing with ma ladies. In my twenties, I’ve worn it because I’d been wearing it for so long that there was no reason to stop. But the for last year and a half or so, I’ve found myself wearing it less and less. I think it’s been a combination of being a mom to a very energetic boy + starting to appreciate what my skin looks like bare that has contributed to my decline in makeup-wearing. I think the only thing that kept me hanging on was my hereditary raccoon eyes. Even as I’ve grown more satisfied with how I look, that’s the one thing that was still hard to accept as an imperfection, so I’d put makeup around my eyes to lighten them up. Well when you do that, you might as well put makeup on your whole face.

About two months ago, I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror. I have no idea how or why this happened, but I was just completely and 100% happy with what I saw looking back at me, raccoon eyes and all. The one small freckle I have on my nose, the kind-of-flushed cheeks and my blonde eyebrows make up the canvas of my face, and they are just fine. It became clear to me that morning that the countertop organizer and vintage traveling case full of makeup… it was time to go. At that point, I rarely put the stuff on anyway, and when I did, I used maybe a fifth of my massive collection. I had started to notice that the few times I would put makeup on, my skin would break out. It wasn’t used to wearing anymore, and I guess couldn’t breathe.

I chucked most of the stuff, and pulled out the newer palettes/expensive products to give to my friends who love makeup. I had one brief momentary panic attack as I placed all of it in a bag to give away; “what happens if I change my mind?” I asked myself. I walked back into the bathroom and looked in the mirror again and reminded myself that I was happy with what I was seeing. It was going to be ok!

I decided not to be a complete granola bar, and looked up some natural alternatives. I wanted to be able to use a little for certain occasions, like dates with Daniel or church on Sunday. Just enough to give me a smooth, natural look without making me break out. I found some great DIY recipes for making my own, but felt too lazy to figure that crap out, so I just drove up to my local health food store to see what options they had available. They carry this line called Honey Bee Gardens, an organic/natural alternative to regular cosmetics. I left with a pressed powder foundation, a black mascara and a bronze eye shadow as seen above.

So far, I’m really into my choices! I use the foundation and mascara if I’d like to look a little more refined, and I break out the bronze eye shadow for REAL SPECIAL occasions, like date nights. I think I might eventually pick up a few more eye shadows, but for now I love having two options: no makeup, or a very minimal amount of makeup. I genuinely HATE getting up really early to get ready, so this new almost-free makeup life works for me.

Granola jokes aside, I think that it’s important to be okay with what you look like, whether you wear lots of makeup, a little bit or none at all. You were created by a Creator who treasures you and thinks you’re beautiful. Can you doll that face up? You sure can. I follow some makeup artists on Instagram who do incredible work with makeup, and I love it! But do you have to wear makeup to be the best version of you? Nah.

Ladies, you’re lovely. Freckles, blemishes, uneven skin, raccoon eyes and all… you’re all lovely!

 

Dan Writes: Starting Over

Dan Writes

 

Abe took that picture. I think it’s sweet to see what Daniel looks like from his little perspective. It’s also a picture that I think captures my husband perfectly. This post is the first of many, as Daniel will be sharing with us his thoughts from time to time on life, love, science, God and being a man. 


 

Last week, Megan asked me if I’d guest-post for her. Obviously, I agreed to do it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. When she presented the idea to me, I figured it would be easy to write a few hundred words about something, but when I started thinking about what to say, I drew a blank. I’ve drawn a blank everyday since she asked. It’s funny because I used to have my own blog on which I would post almost daily. I had a lot to say at that time in my life, and I wanted people (ahem… one person… a girl) to see it. I was an early-20s knucklehead fresh out of a relationship, and I wanted people (one girl) to know how good I was doing at being a grown-up. That was an interesting time in my life. I wanted to be noticed and appreciated. I figured if I could type out the things I wanted to say in a well-articulated and interesting way, and get people to read them, I could feel better about myself. My writings were dripping with arrogance and ignorance. I tried to disguise that fact by packing my posts with, what I believed at the time to be, this insightful wisdom that clearly no one had ever heard or read before. You could say my whole blog was like one giant humble-brag. I was posing as some great theologian of whom no one (that girl) had ever heard. It worked in making me feel important for a while, I guess, and eventually I ended up abandoning it because it had served its purpose. I look back at that time, and I don’t really like who I was. I appreciate that time because I made some valuable friendships and learned a lot of what not to do, but I am definitely not fond of the person that was writing that stuff. I guess a better way of putting it, is that I’m embarrassed by that person. So, when Megan asked me to write something for her, I obliged, but when I started brainstorming on what to write, my mind was flooded with thoughts of those days. Obviously, I don’t want to be young, dumb, early-20s Dan again. I have a lot of things I could talk about, I suppose, but I like personal interactions. I like conversations. Those are things I’ve grown to value deeply. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t share some thoughts with you folks from time to time. It just means that when I do, I’m doing it with a different purpose than I once did.

It’s funny, I used to end all of my posts with “I love you”. In the days of Myspace blog posts, I read something on an acquaintance’s profile one time where he ended a post with that. I liked it, so I started doing it. That was the one thing in those old posts of mine that wasn’t really aimed directly at “the girl”. It was in a sense but not in the sense of me hoping she would read something I wrote, get to the end, see those words, and think “Oh my God, I love you, too. Let’s get back together.” I wanted people to think, “Man, this guy, like, really loves people. Like, he’s genuinely concerned for peoples hearts and souls.” And I wanted “the girl” to think, “Man he’s so awesome at loving people. Why did I ever let him go?” It was completely fueled by a selfish desire to be accepted. I didn’t truly love people. I just wanted them to think I did. I figured it was in my best interest if people thought I was some wise, kind-hearted soul, whether or not I actually was.

Now, things are different. I’m different. And I can say with great confidence that the reason I’ve changed is not simply because my circumstances are different. No, I found out very quickly after I married Megan that young, dumb, early-20s Dan had simply turned into young, dumb, mid-20s Dan. There have been plenty of I-don’t-want-to-do-this-anymore times for both of us in the past 5 years, but God has been patient and gracious with us. The more I’ve grown in submission to the Creator of the universe and surrendered my life more and more to the Gospel, the more I can look back on old Dan and not be as embarrassed. I can see it was just a silly part of my story, and I can be confident in the fact that I’m not writing this for any personal gain. I can honestly say that I’m doing it because my wife asked me to, and I love her… and I love you.

Middle School Megan On: The Disposable Camera

The Disposable CameraAround 5th grade is when I started taking interest in capturing the funny/what I thought was important moments of my life, and that year I got a poloroid camera. I seriously thought I was the coolest person on the planet when I used that thing, but man, film for it was expensive. Once I got into middle school, I discovered the disposable camera.

The Disposable CameraThis amazing, one-time-use tool was A MUST for any special events at school, and ESPECIALLY youth group trips and parties. It was very important to me that I made sure I had all of the best moments captured on film to look over once the trip was done. Here’s a few things I noticed about the disposable camera:

1) You had to have at least one per trip. Two was preferable, and sometimes I’d get to take two with me if there was some kind of sale at Walgreens.

2) Boys never had them. They just didn’t care at all about memories, apparently (or maybe they were more concerned with actually living the moments instead of worrying about capturing them on film, haha).

3) It was a REALLY BIG DEAL to make sure the next time you showed up at youth group, you had your pictures on hand to show everyone.

I remember coming home from the last day of school, fuge or the canoe trip (there will be posts for those, don’t worry) and the first thing I’d ask my mom was if we could go to Walgreens and drop off my disposables for the one-hour development. IF she wanted to take me right away, we usually didn’t get the one-hour photo option because it was a little more expensive. The anticipation was almost too much to bare, as I waited to see the images I shot of me and my best friends, the gross cabin we stayed in and my crush who wasn’t paying attention. I remember one year not getting my camp pictures in time for the next youth group gathering, and feeling like such a failure.

What even is middle school life?!

When I told Daniel that boys almost never had them on trips, he said that he definitely used them. However, he was too busy snapping pictures of landscapes and monuments that he forgot to get pictures of actual people. So, as an adult, he’s left with bad quality pictures of landmarks instead of himself and his friends. #DisposableCameraFAIL

In looking through some old pictures from my middle school years, I realized that my style for pictures back then is similar to my style now. I’ve always loved to capture shots of the people I care about in the middle of whatever they are doing or saying. Of course, I had plenty of posed shots with me and my friends. But, I was definitely that girl that walked around and saw a funny moment and made sure to snap a picture of it before anyone noticed. I guess that’s the people-watcher in me.

The Disposable CameraI’m fairly certain that’s a middle finger in the corner. Thanks Greg. Or Craig, whatever your name was.
This was at C-Fuge in Ridgecrest, North Carolina.  The quality of a disposable camera picture was definitely sub-par, especially at night. But in middle school, you just do not care.
Ok… I had a crush on this kid so hard. Like, obsessively hard. His name was Jason something, and somehow my friends and I orchestrated it so that I could sit next to him on the way to camp that year. We never spoke, but my friend Tiffany took this picture.
This was probably from my first canoe trip. Robert Miller was one of the few high schoolers that was always really nice to me. The abundance of pictures I have with my finger in the way is amusing.
I’m pretty sure this was taken after we had won a scavenger hunt around town. Braces and a middle part- the components of a middle school girl in the late 90’s.
This was Riding Shotgun, our youth group band. I wanted to be Genie SO BAD.Erica Demers, the one in the back… she was the meanest. Erica, if you’re reading… I forgive you, haha. Look at all of that spiky, gelled hair. I can’t remember what this class was called, but we put on the morning announcements every day. Look at that Space Jam poster, you guys!

Little Yessi, and her disposable camera!